---------------https://medicalinsider.holy-cross.com-----------
 

Medical Insider Blog

Physical Activity Offers Great Benefits to Those Living with a Health Condition

  • Posted May 07, 2019
  • hchadmin

Did you know that according to the American Heart Association (AHA), active people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or other chronic health conditions are more likely to live healthier for a longer period of time than inactive people with the same conditions?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that physical activity can help lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also reduces your risk for stroke, relieves stress and anxiety and strengthens your heart, muscles and bones.

These benefits are important for everyone, but especially for those with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Because of the symptoms they experience, those who live with illness may find it challenging to get regular physical activity. The ADA and AHA offer the following tips:

•    Look for opportunities to be more active during the day. Walk the mall before shopping, take the stairs instead of the escalator or take 10–15 minute breaks for walking or some other activity while watching TV or sitting. (or join us at the upcoming May 18 Walk to Cure Arthritis!)
•    Don't get discouraged if you stop for a while. Get started again gradually and work up to your old pace.
•    Don't participate in physical activities right after meals or when it's very hot or humid.
•    It is recommended that diabetics check blood glucose before and after activity (if it’s too low, eat a piece of fruit, a few crackers or drink a glass of milk) and carry a snack to eat if you’ll be active for a few hours or more. If you have one, wear your medical alert I.D.
•    You can do this even if you've been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health condition. See your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.

In addition to getting regular physical activity, developing and maintaining a relationship with 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.

When you’re being treated for a health condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money.

Even if you require emergency or urgent care for your health situation, it’s always best to have a relationship with a PCP who knows your history and understands what is happening with your health over time.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


Regular Physical Activity, Health Screenings Can Improve Your Well-being

  • Posted Apr 30, 2019
  • hchadmin

According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, people of all ages can improve the quality of their lives and reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and type 2 diabetes with regular physical activity.

That’s why, during May (Employee Health and Fitness Month), Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of maintaining a consistent fitness routine and getting regular health screenings.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that adults participate in two types of physical activity – aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity – each week to improve health. For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.

Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

The CDC recommends spreading your activity out during the week and even breaking it up into smaller periods of time each day. That way, 150 minutes of activity may not seem so overwhelming. It all counts as long as you're keeping a moderate or quick pace for at least a 10-minute session each time.
If you have any concerns about starting a fitness program, remember to check with your doctor.

Another way various disorders such as diabetes, depression and hypertension, can be identified early is by knowing and properly managing your biometric numbers including your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have annual health screenings. And, remember, if you're enrolled in a Trinity Health medical plan, preventive care is generally covered at 100 percent!

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.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


Treatment and Support for Substance Use Disorder

  • Posted Apr 16, 2019
  • hchadmin

Are you concerned that you, a family member or friend may have a substance use disorder (SUD)? SUDs occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. It's necessary that you educate yourself about the support that may be available to you or that you may need to provide to others in order to achieve a sustained recovery.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers the following information if you think you might have an addiction:

•It's important to know that addiction can be successfully treated. Contact your primary care physician who can help coordinate your care and refer you to a specialist, if needed. If you don’t have a primary care physician, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions. Or, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website for more information and resources.

•It takes a lot of courage to seek help because there is a lot of hard work ahead. However, treatment can work, and people recover every day.

•Your treatment approach must be tailored to address your specific substance misuse pattern and also your substance-related medical, psychiatric and social needs.

•There are different kinds of addiction specialists who will be involved in your care, including doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, and others.

•Behavioral treatment (also known as "talk therapy") can help you engage in the treatment process, change your attitude and behaviors related to substance misuse, and increase your healthier life skills.

•Medications are available to treat addictions to alcohol and opioids (heroin and pain relievers). Other medications are available to treat possible mental health conditions.

•Self-help groups can extend the effects of professional treatment. These groups can be particularly helpful during recovery, as they are a source of ongoing communal support.

If you have an adult family member or friend who is struggling with the misuse of alcohol and/or drugs, NIDA offers the following tips:

•Recognize that you can't fix the problem by yourself. If someone you care about has asked for help, he or she has taken an important first step. If that person is resistant to help, perhaps you can at least convince him or her to get an evaluation from a doctor.

•You can always take steps to locate an appropriate physician or health professional, and leave the information with your friend or family member.

•Emphasize to your friend or loved one that it takes a lot of courage to seek help for a drug or alcohol problem because there is a lot of hard work ahead. But assure them that you will be supportive in their courageous efforts.

