February is Heart Healthy Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.

Take this quiz to see how much you know about a “healthy heart”.

1. To prevent heart disease, you should exercise:

a. 30 minutes every other day
b. 60 minutes every day
c. 30 minutes every day
d. Whenever you have time

2. Eating certain types of fats are healthy for you. (True or False)
3. Stress does not affect the heart. (True or False)
4. Name three (3) risk factors for heart disease.
5. My blood pressure silently affects my heart-(True or False)
6. Sodium and Salt content with less than 5% daily value (DV) in food and drinks is a healthy nutritional choice. (True or False)

Click here for answers.

Influenza Details

Influenza

Many people refer to the “flu” as being either a cold or the “stomach flu”. Influenza is a contagious respiratory viral illness that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza outbreaks occur in the late fall and winter with varying degrees of severity. The symptoms of the flu are: chills with moderate to high fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, and fatigue. Usually, these symptoms come on quickly.

Spread

The flu spreads by an infected person coughing or sneezing and these droplets landing on a commonly used surface, or on another person. The flu virus droplets can live on surfaces for 2 to 8 hours. When another person touches the surface and then their eyes, mouth, or nose they can become infected with the flu virus. If a sick person sneezes within 4-5 feet of another individual these droplets can spray onto this person potentially spreading the flu to this person.

Period of contagiousness

Twenty four hours before a person begins to experience symptoms, they can begin to spread the illness. Children can actually begin to spread the disease 2 days before they begin to show symptoms. The ill person is contagious for approximately 5 days.

Complications

The flu can cause our bodies to be weakened so that we cannot resist other diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, or dehydration. The flu can be severe in people with other diseases such as asthma, diabetes or pregnant women or elderly people.

Prevention

Of course, the best prevention for yourself and for the community that you live in is the flu vaccine. Currently, Family Medicine of Albemarle has the flu vaccine. Don’t wait as the flu vaccine does take 10-14 days to provide excellent protection. Everyone 6 months and older should receive the yearly flu vaccine.

Hand-washing is the second way of prevention. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you are able to wash your hands either with soap or with hand sanitizers.

If you are sick, do not spread the disease by being in public. An ill person should not go back to class, work, or be in public areas until they have been fever-free for 24 hours or 5 days whichever is the longer. Cover your cough with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Resources

Check out information on the Centers for Disease Control site

We’re a Cville Favorite

Family Medicine of Albemarle would like to thank our patients for voting us a 2015 Gold Award Winner in the Category of Family Medicine.  We definitely don’t expect to receive awards for delivering great care, but it’s still nice to be recognized.  We’ll try not to let it go to our heads 🙂CF-Fav-Award-logo.WEB

Vaccines

Charlotesville is a community packed with really smart parents, but I’m often surprised at how often parents want to defer or decline routine immunizations.  After reading the Vaccine Epidemic by Louise Habakus M.A. I’m no longer surprised.  It’s a book filled with misinformation, half-truths, and political intrigue.  All in the name of discrediting one of safest medical treatments mankind has ever known (i.e. vaccination).  I won’t go into all the details explaining the book’s errors (a quick google search will do that), but I will say I was deeply saddened by the effect this book will have on childhood health and safety.  It also has the secondary effect of injuring parent-doctor trust (since 93-99% of pediatricians recommend vaccinations), which is perhaps the biggest issue of all.  If you can’t trust your child’s pediatrician, then who can you trust with your child’s health?

Luckily there are books and documentaries that express the other side of the debate.  Perhaps my favorite is the book Vaccines and your Child by Paul Offit and the NOVA documentary, Vaccines: Calling the shots.   It’s also worth scheduling an appointment with your child’s family doctor or pediatrician to ask questions.  Most of us have spent greater than 2 decades learning the science and ethics of medical care, and would love to address your concerns and answer your questions.

As an aside, another great documentary film is the Polio Crusade by American Experience.   It documents a time when vaccines were not the norm, and parents lived under the ever-present fear that their child might be paralyzed without warning.  It discusses FDR’s march of dimes and how America rallied to defeat polio with a vaccine.  It also references Wytheville Virginia (just 2.5 hours south of Charlottesville), a town that experienced what was likely the worst post-war polio outbreak in U.S. history.

Dr. Johns

Insomnia Treatment 101

I see a lot of patients with sleep problems. Typically, they’ve received a lot of advice from family and have seen more than a few drug commercials offering relief. Sometimes a patient will let me know which drug they think will help them the most. Instead of prescribing a drug I tend to ask them questions in an effort to tease out an underlying cause. If an underlying cause can’t be found I discuss Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Only a small subset of patients take CBT seriously, which really is a shame. Yesterday, while perusing emails I saw this article in the New York Times discussing CBT. It’s a good introduction to CBT for insomnia, and a quick read. Hopefully, it helps someone get a better night’s sleep. URL/Link

How FMOA Docs Save You Money

There’s tons of data from the world health organization describing how the U.S. citizen pays far more for healthcare than any other developed nation, receives less benefit for their money, and can expect worse long term outcomes on average (see report for more info) But there are a few clinicians in the U.S. healthcare system that buck this trend. This article describes clinicians that sound a lot like the family docs at FMOA, and explains how FMOA docs saves you time and money.

Why Your Doctor is Late

Being a family doctor is a blessing but I often feel like I’m spinning plates. A few months back I saw this article describing a typical day in a family doc’s life, and why she keeps her patient’s waiting. I could definitely relate to this doc’s experience. Our responsibilities keep us busy but if our patients are patient with us, the blessing of caring for families is worth the plate spinning.

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-your-doctor-is-always-late-2015-1