6 Tips for Cold and Flu Season

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

An apple a day isn’t all you need to do to keep the doctor away.

It’s that time of year again. The weather is cold outside and your immune system is working overtime to make sure you’re healthy. Do everything that you can to help with these simple tips.

Wash Your Hands

The number one tip of all. It’s too cold to be outside, so you’re spending even more of your free time indoors. You know what? So is everyone else. More people than ever are touching the same things you are, passing along more germs and viruses than you are used to. One is going to slip past your body’s natural defenses.

If you get a cold or flu this year, you likely have your own dirty mitts to thank. As you pick up germs on your fingers, you may scratch your eye or eat some finger food and invite those germs into your body.

There is a solution, and it’s simple and easy. Wash your hands with soap. Do it often and well. Use hand lotion to keep them from drying out in the cold winter and causing cracks in your skin. This is a key way to prevent a cold or flu.

Get Your Flu Shot

We recommend getting a flu shot.

The flu is not a minor problem; a severe case can sideline you for days. The vaccine is the best, most effective way to allay those fears. Above that, the flu can be dangerous, especially for older adults, pregnant women, and young children who don’t wash their hands as well as you do. Get your shot, and this year you may still get sick or you may not. But know that without that shot you may be more likely to cause you and your family a lot of misery.

Be Prepared for the Season

Where’s your hand sanitizer? Do you need to get some more? When you go to battle cold and flu germs, make sure you have the weapons you need. Multi-vitamins, pain relievers, decongestants – make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked. Don’t forget hand soap and hand sanitizer and tissues. Is your thermometer battery working?

When you are at the supermarket, load up on fluids, herbal tea, and simple comfort foods like chicken soup. You may not get sick, but you want to be prepared if you do! How many times have you prepared for a worst-case scenario only for it not to happen? Maybe this time you can avoid the flu by being ready for it.

Pay Attention to Your Symptoms

Do you have a bug or a virus? Is that a cold or the bonafide flu? Unfortunately, there isn’t a surefire way to differentiate your symptoms. Even your physician may not be sure.

True, colds are milder. Usually the overreaching complaint is a runny or stuffy nose.

The flu is usually more sudden and severe. Fever, body aches, and exhaustion are more common with the flu. And they are typically shorter lasting but more intense. Both of these conditions come from a virus, so you can’t “kill” it, but there are other ways your physician can help you out.

Choose the Right Medications

Over the counter, there are lots of cold and flu remedies to choose. Avoid combination medications that package lots of drugs in one pill — like a decongestant, cough suppressant, and a painkiller. If you don’t have a cough, or if you only have aches, you are taking medication that you don’t need. You don’t feel good, true – but take the time to read labels and choose only the medications that will help.

If you have antibiotics, don’t be tempted to use them. Again, these are viruses and antibiotics work only with bacterial infections. Also, using antibiotics when you don’t need them is a bit dangerous. It increases the risk of breeding dangerous germs that are resistant to drugs.

Don’t Go to Work

Stay home. Yes. It’s not easy to take a sick day. But if you have a cold or flu, you should. Even if you feel better after lunch, don’t go in for half a day. Don’t run errands. When you’re sick, stay home, rest, and recover. It’s better for you and everyone around you.

Pushing yourself when you’re sick and working instead of resting wears down your body. Your body may have a harder time fighting off the virus. Your cold could last longer. You could also spread the virus to other people. Stay home.

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Study: Sleep Apnea Among Truck Driver’s Increases Risk of Accidents in N. America

Study: Sleep Apnea Among Truck Driver's Increases Risk of Accidents in N. America - BSA ADC

Study: Sleep Apnea Among Truck Driver’s Increases Risk of Accidents in N. America – BSA ADC

According to a 2014 Harvard study, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, is likely increasing the risk of motor vehicle accidents, particularly among commericial truck drivers in the United States and Canada.

The study concluded OSA is “associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents“.

OSA is often difficult to study due to limited laws and subsequent challenges in identifying it among truck drivers. Yet, OSA is likely common among North American commercial drivers.

