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Tag: Health Matters

Health Matters: Managing the Stress of COVID-19

How we work, raise our families, and go out in public, in 2020 our way of life changed—and clinical psychologists at Lee Health say, those changes have taken a toll on our mental health. “The pandemic posed a different kind of stress that we were not expecting or even prepared for,” said Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo, a clinical psychologist with Lee Health. Stress that doctors say triggered things like anxiety, depression, isolation, and fear. “The fear of the unknown is always a big thing so this presented a huge component about the fear of the unknown and what was going to happen,” said Dr....

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Health Matters: Preparing for Surgery

Whether it’s minimally invasive, robotic, or open surgery—health experts say there are a few things patients need to do to prepare for the procedure. It’s very important to pay attention to your diet. A lot of fresh fruits and veggies, try to limit processed foods, eat a lot of lean proteins, chicken breasts, fish. Try to increase or at least maintain physical activity,” explained Andrea Berecz-Prewitt, a physician assistant with Lee Health. If patients smoke or drink alcohol—health experts say it’s also important to stop using before surgery. “Smokers have significant risk factors due...

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Health Matters: Teens and Driving Safety

From speed to distractions, to inexperience—health experts say teenagers are three times more likely to have a crash than an adult. “They also get distracted too easily, so we don’t want them to have any other passengers in the car to start out with, they have to have adequate sleep. No alcohol or drugs before they get behind the wheel of that car,” said Syndi Bultman, Lee Health Trauma injury prevention coordinator. Memorial Day to Labor Day are the deadliest days on the road for teens. “From Memorial Day to Labor Day, typically we have 42 people that are killed in teen crashes each year....

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Health Matters: A Life-Saving Donation

“I was driving home from teaching an exercise class at Lexington Country Club. I had just crossed Summerlin Road onto Bass Road and I was T-Boned. I had a significant loss of blood. My car was totaled. Multiple fractures.” Dennis Lock was transported to the Lee Health Trauma Center where he underwent several surgeries. “Blood needs are constant for this health system. There are always people receiving blood products and we need people out to donate for that need,” said Lee Health blood center supervisor, Jeremy Puckett. Lee Health uses about 800 units of blood products a week. “It makes...

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Health Matters: Educating Patients of Diabetes

It can cause excessive thirst, frequent urination, and increased hunger. “Diabetes over the past 10 years is actually increasing and the numbers of new diagnosis, the estimate through the CDC now is one in 10 Americans are diabetic. Unfortunately, more and more children are getting that diagnosis as well,” said Amy Frantz, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health. Long-term complications of type two diabetes can include kidney failure, heart failure, blindness, and nerve damage. “We try to educate our patients on lifestyle changes and things that they can do in their day-to-day life to overcome...

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Health Matters: Headaches Caused by Neck Pain

From how you sleep to how you sit, physical therapists say when it comes to headaches your posture can play a big role. “At the top of the neck are some very sensitive nerves and blood vessels, and when our head is slightly poking forward, which it tends to do when we are relaxed and we start to slump, our chin slightly starts to jump forward. It puts a lot of pressure on nerves and blood vessels,” explained Kath Kinross, a physical therapist with Lee Health. If your headache starts in the back of the neck and comes up over the top of the head, the pain is most likely starting in the neck....

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Health Matters: Understanding Heart Failure

It happens when the heart can no longer pump enough oxygenated blood throughout the body. “It’s estimated that 5.7 million adults have heart failure with future diagnoses increasing to over 8 million,” said Vicki Hayes, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health. Things like a heart attack, a virus, or hypertension can cause heart failure. “The biggest thing with heart failure is realizing that the body is starting to hold on to fluid for whatever reason and we need to identify that early,” she said. Other things to notice are swollen ankles and weight gain. “The early signs the patient can...

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Health Matters: How is COVID-19 Impacting your Mental Health

From isolation to anxiety, health experts at Lee Health say since the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve seen an increase in patients needing mental health care. “We have seen patients who before never had difficulties with mental health start to have difficulties. We have seen people who had mental health and this has made it worse,” said Dr. Jacqueline Hidalgo, a clinical psychologist with Lee Health. Dr. Hidalgo has worked with patients on feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation, fear, loss, and substance abuse. “Missing family members, missing seeing friends, missing their coworkers. We...

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Health Matters: Menopause and Sleep Changes

They can keep you from falling asleep and staying asleep. “Hormonal changes can impact our sleep and our sleep can impact hormone production. It’s a cause and effect,” said Mary Hoke, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health. Hormonal changes like menopause can cause women to experience sleep apnea and insomnia. “With menopause we see that there is generally less estrogen being produced which can result in an increase in body temperature, resulting in hot flashes. We also see that there’s a decrease in progesterone which can lead to a decrease in our breathing drive that can increase our risk...

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Health Matters: Lee Community Healthcare

From Cape Coral to Fort Myers, to LaBelle—Lee Community Healthcare facilities can be spotted throughout Lee County. “It’s a program developed for adults who primarily don’t have insurance and it’s based off income,” said Amy Frantz, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health. The program is funded by Lee Health and its designed to keep patients out of the hospital by addressing their medical needs. “We don’t turn patients away based on their inability to pay. We also offer many things in house. We have a dietitian that comes once a week; we have behavioral health that comes, and other resources...

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