Monthly Archives: January 2019

Screenings for Health

The Importance of Health Screening

You’re sick, you need to see a doctor now before you die… well that’s how it feels anyway. But you don’t have your own doctor. Your only option is to go to a walk-in clinic or urgent care and while you get good care, you really don’t feel cared for. Establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor or provider when you are not sick is the easiest way to be able to be seen quickly. Health screening visits are important and also a good way to establish a relationship before you is sick.

Patient/doctor relationships are important to establish before you are sick for a number of reasons. First, if you are an established patient, you can usually get seen the same day by someone you know. Secondly if there is a serious condition your own doctor will be able to take care of you through the whole episode.

But why would you go to the doctor if you are not sick?

Health screenings should occur at various intervals depending on age. If you are a parent, you likely managed to keep the well-baby and well child visits, but what about your well visits? In keeping with my target audience, I will be focusing on health screenings that are recommended for those in their 30’s and beyond.

Screenings vary depending on gender, and for this blog, I refer to men as those with male organs (internal and/or external), and women with female organs (internal and/or external). Unless you have removed the organs that you were born with and regardless how you present yourself socially, gender specific health screenings are very important.

The screening’s that I recommend are typically performed during a “wellness” visit. These visits can take up to one hour. Some of the testing may require additional visits to other specialists. If you are already experiencing lifestyle related diseases like diabetes type 2, high cholesterol and high blood pressure you will see your doctor more often than once per year.

Annual Wellness Visit Screening Recommendations for Healthy Individuals

These are common screenings, and your doctor/provider may recommend fewer or additional testing based on your personal situation. It is important to follow their advice regarding your health screenings.

Every 1-3 Years ages 27-49: General Health Screening

Health history, blood pressure (goal <120/80), BMI (a simple height to weight ratio: goal <25), physical exam, eye exam, blood cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, diabetes screening for over- weight or obese people.

Cancer Screenings

Females: pap smears every 3 years with HPV screening every 5
Males: testicular and prostate screening if recommended by doctor/provider

Specialized Screening

Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
IBS and Digestive Screenings
Mental Health Screening/Depression Screening
Immunizations Health Screenings
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention counseling for adults at higher risk
Statin preventive medication for adults 40 to 75 at high risk
Abdominal aortic aneurysm one-time screening for men of specified ages who have ever smoked
Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
Tobacco use screening

Every 1-3 Years ages 50-70: General Health Screening
The above screenings PLUS any of these additional:

Mammogram screening
Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or at higher risk
Colorectal cancer screening for adults 50 to 75
Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
Falls prevention (with exercise or physical therapy and vitamin D use) for adults 65 years and over, living in a community setting
Lung cancer screening for adults 55-80 at high risk for lung cancer because they’re heavy smokers or have quit in the past 15 years
Obesity screening and counseling
Statin preventive medication for adults 40 to 75 at high risk
Syphilis screening for adults at higher risk
Tuberculosis screening for certain adults without symptoms at high risk

As you can see there are many health screenings available to help you remain as healthy. This list is certainly not exhaustive but is a good start!

Good nutrition and the proper amount of exercise will set your body up to remain healthy. Screenings can assist you in early identification and perhaps save your life.

Schedule your annual wellness exam today.

If you want help regaining your health, order my downloadable book, Second Chance at Health: Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating to begin your journey back to health!

NurseChrisP, PLLC Disclaimer

All content found on nursechrisp.com website, including text, images, audio or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of our doctor or other qualified medical health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Reference
https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-adults/
https://myblue.bluecrossma.com/healthy-living/screening-guidelines-adults

The Best Apps for Health

How and why to use technology to lose weight and stick to you plan.

Apps for Health

In our technological age, no matter what our goals are, we don’t have to do it alone. Historical and recent studies show that support from technology can help you stick to your resolutions.

In this blog I will discuss my  top picks. I will describe 4 apps that you could use to help you stick to your resolutions and stay on track and why you should use them.

Why use technology as a tool for weight loss?

Changing our habits, any habit requires alterations in our behaviors, which is what makes it so difficult. Our behaviors are learned. They are learned from our culture, our family interactions and from our own experiences. Although we may feel that changing is difficult there are many high quality and easy to use smart phone apps that can encourage us, keep us on track and reward us for a job well done!

Self-monitoring for food intake and physical activity are not new. Tthese behavioral modification techniques have been around since the 1960’s. What is new are the plethora of applications that are available. Research has shown immediate reductions in weight when food logs are used. The reduction in weight was attributed to more awareness as well as concern of what the nutritionist or dietitian would think of them. The smart phone applications eliminate the concern about what another person thinks, but often just realizing you have to log it and look at the resulting number is deterrent enough.