Many drivers are not diagnosed with Sleep Apnea leaving many undertreated, the study concluded. This, despite a number of options being available for screening and treatment in the United States.

BSA Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic Sleep Disorders Center opened in 1999 for the diagnoses and treatment of patients who have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep at night, problems with excessive daytime sleepiness or other medical problems that may occur or exacerbate during sleep.

We are the only comprehensive clinic in Amarillo which offers our patients evaluations and follow-up consultations with board certified physicians in:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Pulmonary Diseases
  • Sleep Medicine

Our Basic Sleep Study Procedure

We use the latest technology for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders in a comfortable and home-like atmosphere.

See Our Video

How We Can Help With Sleep Disorders

Left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased health risks and an overall lower quality of life, as well as increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, particularly among commercial truck driver’s. Contact us today. 806.353.1422

 

Colonoscopy: Everything You Need To Know

Wandering about a Colonoscopy?

Here are some questions that might help clear up any confusion you may have. Please feel free to contact BSA ADC for more extensive details and information regarding Colon health and services that may be offered at BSA ADC.

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I know I am supposed to hold aspirin products for 5 days.  What are considered aspiring products?

Aspirin products include:  Advil, ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, naprosyn or any medications you take for arthritis (including iron).

What foods am I supposed to avoid 2 days prior to the procedure?

It is important that you stop eating high roughage foods such as lettuce, beans, cabbage, corn as well as any high fiber foods including whole wheat bread.  If you take fiber laxatives, you must also stop taking them 2 days prior to your procedure.

What foods are ok to eat?

It is ok to eat meat, potatoes, pastas, fruits, and white breads.

I know I am supposed to begin a clear liquid diet at breakfast on the day prior to the procedure, what is considered a clear liquid?

Clear liquids include all of the following:

  • Strained fruit juices (without the pulp)
  • Water
  • Clear broth or bouillon
  • Coffee or tea (without milk or non-dairy creamer)
  • Gatorade
  • Carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks
  • Kool-aid or other fruit flavored drinks
  • Plain jello (without fruit or toppings)
  • Ice popsicles
  • No red or purple fluids/liquids
  • No milk products or solids

Where is ADC Endoscopy Specialists located?

Our physical address is #1 Care Circle Drive.  Our facility is located inside Legacy Squares office park off of Amarillo Boulevard West between Coulter & Soncy.

Gout diagnosis, treatment options, and case management from BSA ADC

Gout diagnosis, treatment options, and case management from BSA ADC

Gout diagnosis, treatment options, and case management from BSA ADC

(Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

What is Gout?

Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid. The buildup is also known as hyperuricemia. The higher your uric acid level, the more likely you are to get gout. Excess uric acid can form crystals in the joints and lead to swelling and pain.

The first attack of gout usually occurs in the big toe.

Flares are said to be extremely painful, and are associated with red, swollen and tender joints. Flares can also be found in the feet, ankles, hands, wrists elbows and knees.

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How Is Gout Diagnosed?

Doctors often ask about symptoms, medical history and family history of gout. Signs and symptoms of gout include:

  • Hyperuricemia
  • Uric acid crystals in joint fluid
  • More than one attack of acute arthritis
  • Arthritis that develops in 1 day, producing a swollen, red and warm joint
  • Attack of arthritis in only one joint, usually the toe, ankle, or knee.

To confirm a diagnosis of gout, your doctor may draw a sample of fluid from an inflamed joint to look for crystals associated with gout.

How Is Gout Treated?

Doctors use medicines to treat an acute attack of gout, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Colchicine, which works best when taken within the first 12 hours of an acute attack.

Sometimes doctors prescribe NSAIDs or colchicine in small daily doses to prevent future attacks. There are also medicines that lower the level of uric acid in the blood.

How Can I Manage my case of Gout?

High levels of uric acid can lead to crystals in the joint, causing swelling and pain. If uric acid levels are left untreated, flare-ups will happen more often, be more painful, and joint damage will occur.

Keeping uric acid levels below 6 mg/dl reduces the risk of gout attacks with long-term treatment. At this level, crystals in the joints dissolve, resulting in fewer attacks.

