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Genesis Medical Associates, Inc.
Posted on 11/15/2017 20:30

A diabetes management plan is critical during the holidays. November is National Diabetes Month, and with the holidays coming up quickly, it is a good time to talk about how to manage your diabetes or help loved ones with their healthcare through the season.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes. People with diabetes have elevated blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels. Managing these higher blood glucose levels is critical for patients. However, while medication can sometimes help, diet and lifestyle choices factor heavily into patient care.

While a day or two of indulging will not do significant damage to a diabetic’s health if they generally address the condition correctly, the holiday season is full of temptations. Too much indulging can cause health problems. This is why it’s important to go into the holidays with a plan for your diabetes care. We recommend considering the following as you build out this plan:

  • Maintain your eating schedule. With numerous and opulent food options seemingly available everywhere during the holidays, it’s more important than ever to try to stick to your regular eating schedule. If you can’t eat at your regular time, have a small, healthy snack to tide you over, and then eat less when you sit down to the meal. This will help to keep your blood sugar steady.
  • Check your blood sugar often. If your usual schedule changes, take the time to check your blood sugar more often than you might otherwise. This is particularly important if you are driving or plan to adjust your insulin dose for different eating patterns. Checking your blood sugar more often will help to accommodate the changes to your work, eating, and exercise habits while controlling your blood sugar levels.  
  • Watch your alcohol consumption. If you are choosing to drink, try to limit the amount you consume. Don’t drink on an empty stomach - be aware of how much alcohol is safe for you. Remember that the recommendation for healthy individuals with diabetes is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
  • Choose healthy options and treats wisely. If you know you want to indulge in specific holiday treats or sweets, factor that into your carbohydrate intake for the day and pick other dining options that are not carb heavy, such as lean proteins, vegetables, and salad. Being smart about your food choices will allow you to enjoy the holiday sweets you love while still keeping your blood glucose levels in check.

These actions are great starting points for diabetes management. But depending on the severity of your diagnosis, additional action steps may be necessary as part of your holiday care plan. If you have any questions about managing your diabetes through the holidays, our team at Genesis Medical would be happy to assist you and answer your questions. Find your nearest location and contact us today!

Image courtesy of maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Posted on 10/30/2017 16:42

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Reduce Your Risk While October is a time to celebrate Halloween and embrace the fall season, it’s also a time for awareness. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - and doctors, patients, breast cancer survivors and their families, businesses, and charities alike are all coming together to talk about this disease.

According to BreastCancer.org, one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Medicines and treatment options are improving, and the death rate from the illness has decreased over the years. But still, just over 40,000 women will lose their battles with breast cancer before the end of 2017.

Breast cancer is devastating to patients and their families, so it’s important to know how to check for it, to alert your doctor of any concerns, and be aware of the risks associated with it. Here are a few ways that you can make yourself aware of breast cancer signs and symptoms this month and all year round.

 

Early Detection: Understanding Signs and Symptoms

Discovering breast cancer early on is one of the ways to be proactive and hopefully stop the disease before it spreads. While it’s always a good idea to visit your doctors for regular health exams, there are a few things you can discover on your own that will alert you of any warning signs. If you notice any of the following abnormalities, make an appointment with your doctor for more insight. A few early symptoms may include:

  • Change in breast tenderness or skin texture
  • Unusual lumps (but remember: not all lumps are cancerous. If you notice any strange lumps, visit your doctor right away for diagnosis)
  • Any appearance changes on one or both breasts (dimpling, asymmetry, redness, etc.)

 

Breast Cancer Prevention

Partly due to genetics and partly due to the nature of the disease, there is no clear way to prevent breast cancer from affecting you or your loved ones. However, there are a few healthy habits that could lower your chances of developing breast cancer and improve your overall well-being in the process. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the first places to start, as women who gained 21-30 pounds after their eighteenth birthdays were more likely to develop breast cancer. Additionally, regular exercise, eating the right foods (five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day), and making yearly trips to your healthcare provider will help you get on your way to being happier, healthier, and diminish your risk.

While care for it is improving, breast cancer is still a devastating disease. Spreading awareness and making sure you are checking up on your health will hopefully help to prevent the condition from affecting you and your family. The first step is visiting your doctor, who can provide more information about the disease should you discover any symptoms or want to start getting healthier. Our team at Genesis Medical can answer your questions about breast cancer, how to spot it, and what to do if you are diagnosed. Find your nearest location and contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Image courtesy of PIxabay.com

 
Posted on 10/13/2017 15:38

pexels-photo-220426.jpegBoo! October is here and Halloween is quickly approaching. Adults and children across the country are coming up with costume ideas, heading out to buy Halloween candy, and preparing their homes for the festivities on October 31st.

While this is the time of year to embrace all things spooky, we know you do not want to end up on a frightening trip to the emergency room. Unfortunately, Halloween costumes can be harmful to your body or can potentially lead to injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing or making Halloween costumes to prevent any scary situations from arising.

