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Medical Insider Blog

Live Healthier and Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

  • Posted Jan 31, 2018
  • hchadmin


Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? 

February is American Heart Month and Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by focusing on preventive care.  

According to the National Health Information Center, in the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD). The great news is that you can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and preventive care, including embracing a healthy spirit. 

To keep your heart healthy, the American Heart Association recommends the following:

•Maintain a healthy weight

•Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke

•Control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure

•Drink alcohol only in moderation

•Get regular exercise and eat healthier 

•Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day (if you are a man over the age of 45, or a woman past menopause)

•Manage stress

While controlling physical risk factors is a great way to help prevent any condition, so is maintaining a healthy spirit. For example:

•Remain optimistic. Research shows that happiness and a positive attitude are associated with lower rates of disease. 

•Control stress. Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, as well as keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.

•Do everything in moderation. Don’t try to do too much at one time – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.

•Create a network. Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with emotional support when you need it. 

Lastly, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing heart disease. Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. 

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

If you have any changes in your health and you’ve got questions, call the nurse line offered by your medical plan. 

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to helping you live your whole life by nurturing well-being through body, mind and spirit.

Consider joining us for the following heart health events this month:

Time Out for Women
Thursday, February 15, 530 pm | Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women's Center
Women's Heart Health: Reducing Stress and Living Healthier
Join Richard Goldman, MD, PhD, FACC, FACP, Cardiology, as he discusses the benefits of reducing stress in our often busy and demanding lives. There's no time like the present to guard your heart and live healthier!  Register at 954-351-7804 or holy-cross.com.


The Cardiac Hour: Cardiac Testing 
Wednesday, February 21, 4 pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center 
Join Karan Munuswamy, MD, Cardiology, to learn about choosing the appropriate pathway for diagnosing and treating Coronary Artery Disease or blocked arteries. Register at 954-351-5886 or holy-cross.com.



The Cardiac Hour: Small Incisions, Big Results  
Wednesday, February 28, 4 pm | Sister Innocent Conference Center 
We all want to avoid surgery, but if you need one, you want to know your options.  Join Alexander Justicz, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, for a heart-to-heart about the various methods of minimally invasive cardiac surgery available today.  Register at 954-351-5886 or holy-cross.com.



Enjoy a Healthier You through Lifestyle Improvements and Self-Care

  • Posted Jan 09, 2018
  • hchadmin

A healthier body, mind and spirit are goals many of us strive to reach. However, the pressures of daily life make can it difficult for many women to achieve these aims. Trying to do it all – maintain a successful career, sustain stable relationships, raise children, care for aging parents – can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health. 

Therefore, it's important that women, or the women in your life, take the time and make the effort to focus on themselves without feelings of guilt. Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to take the necessary steps to jumpstart positive lifestyle changes by taking better care of all aspects of your well-being.


Join us on Thursday, January 18 at 530 pm at the Dorothy Manugurian Comprehensive Women's Center as Anele Manfredini, MD, Women's Health Specialist, discusses: A Women's Guide to a Healthy 2018. Call 954-351-7804 to register or click here


Lifestyle modification can consist of a variety of strategies such as healthier eating, exercise and physical activity, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress and spiritual fulfillment. However, it's important to remember that no two women are the same and you should tailor whatever strategies you use to your own life and goals. 

Ensuring that you get enough physical activity will go a long way toward improving your overall quality of life. Although the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes, you should still start gradually and perform the types of physical activity that are appropriate for your current fitness level. However, because we are designed to use our bodies and inactivity can be a contributing factor to many health issues, you should strive to meet the following recommendations:

•Do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

•Perform muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week.

•Do activities that you enjoy, be it weightlifting, walking, yoga, swimming and biking because almost any exercise is helpful.

Women's busy schedules can sometimes make it difficult to eat correctly. Proper nutrition is a key component of any strategy to live healthier. Keep these guidelines in mind when planning your meals:

•Eat three meals a day. Meals should consist primarily of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

•Control portion sizes. Take time to enjoy smaller amounts of food.

•Limit foods high in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and added sugar.

•If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation – up to one drink a day for women.

•Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.

