Flu Vaccines Are Now Available

Flu season has started as we at Family Practice Center have already had several patients test positive for the flu. Flu vaccines are now available, and influenza vaccination is recommended for all patients 6 months of age and older. It is also safe to receive a flu vaccine if you have an allergy to egg. The influenza virus mutates throughout the year so new vaccines are produced each year to better match the circulating virus. Our immunity also decreases over the year following vaccination, which is another reason to receive the vaccine each Fall. You can come into Family Practice Center at any time to receive your annual flu vaccine. Give us a call and we would be happy to schedule you!...

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Flip-Flopitis

This time of year, I tend to see a number of patients with a concern of foot pain. These patients come in with tenderness on the bottom or top of the feet. The problem originates from the metatarsal pads, or the tendons on the top of the foot. Either origin,  I relate this pain to fun summer shoes, Flip-flops.  After repetitive wear of these casual loose style sandals, the lack of support around the heels can lead to painful pressure points on the metatarsal pads, or the mid-foot, under the “Y” shaped thong.    I talk with my patients about their symptoms, their summer shoe selections, and become suspicious of a condition I have coined  Flip-flopitis”.  Consider alternating your shoes before this occurs. 👠 👟 👡 When I am suspicious of this condition, I advise my patients to change to a supportive shoe for two weeks, as in a tennis shoe or a flat sandal with an ankle strap.  Dr Elizabeth Rudd, owner of Well Equipt Physical Therapy, recommends daily exercises for good foot health.  These same practices can help prevent or treat Flip-flopitis.  Consider these daily exercises : 1) work the foot /toe flexors by scrunching a towel with the toes, 2)balance on one leg, and 3) work the arch with “arch lifts”.  It is also important to have proper gait mechanics. For further information, visit “Big Toe Big Deal” or “What’s the Deal With Heels” on Instagram at @wellequipt. Enjoy those fun summer shoes while the weather permits,  and prevent Flip-Flopitis! Best wishes for Happy Feet. Missy Keith...

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Walk-in Appointments

Your time is important to us, and we respect your busy lifestyle. That is why we offer walk in appointments between 7:45am-9am for sick visits and medication refills. Feel free to drop by on your way to work. We are here and ready to see...

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World Hepatitis Day: Medicare Coverage for Viral Hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day was on July 28, learn more about the different types of viral hepatitis and how to take action. Most people with chronic hepatitis virus do not have symptoms until the later stages of the infection, putting them at risk for serious liver disease. Medicare covers viral hepatitis immunization and screening services, including: Hepatitis B virus vaccine and administration Hepatitis C virus screening Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and high-intensity behavioral counseling to prevent STIs For More Information: Medicare Preventive Services Educational Tool Medicare Part B Immunization Billing Educational Tool, includes Hepatitis B Viral Hepatitis and World Hepatitis Day websites, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention World Hepatitis Day website Visit the Preventive Services website to learn more about Medicare-covered...

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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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