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Ideas for fruits and vegetables month PG. 5


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Genevieve Yeakel, left, looks on as Tim Eldridge, a loyal Farmers Market customer, fills his bag with early selection produce provided by Buckhorn Gardens at the Farmers Market (Montrose Daily Press file photo)

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INSIDE Keeping eyes healthy PG. 3 |A cancer victory PG.6 MONTROSE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

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Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019

Hospital happenings:

Dear Pharmacist:

Welcome Dr. Eric Wiesner – general surgeon


have had the pleasure of getting reacquainted with the new general surgeon in town, Dr. Eric Wiesner. I knew Eric as a child from church, Leann Tobin spending time Montrose with his family Memorial Hospital and watching him swim at Montrose High School. He has grown into a confident, thoughtful and quiet physician who has had a passion for medicine since he was a child. Dr. Wiesner said that he has wanted to be a doctor for a long as he can remember. He was the kid who always dressed up like a doctor for Halloween and has worked hard to make his passion come true. He earned his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison Wisconsin and completed his Internship/Residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Dr. Wiesner joined Montrose Surgical Associates with Drs. Jay, Sharp, Millward and Judkins and is a trained robotics surgeon. Eric was a back to back state champion swimmer at Montrose High School. While swimming in Wisconsin, Wiesner won a Big Ten title, was selected Academic All-Big Ten, earned honorable mention All-American and was awarded Big Ten Swimmer of the Week.

His siblings Andrea and Steven were also very successful swimmers at Montrose High and followed him to the University of Wisconsin to swim with the Madison Badgers. Wiesner comes from an amazing and giving family with deep roots and connections in Montrose. His dad, Dr. Paul Wiesner was an Ophthalmologist who retired last year after 35 years of caring for patients in Montrose. His mom, Phyllis Wiesner is the current President of Bosom Buddies, our local breast cancer support group and on the Board of the San Juan Healthcare Foundation in addition to many other activities. Paul is an amazing musician and my husband and I were fortunate to share time and talent with the Wiesners at church for many years through our shared love of music. As Dr. Wiesner settles back into our community, it should be an easy transition as he enjoys mountain biking, hiking, making homebrew and spending time with his dog. He said he doesn’t swim much anymore but loves to be outside and is happy to be back in Montrose. His parents are thrilled to have him closer and he said he enjoys dinner with mom and dad a couple times a week. Dr Wiesner is currently taking new patients and you can call 970.249.4321 to learn more. l

Curb your hunger

Dear Pharmacist, I am 90 pounds overweight and just began taking the medication Orlistat. Is there another drug that works better than this? Are there any supplements you recommend? –J.M., Dallas, Texas

Leann Tobin is Montrose Memorial Hospital’s Senior Director of Community Engagement. Reach her at 970-240-7344.

Answer: Kudos to you for getting on the path to wellness. This topic could encompass an entire book and if there was one easy answer it would be great but there’s not. There isn’t a medication that I recommend for weight loss, although the Orlistat is commonly prescribed to assist in weight loss, it is not a fat burner. It is a fat blocker. It reduces intestinal fat absorption by blocking an enzyme called lipase. One way to prevent fat in the first place is to keep your cortisol levels down. Cortisol will rise in the presence of chronic stress, fear and grief and the hormone contributes to belly fat. You can evaluate cortisol and other adrenal hormones with urine and saliva tests. There’s probably no faster way to lose weight than to just eat meats, veggies and nuts/seeds and drink only water, tea or coffee. Testing your thyroid is important because that is often very low, despite normal blood tests. Leptin resistance can cause you to hold on to weight, and leptin can be measured via blood tests too. How to test your thyroid and leptin is discussed in my new book, Thyroid Healthy. When you have adequate levels of thyroid hormone, you can turn food into fuel. As for supplement aids, there are only a handful that can assist you, and I want you talk to your practitioner(s) before taking anything new, because I don’t know what’s right for you. In no particular order:


Tyrosine- An amino acid that is considered a gentle appetite suppressant. It helps you make thyroid hormone, which regulates metabolism and burns fat. Turning calories into energy is important. Unburned calories equals stored fat on you. Tyrosine helps you make dopamine, a happy neurotransmitter that influences appetite. You often see this compound in thyroid supplements and diet aids. Phenylalanine- An amino acid that helps you make tyrosine (see above) while also triggering the release of CCK (cholecystokinin), a compound that helps you feel full. It’s what we call a satiety hormone. People often take this amino acid before meals. If you take tyrosine, you would not need this and visa versa. People with phenylketonuria should never take this supplement. Avocado extract- It comes as a capsule, tablet or powder. It’s a gentle appetite suppressant and people say it reduces carb cravings. It should improve your glutathione status. Glutathione is a major liver antioxidant that you want more of. Cumin- A spice you can buy at any store that some tout as a natural appetite suppressant activity. Sprinkle it on food. Peppermint tea- Drinking peppermint tea with your meal could help you reduce appetite, but be careful it may exacerbate reflux. Suzy Cohen has been a licensed pharmacist for 25 years and is a functional medicine practitioner for the last 15. She devotes time to educating people about the benefits of natural vitamins, herbs and minerals. In addition to writing a syndicated health column, “Dear Pharmacist,” Suzy Cohen is the author of many different books on natural health.


