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Category Archives: Women’s Health

The Trouble With TV… You Are What You Watch!

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When it comes to eating, you are what you watch.

We’ve all been guilty of mindless munching when sitting in front of the TV, but research from Yale University suggests that what you watch may impact how much you eat.

In the study, children and adults were shown a half hour of television with different sets of advertising in each.  Children aged 7 to 11 years who watched commercials for food ate 45 percent more snack food than the children who were shown the same programming but with commercials that didn’t feature food.  The children in the study didn’t go looking for the food that was advertised, but were interested in any snack food.

Among adults, those who saw advertisements for unhealthy snack food ate significantly more than those who saw spots for healthy food or good nutrition.  The really bad news?  Those habits continued even after the television was off.

Consumer and health groups that are concerned with America’s obesity epidemic—particularly among children—endorse government regulation of food advertising during children’s programming.  But many food marketers already self-regulate.  Frito-Lay, manufacturer of Doritos, Lay’s, Ruffles, Cheetos and Fritos, does not advertise at all during children’s programming, and General Mills, which makes Trix, Lucky Charms and other cereals, only advertises products with fewer than 175 calories and 12 grams of sugar per serving.

Both companies have joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a voluntary group of companies that have pledged to shift the mix of advertising to children to include messages about healthy eating.  Other members include McDonald’s, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Hershey.

Take note of what is being advertised when your kids watch TV.  If there’s too much food advertising, consider turning the TV off or tuning in another program.  Be ready to counter triggered snacking with healthy options like yogurt and vegetables.

And watch your own compulsive eating, too.  Be aware of hunger triggers that have nothing to do with hunger like boredom, restlessness, and food smells. And you can now add food advertising to that list.

When reaching for the chips, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”  If the answer is no, skip the snack, but also try to identify the trigger so that you’re aware of it the next time it tries to sabotage your success.  Knowing why you want to eat helps you get control of your snacking triggers.

For information and to find a physician in the mountains who can help with nutritional planning, contact Mountains Community Hospital at (909) 336-3651. Mountains Community Hospital is located at 29191 Hospital Road in Lake Arrowhead.

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Reducing Cholesterol Doesn’t Mean Living a Life of Deprivation

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The doctor glances at your test results, “Hmmm,” he says with a note of concern. “Your cholesterol levels trouble me.” It’s at that point that thoughts of celery sticks, grapefruit and other equally uninspiring foods taunt your butter-loving palate.

The good news is there is no need to adopt a diet of “rabbit food.” You can still choose delicious foods you want to eat while reducing your cholesterol.

The Good News

Here are just a few substitutions that you can make that won’t rock your world:

Go nuts. Instead of crackers or chips, get your crunch fix from almonds and walnuts. Almonds and walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fat, the “good fat” that can lower your LDL (bad cholesterol), while boosting HDL (good cholesterol.” Plus, clinical studies show that almonds are a great weight loss aid, filling you up quickly, so you feel satisfied and eat less.

Give turkey a try. Ground turkey contains half the saturated fat of 85 percent lean ground beef and is an easy substitution i most recipes. When you add your favorite seasonings, you won’t be able to tell that the marinara, meatloaf or chili is made with turkey.

There’s something fishy going on! While turkey and children are good low-cholesterol substitutions for beef, your best bet is fish. Not only is seafood low in fat, it contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends you eat fish at least twice a week.

Get creative with Condiments. One of the biggest culprits is a high-cholesterol diet is condiments. Salad dressings, mayonnaise and dips can have more cholesterol and fat in two tablespoons than the entire rest of your meal. When making dip or dressing, use plain yogurt instead of sour cream. make sandwich spreads from avocado or tofu. Try vinegar and lemon juice on salads, or add in flavorful fruits and vegetable and a nice piece of grilled salmon and forgo dressing altogether.

Minimize your Loss with Applesauce. Applesauce can be substituted for oil in almost any baking recipe, not only eliminating the fat and cholesterol in the oil but also adding the fiber and nutrients of the applesauce to your cookies, cakes and muffins. Substitute the amount of oil called for in the recipe with the same measured amount of applesauce. Don’t like applesauce? Try mashed bananas or zucchini.

