Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why is maintaining gum health important?

First and foremost, gum disease can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Common, chronic bacterial infections including gum disease, urinary tract and lung infections may increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a build of fatty plaque in the arteries. This build up of fat in the carotid arteries; which are located in the neck, increases the risk of stroke by reducing blood flow to the brain, as well as by promoting formation of a blood clots that lead to a stroke.

Periodontal disease is caused by a chronic. low grade infection which can lead to inflammation and it is believed that inflammation plays an important role in stokes and heart disease. You can best reduce your risk by simply flossing, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using a fluoride rinse and follow scheduled visits with your dentist. Be pro-active and take of yourself.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Breast health: When yearly mammograms aren't enough

Most women know that by the time they reach 40, it is time to start getting an annual mammogram. But how would you know if you fall into the high-risk population and are 1 of the women who should get a breast MRI? As medical technology advances, it is ALWAYS good practice to ask questions and discuss new options with your physician. You may not recognize subtle changes in your health. Be pro-active in your health and bring a list of questions with you when you go for your annual exam.

Mammography is still the most widely used screening tool for breast cancer. However, breast MRI is an excellent tool that enable physicians to view tumors that may be difficult to see with mammography, The first breast MRI product received FDA clearance in the early 1990's as an adjunct to mammography. The American Cancer Society recommends that women who are at high risk to augment their annual mammos with an annual breast MRI. Women greater than a 20-25% risk bracket and women with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian CA should augment with a breast MRI.

In addition to those risk patients listed above, women who fall into any of the following categories should check with their physicians about breast MRI:
1. known genetic mutation. BRCA1 and BRCA2
2. those who haven't been tested but whose mother, daughter or sister have a known mutation
3. those who received chest irradiation between the ages of 10 and 30.

To learn more about breast cancer risks and diagnostic tools please visit the National Cancer Institutes website:

Good Health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Staying Active to Stay Healthy

Regular physical activity is one of the most important and inexpensive things you can do to improve your overall health. By simply going for a brisk walk every day will help:
1. weight control
2. reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
3. reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes
4. reduce risk of osteoporosis by increasing your muscle strength and bones
5. improve physical maneuverability
6. overall help you feel better with increased energy

Does 150 minutes sound a lot to you? Remember:
1. you don't have to exercise all at once
2. spread activity out during the week
3. break it up in to smaller chunks of time during the day for at least 10 minutes at a time
4. if you can walk to do a chore rather than drive your car, than walk

Give it a try:
Go on a 10 minute brisk walk 3 times a day 5 days a week. This will give you a total of 150 minutes. If it sounds easy its because it is easy. If you can only go once a day, than walk for 30 minutes. If you make this a daily routine and make conscious effort to do so, you will soon see and feel an improvement in your overall physical and mental health.

Each day you wake up is another opportunity to live a healthier life.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN