The Ultimate Guide: Pulmonary Function Testing

ADC Pulmonary testing

Some information provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine

Pulmonary function tests measure how well the lungs take in and exhale air.  It also helps to determine how efficiently the lungs transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.  This test is helpful in diagnosing certain types of lung disorders such as asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There are 2 types of disorders that cause problems with air moving in and out of the lungs:

  • Obstructive. This is when air has trouble flowing out of the lungs due to resistance. This causes a decreased flow of air.
  • Restrictive. This is when the chest muscles can’t expand enough. This creates problems with air flow.

There are many different reasons why pulmonary function tests (PFTs) may be done. They are sometimes done in healthy people as part of a routine physical. Or you may have PFTs if your healthcare provider needs help to diagnose you with a health problem such as:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Lung Fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis  (a condition in which the airways in the lungs stretch and widen)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (formerly known as“emphysema”)
  • Asbestosis (a condition caused by exposure to asbestos)
  • Sarcoidosis (an inflammation of your lungs, liver, lymph nodes, eyes, skin, or other tissues)
  • Scleroderma (a disease that affects your connective tissue)
  • Pulmonary Tumor
  • Lung Cancer

PFTs are usually safe for most people. However, because the test may require you to breathe in and out quickly, you may feel dizzy and there’s a risk that you might faint. If you feel lightheaded, tell your doctor. The test may cause you to have an asthma attack if you have asthma. In extremely rare cases, PFTs may be responsible for a collapsed lung.

A few pieces of advice are to avoid eating a large meal before testing. A full stomach can prevent lungs from inhaling fully. A person should also avoid food and drinks that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee, and tea, before the test. Caffeine can cause airways to open. Lastly, a person should also avoid smoking and strenuous exercise before the test.

Contact us for any questions or to set up an appointment.

 

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What To Expect When Visiting a Sleep Specialist

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According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders, millions of Americans are needlessly suffering from undiagnosed or misdiagnosed sleep disorders. While poor sleep can have a negative effect on performance, alertness, memory, concentration and reaction times, it is also being linked to other health issues such as heart disease and depression.

Sleep disorders are a serious health concern. It is especially important for persons suffering from hypertension diabetes, obesity and heart failure to see a sleep specialist for the detection and treatment of sleep apnea as it may prevent heart attacks and strokes as well as minimize underlying symptoms of other diseases. Left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased health risks and an overall lower quality of life.

Symptoms of a sleep disorder can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Constant leg movement
  • Gasping episodes at night
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Loud snoring
  • Dry mouth, sore throat
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of energy

What To Expect?

The first step will be an initial visit with our sleep specialist who will review your medical and sleep history. You will then schedule an appointment for an overnight visit. To help determine if a sleep disorder exists, your physicians will need to know what physiologic changes occur during your typical night of sleep. We do this by recording your brainwave pattern (known as the EEG) as well as your eye movements and degree of muscle tone. Using an EKG monitor, we will measure your heart rate and check for irregular heart beats during the night. Other measurements will include oxygen saturation, snoring, leg movements or jerking and respiratory effort. An intercom in the room will allow communication with the technician should you have any questions or require assistance. Studies will usually begin between 8:00pm and 9:00pm  and will conclude at about 6am. you will then follow up with your physician who will make recommendations for treatment of the disorder.

How To Prepare

 

In order to feel more comfortable with your stay, feel free to bring your toiletries and usual sleepwear and if you prefer, your own pillow. (It is helpful to avoid using hair products or skin lotions on the night of the study). It is recommended that you eat a meal prior to your study and continue to take medications as prescribed (unless your physician specifies otherwise). It is also preferred that you not consume foods or beverages containing caffeine after 5pm.

Finally…

Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A. is a distinguished group practice of physicians specializing in internal medicine and its major subspecialties and provides a wider range of diagnostic services on site. Each of the physicians at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic has built their practices around their commitment to superior methods of diagnosis and treatment for their patients. Contact us if you have any questions or to set up an appointment.

It’s Time To See Your Heart In Motion

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Some information provided by The American heart Association.

Echocardiograms use ultrasound to evaluate heart and circulatory function.  This non-invasive procedure gives your physician real-time images of the heart in motion.  These real-time images enable your physician to accurately diagnose a wide range of cardiac abnormalities and initiate appropriate treatment.

What Is It Used For?

