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September 2013

Piedmont Healthcare Quarterly A Kings Mountain Herald, Banner News, Cherryville Eagle publication

Does Exercise Make a Difference? ...4 Fat Is Not Your Enemy ...................6 Worker Health............................12 Heart Health & Women ...............15


HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013

Mending hearts through rehab By Alan Hodge They say that only love can mend a broken heart, but a bit of that and the proper cardiac rehabilitation program can make a diseased one feel a whole lot better – and let the patients get back to what they enjoy doing as soon as possible. Such is the case with Liz Hyde of Gaston County and Mike Collins of Belmont who, after heart surgery, were made aware of CaroMont’s Cardiac Rehab program and one of its offshoots, the Mended Hearts group of heart disease survivors. Mended Hearts is a national, community-based heart patient support group founded in 1951. The local group is Mended Hearts of Gastonia, Chapter 379. It received its charter in 2011. For Hyde, her heart disease saga came as a surprise. “I ended up in the hospital the day after I turned 50,” said Hyde. “No heart attack, but episodes of high blood pressure spikes. No time to think about what to do; I was told a double bypass was in order. Great doctors, caring nurses and supportive family and friends helped me get through the next few weeks.” After the operation, Hyde began her rehabilitation. “Then it was time to start 12 weeks of Cardiac Rehab,” she said. “I was actually nervous and scared, because I wasn’t much of an ‘exerciser’. The first day, I could barely walk to the work out room. I was still lumbering slowly along with my back hunched over like an 80 year old. How could I possibly get on a treadmill?” Hyde says the Cardiac Rehab folks gave her a lot of support in her comeback. “With the encouragement of the fantastic rehab nurses and staff, every day I went, I got noticeably better and better,” she said. “The nurses answered all my questions about my recovery aches and pains, and the seminars helped me deal with stress management, learning to eat a new way, and the importance of exercising at home.” Hyde’s rehab wasn’t an overnight thing, but she stuck with the program. “After a month, it all got easier, and so did my activities at home,” she said. “Rehab was really making a difference in my recovery process, and soon, I was challenging myself to do even more. And

Liz Hyde and Mike Collins are both heart disease survivors who went through extensive rehab. Collins is a member of Mended Hearts and Hyde plans to join the cardiac patient support group. before I knew it, I was able to resume my normal life again, something I’d been afraid I’d never do after such a big, lifechanging operation.” Hyde also had another inspiration to stick with Cardiac Rehab. “When I began rehab, the nurses asked me what my goals were for this program,” she said. “I knew right away. I wanted to return to touring with the show “Menopause the Musical”, a show I had been acting/singing/dancing in all over the country for the last 9 years. I wanted to be able to assure my producers that I was capable of performing again in this fast paced comedy; I knew they could easily replace me. My doctors had told me that I would be ready to return to the road by the fall; that was hard to believe back then, but it made me work hard on the machines in rehab and do what the doctors and nurses told me was necessary. Hyde’s determination and the Cardiac Rehab program let her achieve a victory over heart disease. “Well, I am now in my last two weeks of rehab and boy, it went fast,” she said. “I am proud and happy to say that my hard work has paid off, my producers noticed, and they have offered me another tour of “Menopause the Musical” starting in October! I can’t wait to get back on stage and make people smile. And to top it off, the nurses in

rehab are planning a road trip to see me in the show! How is that for support?” The next goal for Hyde is to join the Mended Hearts. “When I am back home in Gaston County, I plan to join Mended Hearts, a group of heart surgery survivors who visit with current heart patients to encourage them that there is life beyond the hospital bed,” she said. “They certainly encouraged me when I was in that position, so I want to give back. I might even sing to the patients! Whatever it takes to help people realize they have a lot to look forward to. And Cardiac Rehab is a big step in getting well. Thank heavens we have

such a wonderful program right here in our area, filled with supportive and caring staff. They have taught me how to live again! Mike Collins is already on the Mended Hearts membership rolls and is doing great following his heart attack event. “I had a heart attack on June 17, 2010 before I was getting ready to run,” Collins said. “I had to have two stents put in.” Then Collins began his own rehab. “My recovery was with Re-Hab at the Summit. It was a great experience and got me on the right track to a healthier life style. The rehabilitation department at CaroMont Health is good. Everyone there has a positive attitude and is inspirational to everyone that attends.” These days, Collins is doing much better. “I go to the YMCA 5 to 6 days a week and am able to do level 3 cardio,” he said. “Spin Class is my favorite.” He’s been with Mended Hearts for about a year. “Dick and Sandra Cromlish here in Belmont introduced me to Mended Hearts, and Jake Gray is the chapter president,” he said. “I enjoy visiting patients and encouraging them that they can become much better and lead normal lives.” Overall, a combination of professional care and folks reaching out to others who have been down the heart disease pathway is a win-win for all involved. For more information, contact Mended Hearts c/o CaroMont Regional Health Center, 2525 Court Drive, Gastonia.

Puffy or swollen legs or feet? If you notice that your feet swell enough to make your shoes tight; your ankles, wrists, or fingers are noticeably puffy; or there are deep pressure marks or indents when you take off socks or hose, you may have a problem with fluid retention. Also called edema, fluid retention can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, and other forms of cardiovascular disease. Scary stat: More than 80 million people have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, and approximately 900,000 people die from it each year. Why it happens: Fluid retention occurs when the heart doesn't pump strongly enough and blood doesn't carry waste products away from tissues. Edema usually starts in the feet, ankles, fingers, hands, and legs because they're furthest from the heart, where circulation is poorer. What to do: Report problems with edema to your doctor, who can run tests that may indicate CAD and can determine if your heart function is normal.

