According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease, including stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, is the number one cause of death in the United States. Cardiac Rehab Specialist and Registered Dietician Nutritionist at Sauk Prairie Healthcare, Julie Esser, said that although genetics contribute to heart disease, “it’s lifestyle choices that have been driving the numbers.”
There are many small things you can do each day to treat your bodies better and prevent heart disease. For Esser, the best places to start are with nutrition, exercise and stress management.
Identify the unhealthy foods in your diet including sugars, white flour and saturated fats. These usually hide in processed meat, baked goods and sugary drinks. Then, begin to replace these foods with healthier options. For example, switch from 2% to 1% milk or from white flour to whole grain. Work to fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
Focusing on Portion Control
Before dishing up your food, use the label to determine serving size. Measure out your portions and set aside time to sit down and eat your meal at the table. To help you adjust to smaller portion sizes, trick your brain and your stomach by using smaller plates and containers.
Set a goal of 2.5 hours of activity a week, which breaks down to 20 minutes a day. To fit in your 20 minutes of activity, make small simple changes to your daily routine. If you’re out shopping, park further away and force yourself to walk more. During your lunch break, walk around your workplace. Instead of sending your co-worker an email, get up and talk to them and avoid taking the elevator whenever you can.
Once you’ve set goals to incorporate regular activity into your daily routine, be sure to hold yourself accountable. Fitness trackers like Fit Bits and cell phone apps can help. You can also sign up for a weekly fitness class or make a plan to workout with a friend.
Managing Your Stress
When your body is under stress, it produces an excess of hormones. When those hormones aren’t released, it can lead to illnesses like heart disease. It’s important to learn to manage that stress and find healthy outlets to release it. Identify what triggers your stress and how you can best relieve it. Call up a friend, go to the gym or spend time on a hobby.
Finding resources in your community to help you set and achieve your health and wellness goals can make all the difference. Professional and certified staff at Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Wellspring is available to help you make small changes toward a healthier life. For more information, visit: www.saukprairiehealthcare.org/wellspring.
We all have good intentions when we set our New Year’s resolutions, however, we may be bound for disappointment right out of the gate.
Lisa Krayer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Health Coach at Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Wellspring, says that we are not always the problem, but rather the goal itself. Here are some quick tips on how to get set for success:
Set Specific Measurable Action-based Realistic Time-bound goals or SMART goals. As a Health Coach, Krayer helps people envision the desired end result and set goals to get there. “A lot of people will come to me with really beautiful ambition and I help turn that into SMART goals so that they can be successful,” said Krayer.
As a Health Coach, Krayer works to understand what motivates the individual and uses that as a tool to help them reach their goals. The stronger that motivation is, the better. “I see a lot of people who will say they want to be healthier for their family, or more active with their grandchildren and that can be such an effective motivator,” said Krayer. By working together with a Health Coach, you can identify your motivators and use them as tools to help you succeed.
It’s important that you build a support system so that you have someone to help hold you accountable and celebrate your success. “Support may come from a personal trainer at Wellspring, from a committed spouse or a close friend,” said Krayer. “Once you have that support system you want to celebrate your success with them, especially the small steps toward change.” Celebrating the small steps lays the foundation for larger lifestyle changes to be made. After all, you have to lose one pound before you can lose 25!
Studies have shown that mammography has helped reduced breast cancer mortality in the United States. Yet, many women lead a busy life and can’t find the time needed to schedule and get a mammogram. It’s a barrier that’s keeping countless women from receiving the preventive care they need to protect their health and their future.
Sauk Prairie Healthcare has been addressing the issue for the last year by offering Walk-In Wednesdays, where you can receive your annual screening mammogram with no appointment. The convenience and flexibility of Walk-In Wednesdays has already made it possible for more than 100 women to receive a mammogram in the last six months.
For others, fear and misconceptions prevent them from getting screened. Sauk Prairie Healthcare Mammography Coordinator, Rhonda Orozco, helps shine a light on common myths and addresses the questions and concerns she hears from patients each day.
Does a mammogram hurt?
Orozco: It may be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. If it does hurt, be sure to let the technician know so that they can make adjustments.
Is a mammogram more uncomfortable if I have smaller breasts?
Orozco: Breast size does not matter and should not affect the mammogram.
Can I still receive a mammogram if I have breast implants?
Orozco: Yes! We start with the standard four views using slight compression and then we shift the implant in all four views and compress just the breast tissue.
What are the current recommendations for mammography?
Orozco: Not all organizations agree on mammography guidelines. For instance, The American Cancer Society, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other organizations recommend women begin annual screening at age 40. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women begin screening at age 50 and repeat every two years.
We encourage you to discuss your options with your doctor so that you can decide together what is best for you.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for my mammogram?
Orozco: There are several things you can do to be sure the process runs smoothly. Try to avoid scheduling your mammogram during the week before your menstrual cycle. Your breasts are more tender during this time and the picture isn’t always as clear. If you have breast implants, be sure to note that when scheduling the appointment. Avoid wearing a dress so that you can undress from the waist up and don’t wear any deodorant, perfume, lotion or powder the day of your appointment since they can create shadows on the mammogram.
