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Have a Healthy and Happy New Year! By: Dr. Catherine Diebold, MD

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ere we are again. Another close to a year and the New Year is on the horizon. How does your health compare to a year ago? Are you on track, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, feeling balanced, ready to take on another year’s challenges? Or, has the stress of this current year got you down? Have you seen your doctor for your wellness exam and followed through on the recommendations? Or, has it been awhile since your checkups and your body is suffering as a result? Women are encouraged, beginning at age 13 and continuing throughout their life, to see their gynecologist yearly for a wellness visit. An assessment is done of her current health, lifestyle choices and recommendations for improvement are given.

screened according to current guidelines beginning at age 21.

What tests are important for women?

Hormonal assessment: Gives insight into wellness and vitality. Often treatment of hormonal deficiencies helps restore energy and sense of well-being.

Body Mass Index (BMI): Having an unhealthy height to weight ratio increases risks for many diseases (Diabetes, Heart Disease, cancer, etc). Blood pressure measurement: Heart disease is the number one killer of women over age 50. A healthy blood pressure will help prevent this devastating disease. Physical Examination: Helps detect diseases/disorders at an early stage where hopefully treatments are easier and the disease is less advanced. Screening for sexual infections: Sexual infections can impair one’s health and affect future fertility. All sexually active women under age 25 should be screened for these infections. Pap smear: This important test screens for cervical cancer. All women with, and some without, a uterus should be

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Vaccination Update: If due, vaccines are recommended and or given (like flu, for example). Mammogram: All women beginning at age 40 should start getting a yearly mammogram to screen for breast cancer (unless family history dictates earlier screening). Bone Density: All menopausal women should receive this important test screening for osteoporosis. The goal is to detect thinning bone and treat before fractures develop. Wellness Blood work: An important inside look to your health. Catch disease trends and treat before irreversible damage occurs.

Lifestyle risk assessment: Are there habits or nutritional choices and deficiencies which are preventing one from feeling her best and achieving good health? A plan can be devised to get one back on track! Metabolic test: Despite your best efforts, are you not losing weight? A metabolic test can give insight to help you achieve your goal of weight loss. So, if you have met your health goals – Great Job!!! If not, what are you waiting for? Schedule your wellness exam and find good health and vitality in the New Year!!! Dr. Catherine Diebold is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is certified in Age Management Medicine by Cenegenics Medical Institute. She practices in Thibodaux, LA. To make an appointment, please call (985) 448-1216.


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Three Roads To Complete Dental Health By: Pedro J. Cuartas, DDS

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entistry, in its simplest definition, is the practice of detecting, diagnosing, and treating diseases of the mouth and areas surrounding the mouth. Now more than ever before the mouth-body health connection is being understood. For example, recent studies have shown a possible link between periodontal disease (gum disease) and diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, infertility, and even stomach cancer. Every person who has a mouth should ideally be on one of three roads to complete dental health. The first and most ideal avenue is that of disease prevention and health maintenance. The second is that of repair and restoration. The third consists of tooth replacement. Actively following these paths should lead to great oral health and subsequently better overall health and well being. Being on the path of disease prevention and health maintenance is the best road to be on. Most patients who are on this path enjoy strong teeth and healthy gums, which allow them to enjoy life’s simple pleasures such as a nice meal, or being able to smile confidently. There are usually no symptoms of pain or discomfort experienced and less dental anxiety exists. By routinely having checkups every six months, oral diseases or conditions can be detected and treated early, easily and conservatively. Modern technology has made possible etremely early detection of various forms

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of dental disease. For example, by using a special light, or florescence, cavities can be detected that would otherwise be too small to be found using traditional methods. Another form of florescence is used to detect oral cancer or pre-oral cancer lesions. Gum disease can also be detected in its early stages. The use of digital dental x-rays has significantly increased the level of safety for patients by reducing radiation exposure and has led to better diagnostic ability compared to the traditional methods using film. Early diagnosis and treatment of dental conditions leads to better outcomes and reduced costs and treatment times. While the path of prevention is the ideal, the second road consisting of repair and restoration is equally important. If any form of dental disease is found by a dental professional or a patient is simply aware of something that is not right it should be addressed as soon as possible. Most dental conditions from cavities to gum disease or even oral cancer never get better on their own. Professional intervention is a necessity. Time will only make matters worse, requiring more treatment and greater expense. The road of repair and restoration is a wise road to follow if there is a good prognosis for the area affected. For example, it would be worth keeping a tooth that is partially broken if it could be easily restored to proper appearance and function. Many advances in dental materials,


