Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare


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Who’s At-risk of Developing High Blood Pressure

We recognize High Blood Pressure Awareness Month in May, so we asked Dr. Jims D. Jean-Jacques, a cardiologist at St. Joe’s, to answer the question: “Why is it important to know your blood pressure numbers?”

Many individuals simply don’t know they have high blood pressure. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure or not it is to have your blood pressure checked.
Some Americans are more at risk to develop hypertension than others. These groups would include:

  • People with family members who have high blood pressure, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Women who are pregnant or taking birth control
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are inactive
  • People who consume a lot of alcohol
  • People who smoke
  • People who eat foods with too much sodium (salt)

Also, African-Americans tend to develop high blood pressure more often. It also tends to be more severe than people of any other racial background in the U.S.

Again, the best way to know if have high blood pressure is to have it checked. Currently, there is no cure for hypertension. However, if you are diagnosed with this disease, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and other complications.

For more details about high blood pressure and what you can do, I recommend you visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org/bloodpressure.  For more information, contact Dr. Jims D. Jean-Jacques, St. Joseph Cardiology, at (207) 907-1771 or learn more here.


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Managing Arthritis Symptoms with a Walking Program

There are no sure-fire ways to prevent chronic diseases, like arthritis. However, there are some activities that you can do to help manage your symptoms.

Walking to Ease Arthritis Symptoms

Now that the days are longer and warmer, it’s the perfect time to start a walking routine. You may not think walking is the best thing to do when your joints are painful, but exercise is an important part of managing arthritis symptoms and your overall well-being.

All adults, including those with arthritis, should aim for 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, will help you meet your aerobic activity goal. Consider bringing a friend along to help maintain your commitment.

Exercise is beneficial to strengthening your muscles and increasing your range of motion. It also can help improve your sleep quality, boost your self-esteem, and help shed excess weight that adds to more stress on your painful joints.

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month

This month, St. Joe’s is working to spread more awareness about arthritis with self-care tips to help you manage your disease and improve your health. But know you don’t have to do this on your own. There are resources to help!

If you or someone you love is suffering from joint pain, you’re not alone. Call St. Joseph Rheumatology at (207) 907-3370 or visit our website for information.


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What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Amy_ShawleyThis month, we celebrate National Skilled Nursing Week. Amy Shawley, Operations Manager, for St. Joseph HomeCare and Hospice tells us more about the support and services they provide:

National Skilled Nursing Care Week is May 13-19. We are so pleased to have this opportunity to recognize and thank those clinicians providing skilled nursing care to patients in need. The St. Joseph HomeCare and Hospice team, including our skilled nurses, work hard to support patients in their homes. We want to enable patients to heal in the comfort of their home after a surgery, illness or injury.

Skilled nursing care is a high level of medical care provided by registered nurses for those who need long-term nursing care or for those who need short-term concentrated rehabilitation while recovering from a surgery or an illness. St. Joseph HomeCare provides high-quality home care services that are tailored to each patient’s individualized needs. We have many options for care, including:

  • Skilled Registered Nurse Services
  • Physical Therapy Services
  • Occupational Therapy Services
  • Home Health Aid Services
  • Speech Therapy Services
  • Medical Social Workers

Our skilled nursing team offers a variety of services, including diabetes education, wound care, post-surgical care, medication management and education, and 24-hour on-call nursing care.

For more information about St. Joseph HomeCare and Hospice, call us at (207) 907-1810 or click here.


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What Is High Blood Pressure?

We recognize High Blood Pressure Awareness Month in May, so we asked Dr. Jims D. Jean-Jacques, a cardiologist at St. Joe’s, to answer the question: “What is high blood pressure?”

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a very common condition in which the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels is too high. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75 million American adults (about 32%) have hypertension. That is about 1 in every 3 American adults.

For the most part, individuals with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms. For some individuals, they can have dangerously elevated blood pressure for many years without experiencing any symptoms. That is why high blood pressure also is called the “silent killer.”

Unfortunately, even without symptoms, damage affects the heart and overall health of the body. High blood pressure substantially increases the risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, kidney problems, stroke and many other conditions or diseases.

