What is prediabetes? Who is at risk? A look at the myths about diabetes.
Approximately 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 80% don’t know they have it. In fact, most people are not aware that they should be routinely screened.
So what is the harm in having prediabetes?
Prediabetes significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. As with anything… knowledge is power.
The good news is that if you have prediabetes, which is easily detected on bloodwork, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Is prediabetes more common than you thought? Learn more about ways that you can maximize your wellness by setting up a FREE initial consultation with Dr Diaz to create a customized health plan based on your personal wellness goals.
Today we are going to dispel some common myths about Diabetes.
Myth: You’re not at risk for Diabetes if you’re a healthy weight
Being obese or overweight is associated with a number of health problems, and it increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. This does not mean that you are immune to the disease if you maintain a healthy weight, however. Even people at a healthy weight can have diabetes
Myth: No One in My Family Has Diabetes, so I Can’t Get It
Having a close family member with type 2 diabetes does put you at increased risk for developing the condition. But the risk of diabetes goes up with age. The risk is higher in people with heart disease, high blood pressure, and who have excess weight or obesity, regardless of family history. Although you might not be able to change your family history or age, you can practice a healthy lifestyle to cut your risk.
Myth: There’s Nothing That You Can Do to Prevent Diabetes
Even though genetics factor into your risk for type 2 diabetes, lifestyle choices play an important role in preventing diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight, daily exercise and healthy diet modifications can help reduce your risk for diabetes. Smoking can make it difficult for your body to use insulin, so not smoking can help decrease your risk for diabetes, as well. Alcohol consumption can also play a role.
Myth: It’s Your Fault if you have Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease, and people with diabetes are not to blame. There is no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, and while lifestyle factors do contribute to your risk for type 2 diabetes, even type 2 diabetes is not entirely preventable.
Myth: Diabetes is Inconvenient but not Serious
Diabetes results in more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS put together. There are several risks and complications associated with diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation that impact the quality of life significantly.
Next week we will take a look at how you can figure out your risk for prediabetes and determine what type of screening is appropriate. Knowledge is Power. Sign up to receive “Mondays with your MD” for FREE and take control of your health today.
Our brains are the most amazing organ. The brain organizes and integrates an incredible amount of data quickly while allowing us to operate on “auto-pilot” for much of our day. Our brains create systems and pathways that are so well worn that we can do routine tasks without shifting our focus to them.
How can we harness the strength of this amazing gift to help us create the life we want? By understanding how to intentionally form our habits
So… what is a habit?
Habits are behaviors we perform on a regular basis where some component of the behavior is considered “automatic.” Forming new habits just requires practice.
Developing new desired healthy habits is something we can direct our brain to do for us. Dr Diaz works with patients to help them build habits and reach their goals.
Habits are pathways in the brain that have formed through repetition. The repetitive pattern starts with a cue from the environment which triggers a behavioral response and is reinforced with a reward. The classic example was the experiment with Pavlov’s dogs where the dogs salivated (behavior) in response to the bell (cue).
In order to create a new, healthy habit—or even to break a bad habit—you’ll want to be as intentional as possible with all three parts: cue, behavior, reward. You can manipulate your environment to introduce cues that you can then intentionally start to associate with a desired behavior and reinforce it all with a reward.
Changing your life habits can be simpler than you may think. With a few tricks, you can gain or lose any habits you’d like.
Understanding these tips will help you stick to healthy habits and break bad ones as you work toward your health and wellness goals in 2023.
FOCUS ON THE CUE
In order to create new habits, we need to focus on the cue, NOT the behavior.
Let’s say you want to start practicing yoga on a regular basis. Instead of focusing on doing yoga, try focusing on developing the routine around initiating the yoga.
An easy way to do this is to choose a cue that already occurs regularly in your daily life, such as drinking morning coffee. During the early stages of developing your yoga habit, focus your effort on prepping your yoga space while you brew the coffee. Then go fill up your cup and go straight to the location in your home you have chosen to do yoga.
Develop the habit of prepping to do yoga every morning, which makes it more likely that you’ll actually do it. Do not focus on the behavior… you can start with 5 minutes daily of yoga and gradually build up to your targeted time.
After a while, you’ll start to notice that when you get up to get coffee (environmental cue), it takes little to no effort to set up your space and practice yoga (habitual response).
You’ll even start to look forward to it, and maybe even feel like something in your life is off when you do not practice yoga…. And that’s the power of habit!
