8 Tips to Cope with Daylight Savings

8 Tips to Cope with Daylight Savings

Daylight savings time begins on Sunday morning (March 11th) at 2:00 AM. The change in time is a reminder that spring is right around the corner and the short winter days are behind us. While many of us appreciate the longer days the time change does come with the dreaded loss of sleep. This change in time can cause disruptions to our circadian rhythm (our body’s internal clock), creating a lack of sleep.   An hour may not seem that long but for many individuals the change can lead to fatigue, irritability, and may even trigger depression. Below are some tips to prepare your body for the change in time.

1:  Minimize sugar and caffeine consumption in the days leading up to the change in time. Especially avoiding caffeine and sugar four to six hours before bedtime.

2: Plan ahead, begin by going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier in the days leading up to the change in time.

3:  Avoid napping. This could only compound the difficulty of adjustment. 

4:  Exercise! Even 20 minutes of brisk walking can aide in good sleep quality. Just be sure to avoid exercising within two to three hours of your bedtime.

5:  Avoid alcohol late at night as it may cause nightmares and can prohibit you from getting quality sleep.

6:  Pay attention to lighting. Use bright lights in the morning upon waking and dim lights in the evening.  Especially avoid use of bright lights from technology an hour before bed.

7:  Stay in Saturday evening and plan to go to bed an hour earlier than usual.

8:  Avoid the temptation to sleep in on the weekends. It may seem like a good idea to “catch up on sleep” but this can interrupt our circadian rhythm causing restlessness the following night.    


Lower Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Lower Your Risk for Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women with one in eight women diagnosed during their lifetime.  Many cancers, including breast cancer, are caused by lifestyle factors, not necessarily genetics. Although there are risk factors that you cannot control, it is possible to lower your risk with lifestyle changes.

Exercise

Even 30 minutes of exercise a day can help lower your chances of breast cancer by 30-40 percent. The American Cancer Society recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of high intensity, exercise per week.  That’s just 30 minutes a day for five days a week. Consider going to water aerobics or adding a daily walk to your day. Take a hike on the weekend. Simply get moving to enjoy a great benefit.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Limiting alcohol consumption to one drink a day, if any. The American Cancer Society reports that those who drink 2-5 drinks a day have an increased risk, nearly twice as much of a risk, than those who do not drink.

Maintain a Healthy Weight After Menopause

Post menopause, when a women’s body stops producing the ovaries that make estrogen, a women’s body obtains estrogen from fat tissue, according to the American Cancer Society. Higher levels of estrogen have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.  In addition, increased insulin levels in the body have been linked to many cancers, including breast cancer. Those who are overweight or obese tend to have increased insulin and therefore an increased risk. If you are unsure how to lose weight or need some tips, read our Top 5 Most Effective Weight Loss Strategies.

Dietary Changes

Although no specific foods have been correlated with the development of breast cancer, a large Women’s Health Initiative Trial has suggested that sticking to a low fat diet while increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains may reduce the risk of breast cancer by helping women to lose excess weight. Dieticians also have recommended that women consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and to avoid trans fats, processed meats, and charred or smoked foods.

 

You can learn more about breast cancer locally and also help support research by participating in events or getting involved with the Oregon and SW Washington Susan G. Komen foundation chapter.  Also, if you have questions about how we at AIM Health can help you or a family member, scheduled a Get To Know Us introductory meeting.


Top 5 Ways to Manage Your Parent’s Health

Top 5 Ways to Manage Your Parent’s Health

Caring for a parent or elderly loved one can be difficult. The reversal in the parent-child relationship is complicated.  Difficult decisions, emotions, and stress can be challenging for all people involved.  Here are some tips and advice for finding the balance in being a caretaker to a parent or elderly loved one.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It can very stressful to care for a loved one in addition to living your everyday life.  Today, help comes in several different forms.  While an assisted living facility may be the right choice for some, there are also skilled nurses who can help for a few hours at a time.  Additionally, concierge medical clinics, such as AIM Health, allow for 24/7 communications with your loved one’s doctor.

2. Respect your loved one’s desire

The reversal of the parent-child role can be difficult to navigate.  While everyone has his or her own ideas of what is best, it is important to work together and find a common ground.  Having conversations about health, independence, and the future all while respecting your loved one’s wishes is extremely important.