•The pressure of family and friends sometimes compels people to enter treatment. However, it's better that you focus on creating incentives to at least get the person to a doctor.

•If your friend or loved one was previously treated and then relapsed, they have already learned many of the skills needed to recover from addiction and should try it again. 

•People being treated or recovering from SUDs relapse about as often as do people with other chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Treatment of any chronic disease involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse sometimes goes with the territory.

•Encourage your loved one to participate in a self-help group during and after formal treatment. These groups can be particularly helpful during recovery, as they are a source of ongoing communal support.

You may also consider contacting your site Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  Your EAP is a confidential resource that provides counseling, information and referral services to help address personal, family or work-related concerns. These services are provided to you and your family members free-of-charge as one of your employee benefits.

As your trusted health partnerf or life, Holy Cross Hospital 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 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). The links provided here 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 these sites]

 

Signs and Symptoms of a Possible Substance Use Disorder

  • Posted Apr 09, 2019
  • hchadmin



The misuse and abuse of alcohol, over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs, and tobacco affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. Drug and alcohol dependencies can lead to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Addressing the impact of addiction is estimated to cost Americans more than $600 billion each year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug misuse early. If you’re worried about your own drug or alcohol use, or that of a friend or family member, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) provides the following warning signs that you should look for:

•    Loss of Control: Drinking or drug use more than a person wants to, for longer than intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.
•    Neglecting Other Activities: Spending less time on activities that used to be important (hanging out with family and friends, exercising, pursuing hobbies or other interests) because of the misuse of alcohol or drugs. Also a drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
•    Risk Taking: More likely to take serious risks in order to obtain one’s drug of choice.
•    Relationship Issues: People struggling with addiction may act out against those closest to them, particularly if someone is attempting to address their substance problems. Additionally, there may be complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
•    Secrecy: Going out of one’s way to hide the amount of drugs or alcohol consumed or one’s activities when drinking or using drugs. There may also be unexplained injuries or accidents.
•    Changing Appearance: Serious changes or deterioration in hygiene or physical appearance such as lack of showering, slovenly appearance or unclean clothes.
•    Family History: A family history of addiction can dramatically increase one's predisposition to substance use disorder (SUD).
•    Tolerance: Over time, a person's body adapts to a substance to the point that they need more and more of it in order to have the same reaction.
•    Withdrawal: As the effect of the alcohol or drugs wears off, the person may experience symptoms such as anxiety, trembling, sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue, loss of appetite and headaches.
•    Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Even though it is causing problems (on the job, in relationships, for one’s health), a person continues to misuse alcohol and drugs.

If you are struggling with a SUD, don’t hesitate to reach out. Help is available. Contact your PCP who can help coordinate your care and refer you to a specialist, if needed. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

tags: 

Awareness is Key to Addressing Substance Use Disorder

  • Posted Apr 03, 2019
  • hchadmin

The numbers are sobering. In its 2018 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes — United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in 2016, an estimated 48.5 million persons in the U.S., or 18 percent of persons aged 12 years and older, reported use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs in the past year. This estimate includes use of marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and methamphetamines, and the misuse of prescription drugs. During that same year, a total of 63,632 persons died from drug overdoses. This number has nearly doubled in a decade.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home. Addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to.

Awareness about the scope of SUD and the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual toll it takes is one component, along with prevention and treatment to improve the lives of affected individuals.

There is good news regarding prevention. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded research has shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction.

Treatment for SUDs generally isn’t a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. According to NIDA, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.

If you or a loved one is struggling with the misuse of drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to reach out. Help is available. Contact your PCP who can help coordinate your care and refer you to a specialist, if needed. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

tags: 

Colonoscopy Quality and Impact on Cancer Risk: My Experience at Holy Cross

  • Posted Mar 08, 2019
  • hchadmin

By Dr. Patrick Amar
Gastroenterology

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death and is preventable in up to 95% of cases. The purpose of a screening colonoscopy is to prevent the occurrence of colon cancer in the future. Without screening of any sort, the likelihood of a patient at average risk of getting colon cancer is 1 in 18. Colonoscopy is a tremendously powerful cancer prevention tool but unfortunately suffers from a number of potential pitfalls. It is both appropriate and critically important for patients and referring providers to inquire about quality measures when selecting a physician to perform colonoscopy.