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Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019


Outdoor health tips from the Posse:


Healthy eyes are important

ver since the third grade, I have been burdened with terrible eyesight. At first I thought that the world had gone blurry, possibly because of the Russians. My grandmother informed me that the world Mark Rackay had not gone blurry, Tips from the Posse but that perhaps I needed glasses. Ever since I heard those cruel words, I have been forced to wear glasses. Each year, the prescription gets just a few clicks worse. Add to that bifocals because of aging eyes, and I have the full Monte of bad eyesight. Thank goodness for Hi-index poly- carbonate lightweight lenses; because my head would not be able to support the weight of traditional glass. Spending time outdoors has long been proven to help our overall health, but recent studies indicate that it can be good for our eyes as well. Although spending too much time in the sun without eye protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the eyes and skin, new studies indicate that natural light may be essential for normal eye development in children. Children today spend a great deal of time indoors, playing video games and staring into I-Pads and cell phones. Because of this, nearsightedness is more common today in the United States than it was back in the 1970’s. According to one of the studies reported by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, each additional hour children spent outdoors per week dropped their risk of being nearsighted by two percent. The study showed that nearsighted children spent on average 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than those kids who had normal vision or were farsighted. A second study found that when school kids were required to spend 80 minutes of recess time outdoors every day, fewer of them became nearsighted when compared to children who were not required to spend recess outdoors. Researchers don’t know exactly why outdoor time is beneficial, but believe it’s probably related to exposure to natural daylight rather

Your eyes are the most important sense you have and should be taken care of. A safari vehicle is seen in the reflection of this eye of a giraffe. (Wikimedia Commons/ Wikikratsw)

than other specific activities. I must be the exception because I am very nearsighted and spent most of my childhood outdoors, except to eat and sleep. For the rest of us it is probably too late to spend time during our childhood outdoors but there are still things we can do to promote overall eye health. For starters, get a comprehensive annual check-up from your eye doctor. Diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have the best chance for treatment when detected early. The eye exam can also help detect diabetes in some people. While early detection of problems can help your eyesight, so can living a healthy lifestyle. Eating green leafy vegetables and eggs are good for the eyes because both are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that have been found to reduce the risk of eye diseases. Eating foods high in vitamins A and C, along with vitamin E, have all been proven to promote eye health. Folks who have diabetes are at a special risk of eye disease. If your blood sugar is too high, for too long a period of time, you run the risk of developing an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy, which can affect anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and





is the leading cause of blindness in working aged adults. Diabetes can also put you at increased risk for glaucoma and cataracts. Proper management of your diabetes is very important. Properly managed, most people with diabetes will never have any eye problems because of the disease. Hopefully everyone understands the health problems associated with smoking, such as cancer and heart disease, but smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can also damage your eyes. Smokers have a four-times greater risk of developing AMD compared to nonsmokers. If you are someone who is exposed to secondhand smoke, your risk of AMD doubles. Smokers also have three times greater risk of developing cataracts compared to nonsmokers. For folks who spend lots of time outdoors, special care should be taken to protect your eyes. Ultra violet rays, like the sun produces, have very bad effects on your eyes. UV radiation from the sun can trigger the onset of cataracts. It is a common misconception that cataracts are age related. Cataracts can and do occur at just about any age, and the sun can make them appear sooner. Sunlight that is reflected from the surface

of water or snow can cause conjunctivitis and keratitis. Symptoms of conjunctivitis, sometimes called “pink eye” include intense itching, a gritty feeling in the eye, redness, a watery discharge and a runny nose. Keratitis is a generic term to describe a variety of corneal infections, irritations and inflammations of the eye. It is important to obtain medical attention immediately because delay can cause scarring which would cause vision problems for the rest of your life. Sunglasses and a hat are the ticket to prevent problems for your eyes from UV rays. Look for glasses that provide 100 percent UV absorption. The label will say something like “ UV absorption up to 400nm” which translates to 100 percent protection. Polarized lenses are my choice for outdoors but they are not necessarily the same as UV protected glasses. Polarized glasses have a special filter for reducing glare but may not provide maximum UV protection. UV protected lenses are treated with a special chemical to improve their UV absorption. Then it comes down to exercise. We all know how good exercise is for our mood, metabolism, weight, and overall health, but exercise is equally important for your eyes. A regular exercise routine can reduce the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and AMD. One study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology showed that people who regularly exercise three or more times per week substantially lower risk of developing wet age-related AMD, a more serious type of AMD. Our eyes are the most important tools for outdoor enjoyment we have and we must always take care of them. With the amount of vegetables my wife makes me eat, and the time I spend outdoors, I should have the eyes of a hawk. I missed something somewhere. Mark Rackay is a columnist for the Montrose Daily Press and avid hunter who travels across North and South America in search of adventure and serves as a Director for the Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse. For information about the Posse call 970-252-4033 (leave a message) or email For outdoors or survival related questions or comments, feel free to contact him directly at his email l