September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health



HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013

Does exercise really make a difference? YES! Mike Tamberella MD, Cardiologist, CaroMont Heart

The consequences of physical inactivity are staggering. Compared with 1950, Americans work longer hours at less physically active jobs which means a significant decrease in calories burned throughout the day. The result is that 65 percent of all adults are now obese or overweight. The American Heart Association currently recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days a week. That may sound like a lot, but this is achievable! This can be divided into three, 10-minute periods of activity, which is almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session. The effects of regular activity are amazing. Physical activity boosts mental wellness, and can help relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. Exercise increases the flow of oxygen, and can improve your mental acuity and memory. Additionally, it also enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure, improve your choles-

terol, help you sleep better, and improve your self-image. Whether at home, at work or at play there are several things we can do to increase the calories we burn throughout the day. Try these tips: • Work in the garden or mow the grass. Using a riding mower doesn’t count! • Rake leaves or pick up trash. • Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving. • When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk. Choose a hilly route. • Park farther away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance. • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way. • Walk while waiting for the plane at the airport. • Stay at hotels with fitness centers or swimming pools and use them while on business trips. • Schedule exercise time on your business calendar and treat it as any other important appointment.

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• Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.

toire of several activities that you can enjoy. That way, exercise will never seem boring or routine.

• Walk around your building for a break during the workday or during lunch.

• Ask family and friends to join you; you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

• When golfing, walk instead of using a cart.

• Join an exercise group, health club or the YMCA. Many churches and senior centers offer exercise programs too.

The hardest part is getting started. Anytime we try to make changes to our daily routine we should do so slowly with the idea that this is truly a lifelong change and not just a fad. Here are some tips for long-term success:

• Use music to keep you entertained.

• Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of activity on most or all days of the week. • Dress for success. Wear comfortable clothes. • Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. • Find a convenient time and place to do activities. Try to make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way. • Don’t exercise right after meals or when it’s very hot or humid. • Choose activities that are fun, not exhausting. Add variety. Develop a reper-

Something is always better than nothing! And, everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you’ve been sedentary for years, today is the day you can begin to make healthy changes in your life. If you don’t think you’ll make it for 30 minutes, set a reachable goal for today. Don’t let all-or-nothing thinking rob you of doing what you can every day. Once you have started regular activities, track and celebrate your success! Note your activities in a logbook writing down a description of the activity including the distance traveled or repetitions performed. You will be surprised at how recording your activities will motivate future activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health problem, see your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.

The oral health connection Shelby Dental Care Center

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September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health


Raising awareness one step at a time By Elizabeth Stewart Jennifer Jones, a 28-year-old beauty queen from Kings Mountain, is doing her part to help beat cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of more women than all forms of cancer combined. As Ms. United States representing North Carolina, Jennifer is walking in the Greater Charlotte Heart Walk September 21, a three-mile non-competitive, fund-raising walk with a goal of $1.75 million for the American Heart Association cardiovascular research, advocacy and education. “I signed up to walk and my team members are 15 beauty queens from the two Carolinas,� said the enthusiastic young woman who travels the state and pushes “Back to Health: A Chiropractic Lifestyle.� A 2003 graduate of Crest High School and a 2007 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Limestone College at Gaffney, SC, Jones will graduate in fall 2014 from Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC. She plans to begin her practice in Cleveland County. Jennifer is walking for her grandfather and all others who have battled heart disease. Her grandfather, J. C. Jones Jr., lost his fight with heart disease after multiple heart issues and two heart attacks. She said the Greater Charlotte Heart Walk focuses on health and wellness programs for the workplace,


Deepak R. Gelot, M.D.

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family and community and begins at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 21 with a health expo, kids’ zone and heart and stroke recognition, and concludes with the walk from the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets in uptown Charlotte. The new additions to the Heart Walk are designed to capture the enthusiasm of the crowd and provide Jennifer Jones, Ms. United States an opportunity to show others how much fun exercising can be. There are a number of awards for participants. “My Snazzy Sneakers� will be a contest for the young and young-at-heart to color, bejewel and decorate their walking shoes for the event. Walkers can take them predecorated or use the materials in the kids’ zone to create award-winning designs on the spot. Shoes will be

judged and prizes awarded prior to the beginning of the Heart Walk. The second contest is for the “Happiest, Hippest and Most Hilarious Heart Walk Costume� worn by any age participant, team or pet. Pictures will be taken and posted on the Heart Walk Facebook page. Walkers and friends of the American Heart Association can vote online throughout the weekend. A winner will be selected on the Monday following Heart Walk. This is the first Greater Charlotte Heart Walk for Jennifer and 15 other beauty queens on the Ms. United States team. She said they are excited. Over 12,000 participants are expected for this year’s Queen City Walk and local people can still enter the cornerstone event of the year-round “My Heart, My Life� campaign as more than 150 corporate and community teams partner with the American Heart Association on the campaign. Jones said that cardiovascular defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects and is the No. 1 killer of Americans. In fact, she says, someone dies from CVD every 30 seconds. Daughter of Troy and Karan Jones of Kings Mountain, Jennifer stands 5 ft. 9 inches tall, weighs 125 pounds and is a beautiful green-brown-eyed brunette. Jennifer entered her first beauty pageant at age 19 See RAISING AWARENESS, 16

