Almost everything I see in primary care is associated with lifestyle – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint pain, depression & anxiety, insomnia, stomach pain, bowel problems, cancers – and the list goes on.
Some conditions are a complex combination of genetics and environment. Many conditions are “switched on” by poor diet, obesity, smoking, alcohol & drug use, and other lifestyle choices.
After 20 years of working in health care I find myself giving the same advice appointment after appointment – consider changing your lifestyle. I often get the same response…HOW do I do that???
There is a lot of bad information out there on topics like healthy eating. Some of that info comes from the medical community, government agencies, and recognized disease organizations. We are also exposed to lots of marketing from food corporations and pharmaceutical agencies trying to sell their ‘product’. People don’t know who to trust anymore.
Reliable information combined with some motivation and activation is what’s needed. Like quitting smoking, with a little support and attention patients are very able to change how they live. Primary health care professionals can be key players in helping people to make changes.
Yet lifestyle advice has rarely been part of the conversation between patients and providers (NPs & MDs). In the past providers were not likely to prescribe healthy eating to prevent or treat disease.
I needed to figure out a way to make healthy living part of the regular conversation between providers and patients and to have reliable info ready to help people achieve health through lifestyle change.
In 2013 I started a blog. At the time I didn’t really know what a blog was. Now I am publishing my own online magazine – Getting Healthy with NP Sam. The articles are written for anyone who wants to learn about a healthy lifestyle, early disease screening, illness prevention & treatment. Articles are referenced and content is periodically reviewed and updated.
I recently checked the traffic on my magazine blog. As of November 2018, Getting Healthy with NP Sam has had over 29,000 pageviews with readers from all over the world. Not bad!
Since 2015 I have collaborated with Nutrition Coach & Personal Trainer Shelley Aggett to develop a nutrition program at our primary care clinic. We are still running that program today and I am pleased to report that we have helped people to lose hundreds of pounds, reduce or eliminate medications, and to feel great.
In 2017 I started research for my Master of Nursing Degree. My research looks at how we can can assess and treat obesity in primary care with an end-game of reducing lifestyle diseases.
In recent years I have witnessed some big changes in primary care...
On www.npsam.ca you will be able to read my magazine blog, check out my expanding directory of resources, or see what I am up to in my research. In 2019 I will be launching a podcast series.
Thank you for visiting npsam.ca today. Stay tuned for ongoing additions to my website. Comments and feedback are always welcome.
Samantha Dalby has worked as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner since 2006. She specializes in therapeutic nutrition to prevent & treat disease.
The information provided on npsam.ca is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified health care professional. You are encouraged to inform your nurse practitioner or physician of any changes you make to your lifestyle. If you have questions or concerns about any medical conditions please book an appointment with your nurse practitioner or physician.
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