Pomerene Hospital Blog

Spotlight on Cholesterol: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, September 08, 2015

When we think of people with high cholesterol, we may associate it with a poor diet and/or a negligent lifestyle. However cholesterol, when controlled, is a crucial component of good health.

The negative connotation of cholesterol surfaces when too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing, resulting in elevated lipid levels. Cholesterol levels are precariously high in more than 100,000 million Americans and are a risk factor for heart disease, Diabetes, and stroke. Goal numbers for a healthy lipid profile:

Total cholesterol:< or = to 200mg/dl

LDL cholesterol: < or = 100mg/dl (< 70mg/dl w/ cardiac hx)

HDL cholesterol: > or = 60mg/dl

Triglycerides: < or = 150

In actuality, about 75% of our cholesterol is manufactured by our livers. In other words, much of our cholesterol elevation is due to uncontrollable factors. The other 25% comes from the food we eat. Therefore cholesterol elevation can be multifactorial; sometimes controllable factors, sometimes not.

Causative factors include:

-genetic predisposition to producing too much cholesterol.

-getting older; especially females who no longer produce much estrogen.

-tobacco use

-carrying extra body weight

-consuming a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats.

Positive changes which can aid in decreasing cholesterol levels are:

-keeping total fat < 35% of calories daily

-minimizing intake of saturated fat (red meats and full fat dairy products).

-eliminating trans fats (Crisco/ storebought pastries) which both increase bad, and decrease good cholesterol

-increasing dietary fiber (especially soluable fiber) daily to 20-30gms/day

-increase intake of mono fat (like olive oil and avocados)

-growing evidence suggests that low carb diets improve cholesterol levels

-Managing stress

-increasing weekly exercise to 150 min per week or more

-taking supplements such as flaxseed, fish oil or plant sterols, niacin, garlic, fenugreek seeds, artichoke leaf extract, yarrow, or holy basil

-taking a statin prescription when diet interventions are not enough

It takes years for arteries to be clogged by cholesterol containing plaques, but there is much evidence that atheroschlerosis can be reversed, at least to some degree. A combination of the above interventions can promote large drops in cholesterol, which have been shown to promote regression of plaque formation.

For the best of health, know your numbers and keep them controlled!

Blog Written by Carol Denbow, MS, RD, LD 

Don't Forget The Sunscreen!

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summertime is still here, and for many of us this means family vacations to the beach and if you’re in Ohio, long hours soaking up the sunshine in the pool before fall returns.Now more than ever, it’s time to learn how to better protect our children from the harmful UV rays.

 

Why use sunscreen on children?

There is no other way to put it – sunburns are terrible for more than one reason. Sure, they are unsightly, uncomfortable and may even keep you from going outdoors, but they are also a leading cause of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it only takes ONE sunburn resulting in blisters as a child and your risk of developing melanoma DOUBLES. That’s right...it doubles!

Studies have shown the risk of skin cancer is increasing recently due to overexposure to the sun and tanning beds. Lately, the rising skin cancer rates have also included our younger generation. Did you know that 25% of lifetime sun exposure occurs prior to reaching 18 years of age? Chronic, unprotected exposure to Ultra Violet Rays causes skin discoloration, early aging of skin and skin cancer.

How to protect your child?
1. Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants and hats, sunglasses.
2. Avoid tanning beds.
3. Limit sun exposure and avoid peak hours of sun intensity (morning and mid-day)
4. Use sunscreen even with UVA and UVB protection, even on cloudy days.
5. Block 97% of UVB radiation with a sunscreen SPF of 30 or higher.
6. Stay hydrated!

The American Melanoma Foundation recommends applying sunscreen in the morning, 30 minutes BEFORE the child is exposed to the sun. After that, sunscreen needs to be reapplied after swimming or excessive perspiration.

For severe sunburn issues, contact your pediatrician ASAP.

May you all enjoy what is left of your summer. Have some fun in the sun but don’t forget your sunscreen!

