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All Posts in Category: Health Basics

Wellness Changes to Improve Heart Health

Maintaining good overall heart-related health requires significant time investment outside of the doctor’s office. These include key lifestyle changes that improve risk factors for common conditions like heart disease.

Heart disease affects millions of Americans and contributes to nearly 610,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC). Heart disease is especially common in the U.S and develops from key risk factors including blood-cholesterol level, obesity, and hypertension – the clinical name for high blood pressure.

Thankfully, improving heart disease risks and managing your risks factors is relatively easy with these preventive care tips:

Eat a balanced diet that promotes heart health

Diet is an essential part of managing your heart disease risks, lowering your weight/obesity level, and lowering blood cholesterol.

A heart-healthy diet includes three meals a day that include your daily intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats like poultry, and fish. Dietary changes to promote heart health should also involve avoiding foots high in trans and saturated fats. These fats can lead to increased blood pressure and cholesterol, which additionally increase heart disease risks.

Speak to a primary care provider about ways to manage your diet and seek out professionals that can assist in nutrition-related health.

Incorporate an daily exercise routine into your lifesytle

Exercise is one of the most useful deterrents of heart disease and has other health benefits including lowering stress. Most importantly though, a daily exercise routine allows you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce blood pressure.

Most adults should try and get in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise to reduce clinical heart disease risk factors. Activities including gardening, light bike riding, brisk walking, jogging, and pilates are great ways to launch an exercise routine.

Look for a nearby gym or community groups to launch an exercise routine. Better yet, try and get some friends and family to join you in your fitness goals!

Get blood pressure and cholesterol screenings

Hypertension and cholesterol are referred to as “silent killers” when it comes to heart disease since both conditions don’t have immediate/visible symptoms.

The only way for patients to manage and detect these conditions is to visit either an urgent care or primary care office. A medical professional can provide a brief screening that includes your risk of high blood pressure or cholesterol.

In addition, your primary care provider is able to make other healthcare recommendations or referrals to help manage your risk factors.

Getting heart-healthy takes some time, and a lot of commitment, but it can be done! Visit your local medical professional, ask questions, and steadily pursue a healthier life!

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Key differences between primary care, urgent care, and retail clinics

As you may know, there has been a lot of development in the healthcare industry in terms of provider access and general access to health-related services.

As more options open for you to find healthcare, you may want to first understand the different types of providers for basic, minor, and urgent healthcare needs.

The surge of “retail clinics” in big box stores provide an opportunity for patients to address minor health needs while performing other errands like shopping. What patients need to understand is that retail clinics may not work as a suitable alternative to primary care or retail clinics.

We’ve broken down the main differences between urgent care and retail clinics previously, but it is also important to have in-depth knowledge about the services and capabilities of each facility:

Retail Clinics

Retail clinics provide minor walk-in service for patients are located inside of grocery stores, pharmacies, and wholesale box stores.

Retail clinics are mostly staffed by nurse practitioners (NPs) or physician assistants (PAs), as a way to provide fast and affordable care.

But different retail clinic operators provide different services. For the most part, retail clinics provide care for common illnesses and injuries, including a sore throat, cold and flu symptoms, cuts, burns, and headaches. A few retail clinics may also perform immunizations and some screenings. However, for the most part retail clinics are very limited in their care capabilities.

The operating hours for retail clinics vary, but are generally open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m during the week and usually operate the same hours as their retailer location.

Primary Care

Primary care offices are staffed by family physicians and provide a variety of services intended for longer-term care, wellness, and health stability.

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are valuable to most patients because of the strong relationships they form with patients and families. These relationships allow a primary care provider to improvement their management of a patient’s health, provide patient education and counseling, and promote wellness goals.

PCPs are also are responsible for offering preventative services that can keep illness at bay. A primary care office performs vaccinations, physicals, check-ups, screenings and blood work, and help with the management of diseases such as diabetes and asthma.

In addition, PCPs also provide specialty referrals if they identify any outstanding healthcare risks or concerns. Usually PCPs are open during regular business hours.

Make sure to meet a new potential PCP and evaluate if they are a good fit for you or your family.

Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are a bit more advanced in clinical capabilities when compared to retail clinics, based on their equipment and medical staff. Patients at urgent care centers have access to board-certified physicians, x-ray imaging services, and lab access.  For the most part, patients receive comprehensive care at an urgent care center compared to retail clinics.

Urgent care centers also provide a great alternative to the emergency room (ER). The average wait time at an urgent care center is 15 minutes or less, compared to between 30 minutes to an hour or more at an ER.

Ultimately, you’ll likely need at least two of these providers in order to have ideal healthcare access. For most patients, a PCP as well as a trusted urgent care center can help deliver the best possible healthcare outcomes.

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6 Reasons to Always Stay Hydrated This Summer

The summer is an exciting time to enjoy the outdoors with friends, family, and do lots of fun stuff! But one thing that’s important is to stay hydrated. Doctors have advised many times that we drink at least eight glasses of water per day, however, depending on your body type, weight, and the amount of exercise you do in a given day, the amount could actually be higher.

Regardless, it’s a smart idea to have water handy with you at all times and to drink plenty of it. Below are but a few perks to it.

Physical Performance

Our body is amazing and can do incredible things when we train ourselves and push ourselves. Part of that success actually stems from us drinking water. Water is the essence of life after all and our body needs it in order to operate properly, even when working out. Consider water our fuel. When we are running low we will feel weaker and won’t be able to work as hard.

Lose Weight

You’ve heard of the term water weight, right? It’s essentially weight that lingers in our systems and can actually be flushed out when we drink water. This is why in weight loss programs they recommend you drink a lot of water, often times more than the eight glasses of water per day. Furthermore, water can fill us up as well making us eat less food too.

Mood-Boosting

Water can also affect our mood, as well as some studies, have shown. For a lot of us as we get older, we drink less water which can lead to dehydration. Even a mild dehydration can affect our mood drastically. By drinking water, research has shown that it can make a massive impact on helping with sleep disorders as well as alleviating depression which hampers our moods.

Brainpower Boost

Much like our body, our brain is primarily water as well. As mentioned above, our body needs water desperately in order to function. When you satisfy those needs you can expect your body to work better but also your brain as well.

Prevent Headaches

Headaches are often cues from your body telling you that something is wrong. In many cases, headaches are caused by feelings of dizziness, dehydration or you haven’t gone to the bathroom recently. The dehydration is likely one of the more common ones around the summer and spring seasons so make sure you drink up.

Disease prevention

Surprisingly, drinking water can prevent a lot of serious diseases. A lot of common diseases in the spring and summer stem from overexposure to heat which raises our body temperature. Since water can be cooler (and even drinking warm water causes us to sweat which is a natural cooling system for our body), it can moderate our temperature to stay at a reasonable level.

By drinking water, we can prevent ourselves from getting things like heatstroke, dehydration, and more. Heatstroke is especially dangerous as it can cause you to faint and be in a coma or worse, death. Drinking some glasses of water can help prevent that which gives you all the more reason to drink water.

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Top Summer Health Risks to Watch Out For

With summer just around the corner, many people are looking forward to it for obvious reasons. But as much as summer is exciting, there comes a lot of risks to our health that we need to be cautious of. Below is a list of the most common health risks you need to look out for, and what you can do about it.

Skin Cancer

With warmer temperatures means the sun is out longer, but also higher exposure to UV lights from the sun. If you are an outdoor person, you need to wear proper protection or else you could develop skin cancer. If you’re an individual with fair skin, have hazel or blue eyes or have blonde or red hair, you are particularly vulnerable to UV light exposure and could develop skin cancer. You can prevent this by using sunscreen, or by avoiding the long exposure to the sun during peak hours (9 am to 3 pm).

Sunburn

Sunburn is another common health risk. We may not think much of it as the vast majority of the US population experience this every summer, however, there’s a lot that goes on with it. Sunburn, in the end, damages our skin but can also damage our DNA which can lead to developing skin cancers. You can prevent all this by wearing sun protective clothing, avoiding the sun at peak hours, or by wearing sunscreen.

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke is another big one and can even cause death. One of the most dangerous health risks on our list, heatstroke is caused when you are exposed to the suns rays for long periods of time while also dehydrated. You can prevent this by ensuring you are drinking plenty of water, especially if you plan to work out outside.

