Hannibal Regional Blog

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Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.


Added sugar has been a hot topic for some time now, but like most nutrition-related topics, it has gained more attention than may be necessary. When it comes to diabetes, and cardiovascular heath, it is indeed important to limit added sugar; however sugar should not the main focus. Carbohydrates are the macronutrient found in foods that affect blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, and in return effects insulin production. All carbohydrate are broken down into sugar, therefore it is total carbohydrates that must be of focus when controlling blood glucose levels. When reading the nutrition facts label, total carbohydrates is listed in bold, whereas sugar is listed beneath total carbohydrates and is indented. This is because all the sugar in a food is already counted for in the total carbohydrate. A balanced diet is very important for all areas of our health, especially when it comes to diabetes and cardiovascular health.

The average person should eat between 45-60 grams of carbohydrate at each meal, 3 times per day, along with 15 grams per snack up to 3 times per day. When it comes to controlling your blood sugars, it is important to know what foods contain carbohydrate, as this is the macronutrient that has the biggest impact on blood sugar. Carbohydrates are found in breads, pastas, rice, milk and yogurt (which contain lactose- a natural sugar), fruit (which contain fructose- a natural sugar) and starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas, butternut squash). If you are familiar with MyPlate, this is demonstrated in the “Fruit”, “Grain”, and “Dairy” section, as each serving of these foods contain about 15 grams carbohydrates, equaling about 45 grams per meal. Along with protein, heathy fats and non-starchy vegetables, which contain little/no carbohydrates.

When Nutrition Fact Labels are available, keeping track of carbohydrates is easy and straight -forward.  In diabetes management, focus on the serving size and total carbohydrates, not sugar. When focusing on sugar, you lose opportunity for some healthy foods and typically eat more carbohydrates. For example, a serving of dried fruit (25 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams sugar) is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth with little to no “added sugar”, plus you are gaining fiber and potassium. A bagel can pack up to 60 grams of carbohydrate (a meals-worth), and have little to no sugar. Breads, pastas, and rice also contain carbohydrates but little sugar. Although these foods contain little to no sugar, they contain carbohydrates, therefore affecting blood sugar once metabolized. Carbohydrates affect blood sugars in different amounts depending on fiber content, other nutrients eaten within that meal, and the particular individual.  

Bottom line- Focus on total carbohydrates rather than sugar, strive for a balanced plate (1/4 lean meats, ¼ whole grains , ½ non-starchy vegetables, and 1 serving of dairy ). Following a carbohydrate consistent diet will help with weight management, improve diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels and improve cardiovascular health.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


Save a Life Campaign - Hannibal Regional

You can help us...Save A Life! Recognizing the warning signs in the first few minutes and knowing what to do is critical when someone is having a heart attack. Please “Share” so that our friends, our families and our communities are aware of the warning signs of a heart attack.

Heart attacks often start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Sometimes people affected aren't even sure what's wrong and may wait too long before getting help. Here are the most common warning signs of a heart attack:

·         Chest discomfort - Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest. The feeling usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The discomfort can be mild or severe.

·         Upper body discomfort -  You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach (above the belly button).

·         Shortness of breath - This may be your only symptom, or it may occur before or along with chest pain or discomfort. It can occur when you are resting or doing mild physical activity.

·         Other signs can include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

 

Chest pain or discomfort that doesn't go away or changes from its usual pattern could be a sign of a heart attack. All chest pain should be checked by a doctor. If you or someone you know is experiencing these warning signs, call 911 immediately!

 

Did you know….that men over the age of 55 have a significantly higher chance of having a heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease than those that are younger? It’s important to know your heart numbers.

 

Do you know...blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and waistline?

Blood sugar: A1c should be less than 5.7%

Blood pressure: less than 120 over 80

Cholesterol: less than 200mb/dL

BMI: Normal weight 18.5 - 24.9

Waistline: Men - less than 40 inches, Women - less than 35 inches

 

If your critical numbers are not at the target level, work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan to reach these goals. If you do not have a cardiologist, you can make an appointment with a cardiologist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group by calling 573-629-3300.