It's Manly to be Healthy- June is Mens Health Month

Pomerene Marketing - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 I usually joke with my male partners that there is usually only one reason that a guy comes into see me. The reason is that their wife or girlfriend or mother or daughter made them come in. While this line usually gets a good laugh, there is some truth to it. As men, we are not very good about taking care of our health. We can find all sorts of reasons to ignore our health. We are too busy. We have to take off work. We don't want to waste money on a nothing.

Whatever our reason for avoiding the trip to the doctor, we need to take care of our health. As men, we are often the primary breadwinners. When we don't take care of ourselves, we can leave our families to live in debt or poverty. Additionally, children need their fathers. So we have a duty to our families as well as to ourselves to be as healthy as we can. In June, we recognize Father's Day. We also recognize Men's Health Month.

One of the health concerns that younger men should be aware of is testicular cancer. This is a cancer that affects the testicles of men. The average age of this cancer is 33. However, the American Cancer Society notes that 7% of the cases of this cancer occurs in children and teens, and 7% occur in men over the age of 55. Each year more than 8,000 cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed and between 300 and 400 men will die of this disease each year.

The good news is that testicular cancer is relatively easy to diagnose and treatment is quite successful. Early diagnosis is very important. Beginning in the teen years men should learn to perform testicular self- exams. These are easy to perform exams that you can do in the shower once a month. You are looking for bumps or lumps. They may be as small as a piece of rice or a pea. If you find anything abnormal you should go to your doctor and have it examined. If testicular cancer is caught early it can be treated and cured in most cases.

During Men's health month, take time to care for your health. It is manly to be healthy. In fact, without good health we cannot be the husband, father, brother, friend that we want to be. So see your doctor and ask about preventative care and wellness.

For information on how to conduct a testicular exam, please visit this link: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Testicular_Cancer/hic_Testicular_Cancer_and_Self_Exam

Blog written by DJ McFadden, MD- Pomerene Family Care physician

Treating Arthritis Pain with Lifestyle Changes

Pomerene Marketing - Thursday, May 07, 2015

 Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the Unites States, above heart and lung disease, and diabetes. Fifty million Americans are affected by this condition. Arthritis accounts for 44 million doctor visits and over 900,000 hospitalizations each year. Conservative estimates suggest there will be 67 million Americans with arthritis by the year 2030. One common myth is that it only affects the elderly. The truth is that 2/3 of people with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Of these, approximately 300,000 are children.

There are many types of arthritis with various causes. The common thread among all of them is inflammation. This is the cause of pain in all types of arthritis. The pharmaceutical industry has capitalized on our desire to get rid of the pain. Unfortunately the medication does not last. Proper management of arthritis pain is exercise and achieving and maintaining an ideal body weight.

While in pain, the thought of exercise may seem overwhelming, but initiating exercise has short and long term benefits for controlling arthritis pain. Moving your body will loosen stiff joints. Exercise will provide healing by increasing blood flow to affected joints and will strengthen arthritic joints which have been made weak by inflammation and pain. This is the long term management of arthritis pain. Exercise can reverse much of the pain associated with arthritis.

 

Check out these 5 suggested exercises for arthritis joint pain relief:

1. Walking

How it helps: Walking strengthens muscles, which helps shift pressure from the joints, and reduces pain. It also compresses and releases cartilage in your knees, bringing nourishing oxygen to your joints. 

2. Water Exercise

How it helps:
Warm water – between 83˚ F and 90˚ F – helps relax your muscles and decrease pain, according to the University of Washington Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

So exercises like swimming and aerobics, walking and jogging in water are good for stiff, sore joints. Water also supports your body as you move, which reduces stress on the hips, knees and spine, and offers resistance without weights.

3. Indoor Cycling

How it helps: “Indoor cycling is an excellent way to get a cardiovascular workout without stressing weight-bearing joints,” says Matthew Goodemote, head physical therapist at Community Physical Therapy & Wellness in Gloversville, N.Y.