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HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013

Fat is not your enemy Billy Wease, R. Ph. Prescriptions Plus

Many so-called diet trends you find today in TV ads, magazines, and the medical community condemn the word “Fat!� People have become obsessed with “No Fat� diets thinking this is the key for weight loss and overall health. When you look at health from a cellular perspective, you realize that “Fat� should be a part of your intake of nutrients daily. The problem is not “Fat,� but the “Type of Fat� you consume on a daily basis. Let’s explore what fat is, good and bad sources of fat, lipids and cell membranes, and fatty acids and oxygen. Once you begin to understand the properties of “Fat� at the cellular level, you will come to the realization that our cells need it to stay healthy! What is fat exactly? All fats are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. You find the same elements in carbohydrates, albeit, they have different molecular structures. All

forms of fat are based on the ratio between hydrogen and carbon. The two major groups of fat are saturated and unsaturated fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). You will find saturated fat mostly in animal proteins and dairy, and unsaturated fats primarily in vegetable oils. You have heard that eating saturated fat is bad, and eating polyunsaturated fat is good. This is false! What you need to avoid is overcooked polyunsaturated fats because they have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and problems with the reproductive organs. You need saturated and polyunsaturated fats, albeit, it’s the source of these fats that matter. So what are good and bad sources of fat? Let’s begin with the bad: vegetable oils, processed oils and fats, and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Products such as margarine, butter substitutes, vegetable shortening, and some vegetable oils are examples of hydrogenated oils. The good sources are: nuts, seeds, sunflower oil, evening primrose oil, borage, flaxseed, coconut

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oil, grape seed oil, virgin olive oils, avocados, and avocado oil. Just make sure you buy virgin cold-pressed oils that are in a dark bottle, so that, it slows down the oxidation process. The cell membranes in your body are primarily composed of lipids, called phospholipids and cholesterol. These lipids give structure and flexibility to your cell membranes and controls what comes in and out of your cells. There are a few different types of phospholipids in the cells and they are important because they wrap around nerve cells in the brain and nervous system, therefore, you need them for proper brain and nerve function. Cholesterol is another important lipid because it keeps the structure of the membranes intact. Cholesterol also helps with the proper functioning of the endocrine system, helping to keep hormones balanced in the body. Without good sources of fat in your daily nutrition program, your cells become toxic, hypoxic (lack of oxygen), and deficient in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. This can also lead to neurological disorders and an overall reduction in cognitive function over time. Consuming bad fats mentioned above in genetically modified meats, junk food, fried food, and baked goods can lead to the problems just mentioned. In order for your body to have increased levels of oxygen, you need to consume the right ratios of “Essential Fatty Acids� aka “Omega Fats 3, 6, and 9.� Achieving peak oxygen levels in the body and blood should be your main goal to improve your health. The cell membranes nourished with the right Es-

sential Fatty Acids, will help you to achieve this goal! Every cell membrane is half protein and half fat. A portion of the membrane’s fat is non-reactive saturated fats, which absorb little oxygen. The other portion is unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which helps the cell absorb oxygen! This is where the “EFA’s� play a vital role to help oxygenate the body because these fats act like magnets that grab oxygen from the bloodstream and transfer it into the cells. Without eating good sources of fat daily, nutrients and oxygen cannot be utilized as efficiently in the body, in turn, this may lead to cellular toxicity and overall malnourishment. These lifegiving properties of fat and how it nourishes your body should encourage you to consume good sources of fat daily! If you are looking for a balanced Essential Fatty Acid Supplement with the right ratios of Omega 3, 6, and 9, consider pharmaceutical grade products. Krill oil has the same phospholipid structure as our cell membranes do, which means this fat is more bioavailable and bioactive! It will also protect the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in your brain, therefore, protecting it from free radical damage. Other fish oils have a “triglyceride� cellular structure, which means, they will not absorb in the body as efficiently as Krill oil. Once these short and medium chain fatty acids hit the small intestines, they are immediately absorbed and enter the bloodstream, helping to oxygenate your cells. You may experience better cognitive function, better heart health, less pain, or increased energy when taking these supplements!

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September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health






HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013

Laverys don’t let heart problems slow them down By Michael E. Powell Don and Willie Lavery know a little something about heart health. They have both had heart surgery and are still very much active, with few reservations. Not bad for two newly minted octogenarians, would you say? Willie’s story Willie Lavery, who turned 80 Aug. 11, sat in the couple’s sun room recently and was candid not only about her heart problems but spoke openly of a 1995 bout with colon cancer. By her own admission, she has had many chemotherapy treatments, and is now, all these years later, cancer-free. She still goes to her doctor who keeps a close check on her, she said. Willie had her heart attack before her husband had his. The attack came, she noted, after she was diagnosed with the cancer. She is philosophical about it all though, noting, “I finally figured out why God put me there (at the cancer spe-

cialist) in that situation. When I was in the presence of other people (stricken with cancer), they’d come in when they started to take chemo, they would have lost their hair and I didn’t, but I didn’t brag about it. I just listened to them.” About cancer, Willie acknowledges it was a scary thing to hear she had it. “A lot of people are concerned when they find out they have it and they get scared. Who doesn’t? The main thing is your attitude, I think.” She knows such is true with any physical problem, such as heart disease or diabetes, which she also has. “You ask the question, ‘God, why me?’ I just think that if you think you’re doomed, then you’re doomed. You have to think differently!” It is commonly known, she now knows, that women’s heart attack symptoms can be different from men’s. Willie said while the actual attack didn’t happen until after she was diagnosed with cancer, she now understands she had many of those symptoms as far back as the early 90s.