REINFORCE WITH THE “REWARD”
Using the yoga example, you might get done and treat yourself to a (healthy) snack to go with your coffee. Whatever you do, be sure to incorporate a healthy reward into your habit routine.
The more often the cue, behavior, and reward occur in close time and proximity to one another, the stronger a habit becomes.
HEALTHY HABITS TO START RIGHT NOW
All habits are not created equal. Some habits can have positive impacts across multiple areas of our lives. The most impactful habits are ones that point you toward regular exercise, eating well, and getting good sleep. These three are my top picks for unlocking a healthier life starting today.
HABITS VS GOALS – Don’t confuse habits with goals.
Goals are great, but putting habits in place that move you toward your goals are key. The goal is the destination and the habit is the journey.
You have the tips you need to build healthy habits and break bad ones. Start the process today and build a better life for yourself…. one habit at a time. Interested in learning more about how you can use habits and achieve your health and wellness goals? Set up a FREE “Meet and Greet” to speak with Dr Diaz today. Space is limited.
The goal of becoming healthier is among the most popular resolutions. Many resolve to eat healthier and exercise regularly. These resolutions are great, but they do not address the way stress can sabotage our best efforts to live a healthy life. Emotional well-being underpins our success at achieving our health goals for 2023.
Goal setting is good, but the mindset work that builds the foundation for the path to success is what is most important. Living a healthy life is a journey, not a destination, and there are no “quick cures” when it comes to health and well-being. Failure can cause impatience and it is necessary to remember that you will succeed… if you don’t expect overnight success.
At Roots Health DPC we provide a system and support to ensure that you achieve your health and wellness goals. We know that healthy living is the foundation for a successful happy productive life.
Use these tips to help ensure you follow through with prioritizing your health in 2023:
Stay in Touch
Connect with friends in person. It’s good for your health to maintain friendships. In general, a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Surround yourself with people who are making their personal health and wellness their priority. In a technology-fixated era, it’s never been easier to stay in touch, so fire up your favorite social media and then follow up with in-person visits.
Plan for bumps in the road: A support system can help. We thrive with social interaction and support. Surround yourself with like-minded people looking to prioritize their health and wellness this year. It is important to have someone there on a regular basis to get you through those rough times.
Manage Your Stress
Stress, in small doses, can actually be helpful for short periods. But chronic stress can increase your risk of—or worsen—anxiety, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and more. The best way to manage stress is to control the factors you have agency over:
Get enough sleep
Ensure you are eating well
Spend intentional time relaxing away from stressors
Relaxation, sleep, socializing, and taking vacations are things we all deserve and owe to ourselves for our health and well being in 2023. Finding healthy ways to cope with the stress in your life is imperative to your well-being.
Cut Back on Alcohol
Drinking alcohol in excess can increase risk for depression, increase memory loss, and increase hot flash symptoms in perimenopausal women. Heavy chronic drinking increases your risk for liver and heart disease, stroke, mental deterioration, and even cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and breast.
If cutting back on alcohol to a couple of drinks per week seems to be difficult, consider reaching out for help.
Get More Sleep
You probably already know that a good night’s rest can do wonders for your ability to function on all cylinders. But sleep is more beneficial to your health than you might realize. A lack of sleep has been linked to a greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Aim to get quality sleep and more of it by exercising good sleep habits. These habits can include actions such as:
Going to bed and waking up at consistent times daily
Having a comfortable bedroom atmosphere (i.e., one that is dark, quiet, and relaxing)
Getting exercise during the day
It’s common for people to make New Year’s resolutions, but it’s also common for people to break them. Fortunately, there are resolutions you can make with ways that can help you stick to them. At Roots Health DPC, we take the time to understand your unique health goals and work with you to address obstacles to your success. We invite you to join us and let us help you achieve your health and wellness goals in 2023.
My child has a “virus” but is not getting better… What now?
This winter we are seeing a ton of kids with fevers and cold symptoms….cough, runny nose, and sinus. Most viral illnesses can cause a fever and often we have no idea which virus is causing the illness.
Hey Moms… we know this winter has been rough. Give yourself and your family the gift of peace of mind around all health related concerns. My patients just call or text DIRECTLY to my cell whenever they have a question. I take the time to understand their concerns and answer all of their questions. Every time.
I was told it is “a virus”…. What should my child be tested for?