Measuring Your Blood Pressure Numbers

In 2014, high blood pressure was the primary cause of death for more than 410,000 Americans. That’s more than 1,100 deaths each day. Since many individuals don’t know they have high blood pressure, the best way to know if you’re at-risk is to have your blood pressure checked. The American Heart Association recognizes 120/80 mm Hg as normal. Stage 1 hypertension is consistent measurements ranging from 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic.

Jims-D-Jean-Jacques-for-blogFor more information, contact Dr. Jims D. Jean-Jacques, St. Joseph Cardiology, at (207) 907-1771 or click here.


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Tools to Help Take Care of Your Mental Health

We asked Dr. Scott Deron to discuss the importance of emotional and mental health, and offer some tools for us to take care of our mental health. 

Our emotional and mental health is just as important as our physical health. We lead busy and complicated lives that stress our emotional health reserves, and it can be difficult to treat issues that arise. I see issues related to emotional health every day in my cardiology practice. Some symptoms can look like palpitations and elevated blood pressure.

Mindfulness: Teaching You to Be Present in the Moment
While medications can be important and necessary, at times, there also is an important place for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). I often recommend this approach to my patients, even those who are not dealing with active emotional health issues.

We cannot entirely eliminate stress in our lives, but we can try to insulate ourselves against stress. This is where MBSR comes in, a tactic used by major medical centers to help those who live with conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, infertility, anxiety and depression. The concept of MBSR asks us to separate ourselves from the past and the future and immerse ourselves in the one thing we truly have and that is the present moment.

The 7 Basics Tenants of Mindfulness
Achieving mindfulness and finding ourselves in the present can be done when we appreciate the seven basic tenants of mindfulness. These are:

  1. Non-judgment
  2. Patience
  3. The beginner’s mind
  4. Trust
  5. Non-striving
  6. Acceptance
  7. Letting go

A daily practice of time for one’s self in comfortable meditation can often reduce the anxiety caused by stress, decrease palpitations, improve blood pressure, improve sleep patterns and improve life quality.

Mental Health Resources
Two good resources for learning more about MBSR are Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., and The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, MD.  These serve as an excellent introduction to MBSR and how you can learn simple relaxation techniques.  I used to struggle to get to sleep until I read these two books, and now, I’m asleep within minutes.

scott_deron_MD_for_blogScott Deron, DO, is a cardiologist with St. Joseph’s Cardiology. To contact Dr. Deron and our cardiac team, call (207) 907-1770 or find them online.

 


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53 Million Adults Have Arthritis

Nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 babies, children or teens have been diagnosed by a doctor with joint paint or joint disease, also known as arthritis. And, that number is expected to grow to 67 million by 2030.

There are hundreds of different types of arthritis and related rheumatic conditions, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It’s the No. 1 cause of disability among Americans.

Arthritis Symptoms

Common arthritis symptoms include swelling, joint pain and stiffness. Some people also experience a decreased range of motion. Arthritis symptoms can vary in intensity and, in some people, can make it difficult to complete daily activities like walking or climbing stairs.

Contact St. Joe’s to Help with Your Arthritis

Do you have painful or swollen joints? If so, contact. St. Joe’s Rheumatology today. Connect with one of our board-certified rheumatologists. Call us at 207.907.3370 or click here for more information.

 


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More Tips on Taking Care of Those Two Feet

You can never do too much to take care of yourself. Therefore, we’re delivering more tips for you to care for those two feet in celebration of Foot Health Month. Try these tips:

  • Trim your toenails straight across. Smooth the edges with an emery board. If you develop calluses, use an emery board or pumice stone regularly to help keep your feet soft.
  • Always wear shoes and socks, even in your home. Never walk barefoot. Protect your feet from hot and cold extremes. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement.
  • Make sure your footwear fits your feet well and are not too tight or too loose.
  • Have your feet measured by a qualified shoe salesperson every year or two. Feet grow as you age.
  • Check inside your shoes before sliding them on. Ensure their lining is smooth and they’re free from rocks, etc.
  • Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Elevate them when you’re at rest. Wiggle your toes and pump your ankles throughout the day.
  • If you require special shoes, check with your healthcare provider about insurance coverage.

If you’re having an issue with your feet, please call the St. Joseph Skin and Wound Healing Clinic at 207.907.1550 or visit: https://www.stjoeshealing.org/our-services/specialty-services/hyperbaric-wound-healing-center