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Don and Willie Lavery of Cherryville take a moment to check out new flowers that just came up in their outside arbor. Willie lovingly calls it their ‘haven’. She said she was sitting in a chair on the back porch (now their sun room, when she began experiencing pains similar to indigestion or gas, all in the area of just below her sternum, or breastbone. “Apparently, it was my heart all the time!” At this point Don chimed in. “She was sweating a lot. Me and (daughter) Donna (Lavery) took her to the emergency room and that’s when they found out it was a heart attack,” Don said. “She wound up having two bypasses.” Willie said she has worked all her life, first as a mother and a housewife, then in insurance, then working at a local rest home. She said she is not the type of person to be stressed, preferring to “let life just flow!” “I am an active person around the house.” One thing Willie said most likely contributed to both hers and Don’s heart problems was the fact they both smoked when they were younger. Don has quit and Willie said she still has one every now and then, adding, “I know I need to quit altogether, but it’s hard to do!” Don and Willie know that many diseases such as heart problems, cancer, and diabetes can run in families. Her father, Lester Willis had diabetes, and her brother Robert Willis had a heart attack in the 80s, “flat-lined” but was

brought back by medical staff. Don’s story Don and Willie also know that eating right is a big part in staying healthy, especially as you get older. They both eat foods that are good for them and have done so all their lives. “That’s how we were, we grew everything we ate,” he said. His father was John Lavery, who died from cancer when Don was five. Later, his mother remarried and his stepfather was John Craft. “My mother and stepfather both had heart problems, and my full brother died with cancer 20 years ago.” Don said as far as his heart situation goes, he’s “had a lot of problems.” Looking back on it all, he noted his doctors and his family thought he was having light strokes. “I got to hurting pretty bad so they took me to Gastonia to see a heart doctor there. The last time I was there they did a heart catheterization on me.” Don’s doctor told him then if there was anything he could fix, he would. “They found four blockages and told me I needed to have surgery,” he said. “I also have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and doctors don’t like to put you to sleep to do surgery on you.” Nevertheless, Don said they did so See LAVERYS, 18

September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health


Heart disease and bone loss see how an acid-forming diet can first cause weak bones, followed by heart disease. Obviously, the solution begins with correcting the problem at the source – stop eating an acid-forming diet and start eating an alkaline-forming diet. Alkalineforming foods like raw vegetables and fruits and most other plant-based foods do not make the body fight to maintain alkalinity because they are already alkaline (i.e. there is no need for the body to neutralize acid by robbing alkaline minerals from the bones). In fact, alkalineforming foods help keep calcium where it belongs while providing the conditions necessary for the body to protect itself from disease. Plus, the alkaline diet (rich in bone-strengthening calcium, by the way) will lower homocysteine levels, which further reduces the risk of heart disease. Speaking of changing your diet, most people are aware that reducing fat is a good idea overall. Reducing fat intake is often mentioned as a way to a health heart; and a plant-based diet is certainly a good way to reduce unhealthy fats. But before you start thinking of ways to eliminate all fat, let’s dispel a myth or two –

Could one be the cause of the other? By Scott Laird CNC,MH Hallelujah Acres

Here’s one for your “hmmm, now isn’t that interesting” file. Last year, researchers in Canada determined that “heart failure is associated with a 30 percent increase in major [bone] fractures.”* Sumit Majumdar, MD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and lead author of the study, said, “Our study demonstrates for the first time that heart failure and thinning of bones go hand in hand. Understanding the mechanism between heart failure and osteoporosis might lead to new treatments for both conditions.” The study seems to indicate that heart disease comes first, which becomes a risk factor for bone fractures – but what if it’s the other way around? In other words, what if slow loss of bone mass triggers heart disease instead of heart disease causing weak bones? If that’s the case, there may be a simple answer to avoiding both problems; here’s how.


The so-called “Standard American Diet” that the average person eats – meat, dairy, refined sugar, and processed foods – is acid-forming. This acid creates a problem for the human body, which is slightly alkaline (the opposite of acid on the acid/alkaline pH scale). The problem arises because eating acid-forming food makes the body fight to maintain its alkalinity; this fight creates cellular stress that, left unchecked, can lead to cellular malfunction, which manifests as disease. In its fight to neutralize acid (and the disease threat), the body must find something alkaline within itself to “put out the fire.” The calcium in bones is the most abundant source of alkalinity in the body. So, when presented with continual acidity through improper diet, the body neutralizes the threat by robbing calcium from its own bones, making the bones weaker. Worse yet, as the body moves calcium out of the bones and into the bloodstream, excess amounts can coat the insides of arteries, causing atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease. Using this scenario, it’s not difficult to

especially when it comes to sources of fat from plant-based, whole foods! Avocados, for example, are infamous for their fat content, but they don’t deserve the bad rap. They’re often referred to as the world’s most nutritious fruit (although they are not normally thought of as a fruit) and are great for heart health. The monounsaturated fat in avocados helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the body’s ability to absorb antioxidants. In fact, adding just one cup of fresh avocado to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots, will increase your body’s absorption of certain antioxidants in the salad between 200-400%! See HEART DISEASE, 19

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HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013


