Phillips Health Care Newsletter
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Phillips Clinic 
Family Practice  Wellness, Stem Cell Therapy & Anti-Aging Medicine

Phillips Health Care Newsletter

April is Stress Awareness Month

by Phillips Clinic on 04/02/23

Learning to cope with our stress and finding healthy ways to deal with these situations can go a long way in living a healthy and positive life.

What does stress mean to you?

We all experience stress – yet we may experience it in very different ways. Because of this, there is no single definition for stress, but the most common explanation is a physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.

Stress is a reaction to a situation where a person feels anxious or threatened. Learning healthy ways to cope and getting the proper care and support can help reduce stressful feelings and symptoms.

Common reactions to a stressful event can include:

• Disbelief, shock and numbness

• Feeling sad, frustrated and helpless

• Difficulty concentrating and making decisions

• Headaches, back pains and stomach problems

• Smoking or the use of alcohol or drugs

Affecting more than just your mind

Long-term stress can prove to be more than just a mental issue. From headaches to stomach disorders to depression – even very serious issues like stroke and heart disease can come as a result of stress.

When you are placed in a stressful situation, specific stress hormones rush into your bloodstream leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels. This is helpful in emergency situations, but having this “rush” for extended periods of time can be dangerous and make you susceptible to the issues mentioned previously.

Learn to overcome issues you cannot change

Sometimes the stress in our lives is not something we have the power to change. Try to:

• Recognize when you don’t have control, and let it go.

• Avoid getting anxious about situations that you cannot change.

• Take control of your reactions and focus your mind on something that makes you feel calm and in control.

• Develop a vision for healthy living, wellness, and personal growth, and set realistic goals to help you realize your vision.

Healthy ways for coping with your stress

Here are some basic ideas to help you cope with stress:

• Take care of yourself – eat healthy, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, give yourself a break if you feel stressed.

• Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a family member, friend, doctor, pastor or counselor.

• Avoid drugs and alcohol. These can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.

• Recognize when you need more help – know when to talk to a psychologist, social worker or counselor if things continue.

Potentially the most valuable takeaway here is knowing how to talk to others about your stress. This goes both ways, as you need to know how to discuss your problems with others as well as talk to anyone that comes to you with their issues.

Original post:
By Pam Meyer is the Wellness Director, BLC-Wahpeton.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

by Phillips Clinic on 02/27/23

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. Each year, more than 136,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 die of the disease.

With certain types of screening, this cancer can be prevented by removing polyps (grape-like growths on the wall of the intestine) before they become cancerous. Several screening tests detect colorectal cancer early, when it can be easily and successfully treated.
You might be at an increased risk for colorectal cancer if you:
Are age 50 or older
Smoke or use tobacco
Are overweight or obese, especially if you carry fat around your waist
Are not physically active
Drink alcohol in excess (especially if you are a man)
Eat a lot of red meat, such as beef, pork or lamb, or a lot of processed meat, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts.
Have a personal or family history of  colorectal cancer or benign (not         cancerous) colorectal polyps
Have a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as   ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease  

Early stages of colorectal cancer don’t usually have symptoms. Later on, people may have these symptoms:
Bleeding from the rectum or blood in or on the stool
Change in bowel habits
Stools that are more narrow than usual
General problems in the abdomen, such as bloating, fullness or cramps
Diarrhea, constipation or a feeling in the rectum that the bowel movement isn’t quite complete
Weight loss for no apparent reason
Being tired all the time

Be physically active for at least 30 minutes at least five days a week
Maintain a healthy weight and waist size
Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit
Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman
Or two drinks per day if you’re a man
Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which are good sources of fiber
Eat less red meat and cut out processed meat
Begin getting screened at age 50. If you are older than age 75, ask your doctor if you should continue to be screened.
If you are a high risk, talk to your health care professional about screening earlier and more often
Talk to your doctor about your screening test options
Colonoscopy – Every 10 years
Virtual colonoscopy – Every 5 years
Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Every 5 years
Double-contrast barium enema – Every 5 years
Stool occult blood test (FOBT) (guaiac) Every year
Stool immunochemical test (FIT) – Every year
Stool DNA test (sDNA) – ask your health care professional; the FDA  approved the use of the sDNA test in 2014
An abnormal result of a virtual colonoscopy or a double-contrast barium enema, or a positive FOBT, FIT or sDNA test, should be followed up with a colonoscopy.


by Phillips Clinic on 02/01/23


February is Healthy Heart Month. To help keep your heart healthy here are some ways the CDC recommends to help keep a healthy heart and prevent heart disease.

By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar normal and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.

Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. 

Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar in your diet can lower you blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes.

Eating two or more servings a week of certain fish, such as salmon and tuna, may decrease your risk of heart disease. 