Making these substitutions does not give you a pass to eat all the cheese, ice cream and eggs you want. To get a handle on high cholesterol, you still have to eat a diet low in fat, watch your weight and get more exercise. But with just a little effort, you can learn to eat foods that will better help you to control your health without sacrificing taste.

For information and to find a physician in the mountains who can help with cholesterol testing, contact Mountains Community Hospital at (909) 336-3651. The hospital is located at 29191 Hospital Road in Lake Arrowhead.

Saline Nasal Irrigation: A Viable Alternative

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How to Treat Upper Respiratory Conditions

Sinus sufferers–there may be relief available to you that is simple, effective and inexpensive! According to David Rabago, MD, and Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, nasal irrigation with liquid saline is an excellent way to manage symptoms associated with chronic rhino-sinusitis.

Saline nasal irrigation is type of therapy for upper respiratory conditions that bathes the nasal cavity with spray or liquid saline. There is also some evidence, though it is less conclusive, that spray and liquid saline nasal irrigation might be used to manage symptoms of mild to moderate allergic rhinitis and acute upper respiratory tract infections.

According to an article in American Family Physician,

“Consensus guidelines recommend saline nasal irrigation as a treatment for a variety of other conditions, including rhinitis or pregnancy and acute rhinosinusitis”

The quality of a patient’s life can be seriously diminished by upper respiratory conditions, such as acute and chronic rhinosinusitis, viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), and allergic rhinitis. The use of saline nasal irrigation was first described in medical literature in the early 20th Century. Saline nasal irrigation is an effective management strategy for many sinonasal conditions. In a survey of 330 family physicians, 87 percent reported recommending it to their patients for one or more conditions.

Here’s how the procedure works:

  • Saline is injected into one nostril and is allowed to drain out of the other nostril, bathing the nasal cavity.
  • Saline nasal irrigation can be performed with low positive pressure from a spray or squirt bottle, or with gravity-based pressure using a vessel with a nasal spout, such as a Netti pot. Both are available over the counter.
  • Of course, before attempting this or any other type of treatment, consult your physician.

For information and to find a physician in the mountains who can help with allergy testing, contact Mountains Community Hospital at (909) 336-3651. The hospital is located at 29191 Hospital Road in Lake Arrowhead.

Holiday Indigestion: Annoying or a Sign of Something More Serious?

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Don't let holiday indigestion get the best of you.

Anyone over 50 years old will undoubtedly remember the commercial that started,

“You ate too much, you ate too fast!”

Well, with today’s rushed society people often eat too fast and/or too much and that can lead to a case of indigestion that truly isn’t funny!  And during the holiday season, the likelihood of triggering a serious case of indigestion is even more likely.

According to the Mayo Clinic there are many symptoms of indigestion but they can affect people in completely different ways. That being said, some of the more common signs can include feeling full when you haven’t eaten much, pain in the upper abdomen between the bottom of the breastbone and the naval and/or burning in the upper abdomen.

While indigestion is not a disease it does cause millions of people great discomfort on a daily basis although many people get indigestion far less frequently. For most people the discomfort is manageable but some people with indigestion can be affected to the point where they feel they’re about to vomit.

While many cases of heartburn and indigestion are fairly mild, indigestion can be caused by a condition in the digestive track such as a peptic ulcer, cancer or GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease). Many people don’t realize there’s a difference between heartburn and indigestion but there is. Heartburn is generally described as a pain or burning feeling in the center of the chest that may spread to other body parts.

While over-the-counter medicines may provide some help for both indigestion and heartburn, and while mild indigestion is generally not considered serious, there are situations where it is best to seek medical advice. Some of the reasons to seek out immediate medical care can include vomiting, jaundice or yellow coloring of the skin and/or black, tarry stools. Also, it’s advisable to seek medical attention for any symptoms that last over two weeks.