I have collected data on over 1,500 consecutive colonoscopies which I personally performed over a two-year period. For each of these procedures, I collected data on which portion of the colon was reached, the quality of the bowel preparation, the number of polyps removed and the recommended interval for repeat colonoscopy. For any patient with polyps removed, I subsequently correlated these numbers with their pathology results and revised the polyp counts accordingly, to reflect only those polyps which were found to be adenomatous or serrated. These two particular pathology findings are directly correlated with cancer potential and are the target lesions for which we ask patients to undergo colonoscopy.

The first and most obvious measure in assessing quality of colonoscopy is the rate of completion of the exam. Clearly, examining only a portion of the colon leaves patients at risk for precancerous polyps in the areas not visualized. A colonoscopy is considered complete when the cecum (beginning of the colon) is intubated, as identified by several landmarks. The benchmark minimum recommended standard for this measure is 95% cecal intubation. My cecal intubation rate is 99.6%.

Cecal intubation is not a perfect measure of a complete colonoscopy, however. The cecum can sometimes be mistaken for other parts of the colon, especially the hepatic flexure. This leaves the potential for entire large segments of the colon not to be examined at the time of a colonoscopy. The solution that many gastroenterologists have proposed, to ensure 100% certainty of a complete colonoscopy, is intubation of the end of the small intestine (terminal ileum), which has a distinctly different appearance than the colon on endoscopic evaluation. This also affords the opportunity to evaluate for small bowel pathology which may otherwise be undiscovered (I have diagnosed several cases of Crohn's Disease in this manner). There is no recommended benchmark for intubation of the terminal ileum on screening colonoscopies. Nonetheless, I can proudly say that I have a 98% rate of intubating the terminal ileum for screening colonoscopies, thus dramatically reducing the likelihood of an incomplete examination.

The next and perhaps most important measure in determining quality of colonoscopy over a large number of procedures is the likelihood of discovering precancerous polyps. As noted above, these are either adenomatous or serrated on pathology. Patients with numerous or larger polyps are at an especially increased risk of colon cancer. The measure most commonly used is referred to as Adenoma Detection Rate (ADR), or the percentage of patients who are found to have at least 1 precancerous polyp at the time of screening colonoscopy. The minimum benchmark recommended for adenoma detection rates is 25% among male patients and 15% among females. The national average for ADR is 26% among community physicians and 29% among physicians in academic settings. My personal adenoma detection rate (ADR) is 54%.

The reason that this number in particular matters greatly is that there is tremendous variability in adenoma detection rates among different physicians. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which examined over 300,000 screening colonoscopies revealed Adenoma Detection Rates ranging from 7.4 to 52.5%. Analysis of this data revealed a dramatic decrease in the likelihood of patients being diagnosed with cancer up to 10 years after their colonoscopy was performed ("interval cancers"), if the performing physician had a higher ADR.  For every 1% increase in adenoma detection rate, patients had a 3% decreased risk of cancer over the following 10 years. Patients undergoing screening colonoscopy by the highest-performing physicians by ADR rates had up to a 69% incremental decrease in "interval cancer" risk compared to the average. This is over and above the baseline reduction in colon cancer risk offered by an "average" colonoscopy.

This measure, however, also has its limitations. The gastroenterology literature discusses the danger of a "one-and-done" colonoscopy. This refers to the tendency for some physicians to overlook adenomas beyond the first one discovered, either due to inattention or in the interest of moving a colonoscopy along. This gives rise to a measure called "adenomas per positive," which refers to the total number of adenomas discovered in patients who had at least one precancerous polyp. This is meant to counteract the tendency for a "one-and-done" colonoscopy and ensure that patients are getting the best cancer protection possible. The published data reveals a national average of 1.9 Adenomas Per Positive among academic centers and 1.65 among community physicians. My personal Adenoma Per Positive rate is 2.44, meaning that in patients who have at least 1 precancerous polyp, the likelihood is that I will find between 1 to 2 additional precancerous lesions.

There are polyp types which do not present an increased risk of cancer to patients. The most common type is a hyperplastic polyp which carries no precancerous potential unless it is part of a specific and rare polyposis syndrome. Likewise, the finding of a "mucosal excrescence" or other benign pathology findings do not represent precancerous tissue and are not counted in a physician's adenoma detection rate. These polyps most frequently occur in the rectosigmoid colon and are often removed by physicians, inadvertently leading many patients to think that they may beat increased risk of colon cancer. Removal of these polyps does not benefit patients in any way and does place them at some increased risk of post-procedure bleeding.

There are a number of key factors which have been found to impact a physician's adenoma detection rate. These include appropriate withdrawal time of the colonoscope during examination of the colon, the quality of the patient's bowel preparation, irrigation and suctioning of any stool residue at the time of examination and appropriate use of available advanced technologies to improve adenoma detection.

