Health 5 TEXAS

to Reduce Your Risk
of Heart Attack
find your guide to
midlife health inside.
and managing
Safety tips
for kids at play
Someone’s Day
Would you like to brighten the day
of a friend or loved one who’s in the
hospital with a hand-delivered message?
With a free service now available from
Presbyterian Healthcare System, you can
send him or her a free e-mail greeting.
More than 15,000 greetings, which are
being sent from across the United States,
have been received system-wide over the
past two years.
Take a look at how this great service
is making a difference in the lives of
• A college freshman who was away
at school sent her hospitalized
grandmother a personal message to
lift her spirits.
• To help his wife through the process
of labor and delivery, a father
When your body aches, you’re running
a fever and your cough is out of control,
going to work is out of the question. But
what about the doctor? Should you see
your physician or stay in bed?
“Visit your physician if you have a fever
above 103˚, vomiting or severe diarrhea,
or if your coughing and congestion
doesn’t improve in five days,” says
Sara Zaleta, M.D., internal medicine
physician and pediatrician on the
medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital
of Kaufman.
If you have…
…cold symptoms (fatigue, sneezing,
coughing, runny nose), you may
want to stay at home to rest and use
over-the-counter medication to ease
your symptoms.
Texas Health
SPR I N G 2 0 0 6
…flu symptoms (fatigue, body aches,
dizziness, fever, coughing), call your
physician’s office as you may be able
to take anti-viral medication if your
symptoms are caught in the first 48
hours of the illness.
…a sore throat, a rapid strep test
at your doctor’s office can quickly
determine whether or not you need
“When in doubt, call your physician,”
says Dr. Zaleta. “He or she can evaluate
your symptoms and recommend your
best course of action.”
To schedule an appointment with a
primary care physician on the medical
staff at Presbyterian Hospital of
Kaufman, call 1-800-4-Presby
e-mailed his wife messages “from
their baby” every hour of their
birthing experience from his laptop.
The messages were compiled and
delivered to the wife once or twice
a day.
To send a message, simply visit and fill out an online
form with up to 1,000 characters (the
letters and spaces of your message).
Select the hospital where the patient is
staying and click “submit.” The message
is then received by a hospital volunteer
or employee, who prints and delivers
the e-mail to the patient’s room!
“A healthy lifestyle is the best way to
prevent a heart attack,” says James
B. Park, M.D., F.A.C.C., cardiologist
on the medical staff at Presbyterian
Hospitals of Dallas and Kaufman. “The
damage to the heart during a heart
attack is irreversible. Living healthfully,
having regular check-ups and talking
with your doctor about any concerns
can significantly reduce your risk.”
Follow these top five tips to reduce
your risk of heart attack.
Know your blood pressure and
cholesterol. Normal blood pressure
for adults is a systolic reading of
less than 135mm Hg and a diastolic
reading of less than 85mm Hg.
Cholesterol is a leading contributor
to the buildup that can cause heart
attacks. The optimal levels are total
cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or below,
HDL (“good”) cholesterol at 60
mg/dL or above and LDL (“bad”)
cholesterol below 100 mg/dL. Talk
to your doctor about treatment
options if your cholesterol is high.
Eat a balanced diet. Avoid highfat items such as fried or battered
foods and consume more whole
grains, fruits and vegetables.
Quit smoking. Smoking is a major
contributor to coronary heart
disease, which often leads to
heart attack. Quitting—or never
starting—can drastically reduce
your risk.
Get adequate exercise. Be physically
active for at least 30 minutes a day.
Enjoy activities such as walking,
gardening or playing sports.
Know your family history. Your
family history can help your
doctor better evaluate your risk
of heart attack and help you take
measures to reduce your risk. When
evaluating your family history, look
for an immediate family member
who was considered at high risk
or who experienced a heart attack
before age 60.
For referral to a cardiologist on the
medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital
of Kaufman, call 1-800-4-Presby
Many foods can lower your cholesterol,
and thus reduce your risk of heart attack.
Try adding the following to your meals on
a regular basis.
Olive oil contains healthy
monounsaturated fat, which lowers
Nuts contain monounsaturated and
polyunsaturated fats, which can lower bad
cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol
(HDL). Almonds, pecans and walnuts are
good choices.
