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It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
~ John Steinbeck

Sleep is pretty magical thing. It restores us, keeps us sane and gives us perspective (and let’s not forget the wonders it can do for beauty). Yet for some reason, many of us neglect to make sure that we are getting a good night’s rest. We may not realize it, but we are probably limiting our success by doing so. But don’t just take my word for it. Watch this video to see Arianna Huffington’s convincing argument for why we should all sleep more.

Also, if you’re concerned about the quality of sleep you are getting, talk to your doctor about being tested for a sleep-related disorder, or call Hemacinto Sound Sleep Center (Hemacinto Sound Sleep Center website) to schedule a consultation. They have physicians board certified in sleep medicine to help you achieve your best possible sleep.

Happy snoozing!

There’s nothing more refreshing than a walk outside on a beautiful day. Living in the Valley, we are not only fortunate to have a wealth of beautiful days but also a picturesque mountainous backdrop to accompany them. If that isn’t enough to motivate you to want to go for a walk, here are 5 more good reasons:

  1. Regular physical exercise improves health and can keep your mind sharper. Many people say it makes them feel and look younger.
  2. Exercise is an anti-depressant. Regular exercise can give you more energy and improve your mood.
  3. Exercise can be a social activity. Next time to you see a friend or relative, catch up over a walk.
  4. You can start as small as you like. Even a few minutes of exercise does the body good.
  5. You can combine walking with other hobbies. For instance, bring a camera and take pictures of flowers or landscapes. Listen to an audio book.  Walk the dog – or borrow a friend’s dog.

Go for a walk whenever is best for you. If your body feels stronger in the mornings, take advantage of that. All you have to do is step outside your house. But, if you’re in the mood for a stroll through the park, here are a few local suggestions. Click on the addresses next to the park name for a map that shows you how to get there.

Stoney Mountain ParkInglestone Drive and Cinnabar Avenue, Hemet, CA

Stoney Mountain Park, Hemet

Oltman ParkCawston Avenue and Eaton Avenue, Hemet, CA

Oltman Park, Hemet

Simpson Park – Rawlings Road and Margaret Lane, Hemet, CA (There are 19 different trails – you can pick up a trail map from the Visitor’s Center)

Mary Henley ParkSouth Kirby Street and West Johnston Avenue, Hemet, CA (0.75 mile paved walkway around the perimeter of the park)

So treat yourself and get out there. You’ll be happy you did.

Hi all,

We’re beginning a video series in which your very own doctors spend 5 minutes to talk to you about common diseases. Use these clips to learn information for yourself or share with family members. This first one is about diabetes.

Enjoy!

If you’ve got some chronic aches and pains, check out this article I came across on Prevention.com 5 Pain-Relieving Yoga Poses. According to the article, researchers at Duke University have been studying yoga for chronic pain for the last 20 years and have concluded that it is an effective treatment. So if you’re feeling achy, try it out. You can try one of the poses or try them all. Just be sure to listen to your body while doing it so as to not injure yourself. If you have any concerns, make sure you talk them over with your doctor.

Enjoy!

As some of you probably know, heart attacks are the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women. But did you know this? Those who reach the Emergency Room in time have an excellent prognosis. Since timing is key, let’s learn the warning signs. You’ll know when to seek help for yourself or for someone around you.

Contrary to what you see in the movies, the signs may not be dramatic and sudden (think Vito Corleone in “The Godfather”). In fact, most heart attacks start with subtle symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, they can begin with

  1. Chest discomfort:  Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  2. Discomfort in other areas of the other body: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the backneck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath: with or without chest discomfort
  4. Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

So what should you do?

Know these symptoms and if you even think you may be experiencing them, get it checked right away. Seriously, don’t wait longer than 5 minutes to do so. The wait-and-see approach is not your friend. Call 9-1-1 so ambulance personnel can start treatment right when they arrive. PLUS, heart attack patients who arrive by ambulance tend to receive faster treatment when they get to the hospital.

Once you get to the hospital, be prepared to answer the following questions.

  • What time did your discomfort begin?
  • What were you doing when your discomfort began?
  • Was it at its most intense level immediately or did it gradually build up to a peak?
  • Did you notice any additional symptoms in association with the discomfort, such as nausea, sweating, lightheadedness, or palpitations?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst, what number would you use to describe your discomfort at this time?

Lastly, spread the word. Tell your friends and family about the warning signs. They might just be the one to save your life.

For more information: visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp

References:

American Heart Association “Warning Signs of a Heart Attack” 2012

Ornato, JP; Hand, MM “Warning Signs of a Heart Attack” Circulation. (2001) 104:1212-1213.

I found this article about some fun, easy exercises to help keep your brain sharp. Its for people of all ages so it’s never too early to start. Have a look and try one out.

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/easy-exercises-keep-your-brain-shape

I picked the brushing-my-teeth-a-different-way exercise.  Leave a comment and share which exercise you choose! It will be an inspiration for all of us.