The importance of withdrawal time in assessing quality of colonoscopy became widely disseminated approximately 10-15 years ago. It was apparent that there was a tendency for some physicians to rush the colonoscopy examination, thereby decreasing the likelihood of finding precancerous polyps. The recommended minimum average time for withdrawal of the colonoscope was established at 6 minutes, a threshold which correlated with a significantly increased likelihood of finding precancerous polyps.  My personal average for withdrawal time is 8.9 minutes, which would be expected to result in improved adenoma detection. This is also considered the most important measure of quality of colonoscopy examination at the individual procedure level, ensuring that the examination was not compromised by being unduly rushed.

A significant change in the approach to bowel preparation was instituted several years ago, with patients being encouraged to use a "split-dose" bowel preparation regimen. This means that rather than having patients drink the entire bowel preparation on the day prior to the examination, they are instructed to drink the second half of the bowel cleansing solution on the morning of the procedure itself. By decreasing the time interval between administration of laxatives and the performance of the actual procedure, patients have less time to re-accumulate adherent liquid stool on the bowel wall and have improved visualization at the time of colonoscopy. This greatly increases the likelihood of finding either flat or sessile polyps as well as polyps with serrated pathology. I have utilized a split-dose bowel preparation protocol for over 5 years and have noted dramatically improved visibility at the time of colonoscopy. This has resulted in patients having their preparation rated "good" or "excellent" 94% of the time, improving the likelihood of discovering pre-cancerous polyps.

That being said, no patient has a perfect preparation at the time of their colonoscopy. Adherent liquid stool is especially problematic in preventing detection of smaller or sessile polyps. The tendency is simply to examine the colon "as is" and bring patients back at shorter intervals in order to compensate for less than adequate preparation. It is my opinion that once the patient has made an appropriate effort with bowel preparation and has taken the time and expense to have a colonoscopy performed, it is my duty to "clean up" to the best of my ability, within reason. I typically irrigate the colon with a very generous amount of water in order to remove any remaining adherent stool and thereby further improve adenoma detection.

Holy Cross was fortunate to purchase the newest generation colonoscopes from Olympus approximately 5 years ago, namely the 190 series. There is a specific setting on these scopes called Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) which facilitates the discovery of sessile or serrated polyps. Unfortunately, most physicians utilize this setting very little, if at all. I utilize NBI for the entirety of my colonoscope withdrawal, in order to improve adenoma detection rate and can personally attest that it has significantly impacted my ability to find flat or serrated polyps.

Additionally, there has been a tendency to overuse colonoscopy and have patients return at intervals which are shorter than recommended by professional societies. Many physicians developed a tendency to have patient's return for their "five-year" repeat examination, even in situations where bowel preparation was adequate and there were no precancerous polyps discovered. The recommended interval in such circumstances is 10 years. Additionally, when patients are found to have precancerous polyps, the recommended intervals are frequently overly-shortened. Use of appropriate intervals for follow-up colonoscopies after index examinations lowers the patient's individual procedural risk and also lowers the cost to a health system, overall. I am mindful to provide patients with a 10-year repeat interval for normal examinations if I can confidently do so, unless personal risk factors dictate otherwise. Likewise, I strive to adhere to the recommended intervals for follow-up of precancerous polyps, rather than bringing patients back more frequently than they truly require.

Achieving excellence when taking care of patients does not occur in a vacuum or with a single person, however. I work alongside a very dedicated staff of endoscopy nurses, technicians and unit managers. I am also blessed with tremendously talented and hard-working office staff, many of whom have worked with me for over 10 years and share my passion for providing excellent care. It is my sincere hope that I can continue to do so and that our endoscopy unit will continue to strive to be a leader in outstanding patient care with the support of a hospital that I am proud to be affiliated with - Holy Cross.

Dr. Patrick Amar practices with the Holy Cross Medical Group in Fort Lauderdale. He may be reached at 954-928-1778.


categories: 

Keys to Well-being: Eating Healthier, Getting Regular Screenings, Knowing Your Numbers

  • Posted Mar 05, 2019
  • Christine Walker

Mom was right when she told us to eat all of our veggies and listen to what our doctors tell us to do to maintain our good health. But, according to recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it seems that many of us are not taking mom’s advice to heart.

