Home Authors Posts by Valerie Paxton

Valerie Paxton

Valerie Paxton is a co-founder of AllegroMedical.com and lives in Phoenix, AZ. In 1997 she set out with her business partner, Craig Hood to form Allegro Medical - a company dedicated to helping people lead more independent and healthy lives. They poured their knowledge and experience into AllegroMedical.com and now have more than 1 million customers nationwide. Valerie has a degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska and has spent most of her career in communications, marketing, PR, and investor relations. She enjoys giving advice, mentoring, volunteering, writing, reading, cooking, telling funny stories, healthy eating, her cocker spaniel Honey, her boyfriend Todd, hiking, kayaking, jokes and world travel. Follow Valerie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vpaxton

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Earth Day, April 22nd, is the perfect time to take stock of your efforts to protect the planet. Are you doing your part? Allegro can help.

Reduce consumption

Save gas and reduce emissions.

Walk, bike, power chair or roll to the store and take your Folding Shopping Cart
to transport your groceries home. Wouldn’t hurt you to get a little exercise, either. While you’re there, remember to buy only local, regional or in-season products whenever you can. You can freeze seasonal products for later. There’s nothing better than sweet corn in the winter.

Save water.

Use rinse-free products for shampooing and bathing. If you must bathe, use a hand-held shower
with a “pause” button to turn the water on and off as necessary. This one massages you.

Don’t mind the packaging.

Some of Allegro’s products are shipped without ‘extra padding’. Take Pediasure
for example. The risk of damage to the product is low compared to the damaged caused to the environment due to the extra waste. If these items arrive a little banged up, our customers are pretty much fine with it (thank you) as long as the product hasn’t been compromised. Of course, we’ll gladly replace anything that arrives damaged.

Buy products in bulk.

Reduce packaging waste and fuel costs plus save yourself a little moohlah by buying a bigger size. Allegro carries lots of bulk products. For quotes on sizes not displayed on AllegroMedical.com,
give Nick a call at 1-800-861-3211 ext 220.

Select non-toxic or less toxic cleaning products.

For example, Viraguard Disinfectant Cleaner
is nontoxic and biodegradable. Not to mention it kills bacteria, viruses and fungus. Woah. It even comes in a case of 12. Nice. Actually, you should check out all of our Viraguard products.
Yes, you can use them at home.


If you’re not already recycling, get on it.

Recycle programs are everywhere. Glass, metal, plastics and paper are collected, separated and processed into new materials or products. Store your products for disposal in this durable Household Disposal Basket

Start a composting program.

Turn food and yard waste into new soil for your vegetable garden by composting. These Easi-Grip Gardening Tools will help get you started.

Buy recycled products and packaging.

What goes around, comes around. To keep recycle programs going, they have to be economically feasible. Help out by buying products made from recycled products. For example, these portable, long-lasting, indoor/outdoor EZ-Access Rubber Threshold Ramps are made from 100% recycled tires.


Keep stuff out of the landfills.

Buy reusable bedpads, chair pads, leg bags, cold packs, panties, briefs, washcloths and drinking straws. Allegro has hundreds of reusable products
that will help the environment and your pocketbook.

Give your leftovers to someone else.

This includes hazardous waste such as paint, cleaners, oil, batteries and pesticides. Otherwise, dispose of it correctly! For disposal of needles, syringes and blood needle holders, be sure to use a Sharps

Repair, donate and give things away.

Think before you throw out that old coffee table. There are plenty of people who need it. Use local programs such as the Goodwill and Salvation Army or Freecycle to get and to give.

See the EPA
for more ways that you can help save the globe.

As always, Allegro (and the world) thanks you for your support and your business.

Balance products are hot.  They work your core, resulting in a stronger, leaner back, abs and & surrounding muscles.  All great reasons to improve your balance. 

The perks of improved balance don’t stop there, however, and for some the benefits may be even more compelling than a better looking body.  

 Balance Benefits at a Glance:

  • Reduced joint pain
  • Better posture
  • Reduced back pain
  • Higher confidence for sports or daily activities
  • Faster balance reaction time
  • Reduced risk of sudden trauma due to improved body awareness
  • Reduced risk of future injuries

    With Better Balance You Can:

    1. Develop a killer golf swing
    2. Avoid a broken hip
    3. Look taller and slimmer
    4. Reduce incontinence
    5. Walk straighter and more gracefully
    6. Ski the blue and black diamonds instead of the green
    7. Improve your sex life
    8. Have the guts to try something new
    9. Greatly improve performance in ALL sports
    10. Prevent sports injuries, especially sprains and strains
    11. Hold that yoga pose as long as you need to
    12. Stay on the mountain when you’re hiking
    13. Avoid accidents because you’ll react faster
    14. Stop wobbling
    15. Pick up your kids without straining your back
    16. Look cool when you’re carving on your skateboard, snowboard, long board, surfboard
    17. Increase the benefit of and response to your chiropractic visits
    18. Be agile
    19. Enhance your quality of life
    20. Increase your independence
    21. Raise your overall level of health


    How do Balance Products work?

