Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Dr. G: How not to die

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Jan Garavaglia—or Dr. G—is America's best-known medical examiner. Dr. G has been solving real cases for years on the popular Discovery Health series.

As chief medical examiner for the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office in Florida, Dr. G has performed thousands of autopsies ranging from the routine to the extraordinary. Her years on the job have taught her that many deaths don't need to happen; with just a bit of prevention, many trips to the morgue could be avoided.

Dr. G wrote How Not to Die because she realized that just as other doctors see ways to prevent illness, her forensic experience has made her able to see ways to prevent death. She has turned "the table" by using death as a starting point to identify the ways we harm our bodies and to illustrate how the everyday choices we make are at the very root of how we live or die.

• Know your numbers. You'll live longer and healthier when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is under 25.

• Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, pay attention to it. See a doctor right away.

• Use as directed. To increase your odds of living a long life, take your medicine as directed and follow your doctor's orders.

• Practice good hygiene. The more often you wash your hands, the less likely you are to get sick.

• Drive Carefully. Wear a seatbelt when driving and a helmet when riding a bike.

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