Nipping seasonal allergies in the bud

Allergy season is right around the corner. Learn how to manage the symptoms of the season, including stuffiness and sneezing.

“Spring allergies can often lead to a variety of ear, nose and throat problems,” said Ron Shashy, MD, an otolaryngologist with CHI Saint Joseph Health – Ear, Nose and Throat Care. “Your body reacts to environmental triggers, causing inflammation and drainage that can then close off your sinuses and lead to a sinus infection or that general stuffiness we associate with spring.”

Devising a Spring Allergy Plan

The simplest way to combat allergies is to avoid triggers. If you do not already know your triggers, an otolaryngologist can conduct tests to identify them. If circumvention does not work for you, Dr. Shashy recommends starting an over-the-counter antihistamine regimen.

“It is easier to get ahead of the problem by getting medication in your system now,” Dr. Shashy said. “Most of these medications are taken once per day, so taking them regularly is not cumbersome.”

If antihistamines and other over-the-counter remedies, such as neti pots or nasal sprays, do not provide relief, make and appointment with your primary care provider or an otolaryngologist.

“Some people require allergy shots or higher doses of medication, while others need a round of antibiotics because the symptoms are from an infection and not allergies at all,” Dr. Shashy said. “Talking to a physician will help ensure you are on the right track.”

For allergy diagnosis and treatment, call CHI Saint Joseph Health – Ear, Nose and Throat Care at 859.629.7140.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. For more health and wellness articles like this one, learn more about Spirit of Health and how to subscribe.

Five bariatric surgery myths and realities

If you’re struggling with your weight and related conditions, it’s likely that you’ve tried just about everything. While bariatric surgery is not a quick fix, it can be part of a plan to help you achieve significant weight loss and start living a healthier life.

As you explore your options, including weight loss surgery, it’s important to keep track of any questions you may have. That way, once you meet with your provider or bariatric surgeon you can be sure to have this list as a reference to discuss any information or concerns you have before making a decision.

There is an abundance of information out there regarding bariatric surgery, including some misconceptions. We’ve put together a list of some of the more common myths about bariatric surgery and what you can really expect below.

Myth 1: Weight loss surgery prevents you from regaining weight.

Not true. Most patients are successful in maintaining their weight loss one to two years after their surgery, however, it is possible to regain the weight you’ve lost. Weight loss surgery works in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes. Your provider will discuss the necessary lifestyle changes you may need to make following your surgery.

Myth 2: Weight loss surgery is a cop-out.

Also not true. Most people undergoing bariatric surgery have tried every diet and pill out there. And while diet and exercise will benefit someone who is severely obese, it may just not be enough for others. Undergoing a weight loss procedure is a tool to help you lose weight. In order to lose weight and keep it off, dietary changes and regular exercise regimens will need to become part of your lifestyle.

Myth 3: After surgery, I won’t need to change my lifestyle.

Weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity. If you do not change your lifestyle and return to old habits, you will regain weight and experience a relapse in your obesity-related condition. You don’t have to become a marathon runner who adapts a vegan lifestyle, however, your provider will work with you to determine any dietary restrictions and exercise needed to maintain success.

Myth 4: The surgery guarantees weight loss after recovery.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Within the first few months following weight loss surgery, it is common to see more pounds dropping each month. After those initial few months, it becomes a slower weight loss, which is normal. Keep in mind that weight loss will depend on your ability to make the best choices possible and live a healthier lifestyle.

Myth 5: You do not have to go for follow-up care.

The first few weeks after weight loss surgery are crucial, and you need to be diligent about making it to your follow-up appointments. These appointments allow your health care provider to monitor your healing and advance your diet safely. A year after surgery, follow-ups depend on how you’re doing, but checking in with your provider helps ensure that your progress is monitored and any issues or questions you have can be addressed.

If you are interested in learning more about bariatric surgery, join us for a free informational seminar. A board-certified surgeon will explore a full range of weight loss surgery solutions, and answer any questions to help you make the right decision for your life. Call 502.513.6026 or fill out the quick online form to register for an upcoming seminar near you.