 

Cardiology Hannibal, MOWhile many of the risk factors for heart disease listed below are well known, some may surprise you.  Read through the list and see how many apply to you. If you have more than a couple, then it may be time to see a cardiologist and find out what you can do to reduce your risk. 


Risk factors for developing heart disease include:

  • Age. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries, as well as weakened or thickened heart muscle.
  • Gender. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. However, women's risk increases after menopause.
  • Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).
  • Smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining, making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in non-smokers.
  • Poor diet. A diet that's high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
  • High cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of formation of plaques and atherosclerosis.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. Both conditions share similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors.
  • Physical inactivity. Lack of exercise also is associated with many forms of heart disease and some of its other risk factors as well.
  • Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.
  • Poor hygiene. Not regularly washing your hands and not establishing other habits that can help prevent viral or bacterial infections can put you at risk of heart infections, especially if you already have an underlying heart condition. Poor dental health also may contribute to heart disease.
     
    Heart disease, detected early, can be improved — or even prevented — by making certain lifestyle changes. Call today and make an appointment to see a cardiologist in a heartbeat. Hannibal Regional Medical Group’s Cardiology Team accepts patients in a heartbeat because we put patients first. No referral needed. When it comes to matters of the heart, our compassion and clinical expertise go hand in hand. We believe in guiding you to BETTER.
     
    If you are concerned about your risk for heart disease, Call 573-629-3300, to schedule your appointment with a cardiologist.

Fruits and Vegetables HannibalFruit and Vegetable Challenge

The past several articles have been all about the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption. Challenge yourself to eat more fruits and vegetables! Cut out the chart below and hang it on your fridge for 1 week. Choose more fruit and vegetables with meals, or as a snack, and check off the serving eaten as you go! Can you meet the recommended 5-9 servings a day?

 

1 piece fruit

1 piece fruit

½-1 cup veg.

½-1 cup veg.

½-1 cup veg.

Monday

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

Friday

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

What counts as a serving?

1 medium piece of fruit= baseball size

½ cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit

¼ cup dried fruit

½ cup 100% fruit juice

1 cup leafy greens or raw veggies

½ cup fresh, frozen or canned vegetables

½ cup 100% vegetable juice


Hannibal Sleep ApneaWe all know we should eat a heart healthy diet and exercise daily. Did you know that your sleep can be as important for heart health as diet and exercise?

People with cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke have a high prevalence of sleep apnea. Studies show that if you have sleep apnea today, the chance that you will develop hypertension in the future increases significantly.
When people with high blood pressure or heart failure are treated for sleep apnea, the measures of blood pressure or heart failure are significantly improved. According to sleep medicine experts, there is good evidence to think there is a cause-and-effect relationship between hypertension and sleep apnea.

Your blood pressure will go up because when you're not breathing, the oxygen level in your body falls and excites receptors that alert the brain. In response, the brain sends signals through the nervous system and essentially tells the blood vessels to "tighten up" in order to increase the flow of oxygen to the heart and the brain, because they have priority. Sleep apnea causes low oxygen levels at night. These low oxygen levels seem to trigger multiple mechanisms that persist during the daytime, even when breathing normally.
Atrial fibrillation is a common type of irregular heart beat that is also associated with sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is untreated, the chance of a recurrence of atrial fibrillation can increase up to 80%.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea include loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses. You may also battle sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving. You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you're not active.

You may suffer from morning headaches, memory or learning problems and difficulty concentrating. Mood swings, irritability, depression or personality changes are also signs of a sleep disorder. Many people with sleep apnea report waking up frequently to urinate, and complain of a dry mouth or a sore throat when they wake.

If you think you may have a sleep disorder, please talk to your health care provider. You may need a sleep study.
 

Mary Duesterhaus, RPSGT,REEGT,CRT Clinical Coordinator Neurodiagnostics - Hannibal Regional - Sleep Services