The Why Behind Dietary Fiber Dietary fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet. You’ve probably heard on several occasions that fiber is an essential component of every good diet and that it’s good for your health. But, why?Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber is not a difficult task. Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add them to meals and snacks. What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. Benefits of a high-fiber diet The benefits of fiber are incredible to your body.
- Fiber normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
- Fiber helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet likely lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Fiber lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
- Fiber helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Fiber aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
- And finally, fiber helps you live longer. Studies suggest that increasing your dietary fiber intake — especially cereal fiber — is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
- Whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Summer health tips for you and your family. School is out for the summer. The days are longer and filled with fun, recreation and relaxation. Sunshine, heat, water, picnics, travel, gardening, outdoor recreation and new experiences are just a few of the exciting adventures your family may encounter this summer. Below are a few tips for keeping you and your family healthy this summer.
- Summer Health Tip 1: Hydration is essential. Heat can be deadly and is much more lethal in the very young and the very old. Staying well hydrated helps to reduce heat illness and is also very important to acclimate to hot environments.
- Summer Health Tip 2: Sunscreen is key. Make sure to apply sunscreen daily, liberally and always re-apply. Many women apply sunscreen only to their face but forget their neck or chest area. These areas are simply an extension of your face and by not protecting your skin, you are aging yourself before your time. You want to keep your skin looking radiant, healthy and glowing. Pregnant women are most at risk for developing blotchy pigment on their face. Melasma can be treated but will come back with any UV light exposure. It does not have to be raining to use your umbrella. Make a fashion statement and keep cool. Protect your eyes from UV damage with some cool shades.
- Summer Health Tip 3: Regular exercise is important, even in the heat. The heat can make you lazy, but it’s really important to keep up your workout routine. If you have to move it inside, do it. Or just pick a time that’s not during the hottest hours of the day. You may need to change where you exercise and avoid the peak heat and humidity, but don’t get lazy.
- Summer Health Tip 4: Avoid Mosquitos, especially at dusk and dawn. Not only are they itchy and annoying, but mosquito bites can also lead to viruses such as Zika. Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites, and the best way to prevent the Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Be sure to clear out standing water, use insect repellent, fix broken screens, use EPA-registered insect repellents and spray your clothes (NOT skin) with permethrin.
- Summer Health Tip 5: Avoid Poisonous Plants Enjoy hiking, gardening and all things outdoors, but know how to identify poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison sumac, and other plants that may cause you problems. Also, know when to see your physician if you notice a rash that comes on suddenly. Please see your physician if the rash is extensive or involves the face. Over the counter remedies do not always work. Your physician can help you with a prednisone therapy treatment for itchy dermatitis.
- Summer Health Tip 6: Water Safety Rules are In Place for A Reason. Do not swim alone. Bring and wear lifejackets when swimming, boating, or jet skiing. Remember water activities and alcohol do NOT mix.
A hernia can be a real pain. A hernia is a common problem. It causes a localized bulge in the abdomen or groin. It can often be harmless and pain-free, but at times it can bring discomfort and pain. But really, what is a hernia? A hernia occurs when there is a weakness or hole in the peritoneum, the muscular wall that usually keeps abdominal organs in place. This defect in the peritoneum allows organs and tissues to push through, or herniate, producing a bulge. The lump may disappear when the person lies down, and sometimes it can be pushed back. Coughing may make it reappear. Some common facts of hernias include:
- They often produce no troublesome symptoms, but abdominal complaints may signal a serious problem.
- They are usually straightforward to diagnose, simply by feeling and looking for the bulge.
- Treatment is a choice between watchful waiting and corrective surgery, either via an open or keyhole operation.
- Inguinal hernia surgery is more common in childhood and old age, while the likelihood of femoral hernia surgery increases throughout life.
- Groin A femoral hernia creates a bulge just below the groin. This is more common in women. An inguinal hernia is more common in men. It is a bulge in the groin that may reach the scrotum.
- Upper part of the stomach A hiatal or hiatus hernia is caused by the upper part of the stomach pushing out of the abdominal cavity and into the chest cavity through an opening in the diaphragm.
- Belly button A bulge in this region is produced by an umbilical or periumbilical hernia.
- Surgical scar Past abdominal surgery can lead to an incisional hernia through the scar.
