What Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

We’ve all heard of cardiac rehabilitation. You know, it’s for people who have had a heart attack, to help them recover after an event or medical procedure, right? Well, what about those who struggle with lung problems? It’s not like a heart problem that comes on suddenly and can be life threatening.  Lung problems develop slowly over time, and those suffer in with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and long-term asthma, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can feel there is no help for them. In fact, people with COPD often feel their lung disease is their fault, mostly because they were or are cigarette smokers. While cigarettes are a factor for COPD, they are not the only reason it occurs. Heredity plays a big part, and occupational hazards, like exposures to dust, chemicals, and fumes, also contribute to lung disease. We don’t blame diabetics for eating sugar or those with heart disease for not managing their stress better. I don’t see the need to blame smokers either. COPD has risen to the number 3 killer in the United States. And while the mortality rates for heart attacks and strokes (the number 1 and 2 killers) are decreasing, the rate for COPD continues to rise.

So, what is pulmonary rehabilitation? Like cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehab offers exercise and education to help those struggling with COPD learn skills that can help them cope with their lung disease and improve the quality of their lives. What’s important to understand is that every time a person with COPD has an episode or exacerbation, they lose ground physically. As their breathing worsens, they stop doing some of the things they like to do. Over time, they start doing less and less, until they can’t even do some of their basic self-care, like bathing or dressing.

As our body and muscles become deconditioned, our ability to breathe also worsens. It takes more energy for oxygen to move through deconditioned muscles. A decrease in muscular strength also means we are less able to fight off infections. We need to stay strong to live with COPD! Pulmonary rehab is about stopping that progression and even reversing it. How? By getting people to slowly bring exercise back into their lives. Typically, pulmonary rehab programs run for twelve weeks and develop exercises specific to the person’s needs. For example, if a person with COPD gets short of breath with walking, seated exercises would be used to first increase muscle tone and overall core strength. Additionally, if the person is severely deconditioned, exercise might only be for two minutes at a time with frequent rests.

Besides the exercise, education is a key component of pulmonary rehab. The individual will learn many breathing techniques to calm shortness of breath, help with cough and phlegm removal, and improve the activities of daily living. They will learn how to fuel their bodies to breathe better and either gain or lose weight. And they will develop skills to conserve energy, so they can have more for the things they want to do.

As a registered respiratory therapist, I am trained to work with all types of critical and chronic lung conditions. I have forty years’ experience in the hospital setting and over twenty years working in pulmonary rehab.  As a life-long asthmatic, I know how it feels to be short of breath and bring my personal as well as my professional experiences. In fact, my passion for working with patients experiencing pulmonary issues stems from my personal experience and from watching my mom struggle with cigarette addition.

So, is pulmonary rehabilitation right for you?

Do you struggle to catch your breath, more and more frequently? Have you stopped doing the things you love? Don’t wait! Learn how pulmonary rehabilitation can help you and your family better cope with your lung disease.

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are typically run as hospital outpatient programs and ordered by a physician, but individuals can also refer themselves to a program. A breathing test showing moderate to very severe lung disease is also required by most insurances. Both Sacred Heart and Mayo Hospitals offer pulmonary rehab, as well St. Joseph’s in Chippewa Falls. Contact your personal physician or the rehab program at one of these hospitals to get started.

Winter Washings for Wagging Tails

by Dr. Margaret Meier Jones, DVM CVSMT

As we approach the end of fall and the beginning of winter, we see an increase in rain, sleet, slush, and snow. And, although it’s maybe fun for our furry friends to play in, we field many calls asking us whether or not it’s safe to bathe our pets this time of year after they’ve taken a romp in the mud these precipitations often create. How often can we bathe our pets without causing them to have dry skin and rough hair coats as a result? What products are safe and effective?Are there any good home remedies or products we can trust?