equipment and techniques have allowed for more effective, efficient, and comfortable dental restorative treatment. People with periodontal disease (gum disease) can also have their periodontal health restored, especially with early detection and diagnosis. Five out of every ten people have some form of gum disease. Again, the significance of routine dental exams and checkups cannot be emphasized enough. It’s not “just” a cleaning. Early detection allows patients to get on the road of repair and restoration sooner, which leads to more predictable results and improved health. If someone is not able to get on that road of repair or restoration soon enough, then there is a high probability of experiencing either infection, pain, and eventual tooth loss. The third road to complete dental health is that of tooth replacement. Research has shown that the more teeth someone is missing (not counting “wisdom teeth”) the shorter the lifespan to be expected for that person. There are various explanations for this but the most obvious has to do with nutrition, rather, lack of nutrition. With fewer and fewer teeth, a person has a reduced capacity to eat certain foods and may not be able to adequately chew and break down food before swallowing it. This makes the process of digestion less efficient and essential nutrients are not absorbed readily by the body, which usually leads to significant health issues. Tooth replacement is vital to good nutrition and health. There are various ways to replace missing teeth. Some ways are removable and others are “permanent”. Usually the more comfortable and most natural feeling tooth replacement option is the “permanent” one. Dental implants are rapidly becoming more commonplace as tooth replacements. There are several factors that should always be assessed to determine the best treatment. All the various possibilities in treatment or combinations of treatment can be discussed with a dental professional.

Being on the road to complete dental health is a choice that may have a profound affect on your overall health. Prevention and oral health maintenance is vital to your body. The research is there to show this is true. When problems do arise, early diagnosis, repair and restoration are essential to maintain ideal oral health and help reduce the likelihood of infection, pain, and eventual tooth loss. In the unfortunate cases where tooth loss is unavoidable, it is highly advisable to consider the possibility of tooth replacement. The inability to adequately chew and digest food is a significant contributor to malnutrition, which can lead to a multitude of health issues and even a decreased life expectancy. Be sure to visit a dental healthcare provider and feel free to discuss your thoughts and concerns. Financial options exist if you do not have dental insurance. Don’t let that stop you. It’s not too late to get on the road to better health.

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Relay For Life of Lafourche Parish-Thibodaux Saturday, April 5, 2014 Thibodaux High School relayforlife.org/thibodauxla

Relay For Life of Terrebonne Parish Saturday, April 12, 2014 Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center relayforlife.org/terrebonnela


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If You Have

Chronic Pain You Don’t Have To Suffer Any Longer.

Expert, Compassionate Care For Chronic Pain According to the National Academy of Medicine, 100 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain. Twenty percent of American adults report pain or physical discomfort disrupts their sleep. What is chronic pain? Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists for longer than six months. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial injury or illness, such as a sprained back or serious infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain like arthritis or cancer, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. The most common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, joint pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system. With the addition of Luis Hernandez, MD, Pain Management specialist, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center is pleased to offer specialized, expert care for those suffering from chronic pain. As an expert in pain management, Dr. Hernandez utilizes interventional pain management techniques including epidural injections, facet joint injections, sympathetic nerve blocks,

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radio-frequent ablation of facet nerves, and implementation of spinal cord stimulators. Dr. Hernandez is a native of Pearl River, Louisiana, and attended Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Hernandez is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Additionally, he completed a Pain Management Fellowship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic pain, Dr. Hernandez is ready to help you in getting back to a more normal life. You can make an appointment to see Dr. Hernandez by calling 985.493.4080. Dr. Hernandez’s office is located in the Thibodaux Medical Plaza at 1105 Audubon Avenue, Suite A. Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, a 185-bed acute care facility offering high quality health care services for an eight-parish area, is recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as a Distinguished Hospital for providing an “Outstanding Patient Experience”. Luis Hernandez, MD


IDEAL PROTEIN AT TGMC Helps Participants Achieve a

Healthier Lifestyle

Before

Earl Eues prior to his 84 lb. weight loss and 50 ½ inches on the Ideal Protein comprehensive weight loss program at TGMC.

