Many of us take our health for granted and do not give it a second thought until we get sick or have an accident. Illness and injury affect our performance in other aspects of life and keep us from doing our best. I became a doctor to help people recover from acute illnesses or manage chronic diseases so that they can get the most out of life and achieve their dreams and goals more easily.
I decided to become a pediatric gastroenterologist and chose pediatrics because I love kids. However, the biggest draw was the fact that prevention is a significant part of pediatrics whether it is vaccinations to prevent diseases that once caused permanent injury or even death or counseling for teenagers to avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. I specialized in gastroenterology because of my interest in nutrition. There is an explosion of information about how important nutrition is to our health. What we eat can affect our risk for many preventable conditions including heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cancer and liver disease.
While most doctors would like to address diet and exercise with their patients, they may not have the time to help their patients develop successful strategies to incorporate healthy habits into a modern, busy lifestyle. We have all had days when we are rushing from one place to another with hardly enough time to eat much less worry about what we are eating. There are many quick and easy tricks to deal with these types of situations. Healthcare professionals can work with a patient to determine an approach to healthy living that will work for that individual. A patient should ask his doctor to discuss diet and exercise so that the doctor knows that this is a priority for the patient. A patient can also seek guidance from other resources in the medical community such as a nutritionist or dietician.
There are several other sources to learn about health. A staggering amount of information about nutrition and exercise appears almost daily on television and in newspapers and magazines. Some of the information appears contradictory, leading to confusion and raising several questions. For example, should I eat a low- fat or a low-carbohydrate diet? Are vitamins really that important? Is there a difference in the health benefits of green, black or white tea? What is the minimum amount of exercise that I can get away with and still be healthy? If diet and exercise has not worked for me, should I consider bariatric surgery? These are the types of questions and topics that I plan to present in this forum.
I would like to encourage you to email any questions that you may have regarding diet and exercise. If there are particular nutrition topics that you would like to see on this Web site, please submit them as well. I want to be sure to cover health information that is most relevant to you, our readers.
Published On: May 26, 2006