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Kirkpatrick Family Care

(360) 423-9580

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Kirkpatrick Family Care

Serving our patients
today and every day

Our mission is to be available to serve our patients when they need help.

Kirkpatrick Family Care is open 365 days a year.

Monday through Friday
8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Saturdays & Holidays
9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Sundays & Christmas
Noon to 4:00 P.M.


Best Doctor

"Best Doctor in the
Lower Columbia Area"

In 2006, 2007 & 2008, Dr. Richard Kirkpatrick was voted the best medical doctor by The Daily News readers. He was runner up in 2009 and 2010

by Rich Kirkpatrick, MD

Everybody I know, overeats at Thanksgiving.  I've heard that some people eat as many as 5000 calories that that one glorious celebration of America's heritage.

So, here's a little math that might help curb your appetite.  It's got nothing to do with the prices at the supermarket, but the numbers show a certain expense.....

TYPICAL MEAL COMPONENT Size of portion  Calories¬† Sodium content
(in miligrams)
TURKEY 1 large slide 1/2 inch thick  413 169
GRAVY  100gm 51 577
MASHED POTATOES 1 cup   237 666
GREEN BEANS   100 gm 26 245
STUFFING  100 gm 386 1406
PUMPKIN PIE  1/8 of a 9" pie 316 345
APPLE PIE 1/8 of a 9" pie 265 211
CRANBERRY SAUCE 1/8 can 86 17
SUBTOTAL  1780 3636
EXTRA #1  WINE 250 12
Total 2058 3848


Of course, this is not what we do....other than the "can't choose between pumpkin and apple so I'll have a 'sliver' of each."   Seconds on Turkey are automatic (413 cal, 169 mg salt), often lathered with hot gravy (51cal, 577mg salt) to "warm it up."  Brussel sprouts seem harmless from a caloric standpoint but have a high sodium content; the reverse is true of the wine. 

Everybody anticipates overeating at Thanksgiving Dinner.  Without the NFL games all day long, I am sure that most of us would be napping after the meal.  This is part of the culture of Thanksgiving Day in America.

However, for patients with congestive heart failure (known or unsuspected), ingesting around 4 gm of sodium at a single meal can be disastrous....and mean a trip to the ER with shortness of breath and edema.   My instruction to you is:

EAT IN MODERATION, ESPECIALLY the gravy, potatoes and stuffing, which account for over 2,600mg of sodium.   And if you begin to get short of breath, take an extra furosemide, torsemide or other water pill.

For the rest of you, I'd suggest building in 2000-3000 calories worth of exercise on Black Friday or Saturday.  If you go to a gym, you can figure 4.0 mph speed burns 4 calories per minute when the machine is flat and 13-14 calories per minute if it is at maximum slope (15% grade).  So, to burn off 2700 calories (the above with a second helping of turkey, potatoes and gravy) , you'd need to walk at 4 miles per hour for 675 minutes on flat ground and 200 minutes at 15% elevation.

SO, if you want to avoid weight gain at Thanksgiving Dinner, my advice is this: Forget about the calorie count; we're all desensitized about calories anyway.  Instead visualize 3 hours and 20 minutes walking up a 15% hill or 11 hours and 15 minutes on flat ground, to burn off the calories you've eaten.

On the positive side, to gain one pound a week, you'll need to consume 3500 calories more than you burn off per week.  You must also burn 3500 more than you eat, to lose a pound.    Again see the chart.

Hope I didn't spoil your dinner!  It's all about fellowship and family anyway, right!!!!