Posts Tagged ‘comprehensive physical exam’

5 Steps to Take Control of Your Diabetes

November 22, 2013 1 comment

November is American Diabetes Month aiming to raise awareness in the movement to Stop Diabetes®. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. If you are battling the disease, learn five tips from Michael Clark, MD, a preventive medicine physician at Cooper Clinic, to help you take control of your health.

  1. Know your Diabetes: Knowledge is one of the best ways to combat diabetes. Diabetes is able to affect your entire body. Talk in depth and frequently with a diabetes educator and/or your physician to assure you are always up-to-date with the latest information. Aside from talking to your physician, make an effort to read the literature on diabetes. Thankfully, there are some great books available as well as online websites such as which give you important information in a structured, easy-to-understand way. Ultimately, every patient with diabetes should know their bodies and their condition better than anyone else, including their physician.
  2. Know Your Blood Sugar: How does diabetes affect you? Testing your blood sugar will not only let you see how you’re doing on a regular basis, but it should also help you understand your diabetes and inform your decision making. This could include choosing a suitable diet, knowing how activity affects you and how stressful days and illness should be managed. Furthermore, the more detail you record, the better prepared you will be when you meet with your physician.
  3. Pick the Right Diet: A healthy diet will help in a myriad of ways. The right diet will improve blood sugar levels, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce tiredness, improve digestion and can significantly improve clarity of thought.
  4. Get in Activity: Minimal activity each day can help improve our health and help us feel more energetic through the day. Even a 20 minute walk or 15 minutes of push-ups and/or aerobics in your own living room will get the heart pumping. The effect of regular activity is also known to help increase insulin sensitivity, which can be useful for all types of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.
  5. Manage Sleep and Stress: Is your head hitting the pillow for at least eight hours per night? Getting at least eight hours of restful sleep will not only help manage your weight, but it will help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

With these helpful, managing tips, you will be able to tackle your diabetes head on.

For more information about Cooper Clinic or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive physical exam, call 972.560.2667.

Should You Get a Physical Exam?

Dr. Kettles with a patient during a comprehensive physical exam.

You may have seen the recent New York Times article titled “Let’s (Not) Get Physicals“. The article discusses some of the advantages, but mostly focuses on the disadvantages to an annual physical,  including a list of possibly unnecessary procedures such as prostate specific antigen blood tests, pap smears and routine EKG’s.

As one of the eight healthy steps to Get Cooperized!, we recommend a regular, comprehensive physical exam. While it might not be appropriate for a 25-year-old, healthy, asymptomatic person to receive an annual physical, as we age (40’s, 50’s and on) it’s very important to have a regular, comprehensive exam. How do you know if you need an annual physical? Take into account your age, blood pressure, fitness levels and more.

Todd Whitthorne, President and CEO of Cooper Concepts, Inc. and Michele Kettles, MD, MSPH, COO and Preventive Medicine Physician at Cooper Clinic discuss the article and their recommendations in a podcast.

Click here to listen.  

A Precious Gift: Your Heart

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is a healthy heart. February is American Heart Month and we want to give you some great ideas to maintain a strong, healthy heart. Cooper Clinic Cardiologist Nina Radford, MD, recommends the following tips to get your heart pumping:

Treat yourself to some movement.
What if I told you that there was a medicine that could:

  • Reduce the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.
  • Reduce the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
  • Help control weight, build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and promotes psychological well being.
  • Reduce disability and prolongs independent living as we age.

This medicine is none other than exercise! Engaging in a regular exercise program is not only good for your body; it is great for your mind.

The current recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association is that all healthy adults aged 18 to 65 years old need moderate-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days each week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days each week. In addition, every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance a minimum of two days each week.

Research demonstrates that you are more likely to stick with an exercise program if you chose activities that you enjoy and that your feel confident you can perform. If you hate the treadmill, stay off it. If you love to jitterbug, get out those saddle shoes. If you are intimidated by weight machines, hire a trainer to show you the ropes.