Your doctor may suggest an echocardiogram if he or she suspects problems with the valves or chambers of your heart or if heart problems are the cause of symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain. An echocardiogram can also be used to detect congenital heart defects in unborn babies (fetal echocardiogram).

Why Do People Need An Echo Test?

  • The size and shape of your heart, and the size, thickness and movement of your heart’s walls.
  • How your heart moves.
  • The heart’s pumping strength.
  • If the heart valves are working correctly.
  • If blood is leaking backwards through your heart valves (regurgitation).
  • If the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis).
  • If there is a tumor or infectious growth around your heart valves.

Are There Any Risks?

Echocardiograms are considered very safe. Unlike other imaging techniques such as X-rays, echocardiograms don’t use radiation.  There are different types of echocardiogram tests. A transthoracic echocardiogram carries no risk. There is a chance for slight discomfort — similar to pulling off a Band-Aid — when the electrodes are removed from your skin.

How Can I Learn More About Echocardiograms?

Talk with a doctor. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What are you looking for in my heart?
  • Why are you doing this test instead of another test?
  • What do I need to do to get ready for this test?
  • When will I know the results?
  • Do you expect me to have other tests?

At Amarillo Diagnostic Center, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for your needs. Contact us if you would like to set up an appointment or if you have any questions.

 

How do I get better sleep?

Getting better sleep
We all know what it feels like to be “running on empty,” but most of us can shake it off after a few days. Where does that leave the ones that can’t? Tired and frustrated. We can help with that. These easy-to-apply tips can make a huge difference in your sleep, that can ultimately make an enormous difference in your life.

If  you’re having trouble sleeping, try these:

  • Mantain a regular wake time, even on days off work and on weekends.
  • Try to go to bed only when you are drowsy.
  • If you get in bed and are not drowsy, leave your bedroom and engage in quiet activity. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside of the bedroom.
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex and times of illness.
  • If you have trouble sleeping at night, don’t nap during the daytime. If you do nap, try to do so at the same time every day and for no more than one hour. Mid-afternoon (no later than 3:00 p.m.) is best for most people.
  • Establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals such as a warm bath, light bedtime snack or ten minutes of reading.
  • Exercise regularly. Confine vigorous exercise to early in the day, at least six hours before bedtime, and do mild exercise at least four hours before bedtime.
  • Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals, medications, chores and other activities help keep the brain’s inner clock running smoothly, allowing you to sleep more easily and soundly.
  • While a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals.
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soda with caffeine, cocoa or chocolate) within six hours of bedtime.
  • Do not drink alcohol when sleepy. When you are sleepy, even a small dose of alcohol can affect activities like driving. Do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills or certain other medications (consult your healthcare professional). Do not use alcohol to help you sleep at night. While alcohol may help you to fall asleep more quickly, it severely affects the quality of sleep later in the night and may even keep you from sleeping through the night.
  • Avoid tobacco close to bedtime or during the night.
  • Sleeping pills should be used conservatively. Most healthcare professionals avoid prescribing sleeping pills for periods longer than two or three weeks. Remember to tell your healthcare professional about any symptoms of breathing problems during sleep (snoring, stop-breathing episodes, waking up short of breath, waking up with a headache or nausea) when being prescribed sleeping pills.

If these don’t help, take it a step further:

Distract your mind

Lying in bed frustrated because you cannot fall asleep, and trying harder and harder to fall asleep, will never help you sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, try distracting your mind by reading, watching a videotape (not television, because that gives you the time), listening to a book on tape, etc. For some people, it is good to do this in bed; other people find it different room better

Curtail Time in Bed

Most insomniacs stay in bed longer than they should. This makes sleep more shallow and riddled with awakenings. Many people find that consistently cutting of time spent in bed in bed helps them sleep more soundly and leads to a more refreshing sleep.

Managing Stress

The stress that stems from common life situations often contributes to sleep problems. A relaxing activity around bedtime can help relieve tension and encourage sleep. Taking some time to think clearly about your problems and propose a few solutions can have a positive effect on your sleep quality. Talking with a trusted friend or colleague to “air out” troubling issues also can be helpful. Relaxation exercise, meditation, biofeedback and hypnosis are sometimes good methods for controlling sleep problems. These techniques should be learned from a psychologist, physician or other healthcare professional.