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HQ - Heart Health




HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013

Companies eye worker health By Dave Blanton The nurse will see you now. For many Americans, this is a line that is being heard more and more not inside a doctor’s office waiting room or a schoolhouse after a nasty scrape but at the workplace. Why? Employers have just in the last 20 years begun to take an aggressive interest in their workers’ health because – so the thinking goes – a healthy and active workforce increases the bottom line and saves millions of dollars in insurance costs, long-term disability and sick days. Over the summer, Thurman Geter, who has put in 25 years at the Parkdale Mill yarn plant in Kings Mountain, lost eleven pounds by packing more fruits and vegetables into his diet, walking more and drinking more water. The idea to take off some weight wasn’t exactly his own. It was instead directly encouraged by HealthStat, a prospering Charlotte-based company that manages the textile company’s employee wellness program at many of its facilities across North and South Carolina. Participating in one’s company wellness program is, of course, voluntary, but through incentives from employers the rate of participation tends to be between 50 and 90 percent. Often enough, workers’ healthcare premiums are reduced through their participation in a wellness program. As for Geter, he fell short of his goal to lose 20 pounds but says he probably wouldn’t have lost any if it weren’t for the wellness program and the ready advice and encouragement of the plant’s on-site nurse practitioner Judy JacksonMolina. “Employees come in for checkups

every 12 months,” she said. “If we notice one red flag, employees are encouraged to come back every six months.” If there are two or more red flags (or a “panic” level in any one category), then the frequency of encouraged visits jumps to once every three months. Employees are screened for chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes and heart disease. Nurse practitioners on site also check blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and prostate specific antigen (PSA) in men over 40. Wellness management programs work closely with employees’ physicians, but because of the proximity and access they provide, employees often have a more robust connection to the health-care professionals on the job site than they do with their traditional healthcare providers. “When I first got out of (nurse practitioner) school, I heard of this concept,” said Molina, who got into the field of medicine after her own children were out of school. “What I heard about what I could do, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.” She joined up with HealthStat in 2001 and says she loves the work because she can see results: helping people to lose weight, stave off diabetes and aiding people in quitting smoking and other tobacco products. “They have easy access to us,” said Molina, who divides her time between the plant in Kings Mountain and other HealthStat clients in the area. “I’m able to build a strong bond with employees and all of that is designed to point is one direction: a healthier and more healthconscious person.” Employees of Parkdale Mills textile


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Judy Jackson-Molina is Parkdale Mill’s on-site nurse practitioner. plant in Kings Mountain this summer participated in Weight Loss Challenge that pitted the Kings Mountain plant against two other company-owned plants in Belmont and Gaffney, S.C. The competition started in June when employees pledged to walk 50,000 steps a week with a pedometer, drink eight glasses of water, and eat three servings of fruits and vegetables five days a week. The Monday weigh-ins began to resemble the energy of March Madness office basketball pools that often grip workplaces when the NCAA tournament rolls around, Parkdale officials said. HealthStat began in Hickory about 20 years ago and all of its clients at the time were furniture manufacturers. Now it has 140 clients in 32 states, with 350 clinics at different sites, said Bess Fuller, the company’s director of marketing. The clients they work with sometimes have a wellness program already in place and they turn to HealthStat to manage it. Others are starting off from scratch and put themselves in HealthStat’s

hands. Fuller said that companies like hers keep track of long-term results and carefully follow trends among the employees who participate in the available wellness programs. Most of the areas that wellness programs focus on deal directly or indirectly with heart health, according to Emily Grigg, a program manager for HealthStat. Smoking, obesity and high-fat diets can all lead to heart disease. Encouraging employees to walk more was a big part of the recent challenge put to Parkdale employees over the summer, where participants were encouraged to log 50,000 steps a week. “It’s one of the easiest ways to get physical activity,” Grigg said. “And running isn’t a good option for some people. Walking increases your heart rate. It increases blood circulation throughout the body. You don’t have to go out and run a marathon to increase your heart health.”

Breathing problems during sleep   


If you snore loudly enough to keep your sleeping partner awake or to force him or her to resort to earplugs, your heart may be at risk as well. Restricted breathing during sleep -the underlying cause of snoring -- is linked with all types of cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea, in which breathing briefly stops during sleep, is linked with a higher risk of both car-

diovascular disease and heart attack. Scary stat: Those with sleep apnea were found to have three times the normal risk of having a heart attack within five years. What to do: Any sleep-related breathing problem is a clue that something's wrong, so call the doctor. She may recommend a sleep study, but get your heart checked out too.

September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health


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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is one of the most common reasons why people are admitted to the hospital and why they are readmitted as well. Nearly five million Americans are currently living with the condition that can affect people of all ages. What is Congestive Heart Failure? Congestive heart failure is a fluid overload state. There’s too much fluid in the body or in a particular area of the body. Your heart’s main duty is to pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. When your heart can no longer pump blood efficiently, blood may back up in other areas of the body and cause swelling. This swelling is called edema and occurs mainly in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or in the ankles and feet (ankle edema), but also can be found in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. When the fluid is in the lungs, people have difficulty breathing and the heart is not getting the oxygen it needs to perform. Fluid is blocking the transfer of oxygen to the blood. What causes Congestive Heart Failure? The most common cause of congestive heart failure is coronary artery disease, the narrowing of blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the heart. Heart valves that are not working properly or an infection that has weakened the heart muscle will also cause congestive heart failure. When the heart valves are either tightly narrow or are leaking, the heart becomes inefficient, causing fluid build up in lungs or in the legs and sometimes both places together. What are the signs of Congestive Heart Failure? Some people may not notice symptoms as they can develop slowly – weight gain, shortness of breath, swollen feet or ankles. Keeping a record of weight gain can help your physician determine if you have CHF. In addition to noticing if your ankles or legs are swelling, your doctor may notice