    Balance improvement products are designed with an element of instability to intentionally throw you off balance.

    For example, just sitting on a FitBall improves your balance because you use so many muscles to stay seated on the dang thing. You don’t even have to “work out” on it to see results. Sit on it while you’re at your desk at work, or at the dinner table, or watching TV, or scrapbooking, or at your sewing machine. An option to the FitBall is the FitBall Seating Disc, which mimics the FitBall exercise ball, but sits on top of your chair. You can also use it as a balance disc.

    Balance Discs sit on the floor, right under your feet or hands while you do squats, lunges or push-ups. They are flat on one side and round, slightly “puffed up” on the other. When you are doing your regular exercises with your hands or feet on the puffy side, you are forced to concentrate on keeping your balance.

    The Power Wheel can be used with either your hands or your feet, but it basically challenges your whole body to stabilize while the 14” wheel rolls along the ground.

    Balance Pads are square blocks of specialty foam (latex free, anti-fungal, non-absorbing, non-scuff, no-slip) that you stand on while exercising. They are used in mobility training, lower extremity rehab and motor skill training.

    Indo Boards – These nifty gizmos are skateboard-shaped wooden boards that you stand on while balancing on top of a roller. I know… Wooohoooo! There are different sizes for different skill levels. The Original Indo Balance Board is super popular with board sport enthusiasts – skateboarders, snowboarders, wakeboarders, kiteboarders and surfers. Indo Boarding is a fun, inexpensive way to get into shape and increase your agility. Recommended for riders ages 4 and up. Totally rad. Makes a great gift.

    Don’t like to work out? Well here’s one for you. Stand on a wobble board
    while talking on the phone. In no time you’ll have stronger ankles and better balance.

    We sell a ton of foam rollers. They are cylindrical pieces of high density foam consisting of millions of tiny cells that bounce back when you press on them, or lay on them. Rollers are super popular and are used mainly for balance training, Pilates and self-massage. There are books and videos full of foam roller uses, but basically you sit or stand on them while doing a variety of exercises. They come in all shapes and sizes, including “half rounds” for starting your balance program. You can even get kits with various sizes included.

    We also have Rocker Boards, a Core Board, Twist Boards, Balance Trainers, Balance Beams, Balance Domes, Rotational Flexors and Multi-Balance Boards and more in our Shop by Condition: Balance/Core Stability area of the site.

    Okay, so why buy a special product to improve your balance when you could just stand on one leg with your eyes closed? Why not just walk along the backs of park benches or hop across fence posts or slide down a banister in your socks? Wellllllllll, you could get really hurt for one thing. Okay, then, just stand on one leg with your eyes closed! Go for it. But if you invest in one or two simple balance tools, you can do a full range of exercises, have fun and get balanced at the same time.

    Balance and Sports

    Improving your balance and stability will directly impact all of your daily activities, especially sports. Athletes incorporate balance and agility training into their daily workouts.

    Kids benefit from better balance too. Throw a few fun balance routines into your children’s daily activities and they will quickly get a leg up in their sports performance and confidence, from a very early age. For example, have them play a game of catch while balancing on one foot. Or have them close their eyes, stand on one foot and bend down to touch the ground with one finger. Or you could always get them an Indo Board.

    Balance is the basic skill needed for practically every sport. Athletes often do balance training when they are recovering from injuries, but as every good coach knows, balance training is just as effective in preventing injuries.

    Why is balance in sports so important? From soccer to snowboarding to tennis, changing your center of gravity to match your moves is the key to efficiency. Better balance improves agility, which allows you to move gracefully, wasting little motion. No matter what activity you are into – dancing, hiking, football, sailing, gymnastics, kayaking, skateboarding, rowing, martial arts, yoga or ballet – you are better off balanced.

    Do’s & Don’ts

  • Don’t expect it to work overnight. Balance takes time.
  • Don’t worry about looking like a dork while you’re practicing. Just have a laugh. Work out your heart and abs.
  • Do lower-body exercises that increase muscle strength in your knees, thighs, hips, etc.
  • Do start now. Better balance is important no matter what your age.
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    The AllegroMedical.com website is currently in its tenth year and still running strong thanks to the breadth of product offerings, competitive prices, and most importantly, feedback from our most important asset, our customers. With their help we were able to see what people were searching for the most and how customers shopped for the things they needed. Just recently in the past year, we have launched our Shop By Condition and Auto Re-oder functionalities to make it easier for customers to find what they need at prices they love to see.

    We have been able to target specific products for multiple segments and put them on display pairing them with competitive prices thanks to the expertise of our product managers and their establishment of favorable relationships with our manufacturers. Our business is simple; offer products that enhance security, confidence, and the quality of life for everyone.

    Our Affiliate Program has been key to our company’s success. In order to grow this program and make it available to a wider base of Publishers, we have decided to bring the Allegro Medical Affiliate Program in-house.

