BVHS Weekend Column: Getting the Skinny on Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disorder in developed countries……

Getting the Skinny on Fatty Liver Disease, by Brenda Keller, CNP, Gastroenterology Associates of Northwest Ohio

Brenda Keller, CNP

If you have been told that you have “fatty liver disease,” you are among 25 percent of people in the United States and 24 percent of people worldwide who have this condition. Fatty liver disease occurs when fat is deposited in the liver due to causes other than excessive alcohol use. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one type of fatty liver. NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in developed countries. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most extreme and fastest progressing subtype of NAFLD.

NASH and NAFLD are the leading causes of chronic liver disease. NAFLD is associated with insulin resistance, increasing body mass index (BMI) and age, and metabolic syndrome (obesity, combined hyperlipidemia, Type II diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure) as well as hypoxia caused by obstructive sleep apnea. Being male might also be a risk factor for NAFLD, as NAFLD has been observed to be more prevalent in men than women.

A liver biopsy is the only test widely accepted as distinguishing NASH from other forms of liver disease and can be used to assess the severity of the inflammation and the fibrosis that results from the disease. Since liver biopsy is associated with risks, and since most NAFLD patients are asymptomatic, other methods of diagnosis are preferred such as liver sonography (ultrasound). Routine liver function (blood) tests are not sensitive enough to detect NAFLD.

For those who have fatty liver with associated inflammatory injury (steatohepatitis), blood tests are usually indicated to rule out viral hepatitis (A, B and/or C), rubella and autoimmune diseases. Low thyroid activity is more prevalent in NASH patients and is detected by determining the thyroid stimulating hormone.

Imaging studies including liver ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen and magnetic resonance elastography can all be useful, noninvasive methods of detecting fatty liver disease.

Treatment for NAFLD involves treating the underlying cause. Weight reduction, increased activity and control of lipids and blood glucose are all beneficial. Daily vitamin E may also be prescribed for some patients with NAFLD. A diet that is plant-based may reduce symptoms. Patients with NAFLD should consider diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Limiting alcohol intake is also recommended. The absorption of alcohol can cause fat to accumulate on the liver and lead to inflammation.

If you feel discouraged because you have been told that you have fatty liver disease, cling to the “better-late-than-never” principle. It is better to lose excess weight, increase physical activity and make the necessary diet adjustments whenever you can, rather than not at all. Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your liver health.

Bluffton Hospital Receives National Recognition

For overall excellence in quality and patient perspectives………..

Bluffton Hospital Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in Quality and Patient Perspectives

Bluffton Hospital, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS), has been recognized by The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality and patient perspectives for the fourth time, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.

Bluffton Hospital ER

Bluffton Hospital is a licensed 25-bed, short-term acute care facility providing a full range of services including inpatient medical care, 24-hour emergency care, outpatient surgery, women’s care, cosmetic services and diagnostic services. The facility also features a Level 1 obstetrics unit and several physician specialty clinics, including a pelvic pain center.

“Bluffton Hospital is honored and humbled to accept this award for the fourth time,” said Chris Keller, president of Bluffton Hospital and vice president of clinical services and supply chain at BVHS. “Our patients at Bluffton Hospital are our top priority. We continuously strive to provide the highest quality care to our rural communities with the use of updated technology and advanced medicine.”

The Performance Leadership Awards are determined each year using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging data from public data sources, the INDEX aggregates data from 50 rural-relevant metrics across eight pillars to derive a single overall percentile rating for all Critical Access Hospitals and Rural & Community Hospitals. The Performance Leadership awards spotlight top performance in the areas of Quality, Outcomes and Patient Perspective.

“We’re thrilled to partner with NOSORH on this program and commend this year’s recipients who are working diligently to provide quality care within their communities,” said Michael Topchik, national leader at The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

To learn more about the services available at Bluffton Hospital, please call 419.358.9010.


Bluffton Hospital is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, which provides a total continuum of care to more than 100,000 households in an eight-county area. The BVHS mission is to provide a broad continuum of exceptional health-related services in Northwest Ohio.

El Nino Winter Possible in 2019

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center: A late El Nin᷉o could influence the winter season – Get Ready Ohio! Winter Safety Awareness Week is Nov. 11-17

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center: A late El Nin᷉o could influence the winter season

Get Ready Ohio! Winter Safety Awareness Week is Nov. 11-17

COLUMBUS, OH — According to the annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Winter Outlook, there is a 70-75 percent chance of El Nin᷉o forming over the next couple of months and lasting through this winter. What does that mean? The winter season will start off mild for most of the region before colder weather hits in January and February.

