Author Archives: Jennifer Kellner

Katie Routh: Eating for good health

Katie Routh enjoys consulting with patients individually

Some people seem to grow up knowing what they want to do in life. According to Katie Routh, the dietician at Ringgold County Hospital, she is one of those people. “As a kid, I was always interested in nutrition,” she said. “When I was growing up, I baked and cooked a lot with my grandmother.”
A Ringgold County native, she thought about a career in nursing, but decided that the nutrition side of health care was where she wanted to focus. She has her Bachelor of Science in dietetics and is accredited through Iowa State University.

Being a dietician at a hospital involves visiting patients while they’re in the hospital. “I look at their lab work and their medications and help them get the nutrition they need while they’re in the hospital. I also help the dietary manager with menu planning and sign off on all the menus,” said Katie.  In addition to caring for people staying in the hospital, Katie does a lot of outpatient counseling. “I really like the counseling part of my job. I talk to people with diabetes, heart disease, and people who are interested in weight loss,” she said. The majority of her consultations are with diabetes patients. “Some have had the disease for years, but they’ve never really had any education on how their eating habits affect it. Some have just discovered they have diabetes and are trying to control it with better nutrition.”

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is the advice of nutritionists everywhere and Katie agrees. In winter, if you can’t find fresh, frozen is a good option. Growing your own vegetables is the best of all. “The healthiest people I know are gardeners!”

Katie has been in her position at RCH for just over two years. She came back to work after her third child was born. She is very practical when it comes to providing advice for good nutrition. “Follow the 80/20 rule,” she advises. “Be a healthy eater at least 80% of the time. Splurge on treats only 20% of the time. After a splurge, start right away again on eating well. But don’t feel like you have to eliminate any food forever. Just watch your portions.” She adds that eating well is really a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s a permanent change you can live with. “Just relax and make healthy choices!”

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Red Flannel Walk February 27

Ringgold County Hospital cares about your heart health. Join us for a quick walk to raise awareness for keeping hearts healthy through activity. All ages are welcome to participate in this FREE event!

Tuesday, February 27
Registration: 4:30 – 4:45
Walk: 4:45 – 5:15
Mt. Ayr High School track
For more information, call 641-464-4452
(In case of inclement weather, registration will be in the Commons, and the walk will be indoors)

Why Do My Legs Hurt?

Ed Wehling, D.O.

Food for Thought: Why Do My Legs Hurt?

Thursday March 15 | 5:00 p.m. | Hospital Cafeteria

Join Dr. Ed Wehling at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 15 in the hospital cafeteria. Dr. Wehling will discuss the importance of vascular health along with treatments and options for those with vascular challenges. The program is free and includes a light dinner.

Please call 641-464-4401 to reserve your spot by Monday, March 12.

Diabetic Heart Disease

Did you know, if you have type 2 diabetes, you’re more likely to develop heart disease than those without diabetes? You’re also at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

High blood sugar = higher risk

  • Over time, high blood sugar caused by type 2 diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels
  • The longer you have type 2 diabetes, the greater your risk for developing heart disease

Heart attack and stroke

  • People with type 2 diabetes who reach their A1C goal are still at risk for heart attack and stroke
  • When you have type 2 diabetes, your risk of cardiovascular disease is up to 4x greater compared with someone without diabetes
  • A significant percentage of heart attacks in people with diabetes are clinically “silent” (no symptoms)

Diabetic heart disease is heart disease that develops in people with diabetes. Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can cause a heart attack, chest pain (angina), or a stroke. Conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valve, or rhythm are also considered forms of heart disease. Diabetic heart disease includes:

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

  • Plaque begins to cause a narrowing of the coronary arteries and reduce the flow of blood to your heart muscle. A plaque buildup increases your risk for blood clots in your arteries that can eventually block the flow of blood
  • Can cause chest pain or discomfort, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, or death

Heart failure

  • Occurs when your heart is unable to pump the amount of blood that your body needs
  • May make you tired very quickly and force you to limit your physical activity
  • CHD can cause heart failure by making your heart muscle weaker over time

Diabetic cardiomyopathy

  • Damages the structure of the heart and the way it works
  • Can cause heart failure and irregular heartbeats

If you or a loved one has Type 2 Diabetes, talk to your medical professional at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic about your risk of heart attack or stroke.

Don’t Skip Your Annual Physical!

Steve Smith is surrounded by the RCH healthcare team that got him on his feet again.

Steve Smith’s story is one all too familiar for many men. He was active, worked outside, felt healthy, and hadn’t been to a doctor in more than 20 years. Then one day, he “got to feeling kind of funky,” so he drove himself to the hospital. “I didn’t think I had anything wrong. I was just a little short of breath. I thought it was a fact of getting older,” he said. Physician assistant Ron Schafer was working that day. “He’s friends with my son. He sat with me while another doctor examined me,” Steve recalled. Before long, Steve was on a helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, and although he didn’t know it, he was in really bad shape. “I had to have five heart bypasses, my kidneys were failing, and my blood sugar was through the roof. I had a heart attack and a stroke while I was on the operating table. They had to shock me back to life three times.”

The medical staff at the hospital called in his family members to prepare them. “They thought I was going to die,” he said. The team of doctors and nurses miraculously pulled him through. The cardiac team in Des Moines had told Steve that his left ventricle was only working at 24% when they discharged him. If he didn’t get it up to 35%, he would require a defibrillator. When he got back to Mt. Ayr, he told Jennifer England, his cardiac rehab therapist, that this was her task – to get him up to 35%. A couple of weeks after starting rehab, he had an echo-cardiogram and he was already at 46%. According to Steve, Jennifer did a “fantastic job.” He was really pleased that he didn’t have to travel for his 36 rehab sessions. “I was doing an hour a day, three days a week. I said to Jennifer, I feel like I lose ground if I don’t do it every day. So, she said, ‘come in every day!’ It was a really good thing to do and a good thing for me to get used to. It’s what I need to do for the rest of my life.”

Steve’s a Type 2 diabetic now, so he’s keeping an eye on his blood sugar. “I have to pay attention. I watch what I eat and check my blood sugar regularly. Exercise helps diabetes too. “I’m doing a lot of walking and I do some of the exercises we did in the hospital. I have to keep moving – even if I would rather take a nap in my recliner!” He walks around the square in Mt. Ayr once a day. If the weather is bad, he walks in the hospital.

Steve hadn’t spent a lot of time at the hospital before, but now he’s not scared of the doctors anymore. At 71 years old with a new lease on life, Steve has some advice for middle-aged men everywhere. “Get a physical every year. Know your numbers.” He adds, “For what I’ve been through, what more could they do to me?”

Call the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic 641-464-4470 to schedule your annual physical.

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