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Kathryn Borgenicht, MD
I’m getting older, and more concerned about how to stay healthy as I age. Do you have any suggestions?
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Kathryn Borgenicht, MD answered:
Here are five tips on how to age well:

1. Take a walk. Exercise is good not only for your body but also for your mind. We are not talking about hours of strenuous exercise at the gym: 30 minutes of walking 4-5 times a week works to help your mind and your body.

2. Do an activity. As with exercise, having a social interaction helps preserve your mind and your short term memory. Ideally, activity should be done with other people, but can also include doing crossword or jigsaw puzzles, or my personal favorite, knitting.

3. Check your medications. As we age, we may be given a number of different prescriptions, and encouraged to take supplements of varying kinds. What we take at age 65 may not be appropriate when we are 85, or if we develop a serious illness. It is crucial that you inform your medical provider about all of your supplements, vitamins and other over the counter medications.

4. Make a list. There are no clear guidelines as to how often you should see your medical provider. It depends on the current state of your health and your chronic medical problems. Since it can be stressful when you go see your provider, it is extremely helpful to make a list beforehand so you can discuss all your concerns and get them adequately addressed.

5. Do advance care planning, to create instructions you have developed with your family and health care provider that reflect your values and wishes about your future health care. Write them down in an advance directive, appoint someone to help make decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself and make sure your provider has a copy. At Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, we encourage using the “5 Wishes” form. Review this document regularly, especially if your health changes.
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I WILL BE ATTENDING A SUPER BOWL PARTY THIS YEAR WITH LOTS OF FOOD TO CHOOSE FROM, BUT I’M ASKING MYSELF, IS THIS FOOD SAFE TO EAT?
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John B. Robbins, MD
JOHN B. ROBBINS, MD ANSWERED:
The question is well warranted: Food-borne illness, or food poisoning, is common. An estimated 48 million episodes occur each year in the United States. The average person can expect to have food poisoning every three to four years. Food poisoning is caused by eating food contaminated with a micro-organism (bacteria, virus, or parasite). Food can be contaminated with animal feces during food processing. Food preps can also contaminate food by not washing their hands before handling food. Illness typically begins 6 to 72 hours after ingestion...
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I SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PAIN. ARE THERE ANY NEW THERAPIES AVAILABLE TO HELP ME MANAGE MY PAIN?
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Kathryn Borgenicht, MD
KATHRYN BORGENICHT, MD ANSWERED:
Pain affects about 116,000 Americans, and often is the main reason people seek medical advice. Pain, especially chronic pain, is a complicated problem for both patient and provider to work on. We have learned that chronic pain is best treated with multiple disciplines working together. These disciplines may include physical therapy and behavioral therapy. New evidence has shown that just as the brain has learned to be in pain, the brain can also learn how to not be in pain. This concept is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity...
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DURING MY ANNUAL WELLNESS VISIT, MY PHYSICIAN REVIEWED THE RESULTS OF MY LABORATORY TESTS AND RECOMMENDED THAT I CONSIDER STARTING MEDICATION TO LOWER MY CHOLESTEROL LEVEL. WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD...
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John B. Robbins, MD
JOHN B. ROBBINS, MD ANSWERED:
There is compelling evidence that one’s LDL level (the harmful form of cholesterol) is directly related to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Recent studies reveal that use of statin medications to lower even modest elevations of LDL can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. However, statin medications can be expensive (although most are available in the less expensive generic form), can cause side effects, and may interact with other medications. Here are points to consider when deciding if the benefit of statin...
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WHEN WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO CONTACT MY DOCTOR USING EMAIL? IT'S HARD TO REACH THEM OVER THE PHONE.
- Ken Deats
ANSWERED:
Patient Portal Getting Started As a patient of Bozeman Deaconess Health Group, you can now access important information in your medical record, request an appointment, and communicate with your medical office team online, with the click of a button, anytime of the day or night. Register for Patient Portal To ensure that access to your medical information is secure, our registration process requires that your initial registration is done at any Bozeman Deaconess Health Group Clinic, either in person or by telephone. If you choose to call your office...
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I’M GETTING OLDER, AND MORE CONCERNED ABOUT HOW TO STAY HEALTHY AS I AGE. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS?
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Kathryn Borgenicht, MD
KATHRYN BORGENICHT, MD ANSWERED:
Here are five tips on how to age well: 1. Take a walk. Exercise is good not only for your body but also for your mind. We are not talking about hours of strenuous exercise at the gym: 30 minutes of walking 4-5 times a week works to help your mind and your body. 2. Do an activity. As with exercise, having a social interaction helps preserve your mind and your short term memory. Ideally, activity should be done with other people, but can also include doing crossword...
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AS AN ADULT, DO I NEED IMMUNIZATIONS?
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Heather Hart, PA-C
HEATHER HART, PA-C ANSWERED:
Keeping current with vaccinations is an important part of maintaining our health. As adults live longer, we can prevent a number of diseases through immunizations. For many active adults, staying current on tetanus every 10 years is important when we work, garden or play outside. The TDAP – tetanus diphtheria and pertussis – has been a big improvement as this also protects us from pertussis or whooping cough. Whooping cough has been traveling around for the last few years and pops up all over Montana....
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James E. Loeffelholz, MD, FACP
JAMES E. LOEFFELHOLZ, MD, FACP ANSWERED:
An internist is a doctor for adults—both in treating disease and keeping patients well. We are to grownups what pediatricians are to children. We are not interns (interns are doctors in their first year of training after medical school). Our training includes three additional residency years learning about adults and how to prevent, diagnose and treat illness in adults. As specialists in adult health care we care for our patients for life. Internists see patients—from teens through old age—in our offices or clinics. We also see...
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WHAT IS HYPERTENSION AND WHO IS AT RISK?
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John B. Robbins, MD
JOHN B. ROBBINS, MD ANSWERED:
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a very common health problem for people over 55. Blood pressure monitoring measures the pressure when the heart contracts (systolic pressure) and when it relaxes between beats (diastolic pressure). Readings will vary depending on time of day and amount of activity. It’s also normal for blood pressure to rise in response to physical exertion and to stress. But blood pressure also creeps upward with age. By age 60 half of Americans have blood pressure that remains high even when the...
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