Fish such as salmon, lake trout and
herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,
which benefit the heart.
Oats and barley have Beta Glucan,
a soluble fiber. Soluble fiber may lower
your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
levels. The United States Department of
Agriculture recommends eating at least
three servings (about 2 ounces) daily.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with
soluble fiber. The 5 to 9 A Day for Better
Health program recommends five to nine
servings daily, which may include foods
such as apples, citrus fruit, carrots and
sweet potatoes.
Sources:, and
w w w. p h s c a r e . o r g
Information Every Man Should Know
to Keep Common Prostate Problems
from Getting out of Control
What is the size of a walnut and can
cause embarrassment, pain or even
death? The prostate gland.
“Despite its small size, the prostate gland
can pose serious health complications
for some men,” says Mark Sij, D.O.,
internal medicine physician on the
medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of
Kaufman. “The good news is that with
education and proper medical attention,
these complications can often be avoided
or caught early.”
Read on to learn about three of the
most common prostate problems
men might experience, how men can
recognize these problems early and what
treatment options may be recommended.
Acute Prostatitis
What it is: prostate infection
Signs/symptoms: fever, chills, pain in
lower back and between the legs and
pain when urinating
Cause: bacterial infection
Treatment: drink plenty of liquids and
see your doctor, who may prescribe
an antibiotic
Texas Health
SPR I N G 2 0 0 6
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
(Enlarged Prostate)
What it is: enlarged prostate that may
block the urethra (tube that carries urine
from the bladder)
Signs/symptoms: difficulty urinating,
“dribbling” after urinating and an urge
to urinate frequently
Cause: aging
Treatment: your prostate should
be monitored for increased size
and problems; take medication or
undergo surgery to remove part of the
prostate for improved urine flow as
recommended by your doctor
Prostate Cancer
What it is: one of the most common
cancers diagnosed in American men
and the cause of approximately 30,000
deaths each year
Signs/symptoms: difficulty beginning
urine flow, painful or burning urination,
difficulty having erections, painful
erections and blood in urine or semen
Cause: unknown, though men with a
family history of prostate cancer are at
increased risk
Treatment: watchful waiting, radiation
therapy, hormone therapy or surgery to
remove part or all of the prostate
Catch It Fast!
If left untreated, prostate problems can
result in a variety of complications
ranging from incontinence to metastatic
prostate cancer. However, through
regular physician visits and annual
prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood
tests and digital rectal examinations,
you can have the upper hand against a
range of prostate problems.
“As men get older, it’s common to
experience problems with the prostate—
whether it enlarges or is attacked by
cancer,” says Mark Sij, D.O., internal
medicine physician on the medical staff
at Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman.
“Fortunately, with early detection and
appropriate treatment, prostate problems
can often be stopped in their tracks
without causing any long-term effects.”
For referral to a physician on the
medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital
of Kaufman who can perform a prostate
screening, call 1-800-4-Presby
Calling All Kids—Welcome
to Dr. Meredith Byington
Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman is
pleased to welcome Meredith Byington,
M.D., to the hospital’s medical staff.
Dr. Byington will open her private
practice in Crandall this spring.
of whom they would choose for their
own children.
Dr. Byington says, “I am really looking
forward to practicing in the Kaufman
area. As a nurse I enjoyed working
in the pediatric clinic with Parkland’s
Homeless Outreach Medical Services
program. That strong desire to work
with children continued during medical
school, and I have always wanted to
be out in the community. Pediatric
and adolescent care is greatly needed
in Crandall and the surrounding
communities, and I hope to fill that
Dr. Byington is a Texas native and a
graduate of Mesquite High School. After
completing an undergraduate degree in
nursing, Dr. Byington went on to earn
her medical degree from the University
of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
at Dallas and completed her pediatric
residency at Children’s Medical Center
Dallas. Upon graduating from residency,
Dr. Byington was the recipient of the
Greater Dallas Pediatric Society White
Hat Award. She was selected for this
award by her colleagues, who were asked
to choose a pediatrician using the criteria
In addition to caring for her patients, Dr.