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Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019

Outside the Box:

Dr. Mindy Miller and a different way of looking at medicine


or someone taking on a behemoth, she doesn’t come across as a warrior but make no mistake, she is on a crusade and the idea she is pursuing will stab directly at the heart of some of the overarching issues in healthcare today. This is no small undertaking, but Dr. Mindy Miller has decided that she wasn’t happy with the status quo and she’s ready to try something Twyla Righter innovative. Outside the Box It is not uncommon for any of us to acknowledge the issues with health care costs and access in our country. However, very few voices are stepping up with solutions. Over the past few years Mindy has done both. She has been vocal about the real issues she faces as a physician both in her personal practice, and in our country at large. She thinks that the bureaucracy of medicine is a huge issue, pointing out that the growth of administrators in healthcare have outpaced providers by 3,200 percent since 1975 (according to athena healthcare studies on the rising costs of healthcare). And administration is not just growing at a surprising rate, but at a huge cost as well. While these statistics are frustrating, and point to the money that is languishing in bureaucracy and waste, Dr. Miller is determined to find a better way of doing things, and creating a new branch of Trailhead clinics was her solution.

Dr. Mindy Miller’s family practice will soon become Trailhead Clinic — an offshoot of the Grand Junction clinic. You can locate her prices and options at trailheadclinics. com. This isn’t just a new family practice model, it’s a rather new way of looking at traditional family practice and preventative medical care. To put it simply, it’s a membership program. These are monthly membership subscriptions that cover your preventative care at a reduced rate and with upfront pricing. For $89 per adult, per month, office visits are free as often as you need them. Many tests and procedures are free or highly reduced, and medications are reduced as well. It works like a membership to a health club or gym. Use it as often as you like, and know it’s always available. The beauty of this particular design is that it pairs nicely with high deductible insurance plans, healthcare savings accounts or medical sharing communities. The insurance plans available to those who have to pay out of pocket in our community are very pricey and very limited. However, with medical sharing communities and medical co-operatives you can save a huge amount of money. These are often limited in scope however, covering big medical expenses as a non-profit, but often leaving the individual to cover more preventative care. That’s where a program like Mindy’s can be a huge benefit. For far less than traditional insurance you can have major medical care covered, as well as her membership program for more traditional care. There are discounts for employers who choose to purchase memberships as a group and her prices are often online and easily available, making it simple to find out what you will

be paying before deciding which treatments to take. Montrose has always been known for our thriving, state of the art medical community. Our hospital is consistently ranked in the top 100 nationwide for rural hospitals, and is the only hospital in Colorado to have earned that title for four consecutive years. Advanced imaging in joint replacements, Da-vinci robotics for less invasive, cutting edge surgical options, a cancer center, surgical center, advanced anesthetic options, even new UV sanitation techniques; all contribute to our reputation for innovation and high quality medical care. In numerous areas the Montrose medical community has been challenging the status quo and truly sits at the cutting edge of healthcare. Miller is adding another layer. For those without medicare or employee sponsored insurance plans her new clinic will be a great new opportunity for primary care with an innovative new way to receive care. Will her bold spirit break new ground in how healthcare can be provided in our town? We will find out Nov. 18 when her current office officially opens as Trailhead Clinic in Montrose. Until then, is a great place to learn more about her facility, options and rates. l Twyla Righter is a native of Western Colorado. She is the mother of three children bent on world domination (they have pie charts) and a proud CASA advocate. She writes two columns for The Press as well authoring the definitive guide to a horrible pregnancy: “About That Pregnancy Glow.” Righter’s “Outside the box” column appears every other Friday in the Montrose Daily Press.

How to start exercising at home A healthy diet and an active lifestyle are great ways to achieve a healthy weight and good overall health. Many people no doubt associate exercise with fitness centers and gym memberships. While gyms certainly are effective places to break a sweat, exercising at home can be an effective way to get fit as well. Working out at home may require some creativity, as even homeowners with gyms in their basements may not have as much equipment at their disposal as they would at a local fitness center. ]

Body weight exercises

Body weight exercises include pushups, planks, squats, and lunges. Alternating incline and positioning of the body when performing some of these exercises is a great way to work various muscle groups. Body weight exercises do not necessarily require equipment,

and that may disappoint some people. That’s because, with no added weight — and only one’s own body weight to provide resistance — it’s difficult for a person to challenge himself or herself effectively and gradually build up progress.

include cycling, swimming in a backyard pool or playing a pickup sports game with the kids.

