Written by on 11/18/2014 6:00:00 PM
Co-authored by Todd Wagoner and Katie Bennett, both master's level clinical social workers at Community Touchpoint HATS clinic.
It’s that time of year! With the holidays approaching, many anticipate spending time with family enjoying food and sharing traditions. But that’s not all families share.
Families share a genetic make-up - the building blocks that make them who they are. Families also share lifestyles, behaviors and, sometimes, living environments that bind them together and influence their risk of developing chronic diseases.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that while only one third of Americans have gathered information about their family’s health history, 96 percent feel that it is important information to have. They are correct, it is important!
A complete family medical history can help you identify who is at high risk for developing common disorders such as high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, heart disease and/or diabetes. Relatedly, knowing your family’s medical history allows you to take steps to reduce your individual health risks. continue reading ...
Written by on 11/5/2014 6:00:00 PM
Winning FDA approval in October, Harvoni can cure patients of hepatitis C in as few as eight weeks.
Harvoni is a pill-a-day regimen that combines two medications: sofosbuvir and ledipsvir, which attack the hepatitis C virus in different ways. It is the first therapy available that does not need to be complemented with a weekly injection of interferon, thereby reducing some of the more severe side effects of treatment. In addition to the daily medication, patients see their provider for a blood test every four weeks to check viral load, complete blood count (CBC) and liver function. A final blood draw is taken 12 weeks after the completion of therapy to determine if treatment is successful and the patient is cured.
“In just the past year, there have been remarkable advances in how we are able to treat hepatitis C,” said Dr. Steven Norris, infectious disease physician at Community Physician Network. “With these new medications, treatment is far more tolerable. Side effects are significantly reduced, as is amount of time involved in treatment. Most importantly, cure rates have increased dramatically to over 90 percent.” continue reading ...
Written by on 11/4/2014 12:00:00 PM
About one in 11 adults in the United States is living with diabetes and one in three adults has pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes causes blood glucose (sugar) levels in the body to rise higher than normal levels. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Over time the pancreas isn't able to produce enough insulin keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
But, pre-diabetes does not need to develop into diabetes. By practicing a healthy habits diabetes can be prevented.
Sedentary lifestyles contribute to chronic diseases like diabetes. Exercise can help you lose excess weight, control your blood sugar, and boost your sensitivity to insulin, which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range. Aim to get at least two and a half hours of physical activity per week, if not more. continue reading ...
Written by on 10/27/2014 9:00:00 AM
Dr. William J. Fisher is a board certified pediatrician with Community Physician Network. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fisher, visit his physician profile.
This a common question that faces many parents in the fall. For almost everyone 6 months and older, the answer is definitely yes. The reasons are simple:
"But every year I have gotten the flu shot I have gotten sick!"
- Influenza kills more kids in the US than all other vaccine preventable illnesses combined.
- The flu shot and mist are very safe.
- Getting the flu vaccine helps us protect others, especially infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems that are more likely to die from the flu and who are not eligible for the flu shot, or do not respond to the flu shot.
I hear this every year, and there are two very good reasons for this misconception. The first is that the flu is given during the fall when many different viral vomiting and diarrhea illnesses are going around, especially after kids get back into school and start spreading germs like wild fire. The flu is not vomiting and diarrhea. What many people call the flu is actually gastroenteritis. The flu causes body aches, high fevers, headache, cough and a viral pneumonia often leading to secondary infections like ear infections and bacterial pneumonias. Vomiting and diarrhea are rare symptoms of influenza.
The second reason people have this misconception is due to how many flu shots are given (over 100 million in the US) and bad luck that is attributed to the shot. For instance, if I get my flu shot and then 10 minutes later drop my phone into the toilet or run a red light, is that because of the flu shot? Of course not, but if I get a fever later in the week, everyone would assume it was the shot. In reality, some of those fevers are because of the shot, but some of those fevers were destined to happen regardless of getting the shot because people get sick. continue reading ...
Written by on 10/20/2014 8:00:00 AM
Many children experience nosebleeds, some frequently.
"Most cases of nosebleeds are caused by dryness of the nasal lining and the normal rubbing and picking that children do when their noses are blocked or itchy," explained Dr. Aaron Carlisle, family medicine physician at Community Physician Network.
While it may be frightening for a child to experience a nosebleed, they are easily treated. Dr. Carlisle recommends parents follow these steps to stop nosebleeds:
He also encourages parents not to use a cold compresses to help stop the bleeding. continue reading ...
- Have your child blow their nose to remove any clots and spit out any blood that may be in their mouths.
- Grasp the soft part of the nose – just under the bony part – and squeeze firmly.
- Have your child place their chin on the chest and hold for 10 minutes.
- If bleeding persists, insert some gauze covered in petroleum jelly partially into the nose and squeeze again for 10 minutes.
- Leave the gauze in place for another 10 minutes before pulling it out.
- If bleeding persists, seek medical attention.