What Are My Top 4 Apps for Self-monitoring?

My top picks for self-monitoring applications are (and these are in no particular order). I have never had a paid subscription to any of these applications as I was always able to meet my needs with the free subscription and did not mind the advertisements.

All of these applications allow for personalization of goals, food and exercise tracking and food analysis with other variables. I cannot recommend one or the other, however, My Diet Coach is pretty fun to use and it offers tips and other specific helps.

1. MyFitnessPal
2. Carb Manager
3. Lose It!
4. My Diet Coach

Here is a brief description of each one:

1. MyFitnessPal-

This is a highly rated application that has a free and a paid subscription. This application in the free modality allows for documentation of foods, hydration and activity via free entry, bar code scanning and has a robust search and find option for both. MyFitnessPal is easy to use and is customizable to your macros, nutrition and weight loss goals. It offers a recipe importer, restaurant logging capabilities, food insights, and nutrient calculator. In addition this application also has connectivity to over 50 other apps and devices so that you can log your exercise and movement with ease.

This application also allows for community building so you can ensure that your support stays right by your side, or you can join their community for tips, advice and motivation. Charting your progress is easy and it is so nice to see progress in an easy to read graph. Macros and nutrition data are visible on easy to view charts. Your success is also sharable if you want to do that! There is a paid subscription which offers more features, but like I said, I never needed more than what the free one offered.

2. Carb Manager-

This highly used application (they state that over 3 million users strong) is perfect for those on low carb, ketogenic, Paleo, Adkins, and macro diets. This application provides the nutrient information for NET carbs, which automatically calculates by subtracting sugar alcohols and fiber as well and total carbohydrates easily. You can track your exercise and activity as well, and it also interfaces with other applications. This application has an extensive food and exercise data base which makes it very likely that your selections are available. Carb Manager also offers bar or product code scanning.

Visual charts are available to track your BMI and weight. Macros and nutrition data such as total carbs, net carbs, fat, calories, protein and more are viewable on charts or lists. This application also offers a neat feature that allows you to log your food with a picture or you can choose to voice log your food and exercise! Additionally there are recipes for users as well. I only used the free subscription, but the paid subscription offers many perks that are not available for free such as, exclusive recipes, advances reports of streaks, meal and macro analysis and more.

3. Lose It!-

This popular application (they boast over 35 million users), utilizes proven principles of calorie and movement tracking. This application will calculate daily calorie budget based on your personal data entered. This application can customize your macronutrients, water, health and body measurements goals. Lose It! Utilizes a status bar making it easy to monitor your progress at a glance. This app allows you to connect to other devices and friends. You can create private or public challenges with other Lose it! users. The application will offer insight into your habits as your log your foods and activity and will offer advice on how to address them.

This is a small team of fewer than 30 people that offers a big payoff for those wanting to right size their weight through healthy eating and exercise. Additionally, this application supports a newer niche in the health market that uses personalized DNA evaluation to recommend foods, drinks and activities personalized to you through embodyDNA.

4. My Diet Coach-

This was my first diet application that I used. It is fun, motivating and easy. This one helps you “find your inner motivation, stay on track, make lifestyle changes, resist cravings and avoid exercise laziness.” You customize your reminders to attend a scheduled class, to exercise, or take motivational photos. It offers inspiring quotes and tips that will motivate you to stay on track. You design your own avatar and earn fashion items to “dress” yourself.

The app has a slim-down animation that is so fun to use that helps you visualize your success, because your avatar slims with you. Like the other apps there is easy food logging, bar code scanning, exercise and calorie counter, and water consumption monitoring. It remembers your meals and commonly eaten foods, and even has a recipe calorie calculator. This application also integrates with Apple Health and others. It offers daily food challenges and even a food craving panic button.

I hope that you found these descriptions helpful. Using apps is a fun and effective way to support your goals. If you are still uncertain of which one to try, just start with one and try it for a few weeks. and you don’t like it you can try the others.

If you need assistance in determining the best exercise plan and best diet plan for you, my ebook Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating can be that guide. It is an easy to read book that outlines the importance of making the decision for health. I have included decision trees for you to follow that can be used repeatedly as your needs change.
Please like, comment and share this post.

Weight Management: State of Science and Opportunities for the Military. (2004) Weight Loss and Maintenance Strategies Chapter 4. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221839/