What is our greatest health threat in 2017? Is it smoking, alcoholism, obesity, diabetes or high cholesterol? How can we all live longer, healthier, happier lives? Is money, fame or achievement the best life goal we can have? 

High blood pressure or, hypertension, as it is also called, is a common diagnosis we hear about almost every day. It often doesn’t make you feel bad. Indeed, you will likely be unaware you have it. Because it may not make you feel bad, it is easy to ignore. If it is ignored, it can shorten y…

I asked one of my patients this week if she had a topic she would like for me to write about in my column. She said, “Motherly advice for graduates.” Since I am both a mother and a former graduate, I think I am qualified to tackle the challenge. 

I have been doing some research about prostate cancer this week, and I realized that some of the information I learned in medical school in 2000 has changed as of 2012.  Since prostate cancer is still the most common cancer in men, affecting about one in eight men, I thought it would be wort…

GERD, short for gastro-esophageal reflux disease, is caused by acid or stomach contents coming back up or refluxing into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that goes from the mouth to the stomach. Stomach contents in the esophagus often cause heartburn.

I recently returned from a trip to New York City, where I was able to attend a concert at Carnegie Hall by the Honors Performance Series. Two Kodiak High School students, ChellaRae Nugent and Timothy Bohac, were selected to perform in the High School Honors Concert Choir. I was greatly moved…

The days are getting longer and warmer weather will eventually arrive. Now is a good time to start preparing for the months ahead. It is a great time to start moving toward health that will allow one to enjoy the upcoming seasons to their fullest. Good nutrition is a key part of good health.

Winter is here, and even though the days are getting longer, it still seems like we get precious little sunlight in January. Living in Kodiak in the winter can be challenging and even depressing at times, especially when the weather is dark, gloomy, cold and windy. Some people may even note …

It is not unusual to find a lump on your body. When one is found, it is easy to worry that you may have cancer. Cancer is always something to think of. However, there are many common lumps that are not cancer; indeed, most are not. One of the most common non-cancerous lumps is the sebaceous …

Merry Christmas and happy new year! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season with friends and family. As the new year quickly approaches, it’s time to start making resolutions for 2017. Before you get too far into your list, I would like to suggest some healthy resolutions for 2017, al…

We are all interested in regaining or maintaining an active lifestyle, especially after age 40. Those of us who had been “too busy” to stay active usually have a change of heart or wake up around middle age and want to get with the program. People look for a few first steps to hang their hat…

November is one of my favorite months, because I love the Thanksgiving holiday. It is wonderful to be able to spend time with family and friends and remember all the blessings we have experienced together. It’s not the human default mode to be a thankful person rather than a complaining pers…

I was privileged to enjoy a spectacular weekend at the Kodiak Christian Ladies’ Retreat at Camp Woody last month. We had 72 amazing women from 11 different churches on the island. Some of the ladies brought their infants along, partly so they could continue breastfeeding them, and partly so …

One of the many reasons kids love summer so much is the increased availability of sugary treats. Ice pops, ice cream, frozen yogurt, candy, bubble gum and soda taste especially good in hot weather when you have been running around outside.

Summer vacation is finally here! Kids are everywhere enjoying the great weather and myriad activities Kodiak has to offer. Summer is a great time to reconnect with our kids and get to know their personalities and form relationships with them that will influence them for the rest of their liv…

Last week I had my first experience with four-wheeling. I had no idea that driving a vehicle through mud puddles, over rocks, and trailblazing could be so exhilarating. One of my kids was screaming with joy the whole ride. I must admit that I only wore a helmet on my first ride, and on my se…

This week I was able to spend extra time with my family and enjoy the beauty of Kodiak. My husband, sons and I love living in Kodiak and we are excited to raise our kids in this community. This week I have been thinking about how to make this amazing community better for our children.

Every new patient who comes to see me in the clinic is asked to fill out a health questionnaire about various symptoms they may be experiencing. A high percentage of patients here in Kodiak have answered in the affirmative that they hear ringing in their ears. Due to this high prevalence, I …

Spring has finally come to Kodiak. Not only is the emerald green color sprouting up everywhere, but the clutter we have been living with all winter is calling out to be organized and cleaned. It’s time to get out those summer clothes and put away the sweaters and electric blankets.

I recently spent 10 days in California visiting family and I was very thankful to come home to Kodiak, because I realized that the community here is very different than any other place I have lived. I have noticed that the population is very small and close-knit. I have deeper friendships wi…

Cancer is a scary word. Many people do not like to talk or think about cancer. We all hope we never get cancer. Today, I want to give you some really good news about cancer. Some cancer is preventable, which means you can avoid getting it. Cancer prevention is worthwhile and saves lives. By …