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Staying Healthy in 2023

Sumner Regional Medical Center shares powerful steps to a healthier you

Article by Scott Bell

Photography by Payton Wright Photography

Originally published in Gallatin Lifestyle

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The ancient Chinese proverb still rings true even when applied to our health and self-care. Staying active and managing our various health needs can be daunting but ultimately it begins with taking that first step. In Gallatin, we are fortunate to have so many amazing professionals who strive to keep us healthy, and this month, Dr. Kelly Barry and Amanda Barton, FNP-C from Sumner Regional Medical Center share with us some healthy habits and ways to stay committed to our own health journeys.

Kelly Barry, MD

HighPoint Orthopedics Associates

What are your top three tips for a healthier lifestyle in 2023?

  1. Eating a balanced, healthy diet consisting of lean proteins, leafy greens, fruits, very low-fat dairy products and whole grains.

  2. Exercising regularly, striving for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day. 

  3. Prioritizing mental health and radiating positivity in everything we do. Maintaining a positive attitude, being around others who have positive outlooks, doing things that are meaningful to you and to others and getting enough sleep at night. These things all help to lead to a healthier mental health lifestyle.

As an orthopedic surgeon, what are a few common injuries you see, and what is your advice for preventing injuries/illnesses? 

One of the most common fractures I see in patients is hip fractures. Prevention involves two interventions:  maintaining good bone health by taking daily Calcium and Vitamin D3 and fall prevention by good organization safety inside your home.

 What are some important things to be on the lookout for when it comes to chronic or acute illnesses and recognizing early warning signs or patterns? 

One of the most common fractures in patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis is a compression fracture in the spine from a low-energy injury (e.g. going over a bad speed bump while driving). While these types of fractures do not require surgery, they can be an indication that your bone density has decreased over time and you should talk with your doctor about testing for osteoporosis and treatment if necessary to prevent future fractures.  

What are some everyday activities or easy, at-home exercises that people of all ages can do to help with mobility and to help prevent joint or orthopedic injuries? 

Walking around your neighborhood is an excellent way to stay mobile. If you have access to a pool, aquatic exercises are very beneficial as they are high-resistance, low-impact activities which are excellent for your bones and joints!

What are some community organizations or causes that are near and dear to your heart and/or the mission of Sumner Regional Medical Center? 

The Arthritis Foundation is an excellent resource for patients to learn about the different types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and others. Arthritis is the #1 cause of disability in our country and this foundation provides educational resources for patients while funding research for effective treatment strategies.  

Amanda Barton, FNP-C

Gallatin Family Wellness

What are some common issues you regularly see that could also be bad habits easily correctable to the benefit of overall health?

Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease, lung disease and cancers. Drinking alcohol in excess leads to liver abnormalities, can cause issues with the esophagus, increases risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and cancers as well. Insomnia due to poor nighttime routines is a big issue that I commonly see as a lot of people use multiple different screens at night whether it is a TV, phone or tablet before they go to bed, negatively affecting their sleep. 

What are the important exams/screenings/tests or checkups we should have and how does that change with age?

For men, colon cancer screenings need to start at age 45 and depending on family history, prostate screening is recommended to begin around age 40. For women, annual breast cancer screenings with a mammogram should start at age 40. Pap smear testing for cervical cancer needs to begin at age 21. Low-dose lung CT screenings for smokers between the ages of 50-80. Bone density screening is important for women after the age of 65 years or for someone younger with risk of having osteoporosis.

How do proper nutrition and adequate rest impact overall health and well-being?

Eliminating salt drastically changes blood pressure and reduces high cholesterol. Eliminating fatty, fried foods, red meats and pork in diets substantially reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and decreasing carbohydrates and sugars reduces diabetic complications. In addition to diet, we all need adequate sleep which directly affects the risk of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes; mood and motivation are affected by an empty sleep bank as well.

How do you encourage your patients to make their everyday and overall health a priority?

Any little progress my patients have, whether that is their labs improving due to diet and exercise, any weight loss, decrease in smoking, decrease in alcohol usage, reduction in fatty fried foods, reducing sweets, etc, deserves praise and I encourage them with each visit. It is also important that they know they do not struggle with these things alone and that we all have our vices when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It's a constant journey and progress should be recognized, encouraged and praised!

What are some community organizations or causes that are near and dear to your heart and/or the mission of Sumner Regional Medical Center?

The Friends of Sumner Regional Medical Center is a volunteer organization that helps raise money for sleep sacks for all of our babies that are delivered at Sumner Regional. Volunteers also put on food drives that provide food assistance bags that are given to patients in need. 

Kelly Barry, MD, and Amanda Barton, FNP, are providers with HighPoint Health Partners, serving patients at HighPoint Orthopedic Associates in Gallatin and Gallatin Family Wellness, respectively. HighPoint Health Partners is affiliated with Sumner Regional Medical Center. The team at Sumner Regional Medical Center is grateful you choose to come to us for your health and wellness needs, and we wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy New Year! To find a provider to help you reach your health goals, please call 800.424.DOCS or search online at MySumnerMedical.com/Find-a-Doc.

“We’ve all been through a lot the past few years during the COVID-19 pandemic and an unfortunate side effect of that was patients not seeing their primary care providers and specialists as often. I see 2023 as a golden opportunity for folks to take back control of their health and make sure they are getting the treatments they need to live their best and healthiest lives.” -Dr. Kelly Barry

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