woman-consulting-with-doctorKnowledge is an incredibly powerful tool for anyone trying to achieve and maintain long-term health and wellness. We always say that practicing prevention techniques and receiving an early diagnosis are critical when it comes to making sure any health condition (mental or physical) is treated in the most effective manner possible. This is why our family healthcare providers thought we could help our readers by answering questions on some of the health conditions we most commonly treat.

Question #1: How does stress increase the risk of heart disease?

There are both direct and indirect ways that stress and heart disease are connected. It’s a fact that high stress levels over time can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. But feeling stressed can also contribute to certain behaviors that can also lead to heart disease including smoking, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, not taking medicines as prescribed, and poor sleep habits.

Question #2: How can I know if I’m experiencing the signs of a stroke?

In the case of a stroke, every second is precious. Which is why it’s critical to know the common warning signs of a stroke and call 911 at once if you or someone else is experiencing the following (using the helpful acronym BE FAST as a reminder):

  • B – A sudden loss of balance or equilibrium.
  • E – Eye issues including sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes or seeing double.
  • F – Unusual drooping on one or both sides of the face, which may be caused by muscle weakness or paralysis associated with a stroke.
  • A – Weakness in the arms, including just feeling weakness or fatigue in one arm.
  • S – Having trouble speaking, or slurring words.
  • T – Remember that time is incredibly urgent in this situation and keeping track of when symptoms started in order to relay the most helpful information possible to the healthcare provider treating the stroke.

Question #3: How can depression be diagnosed?

While every case is unique, we have different ways of diagnosing depression. The process may include a combination of tests and examinations including a physical exam, lab testing (including tests to gauge thyroid function), and a mental health examination consisting of a thorough discussion of the patient’s thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and behavior patterns.

Question #4: Is there a way to effectively reduce the effects of hot flashes?

While they may not be able to be prevented entirely, there are absolutely things that women can do to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes. For starters, we recommend changing your diet to help reduce certain things that can trigger and exacerbate hot flash symptoms. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol, as well as very spicy and processed foods that are high in fat and salt can all lead to hot flashes. Additionally, smoking and using other nicotine products like vaping can also make hot flashes more severe. There are other helpful things that may be specific to your situation, so it is important to speak with your provider about women’s health tips to reduce hot flashes.

Question #5: Can using acupuncture really help with chronic headaches?

When performed by an experienced and certified professional, integrative medicine services like acupuncture can absolutely be used to treat chronic headaches and migraines. For various reasons, some patients may prefer a more holistic or natural approach to treating certain conditions. Acupuncture works by stimulating various systems of the body that can trigger a natural healing response. During treatment, very fine needles are inserted into different pressure points that are located near nerves in the treated area. The needles are then able to stimulate the nerves to release hormones, such as endorphins, that trigger a healthy response.

We hope our readers found these answers helpful. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information on health and wellness, including health tips, news, and much more. If you would like to schedule an appointment at one of our five Atlanta area locations (Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, and our newest location in Smyrna), contact Family Practice Center.