Set up a home gym

Get outdoors for cardio

A mix of cardiovascular activity, which puts a strain on the heart and lungs to build up stamina, can help shave off the pounds when paired with strength training exercises. Take to the great outdoors near home to get in a good cardio workout. Rally Health, a digital, data-based health advisory company, says that walking can constitute a cardio workout if one goes at a brisk pace of around three miles per hour. Walking on an incline also can constitute vigorous exercise that’s on par with running or biking, particularly when it’s a steep hill. Home-based cardio workouts also can

Age Well. Live Well.

A home gym also can be a place to do strength and stretching exercises like yoga or pilates. Many people find that they can effectively workout at home with little to no equipment necessary. With such convenience, individuals may find they make more time for exercise, which is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

With a few barbells, dumbells and a weight bench, it’s easy to create a home gym in a basement or garage. Extra equipment, such as TRX resistance training equipment or an elliptical machine, can be added to make the gym more complete.


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Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019

Foods with ample antioxidants

The term “antioxidants” is frequently associated with cancer prevention. Antioxidants are helpful, but many people may not fully comprehend the role antioxidants play in fighting cancer. Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage, offers the National Cancer Institute. Free radicals are formed in the body by exposure to ionizing radiation and other radiation. An excessive amount of free radicals in the body can negatively affect cells and potentially lead to the formation of various types of cancer and other diseases. While the body makes some of the antioxidants it uses to scavenge free radicals and render them ineffective, it also relies on antioxidants from food sources. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute says that, to date, nine randomized controlled clinical trials of dietary antioxidant supplements for cancer prevention have been conducted worldwide. Some studies have pointed to the benefits of antioxidant supplements, while others found that these supplements can actually elevate cancer risk or diminish the efficacy of cancer treatments. Increasing antioxidant intake may be best accomplished by eating a variety of plant-based foods that contain high levels of naturally occurring antioxidants, rather than through supplementation. So what foods offer the highest levels of potentially cancer-fighting antioxidants? The largest and most comprehensive study to date into antioxidant levels was published in 2004 in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Researchers analyzed antioxidant levels in more than 100 foods. In addition to pointing out many foods people already knew to be antioxidantrich, researchers uncovered some surprises. Here’s a look at some of the best bets for beneficial

foods that may be part of a cancer-fighting diet. • small red bean (dried) • wild blueberry • red kidney bean (dried) • pinto bean • cultivated blueberry • cranberry • cooked artichoke • blackberry • prune • raspberry


These foods rank high among those with the most antioxidants per serving, according to the USDA. However, many other foods also are great sources of antioxidants. These include russet potatoes, pecans, gala apples, walnuts, Indian gooseberries, cloves, and mint. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly berries, can provide many of the antioxidants the human body needs to neutralize the potential damage caused by free radicals. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

Simple ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet Parents imploring their children to eat their fruits and vegetables is a nightly occurrence at many dinner tables. Reluctant youngsters may have a seemingly innate resistance to vegetables, but parents should stay the course, as the importance of making fruit and vegetables a routine part of one’s daily diet is hard to overstate. Children might be seen as the most resistant to fruits and vegetables, but reports indicate they’re not alone. A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just 12 percent of adults in the United States are meeting the standards for fruit consumption as established by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are determined by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Even fewer people (9 percent) are meeting the standard for vegetables. The picture is somewhat better in Canada, where the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2017, found that 28.6 percent of Canadians age 12 and older report consuming fruits and vegetables more than five times per day. However, that figure steadily declined since 2015. That’s unfortunate, as fruits and vegetables have been linked to a host of health benefits.

Why eat fruit and vegetables?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that fruits do not contain cholesterol and are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. In addition, fruits contain a host of essential nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate, that are historically underconsumed. Similarly, studies have shown that vegetables, which also are great sources of vitamins and minerals, can help people reduce their risk for a variety of conditions, including heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

How can I include more fruits and vegetables in my diet?

Routine is a big part of many people’s lives, and some may find it hard to change their dietary routines. But people who aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables likely don’t need to completely overhaul their diets in order to include more fruits and vegetables. In fact, the American Heart Association notes that the following are some easy ways for people to sneak more fruits and vegetables into their diets. • Breakfast: When sitting down for a bowl of cereal, add some bananas, raisins or berries to your bowl. When making eggs or breakfast potatoes, add chopped up onions, celery, green or red bell peppers, or spinach. • Lunch: Forgo sandwiches in favor of fruit or vegetable salads at lunchtime. If you must have a sandwich, top it off with vegetables like cucumbers, sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce, and/or avocado. • Dinner: Replace less healthy side dishes with fruit or vegetable salads, and don’t forget to include steamed vegetables, even frozen ones, on your dinner plate every night. Add chopped vegetables, such as onions, garlic and celery, when creating soups, stews or sauces. A few simple strategies can help people eat more fruits and vegetables and reap the many rewards that such foods provide. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

