Review Category : Health

Health Tip of the Week – The easiest way to lose 5 pounds

By Ian Hart

If you want the simplest and most effective way to lose weight, I have the answer – and I will give it to you in minute – but before I tell you what it is, I think we all know ultimately what needs to be done to lose weight… it’s the actual action steps of losing the weight that is lacking. Many times people need accountability, motivation and a support systems to get them out of the unhealthy pattern so that caused the weight gain.

With that being said, this tip I am about to give you should be one of the easier things to take action on, because it requires very little willpower and takes verylittle effort.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way. The simplest and easiest way to lose 5lbs is to go to bed early. Go to bed at a time when you can ensure that you get a good eight hours or so of sleep for 1 week straight and I can assure you that you will lose weight. But… that’s not all. I want you to shut down your wifi and shut off all your electronic gear and move it far away from where you sleep (at least 10 feet). It is also good to even shut down all your circuit breakers in the house. This will allow you to get a deep rest.

All the extra wifi and electrical activity doesn’t allow your body to get a good night’s sleep. Give it a try, I think you will be surprised by the results.

Ian Hart is creator of EarthFIT Transformation Systems and co-creator of the Back Pain Relief4Life Formula. Contact him at or 800.718.7FIT.

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Musings from the therapist’s chair

Marriage is like a frontier between two countries.  Where two countries meet is the frontier.  It is where they meet and mingle.  It is the boundary that distinguishes one from the other.  If they are happy neighbors there is free interchange.  Visas and passes allow for free passage to the other.  If they are warring a wall is put up, guards with various weapons protect the boundary.  The work of countries and marriages is to keep that frontier a place of mutual respect, with free access and sharing while at the same time honoring the uniqueness of each.

Benton Lutz is a psychotherapist in private practice in Beaufort.

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BMH pediatrician receives Healthy Steps grant

Beaufort Memorial pediatrician Dr. James Simmons has received a $273,000 grant from Children’s Trust of South Carolina to launch Healthy Steps, a national initiative designed to improve the health and development of children from birth to age three.

Dr. James Simmons, MD

Dr. James Simmons, MD

The early-intervention program uses developmental screenings and home visitations by trained specialists to help identify and address issues that could affect the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of at-risk children. Simmons, of All Children’s Pediatrics in Port Royal, will team up with physicians from Beaufort Pediatrics and Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services (BJHCHS) to initiate the Healthy
Steps program.

“Home visitation is proven to be a very effective tool in assessing psychosocial issues that can hinder the optimal growth and development of children,” said Simmons, a physician in Beaufort for 15 years. “Sometimes parents will talk more openly about their problems in a home setting than at the doctor’s office.”

Issues affecting children could include substance abuse by a parent, domestic violence and maternal depression. The evaluation also will target obesity. South Carolina ranks second in the country for obesity in children ages 10 to 17.

The 14 pediatricians in the three practices will be trained to spot potential issues during well-child check-ups with their young patients. Parents of children referred to the voluntary program will meet with a developmental specialist in the doctor’s office for an initial screening. The specialist will then follow up with a home visit.

“Far too many children have emotional, physical or psychological issues that can be traced back to their youth,” said Dr. Kurt Ellenberger, of Beaufort Pediatrics. “Parents want to do the right thing, but they may have difficulty coping with their problems. They’re unaware of the resources in the community that can help them.” During home visits, the Healthy Steps specialists will look for possible adult risk factors that affect child behavior and development. Once the issues have been identified, the specialist will consult with the
referring pediatrician.

“They’re helping us get an eye inside the home so we can determine what needs to be done to affect a change,” Simmons said. “If they see kitchen cabinets full of cookies and chips, we may refer the parent to a nutritionist at Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center or one of the resources at the Medical University of South Carolina.”

Obesity among young children, even infants, is of particular concern in the Lowcountry. In his practice, Simmons said, he is seeing an increasing number of children developing Type 2 diabetes, once called adult-onset diabetes. Being overweight is one of the primary risk factors for the disease.

“The earlier we can catch problems,” Simmons said, “the easier it is to modify bad habits.”

