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From the Doctor's Desk: The Complete Guide to Hypertension

by Natalie (SU)
With heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States, it is essential that we find ways to reduce our risk for this illness. One thing that will help tremendously is being aware of, and maintaining, healthy blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common chronic illnesses in this country, and left unchecked, can not only lead to heart disease, but also circulation problems, stroke, kidney disease, and loss of vision. It is estimated that 20% of Americans have hypertension, and while it usually starts at about age 30, it often goes undetected for many years. For this reason, it is important that you understand what hypertension is, what causes it, and what you can do about it.

Dealing with Arthritis Pain at Home

Dealing with Arthritis Pain at Home

by Yenny (SU)
There are many different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form. Also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), it is caused by “wear and tear” of the joints and can result in considerable chronic pain, which can then lead to disability. Some of the risk factors for developing OA include obesity, muscle weakness around the joint, repetitive activity, and previous joint injury. The pain associated with OA is caused by an erosion of cartilage, narrowing of the joint space, and deformity of the bone within the joint; and the most common sites of the body to develop OA include hands and fingers, the big toe, hips, knees and spine. If you experience pain in your joints, it is important to discuss this with your doctor. Once diagnosed, the goal of treatment is to minimize pain and to help you maintain independence in performing your everyday activities. The following are some things that you can do at home to deal with arthritis pain, and to improve your quality of life.

Is Your Pain Chronic? Understanding Chronic Pain

Is Your Pain Chronic? Understanding Chronic Pain

by Yenny (SU)
Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong, but how would you know if it’s chronic pain? Doctors often define chronic pain as any pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or more. What causes chronic pain? Sometimes chronic pain can begin without any obvious cause, however, some of the leading causes include: • Nerve damage • Infections • Fibromyalgia • Past injuries or surgeries • Back problems • Migraines and other headaches • Arthritis

The Difference between an Internist and a Primary Care Physician

The Difference between an Internist and a Primary Care Physician

by Shearly (SU)
To understand the difference between an internist and a primary care physician, it is important to realize that one is a specialty, and the other is a role. An internist is a physician who specializes in internal medicine, and is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases. While an internist can function as a primary care physician, he or she may also focus their practice on hospital medicine, medical education and/or research. On the other hand, a primary care physician may be an internist, a pediatrician, a geriatrician, a family practitioner, a gynecologist or an obstetrician, because primary care involves the practice of promoting overall health for the entire individual within the specific population (geriatrics, pediatrics, etc.) of the physician’s specialty. Let’s first look at the specialty of internal medicine, and then examine how these and other physicians practice in the primary care environment.

Getting the Most From Your Primary Care Visit

Getting the Most From Your Primary Care Visit

by Shearly (SU)
Have you ever gotten home from a doctor visit and realized you forgot to mention something you wanted to talk about? Or maybe you arrived at your visit without important information, like the name of the new medication a specialist prescribed. Your next appointment may not be scheduled for months, and it’s often difficult to make time for an extra trip. Yet, good communication is essential for insuring that all your health needs are met. So, whether you are seeing a new provider, or returning for a follow-up appointment, here are some tips to make sure you get the most from all of your primary care visits.

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