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Dr. Randall Gibb shares tips for staying healthy and listening to your body when you can’t see your doctor regularly

4th May 2020 Print
Dr. Randall Gibb’s healthy living

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown health care systems across the globe for a loop. Non-essential surgeries have been rescheduled, doctor’s offices have closed, and frankly, no one should be or wants to be going to the hospital unless it’s an emergency. What this means is that many of us are going to have to learn how to stay healthy and listen to our bodies in the absence of being able to see a doctor. 

Dr. Randall Gibb, a Gynecologic Oncologist from Billings, Montana, shares three tips to stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Conduct a Breast Self-Exam

Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Randall Gibb advises all women to regularly examine their breasts while practicing social distancing. Though many women typically see a doctor for their breast exam, the circumstances have changed. Breast exams are very easy to conduct without a doctor, which makes them ideally suited to this time of quarantine. For those that aren’t sure what the purpose of a breast exam is, it comes down to early detection. During a breast exam, you’re essentially feeling for anything abnormal, such as lumps. Lumps can be an indicator of breast cancer. Of course, a breast self-exam is not a guaranteed method of detecting cancer, but it could make you aware of something out of the ordinary that leads to you contacting your doctor. 

First, standing in front of the mirror, with your arms at your sides. Check that your breasts are their normal shape, size, and color, and notice if any fluid leaks from either nipple. From there, lift your arms above your head and examine your breasts from this angle, again, checking that everything appears to be normal. Next, lie on your back using your opposite hand to examine the opposite breast (i.e. your right hand will examine your left breast). Use the pads of your fingers and move them in a small circular motion, roughly the size of a quarter. Move your fingers in this motion across the entirety of the breast. Finally, repeat this step but standing up or sitting down. If you do feel a lump, don’t panic. The majority of breast lumps end up being benign (not cancerous). However, it’s worth consulting your doctor, so be sure to give them a call as soon as possible. 

Exercise Regularly

Another way to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic when you are unable to see your doctor on a regular basis is to exercise! Exercise is vital for people of all ages, notes Dr. Randall Gibb. Although gyms, yoga studios, and the like are currently closed, there are still plenty of ways you can work out from home. 

For example, you can find free workout videos on YouTube and social media. Yoga, Pilates, core, barre, and more can all be done from the comfort of your home and with little to no equipment. Running, cycling, and walking outdoors are also an option, assuming you can maintain a distance of six feet from anyone else you may encounter. Finally, if you have no exercise equipment, you can use different household items as a substitute. A can of beans can become a dumbbell or a towel can act as a yoga mat. Use your imagination, but remember that staying healthy is extremely important during this troubling pandemic. Exercising regularly boosts your immune system, allowing you to fight off viral infections more easily. 

Schedule a Virtual Appointment, Says Dr. Randall Gibb 

Finally, Dr. Randall Gibb claims that one final tip if you’re concerned about your health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is to schedule a virtual appointment with your doctor. There is no denying that health care systems are overloaded right now. And although visiting a doctor’s office in person may not be possible, unless it is a true emergency, there are still ways you can get in touch with a physician if need be. 

With self isolation and social distancing being required to reduce the spread of COVID-19 many doctors’ offices are now offering virtual appointments in the form of e-consults, patient portals, and telephone/video calls.  While these virtua appointments may seem a little less personal, speaking to your doctor can ease your mind about a health problem you might be having.  Your doctor can also assess if they feel you should be seen in person or go to the emergency room to be seen.

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Dr. Randall Gibb’s healthy living