Manage Your Health

Dr. Ankur Rana and Dr. Anne Teerink of Pacific Crest Family Medicine appeared on KIT 1280 on April 29, 2014 to discuss health management. As rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases continue to be high in the Yakima Valley, we must pursue avenues of prevention and management to affect meaningful change in how these conditions impact people’s lives.

It’s about improving our health – and then maintaining it. But there are a few things we have to do first to be on the right path.

We need to take the initial steps to prevent a disease in the first place. We all know we need to be healthier, but these tips bear repeating:

  • Nutrition – Healthy eating means a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Your plate should be colorful.
  • Exercise – The average adult should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether it’s a jog, playing tennis, or a walk around the neighborhood. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need more than that.
  • Quit smoking!
  • Get enough sleep – and remember that children and teens require more sleep than adults.

We also need to treat an existing illness or disease before it causes a significant problem.

  • Prevention of something more serious means taking medication you may need – an example would be taking a blood pressure pill to avoid a stroke.

o   You should be working with your physician to try to reduce your blood pressure, but in the meantime, take medication you need to prevent a more serious illness.

 

That being said, there may also be ways you can modify your lifestyle in place of medication.

  • Most often, this circles back to exercise!

o   People who are pre-diabetic with high blood sugar levels but no diagnosis of diabetes often take medication to prevent the onset of diabetes. Exercise can be just as effective.

o   People with heart disease who may have had bypass surgery or a stent – and don’t want to suffer a heart attack – often take drugs to lower their cholesterol. Exercise can be just as effective.

Staying healthy also means choosing the right primary care physician for you and your family.

  • The best way to make sure you’re getting excellent health care is to have a primary care physician with whom you can build a long-term relationship.
  • Different doctors specialize in different areas. It’s important to have a physician who can treat your specific needs. That means you may have a different doctor than your children do, or than your wife or husband.
  • Get regular checkups!

 

For more information, visit yakimamemorial.org.

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