A stationary bike is also a good option for people with balance problems – common among inactive arthritis patients – because there’s no need to lean the bike to turn.

4. Yoga

How it helps:
Beginner yoga classes’ simple, gentle movements gradually build strength, balance and flexibility – “all elements that may be especially beneficial for people with arthritis,” says Steffany Haaz, MFA, a certified movement analyst, registered yoga teacher and research coordinator with the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center.

It also reduces inflammation, according to a 2010 Ohio State University study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

5. Tai Chi

How it helps:
A traditional style of Chinese martial arts that goes back centuries, tai chi features slow, rhythmic movements to induce mental relaxation and enhance balance, strength and flexibility.

When you decide you have had enough pain and medication, making lifestyle changes may improve your condition. You CAN make this happen.

Blog written by John Vaccariello, MD- Family physician and Medical Director of Pomerene Kinetics

Walking: Your New Favorite Part of The Day

Pomerene Marketing - Friday, April 24, 2015

Walking is inexpensive, needs little to no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. It can be your fitness plan to practice on the treadmills at our Medical Fitness Center, Kinetics. It can be your stress management method for the day when you finally give yourself some much needed alone time to think or step to your favorite music. It can also be your break time energy boost! It has been proven that even a short 5-minute walk will boost your energy and spirits without the shame and guilt that the vending machine leaves over you.


Keep a few things in mind to increase the benefit of this new favorite part of your day: 

  • Wear proper footwear. For most people, walking or jogging shoes offer enough support and cushioning.
  • Wear reflective clothing at night.  
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after walking.
  • Map your course. Choose one with pleasant scenery, infrequent traffic and even surfaces. Be sure it is sage and well-lit. Vary your walking routes, distance and pace to keep it interesting.
  • Use proper form. Walk upright, but keep your upper body relaxed. Foot contact with the ground should be heel to toe. Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle, and swing them vigorously, but naturally, to help maintain momentum.
  • Start slowly, then build. Your goal should be to walk at least 5 days a week for a total of 30 to 45 minutes per session.
  • Buddy up! Walk with a family member, friend or co-worker.
  • Count 'em! Use a pedometer and work up to walking 10,000 steps per day, which will give you the same fitness and weight control benefits as a 30 to 40 minute workout (i.e. jogging 3 to 4 miles).
  • Have fun! Walk the trail, or the marked paths in and around your workplace, join a break-time walking group with your co-workers or participate in a charity 5K!

Blog Written by Tara Martin, Wellness Coordinator at Pomerene Kinetics

    

  

  

Healthy Feet 101

Pomerene Marketing - Friday, April 03, 2015

Keeping your feet healthy not only keeps you feeling better, it keeps you moving! Most of us do not think much about our feet, until they hurt.


Here are a few little ways you can care for your feet that will have a BIG impact on your overall foot health:

No Bathroom Surgery. With a new blister or ingrown toenail, we often want to treat it ourselves. That is NOT a good idea. We can introduce even more bacteria into a relatively clean area or we can cut our skin, sometimes requiring stitches. Even after all the digging at the problem site, we sometimes still haven’t relieved the initial condition. So put the cutters down, and see the foot doctor!

Perform Daily Foot Checks. This sounds simple, and it is. It is very important for everyone, but especially those with diabetes, decreased sensation in the feet, and those with poor circulation. Simply checking your feet daily can help prevent small problems from potentially becoming larger issues. Look for blisters, splinters, rashes, thick calluses, areas of discoloration, etc.

Follow Up After Injuries. After an injury, such as a sprain or dropping an object on your foot, a follow up at the podiatrist's office is a good idea. Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to walk with a broken foot or ankle and there ARE things that can be done for a broken toe. An assessment with possible x rays can help diagnose a condition that, if left untreated, can result in further damage leading to deformity or arthritis in time.