When will I get the results of my mammogram?
Orozco: If the mammogram is normal, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of that. If the radiologist sees a change or abnormality in your mammogram and wants to have additional views, then you will receive a phone call within 48 hours.
Don’t let anything keep you from getting the preventive care you need to stay healthy. If you have questions or concerns regarding your breast health, schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor. If you’re due for a routine screening mammogram and can’t find time to make an appointment, visit Sauk Prairie Hospital for Walk-In Wednesdays where you can receive your annual screening mammogram with no appointment.
To comply with most health insurance requirements, you must bring your health insurance card and know the name of your primary care doctor and the facility where you received your last mammogram. Walk-In Wednesdays are only available for screening mammograms and it must be at least 12 months from your previous screening. If your doctor has referred you for a mammogram due to specific concerns regarding your breast health, please make an appointment by calling (608) 643-7274.
After receiving abnormal results on a routine screening mammogram, many women are referred for a breast biopsy. Although the process can be unpleasant and stressful for some, the biopsies often reveal benign findings.
Fortunately, Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Women’s Health Nurse Navigator, Teresa Dietsch, is present for each and every breast biopsy at Sauk Prairie Hospital. She guides patients through the process to ensure timely diagnosis. Dietsch helps the patient to understand the results of the biopsy and supports them throughout treatment if the biopsy reveals cancer. Dietsch serves as an educational resource but can also provide the emotional support that the patient and their family needs as they cope.
Dietsch sat down with us to answer a few of the questions she often receives from patients undergoing a breast biopsy.
What is a biopsy?
Dietsch: A breast biopsy is a procedure that examines the area of tissue that was identified as abnormal during a mammogram to determine if it is cancerous. There are three main types of biopsies: a fine needle biopsy, a core needle biopsy and a surgical biopsy.
What is the procedure like?
Dietsch: The three different types of biopsies each require slightly different procedures. The size, location and appearance of the abnormal area on your ultrasound or mammogram determine what kind of biopsy you will have.
A fine needle biopsy uses a very thin needle to withdraw a small amount of fluid from the area identified as abnormal. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the area.
A core needle biopsy uses a hollow needle to withdraw cores of tissue from the abnormal area. The doctor often uses a local anesthetic to numb the area.
A surgical biopsy, or an open biopsy, involves making an incision in the breast and removing all or a section of the lump so that it can be examined under a microscope. The procedure is usually done in the hospital’s outpatient area using local or general anesthesia.
Why do I need a biopsy?
Dietsch: When a doctor finds something abnormal during a mammogram or ultrasound, they need to further investigate the results. It’s not always possible to tell from the imaging tests whether a growth or change in tissue is benign– a biopsy is the only way to determine if it’s cancerous. However, just because the doctor refers you for a biopsy doesn’t mean you have cancer. In fact, the National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that 80% of women who have breast biopsies do not have breast cancer.
When will I get the results?
Dietsch: The tissue sample is sent to the pathologist where it is processed and analyzed. This can take time and you may need to wait anywhere from a few days to a week to hear back from your doctor.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your breast health, schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor. If you’re due for a routine screening mammogram, visit Sauk Prairie Healthcare for Walk-In Wednesdays where you can receive your annual screening mammogram with no appointment.
For more information regarding Teresa Dietsch and her role as Women’s Health Nurse Navigator, click here.
Studies show that men make 33% fewer healthcare provider visits than women and are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year. As a result, their healthcare experience is often reactive instead of proactive. The goal of June’s Men’s Health Month is to shed light on health conditions impacting men and break down the barriers and stereotypes that prevent men from seeking routine, urgent and emergent care.
Testicular cancer is not immune to this unfortunate trend. Although it is the most common type of cancer in men ages 15-35, many have limited knowledge or have never heard of testicular cancer. Because of the nature of the topic, prevention, screening and symptoms are often not discussed, leading many men experiencing symptoms of testicular cancer to prolong doctor’s visits and ignore warning signs.
In more than 90% of testicular cancer cases, tumors stem from the germ cells that create sperm. Although these tumors can grow and spread rapidly, doctors and researchers have recently made great progress in treating testicular cancer. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, doctors can use surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant to eliminate the cancer. When testicular cancer is detected early, these treatments are extremely effective – testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers.
By performing a monthly testicular self-exam and scheduling routine annual physicals, you can find and address issues early on. When performing monthly self-exams, you should be attentive to symptoms of testicular cancer such as a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, a lump or swelling in the scrotum, a change in the size or shape of a testicle or a sudden accumulation of blood or fluid in the scrotum. Although non-cancerous conditions can have similar symptoms, these signs may be an indication of testicular cancer and should not be left untreated.
If you are experiencing symptoms of testicular cancer or have found an unusual lump, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, take the preventive steps needed to protect against testicular cancer and work towards a more proactive and healthy lifestyle.