Poll results of all adults have shown women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep and to experience more daytime sleepiness at least a few nights/days a week. Additionally, new research shows that when women lose sleep they're at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and depression. Here are a few tips to help you get a better night's rest:

•Establish a regular sleep/wake cycle. Avoid taking naps, which can make falling asleep more difficult.

•Make your bedroom an inviting place. However avoid use of the bed for watching TV, eating or working.

•Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as these things can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep. Also avoid stimulating activities close to bedtime and instead engage in calming, relaxing activities.

Making changes to improve the physical aspects of your well-being are great. But what can women do to enhance their mental and spiritual health? Physical, mental and spiritual health are deeply intertwined and have a profound effect on one another. Even though it may seem hard to find ways to de-stress with all the things you have to do, it's important to find those ways. The following suggestions can help:

•Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises and keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.

•Don’t try to do too much at one time – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.

•Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with emotional support when you need it. 

•Make time for meditation and/or prayer. Spend time in nature.

•Strive to practice compassion, love, forgiveness, altruism, joy, and fulfillment.

•Work to increase the positive moments in your work and your life, while reducing the negative.

Last but not least, your lifestyle improvement program should always include getting annual physicals and tests from your primary care physician (PCP). Finding a PCP is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.


Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash 


Tips for Handling the Holiday Blues

  • Posted Nov 28, 2017
  • hchadmin

Making time for social events, cooking, shopping and entertaining, all while doing our best to care for ourselves and our families – the holidays are a busy time for many. Even “decking the halls” can be stressful!

While the holiday season can be a light-hearted time full of joy and good cheer, the hustle and bustle, and the stress that comes along with it, can lead to a dark period of anxiety, loneliness and regret for some.

 

As we go through this season, Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of preventive care, including embracing a healthy spirit.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers the following tips on how to help make the season brighter: 

• Stick to normal routines as much as possible.

• Get enough sleep.

• Take time for yourself, but don't isolate yourself. Spend time with supportive, caring people.

• Eat and drink in moderation. Don't drink alcohol if you are feeling down.

• Get exercise, even if it's only taking a short walk.

• Make a to-do list. Keep things simple.

• Set reasonable expectations and goals for holiday activities such as shopping, cooking, entertaining, attending parties or sending holiday cards.

• Set a budget for holiday activities. Don’t overextend yourself financially in buying presents.

• Listen to music or find other ways to relax. 

You can also make an appointment with your primary care physician (PCP), who can help coordinate your care and refer you to a specialist, if needed. If you don’t have a PCP, visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.


Know Your Diabetes Risk

  • Posted Nov 07, 2017
  • hchadmin

According to the American Diabetes Association, every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes. That’s why, during American Diabetes Month, Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of having regular health screenings to help identify your risk for type 2 diabetes. If you haven’t had your annual screening yet, make an appointment today! Click below to learn more about your diabetes risk. 

Click here for the pdf of the prediabetes flier.


Live Healthier and Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

  • Posted Oct 24, 2017
  • hchadmin

Did you know that by simply living a healthier lifestyle, you could dramatically reduce the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes? 

In fact, recent studies by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that by engaging in physical activity, eating a healthier diet, maintaining an appropriate body weight, limiting alcohol consumption and not smoking you can cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80 percent.

November is American Diabetes Month and Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of preventive care.  

NIH studies show that having a body weight appropriate for your height and age by itself reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 60 to 70 percent. Eating a healthier diet reduced the risk by about 15 percent and not smoking lowered the risk by about 20 percent.

Here are some tips from the NIH and the National Diabetes Education Program to help you make gradual lifestyle changes that can help you prevent type 2 diabetes:

If you are overweight, set a weight loss goal you can meet (check with your doctor before starting any weight loss plan). 

Aim to lose about 5 to 7 percent of your current weight and keep it off 

Keep track of your daily food intake and physical activity in a logbook and review it daily 

For support, invite family and friends to get involved


Make healthier food choices every day. 

Keep healthier snacks, such as fruit and vegetables, at home and at work

Pack healthier lunches for you and your family

Choose low-fat dairy products

Eat whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, brown rice, pasta or oatmeal

Select lean meats and poultry

Choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds as protein sources


Strive to become more physically active. It’s easy to build physical activity into your day:

Take a brisk walk during lunchtime

Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther away from your office

Join a community program like the YMCA as a family and choose activities that everyone can enjoy


Restrict alcohol consumption. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises with an increase in alcohol consumption. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.