 

You don’t have to live another day with uncontrollable pain in your joints.

Contact us to learn more about gout or to schedule an appointment.

What Is Endocrinology?

From Diabetes, To Bone Disease

Endocrinology is the study of Hormonal and Metabolic Disorders.

ADC Endocrine System

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Endocrinologists of BSA Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic are thoroughly trained in the management of hormonal and metabolic disorders. With the aid of our experienced staff, our Endocrinology Department can assist in the management of your diabetes, complex metabolic bone disease, or disorders affecting the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands. Patient education services are available for patients in the care and management of these disorders. We also provide dietary counsel for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Call and schedule an appointment today at BSA ADC.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to properly utilize blood sugar. Carbohydrate foods create blood sugar and the body needs insulin in order to process the sugar into energy for the body to function properly.

Type I diabetes is a condition in which the body’s immune system damages the pancreatic cells responsible for producing insulin. This form of diabetes is treated with insulin replacement by injection since the body is no longer capable of producing enough of it’s own insulin.

Type II diabetes is a much more common form and is progressive in nature. This form of diabetes causes insulin resistance which means the body still produces insulin, but had difficulty utilizing it. There are various medications in pill form to treat Type II diabetes, but because of the nature of Type II diabetes, sometimes the pancreas wears out and insulin replacement by injection is required.

At this time there is no permanent cure for diabetes. Your physician will determine what medications you may need and should be carefully used daily. You should visit your doctor every three to six months so that the efficacy of treatment can be re-evaluated. Good glucose control is essential in order to prevent or retard the onset of diabetic complications. These include, but are not limited to damage to the small vessels of the eye, kidney damage, coronary artery disease, and peripheral nerve damage. These complications can lead to blindness, heart attack or stroke, dialysis, and amputation. The good news is that with proper self-care and medical expertise you can significantly reduce or avoid these complications altogether.

Weight control through diet and exercise is important. If you are overweight, your chances of diabetes increases significantly and you are putting yourself at risk. BSA Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic has a patient education specialist to assist you in the care and management of diabetes through diet and exercise.

You need to EXERCISE on a regular basis, preferably every day for at least 45 minutes. An exercise program should be initiated slowly and built up gradually to avoid injury and build stamina. Go for the distance rather than intensity. Our patient education specialist can assist you in starting an exercise regimen that will work for you. Be sure and obtain clearance from your physician before starting any exercise regimen.

CHECK YOU BLOOD SUGARS with a home glucose monitor regularly. Your physician or diabetic educator will prescribe a routine and frequency that best suits your needs, but many doctors ask that you monitor before breakfast and before supper. Please be sure to record your numbers and to bring your results along with your meter when seeing the doctor. He or she will want to discuss those readings with you.

Periodic Checks

GLYCOHEMOGLOBIN is a test developed to give information about your average blood sugar level during the past two or three months. It should be checked every three to six months. The American Diabetic Association recommends that the patients diabetic regimen be adjusted to achieve a glycohemoglobin of less than 7%. Any contributing risk factor for vascular disease should be aggressively assessed and treated. Cholesterol, triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure, and smoking are all factors that need to be addressed. Your physician or educator can help you understand your results and your treatment options. Some medications typically used to treat elevated blood pressure also have a protective effect in preventing kidney complications of diabetes. Any medication prescribed by your physician should be taken only as directed. Consult your doctor before adding or deleting any medication including over the counter meds.

MICROALBUMIN urine testing should be performed yearly to evaluate the likelihood of diabetic kidney involvement.

A visit to the OPTHALMOLOGIST should be scheduled at least yearly. He or she will evaluate any diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, or other conditions and plan treatment accordingly.

You should have a COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL EXAMINATION yearly that includes a treadmill exercise test. Underlying coronary artery disease is often more common in an individual with diabetes and needs early intervention.

SICK DAYS require special consideration. Anything your body perceives as stress can and will increase your blood sugar. This stress can be physical or emotional in nature. If you are ill your blood glucose will rise even if you cannot eat. Rules of thumb for sick days are as follows.

