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Lifesaving Moves Visits to the emergency room in Colorado are as much a part of summer as mountain biking and river rafting. Penrose-St. Francis Health Services alone will treat more than 20,000 patients in its two emergency departments during the summer. While you may not be able to avoid a trip to the ER, there are some things you can do to make sure you get the best outcome possible, says Jack Sharon, MD, medical director for Penrose’s emergency services: 1. Carry an up-to-date medical file, including a medication record. A patient with a head injury, for example, is treated very differently if he is taking a blood thinner than someone with the same injury not on that medication. 2. Ask questions while you are still in the ER. Studies prove that the better your understanding, the better your outcome. “Most people have questions but feel silly asking,” Sharon says. “It’s part of our job to make sure you are educated about your care.”

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Maureen Jordan, MD

Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

Can hormone replacement therapy help prevent menopause-related weight gain? Weight gain around menopause is a result of not just declining estrogen but also decreased muscle mass and metabolism. While hormone replacement therapy is not a solution to mid-life spread, it can help relieve hot flashes, sleeping problems and fatigue. Alleviating those problems can provide women with the energy and focus they need to exercise more and eat properly, which can help prevent weight gain. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women of healthy weight who exercised for one hour five days a week avoided weight gain during menopause.

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A diagnosis of diabetes or heart disease can leave patients feeling both terrified and alienated. Joining a support group may help ease the isolation. “Support groups provide an emotional connection to others who might be experiencing similar situations and emotions,” says Nancy Bader, a licensed clinical social worker with Centura Health-Profile Employee Assistance Program. Bader says support groups also provide participants with the opportunity to exchange educational information. Though research has yet to show a medical benefit from support group participation, some studies have found that breast cancer patients experience an improved quality of life if they belong to a support group. Penrose-St. Francis Health Services offers free support groups for women with heart disease and breast cancer as well as groups for men and women battling other conditions. For information and schedules, please go to Summer 2011

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Flourish Summer 2011  

I write, edit and art direct this quarterly custom health magazine for women 40+ in the Colorado Springs area, distributed by Penrose-St. Fr...