Live With A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle. This is VERY important for our feet! Your risk of heart disease, obesity, neuropathy, and arterial disease all decrease with a healthy lifestyle. Regular walking and other forms of exercise are beneficial. They help keep bones and muscles strong and encourage good blood flow. Of course, don't forget… No Smoking! Smoking is bad for your feet (yes, it's true) as it can help to clog arteries reducing blood flow to toes. Put down the cigarette, pick up an apple and get moving!

Lace Up The Tennis Shoes. Just as we wear glasses to help our eyes perform better, or helmets to protect our heads, choosing the right shoe for the activity is important for our feet. Well structured tennis shoes should be worn while exercising or walking long distances. Wearing a good pair of New Balance or Saucony tennis shoes during a marathon shopping day will help support our joints, tendons and ligaments. Dress shoes/boots look nice with our new outfits but they aren't doing our feet any favors and should be treated as "sitting shoes."

Just following these simple guidelines can help prevent some of the major foot ailments that will slow you down. So enjoy April -National Foot Health Awareness Month!

How Pomerene Can Help You

If you or a loved one are in need of foot care, please contact Dr. Nicole Horn

Blog Written by Nicole Horn, D.P.M.  

Are YOU Ready To 'Spring Forward'?

Pomerene Marketing - Friday, March 06, 2015

 


Daylight Saving Time beings Sunday, March 8, 2015, are you ready to spring forward?

This Sunday at 2:00 AM we move our clocks forward to 3:00 AM. This annual, bittersweet adjustment may give us brighter evenings and serve as a sign that spring is on its way, but it also interferes with our sleep schedules. Losing an hour’s sleep is not easy for an already sleep-deprived nation; the loss can really take a toll on your body.

Daylight Saving Time allows us to better use the extra daylight in the evenings due to those longer days of summer; the perfect solution for cookouts, evening swims, and spending more time with loved ones. We move the clocks forward one hour when DST starts and fall back one hour when DST ends in the fall.

We can all relate to the “Monday Morning Drag” as it is hard enough to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but these helpful tips may just motivate your Monday!

Prepare to Spring Forward!

Make the time change incrementally. Make it a habit to set your alarm clock 10 to 15 minutes earlier for a week or so prior to the change. When we spring forward, you WILL be ready.

Practice Good Sleep Habits
  • If you nap during the day, keep it brief (between 10 and 15 minutes).
  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, quiet and dark.
  • Avoid large, high-fat meals or spicy foods late in the day. You may have a love/hate relationship with these foods as they may cause discomfort or heartburn.
  • Don't go to bed hungry! A light snack before bedtime, such as oatmeal or cereal can keep your hunger from waking you.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Do keep in mind; it can take up to eight hours for the stimulating effects of caffeine wear off.

 

7 Foods to Fight Heart Disease

Pomerene Marketing - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

 Let’s face it; we all LOVE to eat! As youngsters, love of food was more about flavor.But as we age; we are faced with the fact that to maintain good health, food must not only taste good, but must also nourish our bodies (which includes our hearts) , as well.The root cause of heart disease includes a multitude of factors. Heart healthy eating, however, is at the center of improving cardiac risk, and/or progression of heart disease.

Consequently, one of the manageable things we can do to decrease heart disease risk is to make dietary alterations which include increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, and decrease foods high in simple sugars, salt, saturated fat and cholesterol.

Below are some dietary interventions which may assist you in improving daily intake.


1)Yogurt- left unchecked gum disease can increase risk of heart disease.Fermented foods such as yogurt help to normalize the flora in the mouth and gut, keeping microbes in check.

2)Whole grains – contain fiber from bran.Studies have shown that increasing fiber in the daily diet can lower cholesterol levels, thus decreasing heart disease risk.

3)Nuts; such as walnuts, almonds, and macadamias provide monounsaturated fats, which tend to help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

4)Salmon/fatty fish eaten at least once a week,provide Omega 3 fats,which are beneficial in normalizing the lipid profile

5)Dark chocolate (yes, I said chocolate!) helps boost the immune system by reducing inflammation.