    Home medical supplies and home health care equipment represent one of the largest industries in the United States. Publishers can now capitalize on the growing demand for health, wellness and fitness equipment by joining the Allegro Medical Affiliate Program today.

    During the past decade, our main categories for our business have been Daily Living Aids, Fitness Equipment, Wound Care, Dietary Supplements, and Wheelchairs, just to name a few. Customers that shop at AllegroMedical.com are treated to competitive prices, huge product selection, and enticing specials, all on a meticulously designed, easy to use website.

    With our automation and ability to cut overhead costs wherever possible, we can now offer affiliates 5% of all sales through our affiliate program. Sign-up to be a Medical Supplies Affiliate today.

    If you are already an Allegro Medical Affiliate, go to the Medical Supplies Affiliate Login Page and sign-in.

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    Sleep Awareness Week is observed and recognized as one of the national health observances during the month of March. Sleep Awareness Week is March 3rd through March 9th. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the majority of adults require 7.5 to 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep but the percentage that actually reach that amount of rest every night falls very short of what it needs to be. Sleep is an important part of our lives in terms of productivity during waking hours, awareness in everyday activities, and more importantly, health.

    Are You a Victim of Sleepless Nights?

    If you are having trouble catching up on those much needed sheep counting hours after the sun goes down then the Better Sleep Pillow is your solution. This sleep apnea pillow accommodates all kinds of sleepers from those who sleep on their back, stomach, and anywhere in between. The better sleep pillow also improves circulation so you can make sure you’re not starting your day off with stiffness out of bed.

    Okay, What About Snoring Problems

    The CPAP Multi Mask Sleep Pillow is an extremely effective form of snoring treatment. The Sleep Pillow Mask prevents the airway from closing during sleep. If you don’t prefer a mask, try the Snore Wizard formerly known as the Noiselezz. The Snore Wizard is a Snoring Mouthpiece designed to treat both snoring and sleep apnea. The improved airflow in the back of the throat with the Snore Wizard Snoring Mouthpiece eliminates snoring. I’m actually thinking about getting one for my good friend. He brings the thunder when he’s in a deep sleep. His snoring resembles a Semi-truck down-shifting on the highway.

    To read more about these and other remedies to snoring and sleep apnea, visit our Sleep Apnea Blog.

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    This has been one busy year so far for us at Allegro Medical. We’ve started 2008 with one goal in mind, do what we do a little bit better and that includes offering a large product selection, competitive pricing, constant upgrades to processes for automation, and ultimately, a more enjoyable user experience. We aren’t going down the conventional trail, we’re blazing our own.

    It’s Never Too Late to Start

    Sure there are those people who say they want to get into shape and they set a New Year’s resolution that is destined to deteriorate by January 15th. I’ve seen it time and time again. I would constantly go to the gym at my University and it would always be packed at the beginning of the year with students determined not to go back home with the extra freshman 15. Then, two weeks later the workout area begins to be a comfortable room with no crowds, no lines, and on a not-so-good note, no spotters.

    The biggest reason people don’t workout or cease to continue is because of the lack of convenience. Who wants to wake up two-hours early, drive 15-30 minutes to the gym, get uncomfortable, self-conscious and sweaty all at the same time for about an hour, then drive another 15-30 minutes home before even showering to begin the day? Who wants to lose a couple of hours after work or school to workout? After work should equal maximum relaxation and quality time with loved ones and good friends. And if quality time means working out, well, you’re on the right track. For the others, I have some viable solutions to get jumpstarted on your health because it’s never too late to start.

    The Magneciser is a great pedal exerciser that has received plenty of good feedback. Simply place the pedal exerciser under your desk at work or school and start pedaling away. It even adds a little bit of movement to a monotonous day in the office. A more conventional model is the Standard Pedal Exerciser.

    Another workout alternative that has been gaining some traction because of it’s recent feature on Oprah is the Weighted Walking Vest by Xvest. The weight vest is a simple workout alternative because it can be used anytime, anywhere. Wearing it during jogging, yoga, playing basketball or doing anything active is sure to jump-start your heart and your health. But that’s not it; just wearing the weight vest is a workout. Strap it on for an afternoon stroll or the nightly post-dinner walk around the block. You can even wear it under your clothes to work or school. We have many sizes and weights of the Xvest Weighted Vests available so there is one customized to fit your needs.

    Let’s not forget though, you must supplement your workout with good nutrition and plenty of sleep.

    It’s a Leap Year

    These only happen once every four years and we are trying to make the most of it. We’ve had a stellar year so far with your help and we want to continue to build on this momentum. We hope to continue to bring you more of what you want at prices that you’re looking for.

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    All of us at Allegro Medical would like to thank you and wish you the cheeriest of Holiday joy this season. We had a great 2007 with you and we look forward to a great and successful 2008.

