Health Matters Blog

Group Support Works for Losing Weight

Published January 4, 2013

By Peg Canal-Wittler With the New Year, we think about ways to improve our lives by taking a class, starting a new hobby, maybe looking for a new job. Health-related resolutions are great, but often the hardest to keep: exercise more, quit smoking, and eat healthier. [caption id="attachment_245" align="alignright" width="115"] Peg Canal-Wittler[/caption] We hear how the support of friends helps a lot in keeping your New Year’s resolutions. That’s certainly true with the TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, where members say the group support makes all the difference. Members have lost from five ...

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Guidelines for Limiting Screen Time

Published December 28, 2012

Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP By Cynthia Howes Pediatric health practitioners have long cautioned parents about limiting the amount of television their children watch. Now, with the internet, smartphones, tablets, and portable gaming systems, screen time has increased dramatically. [caption id="attachment_6052" align="alignright" width="199"] Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP[/caption] In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised its recommendations about watching television to include these new media. The goal is not to label these devices or their contents as bad, but to give parents information to make informed decisions about how, when and where they are u...

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Strategies for Managing Family Stress During Holidays

Published December 21, 2012

Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP By Cynthia Howes Children’s health practitioners spend a great deal of time working with families on creating routines that ensure children and their families are getting enough rest, eating healthy foods and staying active. These patterns are the key elements for children of all ages, from infant to adolescent, to be physically and emotionally healthy. [caption id="attachment_6052" align="alignright" width="199"] Cynthia Howes, RN, CPNP[/caption] Often, holidays are a time when regular patterns are disrupted. Family gatherings, Christmas concerts, and preparations for the holidays are just a few examples of seasonal events that th...

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Managing Diabetes While Celebrating the Holidays

Published December 14, 2012

Carrie Quimby, RD, CD by Carrie Quimby [caption id="attachment_246" align="alignright" width="115"] Carrie Quimby, RD, CD[/caption] Diabetes is a disease that results in high levels of sugar, or glucose, in your blood because not enough of the hormone insulin is made or used correctly. If you have diabetes, you know that the holidays can be an especially tricky time of year to manage your health as tempting treats are everywhere and exercise plans get stuck on the back burner. Having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the festivities of the holidays. With some planning and a little work, you can stay healthy and happy at holiday gatherings with frie...

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Two Types of Diabetes, Two Very Different Diseases

Published December 7, 2012

by Houghton Smith Last week I wrote an article about the increasing number of cases of Type 2 diabetes. But it should be noted that the incidence of Type 1 diabetes is also on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Type 1 diabetes has increased 23 percent over the past 10 years. Type 1 diabetes was originally referred to as juvenile diabetes because we only saw it in children, or young adults. Now we might see it in someone who is 60 years old. Type 2 diabetes was originally called adult onset diabetes because it affected older people, but now the disease is seen in young people. [caption id="attachment_324" align="a...

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Awareness Brings Hope for Diabetes Prevention

Published November 30, 2012

By Houghton Smith This coming year, the Centers for Disease Control is raising awareness about Type 2 Diabetes in hopes of primary prevention of the disease in much the same way similar approaches have led to lower incidences of certain types of cancer, heart disease and other conditions. About 26 million people in the United States have Type 2 Diabetes, and it is estimated that another 79 million people are at risk for becoming pre-diabetic. The disease was originally called Adult Onset Diabetes back when it was first recognized. Now the disease is called Type 2 because we can now diagnose it in childhood. [caption id="attachment_32...

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Don’t Let a Hernia Put a Strain on Your Life

Published November 23, 2012

Thomas-H.-Lewis By Dr. Thomas H. Lewis Hernias happen. They happen to overweight, out-of-shape smokers, and they happen to highly trained athletes. They happen to persons who strain too much while lifting, and they happen to those who merely sit in a chair. While they are more common in men, they also occur frequently in pregnant women. [caption id="attachment_4098" align="alignright" width="180"] Dr. Thomas H. Lewis[/caption] A hernia happens when a small portion of tissue from inside pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. In about 75 percent of cases, this occurs in the inguinal canal, the area where the abdomen meets the thigh. Men are...

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Clearing Up Confusion About Erectile Dysfunction

Published November 16, 2012

Craig Rinder, MD By Craig Rinder It was not too long ago that almost all cases of erectile dysfunction were attributed to anxiety, stress or other psychosocial factors. But now we understand that with almost every male who experiences erectile dysfunction, it is caused by a physical or biological problem, and sometimes can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. [caption id="attachment_542" align="alignright" width="200"] Craig Rinder, MD[/caption] Erectile dysfunction is most often a sign of a circulatory problem. You’ve got to have good blood flow in order to get an erection. Poor blood flow is most commonly brought on by cigarette smoking. ...

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Prostate Cancer Screening Still a Life-Saver

Published November 8, 2012

Craig Rinder, MD By Dr. Craig Rinder At the end of October, I conducted the 10th free prostate screening clinic since I began practicing medicine in Brattleboro. Over the years we have had a growing number of men in the community take advantage of this service and we hope to accommodate more. But one thing we don’t get to do, because of the patient load that comes into the day-long clinic, is answer any questions individuals may have about prostate health and why it’s important to get screened regularly. [caption id="attachment_542" align="alignright" width="200"] Craig Rinder, MD[/caption] A common misconception that is shared by people based on...

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Who Wants to Talk About Men’s Health

Published November 2, 2012

Richard A. Fletcher, RN, MSN, FNP By Richard Fletcher When I was asked to write a column about men’s health to help launch Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s “Beards for BMH” campaign, the first thing that came to mind was how difficult it can be for some men to even talk about their health. It’s not always easy for women either, but it seems like men tend to keep these things inside more often. It doesn’t matter if they’re talking to another man or to a woman. Some men just don’t want to talk about it. Period. So the most important men’s health issue is making them aware of how important it is to see a primary care provider for regular check-ups. [captio...

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