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healthy living

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]

 

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.


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Live Healthier and Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

  • Posted Jan 29, 2019
  • 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 would like to encourage you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of preventive care. 

The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), according to the CDC. The great news is that you can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and preventive care, including embracing a healthier 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 obviously a great way to help prevent any condition, so is maintaining a healthier 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.

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.


Live Healthier and Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

  • Posted Oct 30, 2018
  • 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.

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.

[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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Immunizations Are Preventive Care for All Ages

  • Posted Sep 05, 2018
  • 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. 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, 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.

Preteens:
•    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. 

Having a primary care physician (PCP), who can coordinate your care, including preventive care and immunizations, 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.

[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.]


Photo by Mario Purisic on Unsplash

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Protecting Yourself and Others from Illness

  • Posted Aug 28, 2018
  • hchadmin

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccines have prevented countless cases of infectious diseases and saved millions of lives? Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you of the importance of immunizations as preventive care. 

According to the CDC, vaccines can protect both the people who receive them and those with whom they come in contact. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common. A vaccine actually eradicated smallpox, one of the most devastating diseases in history.
But, how do they work?

When germs invade the body, they cause an infection. Once your body fights off the infection, you're left with a supply of cells that help recognize and fight that disease in the future, according to the CDC.

The CDC also says that a vaccination is designed to help your body create these cells to fight the disease by introducing a weakened form of the disease into your body. Your body then makes antibodies to fight the invaders so if the disease ever attacks you, your antibodies will destroy them.

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 and read the Immunization Action Coalition's Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations.

Besides preventing you and others from getting sick, if you’re enrolled in Trinity Health medical benefits most immunizations are 100 percent covered. For a complete list of immunizations and a schedule for receiving them, visit the CDC Immunization Schedules website.

Another great way to give a boost to your physical health is by maintaining your spiritual health through visualization. Visualization engages the imagination by thinking of a scene, a thought or a belief in our minds. This practice has been shown to decrease stress, blood pressure, manage chronic pain and promote general healing.

Additionally, screenings and regularly scheduled vaccinations are important in sustaining your health. 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. [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, Immunize.org and the links they provide 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.]

 

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash


Regular Health Screenings Can Help Keep Men Well

  • Posted Jun 12, 2018
  • hchadmin

Man working at desk

Balancing a busy career, family and personal life can leave men with little time to even think about their health, let alone schedule (and keep) an appointment for their annual health screenings.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services has found that men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular exams and screenings can help save lives. They can help find problems early, when the chances for treatment, and perhaps even a cure, are better.

That’s why, during Men’s Health Month, Holy Cross Hospital would like to encourage you to care for yourself, or the men in your life, by reminding you of the importance of regular health screenings.

The National Institutes of Health list, on their website, the tests and screenings that experts recommend for men at various stages of their lives:

•    Health screenings for men ages 18-39
•    Health screenings for men ages 40-64
•    Health screenings for men ages 65 and older

Federal law requires that all health insurance plans cover specific preventive care services, including vaccinations, some disease screenings and certain types of counseling. In addition to participating in annual screenings, 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, it’s easy to find one. 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.

[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). http://www.nlm.nih.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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Men's Health: Lifestyle Improvements and Self-Care Help Prevent Disease

  • Posted Jun 05, 2018
  • hchadmin



June is Men’s Health Month and Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you, or the men in your life, of the importance of taking the necessary steps to jumpstart positive lifestyle changes that will improve all aspects of well-being – body, mind and spirit.

Trying to "do it all" and "have it all" and the hyper competitive means some use to achieve those goals can leave many of us burned out physically, mentally and spiritually. So consider self-care and well-being habits as investments in yourself – investments with a high rate of return in the form of a happier, healthier more productive you.

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 men 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. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends the following activities for adults:

•    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 or biking...because almost any exercise is helpful. 

Men's busy schedules can sometimes make it difficult to eat correctly. However, 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.
•    Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.

While it's important to know the physical aspects of disease prevention, knowing how to maintain a healthier spirit is important as well. Keep these things in mind:

•    Remain optimistic. Research shows that happiness and a positive attitude are associated with lower rates of disease. Focus on your thoughts — stop negative ones and replace them with positive ones.
•    Control stress. 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.
•    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 support when you need it.

Lastly, getting annual screening tests from your primary care physician (PCP) is vital to sustaining your health and helping prevent or control health conditions. 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 well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.

 

Photo: Jenny Hill


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

  • Posted May 01, 2018
  • 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?

Actve children


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.
•    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 through body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


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

  • Posted Mar 13, 2018
  • hchadmin

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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, at least 88 percent of Americans failed to meet daily intake recommendations for total vegetables (this includes dark green and orange veggies) and three-quarters of Americans don't 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 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 healthy 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 healthy range.

The best way to find out if your numbers are within a healthy range for your gender, height and age is to have your annual 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 and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


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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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