Designating “Worry Time”

Another technique that can be helpful is to designate a particular time for worry. This time is dedicated to sorting out problems and coming up with possible solutions. Set aside 30 minutes in the evening to sit alone and undisturbed. Try writing down problems in a list. Write your more serious worries on 3×5 cards, where you write one worry as it comes to mind (one per card). When you have all of your worries written down, sort the cards into three to five piles, according to the priority of each worry. Next, look at each card and formulate a possible solution to that worry. While not all worries will have easy solutions, even small progress in remedying a worry can yield helpful results. The morning after recording your worries, review the worry cards and begin to work on resolving the worries you’ve identified.

 

If none of these help, or you have some of the previously mentioned breathing concerns, visit our website to learn more and to book an appointment with us.

 

Sleep is a precious resource. Make sure you get enough.

Sleep and Hypertension

Sleep and Hypertension - ADC Sleep Disorders Center

Several studies have shown a link between hypertension and an abnormal breathing pattern during sleep called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is common in patients with OSA. There is also evidence that OSA can lead to the development of hypertension. People with OSA have repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. This is caused by collapse of the main breathing passage in the back of the throat. Every time this passage is blocked, breathing stops and oxygen is used up. After some time (usually 10-20 seconds, although up to one minute is not unusual) the breathing difficulty causes a brief awakening. The awakenings are often so short that the person is unaware of any interruptions in sleep.

Video: Sleep Medicine (Inside Look) At ADC

The awakening relieves the blockage in the breathing passage and normal breathing resumes. Unfortunately, when the person falls back asleep, the entire process can repeat (often hundreds of times per night). The drop in oxygen level from not breathing, and the increase in heart rate and blood pressure caused by waking up, causes stress for the heart. These nightly increases in blood pressure eventually lead to permanent increases in blood pressure, even during the day.

It is important to treat hypertension. Hypertension is a known risk factor for the development of other forms of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, heart failure and stroke. But treating hypertension may not be enough if the key reason for a person’s high blood pressure is an unrecognized sleep disorder like OSA. Hypertension medications, for instance, may not work well in a patient with untreated OSA. Many people who have difficult cases of hypertension are later found to have untreated OSA. Treatment of OSA can improve hypertension. For this reason, it is important for your healthcare professional to investigate all of the possible causes of your hypertension, including sleep disorders like OSA.

Visit us at the ADC Sleep Disorders Center

Sleep isn’t just “time out” from daily life

Written by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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Sleep isn’t just “time out” from daily life. It is an active state important for renewing our mental and physical health each day. More than 100 million Americans of all ages, however, regularly fail to get a good night’s sleep.

At least 84 disorders of sleeping and waking lead to a lowered quality of life and reduced personal health. They endanger public safety by contributing to traffic and industrial accidents. These disorders can lead to problems falling asleep and staying asleep, difficulties staying awake or staying with a regular sleep/wake cycle, sleepwalking, bedwetting, nightmares and other problems that interfere with sleep. Some sleep disorders can be life-threatening.

Sleep disorders are diagnosed and treated by many different healthcare professionals, including general practitioners and specialists in neurology, pulmonary medicine, psychiatry, psychology, pediatrics, and other fields. As part of its mission, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) strives to increase awareness of sleep disorders in public and professional communities. The AASM is the major national organization in the field of sleep medicine. We represent several thousand clinicians and researchers in sleep disorders medicine.

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.

Sleep Disorders

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

  • Internal Medicine

  • Pulmonary Diseases

  • Sleep Medicine

ADC Endoscopy Specialists Achieves AAAHC Accreditation

ADC Endoscopy Specialists

Amarillo, TX – 2014 – ADC Endoscopy Specialists has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation distinguishes this ambulatory surgical center from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

Status as an accredited organization means ADC Endoscopy Specialists has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

“At ADC Endoscopy Specialists we always strive for quality patient care,” stated Christi Adams, Director of Clinical Services for ADC Endoscopy Specialists. “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has closely examined our facility and our procedures. To be granted accreditation means that we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible.”

Take A Tour

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors – physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

“Going through the process of accreditation challenges us to find ways to better serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that our responsibility is to strive to continuously improve the quality of care that we provide,” said Adams.
ADC Endoscopy Specialists was formed on March24, 2006, with the intention of providing quality care with comfort and convenience to their patients. The ownership of the facility is a joint venture between BSA Holdings, Inc. and five gastroenterologists, Dr. Daniel Beggs, Dr. Todd Ellington, Dr. Tom Johnson, Dr. Jake Lennard and Dr. James Lusby.