    During 2007, we’ve unveiled many new technologies and enhancements to make your user experience a bit more enjoyable. If simplicity and trust were the names of the game, we worked hard to get at and stay on top of your list. We understand you were busy and we wanted to make sure we were there for you when you needed us with the utmost product offerings, easy website use and navigation, competitive prices and invaluable customer support. We even added an Auto Re-Order function to benefit those customers requiring uninterrupted shipments of essential medical supplies and consumable products such as diabetic test strips, catheters, dietary supplements and wound care supplies. We also added a Shop by Condition as well as a Shop by Body Part feature enabling you to click on a problem area on our webpage corresponding to yours with a list of results and remedies, but that’s not the greatest part of it all: we’re still improving and will continue to do so to enhance your client experience with us. We want to make sure that each year will be even better than the last one. In 2008 you’ll see constant improvement in ease of use and more of what you need offered at less than what you’ll see anywhere else.

    Again we wanted to thank you for your support and we look forward to hearing from you in 2008.

    The Allegro Medical Family

    What do the holidays mean to you? Do you do the Clark W. Griswold thing and spend a month decorating, invite the entire family over for Christmas dinner, sing carols and buy gifts for everyone you know? Do you spend romantic evenings alone with your significant other, drinking eggnog by the fire and give just that one special gift? Or do you spend the whole month of December alone, avoiding crowds, ignoring sales, and scrooging it up with no one but your trusty cat? Whatever your pleasure this holiday season, our Guide to Surviving the Holidays may just help get you through – with gift ideas, items for your home, travel products
    and more.

    Holiday Travel

    Traveling during the holidays may not be easy, and may not even be fun. It is sometimes though, one of those necessary evils we all have to endure. Make things easier on yourself with our travel products! Like our Bed Rail Advantage Traveler & Car Caddy Bundle which includes a convenient Car Caddie hand strap to ease getting in and out of the car, plus a bonus portable bedrail to make it easier to get in and out of bed. Both products are available in a single package for only $49.99 – way cheaper than throwing out your back or falling.

    Having trouble getting Great-Grandma in and out of that low to the ground sports car or gigantic SUV? Help her out – it’s your great grandma for crying out loud. Check out the Handybar 3-in1 Car Aid to help get in and out of the car safely. This little handle hooks to the door jam of the car to safely create a handle to help steady the user while climbing in or out of a car. Once safely in the vehicle you simply lift the handle off in seconds. Simply reattach when you need to use it again. It is also a safely tool that can be used in case a fast exit from the vehicle is needed. These make great gifts and should be in every car.

    Believe it or not some people still don’t wear seatbelts, even when most states have “Click it or Ticket Laws”. Come on folks; don’t make me nag you. Let’s buckle up for safety so we all have a great holiday travel season to remember for years. If you or somebody you know is in this group because they are uncomfortable you need the Car Seat Belt Cushion. This cover will go over the lap or shoulder portion of the belt to create a comfy cushion for an offending area. For seat belts to work properly and provide the correct protection they should be adjusted correctly and snug. This little cover could really help you protect yourself and avoid a potential ticket. This is also a great gift for anybody that needs to travel that might find a seat belt uncomfortable including pregnant women and anybody recovering from injury or surgery.

    Does anybody need a little help around the house, airport, or shopping mall? Allegro Medical also has many wheelchair options available for those that need a little extra help. The Fold ‘N Away Transport Chair has a funny sounding name, but this chair is easy to fold, store, and carry and will come in handy whether used in the home or while traveling by car or airplane.

    All of these products help make it a little easier to get from point A to Point B, but don’t forget the little things around the house that will make a visit much more convenient and safe. Allegro has many daily living aids available to make your life and travel easier.

    Here’s one more product to consider in order to keep from losing your sanity on a long trip. Ever get tired of those noises from the backseat like “are we there yet” or “Mom, Jimmy’s touching me”. After about a thousand times of hearing this even the most rock steady parent will resort to the proverbial “if I hear one more peep out of the backseat we’re turning around and going home!”. Don’t let that happen. Hook the young ones up with a 7” Widescreen Portable DVD Player for just $99. It even has a headphone jack to allow them to watch their favorite DVD movie cartoons for the millionth time without driving you nuts. It’s a win-win in the car!

    Guest-Proof Your Home

    Let’s face it, people carry germs. Cousin Larry who invited himself to stay with you this year may just bring his cold with him, and what are you to do? Keep some hand sanitizer handy, in every room in the house. Also, stock up on the multi-vitamins so that you have immunity to whatever walks through your door. And to make Larry feel better, a heating pad or some light therapy may ease his symptoms.

    Unfortunately, cousin Larry also has a bladder control problem. Your bed will be safe though, with a waterproof mattress cover. Being the true host that you are also means stocking up on adult pads for Larry, something he always appreciates.

    A first aid kit is a necessity at holiday time – you never know when Santa’s going to wreck his sleigh and need medical attention. Seriously, be prepared for burns, cuts, reindeer bites, and anything else that could possibly happen. If you have a first aid kit, you may want to check the contents. Always make sure you keep first aid supplies well-stocked.