  • Keep Color in Mind. Try purchasing or designing costumes with brighter colors that can easily be seen by drivers and other pedestrians. Dark-colored outfits can be harder to spot for drivers who are out during trick-or-treating hours. If the costume is darker, attaching reflectors to certain areas of the garment can aid drivers in seeing trick-or-treaters and keep your child safe.
  • Examine Materials. Whether you’re purchasing a costume or making one, it’s crucial to know what materials you’re working with. Make sure the garment is not made of a material your child is allergic to and check to see if the material is fire-retardant. Many houses will be displaying Jack-O-Lanterns, luminaries, and other decorations that can involve fire or hot temperatures that could accidentally start a fire in the wrong circumstances.
  • Makeup & Masks. Costumes will sometimes involve wearing makeup or a mask to complete a look, but it’s important to make sure what you are using is safe. Before applying any makeup, check the ingredients to ensure the product does not contain anything that can cause an allergic reaction. Masks can be simpler, less time-consuming solutions if worn properly and safely. To ensure masks won’t cause a problem, check them for any strange smells or ingredients that could be harmful to your child’s skin. Ask your child if they can see and breathe properly out of the mask and cut larger eye or nose holes if needed.
  • How Does it Fit? Oversized costumes, shoes, or accessories can be potentially dangerous to both children and adults. When wandering around the neighborhood in the dark, it can be easy to overlook cracks in the sidewalk or objects that may cause falls. Make sure any large hats or wigs are secure so they don’t obstruct your child’s vision. Falls are more likely to occur if a child is wearing something oversized, so make sure they are comfortable and can move around easily without tripping before sending them out trick-or-treating.

Halloween is a fun time of year as long as both children and adults are safe. If you have concerns about an allergic reaction from a Halloween costume, potential injuries, or actual injuries, we can help. Our team at Genesis Medical can assist you and answer your questions and ease concerns about safe Halloween costumes for your child. Find your nearest location and contact us today!

Image courtesy of www.pexels.com

Posted on 09/29/2017 16:15

It’s that time of year again. Temperatures are cooling down, coworkers are sniffling at their desks, and kids are coming home sick from school. Fall is the time of year Flu Shot FAQwhen the flu virus begins to make its way around to family and friends. One of the best ways to protect yourself from the virus this season is by getting a flu shot. However, as with any treatment, you may have questions about flu shots that you need answered before getting your shot. With that in mind, we’ve looked at some common questions patients ask regarding flu shots and included our answers.

  • What is a Flu Shot? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu shot is an immunization given to a patient, typically in the arm. The shot prevents three to four of the season’s most common influenza viruses from affecting the patient’s body during the upcoming flu season. There are even a few different types of shots that you can receive, depending on your body’s needs.
  • I Got A Flu Shot Last Year - Do I Need Another One? It is recommended that you receive a flu shot each year to ensure your immune system can fight off the flu virus should you come into contact with it. Since the flu virus mutates every year, flu shots are altered annually to combat the season’s most common influenza strains. That means 2017’s influenza bugs are not the same as 2016’s, and a new flu shot is the best form of protection against the virus.
  • Can The Flu Shot Cause Me To Develop The Flu? You actually cannot get the flu as a result of an immunization. This is a common flu shot myth that unfortunately may make some people feel the shot isn’t worth it. However, the immunization contains an inactive flu virus that cannot cause infection.
  • I Rarely Get Sick. Do I Still Need a Flu Shot? Yes. Your body may have an impeccable immune system, but you can still carry the flu virus and spread it to others. Even if you experience mild flu symptoms, the virus can easily bounce around to your loved ones who may not be as lucky. The shot protects both you and the people around you, helping your network and community stay as healthy as possible.
  • What are the Side Effects or Risks Associated With Flu Shots? There aren’t many risks associated with the flu shot. A vast majority of people who receive flu shots do not experience any serious problems or prolonged side effects. The few side effects associated with the shot are not severe, and do not last more than one to two days. These side effects include redness, swelling, or numbness around the area where the immunization occurred, along with minor aches, headache, nausea, or a slight fever. Severe allergic reactions are rare, but it’s important to contact your doctor immediately should you experience any extreme or prolonged side effects.
  • Where Do I Go for More Information? If you’re looking to learn more about the flu shot and/or its side effects, or you’re ready to get one yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Our team at Genesis Medical can assist you and answer your questions about the shot and its ability to fight off the influenza virus. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, find your nearest location and contact us today!
Posted on 09/13/2017 19:33

Many months of the year have a health education or awareness topic associated with them, and September is no different. September is National Cholesterol Education Month and is the perfect opportunity for many Americans to get their blood cholesterol levels checked out, as well as start on the path to eating better and exercising regularly.

Cholesterol Education Month is a great time to take control of your heart health with Genesis Medical.High blood cholesterol is a problem for over 70 million Americans. Elevated cholesterol levels can contribute to a person’s risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the country. Of the 70 million individuals living with high cholesterol, only about one third of them are working toward becoming healthier and reducing cholesterol levels. Here are some things you need to know about cholesterol, and how you can be proactive in checking up on it - ultimately reducing your risk of heart disease and other conditions.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty chemical that lines the outer layer, or membrane, of the cells throughout your body. While it’s often portrayed as an entirely bad thing, cholesterol is actually necessary for certain bodily functions, including the production of vitamin D and hormones. Your liver produces roughly 80% of your body’s cholesterol, and the foods you eat cover the rest. Foods containing cholesterol include meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products.