Along with the developmental screenings and home visitations, Healthy Steps also offers:

•  Well-child visits with a clinician and Healthy Steps specialist

•  Child development and family health check-ups

•  Written materials on topics such as toilet training, discipline and nutrition

•  Referrals for services, including speech or hearing specialists for children and depression counseling for mothers.

The $273,000 grant provides funding to serve 175 families in Beaufort and Jasper counties. Simmons said he can apply for more money if he determines there is a greater need. Recently, the core team spearheading the Beaufort Healthy Steps initiative met in Greenville to receive training on the program. Over the next several weeks, they will provide instruction to the participating pediatricians on the referral process.

“Families face so many challenges,” said Dr. Faith Polkey, BJHCHS pediatric service chief. “This program provides them with that little extra support they need.”

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Red Cross Blood Drive

The next opportunity to donate blood to the American Red Cross in Beaufort will be on Thursday, August 7th in the CSUMC Fellowship Hall (408 Carteret Street, Beaufort, SC) from noon until 6 p.m.

It is extremely helpful if donors would make an appointment; please call 1-866-611-7137 or log onto (it’s very simple). For the 1-866 number, after you get an answer press 2 (Option 2) for a Savannah-based operator to make your appointment. Blood donated to the American Red Cross is used locally, nationally, and across the globe—where ever and when ever needed.

For any questions, please call Merle Hoagland at 843-522-2073 or e-mail

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Beaufort Memorial now provides single-incision hysterectomies

Beaufort Memorial Hospital has expanded its use of robot-assisted surgery to offer a single-incision hysterectomy procedure, the first in the region to provide this minimally invasive option.

Dr. Christopher Benson

Dr. Christopher Benson

Beaufort Memorial board-certified surgeons Dr. Pat Thompson, of Beaufort Gynecology Associates, and Drs. Greg Miller and Chris Benson of Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists are among a small group of surgeons in the nation trained to perform this advanced procedure, and the first surgeons to offer it to women in the Lowcountry region.

Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is the second most common

Dr. Patricia Thompson

Dr. Patricia Thompson

surgical procedure for women in the United States. An estimated one-third of all women will have a hysterectomy by age 60, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Compared to a traditional hysterectomy, a robot-assisted procedure is minimally invasive and helps women return to their normal activities more quickly.  The surgery is performed in less than two hours and many

Dr. Gregory Miller

Dr. Gregory Miller

patients have the option to return home the same day and nearly all go home within 24 hours. The da Vinci robot also allows for a single incision hidden within the belly button, compared to traditional laparoscopic surgeries which require three to five small, visible incisions.

“The cosmetic ramifications of a hysterectomy, whether elective or not, can weigh heavily on women,” Dr. Thompson said.  “This single-incision robot-assisted procedure now gives women a surgical option that leaves virtually no scar.”

About robot-assisted surgery at Beaufort Memorial Hospital

Beaufort Memorial surgeons have been performing robot-assisted surgeries locally since 2009. Robot-assisted surgery, like other minimally-invasive or laparoscopic surgeries, utilizes cameras and instruments that are inserted through small incisions in a patient’s body. The advantage is that the surgeon utilizes the hand controls of a state-of-the-art console to control the robotic arms during a procedure. Through the console’s viewfinder, the surgeon sees high definition, 3D images. The quality of the images and the precision of the surgical arms enable the surgeon to provide optimal care to their patients.

In addition to gynecologic surgery, Beaufort Memorial’s use of the da Vinci Robot includes urologic surgery and general surgery. For more information about physicians performing robot-assisted surgery at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, call 843-522-5585.

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Musings from the therapist’s chair

Metaphors are powerful containers of meaning.  Let’s say you are talking to someone about yourself and they say, “It is like you have been swimming on the surface of your life and now you are going deeper to see what treasures you can discover.”  This simple metaphor gives definition to your process and builds courage to swim even deeper. Benton Lutz is a psychotherapist in private practice in Beaufort.

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Do you have plenty to smile about?

By Dr. Jennifer Wallace

Have you always wanted a brighter smile? Well you aren’t in the minority. It’s one of the most popular concerns among patients I talk with these day. Many ask, “Dr. Wallace, how can I get my teeth whiter?”

