EXERCISE AND NUTRITION ARE KEYS TO LONG-LASTING WEIGHT LOSS

Anyone who wishes to lose weight and keep it off has to face the grim truth that this goal will never be achieved without some hard work – exercise – and a change in eating habits.  Exercise and nutrition are the key ingredients to long-lasting weight loss. The best approach is a combination of consuming fewer calories while getting more exercise. A nutritious diet works hand- in-hand with exercise to get your weight down. It is much better for your overall health to avoid pharmacological solutions

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BREAST CANCER: EARLY DISCOVERY ENHANCES SURVIVAL RATE

All women need to know about breast cancer because it can be very serious and potentially fatal. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any other cancer except lung cancer. Experts estimate one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. But the good news is that death rates are going down. Patients diagnosed with breast cancer today often do much better than in previous years.

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NEW SCREENING DEVICE AVAILABLE FOR PATIENTS WITH DIABETES

People who have diabetes must be vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One complication of diabetes that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, blood vessels become blocked and prevents areas of.....

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NEW SCREENING DEVICE AVAILABLE FOR PATIENTS WITH DIABETES

People who have diabetes must be vigilant about their eyes. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years, and 45 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic eye disease, which can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness, according to www.DiabetesSightRisk.com. One complication of diabetes that affects the eyes is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, blood vessels become blocked and prevent areas of the retina from receiving blood and nutrients. This can lead to diabetic macular edema, which occurs when the damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the macula.


At Family Practice Associates, we now offer fundus photography to screen for retinopathy in patients with diabetes. The procedure takes about five minutes and is covered by Medicare and most insurances. It takes color photographs of the retina and offers an automatic evaluation. The diagnostic report includes retinal images, which are reviewed and read by a board-certified ophthalmologist. A referral/screening plan clearly details next steps you can take to enhance your eye health.


Sometimes you may need to see a retinal specialist, who will perform additional tests. With fluorescein angiography, the specialist injects a dye into your arm and takes photos as the dye passes through your eye. This test helps the specialist detect any closed, damaged

or leaking blood vessels. A second special test is an imaging test called optical coherence tomography. It produces a cross section of the retina and is useful for revealing any swelling in the eye tissue.


To keep tabs on possible diabetic eye disease, patients with diabetes are encouraged to get a dilated eye exam every year in addition to routine visits with their primary care physician. This type of exam often detects problems a regular vision test cannot. Your doctor will put drops in your eyes to dilate and enlarge the pupils, the openings at the center of the iris. Enlarging your pupils allows your eye doctor to see more of the inside of your eyes to check for signs of disease. Using a special magnifying lens, the doctor checks the retina and optic nerve for damage.


The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (www.niddk.nih.gov) says your eye doctor may conduct other tests to measure the pressure in your eyes; your side or peripheral vision; and how well you see at various distances. You may also need to keep seeing a general ophthalmologist or optometrist if you have other medical conditions that affect your eyes, such as glaucoma, or if you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.



A dilated eye exam could be the deciding factor in preserving your sight. Early detection, timely treatment and follow-up care could reduce your risk of diabetes-related blindness by 95 percent. Another way to keep your eyes healthy is to keep your blood glucose and Hgb A1C numbers as close to your targets as possible. Also, be sure to regulate your blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and take your medications as directed.

JOSEPH E. GERHARDSTEIN

Dr. Gerhardstein is a native of Fort Thomas, Ky. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He joined Family Practice Associates of Lexington in 2003. His specialty is family practice. Dr. Gerhardstein shares Nietzsche’s philosophy: “That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.”

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