Questions & Answers

Q : What can I do to prevent a heart attack?

A: Cholesterol level is by far the most important factor in the development of heart disease. High cholesterol levels directly contribute to the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Other risk factors, such as cigarette smoking or high blood pressure, can also contribute to heart disease.
- Bill Roberts, M.D., director, Baylor Cardiovascular Institute

Q : When should I he screened for prostate cancer?

A: Prostate cancer is curable if caught in the early stages. That’s why annual screenings are so important, Beginning at age 40, all men should have an annual digital rectal exam to rule out the presence of the disease. After age 50, a PSA blood test should be performed, along with the rectal exam. African-American men, or men who have a family history of prostate cancer should begin the PSA screening test at age 40.
- Mike Goldstein, M.D., chief of urology, Baylor University Medical Center

Q : How can I be sure I’m eating a healthy diet?
A: The keys to a healthy diet are variety, balance, and moderation. The foundation of the diet should consist of plenty of whole grains, legumes (lentils, kidney, lima, pinto, and navy beans and black-eyed peas), fresh vegetables and fruits. Add six to seven ounces of protein-rich foods, such as fish, poultry, tofu, and lean beef, and two to three servings per day of low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. Go easy on saturated fats and sugars. Finally, drink eight to 10 cups of fluids, primarily water, per day to avoid dehydration that can lead to fatigue.
- Stacy Lofton and Debra Hilliard-Jones, registered dietitians, Baylor Health Care System

Q : What should I know about Alzheimer’s Disease?

A: As of yet, medicine has not identified any measures that can prevent the most common cause of dementia - Alzheimer’s Disease. Symptoms that may indicate Alzheimer’s include forgetfulness, deterioration in the ability to perform everyday tasks, getting lost in familiar surroundings, or unexplained changes in personality. Because dementia also can be caused by treatable conditions like B-I2 deficiency or a metabolic disorder, it is important to see a neurologist who can perform an evaluation and establish a correct diagnosis.
-Jorge Romero, M.D., neurologist, Baylor University Medical Center

Q : When playing sports, my glasses continually slip and block my field of vision. Is there anything I can do?
A: A lot of people choose LASIK surgery because it frees them to enjoy sports and other outdoor activities without the burden of glasses and contacts. The procedure offers many advantages over other forms of refractive surgery including PRK.
There is little or no postoperative pain, though some patients experience a dry-eye feeling for one or two days.
The recovery time is fast, with most patients seeing better than 20/60 the day after surgery.
There is minimal post-op routine. Typically, antibiotic drops are used for four to seven days, as opposed to the three to six months use of steroid drops required with other refractive procedures.

Q: How do I choose a doctor to perform LASIK surgery?

A: As is true of any surgery, LASIK presents some risks to the patient. Results are dependent on the surgical skills and experience of the doctor. Become educated on all refractive procedures available and ask the following questions:
Is the surgeon board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology?
Does the surgeon use an approved laser?
How many procedures has the surgeon performed?
Will the doctor provide you with references who will openly i discuss their LASIK experience with you?
For more information about LASIK surgery, contact Dr. Harvey L. Carter, M.D. at 214-696-2020. Dr. Carter specializes in LASIK surgery and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Q : How often do J need to exercise to get in shape?
A: The Surgeon General recommends that men exercise at least three times a week fora minimum of 30 minutes per session to achieve a general level of fitness. But to lose weight and really get into shape, you should focus on cardiovascular as well as strength training exercises three to five times per week for 30-60 minutes.

Q : I get bored doing the same work out all the time. What can I do to make exercise more fun?
A: Try new activities or take a class. Cross-training is important and will ultimately give you a more complete work out. Outdoor activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing are popular, but non-traditional classes set to music such as boxing and stationary bike or "spin" sessions are also hot right now.
One of the newest trends is boot camp training. This class is especially popular with men because although music is played, the emphasis is more athletic and less dance-oriented. It involves a variety of activities including jump rope, weights, crunches, and push-ups.

Q : A recent ankle injury has forced me I to quit my normal routine. How can I stay in shape without aggravating the problem?

A: Swimming and other non-impact ’ activities like water aerobics provide great cardiovascular work outs and use almost every muscle group.

Q : It has been a while since I exercised on a regular basis because I just don’t have time. What should I do?

A: Find a class or a personal trainer, set a goal and start slow. A trainer will provide accountability and motivation but will also maximize your time. To avoid injury and improve results, it is always important to learn how to use the equipment properly. Don’t expect immediate results, but your body will adapt and change rapidly, so evaluate your progress every eight to 12 weeks, Finally, make exercise a priority in your life.
For information about YMCA sponsored leagues and classes, contactAngie Arnold at 214-954-0500.