    Since your cousin’s arthritis often flares up in the winter, a shower chair will make showering much easier during his stay. So will grab bars installed by the toilet and in the shower. Some are temporary and don’t even require tools for installation!

    And finally, between the holiday cooking, all the scented candles and Larry’s cigar smoking, sometimes the odors just take over. Eliminate odors with room deodorizer.

    Holiday Cooking

    Did you know we have over 500 houseware products? That’s right. Get a new toaster oven for oven overflow when cooking big meals, or just a ton of toast on those holiday season mornings. We have great pricing on stylish, brand name blenders, coffeemakers,and cappuccino machines.

    And cutlery, did you say? Save on hundreds of chef’s tools and knives for holiday carving, slicing, flipping and spooning. Keep eating right this season, and avoid all the tempting cookies and cakes. Get a juicer!

    Has your food processor lost its chop? Get yourself a new one. And, when you’re out shopping all day, working, or doing the typical holiday runaround the last thing you want to do is go home and cook, am I right? Make life easy, and throw a bunch of stuff in a new slow cooker before you leave for the day. Make chili, stew or chicken and vegetables. When you get home, all you have to do is dish up your simple masterpiece.
    If you’re like me and your ovenware has disappeared over the years (taken to work for pot luck and left in the fridge for a month), dropped and broken (again…cousin Larry), or was permanently borrowed by one of your neighbors (who knows which one?), maybe it’s time to replace it all with a nice, new set. And by the way, all of these products make great gifts for the cook in your life!


    It’s not only the cookies and pies or gravy and stuffing that contribute to weight gain over the holidays. Stress, plus fewer workouts overall, and a lack of time to cook well balanced meals make it harder to keep the pounds at bay. Stay fit through the holidays. Take the time to work out at least as often as you usually do, and even more if you plan on indulging in holiday treats.

    Yoga is proven to increase agility, longevity and overall health. We have mats, blocks, dvds and everything you need to start a yoga routine, or continue the one you have. If you’re traveling over the holidays, don’t let your body suffer! Aquabells and exercise balls are brilliant for travel because they fold up nicely. When you arrive at your destination, simply fill the Aquabells with water, and you have instant hand weights. Fill the exercise ball with air and you have another fabulous workout tool. Of course, they both work at home too, and they make great stocking stuffers! Medicine balls are once again all the rage for their versatility and training possibilities.

    Thinking of adding a new cardio machine to your repertoire? We have pedlars and bikes, in all price ranges and types. Or, if the elliptical or treadmill is more your speed, see our selection. And for instructions on a large range of exercise and fitness techniques, check out our list of books and DVDs. We have information on everything from tai chi to power eating to exercising during pregnancy. Whatever works for you, stay on top of the exercise and fitness this holiday season, with help from Allegro.

    Speaking of Gifts

    Come to Allegro’s Gift Ideas section, for all the things you haven’t thought of, but love to give! And we make it easy to find what you want, and stay within your budget. Our gift guide is divided by $ amount, as well as gender, and even age! Find something for your teen, baby, mom or dad, with ease!

    Gifts under $50

    The Handybar is a convenient handle to assist in getting out of the car that triples as an emergency seat belt cutter and window breaker.

    Grandma having trouble with those tiny buttons on all her remote controls? Combine them into one remote that will never get lost! Our big button universal remote is great for those with vision trouble or anyone tired of the remote control juggle.

    Everyone loves a good massage. Choose from a variety of massagers

    Kids love Body Sox. Body Sox are fun suits that encourage abstract movement and creativity in a colorful way.

    Lex Loops exercise rings are all the rage this season. They offer great muscle resistance for leg exercises that tone and strengthen. A perfect gift for the fitness fanatic on your list.

    Your favorite golfer will dig this – the “bionic” glove that improves grip and torque through science, taking the game to a new level.

    Gifts $50-$100

    Give the gift of good sleep! The chillow pillow system, better sleep pillow, or anti-snore pillow can improve alignment, comfort and more to make sleep more restful.

    Make your loved ones feel more independent with a new rollator. Choose our pink breast cancer awareness rollator, and $10 will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Or, make getting up easier, with a lifting cushion. Turns any seat into a lift chair!

    Someone you know can start their own poker night with a new poker set. Sets contain 500 pro style chips, cards, and a deluxe case.

    Try a fitness kit for the person in your life who’s looking for a new kind of workout. A pilates kit or bodyblade kit can give them just the boost their workout needs – and for less than $100!

    Gifts over $100

    Know a new or soon-to-be-mom? Get her the ultimate mobicam baby monitoring system for less at Allegro. Wireless, handheld color monitor has clear picture and sound. Buy now and receive free shipping!

    Give the swimmer in your life the gift of music! The underwater mp3 player gives crystal clear sound. 35mb capacity, Windows and Mac compatible. And it’s safe for the user!

    Been wanting one of those digital photo frames? Get one for the photo lover on your list, and pick one up for yourself too! There are tons tons of styles for $150 or less.

    What’s the ultimate gift for a parent who’s not getting around so well? An electric scooter! Indulge in a 3 or 4 wheel model. It will change the life of its owner.

