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Region businesses share plans and hopes to benefit their clients in 2018

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To your health

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 41 percent of Americans make one or more New Year’s resolutions. But only 9 percent felt that they kept their resolution.

More than 75 percent of resolutions made can be categorized as self-improvement or health-related. So, we asked medical and dental professionals how they can help you improve your overall health and welfare.

“One of the most important issues for people to tackle is to become their own health care advocate,” explained Dr. Nitin Khanna, an orthopedic surgeon and spine care specialist at Orthopedics Specialists in Munster. “It’s important for patients to perform due diligence on medical professionals. The patient has to ensure that they are working with someone who has their best interest at heart.”

Dr. Heather Hradek is a dentist and member of the Doctor Mastery Program at Family Dental Care in Valparaiso. She emphasized the importance of preventive care for patients to achieve optimal dental health.

“We recommend brushing two times per day for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste followed by daily flossing,” Dr. Hradek said. “If you are at high risk for cavities, adding a fluoride mouth rinse daily will help keep cavities at bay.”

Dr. Khanna said that 2018 might be thought of as the Year of Nutrition.

“We have learned so much about the importance of diet in overall health,” he said. “And that goes beyond working to stay at your optimal weight. It delves deep into the type of foods you eat, and how often you eat.”

Dr. Khanna said people are better off eating small meals more frequently during the day. A study published by the Cleveland Clinic showed that those who ate four-to-six small meals during the day had lower cholesterol and blood sugar.

“Eating foods rich in Vitamin D and Calcium can improve and maintain your bone health,” he said.

Sugar also plays a major role in dental health.

“If you’re going to have something sweet, eat or drink it and be done with it,” Dr. Hradek said. “Every time you take a sugary sip, the bacteria in your mouth have a feast and create acid, which is what ultimately breaks down your teeth.”

What about the medical personnel? What can they do that will help you in your quest for optimal health?

Family Dental Care recently added a 3-D intraoral Itero scanner, which can do instant impressions for crowns. The scanner also will provide an Invisalign simulation of what a patient’s teeth might look like after orthodonture within minutes. And it performs advanced oral cancer screenings with Veloscope, which provides enhanced visualization of abnormalities through natural tissue fluorescence.

The Veloscope helps detect “oral cancer or pre-malignant dysplasia at an earlier and hopefully more treatable level,” Dr. Hradek said.

“In order to provide the best care possible, we have moved away from the one-size-fits-all philosophy,” Dr. Khanna said of Orthopedics Specialists. “Our specialists focus on their specific area, which is a major benefit to the patient.”

To tackle lung cancer, the deadliest of all cancers, according to a report in U.S. News, Franciscan Alliance offers a screening via low-dose CT scan for $49. This helps detect lung cancer, which tends to grow quietly, at a much earlier stage when it’s more treatable.

Franciscan is also developing an in-house tobacco-cessation program to help people kick the habit and reduce the chances of developing lung cancer.

“The Wellcare department is developing a program to help tobacco users quit their addiction,” said Irene Boone Phillips, program coordinator of the Lake County Community Tobacco Prevention. “Franciscan wants to be able to help people get off tobacco by utilizing a program through many different formats.”

Franciscan Health also puts an emphasis on wpmen’s health. Dr. Kayla Nebelsick, an OB/GYN at Franciscan Health Michigan City, offered these tips:

  • Get more quality sleep. Sleep has many amazing benefits including improving your emotional health.
  • Drink 75 percent of your body weight in water ounces daily. Drinking water helps you eat less.
  • Eat smaller portions.

Dr. Nebelsick added the three most important questions a woman should ask their OB/GYN:

  1. Does your family health history put you at increase risks of certain disease?
  2. Do your medical problems put you at increased risk of other diseases?
  3. Do any medications you’re taking have side effects hurting your quality of life?