HCN News & Notes

Health and Wellness Important in Every Season

MONSON — It’s never pleasant noticing that your favorite jeans suddenly seem a little tight.

“While summer vacations are the perfect time to take a break from busy routines, it should not be a time to abandon your healthy habits,” said Dr. Samson Hanka, a board-certified internal-medicine physician who cares for patients at Monson Medical Center. “Not only during the summer, but any time of year, it’s easy to get off track.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carrying those extra pounds puts you at risk for many other health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. Diseases like sleep apnea and osteoarthritis of the knees are, in many cases, associated with excess weight and can simply be treated by losing weight.

“Losing excess weight can make you feel better both physically and emotionally and can help you live a longer, healthier life,” Hanka said. “But diets aren’t the way to go when it comes to losing weight. They often create temporary eating patterns that can lead to temporary results. Successful, long-term weight control should focus on your overall health, not just on what you eat.

“The first step to addressing weight issues and maintaining a healthy lifestyle should begin with a visit to your healthcare provider,” he went on. “People become overweight for many reasons. Weight issues can run in families, be caused by unhealthy behaviors, a person’s environment, certain health conditions, and even some medications. By getting to know my patients, I can help them create a plan that will work best for them. Effective weight-loss programs promote healthy behaviors that help you lose weight and that you can stick with every day.”

Body-mass index (BMI) measurement is one of the screenings tools used to identify potential health problems, Hanka noted. “BMI is a number calculated using your height and weight, and is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat for most adults. BMI is one of the key measures involved in weight and health-risk assessment, the others being diet, physical activity, and family history.

“Helping my patients improve their health and quality of life is what I enjoy most in my role as a primary-care physician,” he added. “Changing your lifestyle is not easy, but adopting healthy habits can help you manage a healthy weight in the long run.”

Hanka is currently accepting new patients. He joins the team providing care at Monson Medical Center, located at 2 Main St. in Monson, which include Dr. John Diggs, Dr. Joanna Preibisz, and physician assistant Lindsey Marchand in adult medicine; Dr. Lori Trask in pediatrics; and registered dietitian Christine King. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (413) 267-9101.

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