Potential benefits of a vegan diet A nutritious diet is an integral component of a healthy lifestyle. One of the great things about eating right is there are many ways to do so. A healthy diet that works for some people might not work for others with different tastes, and it doesn’t have to. Eating right can boost immune systems and help people be more productive, and some people even tailor their healthy diets to align with their personal beliefs. One such example is veganism. Adherents to veganism do not eat or use animal products, and many do so to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals. Regardless of why people choose vegan diets, the potential health benefits of such decisions are myriad. • Shed excess weight: Vegan diets may help people shed excess weight. A 2015 study published in the journal Nutrition found that vegan diets may result in greater weight loss than more modest recommendations. The vegan diets used in the study did not require

participants to limit their caloric intake, though many might have simply by the nature of the vegan diet, which is packed with satisfying foods full of nutrients such as fiber that can help people feel full and maintain that feeling of fullness for long periods of time.

• Improve kidney function: Studies have indicated

that people with diabetes who replace the meat in their diets with plant protein may reduce their risk for poor kidney function. One such study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, concluded that, while more studies are necessary, substituting soy protein for animal proteins usually decreases hyperfiltration in diabetic subjects and may reduce albumin excretion as well.

• Protect against certain cancers: The World Health Organization says that roughly one-third of all instances of cancer across the globe can

be prevented if people make the right lifestyle choices. That includes their choice in diets. Due to the nature of vegan diets, vegans tend to consume considerable amounts of fruits and vegetables. That’s good news, as an analysis of data from the Health Survey for England found that eating seven or more portions of fresh fruits and vegetables every day can reduce a person’s risk of dying from cancer by as much as 15 percent.

• Reduce risk for heart disease: Fruits, vegetables and

fiber also have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. A study from researchers in Japan found that intakes of plant-based foods, particularly fruits, were associated with reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease. Vegan diets may necessitate an adjustment period when starting out. But over time, the benefits of such diets are numerous. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.


Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019

Pictured with Christy Hawk, center, are some of her new family at Grand Mesa Oncology from the left are: Danielle Gallegos, Arienne Huff, Dawn Jensen, Hawk, Dr. Goldberg, Nysha Wilson and Tiffany Moreford. (Submitted photo)

Grand Mesa Oncology patient celebrates end of treatment

Special to the Montrose Daily Press

It was supposed to be a routine mammogram for Christy Hawk. She had been getting them every year since she turned 40 and never had any issues. But on March 25, 2018, Hawk received news that would change the next year and a half of her life. The mammogram detected a small spot prompting a second scan. The second scan detected a larger mass that was then biopsied and diagnosed as malignant. “If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought this would happen to me, the answer would be no,” Hawk said. “But the fact is that you really never know. Dr. Nickel, my surgeon, told me that by me coming in for my yearly saved my life and our ability to catch it early.” After getting diagnosed, Hawk encouraged her daughters and friends to get their mammograms taken care of. “It only takes 20 minutes of your time and it can save your life — it saved mine,” said Hawk. “One of my best friends called me and told me that she got a mammogram done because of what I’ve gone through.” Hawk worked with Dr. Goldberg, oncologist and Dr. Nickel, surgeon, to come up with a treatment plan that they believed would save her life. It started with a mastectomy on May 25, 2018. From there she started six treatments of chemotherapy on June 25 and in November started 28 radiation treatments. December 5, 2018 marked the end of her radiation treatment and in January she finished her immunotherapy treatments. “It was hard for me to turn the control over to someone else,” said Hawk. “It’s scary to put life changing decisions in someone else’s hands, but I had to surrender and trust that I was in great hands. I remember when Dr. Nickel sat me down and told me the direction he thought my treatment should

go. He told me: ‘If you give me a year and a half of your life, I will give you 25 more.’” Those words stuck with Hawk and she trusted that she was in the best hands. With the support of her doctors, her family and her husband, Darold Hawk, Hawk began her journey to recovery. “One of the hardest parts about this process was the waiting and the unknown,” said Darold. “As a husband you want to be the protector, but I wasn’t able to fix this. I had to come to terms with the fact that some of it she had to do by herself. She had to come to terms with it by herself and find that inner peace.” Hawk and Darold are high school sweethearts and have been married for 37 years. Darold grew up in Crawford and Hawk grew up in Paonia. The couple still lives on the same family ranch that Darold grew up on. Their six children and grandchildren have kept them both strong. “Darold is my rock,” said Hawk. “I couldn’t have gotten through this without him. I always say that I would do this again if no one else in our family had to get it… I’d do it again. It’s tough, but you really find out how strong you are. You reach in and you find that inner strength.” The solo drives to Delta from Crawford were the times when Hawk had time to reflect. She learned the importance of keeping up a normal routine as much as possible and keeping her mind busy. “As much as I could I would stay busy with different things around the ranch,” said Hawk. “I hate when people say this is your new norm, you have to stay as close to your normal [life and routine before the diagnosis]. I would go on walks with one of my friends down the road, and we would sometimes walk four or five miles. That was really my saving grace and gave me something to look forward to.” Deciding to receive treatment as DCMH was a no brainer for Hawk and Darold. Hawk had previous surgeries at the hospital and all of her kids were

