Living With Diabetes

November is National Diabetes
Month and if you or someone you
love is one of the 25 million...

read more

Put Cigarettes Down - For Good

Did you know that more people die
from lung cancer than any other
form of cancer? November is Lung...

read more

Make Your ER Visit Easier

With cold and flu season upon us,
more and more people will be
battling illness...

read more

Living With Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month and if you or someone you love is one of the 25 million Americans living with this disease you know how challenging it can be. Below are some tips from the National Institutes of Health's National Diabetes Education Program to help you best manage diabetes.

  • Use your diabetes meal plan. If you do not have one, ask your health care team about one. Make healthy food choices such as fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.

  • Eat foods that have less fat and salt. Eat foods with more fiber such as whole grains cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.

  • Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Brisk walking is a great way to move more.

  • Stay at a healthy weight by using your meal plan and moving more.

  • Ask for help if you feel down. A mental health counselor, support group, member of the clergy, friend, or family member who will listen to your concerns may help you feel better.

  • Learn to cope with stress. Stress can raise your blood glucose (blood sugar). While it is hard to remove stress from your life, you can learn to handle it.

  • Stop smoking. Ask for help to quit.

  • Take medicines even when you feel good. Ask your doctor if you need aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you cannot afford your medicines or if you have any side effects.

  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your health care team right away about any sores that do not go away.

  • Brush your teeth and floss every day to avoid problems with your mouth, teeth, or gums.

  • Report any changes in your eyesight to your doctor.

If you need help managing your diabetes, find a Dignity Health physician near you by clicking here.

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Put Cigarettes Down - For Good

Did you know that more people die from lung cancer than any other form of cancer? November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month - an important time to raise awareness of this disease and the steps we can take to prevent it. While lung cancer can affect men and women who have never smoked a cigarette, smoking is still one of the leading risk factors for this disease. If you or someone you love is trying to quit smoking, here are some great tips from the Centers for Disease Control.

  1. Don't smoke any cigarettes. Each cigarette you smoke damages your lungs, your blood vessels, and cells throughout your body. Even occasional smoking is harmful and telling yourself that you will smoke "just one more" cigarette is not productive.

  2. Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Nicotine is addictive. Knowing this will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that can occur, such as bad moods, depression and really wanting to smoke. There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications. Some people do not experience any withdrawal symptoms. For most people, symptoms only last a few days to a couple of weeks. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time - whatever you need to succeed.

  3. Get help if you want it. Smokers can receive free resources and assistance to help them quit by calling the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669) or by visiting CDC's Tips From Former Smokers. Your health care providers are also a good source for help and support.

  4. Concerned about weight gain? It's a common concern, but not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking. Learn ways to help you control your weight as you quit smoking.

  5. Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to -
    Be around for your loved ones?
    Have better health?
    Set a good example for your children?
    Protect your family from breathing other people's smoke?
    Really wanting to quit smoking is very important to how much success you will have in quitting. Know what your motivation is, written it down and reflect on it often.

  6. Remember this good news: More than half of all adult smokers have quit, and you can, too. Millions of people have learned to face life without a cigarette. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your family.

If you or someone you love needs help to quit smoking, contact Mercy Heart & Vascular Institute about their smoking cessation program. Learn more here.

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Make Your ER Visit Easier

With cold and flu season upon us, more and more people will be battling illness in the coming months. Combine that with the inevitable injuries that come with winter sports like skiing and you know that local emergency departments will be busy. So what should you do if you or a family member needs emergency care? First and foremost - make use of InQuicker, Dignity Health's new online service that allows patients to wait at home rather than in the ER. Here are some tips for making the most of this service:

What is InQuicker?

InQuicker is an Online Waiting Service™ that enables patients who are seeking care for non-life-threatening or debilitating conditions to check-into the ER or urgent care center online and wait at home instead of the waiting room until their selected projected treatment time. InQuicker is available at Mercy General Hospital; Mercy San Juan Medical Center; Methodist Hospital of Sacramento; Mercy Hospital of Folsom; and Woodland Memorial Hospital.

Who should use InQuicker?

InQuicker is only intended for use by individuals who are seeking care but do not have life-threatening or debilitating medical issues. Examples of typical InQuicker users are a mother whose child injures an ankle during a weekend soccer game, or a family caregiver with an ill or injured parent who is uncomfortable sitting in the ER waiting room.

How does InQuicker work?

Patients access InQuicker through the individual hospital's website or through After providing visit and symptom details via an online questionnaire, and agreeing to a set of terms and conditions, the patient "checks in" online and begins waiting until their selected projected treatment time. The InQuicker system is designed to identify symptom keywords that may indicate life-threatening or debilitating conditions that need immediate attention. In these cases, patients are prompted to dial 9-1-1 or go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

What happens if there is a delay in the ER?

Traumas or other events that cause an influx of patients and delay patients waiting at the ER will also affect InQuicker users. In the event of delays to projected treatment times, InQuicker users will be sent real-time notifications via phone call and email with updated projected times so they can continue waiting from the comfort of home.

Is InQuicker an appointment or reservation service?

No. InQuicker is not an appointment or reservation service, as emergency room triage processes do not allow for the scheduling of treatment. InQuicker simply allows patients the option of waiting somewhere other than the emergency department waiting room. They are subject to the same triage processes as all other ER or urgent care center visitors, including delays caused by changes in patient traffic. InQuicker users do not skip in front of other patients. Priority treatment is always given to those with the most urgent medical conditions.

Why has Dignity Health Sacramento chosen to launch InQuicker?

At Dignity Health, quality, accessible emergency room care and patient satisfaction are top priorities. The InQuicker Online Waiting Service provides our patients with a convenient check-in process, timely communications about wait times, and the option to wait in a more comfortable environment until their time to be seen.

Learn more about how you can avoid long lines in the waiting room when your family needs emergency care. Click here.

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