- Lifting heavy items
- Persistent cough
- Poor nutrition
- Physical exertion
- Enlarged prostate
- Straining to urinate
- Being overweight or obese
- Abdominal fluid
- Straining on the toilet
- Undescended testicles
Switching Your Physician and Joining us at UFMC Pueblo Are you looking to join us at UFMC Pueblo, but already have a primary care physician or family doctor? No worries, the transition is easy. Not sure how to make sure we’re an in-network provider on your plan? Here are two ways:
- Call us! We’re here to help. We will review your insurance policy to make sure we cover you. Before you visit any provider or facility, we recommend you call ahead to be sure we are in your plan’s network, as well as confirm our address, office hours, and our new patient acceptance status.
- Feeling shy, or already on your computer? You can also head over to your health insurance provider’s website and login. There is generally a link that says “find a doctor” or something similar where you can enter your preferred physician or UFMC’s practice name into the search. This will provide you with the results you need to make sure you’re covered.
- Network status. Choose a primary care provider that is in-network to save on out-of-pocket costs when you go to the doctor.
- Quality designations and board certifications. These show that the provider has taken extra steps to provide quality care.
- Location. Look for an office that's convenient to your home or work. Make sure there is public transportation or parking nearby.
- Hospital affiliation. If there's a hospital you prefer, it can be helpful to find a provider who's affiliated with that hospital. If you have a hospital stay, this can make it easier for the hospital to share information with your doctor. You can also confirm that the hospital is in your plan’s network.
Health warnings about sitting too much. A major new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that Americans sit too much. Sitting for prolonged periods of time, increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. And most Americans in desk jobs are finding this study to be accurate. According to the study, the research teams analyzed surveys of 51,000 people from 2001 to 2016 to track sitting trends in front of TVs and computers and the total amount of time spent sitting on a daily basis. Unlike other studies that have looked at sedentary behaviors, the research is the first to document sitting in a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population across multiple age groups—from children to the elderly and different racial and ethnic groups. The summary found that in a almost none of the groups analyzed are the numbers going in the right direction. Most Americans spend at least two hours per day sitting and watching television or videos. Among children ages 5-11, 62 percent spent at least that long in front of screens daily. For adolescents ages 12-19, that number was 59 percent. About 65 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 spent at least two hours watching television per day. And most recently, 84 percent of adults over age 65 spent at least that much time sitting watching television. Desk jobs sitting at school were large factors as well. The decline of movement and sitting computer screen time outside of work and school increased. At least half of individuals across all age groups used a computer during leisure time for more than one hour per day. And up to a quarter of the U.S. population used computers outside of work and school for three hours or more. Total daily sitting time increased among adolescents and adults from 2007 to 2016, from seven hours per day to just over eight for teenagers, and from 5.5 hours per day to almost 6.5 for adults, the researchers found. What does this all mean? We sit too much for our own good. We’re seeing more and more health problems from sitting and staying stagnant. We need to get up and move, be more active, and stand up throughout the day to encourage healthier behavior.
Finding the right weight for you. When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to pick the right plan for you, not just the plan that’s popular at the time. There are no lack of fad diets promising fast results. But such diets limit your nutritional intake, can be unhealthy, and tend to fail in the long run. Lifestyle Changes are Key Short term diets generally fail. Short term diets do not help you to change your habits for the long run. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is about the lifestyle changes you decide to make. Healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses, are all key to changing your lifestyle. Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. Balancing Diet and Activity to Lose and Maintain Weight If your body weight has not changed for several months, you are in caloric balance. If you need to gain or lose weight, you’ll need to balance your diet and activity level to achieve your goal. Your doctor can help you decide how many calories you should have in a day to achieve and maintain your recommended weight. Keep track. To learn how many calories you are taking in, write down the foods you eat and the beverages you drink, plus the calories they have, each day. By writing down what you eat and drink, you become more aware of what you are consuming. Also, begin writing down your physical activity each day and the length of time you do it. Need more tips to help you get on track to a healthy weight? Talk to your doctor to discuss the best track for you and how you can set goals that are achievable.