Many veterinary experts believe that routine grooming of your pet, including bathing, should be done every eight to twelve weeks. Bathing more frequently than this can lead to excessively dry skin or other skin problems, such as infection. Of course, we do recommend bathing your pet if they get excessively dirty. However, if this is happening frequently during the winter months, use of dry shampoos and leave-on spray conditioners may be a gentler way to manage the situation. And, if you are noticing excessive dandruff or a foul smell emanating from your pet, a trip to your veterinarian may be in order, as prescription shampoo may be required.

Pet products are a multi-million dollar industry with thousands of skin care products available to us. We do emphasize that when looking for a grooming product for your furry friend, PLEASE ensure the product is safe for cats and dogs; and NOT a product intended for humans. The pH of the human products is too harsh for our furry friends and can truly harm your pet’s skin. We recommend Epi-Soothe Oatmeal shampoo and cream rinse by Virbac at our clinic, but some good over-the-counter commercial products on the market include Natural Pet Shampoo for Dogs and Cats by Maple Holistics, and Lola and Max Dog Shampoo by Lola and Max.  If you’re looking for something you can put together at home, you can make a dry shampoo to use on your pet by taking 1 cup cornstarch and ½ cup baking soda. Mix these together well, place them into a glass jar, and cover with a sprinkle lid.

If you know your pet has sensitivity to corn, use this product sparingly. For a leave-on conditioner, place 2 teaspoons of rosemary (prefer fresh) in 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for ten minutes. Strain the rosemary and place into a mister bottle to readily apply as needed. Finally, for an anti-itch spray, place 1 cup old-fashioned oats in 4 cups water overnight at room temperature. Strain through a cheese cloth and place into a mister bottle to apply to those dry, itchy areas that can develop once we turn on the forced-air heat to keep warm. And, as always, if you’d rather have someone else handle the mess, our professional groomers are available to help!

Combining Tradition and Innovation in Holiday Meals—Without Stress!

by Will Martin, The Coffee Gounds

Having traditional dishes is so important to the holidays, our family gatherings, and the sense of familiarity and calm that comes with those days. Don’t be afraid to make the same meal this year as last: roast a turkey, make a casserole, simmer a cranberry sauce, and mash some potatoes. Your family probably hasn’t eaten this meal for a year. It will be both fresh and nostalgic for them. Do what you are comfortable with and add a riffon it: “That cranberry sauce last year was great, and I had tons of leftovers.  I’m going to make it, remove half from the pan, and add a chipotle in adobo to it.” This lets you keep the tradition and try something new without adding much extra work to your plate.

Or you can complicate a classic but make it so much better. Sauté some green beans in a little (or a lot) of butter and salt and set them aside. Then use the same pan to make a mushroom gravy. You can either serve the beans with a little gravy on them, or go the casserole route and bake them together.

Want to challenge yourself this year? Scorpacciata (score-pah-chee-ahta) means to eat a lot of an ingredient that is currently in season. We have a monthly food and wine pairing meal at The CoffeeGrounds (TCG) that we did sweet corn for last September–it was fantastic. Every dish highlighted sweet corn in a different way. For the coming season that means storage- and weather-hardy vegetables: onions, garlic, potatoes, squash, cabbage, turnips, celery root, carrots, beets, storage radishes, sweet potatoes, etc. Try picking one of these vegetables, incorporate it into a few of the dishes, and make it the highlight of one.

Fall also means Midwesterners eat more meat.  Right around the holiday at TCG we start taking orders for local turkeys.  My dad got the family’s turkey through Block and Cleaver meats in Siren (where TCG gets our turkeys) and thought it was fantastic. And he gave me the turkey stock he made after the meal.

Enjoy your holiday. Eat well. Relax while you’re cooking (if you struggle with that, take a hint from my parents and grab a G&T, the kitchen will be hot enough for it). And cook what you’re comfortable with.

‘Tis the Season for Sugar

by Nicole Rubenzer, Director of Community Health Initiative, United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley

The holiday season comes bearing gifts of joy and family togetherness—but it also brings cookies, eggnog, and extra weight gain. On average, holiday eating results in 1 to 2 pounds of weight gain. In addition to the delicious meal comes the abundance of sweet treats spread throughout the parties. You don’t need to turn yourself into “Scrooge” avoiding all of your holiday favorites. Be mindful of maintaining a healthy balance of food and activity throughout the holidays.