If your child is experiencing a high fever with cough and flu symptoms you probably want a prompt evaluation for both covid and the flu. The flu is at higher levels this year and the reported symptoms are more severe. Flu can be treated with antiviral medication… but only if it is diagnosed and treated within 48hours of onset of symptoms. We all know that COVID is still circulating…. and of course you’re going to want to know if your child is positive before any family gatherings.
RSV and other common upper respiratory viruses are not commonly tested for because even if they are positive, the information will not change the plan for children receiving care at home.
Sometimes… The fever is not caused by a virus at all…
If your child has a high fever with a sore throat without a cough… you likely will get a strep test to ensure there is no strep throat.
My child is not getting better… when should I be concerned?
The course of any viral illnesses can last 1-2 weeks. Fevers can usually be controlled with medication, like Children’s Tylenol, when given in the correct dose. Fevers generally resolve within 5 days. The cough may linger around for a while afterwards.
Children who have had recent viral upper respiratory infections are at greater risk for developing a secondary bacterial infection. Generally, these occur when the cold is clearing up and the child is improving.
If your child develops a high fever at the tail-end of a “cold” or a worsening cough… then it might be time to take that kiddo in for another exam. Typical bacterial infections that occur at the end of a viral upper respiratory illness can include ear infections and pneumonia. These infections generally occur after the immune system has been weakened by the viral illness.
Signs that may warrant further evaluation with your doctor
Persistent fever 102 for more than 2 days /recurring/not controlled with medication
Fever that is above 104 at any time
Child looks very ill or drowsy or is not consolable
Signs of dehydration (dry diapers/not peeing, dry mouth and lips despite giving pedialyte)
Very sore throat, bad headache or vomiting
Has a weakened immune system (children with underlying chronic conditions)
Get the care you deserve. Space is limited. Book an initial consultation today to find out how DIRECT PRIMARY CARE will give you exactly what you need to confidently care for yourself and your family no matter what pops up.
Make sure you fill your own cup first…there is nothing to give from an empty cup.
We all feel stressed from time to time during the holiday season – there are changes to routine, pressure to attend social events, shopping, cleaning, entertaining, travel, and more… that can all take a toll on our mental health.
Since the pandemic began, the loss of loved ones, financial stressors, and feelings of anxiety around the uncertainties have impacted many. It’s important to adjust at your own pace and take care of your mental wellbeing along the way.
Don’t let stress and negative thinking ruin your holidays and hurt your health.
With some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. Heck…you may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would!
5 Tips to “enjoy more and stress less” this holiday season:
1. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS … for yourself and others! The holidays do not have to be perfect… or even just like last year. Families change and grow and so do traditions and rituals. Remember feelings are not facts and they do not last forever. Try to focus on what really matters most to you this holiday season. Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself the space and time to process them and then, when you’re ready, choose to move on.
2. KEEP YOUR ROUTINE AND HEALTHY HABITS Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to stress.
Eat healthy meals
Avoid excessive alcohol
Include regular physical activity
Use deep-breathing exercises, meditation or yoga.
3. PRACTICE MORE SELF-CARE
Make time for yourself and take a break. Reserve spending time just for you, without distractions. Engage in hobbies that bring you joy: take a walk, enjoy music, listen to an audiobook, get a massage, let your artistic side play. This simple tip may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.
“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy: then you should sit for an hour” –old Zen proverb
4. SAYING “NO” Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends, family, and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every activity or if you are unable to host them beyond your limits. Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. If you have an obligation that is taking more time than planned, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
5. ASK FOR HELP Reaching out for help during the holidays is one of the best things you can do. Speak with a person you trust…a friend, family member or your therapist, about your current feelings. You will discover that feeling down or stressed during the holiday season is very common. Give yourself the time you need to use tools to overcome those negative thoughts. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, if you find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores… talk to your doctor or mental health professional.You are never alone.
Looking for a physician who takes the time to listen and answers all your questions? We are enrolling a limited number of new patients.
YOUR TIME is the most valuable resource you have. This holiday season give yourself the gift of TIME.
You work hard to balance time between your career and your family. When one of your own has a health concern that “pops up” or just needs to be scheduled …. trying to figure out the how, where, and when to get the issue addressed can literally take hours, and even days, from your routine.
I get it. I’m a working mom and I know what it is like to balance work and family, to “carry” the mental load, and then…. to put “one more thing” on your plate. My job is to take that stress off your plate.
“My son has a sore throat and fever…. I have placed a call to his doctor’s office and am waiting for a call back….”