How is Cholesterol Bad for You?

Cholesterol is important, but too much of a good thing can have negative consequences. Cholesterol comes in a few different types, but the type to be concerned about is LDL, or the bad type of cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol is carried through your bloodstream, it’s eventually deposited on your artery walls, which causes a thick, hard layer to form. This layer is called cholesterol plaque and is built up over time as you continue to consume foods that are high in cholesterol.our body also naturally produces high LDL levels due to genetics, and a lack of regular exercise can further contribute to this build-up. If the plaque becomes too thick, the artery walls narrow, causing a condition called atherosclerosis. This narrowing of the walls is what raises your risk of various heart problems.

Taking Healthy Steps

Paying attention to what you eat, exercising, and visiting the doctor for blood cholesterol level tests and regular check ups are some of the first steps to take on the road to maintaining cholesterol levels. Making healthy changes can also help you control your cholesterol. Smoking, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity are a few of the guilty parties that contribute to high cholesterol.

Dietary changes can also make a difference. When eating, choose leaner cuts of meat and low-fat dairy; additionally, eliminate trans-fats like fried foods and commercial products like snack cakes, cookies, and crackers. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibers, and whey protein, can also play a part in reducing cholesterol.

Regular exercise should be on your schedule, as long as it is permitted by your healthcare provider. Taking brisk walks throughout your work day, swimming, playing an intramural sport, and jogging are all options for getting at least 30 minutes of exercise in each day.

Keeping tabs on your cholesterol is important this month, as it is with every month of the year. If you have concerns about cholesterol levels, want to work on improving your overall physical and heart health, or have general questions about cholesterol, we can help. Our team at Genesis Medical can assist you and answer your questions. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, find your nearest location and contact us today!

Posted on 08/31/2017 19:22

food_groups_nutrition_health.jpgMany people understand nutrition basics from studying food pyramids in school. For example, it’s well known that fruits and vegetables are beneficial and should be eaten daily, while sugar-filled sweets and processed foods should be consumed sparingly. Yet in 2015, only 1 in 10 American adults was eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables!

Research like this can be an indication of both lack of awareness as well as an accessibility issue to food. Fortunately, we can help ensure that you have the knowledge you need to eat the diet you need to stay healthy. Keep reading for more information on how you can eat the right amount of each food group to keep yourself - and your family - in healthy shape:

 

The Food Pyramid

In the spring of 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the food pyramid from its traditional format. The new graphic, while still holding on to the pyramid shape, can be a bit more difficult to interpret, but it generally stays true to what nutrition experts have previously determined and recommended for healthy eating.

When looking at the pyramid from left to right, grains make up the largest portion, followed by vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats, and so on. However, it’s important to note that while food pyramids are general guidelines, they may not be the best guidelines for all individuals, especially those with dietary restrictions. You may want to speak with your healthcare provider for more information on the daily intake of each food group that best suits your body’s needs.

 

Fruits and Vegetables

Due to their many nutritional benefits, fruits and vegetables should make up the majority of your plate and at least half of what you eat during each meal. When eating fruits and vegetables, choose different produce options that come in a variety of colors for a balanced nutritional intake. As for vegetables, remember that potatoes do not actually count as one, as our bodies digest them and treat them as a starch.  This is why eating potatoes in moderation is so important. Speaking of moderation - while they’re necessary for good health, fruits are easier to go overboard with than vegetables, as they contain more calories and sugar per serving. So stick to the recommended 2 - 4 servings of fruit per day.

 

Whole Grains

One quarter of your plate per meal should be made up of whole grains like whole wheat bread, barley, brown rice, oats, and quinoa. It’s best to avoid white bread, rice, and other refined grains as they are made by removing the fiber-dense bran and nutrients that keep your body at its healthiest. When in doubt, stick to whole grains to get your body’s daily intake of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and minerals.

 

Protein

Meat, beans, nuts, and fish are great sources of protein, and should make up a quarter of what’s on our plates for a balanced protein intake. However, it’s important to remember that not all meat sources are equal when it comes to nutritional value and benefits. Healthy lean meats include poultry and fish, while red meat and processed meats - like bacon and steak - are high in cholesterol and often sodium.  There’s also a possibly that certain cuts of meat contribute to your cancer risk, so it’s a good idea to limit your consumption of these less-healthy types of protein.

 

Making sure you eat plenty of nutritious foods will keep your body healthy and have a positive effect on your overall well-being. But it’s important to understand which foods are most recommended as well as to eat a varied diet. So whether you want to address your eating habits for specific health reasons or you just want to check over what you or a family member are eating, it never hurts to work with your doctor to make sure you’re all consuming the portions you need to be healthy.

If you have questions or concerns about your diet and daily nutritional intake, the team at Genesis Medical can assist you and answer your questions. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and contact us today!

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