Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dr. Esther Bahk: Taking Responsibility for Your Health

Weight Loss Lecture February 9

Dr. Esther Bahk will speak on “Medical Intervention for Weight Loss”
on February 9 at 7 p.m. in Fauquier Hospital’s Sycamore Room.

The presentation will focus on four different options for weight loss
management: behavioral therapy, dietary therapy, pharmacotherapy
and surgery. Dr. Bahk will discuss the positive and negative aspects
of each option. She will also explain how you can set a weight loss
goal that’s realistic and attainable.

Dr. Esther Bahk, internist with Fauquier Health Internal Medicine at Lake Manassas, believes that she is not only a physician, but also a public health advocate. She has organized a number of community health fairs over the years because she believes it’s important to spread the word about good health. “Health fairs – like the one held at the Fauquier County Fairgrounds recently -- allow me to reach out to many people in the community who otherwise may not seek medical attention. They also allow me an opportunity to personally counsel people in a more casual way. These venues can be less intimidating because they are informal.”

Dr. Bahk, through her practice and through community outreach, hopes she can help people take a more proactive approach toward their health. “With medicine constantly evolving, it is important that people stay informed and educated. I like to see people take responsibility for their own health.

“Here at Internal Medicine at Lake Manassas, we value the whole person -- mind, body and spirit. The focus is placed on implementing healthcare that promotes comprehensive well-being,” says Dr. Bahk. As a primary care physician, Dr. Bahk has had an opportunity to develop relationships with people from all different backgrounds and ages and has been able to treat a wide variety of maladies. This experience has been vital in her role as a public health advocate. “It allows me an opportunity to reach a wide array of patients, in order to teach disease prevention and health education.”

“In this current economy, everyone's feeling stressed, and I'm certainly seeing a lot of patients who need help coping with the side effects of that stress,” says Dr. Bahk. “Studies show that psychological stress can worsen the symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, asthma, acne, depression, as well as worsen the progression of high blood pressure. Stress also affects the immune system. Long-term stress has the effect of ‘wearing down’ the immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility to infections. By learning to manage your stress levels you can help to improve your overall health.”

Everyone has their own method for coping with stress. Some find a Sunday afternoon at the park with family to be helpful, while others enjoy a quiet day at home curled up with a book. Dr. Bahk offers five stress-busting tips to consider:

1. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

2. Get enough sleep/rest.

3. Exercise regularly.

4. Practice deep breathing exercises and reserve time to just relax.

5. Keep a positive attitude. Laugh! It’s good for you.

Dr. Bahk’s goal is help patients by encouraging healthy lifestyles. “Preventive medicine leads to good health and happiness. That’s my goal for everyone: be happy and healthy!”

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