Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Steps to Improve Health

Monday, 24 October 2011 08:51 AM

Question: I have high cholesterol and a buildup of cholesterol plaque in my arteries, I'm depressed, and I need to lose weight. My stomach gets upset when I eat, and I have a hiatal hernia. I need to exercise but I tire easily. Do you have a solution?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Join the majority of Americans. Most of us are overweight, sedentary, and have elevated vascular disease as a consequence of lavish high-sodium, animal-fat diets with fast food worsening the situation. Fast food is the downfall of many a well-intentioned patient.
First of all, start eating more of your meals at home where you can control the fat and sodium levels. Grill instead of fry. Never miss breakfast, and avoid eating within three hours of going to bed. Exercise before bedtime and get adequate sleep.
Take control and you will feel better and have more energy. Start with a consultation with your doctor to evaluate your medical conditions. Control your hypertension, correct for possible polycythemia (too many red blood cells), and outline the basic risks that need to be controlled or modified. Stop smoking. Drink alcohol in moderation (no more than two drinks per day). Use iodized salt for cooking, but avoid adding more at the table.
Set a time frame with reasonable goals. Ask if an anti-depressant may help. Many suppress appetite and help with weight management. Use them if your doctor advises. Weight management and exercise usually improves your lipid levels. If you have plaque buildup, consider prescription lipid intervention strategies proven to regress plaque (not chelation, however). Set a plan of follow-up evaluation, and turn on a new lease on your life. Good luck.

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