A recent survey I read had these staggering statistics: Fifty percent of people consider the smile the first facial feature they notice and yet 80 percent are not happy with their smile. Your smile — simple, straightforward, and most important, sincere — can attract more than admiring looks. A smiling face tells people that you’re an outgoing and intelligent person worth getting to know.

How white should your teeth become? Well that depends on a few factors. Bleachers should aim for a color that matches the whites of their eyes. If you bleach your teeth a whiter color than the whites of your eyes, this color will cause your teeth to become your focal point (the place people’s eyes go to first and keep being drawn back to).   If the color of your teeth is a brighter white than the whites of your eyes, this  will not only cause your teeth to look fake, but it may make your skin look dull or washed out next to the very bright white of your teeth.

Well, there’s no reason for those closed-lipped smiles in holiday, vacation or Facebook pictures anymore, due to being self-conscious of dingy teeth, because there’s an app for that! Well, not actually an app, but there are options.  Some people want an instant and dramatic change, while others prefer more gradual whitening such as the type that results from a whitening toothpaste or gel. Surface stains and internal discoloration can be caused with age of course, but as a dental professional we take into consideration habits such as tobacco use, drinking coffee, tea, colas or red wine, and eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries. The accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits, prior trauma or even exposures with the antibiotic tetracycline during childhood tooth development, can also affect the overall color of a tooth to appear gray or brown.

There are many reasons for whitening your teeth, including:

• The boost to your confidence and self-esteem that comes from a great smile

• A younger appearance

• A special event such as a wedding, job interview or class reunion

• To make a positive first impression on others

• To simply reverse years of everyday staining and yellowing.

Whitening is safe as long as people follow the directions and use a product that carries a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. While whitening can occasionally change tooth color nine or more shades, the majority of people who whiten their teeth see a change of between two and seven shades. Each procedure has its advantages and disadvantages. Laser whitening and other in-office bleaching procedures, for example, may produce the most dramatic results, but obviously cost more. Final results depend on your natural tooth color, any prior dental work you have, how stubborn any stains are and the treatment you choose. Keep in mind that a change of just two or three shades can make a noticeable difference in most smiles.

Whitening products work mainly in one of two ways. The first is a “non-bleaching” approach to abrasively help remove surface stains. Drug store whitening toothpastes have polishing agents that provide additional stain removal that regular mild abrasion toothpastes do not. A professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist also uses abrasion and polishing to remove most external staining caused by food/tobacco and is always recommended before starting any whitening procedures. The second approach to whiter teeth would be those bleaching procedures offered by your dentist to actually change your natural tooth color, usually anywhere from five to seven shades brighter. In-office whitening procedures like Zoom rely on hydrogen peroxide in concentrations of 25% that is applied by a dental professional in a careful, controlled ‘all at once’ application. At-home tray whitening bleaches contain an active ingredient called carbamide peroxide. Both hydrogen and carbamide peroxide professional bleaching techniques help to remove both deep and surface stains. However, after several months or a year of eating and drinking normally (coffee, tea, soft drinks, wines, berries, and red sauces), your teeth can become slightly discolored again and develop new stains. It’s a good idea to plan a maintenance whitening regimen with your dentist to protect your new smile.

Everyone responds differently to different whitening procedures. Some people respond well to whitening toothpastes, while people with gray teeth or other serious discoloration may require porcelain veneers or bonding to achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted. Only your dentist or hygienist can determine what’s right for you.

Dr. Wallace practices at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort and can be contacted at 843-524-7645 or

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Benton’s bits of advice

The only way to tell the truth is to let the truth tell you. In many ways, we are unaware of ourselves. We tell stories that we think get at the truth of our essence but actually don’t get close. We have a vested interest in ourselves, and that colors and camouflages us from ourselves. Therapy is the process of putting a different mirror in front of us so that we see a more realistic image. It is the process of letting the truth tell us. Benton Lutz is a licensed professional counselor and can be reached at 843-986-0569 or

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BMH Imaging Services Department receives ACR accreditation

Beaufort Memorial Hospital once again has been awarded the gold seal of accreditation for its CT and MRI services, following an extensive review by experts in the field of medical imaging. The accreditation is good for a term of three years.

