Saturday, September 25, 2021
One in four women will die of heart disease. In 2004, nearly 60 percent more women died of cardiovascular disease than from all cancers combined. Women of all ages should be cncerned about heart disease, but older women are more likely to devolop cardiovascular disease.

All women should take steps to prevent their risk of heart disease. Here are a few steps to take to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

1. Know your blood pressure.

While there are often no symptoms, over the years high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. An annual physical can detect high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be treated with medications if necessary.

2. Quit smoking.

If you're having trouble quitting, there are products and programs that can help, including: nicotine patches and gums, and support group programs designed to help you stop smoking. Ask your doctor for help.

3. Get screened for diabetes.

Having diabetes raises your chances of getting heart disease. Diabetics with with high blood glucose often have no symptoms, so have your blood glucose checked regularly.

4. Get your cholesterol and triglyceride levels tested.

High blood cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries eventually causing a heart attack. Triglycerides are a form of fat in your blood stream. High levels of triglycerides are associated with heart disease. If your levels are high, talk to your doctor about what you can do to lower them. You may be able to lower your both levels by eating better and exercising more. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help lower your cholesterol.

5. Maintain a healthy weight.

Being overweight raises your risk for heart disease. Measuring your Body Mass Index (BMI) can help you find out if your are maintaining a healthy weight. Healthy food choices and physical activity are two ways to maintain a healthy weight.

6. Reduce stress.

Excercise, meditation and maintaining social relationships with friends are great ways to lower stress levels.
Published in Blog
We reach our peak bone mass during our 20s. By our mid 30s we lose a little more bone mass than we are rebuilding each year. The more bone mass we have in our 20s and early 30s, the less likely we are to develop osteoporosis.

Bone density screenings are designed to help determine if you are at risk for the development of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Early detection is important in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Who Should Undergo Bone Density Testing?

According to National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are several groups of people who can benefit from bone density testing:
  • Postmenopausal women below age 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis
  • Women aged 65 and older
  • Women with medical conditions associated with osteoporosis
  • Men age 70 or older
  • Men ages 50-69 who have risk factors for osteoporosis

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of a Bone Density Test?

Many health insurance companies cover the cost of a bone density test. Medicare covers the cost of screening for patients over age 65 with certain conditions.

How Is a Bone Density Test Performed?

DEXA scanning is a hospital-based evaluation of the density of the lumbar spine and femurs, and is considered to be the “gold standard” of testing. Widespread osteoporosis testing and diagnosis is often limited by high cost and inconvenience.

At Parkway Family Physicians, we use an AccuDEXA portable bone densitometer to evaluate bone density in the hand to screen for overall bone density.  This is a cost-effective, low-radiation alternative to formal DEXA scanning shown to be positively and significantly correlated with hip bone density.  If osteoporosis is suggested, we follow up those results with a recommendation for formal DEXA scanning.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 00:00

Experience The Health Benefits of Walking

Experience The Health Benefits of Walking

Physical activity doesn't have to be a complicated. Taking a daily, brisk walk is a great way to improve your health and well being.

Walking has many benefits, including:
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduces your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthens joints and bones to reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Can improve your mood
  • Improves balance and coordination
Getting Started

Start your walking routine with the right gear. Make sure your shoes have proper arch support and sufficient cushioning. If you walk in the early morning or evening, wear clothing with reflective tape for visibility. Start by walking slowly for several minutes to warm up your muscles. Finish your walk by slowing down for several minutes to help your muscles cool down. Stretching can be performed prior to your walk or after the cool down.

Walking Technique

To gain the most benefit from walking, walk as briskly as you are able to do comfortably. Maintain a straight, yet relaxed posture, looking forward not down at the ground. Roll your feet smoothly from heel to toe.

Maintaining A Walking Routine

For healthy adults, 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you haven't been exercising regularly start slowly with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes.

Keeping track of the distance you walk (or how many steps you have taken using a pedometer) will help motivate you to continue by tracking the progress you are making over time. Those short daily walks will add up to many miles over the course of a year.

By starting small with realistic goals you'll be surprised how quickly walking becomes part of your daily routine while controlling your weight and gradually improving your overall health and sense of well being.
Published in Blog
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