Posts Tagged ‘columbia healthcare’

Let’s Keep Those Lungs Healthy

You might know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but October is also Healthy Lung Month. As the temperature drops and seasonal allergies kick up, it’s the perfect time of year to give our lungs a little TLC.

Why it Matters 

COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Currently, it’s estimated there are 24 million un-diagnosed cases and only 11 million diagnosed (ALA).

Pollutants and cigarette smoke are bad for everyone, but women are especially vulnerable.

Lung Cancer is the leading cancer in the US – causing more deaths than colorectal, breast, and prostate combined.

Symptoms to Pay Attention to (and tell us about) 

A cough that has lasted more than 3 weeks.

Shortness of breath even without heavy activity

Chest pain that’s lasted more than 2 weeks – especially if it’s caused by coughing

Mucus that has lasted more than 3 weeks

Wheezing

Healthy Lung Maintenance

If you smoke, please stop. We know it can be hard, and we would be happy to help you with smoking cessation counseling. It doesn’t matter how clear the air around you is, if you’re smoking, your lungs are going to suffer for it.

Be mindful of pollutants. Some of us are more sensitive to one thing over another (car exhaust versus industrial cleaners, for example). Listen to your body and try to avoid those things that trigger you. If you can’t avoid them, head over to your local hardware store and invest in a quality face mask.

Work your lungs out. Try to get daily aerobic exercise of some kind; walking, biking, and swimming are all low-impact ways to help your lungs reach their full capacity and strengthen their overall performance.

 

For more information, please view these resources:

https://ctsurgerypatients.org/october-health-observances

http://www.lung.org/

A Happy and Healthy Labor Day

As we say goodbye to summer with our Labor Day hoorahs, it can be easier to justify taking the day off from your health and wellness goals. But you don’t have to sacrifice your wellness gains in order to enjoy the day. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind:

Tip #1

Don’t skip meals. It can be tempting to save your calories for the big barbecue, but you’re far more likely to over-indulge if you want into a buffet with your low blood sugar and a hangry attitude.

Tip #2

Stay hydrated. Oftentimes, when we’re thirsty we mistake the signal for hunger. Make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids to set yourself up for the most success.

Tip #3

If you’re a meat-eater, stick to hamburgers and chicken instead of hot dogs. The average hot dog has over 500 mg of sodium!

Tip #4

Be mindful of the heat. We know most of you are pros at watching out for sunburn, but keep the heat in mind when you plan your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol in the heat can lead to quicker dehydration, and it can increase your risk of heat exhaustion and stroke. So, if you’re planning on imbibing, try to do so in the shade. Additionally, try to keep your drinking to a minimum between the hours of 12-3.

Tip #5

Find ways to enjoy yourself. If you’re trying to cut calories but have a wicked sweet tooth, sub out watermelon or greek yogurt for baked goods. Love fried food? Try some portabello mushrooms or zucchini. Love your plate slathered in barbecue sauce? Try to go for a long walk in the morning, or commit to swimming in the afternoon.

Whatever you do, we hope you’ll do it safely and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

Easy Heart Disease Prevention

You might know that heart disease is the leading killer among Americans (it’s the cause for 1 in 4 deaths according to the CDC). But, did you know there is a test that you could take to aid in early detection? The test is non-invasive, takes about 15 minutes, and is covered by almost all health insurance providers. It’s called an ABI, and it determines whether or not you have Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).

Why it Matters 

An EKG tests the function of your heart (which is important, of course), but it doesn’t check all of those important arteries in your arms and legs. A blockage in one of your limbs can lead to heart attack or stroke just as quickly as a blockage in your heart can.

Just last year, over 11,000 people in Maryland died from some form of heart disease, and another 2,700 died from stroke. In Howard County, 1 out of every 10 people hospitalized in 2016 were there due to some sort of heart disease (CDC).

What it’s Like 

You’ll lie down on a table, and one of our doctors will put a cuff around your arm to take your blood pressure. Then, they’ll put a dab of ultrasound gel on your arm, just below the cuff. They’ll repeat this on your other arm and both ankles.

In order to hear your blood flow, the doctor will use something called a Doppler device. It’s a little plastic tool, and they’ll hold it against each spot of gel in order to get an accurate reading.

Once the doctor has all of your readings, they’ll put them together to create your Ankle-Brachial Index. The lower the number, the more blockage you have. And, once we have your reading, we can begin a treatment plan if necessary.

Who Should Have One 

If you have any of the following risk factors, you should have this test done at least once a year:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Obesity
  3. You are a smoker
  4. You are, or are a recovering, alcoholic
  5. High Blood Pressure
  6. You are over 60 years old

If you fit any of these criteria, and you have not yet had your ABI this year, please call us at 410-730-7040 to schedule your test.