We are licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services, certified for Medicare services and we are AAAHC accredited. ADC Endoscopy is proud to serve the population of the Amarillo medical community, as well as surrounding Texas panhandle communities and adjacent states. The medical staff of ADC Endoscopy Specialists is comprised of seven gastroenterologists including Dr. Daniel Beggs, Dr. Todd Ellington, Dr. Tom Johnson, Dr. Jake Lennard, Dr. James Lusby, Dr. Hagos Tekeste and Dr. Abdul Thannoun. All of our physicians are board certified in their specialty and are available to provide the following procedures in a convenient outpatient setting:

• Colonoscopy
• Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
• Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

We are conveniently located in Legacy Square at #1 Care Circle Dr., Amarillo, Texas, 79124, and our phone number is (806) 353-1769. If you would like more information about our facility please contact us or view our website at http://www.adcendoscopy.com.

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with more than 5,000 organizations accredited nationwide. AAAHC accredits a variety of organizations including, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery centers, endoscopy centers, student health centers, military health care clinics, and large medical and dental practices. AAAHC serves as an advocate for the provision of high-quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by third-party payers, medical organizations, liability insurance companies, state and federal agencies and the public.

Snoring?

We Can’t Get Away From It, Right? Wrong!

Snoring is one of those problems that affects women directly (if they snore) or indirectly (if their partner snores). The bad news is, snoring may be a symptom of a serious, potentially life-threatening, condition called sleep apnea. The good news is, for most people both snoring and sleep apnea can be eliminated in one day.

Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy or insomnia. An additional 20-30 million individuals experience intermittent sleep related problems.

Excessive sleepiness may be due to sleep-deprivation or may be a sign of a sleep disorder, the most dangerous of which is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea means cessation of breathing during sleep and usually occurs from a blockage in the back of the throat. Snoring is the most common symptom that warns of sleep apnea. When snoring and sleepiness co-exist, the likelihood of sleep apnea must be considered. In some cases, the sleepiness can be life-threatening, particularly for people who drive a motor vehicle or operate equipment that may be dangerous.

Simple non-invasive testing can be performed to accurately diagnose most of the conditions that cause snoring or excessive sleepiness. If treatment is necessary it can be accomplished through a second night study. In most cases, you will become more alert and productive the very next day without surgery or medications. These conditions can be very quickly corrected, resulting in an improved quality of life as well as decreasing cardiovascular risks for heart attacks, strokes and irregular heartbeats.

In an attempt to keep pace in today’s society, women are often plagued with numerous stressors in their life. Balancing home and family responsibilities along with a professional life may cause sleep deprivation, anxiety or even depression. A common symptom that can be brought on by this stress is insomnia.

Developing good sleep habits can often decrease or eliminate symptoms of insomnia. These include avoiding caffeine for six hours before bedtime and avoiding alcohol and smoking for one to two hours before bedtime. Exercise can be very helpful but not too close to bedtime. It is also important to maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle. By awakening every day at the same time and going to bed around the same time each day, your internal clock is able to be regulated and work with you.

Other disorders can also disturb your sleep. They may include periodic movements in sleep, restless legs syndrome, nightmares, panic attacks, sleep walking, sleep talking and many others.

The good news is that diagnosing and treating these ailments is nothing to lose sleep over.

Additional information about sleep disorders can be obtained from the American Sleep Disorders Association or by scheduling an appointment for a consultation with a sleep specialist.

ADC Sleep Disorders Center

ADC Sleep Disorders Center

Visit the Sleep Center at ADC

ADC’s Dr. Sean Milligan (Neurology) Named Partner In MS Care

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society designated Dr. Sean Milligan, Neurologist, Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A. as Partner In MS Care

Congratulations Dr. Milligan!

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Video: Women are 4x More Likely To Develop Osteoporosis

Did you know that women are four times more likely to develop Osteoporosis than men? If you have noticed a loss in height, or have a history of Osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with a Rheumatologist at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, the simple solution to your healthcare needs.

Click on the images to learn more about ADC’s Rheumatology Specialists

Dr. Ming Chen, Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, P.A. Specialist, Rheumatology

Ming Chen, M.D., Ph.D

What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is a sub-specialty in internal medicine, devoted to diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases.

Learn more about this one of a kind specialty at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic.