Make 2018 Your Healthiest Year Yet!

http://dshealthcare.com/sites/dshealthcare.com/assets/images/lavita/IMG_4122.JPGA new year means new checklists. From starting something new to quitting bad habits, it’s a time many choose to focus on improving or maintaining good health. To help you reach your goals we want to help you jumpstart those healthy behaviors and work with you to see those successes being made.

Dr. Amy Doherty, family medicine physician at Divine Savior Healthcare, specializes in plant based nutrition and helping patients take care of their bodies, naturally. She stresses the way we can improve our health is all about the choices we make.

Dr. Doherty states, “Throughout nature, we see that life tends toward health as long as it has the proper ingredients and location to flourish. In gardening, healthy plants are the best prevention against plant diseases.  A plant without the proper sunlight, soil pH, and nutrition becomes susceptible to disease as it tries to deal with its environmental shortages in addition to whatever fungi or virus is attacking it.  The same is true of humans.”

Those healthy choices also take into account our fitness, and at Divine Savior Healthcare we feel very fortunate to have a state-of-the-art Wellness Center and medically integrated fitness center, La Vita, to help you with this part of your goal.

Our medically integrated fitness programs at La Vita set us apart from other fitness centers in the area. We know that it’s not always going to be jumping into a full force workout routine. That’s why we carefully considered the community’s needs and strategically implemented transitional programs to help get you up and moving at a pace that works best for you. Based on need, our program has grown from three to eight different transition programs, including:


  • Cardiac Fitness- for those with risk factors of cardiovascular disease or if you have completed the second phase of Cardiac Rehab
  • Diabetes Fitness- learn to manage symptoms with healthy eating, physical activity and weight management
  • Pulmonary Fitness- for those with pulmonary or respiratory conditions establish and maintain a consistent exercise routine
  • Orthopedic Fitness- managing a recurring injury or attempting to avoid surgery
  • Fit for Surgery- improve strength and endurance before surgery to improve recovery post operatively
  • Start Moving Fitness- addressing health issues from inactive lifestyle and taking the first steps to a more active life
  • Weight Management Fitness- building healthy habits to lose or manage weight
  • Rehab Fitness- build upon improvements made in therapy and feel comfortable continuing an independent exercise program

The focus of each specialty program is designed to help individuals improve medical conditions and achieve personal goals. The first 18 months of these programs we have had 133 participants complete the program and show successful outcomes. Whether you are a La Vita member or not, the transitions programs are open to all. 

Could one of these programs be for you?

  • Check with your provider prior to beginning.  
  • Exercise is not one size fits all, therefore it is important to determine appropriate fitness goals while maintaining a regimen that helps prevent injury.
  • You may experience the need to change medication requirements after starting an exercise program for some medical conditions.
  • Keeping your provider up-to-date on exercise routines, weight and dietary changes is important to ensure proper treatment is maintained.

“We are proud to offer this quality of programming to our community.  We have witnessed member success and share in their excitement as they reach their goals.  We are honored to be able to provide a state-of-the-art facility with high quality programs with the aim to improve community wellness,” says Lynn Waldera, Director of Preventative Health and Wellness at La Vita.

In addition to these programs, La Vita also offers a membership based workout facility that includes, pools, walking/track, fitness equipment, dedicated cycling room, 57 land classes, 12 water classes, swim lessons, personal training, café with healthy food options, and drop in daycare.

Fitness and nutrition are not the only two ingredients to a healthy life, but make-up an important part. We can only do our best. As Dean Ornish, M.D., a renowned physician who has spent most of his life doing research about how lifestyle changes affect human health and disease processes, states in his book The Spectrum, “We tend to think of advances in medicine as being a new drug, a new laser, something really high tech and expensive.  We often have a hard time believing that the simple choices we make in our lives each day- like what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, how much we exercise, and the quality of love and intimacy in our lives- it’s sometimes difficult to believe that these simple choices we make every day make such a powerful difference, but they do.”

“This is a beautiful if somewhat intimidating truth in medicine and in life: most of the choices involved in controlling our health and happiness are ours to make.  Further, helping others to be healthy makes each of us healthier,” shares Dr. Doherty.

If you are looking for help in areas of nutrition, fitness, and/or overall wellness, the providers and fitness specialists at Divine Savior Healthcare and La Vita are ready to work with you. You can reach Divine Savior Healthcare Family Medicine Clinic at 608-745-4598 or La Vita at 608-745-3800.

A low cost recipe shared by Dr. Doherty from her website, https://dramydoherty.com/healthy-on-a-budget-and-in-a-time-crunch/

Riced Cauliflower Salads

Ingredients: 1 bag of frozen cauliflower florets ($1.50), 1 cucumber ($1), 1 can colored beans (black, pinto, kidney) $1, 1 lemon (50 cents), 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp honey, salt and pepper to taste. Even though all this adds up to $4, it serves 2, so $2/serving. Other things you could add for increased flavor if you have them lying around: greens like chopped kale or spinach, tomato, walnuts or other chopped nuts, blue cheese crumbles.
Directions: You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower… I just used frozen in this example because it’s cheaper. Either way, take thawed or fresh florets and “rice” them in a food processor by pulsing them until they are grain-like. This may take 3 minutes. Place into a medium bowl. Then, chop cucumber and add to the bowl. Rinse beans and add to the bowl. Another 3 minutes. Make dressing by mixing juice from one lemon, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper, then combining with salad ingredients. Another 3 minutes, for a total of 9 minutes.