Presented by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the prestigious designation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting the national organization’s practice guidelines and technical standards.

As part of the re-accreditation process, a panel of board-certified physicians and physicists conducted a thorough assessment of the BMH Imaging Center and reported the findings to the ACR Committee on Accreditation. The evaluation included image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs.

“This accreditation reflects Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s continued commitment to providing the highest quality of care here in the Lowcountry,” BMH Advanced Imaging Supervisor Matthew Hurtt said.

The nonprofit hospital offers a wide range of screening and diagnostic services, including MRI and CT scans and advanced 3-D tomosynthesis screening mammography. The Outpatient Imaging Center is located on the first floor of Beaufort Medical Plaza, providing a convenient and comfortable setting for outpatient testing.

Last year, the ACR designated Beaufort Memorial’s Women’s Imaging Center a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. To earn the accreditation, you have to go above and beyond the mandated mammography certification and achieve accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy.

The hospital went through the rigorous application process voluntarily to ensure patients are receiving the best care from screening to diagnosis.

For more information on Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s imaging services or to schedule appointments in Beaufort or Bluffton call 843-522-5144 or visit

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

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Coastal Carolina Hospital welcomes first baby

Coastal Carolina Hospital announces the birth of the first baby born at the hospital in eight years.

Baby girl Ariya Nicole Block was born July 2, a day after the hospital officially opened its Women’s Pavilion. Ariya, who was delivered by Dr. Glenn Werner, is the daughter of Ebonee and Joshua Block of Beaufort. Born at 5:29 a.m., Ariya weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Dr. Werner practices with Riverside Women’s Care, which has offices in Beaufort and Bluffton.

Coastal Carolina Hospital administrators and directors present gifts donated to parents of the first baby born at the hospital in eight years. From left: Patty Tolbert, Director of HIM; Shelly Harrell, VP, Business Development; Katie Mowery, RN, Director of Women’s Services; Ashley VonNida, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Bradley S. Talbert, CEO; Joshua Block, father, holding baby girl Ariya Nicole Block; and mother, Ebonee  Block.

Coastal Carolina Hospital administrators and directors present gifts donated to parents of the first baby born at the hospital in eight years. From left: Patty Tolbert, Director of HIM; Shelly Harrell, VP, Business Development; Katie Mowery, RN, Director of Women’s Services; Ashley VonNida, RN, Chief Nursing Officer; Bradley S. Talbert, CEO; Joshua Block, father, holding baby girl Ariya Nicole Block; and mother, Ebonee Block.

“We congratulate the Blocks on the birth of their new daughter and are especially proud to have them be the first parents to have a newborn at Coastal,” said Bradley S. Talbert, FACHE, CEO of Coastal.  “We have been preparing for the arrival of a new baby since we announced last summer that we would once again offer maternity services at the hospital.”

News of their status caught the Blocks by surprise. “It’s pretty cool,” said Sgt. Joshua Block, a Parris Island drill instructor.

“We knew this part of the hospital was brand new, but we didn’t think we would be the first ones,” Mrs. Block said. The couple said they decided to go to the hospital where their provider would be delivering.  Mrs. Block, a fulltime mom, and her husband, arrived at the hospital at 3:20 a.m. on July 2 and two hours later had a new addition to their family. The couple also has a 2-year-old son, Aiden.

They said the experience at Coastal has been excellent, especially the care provided by the nursing staff. “They have all been really great and willing to help us,” Mrs. Block said.

As parents of the first baby to born at the hospital in eight years, hospital administrators presented the couple with gifts donated by area businesses and organizations. Among them were a gift basket from the Auxiliary at Coastal Carolina Hospital, the hospital’s volunteer organization; a gift basket from M.J. Harris Construction, the firm that led the renovation project; a two-night stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in Bluffton; a photo package from Bella Baby Photography; a photo frame from the hospital, as well as a car seat, blanket and bib from New River Auto Mall.

The hospital broke ground for the renovation of the 15,600-square-foot unit in February. Renovation work on the unit took nearly five months. The unit includes a three-bed antepartum suite, six labor and delivery rooms, 10 postpartum rooms, a c-section suite, a nursery and outdoor garden area for parents.

For more information about the Women’s Pavilion, visit

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