Antibiotic resistance Year after year, we’re seeing more and more cases of antibiotic-resistant infections. Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it is that bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics designed to get rid of them. Antibiotic resistance is becoming one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. How Antibiotic Resistance Happens According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat. In most cases, antibiotic-resistant infections require extended hospital stays, additional follow-up doctor visits, and costly and toxic alternatives. Antibiotic Resistance Threats It threatens everyone. It can affect people at any stage of life, as well as the healthcare, veterinary, and agriculture industries, making it one of the world’s most urgent public health problems. According the the CDC, at least 2 million people in the United States are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result. No one can completely avoid the risk of resistant infections, but some people are at greater risk than others (for example, people with chronic illnesses). If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, then we lose the ability to treat infections and control public health threats. Many medical advances are dependent on the ability to fight infections using antibiotics, including joint replacements, organ transplants, cancer therapy, and treatment of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68 Enterovirus D68. Ever heard of it? Most people haven’t, but it’s something you need to be aware of as a parent. According to the CDC, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses every year. Enteroviruses can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. These viruses most often spread in the summer and fall. Enterovirus D68 is one of many enteroviruses that can make people sick and happens to be on the rise. Take the basic steps to protect your child and others from it. Because they may not have been exposed to these types of viruses before and may not yet have immunity (protection) built up, infants, children, and teenagers are at higher risk than adults for getting infected and sick with enteroviruses like enterovirus D68. If your child has asthma, he or she may be at greater risk for severe respiratory illness from enterovirus D68. Most of the cases were among children, many who had asthma or a history of wheezing. Enterovirus D68 is not a new, but seems to be on the rise and activity varies from year to year. Better lab testing has led to easier detection over the years. Know the Symptoms of Enterovirus D68 Learn about the signs and symptoms of this virus, including the mild and severe symptoms below: Mild symptoms may include:
- runny nose
- body and muscle aches
- difficulty breathing
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy for this virus and other viruses.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils, with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children out of school.
Important reasons you should immunize your child. With the recent measles outbreak, news outlets have been flooded with talk about how you should immunize your child. We understand you want to do the best for your children, but it’s also really important to know the importance of immunizations. Like car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep your kids safe, immunizations are just another way to protect them from harmful viruses that your child’s immune system may not be prepared to handle. Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children. Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year. While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones. Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. Find out more by talking to your doctor. Immunization protects future generations. Immunizations have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago (example smallpox). By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. Still have questions about immunizations? Talk to your doctor and find out more.
Your knees are the largest joint in your body and often take the brunt of the heavy lifting. It heavily relies on ligaments to support it and undergoes a lot of strain to fulfill its range of motion through the course of normal activities. And because of that, people are more prone to knee injuries than other parts of your body. The following items are the most common ailments to the knee. ACL Tear The most common and dramatic knee injury is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. The ACL is the central stability center for the knee as it bends. A fall or twist can predispose the ligament to tearing. ACL tears are the most common tears among athletes such as football players or downhill skiers and can also result from cycling, running, and more. Also, when your quadriceps are stronger than your hamstrings this can predispose you to this injury. When you injure your ACL you will more than likely know you’ve encountered a more serious injury. Generally patients have difficulty bearing weight and there is usually swelling in the joint. Surgery and physical therapy are the most common fixes for this injury. Meniscus Tear Meniscus tears are also very common knee injuries. The meniscus is the cartilage pads between the femur and tibia bones. It helps cushion and stabilize the knee joint. Meniscus tears generally happen during a deep-knee bend, twist or slip and fall. The does not heal easily and may need to be surgically trimmed or repaired. Those that injure their meniscus generally have difficulty bearing weight, swelling, and limited motion. Patients generally may even have problems fully bending or straightening their your knee. Injury Prevention The key to injury prevention and healing from a knee injury includes regular stretching and strengthening. Not only do you want to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee, but core strengthening is also very beneficial. Stretching with a normal range of motion, and gaining core strength and stability will help before the injury occur. Limber muscles are better able to respond to quick movements and allow the knee to maintain normal motion. Hip and core strength is especially important to knee stability, as weak hips and core can stress the knees. You should consider developing a strength training program that works for you. Physical therapists, athletic trainers, coaches, and other professionals should be able to help you build a program tailored to you. By stretching and strengthening approximately three times a week, you will significantly decrease your likelihood of a knee injury.