    Various Fabulous Gifts

    What, didn’t think Allegro Medical would have the chainsaw you were looking for? Well guess what! Choose from gas or electric, and wrap that up with a new blower or outdoor trimmer. Visit our yard equipment sub-category.

    Get the kid in your life a pedal car! Choose from fire trucks, Cadillacs, roadsters and hot rods. And don’t forget the little red wagon!

    Enjoy your shopping. Allegro wishes you peace, love and joy this holiday season!

    What are all those dogs doing on a medical website? They’re not rescue dogs, or guide dogs or even therapeutic visitation dogs. They’re OUR dogs, all of them… the dogs of Allegro.

    A few days ago they were all just sitting around in their Santa hats (happens every year about this time) and we said, “Hey, let’s put these dogs to work.” So there you have it. Actually, we decided they deserved a little recognition. After all, they let us come to work with them.

    Allegro Medical employees have enjoyed bringing their pets to work for years. We started our pet-friendly policy soon after we hired our first Certified Rehab Specialist, Jack Craigs. Jack’s role was to work with adults and children in need of customized power wheelchairs. He would travel through Arizona visiting people in hospitals and medical facilities, working with physical therapists and medical specialists. He helped countless people realize independence through the use of power wheelchairs. Jack’s work was difficult but he, like so many Allegro employees, was passionate about helping people. And as Jack visited patients in hospitals, his Weimaraner Libby was always at his side. She traveled with Jack in his van from destination-to-destination and was especially well received by the children he worked with. Soon after, other Allegro Team members began bringing their dogs to work.

    Here’s the run-down on our current posse:

    Craig & Samantha’s “girls” (4) – a yellow Lab named Rio and a chocolate Lab named Reece – were born next door to our office a couple years ago. Until they were weaned, these adorable little fur balls spent their off time sleeping in whoever’s lap was handy. Now that they’re all grown up (indeed) they prefer to come to work on casual Fridays so they can get a little rowdy and not get in trouble.

    Val’s sweet Cocker Spaniel Honey (6) has popped (or should I say ‘pooped’) in and out of Allegro since she was 3 months old. She’s a greeter, a roamer and a bit of a beggar… even though that’s a no no. It’s her Grammy Barb’s fault.

    Greg & Kelly’s Labs, Dusty (3) & Dakota (8) are usually here with Reece & Rio because they hang out together outside of work. According to Greg, “Dusty’s a spaz and Dakota’s…um…just exuberant for his age.” One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was Dakota (Koder) romping through the office with a swinging trash can lid stuck around his head after dumpster diving for a sandwich. Poor things, they never knew what people food was until they came to work.

    Bosco (4 or 5?) – a Border Collie/lab mix, we think – lived in a rescue home for stray dogs until 2 years ago when he adopted Daver. He’s happy, loyal and ready to have a good time, all the time. His best day is everyday and he’s everyone’s friend. Sounds a lot like Daver. When not playing chase and getting into general mischief he’s always up for a good old fashioned belly rub. Even more like Daver. His favorite play buddies are Tanner and Sammy, but he has a sweet spot for Rio.

    Max’s Rottweiler, Tiva (9) is a DIVA! She has a sweet disposition and is protective of her home and family. She’s highly intelligent and well trained. She’s great with people, especially kids. She’s spoiled, and her favorite food is cheese. Oh, and she loves walks on the beach and romantic candlelit dinners.

    Stout (2), Mike’s Rotti/Lab mix, has been grounded from Allegro for a while. He likes people in general, but he REALLY likes people in wheelchairs. You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, but Stout is built like a Rottweiler with the mentality of a Lab. She thinks she’s a 15 lb lap dog, and with 5 wheelchair users here, the stage is set for disaster. Mike says, “I think it’s wonderful that Allegro offers a pet friendly environment but until I can get Stout to calm down, he’s hanging at the house.” Awwww. Come back soon Stout.

    What’s an office without a pair of Bulldogs? Amy’s Zuki (5) and Brutus (5) are of the English variety. And just like the English they’re partial to pats on the head and belly rubs. They hardly ever bark. Watch out though, they’re big droolers and they may slobber on you.

    Jessica brings three dogs to work. Not all at the same time, though. Her Plott Hound mix Sam (6) knows it’s her turn to go when Jess gives her a special look in the morning. Sam loves to lay by her friends and get a tummy rub and a back scratch. She makes the rounds after lunch, enjoying the leftovers. Oh yes, Sam has quite a reputation at Allegro, and loves every second of it. Jess’s other dogs, Black Lab/Queensland Heeler Lucky (4) and Mix Breed Kodi (2) are just as sweet. Lucky’s a hugger and Kodi’s a kisser. Kodi’s very timid though, and won’t kiss you unless you sweet talk him. He’s working on his social skills.

    Justine’s Basset Hound (1) Angie is a greeter and a sniffer. She’s always got her nose in something…usually someone’s lunch or the trash can. Hey, with a nose like that you can hardly blame her. Huh, Angie.