3. Discuss your role in your loved one’s medical decisions

Your parent or loved one is an adult so you will not gain automatic access to their health records unless they give permission.  It is important that you and your loved one discuss your role in their health care.  Gaining access to their health records can help you stay informed of your loved one’s health and how best to care for them. It can also allow you to freely communicate with their doctor and work together to take care of your parent or elderly loved one.

4. Find a balance

Talk with your loved one about setting some boundaries.  It is important that you both communicate and express your desires.  Intervening too much or too little can cause a strain on your relationship and increase emotions and stress.  Talk about setting up a routine so both people know what to expect.

5. Understand this is challenging for your parent or loved one

Realize that your loved one is going through a major lifestyle change.  They may no longer be able to do what they most love.  Be there for them and understand that this is a challenging time for the two of you.  Open and honest discussion can help both of you navigate this new chapter in your lives.


Doctor holding health questionnaire and speaking with patient.

The Link Between Weight Gain and Cancer

The Link Between Weight Gain and Cancer

Several studies are finding a link between weight gain and an increased risk of developing cancer. Organizations, such as the World Cancer Research Fund, estimate that around “20% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition” (American Cancer Society). Additionally, the GLOBOCAN project found that in 2012, 3.5% of new cancer cases in men and 9.5% of new cancer cases in women were due to the person being overweight or obese.

The majority of these studies focus on a person’s body mass index (BMI) as an indication of being overweight or obese. BMI is a calculation that uses weight and height to estimate your body fat percentage.  Click here to get an estimate of your BMI and see how it compares to normal standards (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm).

Studies around the globe have found that overweight or obese individuals are more likely to develop certain types of cancers. These include:

  • Breast Cancer (post menopause)
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Endometrium Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple myeloma Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer

While scientists do not know for certain why this correlation exists, it is believed that increasing amounts of fat cells can alter how the body and cells work. Fat cells may have a direct effect on regulating how other cells grow. This can lead to a larger growth in cancerous cells or inhibiting the growth of cells that help to fight cancer growths. Additionally, fat cells have higher levels of hormones such as insulin and estrogen, which increase the chances of getting cancers such as Breast Cancer. Another common theory is that obese individuals often have chronic low-level inflammation, which can damage DNA and lead to increased risk of developing cancer.

There is still a lot to learn about the link between weight gain and cancer but thanks to several researchers, we understand more everyday.

Infographic source: http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/weight/reduce_weight_cancer_link.html


Young man drinking coffee by reclaimed wood wall for AIM Health men's health blog.

Why It’s Important For Men to Regularly Visit the Doctor

Why It’s Important For Men to Regularly Visit the Doctor

Women live, on average, four to seven years longer than men. New research, however, is uncovering a unique reason for that age gap: men visit doctors less than women.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that “men are 80 percent less likely than women to use a regular source of health care” (Everyday Health). Other reports found that as many as 50 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 50 don’t have a source of everyday health care. Experts suspect that this is a reason why men tend to die at a younger age from more serious diseases.

Men typically only see a medical professional when they feel sick or have an emergency. This type of thinking can have potential life threatening consequences. Several diseases and cancers do not have symptoms until much later in their progression. Regularly visiting a doctor is a critical factor in preventing diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

How often should men visit a doctor? It depends on several factors such as age, health, and family history but generally:

  • Men ages 18-39 should visit the doctor every two years to have their blood pressure checked
  • Men ages 35+ should be tested for high cholesterol and heart disease every five years
  • Men ages 45+ should be screened for diabetes every three years
  • Men ages 50-75 with no history of colon cancer or polyps should be screen for colorectal cancer every five to ten years

(The Huffington Post)

Surveys have found that men avoid the doctor for a variety of reasons: lack of time, fear of results, and it is perceived as unmasculine. If a man in your life has not been to the doctor in a while, encourage him to go so he and a medical professional can set up his own schedule preventative screening timeline.

AIM Health is encouraging everyone to remind their dads about getting healthy through a Father’s Day contest. Share a photo of your dad’s healthy habit or activity on the AIM Health Facebook page and you will be entered to win a 2017 TCL 32-Inch 720p LED TV. Check out the contest and our page here.

