Keep hol­i­day food in check this sea­son

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS - By Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal

The hol­i­days can be a great time to re­con­nect with fam­ily and friends. How­ever, too much cel­e­brat­ing with food and drink could put your health at risk, es­pe­cially if you are liv­ing with di­a­betes.

Be­fore head­ing out to the next fes­tive event, be smart about manag­ing your di­a­betes by:

• Plan­ning ahead. If you know you have a party to at­tend af­ter work, limit your con­sump­tion of car­bo­hy­drates dur­ing the day. If you’re the one host­ing the party, have healthy op­tions avail­able, such as veg­e­tar­ian chili or a fresh veg­gie plat­ter with hum­mus or yogurt-based dip.

• Sip­ping care­fully. Eggnog, hot co­coa, punch and warm ap­ple cider can all be filled with sugar, which can in­crease your blood sugar. Look for smarter op­tions, such as sparkling wa­ter with a splash of fruit juice or no-sugar-added co­coa.

• Tak­ing food out of the cel­e­bra­tion. Try host­ing an event where food isn’t the fo­cus, such as a hol­i­day craft party or a fun day of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

• Watch­ing por­tions. Just be­cause your fam­ily and friends are pil­ing up their plates at the buf­fet doesn’t mean you should too. Try fill­ing your plate with healthy op­tions, such as veg­gies or a handful of nuts and ac­cent­ing them with small por­tions of your hol­i­day fa­vorites.

Heart­burn or heart at­tack?

When chest pain strikes, it’s some­times hard to know if the cause is some­thing you ate or a heart at­tack. Symp­toms of heart­burn and heart at­tack can be quite sim­i­lar, but the right di­ag­no­sis can be a mat­ter of life and death.

Heart­burn is very com­mon and many treat chest pain by self­med­i­cat­ing. How­ever, it is bet­ter to be safe and re­port chest pain to your provider, es­pe­cially if it’s a new symp­tom. Se­vere, chronic heart­burn is called gas­troe­sophageal re­flux dis­ease (GERD). The main symp­tom of GERD is fre­quent burn­ing pain in the lower part of the chest.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mayo Clinic, ap­prox­i­mately 70 mil­lion Amer­i­cans ex­pe­ri­ence non-car­diac chest pain caused by gas­troin­testi­nal is­sues. Symp­toms of heart­burn/GERD in­clude:

• The chest pain usu­ally oc­curs af­ter eat­ing, or while ly­ing down.

• Pain may be ac­com­pa­nied by a sour taste in the mouth, due to stom­ach acid mov­ing up into the esoph­a­gus.

• Pain may be brief, or may con­tinue for sev­eral hours.

• Chest pain may be ac­com­pa­nied by dry cough, asthma symp­toms, or trou­ble swal­low­ing.

Chest pain sig­nal­ing a heart at­tack in­volves un­com­fort­able pres­sure, squeez­ing, full­ness, or pain in the cen­ter or left side of the chest that can be mild or strong. The dis­com­fort lasts more than a few min­utes or goes away and comes back. Chest pain is also ac­com­pa­nied with other symp­toms that should be taken se­ri­ously.

Symp­toms that go along with car­diac chest pain in­clude short­ness of breath, nau­sea, vom­it­ing, dizzi­ness, cold sweat or tight­ness and pres­sure dur­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity or un­der emo­tional stress.

If you reg­u­larly ex­pe­ri­ence heart­burn and the pain seems to worsen, or is dif­fer­ent than usual — or if it oc­curs dur­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and is ac­com­pa­nied by any of the above symp­toms, call 911 or pro­ceed to the near­est emer­gency room, im­me­di­ately.

Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal re­cently was awarded Chest Pain Cen­ter Ac­cred­i­ta­tion based on rig­or­ous on-site eval­u­a­tion of the staff’s abil­ity to eval­u­ate, di­ag­nose and treat pa­tients who may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a heart at­tack. Hos­pi­tals that have earned the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Car­di­ol­ogy Chest Pain Cen­ter Ac­cred­i­ta­tion have proven ex­cep­tional com­pe­tency in treat­ing pa­tients with heart at­tack symp­toms. They have stream­lined their sys­tems from ad­mis­sion to eval­u­a­tion to di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment all the way through to ap­pro­pri­ate post-dis­charge care and rec­om­men­da­tions and as­sis­tance in pa­tient life­style changes.

The emer­gency room at Siloam Springs Re­gional Hos­pi­tal is here for you and your fam­ily 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more about our ser­vices, visit North­west Health.com to­day.

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