At moderate levels, alcohol may have a protective effect on your heart.  For healthy adults
No more than one drink a day for women, and two drinks a day for men. (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine & 1 1/2 ounces of liquor) Too much alcohol can be a health hazard. 

Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries, causing plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack.

Smoking  decreases oxygen in the blood, and makes the heart work harder, contributing to high blood pressure. The good news is, the risk of heart disease reduces as soon as you quit.  So, no matter how long you’ve smoked, quit!

Regular, daily exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease. When you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
Physical activity can help you control your weight and reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes..

According to the Mayo Clinic :
“In general, you should do moderate exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace, for about 30    minutes on most days of the week. That can help you reach the Department of Health and Human Services recommendations of 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes a week of  vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. 

For even more health benefits, aim for 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. In addition, aim to do strength training exercises two or more days a week..”

Fish contain unsaturated fatty acids, may lower cholesterol. But the main beneficial nutrient appears to be omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month

by Phillips Clinic on 12/31/22

Understanding YOUR Thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located front and center at the base of the neck. It plays an important role in the communication system of the body. It regulates metabolism, or energy-related functioning within cells, by releasing or withholding thyroid hormone.

 The thyroid gland influences just about everything in the human body, including the eyes, brain, heart, skin, hair, bones, bowels and mood.

 When you experience weight loss, anxiety, palpitations, high blood pressure, brittle nails, constipation or a host of other symptoms , these symptoms can be related to a hormone imbalance brought on by thyroid that’s over or under functioning.

 According to the American Thyroid Association, of the 20 million Americans who have thyroid disease, up to 60 percent go undiagnosed.

 A lack of awareness might be partly to blame; thyroid disease doesn’t get the same amount of press as heart disease. Plus, , many of the symptoms of thyroid disease are vague.

 Thyroid disease is sometimes mistaken for depression, irritable bowel syndrome, some other condition or aging.

 The causes of a faulty thyroid are not fully understood — although your risk increases if you are female or if there is a family history of the disease.

 Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

· Muscle and Joint Pains, Carpal Tunnel, Tendonitis, Plantar's Fasciitis

· Neck Discomfort, Enlargement, Hoarseness, Goiter

· Hair Loss, Hair Changes, Skin Changes

· Constipation, Bowel Problems, Diarrhea, Irritable Bowel

· Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Problems

· Family History of Thyroid and Autoimmune Disease

· High Cholesterol, Unresponsive to Cholesterol Medications

· Depression and Anxiety

· Unexpected Weight Changes without Changes to Diet Or Exercise

· Fatigue and Exhaustion

         Source: About Health


Too much thyroid hormone, called hyperthyroidism, can cause irritability, a rapid or erratic heartbeat, weight loss, high blood pressure and diarrhea, among other things. It can weaken bones, sometimes leading to osteoporosis over time, and can leave patients feeling anxious and unable to focus, with racing thoughts.

 An autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease leads to many cases of hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease, causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland, and triggers the thyroid to produce a surplus of thyroid hormone.


Symptoms of hypothyroidism, or not enough thyroid hormone, include depression, hair loss, weight gain, high cholesterol, extreme fatigue, constipation and stomachaches.

If your doctor suspects that a patient has thyroid disease, usually a blood test that gauges the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood will be ordered. 

An elevated or reduced level of TSH indicates possible thyroid trouble. A small percentage of people, however, will have normal lab results even though they have thyroid symptoms, and may require additional testing.

Treatment for hypothyroidism is usually straightforward: patients take prescription medicine to boost their supply of thyroid hormone.









by Phillips Clinic on 12/04/22

The holiday season is a time filled with busy schedules, family visits, traveling and parties. It’s also a time when our stress levels increase, which can mean an increase in our blood pressure. Holiday stress has real health implications. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a known side-effect of stress and puts you at risk for health problems including heart failure and stroke.

Maintain healthy eating habits. Eat a healthy breakfast and limit sweets. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch. It's OK to indulge in a little but be sure to include healthy meals, too.

Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important in controlling your blood pressure. Drink one-half your body weight in ounces of water a day.

Keep track of medications. Heart attacks and strokes increase in the winter months, so continue to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Be wary of decongestants. These drugs relieve a stuffy nose but can also raise blood pressure. Use a decongestant for the shortest amount of time necessary.

Stay active. Incorporate healthy activities into your daily routine, such as a walk with family or friends, or active chores with your kids.

Beware of party perils. To avoid overeating at parties, eat a healthy snack before you go. If you’re the host, offer healthier options of recipes.

Give yourself the gift of peace. When invitations pile up, don’t be afraid to say no to some of them. Take time to relax and recharge.
Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about the possibility of not being able to regulate your blood pressure.

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