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Eating Healthy

Healthful Food Suggestions recommends that our meals include about an equal ratio of fruits and vegetables compared to grains and proteins. That means that you should make fruits and vegetables about half your plate.

Try eating whole grains rather than processed grains for added health benefits. “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many [emphasis added] nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies” ( Whole grains also contain more nutrients and fill you up better than refined grains.

Fruits are a sweet, natural dessert and a much better option than junk food or candy because they contain nutrients and lack the refined sugars.

“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (Harvard School of Public Health).

Fish such as salmon are another heart-healthy protein option. “The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week.”If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative sources of protein.

If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative plant sources for protein while still part of the vegetable food group.

Caloric Intake Guidelines

Ever wonder how many calories you should eat a day? This WebMD link shares the average calorie intake to “maintain energy balance” based on gender, height, and the amount of daily activity.

Learn What Your Food is Made of has a food tracker called Food-A-Pedia. It is a great resource to track the nutritional content and calories of what you eat.

Also, don’t forget to prepare your food properly and wash your hands before eating!

Other resources:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)


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Rise Above Altitude Sickness

Avoid Altitude Sickness this Summer through Education and Prevention

Summer is the time for going outdoors, sun-sational mountain memories, and starry night skies. With the upcoming eclipse at the end of August, many travelers from all over the world will be visiting Idaho with an opportunity to experience the high elevation. Whether you are traveling far or enjoying your summer from home, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and what can be done in prevention.

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness or mountain sickness is caused due to the body struggling to adjust to receiving less oxygen pressure from a high elevation. Altitude sickness has over 200,000 cases in the United States each year.

What are common symptoms of altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness does not typically become noticeable in people until multiple hours at a higher elevation. Often times altitude sickness is compared to having a hangover. It can present itself through a number of symptoms including:

  • dizziness
  • fast than normal heart rate
  • fatigue/low energy
  • headaches
  • inability to exercise
  • insufficient urine production
  • loss of appetite
  • not sleeping well
  • shortness of breath
  • sleepiness
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting

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Who is most likely to acquire altitude sickness?

Experts do not know who is most likely to obtain altitude sickness, therefore, it is important to be aware of its possibility when traveling, hiking or camping in locations with higher elevation that you are used to. Even those who are physically fit and healthy can obtain this sickness. This is especially true because individuals who are physically fit are more likely to ascend to higher elevations very quickly and should take caution. Idaho is ranked as the number 6 state in highest mean elevation with Rexburg being at 4865’.

Educating yourself about Altitude Sickness is important so you can identify early symptoms and be willing to acknowledge when they are present. When you know you will be at an elevation which is higher than your body is used to make sure you take care of yourself especially through the following:

  • Proper hydration – drinking water helps with the prevention of altitude sickness
  • Climb slowly – trying to climb a mountain quickly without preparation or training can be dangerous

Recovery of altitude sickness

It is important to take special care when you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness.

  • take it easy
  • slow down
  • do not continue
  • rest
  • drink plenty of water
  • do not proceed higher
  • do not drink alcohol
  • limit activity such as hiking and talking
  • know it can take anywhere between 12 hours to 3 – 4 days

At Madison Memorial Hospital we care about your physical safety. Through careful precautions, you and your family can enjoy fun summer activities while being happy and healthy. Happy trails wherever you may be this summer, and be safe.


Madison Receives ‘Best Theme’ Award for 4th of July Float

Celebrating Independence Day as a Community

On Tuesday morning, the streets of Rexburg were lined with families and friends in celebration of America and Rexburg’s 88th annual Independence Day parade. Madison Memorial Hospital’s 4th of July float glistened with shimmering stars, waves of red, white and blue, and a giant bald eagle. The bald eagle was selected as a symbol for the nation in 1782 and is a fitting symbol for Madison Memorial as it represents the strength and long life the hospital strives to provide for community members. In the parade, Madison’s float was awarded “Best Theme.” Over 90 floats participated in the parade, each celebrating the community and country in their own way. Following the parade, Rexburg’s Celebration in the Park provided many festivities for community members at Porter Park. Madison Memorial Hospital appreciates being part of such a patriotic and united community.


Stay Hydrated

Water is the one nutrient which your body doesn’t store.

Summer Hydration

Summer is here and so is the heat! Due to the fact that our bodies are made up of about 60% water, staying hydrated is crucial.