  • Stick to your meal plan if you can eat.
  • Take your diabetes medication unless your physician tells you to stop.
  • Check with your doctor before taking any other medication.
  • Drink at least one large glass of liquid each hour. If you are eating, these liquids should be sugar free.
  • Test your blood sugar every 4 hours.
  • Ask someone to check in on you or have them call every few hours to make sure you are all right.
  • If in doubt, consult your physician. Early and effective management of sick days will reduce your chances of developing diabetic coma.

Restless Leg Syndrome: What Is It and Other Facts

Restless Leg Syndrome is a common chronic neurological disorder. Its main symptoms are an urgency to move the legs mainly at night. Typically, pain will lessen with movement, and worsen when not moving.

Restless Legs Syndrome affects approximately 5-10% of adults in the U.S.

Symptoms include:

  • An urge to move the legs, usually accompanied or caused by uncomfortable and unpleasant leg sensations
  • Symptoms begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity such as lying or sitting
  • Symptoms are partially or totally relieved by movement, such as walking or stretching, at least as long as the activity continues.
  • Symptoms are worse or occur only in the evening or at night

How BSA ADC can help:

  • Discuss the symptoms you’re having
  • Tell your doctor about your medical history, and if anyone in your family has RLS
  • Tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter and prescription, as well as any herbal or vitamin supplements.

BSA ADC will help you diagnose what symptoms you are experiencing and based on the results what type of RLS you have. There are two types of RLS: primary RLS, a chronic condition that can be hereditary, and secondary RLS, caused by another condition (such as pregnancy or iron-deficiency) and may resolve once the underlying condition no longer exists. Your doctor will diagnose the type of RLS and provide appropriate treatment options.

Now that you know that RLS is a neurological condition, you should also know that there are treatment options that can help, including medications and non-medication options. Contact us if you have any questions or to set up an appointment.

4 Things You Should Know About Sleep In America

4 Things You Should Know About Sleep In America BSA ADC

  • Roughly 41 million people in the United States — nearly a third of all working adults — get six hours or fewer of sleep a night, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1 out of every 3 working adults in the United States isn’t getting enough sleep. It can contribute to all sorts of health problems, and even overeating. This, according to a study by the CDC.

  • About 42 percent of workers in the mining industry are sleep-deprived.

The mining industry, in particular, suffers from lack of sleep.

  • About 27 percent of financial or insurance industry workers share the same complaint.

From Wall Street to auto insurance, financial and insurance agents are another problematic sector in the workforce when it comes to lacking sleep. 1 out of every 4 in the industry doesn’t get enough sleep.

  • The idea that we should sleep in eight-hour chunks is relatively recent. (The world’s population sleeps in various and surprising ways. Millions of Chinese workers continue to put their heads on their desks for a nap of an hour or so after lunch, for example, and daytime napping is common from India to Spain.)

This one will probably come as the biggest surprise to many. If you’re lacking sleep at night, try adding sleep in other ways. Your body will thank you for it.

To learn more about sleep, or Sleep Apnea or other sleep-related conditions, contact BSA ADC.

 

3 Signs Your Headache Needs Medical Attention

Sudden, Excruciating Headache?

James came home from work, dropped his briefcase on the couch, and  slid into his favorite chair. He put his head in his hands. He’d barely made it from the car to the couch. His headache was bad enough that he wasn’t aware of his wife, who’d walked in and asked him if he was alright.

James was experiencing one or more signs of severe headache. Here are 3 sure signs your headache requires medical attention:

  1. The Headache Comes on Suddenly with Excruciating Pain
  2. It’s the Worst Headache of Your Life, or
  3. The Headache Causes a Change of Your Consciousness, Making It Difficult to Walk or Talk

If you think you are experiencing these symptoms, call your doctor right away. And if you believe you are in danger, call 911. Headaches can be extreme and awful. Carefully monitor your symptoms and speak with your doctor about how you feel.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, don’t get enough sleep, miss meals, or use alcohol.