For cases of serious or recurrent indigestion doctors can use a wide variety of tests to diagnose the problem including blood, breath and stool tests, and an upper endoscopy with accompanying biopsies.

Seek immediate attention if you have shortness of breath, sweating or chest pain that radiates to the jaw, neck or arm because these could be signs of a heart problem or even a heart attack rather than indigestion or heartburn.
While there may be many reasons people get indigestion and/or heartburn some relief usually occurs with some lifestyle changes. Decreasing stress and losing weight may help some sufferers considerably. Doctors may prescribe antacids, prescription drugs and/or antibiotics to treat the symptoms and provide relief.
For information contact your Mountains Community Hospital physician.

Things You Can Do to Avoid the Holiday Flu!

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Have you caught your annual holiday cold or flu yet? If not, here are a few suggestions on how to help yourself when you’re feeling awful.

The “flu” and “cold” season can mean big profits for the drug industry but research is showing more people are turning to a more natural way to either prevent or at least help eliminate the most severe symptoms by purchasing and using “over the counter” supplements. These supplements should never be purchased for children!

Always remember whenever taking a drug or any kind that a cold and the flu are very different organisms and they will respond differently to medications: natural or man-made. Just a warning: the flu kills over 30,000 people a year according to Webmd.com.

There are some things that people can do to help their symptoms. Although the “case is still out” on Vitamin C, for most people who take a one gram dose each day, it does help prevent colds. Some studies show that it can even help diminish the length of a cold so don’t be afraid to try taking it.

Although millions of people swear by taking Zinc during a cold the “jury is out” on its effectiveness. If you’re going to take it start as soon as your symptoms show up. Take them every two or three hours and take lozenges with nine to 24 milligrams each. Take zinc for as short a period of time as possible.

Garlic is another interesting supplement that people swear by and it is proven to stimulate the immune system. It’s best when it’s taken raw, crushed or minced but people who are taking blood thinners should be very cautious about using it.

Of course, the single best line of defense against seasonal flu’s is a flu shot. A flu shot is fast, easy, very safe, (though there are exceptions – consult with your doctor), and available at a number of locations. Call MCH at (909) 336-3651 for more information. Hopefully, you’ve already gotten your flu shot, or perhaps you are one of those people who believe that getting one will give you the flu? Rest assured, that won’t happen so go ahead, get your flu shot. It will go a long way toward making sure you (a) don’t get the flu or (b) if you do you won’t feel nearly as bad as you would if you hadn’t gotten one.

Did you know that each year about 50 million Americans get various forms of the flu? However difficult the flu can be it is overshadowed by colds. About one billion Americans will get a cold this year and many of those, of course, are children who pass it along to playmates, school-mates or their families.

Remember, seek advice from your MCH physician about the use of supplements, and getting a flu shot if you have any concerns or reservations. or any serious medical “issues.” For information call (909) 336-3651.

From Age 40-70: Tests You Should Have!

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There are a number of screening tests you could have to ensure you are healthy.

As human’s age their health requirements change and the tests and procedures they need can often help prolong their lives. Early diagnosis and treatment of any condition can often make the difference between life or death and it offers a “footprint” or “plan” for the patient to follow along with advice and support from their physician.

The staff at Mountains Community Hospital reminds everyone that as people age they will need to have tests and procedures they did not require in their younger years. It’s part of getting older.

A good diet and exercise program are an important part of staying as healthy as possible. Getting enough sleep at any age is vital. Without restorative sleep it takes a toll on many of the body’s systems and it affects an older person’s reactions and reflexes.

Women and Men 35 and Over

Adults who 35 and older should have their thyroid checked and get repeat tests done every five years. The aging process, accompanied by untreated thyroid problems, can be the cause of a number of problems, particularly in women.

Women and Men Over 40

Women over 40 should get an annual mammogram to check for breast cancer. Women with a history of breast cancer in their family should get their first mammogram before their 40th birthday.

Men as well as women can get breast cancer so men should give themselves a “once over” in the mirror to check for discoloration or other “abnormal” issues around their breasts.