Have a good workout!

We all care about our families. If you have a family member with diabetes, you can help them manage their glucose levels. Take a moment out of your day to remind them to check their glucose level or help them record it on a log sheet. One of the best things a family can do for diabetes is to manage it at home. Monitoring blood sugar will help you understand how food, activity levels, stress, medicine and insulin impact your loved one’s blood sugar level. Each person’s blood sugar level responds differently to each risk factor.  Knowing how one responds reduces the chances of eye, nerve, and kidney problems that can result from diabetes, thus leading to the successful maintenance of a healthy home.

How to Measure Blood Sugar Level:

Follow the instructions that came with the glucose meter and any tips your doctor has provided. In general, these are the steps:

  1. Wash your hands and dry them well before doing the test.
  2. Use an alcohol pad to clean the area that you’re going to prick. With many glucose meters, you get a drop of blood from your fingertip. However, with some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh or the fleshy part of your hand. Ask your doctor what area you should use with your meter.
  3. Prick yourself with a sterile lancet to get a drop of blood. (If you prick your fingertip, it may be easier and less painful to prick it on one side, not on the pad.)
  4. Place the drop of blood on the test strip.
  5. Follow the instructions for inserting the test strip into the glucose meter.
  6. The meter will give you a number for your blood sugar level.

Keeping Track of Results:

Make it a priority to record each blood sugar reading in a log. The glucose meter should have come with one. But if you need another, there are plenty available on the internet. Follow this link and print out the log that you like best: Blood Glucose Level Logs. Here is a sample completed log sheet: Sample Log.

If you or anyone in your family has a smartphone, there are apps for recording blood sugar levels that you can use. Here are some that I found:

Show the log to your doctor when you go in for visits.

If you  forget to check the blood sugar one day, help each other get back on track the next day. Monitoring diabetes can be a family effort.  In time of test, family is best. ~Burmese Proverb

Do you have some free time? Even a minute? Here is an activity for everyone today:  create a daily reminder to take your medications

Reminder Suggestions:

-Set your cell phone alarm or watch alarm to go off when it is time to take your medication
-Put your pills next to an activity you do every day such as brushing your teeth or making a pot of coffee
-Make a reminder card and put it in a visible place
-Have a family member or friend that you see often remind you

This is a great opportunity to reflect on your lifestyle and habits and figure out what reminder best suits you. Get creative with this activity and come up with a reminder that really expresses who you are and reflects your  lifestyle. After all, we are all unique individuals with varied activities and habits.  You can think outside of the box on this one and utilize visual, audio or interpersonal tools. Share with your friends and loved ones what you come up with and let us know what great ideas you create!

If you have any questions or concerns about your medications, do not hesitate to ask your doctor. Nobody knows you better than you so its important to proactively communicate with them.

Go on and get started with the reminders. Tell your friends and loved ones about the activity too.

Happy reminder-ing!

-Preeti

Hello world!

Hi everyone! Some of you may remember me from back in the day when I was a tiny little munchkin. My name is Preeti Gupta, the daughter of Drs. Rakesh and Neelam Gupta. I grew up hanging around the office and going on hospital rounds with my parents so I’m sure I’ve met many of you. Well now that I’m all grown up (sort of) here is what I am up to: I am now 23 years old and pursuing a Masters in Public Health at Boston University School of Public Health. I am specializing in Social and Behavioral Sciences which basically means I learn how to promote healthy behaviors and facilitate overall wellness. That is where the idea for this blog stems from. I’m here to provide insight into concerns about physical and mental health, wellness and prevention, based on what I learn in my classes and current research. I’m so honored to serve you and I hope you find this blog helpful and heartwarming. Can’t wait for this journey to begin!
-Preeti
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Hola a todos! Algunos de ustedes me pueden recordar cuando yo era una nina. Mi nombre es Preeti Gupta, la hija de los Dres. Rakesh y Neelam Gupta. Crecí pasando tiempo en la oficina y pasando rondas en el hospital con mis padres, así que estoy segura que he conocido a muchos de ustedes. Pues, ahora que estoy crecida (más o menos) esto es lo que estoy haciendo: ahora tengo 23 años y estoy estudiando para mi maestría en la Salud Pública, en la Universidad de Boston en La Escuela de Salud Publica. Estoy especializando en las Ciencias de Social y la Conducta, que básicamente significa que trato de promover conductas saludables y facilitar el bienestar en general. De este programa y mis estudios, tuve la idea para escribir este blog. Estoy aquí para les dar ayuda sobre las preocupaciones de la salud física y mental, y sobre el bienestar y la prevención, basado en de lo que estoy aprendiendo en mis clases y la investigación actual. Es un gran honor para mí a servirte, y espero que ustedes encuentren útil y conmovedoro este blog . !No puedo esperar de comenzar este viaje!
-Preeti