“Summer is a particularly risky time, we lose a lot of water through our skin and through our respirations,” said Merri A. Bowler, Madison Diabetes Education Coordinator. “We just need to be extra diligent to make sure that we are drinking enough.”

Over the past two years, on average, Madison Memorial Hospital has received about ten cases of dehydration per month.

Summer heat increases the risk of dehydration, this is a concern as everyone tends to become more involved in activities during the warmer months.

If an individual gets dehydrated then they may become nauseated, very confused and have significant problems. It is also important to ensure children have access to water because they are more susceptible to dehydration.

Improving Water Drinking Habits

In order to stay hydrated throughout the day, it is a good idea to carry around a water bottle. Reusable bottles can be refilled multiple times and at the same time are more transportable than cups or glasses.

Madison Dietitian, Susan Clark, is a big believer in water bottles.

“If you have a 24-ounce bottle or something like that at your desk or with you all the time it’s easier,” said Clark. “I know I drink a lot more that way than if I just get a few ounces in a cup every few hours.”

One effective way to increase the drinking of water is to add flavorings.

“If you don’t like water then you can put some lemon flavor, lime flavor in it and that too to make it a little more drinkable,” Bowler recommended.

Water Benefits Proper Body Functions

Water is important for the proper function of:

  • body temperature
  • the bowels
  • the gastrointestinal tract
  • the kidneys
  • the liver
  • the skin
  • the urinal tract

Drinking water also helps muscles to be energized therefore it is very important to hydrate before and during exercise activities. Sweating causes those working out to lose fluids which need to be replaced through drinking water.

Drinking water helps to maintain the balance of our bodies’ fluids. WebMD suggests six reasons to drink water here.

Water helps with cognitive function or in other words thinking.

“Water helps our whole body work better, it keeps the organs functioning well especially like the kidneys,” said Bowler.

Water Benefits Physical Appearance

Drinking water is a strategy many dieters have used to help with weight loss and controlling calories. Foods which are water-rich are absorbed more slowly by the body and help you to feel full. A few examples of water-rich foods are:

  • beans
  • fruits
  • oatmeal
  • soups with broth
  • vegetables

Proper hydration helps the skin to keep moisture in because the skin contains water and helps fluid loss to not be excessive through prevention.

Water provides good hydration for most people and is all that most need unless if exercising at a high intensity for an extended period of time, then sports drinks may help provide electrolytes, according to While they may provide electrolytes it is important to be cautious with consumption due to high sugar content.

Sugar-filled Drinks

Drinks containing high amounts of sugar are not as beneficial for proper health.

“A little bit is okay. Things like Powerade, Gatorade, you know like your sports drinks, they have a lot of electrolytes so those are really good if you’re in a hot environment sweating a lot of your sodium out because there’s a lot of sodium in sweat,” Clark said. “For most people, water is sufficient.”

For most people, it is not necessary to drink beverages other than water.

Water and Diabetes

“If you are well hydrated then you eat less,” said Bowler.

Drinking water helps with feeling full. Often times feelings of hunger are actually indicators of thirst.

“Sometimes we are really thirsty when we think we are hungry and so it helps with that but it’s just a good thing to drink so that you don’t have added sugars and caffeine,” Bowler said. “It’s really important for people with diabetes to stay well hydrated also it really helps the body handle the sugar better.”

Water is important and so are you. It’s time to take a sip and get refreshed!

Further dietary counseling information can be found at Madison Education Department.

Madison Education Department

35 N 1st E, Rexburg, ID 83440


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Rexburg Rocks

Have you seen colorful rocks around random Rexburg locations?

Rexburg Rocks is a trend to help motivate people to explore the city and enjoy visiting places. A variety of rocks are hidden all over Rexburg for your pleasure. Even Madison Memorial Hospital has a few rocks hidden outside of its hospital.

Anyone can join in the fun and go searching for Rexburg rocks. It’s a particularly fun activity for children to go on a hunt and even make their own colorful rocks to hide around Rexburg locations. Just be sure to avoid placing them in dangerous locations (such as in the grass where a lawnmower may hit it).

Rocks can usually be found near pathways where they could easily be seen such as flower beds.

You can look at the facebook page dedicated to #RexburgRocks titled “Rexburg Rocks!” to see or post a picture of your own Rexburg rocks.




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