According to NOAA, El Nin᷉o is an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in central and eastern Pacific equator.

Ohio experienced winter like weather last month, with freezing temperatures, frost, and in the northern counties, snow. Ohioans are encouraged to prepare early for the upcoming winter season.

In a coordinated effort, Gov. John R. Kasich and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA) recognize November 11-17 as Winter Safety Awareness Week. During this week, Gov. Kasich encourages individuals to update their safety plans, replenish supplies in their emergency kits, and prepare themselves, their vehicles and property for winter-related incidents.

“Winter Safety Awareness Week is the perfect time for all of us to check our supplies and start preparing our homes and vehicles for winter,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. “Remember – winter safety isn’t just being prepared for cold, snow and ice. In February of this year, 22 counties received a federal disaster declaration for flooding. So, during this week, check your homeowners or renters insurance. Consider purchasing flood insurance. Prepare for severe weather now, before winter officially begins.”

OCSWA recommends the following winter preparedness tips:

Practice fire safety and prevention. With winter months and the holiday season, people are indoors more, and cook, decorate and entertain more – which unfortunately, can lead to more home fires. The best protection is to have working smoke detectors in the home. Test your smoke detectors monthly. Conduct fire drills. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year – when you change your clocks, change your batteries. Have auxiliary heaters, furnaces and fireplaces checked or serviced before using. Cooking-related fires are the number one cause of home fires. Never leave cooking food unattended. Keep towels, potholders, and paper products away from the stove’s heat sources.

Prepare your home for winter. Remove and cut away low-hanging and dead tree branches. Strong winds, ice and snow can cause tree limbs to break and could cause damage to your home. Have your gutters cleaned. Snow and ice can build up quickly if clogged with debris.

Prepare winter emergency supplies kits for the home and vehicle. Check the expiration dates on nonperishable food items, bottled water/beverages and medications. Winter emergency kits should include flashlights, extra batteries, blankets, coats, hats, gloves, a battery-operated radio/weather radio, first aid kit, cell phone and charger, and enough nonperishable food and water (one gallon per person, per day) to sustain every household member for several days. Store food, bottled water and supplies for your pets, as well.

Check on your neighbors. Comprehensive preparedness requires communities to participate in a “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” approach. If severe weather is forecast or has just occurred, or if your neighborhood has an extended power outage, check on your neighbors and family members – especially those who are older or have functional needs – to ensure that they are okay and that they have the resources to stay safe and warm. Your communication plan might include exchanging phone numbers to call during times of need.

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness is comprised of 16 local, state and federal agencies and organizations. For additional information on winter weather safety and severe weather preparedness, visit OCSWA’s website:

Custom Cut Thanksgiving Hams on Sale

OUR OWN Hickory Smoked and Pepper Bacon are something to behold – come on out and give it a try!

Senior Citizens Tuesdays 10% OFF Any Purchase

From the Farms to the Freezers –
Custom Cuts wi
cut whatever you want!

Raised & Grain Fed

Beef sides or Quarters
$2.75 lb
(processing included)

Hogs – Whole or Half
$1.50 lb
(processing included)
((smoking is extra))

– 419-257-3529 –

Ground FRESH Daily!
85% Lean Ground Beef

USDA Choice Boneless
English Chuck Roast – $5.49#
USDA Choice Bone-In Chuck Roast 5.49#
Beef Cube Steak – $4.99#
Assorted Bone-In Chops – $2.29#

OUR OWN Hickory Smoked Bacon – $5.99#
Sliced YOUR WAY!!!

Daisyfield Smoked Picnic Hams

Hickory Smoked Ham Steaks

Extra Meaty
Smoked Ham Hocks

Daisyfield Semi-Boneless Netted
Smoked Ham – SLICED FREE

with glaze pack

OUR OWN Old Style Bologna
Regular – $5.49
Garlic – $5.69

Ham & Cheese Loaf
TAG & Deposit

We accept
Credit – Debit – EBT

Bridge Holiday Wreath-making Events

The entire family is welcome to participate in this activity!

