You Are What You Eat

Does what we eat affect our mental state? The answer is yes. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to control our moods. 95% of all serotonin is made in the gut. So it makes sense that if we have a healthy digestive tract we are more likely will have a healthy psyche. In order to aide your gut to help your brain, nutritional psychiatry recommends diets that are void of processed and refined foods and sugars. This means treating your body like you would treat an expensive car, only putting premium fuel in your body. Premium fuel for our minds and mental state consists of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and whole grains. So, in addition to traditional treatments for anxiety and depression consider a change in your diet to further positively impact your mental health. We would love to partner with you in making your lifestyle healthier. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your diet. Let us show you how we can provide accountability for a long and healthy life for...

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Spring Allergies or am I truly sick??

Pretty blossoming flowers and springtime are upon us. Sniffles begin. So how do you know if it’s truly allergies or a cold? It can get confusing trying to distinguish between the two, because they share many of the same symptoms.  The answer is in the symptoms. If you have allergies, your immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances called “allergens”.  In response to this, the body release a chemical called “histamine” which leads to symptoms.  These allergens come from pollen, ragweed, grass, trees, blooming flowers, (as well as ongoing dust mites, animal dander, mold, mildew, that happen year round- but we are talking mainly about springtime allergies here).   Such symptoms include sneezing, itchy clear runny nose and throat,  itchy (sometimes red) watery eyes, congestion, fatigue and sometimes sore throat. Symptoms flare up as soon as you come in contact with the allergen.  Allergies typically occur in the warmer months, when the air is full of pollen.  Springtime allergies may last up to 6 weeks and are not contagious. Symptoms may improve with over-the-counter antihistamines. While allergies are caused by allergens, colds are caused by viruses.  During a cold, your immune system attacks the virus.  Symptoms include sore throat, congestion, thicker mucus, stuffy  nose, cough,  and usually creep up over a few days.   Such symptoms typically run their course and can last up to 2 weeks. (The key point here is that symptoms of allergies and colds do not include high fever, discolored nasal mucus, severe fatigue, severe body aches, which can indicate the progression to  a sinus infection or flu, and need further evaluation.) Colds are more common in...

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Don’t be a couch potato!

We all have heard the hype about a sedentary lifestyle being bad for our overall health. It can lead to certain diseases such as osteoporosis, dementia, depression and anxiety, certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes just to name a few. But what is it about movement that is so healthy and the lack of movement that so detrimental? Prolonged periods of sitting leads to larger waist circumference, increase in fasting triglyceride levels and reduced clearance of blood glucose. In opposition, skeletal muscle movement leads to leaner waist lines, lower triglycerides, and decreased blood sugar. All of these help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Weight bearing movements of exercise also helps to keep our bones strong. The increased oxygen that is pumped to our brain with exercise also improves brain function and decreases dementia. The drop in stress hormones from exercise can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety. These are just a few of the many benefits of movement. Adversely, a sedentary life style negatively impacts our physical and mental well being by increasing the incidence of numerous diseases. So, the bottom line is for a healthier and happier you get...

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JNC7 vs JNC8 New Blood Pressure Guidelines

What Should My Blood Pressure Target Be? Published online in the AHA’s Hypertension journal, the new 2017 guideline covers detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure (HBP). Specifically, it calls for HBP to be treated with lifestyle changes and with medication as needed beginning at 130/80 mmHg rather than the previous commonly accepted threshold of 140/90 mmHg. The authors said they anticipate the new guideline will primarily affect younger adults — with the prevalence of HBP expected to triple among men younger than 45 and to double among women younger than 45. Even so, they noted that there should only be a small increase in the number of U.S. adults who will require antihypertensive medication.  After reviewing the data, I plan to embrace the guideline with enthusiasm.  As far as I can tell, thoughtful, measured interventions the benefits far outweigh the risk.  Even in the frail elderly with bp >110/70 numerous studies (HYVET and SPRINT) have shown lower mortality when a bp < 120/80 is achieved.  More on this later. According to the AHA, the new threshold will lead to 46 percent of the U.S. adult population being categorized as having hypertension. Using the previous threshold, that figure was 32 percent of American adults.  Similar to previous years, 30% of adults don’t know they have hypertension and about 40% are not at their goal.  In fact, an estimated 12.6% have BP> 160/100. Is Hypertension with age a normal process? Hypertension does increase with age.  According to many patients and doctors in the early 1970s, this was considered normal.  But it is certainly not healthy.  A study from...

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Kaiser HMO Exchange Plan

Starting on January 1, 2018 the providers at Family Practice Center will be accepting the Kaiser HMO Exchange Plan. With the exit of the BCBS exchange products from the metro Atlanta area, we are committed to providing excellent care to the Kaiser patients. Below are samples of the ID cards that will be accepted at Family Practice Center.   We look forward to welcoming you to the Family Practice Center family. Please call our office today to make an appointment. Start your 2018 year off right with a dedication to better health! Welcome...

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Exercise is Key

Exercise is Key

If there was a medication you could take that improved energy, sleep, libido, and confidence level all while reducing your risk for diabetes, heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis would you take it?  Great news, there is just such a treatment out there: Exercise! In line with guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Cardiology, the providers at Family Practice Center strongly encourage our patients to stay healthy by getting at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.  Exercise is absolutely one of the key components to a consistent approach to healthy living. Check out this great article and video to get more info and insight onto the power of regular exercise.  At Family Practice Center, we’re happy to talk to about starting an exercise program or even about how to change your routine up a little. Now, go get sweaty!   Video: How much exercise do I really need?  ...

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Breast Cancer Awareness

Most of us know that October was breast cancer awareness month. Worldwide breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women. It is more common in developed countries and the survival rate are also higher in developed countries due to cancer detection. Outcomes for breast cancer are variable depending on exact type of cancer as well as the extend of the disease. The earlier the detection and subsequent treatment the less extensive the disease and the higher the survival rate. There are a number of screening test that have been employed to detect breast cancer. The most commonly recommended screening test is a mammogram. Mammography is basically x-rays taken of the breast.  It is suggested to be done yearly starting at age 40. However, there are also a number of other screening tests including self breast exams, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and genetic testing that are used to find breast cancers. So, this month in an effort to “save the tatas”  we are encouraging all women 40 years of age and older to get...

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Emory Physician Preceptors

Emory Physician Preceptors

All 3 physicians at Family Practice Center are currently or have been adjunct professors of Medicine at Emory Medical School. We are honored to be asked to be teachers of Family Medicine at the top medical school in the Southeast. Our ongoing affiliation with the medical school community allows us to remain current with the latest in healthcare research and diagnostic testing to ensure our patients get the best care possible. We are proud to train the next generation of Medical Doctors in the best practices at Family Practice...

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Occasional Anxiety

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Life is stressful for many of us and experiencing symptoms of worry, irritability, and fatigue related to this anxiety is common. However, people with anxiety disorder often have intensive, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Anxiety disorder may involve repeated episodes of intense anxiety, fear, and terror that reach peak after a few minutes (panic attacks). These episodes of panic and anxiety interfere with daily activities and are difficult to control. They are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety (social phobias), and separation anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety results in a medical condition that may need treatment. These symptoms can be treated very effectively with non-habit-forming medications that are inexpensive and well tolerated. Symptoms may also be helped with psychotherapy. Whatever form of anxiety you have, we can assist in the evaluation and treatment. By James H. Wheeler,...

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