Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mastectomy – 10/6/09

Topic – Mastectomy: Lifting OK For Breast Cancer Survivors

According to a recent Associated Press article written by Marilynn Marchione, lifting by breast cancer patients may not have to cause painful arm swelling if the patient participates in weight lifting training.

A new study by Kathryn Schmitz, an exercise scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, funded by the federal government, found that women who were doing various lifting had fewer arm problems because they had better muscle tone. The report is detailed in the August issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Women who have had radiation to the armpit, or lymph nodes removed to check for cancer, can suffer lymphedema – a buildup of fluids that causes painful and unsightly swelling of the arms or hands, the article explains.

To avoid this, in the past, doctors have advised women to refrain from any lifting of toddlers, heavy purses, etc. But Schmitz challenged this with a yearlong study involving 141 breast cancer survivors. Half the patients continued their regular routine. The other half were given weightlifting classes. They wore custom-fitted compression garments on their affected arms and gradually increased their weigh training over time.

At the end of the study, fewer weightlifters suffered lymphedema flare-ups than the ones who did not participate in weightlifting (14 % of weightlifters vs. 29% of the others suffered flare-ups).

According to the article, Schmitz says patients should not rush into weight training because it could cause problems. She suggests…

- Have a certified fitness professional teach you how to exercise properly.

- Start slow, with a program that gradually progresses.

- Wear a well-fitting compression garment during workouts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Diabetes - 8/14/09

IMPORTANT: The content on this Blog is for information purposes only. If you have questions regarding your health or if you have serious health issues, contact your physician. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

By Carolyn Bass, Certified Fitter

Carolyn is Director of Halliday’s Healthcare Division, in Jacksonville, Florida. She has over 20 years of experience working with men and women dealing with illnesses relating to diabetes, lymphedema, edema, varicose veins, DVT, venous stasis, ulcers, dermatitis and women have had a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.

Topic - Diabetes


A good deal of our business for compression garments is from patients suffering from diabetes.

In case you don’t know, diabetes is an imbalance between sugar, or glucose and insulin. When the body ingests glucose, the pancreas secretes insulin to convert it into energy. With diabetes, the body doesn’t get enough insulin.

Then there is Type 2 diabetes. Once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, Type 2 is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's main source of fuel.

When you have Type 2 diabetes, your body is resistant to the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or your body doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.

The danger of undiagnosed diabetes can result in heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, loss of limb and death.

Health statistics show that twenty-three million Americans have diabetes, with a quarter of them not even knowing they have it. The biggest risk factor for diabetes is family history.

When visiting your physician, I suggest you periodically ask for a blood-glucose test to monitor your condition.