Get to the bottom of elevated liver enzymes The liver performs various functions in the body. The liver helps break down food, cleans the blood, makes proteins, and stores energy. Each of those tasks is necessary to a long, healthy life. Many people live their lives without ever experiencing issues with their livers. However, doctors may recommend a liver function test for patients who develops yellowing of the skin, low energy or even slurred speech, each of which may indicate liver problems. A liver function test will determine if liver enzymes are functioning properly. Enzymes are substances that accelerates chemical reactions within the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, elevated liver enzymes can indicate inflammation or damage in liver cells. When these cells are injured or inflamed, they can leak higher levels of enzymes into the blood. Elevated liver enzymes do not always indicate a chronic liver problem. In fact, many times elevated liver enzyme levels are a temporary byproduct of certain medications or other unique, nonpermanent situations. However, elevated enzymes also can indicate liver diseases like hepatitis. Fatty liver disease also may result in elevated liver enzymes. WebMD says that doctors may request a series of liver function tests to check for common enzymes. Some of

the more frequently checked enzymes include alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gammaglutamyl transpeptidase (GGT). Tests are typically recommended for patients who report symptoms like dark urine, low appetite, belly swelling, and fatigue. Tests also may be required if a person has a family history of liver disease or engages in high-risk behaviors, such as heavy alcohol consumption. People who are overweight or have diabetes also may be at risk, states the Cleveland Clinic. Care and treatment for elevated liver enzymes involves finding the cause. If enzymes are elevated due to drug or alcohol use, stopping such behavior can help the liver recover. Doctors may prescribe losing weight or eating a healthier diet if they believe being overweight or obese or one’s poor eating habits are causing elevated enzyme levels. When a cause cannot be identified, a general practitioner may refer patients to doctors who specialize in liver diseases for further testing. Elevated liver enzymes are often indicative of an underlying problem. Finding the root cause can help people get on the road to recovery and feel better faster. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

born at DCMH. “I always had respect for [the team at DCMH] that they knew what they were doing,” said Hawk. “I know these people and I know that they will take care of me. You don’t get that from big cities.” Hawk says that the nurses and staff she met while receiving treatment gave the couple a strong sense of community support. Many of the nurses became friends with Hawk and would ask her about her kids, grandkids and life at the ranch. They always told Hawk that if she needed anything she was always free to call them. “I always tell the staff at [GMO] that although they were [essentially] poisoning my wife every three weeks, she always looked forward to come here to see them because of the way they treated her,” said Darold. “It wasn’t just professional it was personal. They cared for us – every single one of them, and it made us feel special.” Now that Hawk is on the other side of her journey, she is using her experiences to help other patients going through similar situations. It was with great pride that Hawk rang the celebration bell for her 101st time on July 23 in front of her husband and her new friends at the Oncology Center. Ringing the bell signified the end of her treatments and her being cancer free. “It’s kind of surreal, actually,” explained Hawk. “Because I never thought I would get to the end. It’s just that time is a killer. But here I am — you have to find that inner peace that this is the hand you were dealt, and I’m okay with it and I will get through it.” With the treatments behind her, Hawk is now looking forward to what is next. “When you come here you get the best care,” said Hawk. “It’s all about those lifetime acquaintances that you make along the way. I can’t say enough about Delta Hospital. For me it was the right choice, and I wouldn’t change that.”l

The differences between vegan and vegetarian diets A nutritious diet is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone from small children to fully grown adults have their own dietary preferences, and the choices people ultimately make can go a long way toward ensuring their long-term health. Vegan and vegetarian diets are two popular, yet sometimes misunderstood, approaches to eating. In fact, vegan and vegetarian diets are sometimes mistaken as one and the same. However, the Vegetarian Society notes there are some distinctive differences between vegan and vegetarian diets.

Vegan diet

While veganism is often mistaken as simply an approach to diet, it is much more than that. The Vegan Society defines veganism as a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and

cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or other purposes. While avoiding animalbased food products is an important component of a vegan lifestyle, committed vegans attempt to avoid all animal products, including clothing, and products that might have been tested on animals. So what do vegans eat? The Vegan Society notes that a vegan diet is diverse and includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans, and pulses. Thanks to the internet, delicious recipes for vegan dishes, including vegan pizzas and desserts, are never more than a few clicks away. In fact, vegans and prospective vegans can find a host of recipes on The Vegan Society website at www.