prominent neck veins. When you have fluid buildup in the body you can see it in the neck veins because veins enlarge very easily. A stethoscope will also let a physician know there’s a problem. He or she listens to lung sounds. There are certain sounds called crackles that let the physician know there is a problem. The heart itself will make certain sounds if something is not right. There may be extra beats or extra sounds that tell the physician your blood is not moving through the heart well. These sounds may mean the heart has a valve or valves not opening or closing well. Pulmonary edema may be a little trickier for you to notice as a symptom. If you are having breathing problems or shortness of breath, called dyspnea, you may be experiencing fluid buildup in the lungs. Initially this shortness of breath only happens when you are exerting yourself, but it can become severe enough that you become short of breath when you are at rest. If it progresses, you may also have difficulty breathing when lying down and you have to be propped up with pillows to sleep or you sleep in a recliner. How do you treat Congestive Heart Failure? There are two approaches for treatment – medical and mechanical. The medical treatments are: Diuretics – the medicine that makes you urinate more – helps move fluid out of the system. Coreg/Carvedilol – medicine that decreases your heart rate and allows the heart to pump more vigorously by affecting adrenalin levels in the body. Blood pressure medicines are used to reduce the pressure allowing the heart to pump blood more easily and readily. Nitrates – medicine to dilate blood vessels keeps blood in the veins instead of building up in the heart and lungs, reducing the volume load on the heart. Lifestyle changes such as reducing salt intake are vital in treating congestive See THE FACTS, 19

September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health


Heart health and women: are you at risk? Cleveland County YMCA In one day, your heart on average beats 100,000 times, pumping 2,000 gallons of oxygen-saturated blood through 60,000 miles of twisting blood vessels. These vessels are the link between the cells of our organs and each of our body parts. This is quite the intense workload for a muscle that’s roughly the size of a fist! In order to keep your heart in optimal working condition, you must make the commitment to live a life centered on healthy eating and exercise habits. Following a diet low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, as well as engaging in moderate to vigorous cardiovascular activity for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week, will drastically reduce your chances of developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack. Many times heart disease is thought of as predominantly affecting men, however this is not the case. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in the United States, as well as the leading cause of disability amongst women

(“Heart Fa i l u r e ,� 2013). No woman is i m p e r v ious to developing the disease, and risk increases with age. The best way to protect yourself is to stay educated. By becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of early stage heart disease, you can potentially save your life. The most common cause of heart disease is the narrowing of the coronary arteries. These are the arteries that deliver oxygen enriched blood directly to the heart. This condition known as coronary artery disease (CAD), develops slowly over time and is the number 1 cause of heart attacks. CAD is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women. The arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrow when a buildup of cholesterol, called plaque adheres to the

i n n e r walls of the vessels (“Coronary Art e r y Disease,� 2013). T h i s buildup of plaque is called atherosclerosis. Over time the plaque thickens, making it more difficult for the blood to flow through the arteries. Eventually blood supply to the heart is completely cut off starving the muscle of oxygen. This can lead to chest pain, or a heart attack. Heart attacks can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle. If proper measures are not taken to treat CAD, the weakened heart muscle can fall into irregular rhythms (arrhythmias) or even heart failure (“Coronary Artery Disease,�2013). Heart failure is when the heart cannot effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure affects 2.5 million women in the United States. Even

though women account for nearly 50% of all hospital admissions for heart failure, a mere 25% of women are included in heart failure studies. Due to this lack of representation in studies, the advances in heart failure therapies are predominantly focused on the male population. There are several differences between women with heart failure compared to men with heart failure. Women have a tendency to develop congestive heart failure at on older age than men (“Heart Failure,�2013). Congestive heart failure is when the heart is no longer able to pump away the blood returning to it fast enough, in turn causing congestion in the veins. Heart failure can occur due to a weakened heart muscle (systolic heart failure), or may be related to a stiff, inflexible heart muscle (diastolic heart failure) (“Heart Failure,�2013). The leading causes of heart failure in women stem from high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, valvular disease, and diabetes mellitus. Depression is also See WOMEN, 19

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HQ - Heart Health

September 18, 2013

Keep your heart happy Deepak Gelot, M.D. Medical Director, Carolina Family Care Carolina Wellness and Cosmetic Laser Center

“Heart problems? Me?” If that’s your reaction when you hear healthy-heart messages, here’s a wake-up call: The fact is, heart disease kills far more women a year than cancer does. Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed due to a buildup of plaque on the arteries inner walls. Plaque is the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other substances. As plaque continues to build up in the arteries, blood flow to the heart is reduced which can lead to a heart attack. Each year 500,000 Americans die of heart disease, and approximately half of them are women. As early as age 45, a man’s risk begins to rise significantly. For a woman, risk starts to increase at age 55. Fifty percent of men and 64 percent of women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms. Genetics plays a role in cardiovascular health, but people should do all they

can, and the first step is knowing and understanding measures that are important for heart health. Ideal cardiovascular health for adults are defined by these measures: Never smoked or quit more than a year ago, a healthy body mass index, physical activity, blood pressure below 120/80, fasting blood glucose less than 100 milligrams, total cholesterol less than 200 milligrams, and eating a healthy diet. Certain risk factors such as getting older and family history can’t be changed. It is important to realize that YOU do have control over many others. By exercising as little as 30 minutes a day you can reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, studies show that for every hour of walking, you may increase your life expectancy by two hours. Walking is the simplest way to start and continue a fitness journey. The time to get moving is now. It’s easy to do short bouts of activity several times a day. Try theses tips: Do housework, work in the yard (rake leaves, mow the lawn, prune, etc), stand while talking on the phone, walk the dog, park farther away at the