    Casey (10 ½) is Juanita’s Lab/Terrier mix and the oldest Allegro dog. She’s so friendly and insists on greeting every single person in the office. I hear she’s quite a swimmer too.

    Doug’s Beagle mix Tanner (1) is a crazy pup with loads of energy. He loves to ‘ruffhouse’ with other dogs and play “catch me if you can”. When he’s not running around he’s sniffing every square inch of the floor for crumbs.

    All I can say is thank goodness for dogs. Our days are so much more interesting and enjoyable with these trusty companions at our sides. Sure, there are a few ‘accidents’ here and there, but Allegro wouldn’t be the same without our pets. Sometimes I get the giggles when I have to explain to a business associate on the phone why they hear panting, or growling or whining in the background. Yes, it’s a dog. No, I’m not working at home. I’m working at Allegro.

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    November is American Diabetes Month

    Do you know someone with diabetes? Chances are, with an estimated 20.8 million diabetics (that’s 7% of the population) in the U.S., someone close to you is afflicted with the disease. With that many Americans affected and another 54 million people at risk, it is important that we are all aware of the causes and effects of diabetes, and what we can do to prevent the disease. American Diabetes Month was created to raise awareness of the disease itself, and of the importance of proper diabetes care. Here is some information on diabetes. For more, go to “http://www.diabetes.org”, home of the American Diabetes Association.

    What is Diabetes?

    The American Diabetes Association describes diabetes as: “a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.”

    Types of Diabetes

    There are several types of diabetes that have different effects on the body, and therefore require different care. In Type 1 diabetics, the pancreas does not produce insulin. In order for the body to convert sugars and starches into energy, the insulin needs it to be replaced with injections. Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in children and young adults, and includes less than 10% of all diabetics.

    In Type 2 diabetes, usually the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, and the cells do not take in enough glucose. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be controlled with diet and exercise. If this is not enough to bring the glucose level down to normal, there are several medications that may do the trick.

    Diabetes Medications

    • Sulfonylureas and meglitinides stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to release more insulin.
    • Biguanides such as Metformin lower blood glucose levels by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Metformin also makes muscle tissue more sensitive to insulin so glucose can be absorbed.
    • Thiazolidinediones such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone help insulin to work better in muscle and fatty tissues and reduce glucose production in the liver.
    • DPP-4 inhibitors prevent the breakdown of GLP-1, a naturally occurring compound in the body that reduces blood glucose levels. By interfering in the process that breaks down GLP-1, DPP-4 inhibitors allow it to remain active in the body longer, lowering blood glucose levels only when they are elevated.
    • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors Acarbose (brand name Precose) and meglitol (Glyset) block the breakdown of starches such as bread and pasta in the intestine, and slow the breakdown of some sugars. This action slows the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal.

    Diabetes medications can be taken alone or in different combinations, in addition to exercise and proper diet to achieve the right glucose levels in Type 2 patients.

    In all types of diabetes the blood glucose levels are too high. Therefore, blood glucose monitoring is the best way to keep diabetes in check. In addition to standard glucose monitoring and fasting tests which give current glucose levels, there is the hemoglobin A1C. The A1C test is said to have revolutionized diabetes care because it provides a “big picture” of glucose levels, giving a two to three month average. This average can help doctors to assess proper medication and diet for diabetics.

    Symptoms of Diabetes

    Untreated diabetes causes symptoms related to elevated blood sugar levels, such as increased urination, weight loss, fatigue and nausea, and can lead to infections of the bladder or skin. The disease is usually diagnosed with a glucose fasting test in a doctor’s office.

    Complications of Diabetes

    Diabetes can lead to chronic eye and kidney problems and nerve damage, all resulting from microvascular disease. In addition, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) caused by diabetes can lead to heart problems and strokes.

    Prevention of Diabetes

    It is possible to prevent or at least delay the onset of diabetes. Glucose levels that are higher than normal can be brought down with exercise and proper diet. According to the American Diabetes Association, in a recent Diabetes Reduction Program study, “just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes.”

    To find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test.

    Diabetes Supplies From Allegro

    Allegro has all you need for testing your blood glucose level, including meters, test strips and lancets. If you are on Medicare, it is possible for you to get free diabetes supplies from Allegro, delivered right to your door. Contact our helpful staff to find out if you qualify.


    Allegro has test strips in boxes of fifty or one hundred for all the most popular meters. Also, test your blood glucose monitoring system for accuracy with a control solution, which allows you to make sure the meter and test strips are working together, and that you are testing properly, without using actual blood.

    Get lancets for less at Allegro, available in gauges of 21-30 for virtually pain free sampling- even for children. Allegro has many lancing devices that have varying penetration depths, and allow sampling from body sites other than the fingertips. Use a self-injection device to make injecting easier. Simultaneously inserts needle and administers insulin.

    Syringes for insulin users are less expensive by the case. Get yours here! And dispose of your needles properly, in a sharps container.