Why is it so hard to avoid those sweet treats? Sugar, sugar, sugar! To say that sugar is in the gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie comes as no surprise, but sugar is everywhere! The hors d’oeuvre crackers, biscuits on the table, and dressing on your salad sneak hidden sugar into your diet. Sugar comes as good sugar (naturally occurring sugar) and bad sugar (added sugar).  Naturally occurring sugars are found in foods such as fruit, vegetables, milk, beans, nuts, and whole grains. These “good” sugars are accompanied by vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.  Added sugars are hidden in foods and beverages, added during processing or preparation, providing plenty of calories without the nutrients. There are at least sixty-one different names for sugar listed on food labels (sugarscience.org). A few of these names for added sugars are disguised in the ingredients as corn sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, and molasses (American Heart Association).

The truth about sugar consumption is that most Americans are consuming too much! Americans consume 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) every day, which translates to nearly 66 pounds of added sugar per person, every year (sugarscience.org). According to the American Heart Association, recommended sugar consumption is no more than 100 calories per day (6 teaspoons, 24 grams) for women and no more than 150 calories per day (9 teaspoons, 36 grams) for men. Reducing the amount of added sugars can cut calories and improve heart health and weight control (American Heart Association). With a 12-ounce can of soda containing an average 10 teaspoons of sugar (42 grams), carbonated beverages are the number one source of added sugars in the American diet. The CDC attributed beverages as 33 percent of added sugars consumed by adults and 40 percent for adolescents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

When it comes to the holidays, eggnog, apple cider, and hot chocolate can contain many added sugars. To have your drink and enjoy it too, consider mixing with low-fat milk, avoiding the whipped cream, or choosing sugar-free ingredients. Making small adjustments to your holiday favorites can have a big impact on your health.  When it comes to the holidays, prepare yourself to enjoy your favorites without overindulging.

Maintain a healthy balance throughout the holidays by considering the following tips:

•  Eat a small nutritious snack before attending a holiday party  to avoid overeating.
• Choose sparkling water or low-fat milk instead of high- calorie or high-sugar drinks.
• Converse with others and avoid the snack table.
•  Eat slowly and enjoy the meal, giving yourself time to digest  and feel full.
• Enjoy dessert, but be mindful of portion size.
• Balance your schedule to include activities and sleep during  the holidays.When it comes to the holidays, don’t be afraid, just be informed. Enjoy your family and traditions, while keeping yourself healthy.

For more healthy tips and habits, visit www.uwgcv.org/chi.

Meet Seibel’s Organic Meats

Seibel’s Organic Dairy is a fifth-generation family owned an operated dairy farm near Bloomer, Wisconsin. You want only the best for your holiday meal, and all of our beef is 100 percent certified organic. e do not use antibiotics when raising our beef, nor are they fed any genetically modified crops. We seek to raise our animals in harmony with nature.

How Are the Animals Raised? All of our animals are raised in up-to-date, well-ventilated facilities. From birth until two months of age, the calves receive milk, water, and calf starter, which is a mix of oats, corn, and all the right minerals to help them get off to a great start. Calves are housed in a state-of-the-art calf facility with individual pens. From two to six months the calves eat oats and dry hay and are grouped in adjustable pens to comfortably house anywhere from two to fifteen calves Once the calf reaches six months of age, they receive a majority of their feed from their rich, lush pastures. If the weather is not ideal for them to be outside, they can come into the barn to cool off in the summer or warm up in the winter.

What’s on the Menu for Your Holiday Meal? We offer many cuts of frozen organic beef, as well as frozen whole chickens. All products are available year-round. All items are available for pick up at the farm. Check out our website for pricing and contact information. Local, organic meat makes a fantastic gift!

Contact us! Contact us at seibelsorganic@gmail.com, call Chuck at 715-568-2587 or Adam at 715-933-2494. Visit them on the web at https://sites.google.com/site/seibelsorganic, or find them o Facebook.