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Posts made in January, 2013

Your 2013 Guide to Good Health

Multigenerational Family

What immunizations am I due for? Should I get a flu shot? When should I have a colonoscopy or mammogram? Do I need to have an annual physical exam? To help answer some of these important questions and ensure you and your family stay healthy, PAMF provides an easy-to-follow online guide with up-to-date screening, immunization and preventative care information for each life stage.

PAMF’s Health Guidelines Task Force, which includes primary care doctors, specialists and health educators, reviews new health information and regularly updates these recommendations. Find out what health maintenance guidelines are right for you according to your age and gender:

View the complete 2013 guide. There you’ll also find many other resources to keep you in good health in 2013 and beyond.

Consider this guide a conversation starter when you next meet with your doctor and care team. It will help you work with your doctor to establish the wellness steps that are best for you.

PAMF’s Top Tips for Good Health

Keep Preventive Care Up-to-Date. Ask your doctor what screening tests and immunizations are right for you and when they are due. Then, complete them on schedule.

Know Your Body. If you notice a change that is persistent or of concern, contact your doctor.

Eat a Healthy Diet. Know your Body Mass Index (BMI) to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Eat more foods high in calcium and fiber and low in saturated fat and trans-fatty acids. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use a BMI calculator to learn your BMI. Are you South Asian? Use our South Asian BMI calculator.

Don’t Get Caught in the Haze. Avoid smoking and inhaling others’ tobacco smoke. If you need support quitting, talk to your doctor.

Get Up and Move. Get your heart rate up. To find your target heart rate for exercise, subtract your age from 220, then multiply that number by 0.7, or 70 percent. Exercise for 30 minutes each day.

Play It Safe. Use sunblock, wear a bike helmet, fasten your seatbelt and use the right-size car seats for kids. Avoid driving, or driving with others, under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Practice safe sex.

Make Your Wishes Known. Complete an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD). Find more information and AHCD forms in English and Spanish. Need help completing an AHCD? Stop by one our four Community Health Resource Centers where our trained staff and volunteers can print out an AHCD and help answer any questions you might have.

Create Balance. Reduce stress and make the most of each day! If you need help managing depression or mood changes or if you are abusing alcohol or drugs, seek your doctor’s help. Sign up for a PAMF mindfulness class today.

Got Muscles? Don’t Let Sarcopenia Sneak Up On You

Sarcopenia is derived from the Greek meaning “poverty of flesh.”  In medical terms it means the age-related decline in muscle mass which is typically at a rate of 0.5-1 percent muscle loss each year after age 25. This slow atrophy of our muscles is subtle enough that it may not be cause for immediate attention, but eventually it leads to early muscle fatigue, problems with balance, and increased sports injuries, since we lose our supportive muscles when we try to perform exercises and activities that require more agility (skiing, snowboarding, dancing, basketball, etc.).  

Have you noticed how you or your parents walk now compared to earlier in life? People become less sure-footed, they may walk with their legs a little wider apart to provide more support, and eventually the use of canes and walkers may be necessary. Many elderly people who fall frequently are a victim of age-related sarcopenia.  

Sedentary Muscle Fatigue

Another common type of sarcopenia is something I call “sedentary sarcopenia.” This is where prolonged sitting has led to significant muscle weakness in virtually every major muscle group. Many of my young software engineer patients tell me that even though they can walk for long distances and work out on an elliptical (stair climbing machine), as soon as they try to climb stairs they get completely out of breath. Sure, some of this is attributed to being aerobically out of shape, but many of us overlook the fact that weaker leg muscles cause fatigue earlier, so we breathe harder, our heart beats faster, and we struggle to move on. 

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Learn to Love Reading…at the Doctor’s Office

Dolores Espinoza, a patient service representative in the Pediatrics Department of PAMF’s Santa Cruz’ main clinic, shows a Reach Out and Read book that children receive as a gift to encourage reading.

Dolores Espinoza, a patient service representative in the Pediatrics Department of the PAMF Santa Cruz main clinic, shows a Reach Out and Read book that children receive as a gift to encourage reading.

When children come to the Pediatrics Department at the PAMF Santa Cruz main clinic for their next well-child check up they won’t just get their scheduled vaccinations, each child will also receive a new book.

This gift of a book is part of the Reach Out and Read Program that includes the following components:

  • At each well-child exam, from 6 months through 5 years, the child receives a new developmentally appropriate book to take home.
  • In the exam room, pediatricians and medical staff share the importance of reading aloud with parents and encourage them to read to their children often.
  • In the waiting room, displays, information and books create a literacy-rich environment.

In November 2012 the Santa Cruz Pediatrics Department began participating in this well-established, national program. Read More

Pediatrician Answers Parents’ Commonly Asked Questions

Newborn baby in father's handsDo you sometimes wish your baby had arrived with an instruction booklet? While parenthood can be one the most joyful experiences in life, the responsibilities and challenges can make a climb up Mount Everest seem like a walk in the park. Remember, though, first and foremost to trust your own intuition – that’s the real heart of good parenting. Sometimes this might be as simple as giving your child a hug.

In this blog post, pediatrician Kellen Glinder, M.D., answers some of the most common questions parents of children under five ask their doctor. Read More

Sleepless Nights? Simple Remedies That Can Help

Insomnia, in simple terms, is a condition that involves difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep or both.  Although adequate amount of sleep varies from person to person, most adults need about seven to eight hours.  Most adults have experienced insomnia at some point in their life.  

The following simple remedies focused on changing some daily habits can help reduce sleepless nights: Read More