Dehydration

Dehydration stems from you losing more fluid than what you are putting in. Since your body needs water in order to function, if it doesn’t get that, you will start to feel dehydrated. Dehydration isn’t always identified by that. For adults a sign of dehydration is urinating less frequently, your urine being dark-colored, feeling dizzy, tired, or confused. The only way you can treat dehydration is to drink water.

Bug Bites

Bug bites can seem rather harmless, but it depends on the area in which you live. Bugs can carry all sorts of viruses that we’re not aware of so it’s wise to take some level of caution depending on the area. For most of us, bugs are quite harmless aside from the bites on our skin. In order for those areas to heal fast is to avoid the irritated skin area. You can do this by applying some anti-itching cream. Furthermore, you could prevent bug bites by applying bug spray on you.

Sports Injury

Injuries in sports is not an uncommon thing and during the summer there’s a lot of activities that we can do outside. The best way you can prevent injury is by wearing protective gear when the situation calls for it. Furthermore, since we can’t predict what kind of injuries you may have, make sure that you have a first aid kit handy or at the very least some band-aids to help with scrapes and cuts. For more serious injuries make sure you call 911 immediately.

If you have any concern about our primary care services, call us at 410-730-3399 or stop by today!

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5 Most Common STDs In Men You Should Know

Any disease contracted through sexual intercourse is known and referred to as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) it is otherwise known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Most STDs are transmitted during unprotected sexual activities. Some people who have STDs spread it unconsciously, due to the fact that the signs and symptoms are not noticeable, though some STDs have records of severe symptoms. They may come as sores on the genital organs, inflammation of organs, rashes throughout the body and so on as there are many symptoms that one infected with STDs may notice. These STDs are caused by various microorganisms such as virus, bacteria and sometimes parasites. While most STDs can be treated through the use of strong antibiotics, some others are resistant and require more strenuous measures.

SOME OF THE COMMON STDs MEN MUST LOOK OUT FOR

Men who engage in sexual activities especially unprotected sexual activity should be aware of the listed common STDs and protect themselves as the popular saying goes, “it is better to prevent than to be curing”.

  1. CHLAMYDIA

This is a very common bacterial sexually transmitted disease. The bacterium involved in causing this disease is the Chlamydia trachomatis. Most sexually active young men tend to get this disease more easily. It does not show predominant signs and symptoms, but an infection of the testes, epididymis, and urethra may be found. The Chlamydia tends to act as a silent infection but can be very harmful if not detected and treated on time. Chlamydia can be treated by the use of strong antibiotics. It is also worthy to note that even after treatment, you can still contract it again, especially when your sexual partner did treat the own properly. This disease is not limited to men because females can get it as well.

  1. SYPHILIS

This is another common bacterial infection, the involved in causing this infection is the Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is very silent sexually transmitted disease since the person infected with it can stay years before severe symptoms manifest. Common symptoms of syphilis include rashes on the skin, swollen lymph nodes, arthritis and so on. The good news is syphilis can be treated with antibiotics.

  1. GONORRHEA

Gonorrhea is another common infection caused by bacteria; gonorrhea also does not have notable signs and symptoms. The bacterium that causes gonorrhea is the Neisseria gonorrhea. The treatment of gonorrhea can be done using antibiotics.

  1. HIV/AIDS

This is the sexually transmitted disease that the whole world knows about. HIV is the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus and it is the virus responsible for causing AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). This particular disease is majorly feared among other STDs mainly for the fact it has no known cure yet though when detected on time, the effect can be suppressed and managed by many known medications. It has no defined symptoms and can last for a very long period of time up to 10 years in the host body before manifestation. Regular testing is required to avoid late detection.

  1. GENITAL HERPES

This is a sexually transmitted disease that causes sore on the sexually exposed parts of the body. It is known as the HSV (Herpes Simplex Viruses), the symptoms may not be severe but can easily be transmitted even without noticing it.

If you have any concern about our primary care services, call us at 410-730-3399 or stop by today!

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Why You Need Your Health Checked Regularly

Our day to day activities expose us to many health risks out there, and knowing of them early enough is all you need to dodge some of the diseases that may come later on in life. It makes you conscious of your body but also aware of potential threats that may need immediate attention. Researchers say it is the surest way of living a long and a healthy lifestyle, and that has been proven more than enough times. Many people who’ve visited the clinic for regular health examinations have managed conditions that would have turned to be severe or even fatal in some instances if not properly checked.