NBX stock photo

Bridge Hospice Bereavement Services is offering a “Holiday Memorial Wreath-making” event at two locations for those who have lost a loved one. Guests will create and display a wreath in memory of loved ones this holiday season.

The entire family is welcome to participate in this activity. This event will be held on Tuesday, November 27 from noon to 7 p.m. at Riverbend Park’s Brugeman Lodge in Findlay, Ohio and on Wednesday, November 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bowling Green Park’s Scout Building in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Wreath-making sessions will be scheduled in half-hour increments and preregistration is required.

The holidays can be a difficult time of year after experiencing the loss of a loved one. Bridge bereavement services will provide the materials needed to create a live evergreen wreath for participants to take home and decorate in a manner that reflects your loved one who cannot be physically with you this holiday season.

Wreath-making sessions fill quickly. Due to time and materials needed, please RSVP by calling Bridge Hospice at 419.423.5351 or emailing

Bridge Offering Children’s “Holiday Memories” Grief Support Group

The death of a loved one can be difficult for children as they attempt to make sense of the loss and deal with the changes it creates…..

Bridge Home Health and Hospice is offering “Holiday Memories” grief support program for children ages six to 12 who have lost a loved one, allowing them to remember those who have passed in a healthy setting.

This event will be held on Monday, December 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Marathon Auditorium at Blanchard Valley Hospital, located at 1900 South Main Street, Findlay.

Holiday Memories is being offered through Bridge’s Group S.T.A.R. (Special Times, Always Remembered). Dinner will be provided for the children and RSVP is required by December 3.

The death of a loved one can be difficult for children as they attempt to make sense of the loss and deal with the changes it creates. Participating in holidays and special events can often intensify their feelings of loss and grief. Holiday Memories is a program that allows children to come together with their peers and participate in activities that will help them express their feelings, create lasting memories of their loved one and have fun at the same time.

To secure your child’s attendance, please RSVP by calling Bridge Home Health and Hospice at 419.423.5351 or emailing

Bridge Home Health and Hospice is a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, which provides a total continuum of care to more than 100,000 households in an eight-county area.

Chowline: A Year or Two is not Too Long to Use Uncooked Frozen Turkey

The best method is to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator even though it is also the longest method…..

I bought two turkeys last November, with the intent to cook one at Thanksgiving and the second one for New Year’s Day. We ended up going to a friend’s house on New Year’s instead, so now I still have the frozen turkey from last year in my freezer. Is it safe to cook it for our Thanksgiving meal this year?

Great question!

Yes, you can still safely cook that turkey as long as it has been stored in the freezer unopened and uninterrupted and stored at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.

That’s because freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage, USDA says. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.

photo: Getty Images

However, in order to safeguard against the potential growth of harmful bacteria that may have been present on the bird before it was frozen, it’s important to use safe methods to thaw the turkey before cooking, said Sanja Ilic, the state food safety specialist for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University (CFAES).

There are three safe ways to thaw a frozen turkey: in the refrigerator, in a container of cold water or in a microwave.

The best method is to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator even though it is also the longest method, Ilic says. This allows the turkey to thaw in a controlled environment out of the temperature “danger zone” — between 40 and 140 degrees — where bacteria can multiply rapidly.

Turkeys thawed in the refrigerator take one day for each 4-5 pounds of weight. So, for example, if your turkey weighs 15 pounds, it can take three days to thaw. And, once thawed, you should cook the turkey within two days to ensure safety.

If you need to thaw the turkey faster, you can place it in a container or sink and submerge it in cold water. But it’s important that the turkey stay cold, so you need to ensure that the turkey is completely submerged in cold water by replacing the water with fresh cold water every 30 minutes. Turkeys thawed using this method will need 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound.

You can also thaw your turkey in the microwave by taking it out of its packaging and placing it on a microwave-safe dish. Use the defrost function based on the turkey’s weight, USDA says. Generally, allow six minutes per pound to thaw. Once the turkey has thawed, you should cook it immediately.

When cooking your turkey, it’s best not to stuff it with dressing (or stuffing depending on what you call it), because uncooked poultry can harbor bacterial pathogens, which can be present both on the inside and outside of a raw turkey.

To ensure that you’ve destroyed the bacteria, which can cause foodborne illnesses, cook your turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before you serve it. Otherwise, it will not be safe to eat, USDA says.