According to the CDC, only 9.3 percent of Americans meet daily intake recommendations for total vegetables (this includes dark green and orange veggies) and just 12.2 percent of Americans eat the two to four recommended daily servings of fruit.

That’s why, during National Nutrition Month, Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of eating healthier and getting regular health screenings.

The federal government has published recommended dietary guidelines designed to promote general health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases and obesity. You can start following the guidelines by:

•    Following a healthier eating pattern across the lifespan
•    Focusing on variety, nutrient density and amount
•    Limiting calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reducing sodium intake
•    Shifting to healthier food and beverage choices
•    Supporting healthier eating patterns for all

Making these changes can help you keep your biometric numbers (like blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, etc.) in a healthier range.

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have annual health screenings with your primary care physician (PCP). Annual health screenings are 100 percent covered by your health insurance as preventive care.

Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote your well-being though body, mind and spirit.

categories: 

Lowering Your Risk for Disease

  • Posted Feb 26, 2019
  • hchadmin



Did you know that according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics eating a healthier diet is one of the first lines of defense in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and heart disease?

March is National Nutrition 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 healthier eating, spiritual well-being and preventive care.  

The American Diabetes Association says that healthier eating is one of the most important things we can do to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that following a healthier diet can help prevent high blood pressure and may lower blood pressure that is already over the normal range.    

Below are some tips from the NIH to help you 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 diary 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

Another great way to reduce your risk of developing disease is by maintaining spiritual wellness. According to Mental Health America, there is a connection between spirituality and health. Spirituality can reduce the stress that often drives disease. Holy Cross Hospital offers the following suggestions to keep your good health:

•Discover and rediscover what makes your life meaningful. Find what brings your life purpose and align your choices with it. Wherever your passion is, there you’ll find your purpose.

•Nurture your connection with God/your Higher Power through regular spiritual practices.  Some people choose prayer, others meditate, some read Scripture, and others walk through nature. Whatever helps you in your relationship with the Divine, make time to foster your awareness of the Sacred.  

•Connect with others who share your values. Having meaningful relationships with others, with focus on what is important to us, reminds us that we are not alone and can often bring joy to our lives.

•Find opportunities to serve. Helping others in need, either through volunteer work or some other means, nurtures our spirit when we feel our actions make a positive difference for other people.  

Last, but not least, getting annual physicals and tests from your doctor is key in sustaining your health and preventing diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. 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.

As you’re your Trusted Health Partner for Life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote your well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

categories: 

For Those Living with Heart Disease

  • Posted Feb 11, 2019
  • hchadmin

Learning that you or a loved one has heart disease can change your life. However, educating yourself about this disease is the first step toward feeling better and making choices that can help you live a longer and healthier life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11.5 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease. February is American Heart Month. Join us for a health lecture or Mended Hearts Support Group, and heed the following suggestions to help navigate treatment if you or a loved one has been diagnosed:

•Making lifestyle changes. Not smoking, following a heart healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthier weight and becoming more physically active can go a long way in helping to keep your heart disease from worsening.  View Antoinette's Smoking Cessation story | Learn more about free Smoking Cessation help at Holy Cross

•Taking medication. Medications are often used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure or heart disease itself. Be sure to take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes. If you have uncomfortable side effects, let your doctor know. 

•Following doctor’s orders. Your doctor may recommend procedures to open an artery and improve blood flow. These are usually done to ease severe chest pain or to clear blockages in blood vessels.

As you know, 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.

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that is considered a life-threatening situation (like chest pain, major injuries or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. 

For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, going to an urgent care facility can save you time and money. 

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.

 

Regular Screenings and Knowing Your Numbers Can Help Catch Heart Disease Early

  • Posted Feb 04, 2019
  • Christine Walker



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that's one in every four deaths. That’s why, during American Heart Month, Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of regular health screenings.

Heart disease affects different populations in different ways. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, both Hispanic-American adults and Asian-American adults are less likely to have heart disease than non-Hispanic White adults. African-American adults are more likely to have high blood pressure and more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.

For people of all ethnicities, knowing and properly managing your biometric numbers such as your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can prevent or delay heart disease and its complications.

Of special interest regarding blood pressure numbers, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have revised the guidelines for the detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure. The new guidelines – the first comprehensive set since 2003 – lower the definition of high blood pressure to account for complications that can occur at lower numbers and to allow for earlier intervention. Blood pressure categories in the new guidelines are:

•Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg

•Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80

•Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89

•Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg

•Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have annual health screenings. 

Additionally, 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.

 
categories: 

Pages


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.

Blog Categories

Blog Archive