To conduct a health checkup, it is a no-brainer that the heart is a priority, as it serves an irreplaceable role in the body.

When you visit the physician, he will emphasize on some habits you need to shed off to maintain a healthy heart, and they will include:

  1. Quit smoking. There is no debate about this one.
  2. Manage your blood pressure levels. Blood pressure is brought about by an imbalance in cholesterol levels in the blood. If you get blood screening early enough, it becomes easier to know their levels and thus get relevant advice from a dietician on how to control the same.
  3. Manage your blood pressure levels. Much as this is nothing you feel in your body when suffering from high blood pressures, it is the reason you need screening. You may be living with it without your knowledge and that is disastrous.
  4. Be active physically. Hit the gym once or twice in a day.This will not only give you the perfect shape for your body, it is also therapeutic to the heart. Many people who have suffered from heart problems are known not to exercise as much and thus expose the heart to random attacks.
  5. Eat nutritious foods.
    This goes without saying that healthy eating equals a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to the heart, this means eating less salt and less fat. Junk food is only good for the mouth but unhealthy for the body, and for that reason, its consumption should be regulated. For alcohol, it’s a double loss as it damages both the heart and the brain cells. The doctor says there can never be proper health measures with alcohol in the equation.

Once you are convinced that you are doing enough for your heart, it is now time to get STD screening. Many people will ignore the urge to go know their status, maybe because they shy away or are simply busy doing more ‘important’ stuff to get the time to visit a clinic. No matter how busy you might be, negligence always leads to failure, and you don’t want to pay the price because it’s a hefty one.
Some of the conditions you may suffer from include cervical cancer for women, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, liver disease, pregnancy problems as well as infertility.

Doctors recommend this test especially for people who are or considering getting pregnant. Others recommended for the same are those with hepatitis C, those uncertain of their partner’s status as well as those who have ever had vaginal or oral sex without protection.

In a nutshell, getting a general body checkup is important, and that is the first step to leading a healthy lifestyle. Knowing your inner self will help tame your outside behavior for holistic growth and development. Go do the check-up now before it’s too late.

If you have any concern about our primary care services, call us at 410-730-3399 or stop by today!

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3 Simple Home Remedies for Spring Allergies

Spring is coming around the corner in all its glory and beauty. With Spring arrival comes the seasonal changes, and to people who are sensitive to the season shift, spring allergies are on a high priority list to watch out for. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with your symptoms helplessly. There are some simple remedies that can offer immediate or temporary reliefs.

Nasal Lavage

Nasal Lavage is one of the best ways to deal with allergies symptoms that have to do with your nasal cavity. All you have to do is to create a saline solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of baking soda and 16 ounces of warm water. Then, put the mixture into a nasal aspirator and spray the solution into one of your nostrils. The saline solution will flow through the nasal cavity and exit the other nostril. By doing this, you will reduce/eliminate the mucus and open your sinus passages.

Honey

Honey is famous for its power against bacterias and allergy pollens. It is widely studied, and scientists have come to realize that the bee pollen in raw honey boosts our immune system and fight off the allergies. If you are experiencing bad allergies reactions, three teaspoons of raw honey a day will help alleviate the symptoms.

Stinging Nettle

While stinging nettle possesses stinging hairs, it is proven from clinical studies that it could be very effective in alleviating sneezing and itching symptoms. This is thanks to its ability to relieve the level of histamine in your system. Stinging Nettle can be used in various forms including tea, soup, pills or infusion. Two cups of stinging nettle a day can certainly boost your immunity during seasonal change months.

 

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What Can Your Resting Heart Rate Tell You?

 

Each of your pulses matches a heartbeat that pushes blood through your veins. Knowing your pulse/heart rate helps your doctor analyze how well your blood flow functions inside your body. You can feel how fast your heart is beating by feeling your pulse. Heart rate equals the number of heartbeats over a minute.

Normal heart rate while resting at adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. At some people who have more efficient heart function, resting heart rate could be 40 beats a minute.

