Posted by: yourhealthradio | December 22, 2011

House Calls – Losing a Few Pounds & Hearing Aids with Pacemakers

House Calls from the Carrboro Citizien 12.22.11

Dear HOUSE Calls, I am a 60-year-old woman in good health; I eat well, exercise regularly and drink in moderation. How can I lose the five to 10 pounds I have picked up over the last few years? It is really frustrating.
You are already doing many good things for your health. As you age, your metabolism declines, so if you have the same diet and exercise habits now as you did 20 years ago, you will likely gain a little weight. You have two choices – eat less or move more. Portion control is key for eating less and is the great lesson of diet programs like Weight Watchers. You can also try writing down what you eat to see what you can learn from it and where you can cut calories. Also think about your glycemic load. Foods high in simple carbohydrates (processed flour, sugar, potatoes) will tend to make you hungrier than foods higher in protein, fat and fiber. Consider cutting beverages with calories (fruit juices, sweet tea, soda and alcohol). The other part of this equation is exercise. Can you add a workout or two each week or increase the duration of your workout? We encourage at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise six times per week. Now if you are pressed for time, intensity is the other important part of this equation. Are you getting your heart rate up to 70-80 percent of your age-predicted maximum (112-128 beats per minute)? Can you add higher-intensity intervals to get as much as you can out of your workout? Consider a visit or two with a nutritionist and a personal trainer to tailor your diet and exercise program.
Dear HOUSE Calls, I have a hearing aid and was told that I have it too close to a pacemaker and it might be dangerous. Is this really a problem?
Hearing aids often have a warning that you are not supposed to use them with a pacemaker. This is probably pretty safe. Some studies show that with a remote-style pacemaker, if the transmitter is within 1 inch of the pacemaker, it may interfere with the hearing aid but not the pacemaker. Many manufacturers recommend that you keep the transmitter 4 or more inches from a pacemaker to avoid a theoretical risk of interfering with the pacemaker. Similarly, iPhones should be 6 inches from a pacemaker. Even though this is probably quite safe, it seems like a small inconvenience to keep the transmitter out of your shirt pocket.

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