Mills-Peninsula Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Your Healthy Weight

Fifty-seven percent of American adults say they would like to lose 20 pounds or more, according to findings of the NPD Group in the 2013 Eating Patterns in America report.

This desire for weight loss comes as no surprise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.

So what’s the magic number you need to reach on the scale for optimal health?

“There’s no such thing,” Heidi Stroessner-Johnson, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine doctor, says. “It’s very individual from person to person.”

Family history, genetics, body frame, medical conditions, pregnancy, lifestyle – these are all factors that determine what the scale should read for each individual.

Body Mass Index

“I don’t just look at one thing when I help my patients determine healthy weight goals,” Dr. Stroessner-Johnson says, “but a good place to start is the Body Mass Index.” A simple mathematical formula based on height and weight, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to measure body fat. The CDC offers a free, online calculators you can use to calculate your BMI. Read More

How to Boost Your Health With Exercise


We all know we should exercise. Yet with our busy lives, working out can quickly fall off our “to-do” list. But exercise may be as powerful as medication for many health conditions, making it worth reconsidering.

Studies have found that exercise offers benefits similar to anti-inflammatory drugs, insulin medication, anti-anxiety pills and weight loss drugs. Exercise can make such a big difference for your health, it’s worth starting even if you already have diabetes or heart disease. It’s never too late to get benefits, says Mimi Jones, R.N., a cardiac nurse and exercise physiologist who teaches fitness in the Mills-Peninsula Cardio-Metabolic program.

How can you take an “exercise pill” to boost your health? Follow these tips.

Be Active Every Day Read More

Sleep Changes in Teens & Adults


Good sleep is just an elusive dream for many of us. We wake up feeling worn out, and our day has only begun.

Thirty-five percent of American adults sleep less than seven hours a night, despite research that shows our bodies need seven to nine hours of sleep to function well, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And nearly 38 percent of us say we’ve fallen asleep by accident – in class, at work or at home – at least once in the previous month. In fact, the CDC calls insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.

But unlike most health problems, poor sleep does not have just a few causes that affect everyone equally. “The obstacles to good sleep are very different depending on your age and your gender,” says Mehran Farid-Moayer, M.D., a sleep specialist at Mills-Peninsula Health Services. “Knowing the obstacles that affect you personally is the first step toward good sleep.” Here’s a short guide to common sleep problems at different ages. Read More

How to Stay Healthy at Every Age

Older man carrying child on his shoulders.

While few of us may live past 100, there are plenty of steps we can take to improve our chances for a long, healthy life.

Follow this expert advice from our Mills-Peninsula primary care doctors to do the best for your health at each life stage. Read More

Complementary Medicine: Yes or No?


Proven or not, complementary medicine is booming in the U.S. Americans spend about $34 billion annually on treatments such as acupuncture and herbal supplements, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

But do they work? Study results are mixed at best, but a few are standing up to the scrutiny. For example, a 2012 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic pain. Read More

Knee Pain Solutions


No wonder so many Americans suffer knee pain.

  • When you walk, the force across your knee cap is three times your body weight.
  • When you run, the force is five times your body weight.
  • And when you jump and land, the force is seven times your body weight.

So if you are a walker, a runner or a person who loves to shoot hoops on Saturday morning, you will undoubtedly feel pain in your knees at some point in your life, says Robert Detch, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mills-Peninsula Health Services.

What can you do? First, “forget the joint juice,” Dr. Detch says. “There’s no evidence that supplements like glucosamine or chondroitin really help.” Instead, follow some simple, proven tips to help prevent knee pain – or at least stop it from getting worse. Read More

Got Calcium?

Calcium is an essential nutrient not just for your bones, but also for your muscles and brain.

This mineral helps your nerves carry messages from your brain to the parts of your body. It helps your muscles move. And, of course, it’s a critical building block for strong teeth and bones.

Yet most Americans – children and adults – don’t get enough calcium in their diet. Many people turn to supplements, but research shows they don’t give your body the same protection as calcium from food. In fact, they can increase your risk for kidney stones and in some people may slightly increase the risk of heart attack.

What should you do? First, understand how much calcium you really need for your age and stage in life. Then, start adding foods high in calcium – low-fat milk, yogurt, hard cheeses and greens such as collards – to your daily meals.

calcium info graphic