Women and Men Over 50

Aging adults need to monitor their blood pressure. If untreated, high blood pressure can harm the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. Get tested! This is a killer!

People over 50 need to get a fasting blood sugar test at least once every three years.  While may laboratory tests must be ordered by your physician, that isn’t necessary for a cholesterol profile of blood sugar. Contact the MCH Laboratory (436-3140) for a complete list of other self-referred test that are available.

Women need to make sure they continue having pap smears and pelvic exams.

Men over 50 should have a prostate screening for colon cancer. Annual PSA tests and digital rectal exams are important for men starting at age 50.

Men and Women need to have their eyes checked every one to two years. As people age their eyesight slowly changes.

Skin cancer is another significant concern for adults over 50.  Ask your doctor to perform a visual exam during you next routine office visit.  Skin cancer can often be present in areas of the body that you cannot see on you own.

Men and Women 60 and Over

An estimated 60 percent of people over 60-years-old have some type of hearing loss. It is important for aging adults to have a hearing test at least once every three years.

The National Osteoporosis is Foundation recommends that all women over 65 have a bone mineral density test. As we age, falling becomes increasingly common, especially among women. Changes in bone density is often the cause.

Both men and women should have their cholesterol levels checked regularly. High cholesterol levels are a major cause of both heart attacks and strokes.

One area that is often neglected is dental health. Men and women need to see their dentist regularly to safeguard agains gum disease, mouth cancer and other conditions that are more prevalent among aging adults.

The bottom line is, age increases your susceptibility to a variety of ailments and conditions that probably were of little or no concern when you were younger.  One of the hardest things we all have to face is the fact that we are growing older and are not as invincible as we once were.  Responsible fitness and common sense can really and truly prolong your life.

The Magic of Ultrasound

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Although human beings can’t hear the sound waves emitted by ultrasound machines the process has revolutionized the practice of medicine since it was first developed for use on cattle and horses many decades ago.

Ultrasound is now used in many fields, typically to allow the medical world to “see inside” a body and locate a problem. However the sound waves can penetrate solid objects such as plastic as part of the welding process used in many products…

Ultrasound has been used by radiologists and sonographers to image the human body for at least 50 years and has become one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine. Today a pregnant woman and her physician have the opportunity to use ultrasound to see the child in-utero, which is nearly always an exciting experience. Routinely pregnant women will often have an ultrasound before their twenty-fourth. One of the reasons physicians encourage an early ultrasound is because if they detect an abnormality that can prove fatal to either the baby or the mother, or both, the pregnancy can be terminated if necessary to save the mother’s life.

However, ultrasounds can also show physicians of any specialty where a problem might lie and it gives the doctor the ability to focus directly on the problem. Ultrasounds, otherwise known as medical ultrasonography, can be used to visualize muscles, tendons as well as internal organs.

One of the biggest advantages to the technology is that, comparatively speaking, it is fairly inexpensive and portable, particularly compared to much heavier and equipment such as MRI machines. Portable ultrasound machines have had a big impact on the ability of the medical world to diagnose a condition because they can be taken just about anywhere to help serve their patient’s needs.

When ultrasound machines first hit the market it revolutionized medicine in some ways and ultrasounds have become quite common not only for pregnancies but for diagnosing many different conditions. As used by skilled technicians today’s ultrasound procedures are quite safe when done properly, particularly when compared with some other procedures that have the capacity to cause cancer. Although the procedure is considered safe it should not be repeated too often because there are scientific studies that show it may have harmful side effects if done too frequently.

Ultrasound pulses can be used to break up kidney and gall stones. Procedures of this sort are referred to as “focused ultrasound surgery” because they focus on a particular problem. The devices can also be used for teeth cleaning in dental offices, for use in treating cancer, Liposuction and removing varicose veins.

Ultrasonic cleaners can sparkle your jewelry, clean lenses as well as surgical and dental equipment.

Ultrasounds are used extensively at Mountains Community Hospital and make a big difference in patient’s lives everyday.