And, be sure to use a digital tip-sensitive food thermometer to determine its actual temperature. While other methods have been used in many a kitchen, such as how golden brown the turkey looks or if the juices run clear, they don’t provide an accurate measurement of how safely done the bird is.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or

BVHS Weekend Column: Biologic Injections as Treatment for Osteoarthritis

The use of biologics to treat certain conditions of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones is coming to the forefront of mainstream medicine….

Biologic Injections as Treatment for Osteoarthritis

by Katie Fultz, PA-C, ATC, Blanchard Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Katie Fultz, PA-C

 The use of biologics to treat certain conditions of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones is coming to the forefront of mainstream medicine. Biologic injections may include concentrated amounts of plasma, platelets and stem cells using strong defense systems. Osteoarthritis is a condition that can be treated by biologic injections. This condition is the genetic or traumatic degradation of the cartilage covering the ends of the bones. It can cause pain, joint swelling, joint stiffness and decreased function.

One example of a biologic injection is platelet rich plasma (PRP). Plasma is a component of blood that contains platelets, growth factors and inflammatory mediators. It is a natural source of growth factors involved in the stages of healing. The platelet cells are used for hemostasis, healing promotion and the recruitment other reparative cells. Research has focused on the role PRP and other biologics play in treating osteoarthritis. The early research results for the treatment of osteoarthritis have shown positive results equivalent to or more than other treatment options for longer durations. This treatment is being used nationwide.

PRP is a high concentration of plasma and is obtained by standard venipuncture (blood draw) from the patient. The blood is then spun down in a centrifuge to separate its contents. A kit containing a special syringe is used to withdraw only the plasma concentrate needed for treatment. This concentrate is then injected into the patient’s joint and the entire process is completed in one visit. Since the source of the blood is from the individual, there is not a risk of rejection or transmission of disease. With any injection, there is a risk of injection site irritation or infection, but these risks are low and complications are rare.

A second type of biologic injection for the treatment of osteoarthritis is stem cell therapy. Stem cells can be harvested from the patient or from a donor. The most common site of harvest to treat an osteoarthritic patient in an outpatient or clinical setting is the patient’s bone or adipose (fat) tissue. The typical area from which bone is harvested is the iliac crest in the pelvis, which can either be retrieved under local anesthetic or sedation prior to surgery of the area being treated. The risk of injection of stem cells is also low, but may come with temporary pain at the harvest site. Other healing factor sources that are more readily available are being researched for possible future treatment.

A patient’s orthopedic provider should determine if biologic injections is the best treatment option. Many factors are considered when recommending these injections such as the best type and how often to utilize it. Talk to your orthopedic provider today to see if a biologic injection is right for you.



Blanchard Valley Hospital Achieves Elite National Recognition

Awarded by The Leapfrog Group for Straight “A’s” in Patient Safety…..

Blanchard Valley Hospital Achieves Elite National Recognition

 Blanchard Valley Hospital (BVH), a division of Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS), achieved straight ‘A’s’ for the ninth consecutive time since October 2014 in The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade. Leapfrog assigns an A, B, C, D or F grade to hospitals across the country based on how safe they are for patients.

BVH is a licensed, 150-bed acute care facility that features a full range of services, including inpatient medical/surgical care, 24-hour emergency care, outpatient surgery, robotic surgery, total joint replacement and diagnostic services.

“Associates across Blanchard Valley Health System work tirelessly to keep our patients safe through preventative measures,” said Roxanne Williams, director of corporate quality and patient safety at BVHS. “We are honored to once again receive this elite recognition and will continue to provide quality, safe care to our patients.”

Developed under the guidance of a National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign the grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

“BVH’s continued success in achieving an “A” rating is evidence that the organization places an emphasis on protecting patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections. We are inspired by BVH’s leadership on patient safety,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.

For more details on BVH’s Hospital Safety Grade and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients, visit For more information on the services Blanchard Valley Hospital offers, please call 419.423.4500.


Ohio Rail Development Commission Meeting

Ohio Rail Development Commission Meeting next week if you would care to go to the state capital and tell someone who “might” be able to help with blocked crossings and obnoxious horns…

Ohio Rail Development Commission Meeting
Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, 11:00am
The Ohio Department of Transportation
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio
in Room GA
For more information contact:
Julianne Finnegan
Public Information Officer
Ohio Rail Development Commission

Bringing Baby Home

5 tips to prepare for a newborn’s arrival……

(Family Features) Bringing your baby home with you for the first time is typically one of the most exciting moments for a parent. However, preparing for baby’s arrival can be a little overwhelming at times.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all manual for becoming a parent, these tips can help ensure you’re ready to bring your little one home.