Byington is the mother of three children
between the ages of 5 and 8. She and
her family have lived in Combine,
where she is active in the community,
for nine years.
Dr. Byington’s practice is located at
1317 North Highway 175, Suite 800
in Crandall. Office hours are Monday
through Friday, and she accepts all major
insurance plans. For more information
or to schedule an appointment, call
(972) 472-3800.
Playing It Safe
Accidents happen, but how can you make your school-age children as safe as possible?
Your children are likely striving for
independence by the time they begin
school, but it’s important to continue
to monitor their activities and teach
them the essentials of basic safety. The
American Academy of Pediatrics reports
that injuries are the leading cause of
death in children and adolescents ages
1 to 21.
“One of the most effective ways parents
can reduce the risk of an accident is
by making sure children are supervised
by adults while they’re playing,” says
Sara L. Zaleta, M.D., internist and
pediatrician on the medical staff of
Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman.
“Also avoid dangerous equipment like
trampolines and four-wheelers for your
child’s safety.”
To further nurture your child’s safety,
keep these age-appropriate tips from
the American Academy of Pediatrics
in mind.
At age 5, children are tempted by many
things, including bikes, streets, fire, cars,
firearms and water. Teach your child
what play is acceptable and what is not.
At age 6, children can’t properly judge
the sound, distance or speed of a moving
car. Teach your children about street
safety and make sure they’re always
wearing a helmet while biking.
At age 8, children are usually large
enough to use a lap belt without a
booster seat. Keep in mind that all
children younger than 8 should use an
age- and size-appropriate car seat, and
that children are safest in the back seat.
At age 10, your child may be developing
an interest in sports. Make sure an adult
always supervises his or her sports events
and related activities and that he or she
is using the right protective equipment
for the sport.
Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman
provides emergency medical care 24
hours a day, seven days a week. Should
your child experience a life-threatening
accident or emergency, call 911
w w w. p h s c a r e . o r g
˜Ê >Ê Ìˆ“iÊ Ü…iÀiÊ {äÊ ˆÃÊ Ì…iÊ ˜iÜÊ ÎäÊ >˜`Ê xäÊ ˆÃÊ Ì…iÊ ˜iÜÊ {ä]Ê >Ê
iÀi½ÃÊ >Ê }Ո`iÊ ÌœÊ …i«Ê ޜÕÊ Žii«Ê ޜÕÀÊ …i>Ì…Ê ˆ˜Ê V…iVŽÊ >˜`Ê
From changes in family dynamics to
promotions or near retirement at work,
midlife is a promising and eventful
season. To ensure you’re able to take in
all that life has to offer you, it’s vital to
nurture your health and well-being.
“During midlife, women are often
nearing the completion of raising their
kids and are moving into new stages of
their lives,” says Clark Griffith, M.D.,
OB/GYN on the medical staff and
clinical vice-chairman of the Department
of Obstetrics and Gynecology at
Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
“Unfortunately, because of all of these
changes, a woman may not pay adequate
attention to what’s going on with her
body, which can potentially lead to a
number of serious health conditions.”
To ensure your health thrives through
midlife’s opportunities and beyond, take
the following tips to heart.
W ha t t o W a t c h
Hormones. The hot flashes,
emotional swings and decreased
libido of menopause are all
synonymous with midlife. While
menopausal counseling is a good
first step to dealing with the
emotional aspects of menopause,
what’s a woman to do about
bothersome physical symptoms?
“The emotional fluctuations
associated with menopause used to
be considered the norm until many
women experienced a dramatic
improvement in their quality
of life with the use of hormone
replacement therapy (HRT),” says
Michael M. Bond, D.O., family
Texas Health
SPR I N G 2 0 0 6
practice physician on the medical
staff at Presbyterian Hospital of
Plano. “However, in 2003, science
revealed some untoward risks of
HRT. Despite these risks, some
women may choose to initiate or
continue to use HRT to control
adverse symptoms of menopause.
This is a decision that should
be made in consultation with a
woman’s primary care physician.”
Heart. Recently, it has become
common knowledge that the
incidence of heart disease in
postmenopausal women exceeds
that of men, according to the
National Institutes of Health.