Vegetarian diet

The Vegetarian Society defines vegetarians as people who do not eat fish, meat or chicken. It might

come as a surprise to some people to learn that vegetarians do not eat fish. Pescatarians are people who avoid meat and chicken but do eat fish. While pescatarians are similar to vegetarians, a true vegetarian diet does not include fish. Many vegetarians choose to be so for a variety of reasons. Like vegans, many vegetarians avoid animal products to prevent the exploitation of animals. Another reason some people follow vegetarian diets is to reduce their impact on the environment. The Vegetarian Society notes that vegetarian diets result in 2.5 times less carbon emissions than meat diets. So what do vegetarians eat? A vegetarian diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, and honey. Vegan and vegetarian diets are healthy approaches to eating that are embraced by millions of people across the globe. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019


Get heart-healthy with a DASH diet High blood pressure affects more than a billion people around the world. The American Heart Association says an estimated 103 million adults in the United States, nearly half of all men and women in the country, have hypertension. Statistics Canada estimates that around 18 percent of Canadians aged 12 and older have high blood pressure. While medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce blood pressure, a modified diet also can work wonders. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, often referred to as “DASH,” is an approach to eating that is designed to help treat or prevent hypertension, according to the Mayo Clinic. The diet was developed in the 1990s by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The DASH does not require special foods, but makes recommendations on choices that can alleviate high blood pressure. The diet recommends eating vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils are also included. Individuals adhering to the DASH diet should limit foods high in saturated fat,

including fatty meats and tropical oils. Sugar-sweetened beverages and other sweets should be limited, too. When consuming foods, the idea is to stay within 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium. In addition to reducing blood pressure, the DASH diet can lead to weight loss and even reduce adherents’ cancer risk, advises the health resource Healthline. To help cut back on sodium, DASH guidelines advise using sodium-free spices to add flavor to foods. A person also can rinse canned foods to reduce salt or buy products that say sodium-free or low-sodium. Because nosalt foods can seem bland to those accustomed to salt, the Mayo Clinic suggests gradually cutting back on salted products until the taste buds can get used to less salty foods that fit within the DASH diet guidelines. Combining the DASH diet with exercise is a great way to reduce blood pressure even more naturally. Hypertension is a problem that can have lasting effects if not addressed. The DASH diet is one way to keep blood pressure levels in a healthy range.l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

Simple ways to help kids lose weight

A realistic guide to organic food

In a perfect world, chemicals would not be needed to produce any foods, all of which would be made in sustainable conditions and from all-natural ingredients. But even the most eco-conscious foodie routinely faces difficult decisions at the grocery store. The Organic Trade Association says organic food is the fastest-growing sector of the American food industry, and organic food now accounts for more than 5 percent of total food sales. While many people understand the benefits to consuming organic produce, such foods tend to cost more, compromising shoppers’ budgets as a result. Making smart choices and getting the facts about organic food can help consumers make informed decisions.

Smarter organic choices

According to the food and health resource the Environmental Working Group, certain fruits and vegetables are more likely to feature residual pesticides than others. They dub these foods the

“Dirty Dozen,” which include strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and sweet bell peppers. Shoppers who cannot afford strictly organic foods can opt for non-organic items that are less likely to contain residual pesticides.

Fearing antibiotics

Many people are concerned about milk, meat and poultry treated with antibiotics. Organic foods are antibioticfree. The Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines in place to phase out the use of antibiotics in food animals to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency. They’re also requiring farmers to select strains of microbials that are less medically important to humans who would need them to treat disease. This means that conventional milk, meat and poultry may contain less antibiotics than consumers know. Also, according to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, poultry are not given

growth hormones, so there’s little need to pay more for hormone-free.

Organic and pesticides

To be “organic,” foods produced and sold in the United States and Canada must be shown to conserve natural resources and be devoid of GMOs, among other requirements. However, USDA organic certification allows for natural substances, such as pheromones, vaccines for animals and a limited number of natural pesticides. Also, a 2011 survey by the USDA showed 39 percent of 571 organic samples were found to have pesticide residues, but well below tolerance levels set by the EPA. Therefore, pesticide-free and organic are not exclusive. Organic foods are seen as a healthy alternative to foods that do not fall into this category. While there are many positive reasons to go organic, including convential foods in one’s diet is not necessarily unhealthy. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

Childhood obesity is a global health issue. In fact, childhood obesity is so prevalent that the World Health Organization identifies it as one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. As daunting a task as tackling childhood obesity may seem, it’s a problem that can be solved. The WHO notes that, in 2016, an estimated 41 million children across the globe were overweight. That’s a troubling statistic, as overweight and obese children are likely to remain so into adulthood, increasing their risk for various diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Parents of children who are overweight or obese may find it difficult to get youngsters to change their lifestyles and adopt healthy behaviors that can help them lose weight and keep the weight off. Like adults, many children are creatures of habit, particularly when it comes to diet. And getting kids to change those habits is not always so easy. However, a few simple strategies might be all it takes to help kids lose weight and get on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

• Limit sugar intake.

The WHO recommends reducing kids’ sugar intake. Sodas and juices, even fruit juices, are often loaded with sugar. Many children drink these beverages every day, with some even consuming multiple servings per day. Water is a healthy alternative to soda and juice, and parents can slowly transition their youngsters away from sugary beverages by diluting the beverages with water and only

allowing kids to have them on special occasions.