Prepare the Nursery
Setting up the nursery can be the first real “I’m going to be a parent” moment, but it’s also an important step to take before bringing your little one home. Pick a room in your home, clear it out and thoroughly clean every surface. Set up all necessary furniture, such as the crib, changing table, dresser and rocking chair or glider, then decorate the room as you see fit. Also, organize any other baby essentials you already have on-hand.

Baby-Proof the House
Before your baby arrives, it’s easy to dismiss potential safety hazards around your home. Bringing a child into the space, however, exposes not only common safety pitfalls like stairs, electrical outlets, candles and cords but also easily accessible cabinets, heavy items not anchored to walls and sharp edges on tables, fireplaces and the like. Do a once over to install cabinet locks, foam edge coverings, outlet and door handle covers, safety gates and anchors. Once your child is mobile, it’s a safe bet to re-walk your house for new potential dangers.

Pack a Hospital Bag
Your baby may arrive earlier than expected, so packing your baby hospital bag about a month before his or her expected arrival can help ensure you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice, just in case. Be sure to include copies of any necessary medical paperwork, clothing for both mom and baby – usually a few days’ worth unless the hospital is in close proximity to your home – essential toiletries, electronics chargers and books or games to help pass the time in the hospital.

Ready the Car
To bring your baby home, you are required by law to have a properly installed car seat. Whether you opt for an infant-only seat or travel system or a convertible car seat that can be used as your child grows, setting the seat up in your vehicle ahead of time gives you the opportunity to understand how to safely and securely install it. While the hospital will check your seat before sending you on your way, many local fire and police departments offer free car seat safety inspections, as well.

Set Some Boundaries
While a new baby can cause quite the stir with family and friends vying for time to come visit, it’s important to set some ground rules in advance of your arrival at home. Decide whether you are OK with visitors just dropping by or if you would prefer to create a schedule with specific dates and times for accommodating guests. Don’t be afraid to limit the number of guests at first or to ask those who are sick to hold off on stopping by since newborns are more susceptible to illness.

Find more tips to prepare for your child’s arrival at

3 Tips For A Healthy Baby

When you’re a new parent, once you’ve successfully navigated the first car ride home from the hospital and the euphoria of this new little life begins to fade, you’re left with one resounding question: now what?

Over the years, you’ll have many responsibilities as a parent, but your most important focus in those early days, weeks and months is your child’s health and development, including his or her brain, gut and senses.

Numerous studies offer evidence that a child’s learning abilities are developed during early childhood, meaning before even heading off to school. That doesn’t mean you need to reach for the flash cards right away, though. Instead, focus on simply talking, singing and playing together. These activities can help develop vocabulary and other important cognitive functions.

When it comes to a baby’s gut health, the first six months are critical because the immune system and metabolism are developing and being programmed for the future. Research published in “Cell” shows good gut bacteria during infancy, specifically Bifidobacterium, plays a critical role in establishing a healthy gut.

It’s estimated, however, that nine out of 10 babies have low levels of Bifidobacterium, according to a study published in “mSphere.” There is a way for parents to identify if their baby has low levels of Bifidobacterium, though, by asking three simple questions. If the answer is “yes,” chances are your baby’s Bifidobacterium levels are low.

  • Were you or your baby given antibiotics during pregnancy, childbirth or in the first six months after childbirth?
  • Were you or your baby born via C-section?
  • Does your baby have diaper rash or 5-plus loose, watery poops per day?

If you’re concerned about your baby’s gut health, talk with your pediatrician about an option like Evivo, the first and only baby probiotic clinically proven to restore the levels of B. infantis, a specific strain of Bifidobacterium, in a baby’s gut and reduce bad gut bacteria linked to colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity by 80 percent.

Sensory cues are what allow your baby to take in information about surroundings. Exposing your baby to various sensory experiences funnels a wealth of information to help develop skills and better understand the visual, audible, olfactory and textural stimulants that he or she encounters.

Find more information and ideas for ways to improve your baby’s health at

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mom and dad bringing baby home)