When Earl Eues first came to the Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) Medical Atrium for weight-loss help, he described his only physical activity at the time as walking between the couch and the refrigerator. Today, with the help of TGMC and the Ideal Protein program, Eues runs 3-4 miles three times a week and has lost more than 80 pounds and counting. Ideal Protein is a specialized diet program offered at TGMC. This is a science based diet, which helps to establish long-term healthy eating habits and cultivate an overall fit lifestyle. The goal is to make this the last diet participants will ever need. “I tried other diets in the past but the results were minimal,” Eues explained. “When I started seeing people around town losing substantial amounts of weight, I learned many of them were on Ideal Protein at TGMC and had to try it for myself.” In 2012, TGMC completed a Community Health Needs

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After

Earl Eues in December 2013 after five months on the Ideal Protein comprehensive weight loss program at TGMC.

Assessment of Terrebonne Parish to determine the community’s biggest health concerns. The study identified cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes as the most prevalent health issues among residents. Of these, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are all exaggerated or worsened by obesity, inactivity, and a poor diet. TGMC’s goal is to attain a healthy community. By offering the Ideal Protein program as a new solution for patients who need to lose weight, TGMC aims to improve overall patient wellness and prevent chronic conditions from developing in patients. For Eues, his health was a major factor in joining the program. When he started the Ideal Protein program in July 2013, Eues was 268 lbs. and on medication for high blood pressure, a condition that can lead to stroke and heart disease. By September 2013, Eues had lost enough weight for his


body to naturally control his blood pressure levels, and was taken off of his blood pressure medication. Three months later, Eues has lost more than 80 pounds and 50 inches. “The program is easy to follow and results are almost immediate,” said Eues. “Within the first week I started shedding pounds, which helped keep me motivated and stick to the diet.” Ideal Protein participants receive one-on-one counseling with a registered dietitian or nurse, daily nutritional supplements, and Ideal Protein meal replacement products. They are coached through weekly weigh-ins at the hospital, setting realistic weekly and long-term goals for their weight-loss. Participants are monitored closely in weekly sessions to ensure they remain healthy and on target throughout the weight-loss process.

“When you start losing weight, you feel better as a whole—medically, physically, mentally.” -Earl Eues The Ideal Protein approach focuses on drastically reducing calorie intake, while supporting a protein-based diet that leaves participants feeling full longer, which Eues attests is one of the biggest differences when compared to other diets. Protein also allows the body to preserve its muscle mass while burning fat for energy, which leads to weight-loss. “We are seeing positive results with this program. Participants are coached on developing healthy lifestyle habits throughout the program to achieve the long term goal of weight maintenance. It is rewarding to see participants improve their overall health and achieve goals they never thought possible, said Holly Dufrene, Registered Dietician at TGMC.” Part of what makes Ideal Protein “the last diet you will ever need” is the emphasis on patient education. In addition to understanding how different foods affect the metabolism, coaches focus strongly on weight stabilization and post-diet living, teaching weight maintenance habits that may assist in keeping the excess pounds off after dieting. “The program taught me a lot about how eating affects the body,” said Eues. “I now know how to better monitor what I eat and how to make smarter choices even when dining out.” Regardless of body type, just about everyone who has tried the Ideal Protein diet has seen significant results, even without exercise. In fact, the program encourages participants not to exercise the first three-weeks of the diet so the body can acclimate to the new reduced calorie intake. Thereafter, a regular exercise regimen is recommended to speed up weight loss and maintain it after completing the program. “I’d always wanted to run a 5K, but didn’t have the energy before,” Eues recalls. “When you start losing weight, you feel better as a whole—medically, physically, mentally.” Eues finished his first 5K this November as part of the TGMC-CIS Houma Heart & Soles Half-Marathon and 5K. For more information on Ideal Protein and to find out how the program can work for you, call 850-6200 or 1-888-543TGMC (8462).

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South Louisiana Medical Update  

Tri-Parish Region Volume 6 Issue 1

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