6)Beans are full of soluable fiber which attaches to, and helps carry extra cholesterol out of the body.

7)Tomatoes contain a concentration of antioxidants (lycopene) and vitamins/minerals (vit A, vit C, Potassium) which all aid in reducing inflammation and maintaining integrity of tissues.

 

Blog Written by Carol Denbow, RD, LD


Ladies, Show Your Heart Some Love

Pomerene Marketing - Tuesday, February 03, 2015

 In the United States 1 in 4 women will die from heart disease and it is the leading cause of disability among women. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels) surrounding the heart. After menopause a woman's risk of heart attack increases 2-3- times and equals that of men. But women of all ages should be concerned about heart disease, especially if close family members have heart disease. 

While death rates from heart disease have dropped in the last 30 years, they have not dropped as much in women as in men. Women also have more difficulty in making a full recovery following a heart attack than men.

Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. The following risk factors have a greater impact on women than men.

Risk Factors

Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. The following risk factors have a greater impact on women than men:

  • Metabolic syndrome, a combination of fat around your abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides.
  • Mental stress and depression
  • Smoking
  • Decreasing levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels surrounding the heart.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack

The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, jaw pain, indigestion, and pain radiating down the left arm. However, the symptoms of a heart attack often vary with women. While the most common symptom remains chest pain, other symptoms may include indigestion, pain in the upper abdomen and pain under the shoulder blade or fatigue.

When these atypical signs and symptoms occur, they are often not recognized as symptoms of a heart attack and treatment may be delayed resulting in a poorer outcome. Heart and vascular disease has claimed more women's lives than men since 1984. The good news is that you can control many heart disease risk factors. All women can take steps to prevent heart disease by practicing the following health lifestyle habits:

  • Have a physical every year. Discuss your family history and your risk factors with your doctor.
  • Know your numbers. Have your blood pressure, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, triglycerides), and blood glucose checked yearly and work with your doctor to improve any numbers that are abnormal.
  • Don't smoke and if you do, quit. Smoking increases risk for heart attack 2- 6 times. Smoking also increases the risk of stroke and cancer.
  • Aim for healthy weight. Overweight and obesity cause many preventable deaths.

  • Get moving. Be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferable all, days of the week.
  • Eat for heart health. Choose a diet low in saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol.

How Can Pomerene Help You?

Please visit Pomerene Hospital's Holmes County Cardiology Services for more information. You are just one step away from a healthier heart!

Blog written by Joel Chupp, RN, BSN, RVT 

Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Baby

Pomerene Marketing - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To help improve your health and the health of your baby, there are two areas of focus: nutrition and exercise. Research shows that women who exercise before and during pregnancy and eat a balanced nutritional diet, have better pregnancies and better pregnancy outcomes.

Eating for Two

 Consuming well balanced meals are very important. A guide for a well balanced diet can be found at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/. You should consume about 300 more calories daily than you did before becoming pregnant. These extra calories will allow your baby to grow. Pregnant women should never participate in fad or low-calorie dieting.

Nutrition

 Follow your obstetrician’s advice regarding prenatal vitamins. It is very important to have an adequate intake (generally, 400 micrograms a day) of folic acid. It is very important to inform your physician about any supplements you may be taking, including herbal remedies. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily is strongly suggested to decrease your risk of dehydration.

Exercise

As exercise is important at any stage of life, it is just as important when a woman is pregnant. One main focus during exercise is to not over do it. If you did not exercise before you became pregnant your obstetrician may suggest a moderate exercise plan, such as walking or swimming. Even a ten to fifteen minute exercise plan can generate energy. You should always discuss exercise plans with your physician. Avoid jumping and jarring movements. Be sure to drink plenty of water while exercising. 

How Can Pomerene Help You?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your lifestyle during pregnancy, please visit Pomerene Hospital’s Maternity page for more information on the health of you and your baby.

 

Blog written by Hannah Jacobs, RN



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