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store, walk to the store instead of driving, go for a walk before breakfast, after dinner or both, sit up instead of lying on the sofa while watching TV, stretch to reach items in high places, squat or bend to look at items at floor level. And instead of asking someone else to bring you something, get off the couch and get it yourself. You’ll feel better and your health depends on it! Start with a small goal and commit to it regularly. Eating healthy, well balanced meals containing at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day, at least two servings of 3.5 ounces of fish per a week, at least three 1 ounce servings of fiber-rich whole grains per a day. Limiting sodium to less than 1500 milligrams a day, drinking no more than 36 ounces weekly of sugary drinks and drinking plenty of water will help lower your risk of heart disease.

A very simple way to help your heart health is by laughing. There could be some truth in that age-old expression “laughter is the best medicine.” Research suggests laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation, and increase HDL, the good cholesterol. Once you start laughing it forces you to feel better. A bonus with laughter is that its effects have been found to last 24 hours. That’s a good reason to laugh every day. These facts can be frightening, but they don’t need to be. The good news is that you have a lot of power to protect and improve your heart health. Regardless of your age or family history, you can follow these important steps to lower your risk of heart disease. For further questions please feel free to contact Carolina Family Care at 704734-0010 or

RAISING AWARENESS: one step at a time From page 5

after watching a friend compete locally. “I have met some of the most influential people of my life and have mentored many people through association with pageants,” said Jennifer. As a child, Jennifer wanted to be involved in everything. Gymnastics was her first love at the tender age of 12 months. She furthered her athleticism by adding softball, volleyball, dance, cheerleading, tennis, and basketball to her schedule. She lettered in 11 varsity sports at Crest High School, played volleyball and softball at Limestone College and graduated with a 3.91 GPA and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. At Sherman College she is active in various clubs and president of the Athletic Club. Since her crowning as Ms. United States in a July pageant she has traveled over the state promoting her platform of wellness. Also close to her heart are the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Dustin Garver Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, animal rescue organizations and, of course, the American Heart Association. Jennifer enjoys spending time with family and friends and her four dogs: Wylie, Elphie, Coach and Nessarose. “Raising awareness in this national movement is my goal.” Jones said that by 2020 the American Heart Association wants to improve cardiovascular health by 20 percent. Jennifer says the health of America is at a tipping point. Some experts predict today’s children are not expected to live as long as their parents – the first time ever for an entire generation’s life expectancy to drop. The Heart Association points to obesity as one of the most expensive health care problems surpassing smoking. Statistics point to one-third of U. S. children overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Research has shown that 12-year-olds have 45-year-old hearts. “ ‘My Heart, My Life’ is a national rallying call for change – through simple behavior adjustments that help people feel better and live longer,” says Jones. Walking, healthy eating, and increased health education are focus areas. “If Grandpa was here and able to walk I know he’d be in the middle of things,” said Jennifer.

September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health

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September 18, 2013

ORAL HEALTH: the heart connection From page 4 flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers and diuretics — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease. Studies also suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — might play a role in some diseases. In addition, certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe. Oral health: A window to your overall health What conditions may be linked to oral health? Your oral health might affect, be affected by, or contribute to various diseases and conditions, including: Endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infec-

tion of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart. Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause. Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS. Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Alzheimer’s disease. Tooth loss before


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age 35 might be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Other conditions. Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include Sjogren’s syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth — and eating disorders. Because of these potential links, be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you’ve had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as

diabetes. Shelby Dental Care Center shows patients how to protect their oral health! To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day. • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. • Floss daily. • Eat a healthy diet and limit betweenmeal snacks. • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed. • Schedule regular dental checkups.

LAVERYS: heart problems donĘźt slow them down From page 8 and he came out of surgery feeling “pretty good.â€? That was February 2011, and he went to Carolina Care of Cherryville for rehab. He had some fluid complications and said he had to go back into the hospital. They let him come home, but apparently wasn’t ready to do so. “I started having tremors and the Cherryville Rescue Squad was called. Back to the hospital I went! The doctor found an infection and told my family there might be a chance I might not come back from this one,â€? he said. “The doctor told my family they had done all they could do, but it was God’s will I came back. I’m still here, by His grace!â€? Don spent many rehab days (50 at the hospital and at rest homes), but was finally able, once again to come back home. “I feel pretty good now, but still have some health issues.â€? Don admits the COPD is a result of his smoking for 50 years. He has been quit for about 20 years now, still he was told the damage was done before he quit. He still uses oxygen and has for the last four years. “It’s aggravating, having to take it with you. I can’t go on any more overseas mission trips and I hate that!â€? The former long-line truck driver and his wife have been married for 60 years, having tied the knot in 1953. Don, a Waco High School alum, met Willie, a former CHS alum, in Cherryville. “A friend introduced us in 1951, we met again in ’52. I loved her then and I’ve loved her ever since!â€? he said, smiling. “The Lord has been good to us,â€? Willie said. “It makes a strong believer out of you when you have to go through illnesses. You have to take what comes, but He helps you along the way.â€? The two stay as active as they can, working outside and traveling. Don said he feels like he can do what he wants, but is still “not 100 percentâ€?. “The girls have really looked after us both,â€? he added. As for Willie, she “feels great!â€? though she admits she has trouble with walking, which she feels comes from the heart problems. “I like my flowers and I love gardening. I love being outside in our ‘haven’!â€? The Laverys have four girls (Donna, Barbara, Anita and Carol Anne) and six grandkids. Willie and Don attend Anthony Grove Baptist Church. When asked what they would tell young people today about taking care of themselves in advance, Don said, “I’d tell them if I knew back then what I know now, it would have made a world of difference. Some people it doesn’t bother them to smoke, but I wouldn’t do it for nothing. Just stay on top of your health situation.â€? Willie agreed, adding, “Many women sometimes don’t take the time to care for themselves, especially when taking care of a family. Stop and think. Look after yourself!â€?