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-men-dont-go-to-the-doctor_us_5759c267e4b00f97fba7aa3e


Top 5 Signs of Adult ADHD

Top 5 Signs of Adult ADHD

Nearly 10.5 million adults in the U.S. have ADHD.  Thankfully, there are treatments available for adults who have ADHD.  Working with your doctor, you can develop a plan that will allow you to live normally.  Often, taking a stimulant and seeking therapy can help you manage your symptoms.  Here are the top 5 signs of adult ADHD:

1. Inattentive

Adults with ADHD can find it difficult to pay attention to details.  They may have a lack of focus resulting in underperformance of tasks.  Poor listening skills and being easily distracted are other symptoms of inattentiveness.

2. Hyperactive

Rather than being overly active, adults with ADHD often find it hard to relax and have a tendency to be restless.  This may result in the person feeling edgy or tense.

3. Impulsive

Adults with ADHD may rush through tasks, resulting in careless mistakes. They may also interrupt others while they are talking and act without fully considering the consequences.

4. Disorganized

Adults with ADHD may have poor time management skills.  Prioritizing tasks in a way that makes sense and keeping track of all tasks may also be a challenge.

5. Emotional Outbursts

Adults with ADHD often have a hard time controlling their emotions.  They may get very angry over small problems or have constant mood swings.


Health Screening for Women Ages 50 – 65+

Health Screening for Women Ages 50 – 65+

In additional to the health screenings listed here for women ages 40 – 49, the following is also recommended for women ages 50 – 65+:

Colon Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, living a healthy lifestyle and getting regular screenings are your best defense again colon cancer.  If you have a family history of colon cancer, its necessary to be screened more often as early detection is important.

What to do?

  • Screenings designed to find both early cancer and polyps are preferred.  If these tests are available to you and you are willing to have one of these more invasive tests; talk with your doctor about which test is best for you.
  • For tests that find polyps and cancer; flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years
  • For tests that primarily find cancer: yearly fecal occult blood test, or yearly fecal immunochemical test every year, or
  • Stool DNA test, interval uncertain

Osteoporosis

As reported by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes your bones to become week and easily fracture.  It is more common in adults over the age of 50.  Often one of the first signs is breaking a bone.  However, maintaining a healthy diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D and getting regular exercise are excellent preventative measures.

What to do?

  • Women at age 60 who are at increased risk for fractures caused by osteoporosis. Check with your health provider.
  • A bone density test is recommended at age 65, then follow-up as recommended by health care provider.


Top 5 ways to Prevent Inflammation

Top 5 ways to Prevent Inflammation

There are several forms of inflammation that occur in our bodies.  While acute inflammation can help injuries heal, chronic inflammation can have a negative impact on your health.  Chronic inflammation has been associated with heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.  Studies suggest that your diet may play a role in increasing inflammation. Here are five ways to prevent chronic inflammation:

1. Eat omega-3 fatty acid foods

Omega-3 fatty acids help minimize chronic inflammation.  Omega-3 is found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and canola and olive oils.  Fish oil supplements can also help increase your omega-3 fatty acid levels.

2. Lower your consumption of foods rich with omega-6

Foods such as corn and sunflower oil are packed with omega-6 fatty acids.  Too much omega-6 can compete with omega-3 fatty acids and increase chronic inflammation.

3. Spice up your life

Several herbs and spices can help prevent inflammation.  Try adding turmeric, ginger, garlic, basil, and pepper to your food to help reduce inflammation.

4. Exercise

Physical activity creates antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.  Walking for 30 minutes a day can help decrease high levels of inflammation.

5. Take a multivitamin

Folic acids and vitamins B, D, C, E, and A often have anti-inflammatory effects.  These vitamins are also antioxidants, which help decrease your chance of inflammation.


Top 5 Most Effective Weight Loss Strategies

Top 5 Most Effective Weight Loss Strategies

We almost all want to lose weight and be healthy but sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated and stick to a plan.  While we begin our journey full of hope and self discipline, that can quickly fade away as time goes on.  Here are five easy strategies to help you stick to your weight loss goal and be healthy.