If you smoke, quit (and don’t quit quitting). Smokefree.gov offers some great tips and a step-by-step guide on how to begin.

Be sure to embrace a healthy spirit. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), high levels of stress can have negative effects on your blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s important to practice good relaxation techniques. The ADA recommends the following: 

Breathing exercises – Sit or lie down and uncross your legs and arms. Take in a deep breath. Then push out as much air as you can then relax your muscles. Do these exercises for a minimum of five minutes at least once a day.

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones – If a negative thought is going through your mind, replace it with something that makes you happy or peaceful. You may also visualize a favorite nature scene to lessen anxiety and promote more serenity. 

Last, but not least, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and helping prevent diseases like diabetes. Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice. 

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions or click here.

Holy Cross is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

[Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic healthcare facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). 

Smokefree.gov and the links it provides are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask your discretion when using information from this site.]

 
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Behind the Scrubs: Meet Delia Guaqueta, MD, Hematology / Oncology

  • Posted Oct 10, 2017
  • hchadmin

Sharecare.com spoke with Delia Guaqueta, MD an Oncologist at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida about why she chose to become an oncologist, how she stays healthy and more.

What made you decide to go into oncology?

I was curious about oncology because you don’t get much exposure to it in medical school. I decided to do an extra rotation to focus on oncology. Through the rotation I realized it was extremely exciting to learn about.

What do you love about your job?

I really love the doctor-patient relationship. You become a part of someone’s family. Although it can be emotionally draining sometimes, you do feel fulfilled, especially when you're able to get someone through treatment and see them with their family enjoying a healthy life.

What do you do to stay healthy?

Personally, I like to fundraise for the American Cancer Society. I try to do a half marathon every year so I spend most of my time training. I start hardcore training six months before. Most people there are running for a family member they lost, or a family member going through treatment. It can become quite emotional. When you cross the finish line you feel so fulfilled. To stay healthy, I also watch what I eat, keeping it as fresh as possible. 

Watch this video to learn more about Dr Guaqueta. 

 
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Breast Cancer Prevention Begins with You

  • Posted Sep 26, 2017
  • hchadmin

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States? 



October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and Holy Cross Hospital would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of preventive care.

Thankfully, breast cancer prevention begins with a variety of factors you can control, which include: 

•Managing a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise can help reduce your risk.

•Breast-feeding. Breast-feeding your children may offer some protection against breast cancer. 

•Hormone therapy. If you're currently taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about options. According to the National Cancer Institute, long-term combination hormone therapy increases the risk of breast cancer. 

•Restricting alcohol consumption. Your risk of developing breast cancer rises with an increase in alcohol consumption. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.

While taking care of your physical health is a great way to help prevent any disease, so is maintaining a healthy spirit. For example:

•Staying positive. Research shows that happiness and optimism are associated with lower rates of breast cancer. Focus on your thoughts — stop negative ones and replace them with positive ones.

•Managing stress. Utilizing a few stress relievers, like deep breathing, muscle relaxation and keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.

•Maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Don’t stretch yourself too thin – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.

•Creating a circle of support. Maintaining a close network of family and friends can provide you with emotional support when you need it. 

Lastly, getting health screenings and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and helping prevent health conditions like breast cancer. 

Having a primary care physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.  Or use the physician finder at www.holy-cross.com!


Come to our Beyond Breast Cancer event on Thursday, October 5 at the Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women's Center at Holy Cross HealthPlex. Register here or call 954-351-7804.
 


How can I reduce my cancer risk?

  • Posted Aug 29, 2017
  • hchadmin

Dr. Omar Rashid, Surgical Oncology & General Surgery, offers tips on how to prevent cancer on Sharecare.com.

You can reduce your risk of cancer by following these recommendations for cancer prevention, based on the latest research and international consensus guidelines:

Fitness and weight: Maintain a healthy weight without being underweight.

Sitting is the new smoking: Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and maintain physical activity for 30 minutes a day.

Read more and follow Dr Rashid

 


Immunizations Are Preventive Care for All Ages

  • Posted Aug 01, 2017
  • hchadmin

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., vaccination programs have eliminated or significantly reduced many vaccine-preventable diseases. However, some of these diseases still exist and may once again become common — and deadly — if we don’t get the vaccinations we need and when we need them.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of immunizations.

