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I have diabetes,

and I’m concerned

about my vision.

What can I do to keep my



Diabetic retinopathy is the

leading cause of blindness for

those with both type 1 and type 2

diabetes. Other eye disorders, like

cataracts and glaucoma, occur earlier

or more frequently in patients with

diabetes. It is important to keep your

blood sugar, blood pressure, and

cholesterol under control to preserve

your vision.

■  ■

Monitor changes in your eyes by

getting a yearly dilated eye exam. An

ophthalmologist or optometrist who

is experienced in diagnosing diabetic

retinopathy should perform the


■  ■

Keep your A1C level—the average of

your blood glucose during the previous

three months—under 7 percent. That

decreases the damage to delicate blood

vessels around the eyes.

■  ■

High blood pressure can also cause

eye blood vessel damage. Keeping blood

pressure at 139/89 or under decreases

the chance of vision impairment.

■  ■

Keep your cholesterol at acceptable

levels by eating less-fatty foods,

exercising, and considering cholesterol

medications if they don’t cause


Following these measures will help

prevent damage in your eyes and keep

your vision healthy.


Gerard Sebastian, MD

Internal Medicine

PeaceHealth Medical Group

1615 Delaware St.

Longview, WA


I’m concerned

about my child’s

weight. What can I

do to help?


If parents are worried about

their child’s weight, it’s first

important to review the entire

family’s nutrition and lifestyle.

Children often follow a parent’s

example. It’s the most important

influence in their lives.

Pay attention to the foods you buy

for your kids and what you eat as a

family. Avoid junk food, sugar, fats,

and chemicals. Limit portions and


The most powerful way to improve

your child’s health is to be a good

example and do things as a family.

With older kids, read stories on

healthy living, plan or cook meals

together, take walks, go bike riding, or

join a gym.

Motivate one another to be active.

Avoid too much TV and telephone

time. Get outside, and spend quality

time together.

Make sure to talk with your child’s

doctor and request resources for

improving the child’s overall health.

And find out how your child feels about

his or her image and self-esteem.

Most important, be encouraging.

Praise your child along the way when

you see positive changes, and reward

good behaviors. This will help inspire

your child to succeed in lifelong

changes for a healthy future.

Lacey Carpenter, PA-C


PeaceHealth Medical Group

1615 Delaware St.

Longview, WA



Am I more likely to

get breast cancer

if I use hormone

replacement therapy for my

menopause symptoms?


The Women’s Health Initiative,

which began in the early

’90s, was groundbreaking research

on women’s health. However, it

left many women concerned about

using hormones to treat their

perimenopause and menopause


Researchers have since looked

further into the data along with more

recent research results.

The conclusion is that for women

who are within 10 years of menopause,

below the age of 60, and without risk

factors, there is a low likelihood of

getting breast cancer.

The recommendation is for use of

HRT for no more than five years. For

women over the age of 60 or more

than 10 years past menopause, the

risk of cancer and other complications

increases. HRT is not recommended

for this age group.

Everyone is unique, with differing

health and wellness priorities. For you,

it’s best to have a women’s health care

specialist review your health history

and wellness goals to see if HRT is the

right choice.


Gretchen Schwinn, CNM

Women’s Health

PeaceHealth Medical Group

1660 Delaware St.

Longview, WA







Jan. 9 through 30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Feb. 6 through 27, 5 to 7 p.m.

March 6 through 27, 1 to 3 p.m.

April 10 through May 1, 5 to 7 p.m.


PeaceHealth Medical

Group–Internal Medicine,

1615 Delaware St., Longview, WA


Four-week diabetes

education series covers meal

planning, medications, and

diabetes self-management

options. A physician referral is



Learn more about women’s health

at longview/obgyn .

For more options about kids and

parenting, check the calendar on page 6.

For more options about diabetes,

check the calendar on page 6.