Despite this knowledge, heart
disease (especially a heart attack)
is often misdiagnosed in women
because of the atypical symptoms
women experience such as shortness
of breath and unexplained fatigue.
(For more information, read “5
Ways to Reduce Your Heart Attack
Risk” on page 3.)
Cancer. During midlife, breast
and ovarian cancers become evergrowing threats to a woman’s
health, according to the American
Cancer Society. Fortunately, with
early diagnosis through appropriate
screenings, these common cancers
are treatable and often curable.
Bones. According to the National
Dairy Council, the majority of bone
mass is accumulated during the
childhood and teenage years. Once
you enter midlife, any lack of bone
density catches up with you, possibly
resulting in fractures and loss of
independence later in life. Through
bone density screenings, you can
catch bone loss early and begin
treatment to rebuild your bone mass.
Waist. As your age increases, your
body’s metabolism decreases. With
a lower metabolism, fewer calories
are required to maintain weight.
“Women who are unaware of
their bodies’ metabolism rates may
continue eating the same amount
of food they always have without
increasing the amount of time they
spend exercising,” says Dr. Griffith.
“When this happens, women may
find themselves adding on extra
pounds during midlife, which can
lead to a variety of conditions such
as heart disease and diabetes.”
The Screenings You Need
During Your Midlife Years
To protect your health during midlife, undergo these screenings as recommended by The
National Women’s Health Information Center.*
Where to Go
Though some products
promise to put your
body in superb shape
in three weeks or less,
your best bet at tiptop health through
your 40s and 50s
isn’t an instant fix.
Rather, it’s making
lifestyle changes that
may take time to see
results. However,
improved health is
a key benefit if you
follow through.
“The most important
thing a woman can do
to protect her health is
establish a relationship
with her primary care
physician,” says Dr. Bond. “If you don’t
have a good relationship with your
primary physician, find a new physician.
After all, if you can’t communicate
with your physician, you won’t get
the information you need to maintain
optimal health through midlife and
For referral to an OB/GYN or other
primary care doctor on the medical
staff of Presbyterian Hospital of
Kaufman, call 1-800-4-Presby
Pelvic exam and
Pap smear
Physical examination of the pelvis; a
small sample of cells is taken from
the cervix to test for cervical cancer
Clinical breast exam
Clinician manually examines the
breasts to locate any abnormalities
Annually or biannually, beginning at
age 40
The breast is placed between
two plates and imaged with X-ray
Every 10 years
(if not undergoing
beginning at age 50
A colonoscope (thin, flexible tube)
is inserted in the rectum and led
through the colon to find potentially
cancerous polyps (abnormal cell
Every 5 years (if
not undergoing
beginning at age 50
An endoscope (thin, flexible tube)
is inserted in the rectum and
led through part of the colon to
find potentially cancerous polyps
(abnormal cell growths)
Bone density screening
Every 1–2 years
or at physician’s
typically beginning
at age 40
X-ray technology is used to visualize
the foot, spine or hip to determine
whether a woman is near or
experiencing osteoporosis
Blood pressure
A cuff is placed on the arm to
measure blood pressure levels
Blood glucose testing
A blood sample is taken and blood
glucose levels are determined
Cholesterol testing
Annually or
at physician’s
A blood sample is taken and
cholesterol levels are determined
*Recommendations are for otherwise healthy individuals. Women with a family history of
particular conditions or other risk factors may need to undergo screenings more regularly
or beginning at an earlier age. Ask your physician when you should start the above tests.
Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman offers mammogram, colonoscopy, bone density
testing and a variety of other diagnostic procedures. To schedule an appointment
call (972) 932-7390.
w w w. p h s c a r e . o r g
Texas Health Magazine
8440 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 850
Dallas, Texas 75231
w w w. p h s c a r e . o r g
Texas Health is published by Presbyterian Healthcare System. This information is
intended to educate about subjects pertinent to health, not as a substitute for
consultation with a personal physician. The physicians on Presbyterian
Healthcare System’s medical staffs are independent practitioners who are not
employees or agents of Presbyterian Healthcare System or its hospitals. For a source
listing on a specific article in this issue, please call 1-800-4-Presby(1-800-477-3729).
© 2006 Texas Health Resources