Immunizations aren’t just for youngsters. The CDC says we all need them to help protect us and our patients and coworkers from serious diseases and illness. In fact, according to the CDC, everyone over the age of six months needs a seasonal flu shot every year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.

Other vaccinations work best when they are given at certain ages. Here are some general guidelines from the CDC: 

Young children: 

•Children under age six get a series of shots to protect against measles, polio, chicken pox and hepatitis. 

Pre-teens:

•All 11- and 12-year-olds need shots to help protect against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and meningitis. 

•Doctors recommend girls also get the HPV vaccine to protect against the most common cause of cervical cancer. 

Adults

•All adults need a tetanus shot every 10 years. 

•People age 65 need a one-time pneumonia shot. 

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which shots you and your family need. 

Besides preventing you and others from getting sick, there’s another great benefit associated with getting immunized. For a complete list of immunizations and a schedule for receiving them, visit the CDC Immunization Schedules website.

To ensure vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety and efficacy, the CDC has measures in place to test and continuously monitor them. To learn more, visit the CDC Vaccine Safety website

Locally, back-to-school immunization events will be held on:

Saturday, August 5 

•First Baptist Fort Lauderdale Global Event Center, 301 East Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

•Blanche Ely High School, 1201 NW 6th Ave. in Pompano Beach, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Friday, August 11

•New Season Worship Center, 7280 W. Oakland Park Blvd. in Lauderhill, from 4–6 p.m.

Saturday, August 12

•Vince Torres Memorial Park, 4331 NW 36th St. in Lauderdale Lakes, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

•Apollo Park, 900 NE 18th Ave. in Pompano Beach, from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Holy Cross Hospital Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women’s Center, 1000 NE 56th St. in Fort Lauderdale, from 9 a.m.–12 noon

Saturday, August 19

•Joseph C. Carter Park, 1450 Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

The 2017 back-to-school immunizations events are offered in collaboration with: the Holy Cross Hospital's Community Outreach department; Arthur Ashe, Jr. Campus; Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church; First Baptist Fort Lauderdale Global Event Center; Blanche Ely High School; Sun-Ed High School; New Season Worship Center; Children’s Services Council; City of Lauderdale Lakes; the Broward Sheriff’s Office; and Mount Bethel Church.

 

[Disclaimer: Trinity Health is a Catholic health care facility that is firmly committed to maintaining fidelity to its Catholic identity by closely conforming to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). 

CDC.gov and the links it provides are independent sites and have no obligation to provide information that is always congruent with the ERDs. Trinity Health cannot guarantee their content and ask for your discretion when using information from this site.]


Playing It Safe in the Summer Sun

  • Posted Jul 18, 2017
  • hchadmin

Summertime is all about fun in the sun and promoting spiritual health by getting outside to commune with nature.

But, did you know that according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States, and one dies of skin cancer every hour?

With the beautiful weather and days spent outdoors at the park, the beach and the golf course, your skin may be getting more sun exposure now than at other times of the year.

It's a great time to safely take part in outdoor spiritual practices like gardening and spending time in nature. 

While you're enjoying the great outdoors, it’s important to be aware of how much sunlight you get. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer and can also cause damage to your eyes. For these reasons, avoiding overexposure to UV light is the simplest form of prevention.

July is UV Safety Month. Here are some simple steps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent overexposure to UV rays:

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours
  • Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears and neck
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible
  • Put on sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps – the UV rays from them are as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun

You can also schedule a skin examination with your health care professional, including your Primary Care Physician (PCP), to catch early signs of cancer before they become a serious threat.

Getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing disease. Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. A PCP typically specializes in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice.

If you don’t have a PCP, finding one is easy! Just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions. Or, let Holy Cross Physician Partners help you.


Photo: courtesy of Sharecare.com




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About Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Hospital is a nonprofit, Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dedicated to innovative, high quality and compassionate care. For nearly six decades, Holy Cross has continuously expanded its services to provide leading-edge care for their patients in Florida and for those from elsewhere in the United States. Holy Cross also offers an International Services program to ensure that patients from outside the U.S. receive the care they need.

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