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Experiencing a dull pain in the pit of your stomach

Stomach PainGastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and gallbladder disease are two very common disorders. Knowing which one you have may be trickier than you think. Symptoms may be vague, such as a “dull pain in the pit of your stomach”, making it hard for you to explain to your doctor what’s exactly going on.

At Divine Savior Healthcare, General Surgeons, Dr. Eric Anderson and Dr. Joshua Pogorelec, have seen many patients with these symptoms and after further examination are able to help  diagnose and treat both diseases.

What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD refers to stomach contents moving into the esophagus causing a burning sensation commonly referred to as heartburn. Other symptoms may occur as well, such as pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and an acid taste in your mouth.  If this continue, prolonged exposure of the esophagus to stomach contents can result in damage to the lining of the esophagus.  This in turn can result in difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing or permanent damage to the esophagus.

Although not all reflux results in symptoms or damage to the esophagus, common symptoms include:
• Heartburn
• Acid regurgitation
• Belching
• Difficulty or pain when swallowing
• Waterbrash sudden excess of saliva
• Dysphagia the sensation of food sticking in the esophagus
• Chronic sore throat
• Laryngitis
• Inflammation of the gums
• Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
• Chronic irritation in the throat
• Hoarseness in the morning
• A sour taste
• Bad breath
• Coughing at night

What is gallbladder disease?
The gallbladder is located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The main function of the gallbladder is to store bile, which is made in the liver and allows fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Any condition that affects the gallbladder is considered a disease, and there are many different scenarios that fall under gallbladder disease:
• Inflammation
• Gallstones
• Common bile duct stones
• Biliary Dyskinesia
• Infection
• Perforated gallbladder
• Gallbladder polyps
• Porcelain gallbladders
• Gallbladder cancer

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec share "the most common disease of the gallbladder is gallstones. Most people with gallstones do not even know they have them.  Once they cause problems, the gallbladder may need to be removed. Symptoms include pain below the right rib cage or in the “pit” of the stomach. This pain may radiate to the right upper back, chest, or shoulder. Other symptoms may include, bloating, nausea or vomiting, fever or chills, chronic diarrhea, jaundice yellow-tinted skin, or unusual lighter-colored stools or dark urine.”

After taking a closer look at GERD and gallbladder disease, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec are able to provide helpful insight on common distinguishing factors between the two diseases.

Common distinguishing factors:
• Location: Although both may feel like a “pit in your stomach”, if you experience symptoms located closer to your throat or in your chest it is more likely to be GERD related. Symptoms located near your right lower rib radiating into your right upper back, chest and shoulder are more likely to be associated to your gallbladder.
• Pain: Unlike GERD, gallbladder pain usually begins suddenly, and changing positions, belching, passing gas or taking medications rarely helps pain symptoms go away.
• Timing: With heartburn being the most common symptom of GERD, symptoms of reflux are likely to occur shortly after eating, where symptoms of gallbladder disease usually occurs several hours after eating and have more consistent patterns of reoccurrence the same time each day.

What does treatment look like?
The symptoms of GERD are commonly and effectively treated with over-the-counter medications such as anti-acids and proton pump inhibitors. However, if relief does not go away from these medications your provider may recommend you be evaluated by one of our surgeons at Divine Savior.

After a thorough history and physical, our surgeons may recommend further evaluation of the esophagus and stomach with endoscopy.  Similar to colonoscopy, but without the need for prep, upper endoscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the esophagus, stomach and intestine to evaluate for damage to the esophagus, infection and a hiatal hernia.  Depending on the findings, further testing may be indicated to evaluate the function of the esophagus. 

Patients with severe GERD benefit from surgery to prevent reflux from occurring.  This procedure is commonly performed by both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec, is minimally invasive, and very effective at treating GERD.  In fact, most patients no longer require any antacid medications after the procedure.

If you are found to have stones in the gallbladder causing symptoms, the best course of action is to have the gallbladder removed.  Leaving the stones in place will continue to cause pain and may result in serious infection of the gallbladder and bile ducts, jaundice or pancreatitis. 

Both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec routinely perform minimally invasive removal of the gallbladder.  This is most often an outpatient procedure and very successful.  After a short recovery, most patients will find their symptoms are gone and they are able to live a normal life. 

If you experience symptoms related to GERD or gallbladder disease, or have concerns about either, it is best to consult your provider for further examination. Treatment for either disease varies person to person, but taking action immediately and being properly treated can help you prevent problems from worsening.

To schedule an appointment with Divine Savior Healthcare General Surgeons, Dr. Anderson or Dr. Pogorelec, call 608-745-5176.

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