by Kirby Gibbs
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - So you set a resolution to be healthier in 2009. That might mean a better diet, or more trips to the gym. But are you including heart health, and staying germ-free in that resolution? We spoke with doctors from Memorial and Woodland Heights Hospitals about how to stay out of the emergency room this year.
Last year, more than 270,000 people came in to the Memorial Health Systems emergency room. The majority of those people were suffering from symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain, early signs of heart disease, or even heart failure.
"Nutrition and smoking and lack of exercise has resulted in a general trend of cardiovascular disease" says Dr. Steven Feld, the Medical Director of Memorial Hospital.
Cardiovascular disease can be a risk for everyone, but there are ways to keep your heart healthy, and now is a great time to start.
According to Dr. Feld, "If we were to follow a healthy diet with regular exercise, quit smoking and have our cholesterol tested and appropriately treated with diet, exercise and medication when necessary, we could reduce the risk that each one of us faces from cardiovascular diseases".
You may not have heart problems, but you are surrounded by germs. In 2008 at Woodland Heights, doctor's saw more cases of upper respiratory infections like sore throat, bronchitis and the common cold.
Emergency doctor, Dr. Ford Cashion told KTRE, "Most people understand that public places, and school rooms and day care centers, you might pick up something from the air, airborne sneezing and coughing which also includes standing in the store and many of these infections also transmit by hand contact".
This year try to avoid hospital visits by washing your hands regularly, wiping off grocery cart handles and door knobs; and if you do get sick, finish your prescribed antibiotics, because if you don't, the infection can develop into something more serious.
So in 2009 keep up your health. Exercise regularly, get good nutrition, drink plenty of fluids and take your vitamins.