As we get close to wrapping up 2012, the new year is on the horizon and resolutions are already on our minds. (Not to rush the season. We still have all of December to indulge!) But in the coming weeks, we’ll be getting to know more about some of Barrington’s very own experts in health, fitness and fresh starts, starting this week with family physician and Alexian Brothers associate, Dr. Reinhold Llerena.
To learn a little more about Dr. Llerena, we paid him a visit in his office, which is located in a highly traveled spot in town. It’s right by Barrington’s drive-thru Starbucks on Northwest Highway.
We asked Dr. Llerena for a few tips to a healthy new year and the conversation quickly turned to five health issues that he says can be prevented or more easily managed with early detection. We’ll get to Dr. Llerena’s list of 5 Most Preventable Diseases in just a minute.
But first, we’re excited to introduce Dr. Llerena as the first medical professional to join the Barrington Online Markplace here at 365Barrington.com. In case you’re new to this website, here’s a quick look at how the Marketplace works…
At the beginning of each workweek, we introduce you to the latest local businesses, professionals & organizations to join our Barrington Online Marketplace by featuring them here at 365Barrington.com and via our weekly email newsletter. If you’d like to receive those emails, which will also include information about upcoming events in Barrington, just enter your email here and click “Submit”.
You’ll find the new community resource at 365Barrington.com/Marketplace. To have your business, organization, home or event featured, visit 365Barrington.com/Advertise for more information or call Liz at 847-691-3150.
Now back to our newest Marketplace member. Dr. Llerena grew up in a household of teachers. Which is probably why, as a family practitioner, it is almost second nature for him to teach his patients how to best take care of themselves to prevent or minimize disease as they age.
“If you are exercising and eat a healthy diet, then keep it up,” said Dr. Llerena. “And see a family doctor every couple of years. After age 50, see your doctor every year because things crop up a lot quicker.”
Dr. Llerena says he takes it hard if a patient he sees regularly comes down with an illness.
“If someone has a heart attack, stroke, an ulcer, or something I know was preventable and I find out they get sick, I take it personally. So, my drive is to make sure people know why they should be having preventative tests, why they should be having certain vaccines.”
Diet and exercise are important to prevention, but Dr. Llerena says so are the appropriate medical tests and checkups. Here’s what he says are the 5 Most Preventable Diseases More Treatable with Early Detection …
“Everyone should have baseline cholesterol levels starting around age 25. Have their blood pressure checked and screened for overall heart disease because if you aggressively treat any of the risk factors, heart disease is preventable.”
“Every woman should get a mammogram yearly after age 40. Breast cancer caught early is treatable and curable.”
“Starting at age 50, every male should have a prostate evaluation which includes digital exam, a PSA and a discussion of any symptoms then you correlate that with what the risk is for prostate enlargement versus prostate cancer. Itʼs very treatable these days if caught early.”
“Starting at age 50 everybody, men and women, should have some form of colon screening. The colonoscopy gives the fullest look at the colon, also the Sigmoidoscopy which goes half way, but it doesnʼt see one side of the colon. Then there is also a stool sample that tests for blood, but all that does is tell you to get a colonoscopy. So, colonoscopy is where we have taken things for colon screening. Itʼs treatable.”
“We start with looking at family history, looking at whatʼs the biggest risk factor which is weight and managing the weight. From the time you are diagnosed, youʼve probably had pre-diabetic changes for about 10 years is what researchers estimate. So, people who have these borderline sugars and say ʻwell Iʼm not diabetic,ʼ if you let them go, it keeps that whole thing going. The longer diabetes, even at a very subtle stage exists, the risks for complications years from now are much greater. The first way to scan for diabetes is testing glucose as part of a general physical.”
And Dr. Llerena reminded us that if you have any family history with any of these diseases, it is important to be tested and regularly monitored by your physician earlier than the recommended age.
To read more about Dr. Reinhold Llerena, his background and his approach to treating patients, CLICK HERE to read the special feature we just published about his practice in the Barrington Online Marketplace…
And be sure to stay tuned for our next Marketplace member which we will be debuting soon for another way to stay healthy, shape up and start fresh in the new year. And to review all members who have joined our Marketplace in recent months, visit 365Barrington.com/Marketplace.