Types of Headaches

  • Migraine headaches
    • Pain may be generalized, or on one side or both sides of the head
    • Can cause mood swings, fatigue, food craving, nausea, vomiting or vertigo
    • May also cause visual disturbances or sensitivity to light and sound, flashing lights or floaters
    • Usually last 4-72 hours
  • Tension headaches
    • Usually occur at the base of your head and is usually on both sides of your head
    • Dull, vice-like pressure around the head
    • Can be triggered by stress or muscle tension, poor ergonomics or body mechanics
    • Can be intermittent and lasting throughout the day
  • Cluster headaches
    • Pain may affect the eye, temple, face and/or neck areas
    • Sudden and excruciating pain that can happen at night waking you up from sleep
    • May be accompanied with a runny nose on one side or nasal stuffiness
    • May cause watering in one eye
    • Can occur at the same time for several days
  • Chronic daily headaches
    • Daily or nearly daily headache for more than 3 months
  • Medication overuse headaches
    • Use of an analgesic more than 3 times weekly for more than 3 months
  • Sinus Headache
    • Pain or pressure occurring behind the brow bone or cheek bone
    • Often accompanied with nasal or sinus congestion
    • Ear fullness

Other Less Common Types of Headaches

Some headaches originate from the neurological system:

  • Post traumatic headaches
    Concussion
    Brain injury
  • Tumors and other causes of increased intracranial pressure
    Pseudotumor cerebral (too much fluid in the brain compartment)
    Subdural hematoma (blood outside the brain but putting pressure on the brain)
  • Cervical spine disorders

Some headaches originate from causes outside the neurological system such as:

  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep apnea

When to Seek Treatment

  • Sudden onset of excruciating pain
  • First or worst headache of your life
  • Worsening pattern of headaches
  • Fever associated with a headache
  • Rapid onset of headache with strenuous exercise
  • Any change in mental status or level of consciousness
  • New headache in patients under 5 or over 50

Clinical Services Available

  • MRI
  • Lab

Treatment Options

  • Medication to prevent or relieve the pain
  • Physical therapy referrals
  • Botox therapy
  • Occipital nerve blocks

Not all headaches require a doctor’s attention. But sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let us know if you have sudden, severe headaches. Get medical help right away if you have a headache after a blow to your head, or if you have a headache along with a stiff neck, fever, confusion, loss of consciousness, or pain in the eye or ear. Contact us if you have any questions or to set up an appointment.

Some information provided by Medline Plus.

Workouts Will Help Sleep You Sleep Better

Workouts Will Make You Sleep Better - ADC Sleep Disorder's Center
Researchers have found sleep quality gets better with workouts.
People who regularly hit the gym sleep better and feel more alert during the day than those who are not as physically active, according to a research.
The results showed that people who did 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week reported a 65-percent improvement in sleep quality.
“Physical activity may not just be good for the waistline and heart, but it also can help you sleep,” study researcher Brad Cardinal, professor of exercise science at Oregon State University, said.
Participants who worked out for at least 150 minutes also said that they felt less drowsy during the daytime, compared with those who were less physically active.
(People who got 150 minutes of exercise a week reported a 65-percent improvement in their sleep quality.)
Cardinal and his colleagues studied a nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women between the ages of 18 and 85.
They study adds to the evidence showing that “regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep,” Cardinal said.
The study showed that the risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day dropped by 65 percent for the more active participants.
Sleep Apnea, an increasingly common form of sleep deprivation, affects millions of Americans. Come visit the ADC Sleep Disorder’s Center for more information regarding Sleep Apnea and how you can improve your sleep. Our world class medical staff has been helping victims of Sleep Apnea for decades.

Bacteria in our Bellies? 3 Key Benefits – HerCare

Did you know humans are 99% bacterial? As Bonnie Bassler said in her Ted Talk, “you see human; I see bacterial.”

This key relationship between bacteria and our bodies plays a crucial role in basically everything that happens to us.

Mutualism

Intestinal bacteria and us.

3 Key Benefits of Bacteria in the Gut

  • Bacteria allow us to obtain greater nutrients from our foods
  • Bacteria help us develop sophisticated immune systems
  • Bacteria assist in balancing emotion and cognition

Watch the full keynote speech from ADC’s own Dr. Joanna Wilson at HerCare