Mind Over Body: Catarina’s Path to Health

By Catarina Rodrigues, Featured Health Story


Three and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is what happens when the upper portion of your stomach slides up into your chest because there is an opening (a “hiatus”) in your diaphragm. This causes the person to experience severe acid reflux and discomfort, among other symptoms. When my doctor explained this to me, as—you may imagine—it all sounded quite frightening. He told me that this was essentially an incurable condition and that surgery was not recommended at my age.

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Eating for Heart Health

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Your diet, as most people know, is a big component of healthy living. There’s even much truth to the idiom, “You are what you eat!” However, when it comes to living with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, having the right diet becomes even more important, as the foods you eat can make a huge difference not only in the symptoms you experience day to day, but also in the way your chronic conditions progress over time.

What this means is that with the right diet, when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, you can take control of your health by helping to slow or even reverse your chronic conditions. When it comes to heart disease, being on a heart-healthy diet can protect you against further narrowing of your heart’s blood vessels and in turn help prevent further complications such as heart attack and strokes.

In this post we will discuss what types of foods make up a heart healthy diet. In a subsequent post, we will cover the essentials of a specific component of heart healthy eating–the low salt diet.

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Anti-Inflammatory Diets: Fact or Fad?

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Inflammation. Foods that fight inflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets. It has no doubt become a buzzword in the world of nutrition and health these days. But while there’s little question that the food we eat is an important part of staying healthy, some of these diets are being promoted with very big health claims, among them the assertion that they can cure serious diseases. But does the actual science match up to these claims? And should you follow these dietary guidelines? And what exactly do these diets consist of? These are the questions that will be addressed in this post. 

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Fish Oil Supplements: All You Need to Know

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Fish oil. It is one of the most commonly used supplements these days, estimated to be taken by 19 million adults in the U.S. alone. In the media, claims of its health benefits are broad and ubiquitous, ranging from heart disease and cancer prevention to treatment of ADHD. However, while there is little doubt that a diet rich in omega-3 foods is beneficial, do fish oil supplements—which also provide omega-3 fats—confer the same benefits for your health? And what if you are currently on one or thinking about starting—what are the ‘right’ reasons for doing so and the potential risks to consider? And finally, what should you look for in a product?

In answering these questions today, I hope to equip you with the confidence to make the best decisions in regards to your health. If you haven’t yet and would like an introduction to omega-3 fats and their natural food sources, take a look at the first part of this article.

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Omega-3 Fats: Are You Getting Enough?

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Omega-3. Fatty fish. The benefits of fish oil.  No doubt you’ve heard these mentioned before. But is it all true? 

Unfortunately, because of the ongoing research on this subject and our ever-evolving scientific understanding of it, the answer might actually be no—not all that you have heard about fish oil is still considered to be true.

Therefore I would like to spend some time on this topic by doing a two-part post. While today I will present the fundamentals of omega-3 fats—what they are, how much you need, and how you can get them naturally—a follow up article will focus specifically on fish oil supplements and their benefits, with a discussion on what is known about them, what has changed, and what you need to be aware of.

My hope is that by providing these up-to-date essentials that you will be empowered and encouraged to make the best decisions for your personal health. 

So without further ado, let’s get started!

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Vitamins: All You Need to Know

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Multivitamins. Have you ever wondered if taking one makes a difference? Whether you even need one? And if you take several supplements, how much should you take of each…and when? In this post I will answer these important questions as well as provide you some tips on finding the perfect supplement for your needs.

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6 Ways to Improve Your Cholesterol and Heart Health

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Cholesterol. It’s something that you’ve probably have had checked at least once in your life as part of routine blood work. You may also have heard about your “LDL and HDL” and how it’s important to have healthy levels. But do you know why?

In this post I will go over the essential to-know facts about cholesterol, why it’s important, and ways you can improve it safely and naturally.

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5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Know

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Vitamin D deficiency. Do you know the symptoms? How do you know if you are at risk of having it? What should you do if you are, and how do you prevent it? These are the questions I will answer today…

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