1. Set small, realistic goals

Often, we set large end goals such as losing 30 pounds.  While this is a great goal, it doesn’t help us work towards our objective every day.  Setting smaller, more realistic goals are important because they can help you stay on track and motivated. These small goals are objectives like working out every day, or to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

2. Get enough sleep

We all know that it’s important to get a full eight hours of sleep, but did you know that sleep could help you lose and keep off weight? While we sleep, our metabolisms work to help burn calories.  When we are sleep deprived, the ghrelin hormone, which controls hunger, tends to increase. This can lead to overeating and increased difficulty with weight loss.

3. Find your motivation

Everyone has a different reason for wanting to get in shape or lose weight.  Find something that motivates you and encourages you even when you’re not feeling like eating healthy or working out.  When you’re feeling discouraged or tired, think about your motivation and find the strength to keep working towards your goal.

4. Make your own lunch

By making your own lunch, as opposed to eating out, you can have more control over what you eat.  Many restaurants serve large portions and are not very healthy. Making healthy lunches every day is a great way to help you eat right and help you save money.

5. Drink a glass of water before you eat more food

Often, our body confuses thirst for hunger.  Try drinking a glass of water and waiting 10 minutes before you eat a snack or have that second helping to see if you are really hungry.  This will help you avoid overeating and help keep you hydrated.


Woman stretching for a trail run to stay healthy.

Health Screening for Women Ages 40 – 49

Health Screening for Women Ages 40 – 49

There is a lot of health information out there.  Make sure you know what’s right for you.

At AIM Health, we partner with our patients to tailor each person’s health needs with what makes sense for them as an individual.  AIM Health physicians practice evidence-based medicine, consulting guidelines recommended by several different medical advisory panels particularly in matters of preventative health.  We offer some of these guidelines below, however, as each patient’s needs are unique depending on their personal health history and the recommendations change over time, we recommend you consult your physician for your specific needs and use this guide only as a general reference.

*screening guideline resource: Johns Hopkins Medicine

General Health

It is recommended that women obtain a routine health visit every year.  Annual visits with your physician help monitor potential concerns and can provide great guidance for staying healthy as you age. Find a partner you trust with whom you are willing to share.  Studies have proven a great doctor-patient relationship can actually help improve one’s health and patients tend to become more actively involved in their own health because of their rapport with their doctor.

What to do?

  • Annual routine medical exam

 

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as a silent killer in women because it can come on suddenly and has little or no symptoms. If left untreated it can lead to more serious conditions like heart attack or stroke.  According to the American Heart Association and Go Red, risk factors for high blood pressure are mostly health and family history.  That’s why it is important to remain active and to get your blood pressure checked often. It is typically done at any routine medical exam.

What to do?

  • There are also basic recommendations depending on your current blood pressure:
  • A clinical check every 2 years if blood pressure reading < 120/80 mm Hg,

or

  • A clinical check yearly if systolic blood pressure reading of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure reading of 80 to 89 mm Hg

Breast Cancer

According to the Susan G Koman Foundation, in 2016, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer.  Be sure to speak with your doctor about your risks.

What to do?

  • Yearly mammograms and clinical breast exam
  • Watch for changes in the breast including size, shape, pain, and color

Cervical Cancer

The American Cancer Society reports that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable cancers if detected early.  Also, it is easily detected by a Pap test.  These screening recommendations regarding pap smears generally apply to women with well functioning immune systems who have an intact cervix and a history of normal pap smears. Women in specific populations, for example, women who are immunocompromised, have had a total hysterectomy, have a history of abnormal pap smears, or have had exposure to diethylstilbestrol may have different screening recommendations.  Come discuss your specific needs with an AIM health physician today.

What to do?

  • Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have a Pap test plus an HPV test (called “co-testing”) every 5 years. This is the preferred approach, but it is also acceptable to continue to have Pap tests alone every 3 years.

Obesity

Maintaining a healthy weight is more than cosmetic.  Having too much body fat leads to health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, as reported by the Mayo Clinic.  The good news: even modest weight loss and regular exercise can provide healthier results.

What to do?

  • Monitor weight regularly and have yearly exams with your physician.
  • Adults with higher concentration of fat in their blood and other known risk factors for cardiovascular and diet-related chronic disease should obtain ongoing diet/nutrition counseling. Ask us how.

Come in to discuss the prevention and treatment of obesity with an AIM physician today.