You are not active enough

If you usually sit around or are inactive all day, your resting heart rate is likely to reach the higher end of the 60-100 range. While it is necessary due to any problem with your heart, it might be working inefficiently in pumping your blood throughout your body. By engaging in some light to moderate physical activity during the day, you can significantly improve the efficiency of your blood function and your heart health in general.

You are overtraining

While being not active enough is unhealthy, constantly pushing your physical capabilities over the edge can also damage your health in the long term. An increase in resting heart rate when you are heavily training and not resting enough can signal that you are overworking your heart. Giving the gym some necessary breaks and your body will get enough rest and bounce back stronger than ever.

You are not getting enough sleep

If you feel constantly exhausted all the time and only sleep for less than 6-7 hours a day, chances are you are experiencing sleep deprivation. This might cause fatigue, slower metabolism and more snacking. This can also raise your resting heart rate. Make sure you get enough sleep every night.

If you have any concern about our primary care services, call us at 410-730-3399 or stop by today!

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5 Tips to Stay Warm in The Winter

Winter is not always known to be friendly. It could be brutal, and your morning commutes in the winter always feel like the longest ride. To stay warm in the winter, take a look at these tips no matter how frightful it might be outside!

1. Warm yourself

Next time you want to crank up the heat in your apartment/office space, consider putting on another layer of clothing. It is much easier to raise your body temperature.

2. Use headwear

We lose heat from any part of our body that is exposed to the air. That’s why we wear layers of clothes to maintain body heat. In addition, wearing a hat or a beanie will additionally help with keeping your body temperature up.

3. Use a ceiling fan

Do you have a ceiling fan in the room? Warm air rises up to the ceiling. That’s why a ceiling fan running on a low setting can circulate the warm air around the space.

4. Shower with both cold and hot water

We all know how pleasant a hot shower is, especially in a cold weather. However, you might want to consider switching up to cold water next time. It is proven to improve blood circulation inside your body and develop a stronger immune system.

5. Block drafts with fabrics

The key is to keep your place insulated so that the cold air stays out and the warm air stays in. If you detect any draft in your apartment, use some old clothes that you don’t use anymore and slide them under the doors. That will help with insulation.

For more information about our physicals and primary care services, call us at 410-730-3399 or stop by today!

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Dealing With The Flu With These 5 Home Remedies

fluIt’s the end of October. Halloween is right around the corner. While everybody is excited to dress up their kids and go trick-or-treating, a health risk is also creeping up on us: The Flu (yikes!). While the flu could be dangerous sometimes, the majority of patients could recover quickly with proper treatment and even just enough rests.

While prescription drugs could speed up your recovery, there are quite a few simple natural remedies that could help you relieve the symptoms at home. Keep these in mind for this flu season!

1. Drink water

One of the worst things the flu can do to your body is to dehydrate. If you have vomiting or diarrhea symptoms, that is even worse. That’s why staying hydrated is the most effective way to fight off the flu. Stay away from caffeinated drinks though. Caffeine is a diuretic which will make your urine take away more water. By observing your body, you can assess if you have drunk enough fluids. Your urine should be very light color or almost colorless.

2. Chicken soup

It’s been a remedy passed down through generations. Every time a kid is sick, their mom would make them a bowl of chicken soup. We all know that we feel better afterward, but is there any scientific reason for that? According to a study by Dr. Stephen Rennard at the University of Nebraska, chicken soup inhibited the migration of white blood cell that defends the body against infections. For that reason, having chicken soup really helps upper respiratory symptoms from the flu.

3. Get enough rest

When you are sick, you should get as much rest as possible. If you are too tired to exercise, don’t. If you are too tired to work, stay at home for the day. Spending the whole day in bed could be a great way to support your body fighting off the influenza virus. Also, good sleep will help your body immune system work more effectively so remember to have enough hours of sleep.

4. Humidify

If you have a stuffy nose and sore throat, breathing moist air could help ease that. Put an air humidifier or steam vaporizer in your bedroom before going to bed. You will wake up feeling much better without a stuffy nose.

5. Gargling salt water

Swishing and spitting salt water can really help with the flu. When you are sick, a thick layer of mucus collects at the back of your throat. Gargling salt water twice a day before and after sleeping can help reduce this.

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