Chocolate is a health food.
Have you heard that old expression “if it sounds too good to be true, it is?” That is what I thought when I read the headline: “Study Confirms Cardiovascular Benefits of Chocolate.”

Chocolate contains polyphenols called flavanoids which are antioxidant phytochemicals that help the body resist damage from free radicals. In experimental settings, intake of flavanoid rich chocolate in humans has been shown to lower levels of proinflammatory chemicals and reduce oxidation damage. Flavanoids may raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and cause blood vessels to dilate. It is thought that these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease by decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation.

While a number of studies have described benefits of high flavanoid containing chocolate in the cardiovascular system (like lowering blood pressure), it is important to appreciate the calorie, sugar and content of chocolate. Moderation is the key.

Know your Family Medical History

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

All too often, people run into serious medical conditions that could have been prevented with one simple task. Talk to your family members about their medical history. The holiday season provides a perfect setting to discuss medical issues among parents, grandparents, and other relatives. Once you are armed with the facts, your physician can provide the adequate treatment and/or prevention steps to keep you healthy.

Cooper Clinic Preventive Medicine Physician Riva Rahl, MD, provides important advice when it comes to knowing your family’s medical history.

For more information on Cooper Clinic services or to book your comprehensive physical exam, visit our website or call 972.560.2667.

CNN, Tom Joyner, and Cooper Clinic

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

For several years, Cooper Clinic has had the honor of being the doctor to radio’s star host Tom Joyner. Annually, Tom has a campaign that encourages listeners to “Take a Loved One to the Doctor.” This year, Tom decided to take his good friend CNN Weekend Anchor TJ Holmes to Cooper Clinic for his first physical exam in 10 years.

Here are two segments about TJ’s experience.

Preventive Care for Women

By Nina Radford, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cooper Clinic.

If improving on bad health habits, getting acquainted with your primary care physician or maintaining your good health is on your list of goals for this year, good for you.

To help you organize your approach to maximizing your health, we thought we would outline a preventive care and screening strategy for women in the table below. This outline may differ slightly from one you’ve read in a magazine or seen in literature from your insurance company. It is important to remember that strategies or guidelines for screening can vary depending on the organization that publishes them.

For example, the American College of Physicians may publish a slightly different recommendation on mammography than the American Cancer Society. Why would they vary? These guidelines are based on numerous studies that have been published in medical journals. Each organization may have a little different interpretation about how the results of the studies should be applied to the general population.

The application of these guidelines and strategies by health care providers can also vary from person to person. You and your neighbor who are the same age may see the same doctor but she recommends a test in your neighbor that she doesn’t recommend for you. Is your doctor playing favorites? No, she is using her knowledge and skill to individualize the use of the screening test based on your clinical risk profiles. Your neighbor may have a strong family history of cancers for example and thus needs a screening test at an earlier age and someone at average or low risk.

While these guidelines may vary a bit for each individual, they all share a feature that applies equally to everyone: they serve as a great springboard for important dialogue between you and your health care provider!

Preventive Screening or Service Frequency

Counseling about alcohol, tobacco, drug use, domestic violence, seat belt use, general nutrition, physical activity STDs and HIV, contraception or hormone replacement and fall prevention – Yearly

Counseling about calcium and folic acid supplementation – Yearly

Blood Pressure, Height and Weight – Yearly

Dental and Vision Examination – Yearly

Hearing Examination – Periodically

Breast Examination – Yearly

Pelvic Examination – Yearly

PAP Smear – Yearly in women with a cervix

Fecal Occult Blood – Yearly after age 40

Mammography – Yearly after age 40

Lipid (Cholesterol) Profile – Every 1-3 years

Diabetes (Glucose) Screen – Every 1-3 years

Sigmoidoscopy – Every 5-10 years from age 40-50

Colonoscopy – Every 5-10 years after age 50

Influenza vaccine – Yearly

Tetanus toxoid – Every 10 years

Pneumoccocal – Once after the age of 65 or earlier for higher risk patients

For more information on Cooper Clinic or to schedule a comprehensive preventive exam, visit our website or call 972.560.2667.