• Switch things up at snack time. Many children eat daily snacks, and that’s perfectly normal. Youngsters are growing and, as a result, tend to get hungry between meals. What parents serve at snack time can have positive or negative effects on youngsters’ weights. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents use snack time as a way to increase kids’ intake of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are nutrientdense, and the WHO says increasing fruit and vegetable intake is a great way to fight childhood obesity.

• Focus on more than the dinner table. Get-

ting overweight and obese kids to eat healthy diets is just one aspect of helping them lose weight. Routine physical activity is another essential part of a successful weight loss plan. The WHO recommends that children get at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day. Parents can promote a physically active lifestyle and limit the time kids spend on devices or playing video games by only allowing access to such distractions after kids have been physically active. Overweight and obese children may need help and some extra encouragement as they try to lose weight. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.


Valley Health

Friday, September 6, 2019

How exercise benefits your heart

Improved health is a primary motivator among people who routinely exercise. Exercise can help people feel better about themselves and their appearance, and it has considerable effects on various parts of the body, including the heart. Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States,. Exercise can be one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk for cardiovascular issues like heart attack, high cholesterol and more. In fact, cardiologists at the New England Baptist Hospital say exercise is not only a risk preventative, but also a healing balm of sorts for heart health. Exercise can help the heart become more efficient and more capable of pump-

ing blood throughout the body, says the health experts behind Kaiser Permanente health plans. Even light to moderate exercise can be highly effective at improving heart health. Harvard Medical School says exercise also promotes positive physiological changes, such as encouraging the heart’s arteries to dilate more readily. Exercise also can help with the body’s sympathetic nervous system (which controls heart rate and blood pressure) to be less reactive. Ischemic preconditioning is another way that exercise can potentially benefit the heart. According to a 2017 article in JAMA Cardiology, heart disease patients who exercised found that exercise could trigger short periods of ischemia, or

reduced blood flow to the heart. After resting for a few minutes, these people saw improved performance when they renewed exercise and got their heart rates up. It is believed that small doses of IPC can help the heart adapt more readily with ischemia and avoid a major response issue down the road. Those at the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital found that IPC could reduce damage from heart attack by as much as 50 percent. Physical activity also allows better blood flow in the small blood vessels around the heart, potentially preventing clogs that can lead to heart attacks. Furthermore, there is some evidence

that exercise can help the body grow more blood vessel branches so there are additional routes blood can take if a usual path is blocked by fatty deposits or narrow arteries. Johns Hopkins Medical Center says exercise also works like a beta-blocker medication that can slow the heart rate naturally to alleviate hypertension. It also can raise levels of HDL, the good cholesterol in the body, helping to improve overall cholesterol levels. There are several reasons why exercise is important to heart health. It’s never too late to get with a fitness regimen to prevent or reverse cardiac episodes. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

How to maximize your gym workout (and membership) Ringing in the new year might be about toasting to good fortune and reminiscing with family and friends. But for many people, New Year’s Eve also may be spent thinking about New Year’s resolutions, many of which may focus on getting healthy and fit in the year ahead. According to CreditDonkey, a financial resource that helps people save money and make savvy financial decisions, the health club industry is valued at around $27 billion in the United States. Globally, health clubs produce close to $75 billion in revenue every year. And that industry appears unlikely to slow down anytime soon, as more and more people are resolving to get healthier. No one signs up for a membership hoping for mediocre results. Therefore, here is how to get the most out of a gym membership and regular workouts.

• Get inside the door.

The first step to realizing results is to go to the gym. Statistics indicate that within a month or two of joining a gym, attendance numbers dwindle even though people continue to pay for memberships when they are not going to the gym. Schedule time at the gym as you would any other activity. If you need motivation to go, enlist a friend to join and get you to attend.

• Do something you love. Gyms cater to so many

different workout experiences these days that gymgoers need not worry about get-

ting bored with their fitness routines. Start out with an activity you enjoy doing, or experiment with different activities until you find one that you find enjoyable. You may be allowed to sample classes without paying for a different membership plan, or even just observe outside of the studio door to get a sense of what may interest you.

• Work with a trainer.

Gyms employ personal trainers who can help novices learn the ropes. New members can rely on personal training sessions to familiarize themselves with a gym’s equipment and the proper techniques to employ when using that equipment. Trainers also can play key supportive rolls in members’ workouts, helping to keep clients motivated on those days when the enthu-

siasm is waning.

• Vary your workouts.

Expanding your boundaries is a great way to push your body and maximize your workout. According to Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, “... by only doing cardio your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss

more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also essential to effective workouts. Fitness resolutions are popular, and there are several ways to realize those resolutions and get the most out of your investment in a gym membership. l Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection.

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Montrose Valley Health Sep 2019  

Montrose Valley Health Sep 2019

Montrose Valley Health Sep 2019  

Montrose Valley Health Sep 2019