September 18, 2013

HQ - Heart Health


HEART DISEASE: and bone loss From page 9 Avocados have antioxidants themselves, the greatest content of which is in the dark green flesh of the fruit. Here’s how to peel an avocado to retain as much of that valuable, dark green flesh as possible: Cut the avocado lengthwise and twist to create two halves. Remove the seed by easing a knife blade into the seed, and twist to remove. Cut each avocado half again to create quarters. Using your thumb and index finger, peel each quarter from the top down as you would with a banana. After you’ve peeled your avocado, try this tasty, heart-healthy recipe:

Heart-Healthy Black Forest Cherry Mousse 2 avocados, peeled and seeded • 2 fresh bananas • 2 cups frozen cherries • 1/2 cup raw carob powder • 2 tsp vanilla • 1/8 tsp unrefined sea salt • 1/2 cup agave nectar • 1/2 level tsp lime zest, not packed 1. Place all ingredients in a food processor with the “S” blade. Process until silky. 2. Serve in parfait glasses with an elegant garnish such as mint or lemon balm, sprinkles of coconut, or raspberries. Enjoy! Makes 21/2 cups * Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, news release, Feb. 2, 2012

THE FACTS: on congestive heart failure From page 14 heart failure. Salt acts as a magnet to water. The more salt you put in your system, the more water your body retains. The more water you put into your system, the higher the pressure goes. The mechanical treatments are: Revascularization – open heart or bypass surgery. Restoring blood flow will allow the heart to beat more strongly and heart muscle function overall improves. Valve surgery – Repairing or replacing valves that aren’t working properly will stop the blood from leaking and will allow the blood to move more easily from one chamber to the next.

BiV-ICD – Biventricular-Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator is a special type of pacemaker put in by a cardiologist. This device goes underneath the skin near the collarbone. It sends wires down to the heart and tells the heart to beat in a more coordinated fashion. People who have weak heart muscles can have serious heart rhythm problems, which can be lethal. This device can shock the heart back to normal rhythm. Heart transplant: This option only comes up in special instances. Avoiding development of congestive heart failure means practicing a healthy lifestyle – keep weight, blood pressure and diabetes under control, stop smoking, exercise regularly, and get appropriate amount of sleep.

WOMEN: are you at risk? From page 15 frequently associated with heart failure in women. The signs and symptoms of heart failure are shared amongst men and women, however; women may be more likely to suffer from shortness of breath, and have more difficulty exercising than men. Women also experience swelling around their ankles more frequently than men. A heart attack strikes someone every 34 seconds. Heart attacks present themselves differently in women than men. Many women think the signs of a heart attack are highly identifiable, but in many cases they can present themselves in a subtler fashion. It is not uncommon for a woman to experience upper-back pressure, dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting (“Heart Attack Symptoms in Women,” 2013). Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, but can feel differently for a woman than a man. Women may experience a squeezing sensation, or a feeling of fullness anywhere in the chest; it is not necessarily relegated to the left side (“Heart Attack Symptoms in Women,” 2013). You also need to be on the lookout for pain in the arms, neck, or jaw. The onset of the pain may be gradual or sudden. The pain may increase and decrease in intensity before reaching its peak. Stomach pain is another key heart attack symptom that can many times be mistaken for heartburn or indigestion. The stomach pain may range from subtle, to an overwhelming crushing sensation. If you are experiencing shortness of breath

with no apparent etiology, you may be experiencing a heart attack. It may feel as though you have just taken part in an intense workout, when in reality you have not moved at all. Shortness of breath and nausea often accompany lightheadedness. Sweating and fatigue are other indicators that you may be having a heart attack. It is common amongst women who are having a heart attack to break out in a nervous, cold sweat. It will feel more like a stress-related sweating incident than perspiration from being exposed to heat or engaging in exercise (“Heart Attack Symptoms in Women,” 2013). Feeling extremely tired even after resting is also a symptom. You may feel tiredness in your chest and have trouble doing simple activities of daily living. If you experience any of these symptoms, or feel that you are having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately! Time is of the essence! Continuously educating yourself about heart health is the first step in preventing yourself from being another statistic. Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of heart related emergencies as well as other heart related problems. Devoting yourself to a healthy lifestyle in regards to eating and exercise habits, will drastically reduce your chances of developing heart disease, or other heart related afflictions. Keep your heart healthy! Coronary Artery Disease. (2013) Retrieved August 23, 2013, from Heart Attack Symptoms in Women. (2013) Retrieved August 22, 2013, from HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Heart-AttackSymptoms-in-Women_UCM_436448_Article.jsp Heart Failure. (2013) Retrieved August 22, 2013, from

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Health Quarterly - September 2013 - Heart Health