    Allegro features the latest in inexpensive, accurate glucose monitors that require less blood for testing. Or, get all your supplies in a kit – meter, lancets, lancing device, control solution and test strips, all included in one box, delivered to you. For the vision-impaired, a glucose meter with voice prompting makes testing easy, and helps to maintain independence.

    Shoes, Skin Care and More

    It is important that diabetics take good care of their feet. Loss of circulation and nerve damage can lead to infections, injuries and even amputation. Approximately half of diabetic amputations could be avoided with precautions taken to protect the feet. Allegro has many styles of Orthopedic-type shoes to help protect the feet from injuries. Increase blood flow and raise the temperature of your feet, while relieving foot pain with diabetic foot cream. And for a looser, more comfortable fit, try diabetic socks with wide tops and breathable fabric. For selection and low prices, take your foot care to Allegro.

    Keep insulin cold in the office or when you’re on the go with a travel pack which includes places for all your supplies, and re-freezable ice packs to keep everything cold for hours. Or a portable fridge may be the way to go, to keep insulin, and whatever else you desire cold for as long as you need.

    We have parts for insulin pumps, infusion sets and other insulin accessories. Check our stock. We may have what you need!

    Alternative nutrition for diabetics is available here, for tube-feeding and supplementing.

    The Mission of the American Diabetes Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

    Diabetes Information

    Call 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383) or go online to www.diabetes.org.

    American Diabetes Month Fact Sheet (courtesy of the ADA)

    November is American Diabetes Month (ADM), which is designed to
    communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of proper
    diabetes control. ADM also focuses on type 2 diabetes risk factors and
    prevention, treatment of those diagnosed with the disease, type 1 and type 2, and support for their families. The theme for this year’s ADM is “The Many Faces of Diabetes” and throughout the month the ADA leverages opportunities both nationally and locally to raise awareness about a variety of issues relating to diabetes care and treatment.

    • Diabetes Prevalence Nationwide: 20.8 million people – 7.0% of the population – have diabetes
    • Diagnosed: 14.6 million people
    • Undiagnosed: 6.2 million people
    • Pre-diabetes: At least 54 million people
    • Worldwide: More than 246 million people have diabetes

    Key Messages

    – If current trends continue one out of three Americans, and one in two minorities, born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

    • Since 1987 the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45%, while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer have declined.
    • Keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in control can

    make a difference in reducing your risk for heart attack or stroke.

    • Annual dilated eye exams and routine foot exams and blood pressure

    checks can prevent blindness, amputations, heart disease, kidney
    disease, and strokes.

    • The ADA is a proud supporter of the United Nations Resolution on

    Diabetes and the observance of the first World Diabetes Day on November 14.

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    TEMPE, Ariz. – March 20, 2007 – Allegro Medical, the premier online store for medical equipment and supplies, today announced “Shop by Condition”, a navigational tool designed to help customers find products for a particular ailment. From the Allegro Medical home page, visitors can elect to Shop by Condition and view a list of 37 common medical situations, disabilities and diseases linked to thousands of condition-specific products to browse and buy.

    “Until now, it hasn’t been so easy to identify products that might alleviate, say, back pain, or stress, or even snoring, for example,” says Craig Hood, Allegro’s President and Founder. “But by shopping by condition, visitors can quickly find a variety of products identified by the manufacturer or supplier as appropriate for these conditions. It’s an easy and discrete way to shop.”

    Since making their online debut nearly 10 years ago as the first broad spectrum medical equipment and supply e-commerce Company on the Internet, AllegroMedical.com has increased its product line to 30,000+. How do customers find what they’re looking for? According to Hood, “Shop by Condition is just one of four navigation tools on the site. Visitors can also Shop by Category, Sub-category, Brand and search box. With such a massive product catalog, developing a more targeted approach to finding products was the logical next step in the development of the site.”

    Examples of products in Conditions:

  • Allergies – air purifiers, humidifiers, ionizers, allergy-free pillows & pillow cases, saline, flow meters
  • Bed Wetting – alarms and water-proof bedding
  • Blind/Low Vision – big button products, talking appliances, Braille items, magnifiers

  • Cold/Flu – light therapy, thermometers, monitors, pain relievers, sanitizing gel, Echinacea, vitamins
  • Hearing Impairment – assistive listening devices, amplifiers, signalers, headsets
  • Weight Loss Help – exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, heart rate monitors, fitness videos, Yoga, Pilates
  • While visitors can browse solutions for common medical problems, Shop by Condition also caters to those with longer-term conditions. For example, parents and pregnant women will benefit from a visit to Pregnant/Newborn. Diabetics will surely find something they need in Diabetes, and caregivers and health care professionals can easily shop on behalf of their patients by searching for specific illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.

    The Company plans to add more Conditions. In deciding what to launch first, Allegro chose some of the most common medical ailments, drawing from historical data of close to 1 million customers. To make
    shopping even easier, when visitors click on a particular Condition in the drop-down window, the products display with the “most popular” first and can also be sorted by price or product name.