H2 antagonists

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.


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.


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 

Is Your Medicine Making You Sick to your Stomach?

  • Posted Oct 07, 2009
  • Alan Niederman, MD, FACC, FACP

Gastrointestinal side effects such as reflux and bleeding are common in patients who take aspirin and Plavix. As I have written in other blogs, the effect of aspirin is local and systemic so that enteric coated aspirin does not lessen this risk. The importance of the drugs in preventing sudden coronary stent thrombosis led to the guideline recommendation that proton pump inhibitors be given along with aspirin and Plavix to lessen the risk.

Proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium and Protonix are drugs used to decrease the amount of acid in the stomach leading to a significant reduction in ulcers and reflux. They are used along with another class of drugs called H2 antagonists which are Zantac, Pepcid and Tagamet.

On May 6, 2009, a study was released at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions from researchers at Medco, a large pharmaceutical distributor. The study looked at the data from 16,690 patients and their conclusions were that instead of lowering the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, this combination of drugs increased the risk from 17.9% to 25.1 %. Their data showed that all PPI's were the same as far as risk of events.

As I have written before, this is the wonder and frustration of medicine. How can something which appears so logical be so wrong? Is it wrong? Why is it wrong? Researchers went to work to discover the problem. It seems that these drugs share a metabolic enzyme pathway and much like cars on a busy street, not all the traffic can travel at the same time. As Plavix needs to be metabolized, this interferes with the levels of the active drug, which in turn lessens the drug's effectiveness.

But is it true? The Principle-TIMI 44 trial examined this problem and the study was released on line before publication. They found that no association was found between PPI use and increased risk for major cardiovascular events. This study used twice the normal dose of Plavix. In a similar study using twice the dose of Plavix (150mg a day), the PACA trial (Proton Pump Inhibitors and Clopidogrel Association) found that Protonix was better than Prilosec in preserving the necessary effect of Plavix.

What to do? I am recommending to my patients that if they must take these drugs they should increase the dose of Plavix. A better choice is probably to use the H2 blockers instead of these drugs for prophylaxis of GI bleeding. If PPI's must be used, Protonix may be the best choice in the class. More information will be presented at the American Heart Association meeting in November. Individuals who are on these combinations should discuss this with their cardiologists.

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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