When you have medical concerns, the last thing you want is to pile on more stress. Let me help! My patients reach out to me, their physician, directly via text at any time of day. They get answers to the questions they have about their health immediately and can take the next steps and get back to their busy lives.
“My daughter cut open her foot. Do I take her to urgent care or ER and wait to be seen?”
No one has time to wait around for a return call from the doctor’s office for advice. You don’t have to sit in an urgent care with other contagious sick people waiting to be seen… then go back again the following week because you picked up a virus in the lobby while waiting. We take care of this without the wait!
“I am experiencing a constant feeling of being tired… but I just put off going to see the doctor because it is so hard to get an appointment and the visit takes up half my day.”
Let us make going to the doctor as easy as booking a time that works perfectly for your schedule. We even offer telemedicine so you can get care wherever you are. If you are visiting us, there is no waiting in a waiting room. Ever!
THIS IS NOT too good to be true!
Ditch the Healthcare Hassle. Give yourself the gift of Time!
Get all the health care needs for your family met with ease and grace. We know how valuable your time is and that is why we are making health care easy for families: one mom at a time.
Come and see how Direct Primary Care works….schedule a free initial consultation with us today and get all your questions answered.
This cold and flu season, I am getting a lot of questions about sinus infections.
So today, we are reviewing which treatments work best.
What is a sinus infection?
The sinuses, air-filled pockets in bones of the face, form the top part of the respiratory tract. A sinus infection occurs when the tissue in the sinuses swells and leads to a buildup of mucus, pain, and discomfort.
Viruses cause 9 out of 10 sinus infections in adults. Here we discuss symptoms and treatment options for Viral Sinus Infections.
Pain or pressure in your sinuses Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection. You may feel pain in your forehead, on either side of your nose, in your upper jaws and teeth, or between your eyes
Tenderness in the face Your face may also be tender to the touch due to the built-up pressure. This tends to occur at the bridge of the nose or under the eyes, and can occur on the forehead and cheeks.
Runny nose and postnasal drip When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages. The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat causing irritation or sore throat. This is called postnasal drip, and it may cause you to cough. It can also cause your voice to sound hoarse.
Sinus headaches Persistent pressure and swelling in your sinuses can give you symptoms of a headache. Sinus pain can also cause earaches and pain in your teeth, jaws, and cheeks. Sinus headaches are often at their worst in the morning because fluids have been collecting all night long.
What can I do?
Most cases of acute sinusitis get better on their own. Self-care techniques are usually all you need to ease symptoms. In general, antibiotics are not needed and do not help symptoms (as it is usually caused by a virus anyway).
Consider the following options:
1. Pain medication Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can provide relief of headache, facial pain, and sore throat if they are not contraindicated.
2. Intranasal steroid sprays These reduce inflammation and decrease swelling in nasal passages. This can be particularly helpful for patients with allergic symptoms as well. Commonly we use fluticasone nasal spray.
These are typically Pseudophedrine or Phenylephrine. They can relieve congestion and pressure but may cause a rebound effect when stopped. There are contraindications for some patients with high blood pressure and other risks.
4. Nasal Irrigation Using a neti pot with sterile intranasal saline is highly recommended for most. These generally provide safe and effective temporary relief.
Signs that you should seek care
Consult your doctor if you have:
a high persistent fever (>102F)
symptoms that have lasted for more than 10 days
symptoms that are getting worse
As always, it’s recommended that you check in with your physician when you are sick for a personalized diagnosis and treatment plan to best suit your individual needs.
Are you looking for a physician who is always available and easy to reach that will answer all your health care questions? Reach out today to schedule your FREE initial consultation with Dr Diaz. Space is limited
Soothing a Sore Throat…. Be in the Know this Winter.
Pharyngitis, commonly known as a sore throat, is a symptom that signals an infection involving the back of the throat.
Signs of pharyngitis include:
Sore, dry, or scratchy throat
Pain with swallowing
Redness/Inflammation of the throat
What causes Pharyngitis?
The most common cause for sore throat is a virus (such as the common cold, influenza, mononucleosis, yes …even covid). Viral infections don’t respond to antibiotics, and treatment is only necessary to help relieve symptoms.
Less commonly, pharyngitis is caused by a bacterial infection. These infections require antibiotics. The most common bacterial infection is strep throat. It is imperative not to leave strep throat untreated, especially in children.
How is pharyngitis diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of pharyngitis, your doctor will check your throat looking for white patches, swelling, and redness and check for swollen lymph nodes in your neck. You should report any fever or cough as well.
If your doctor suspects that you have strep throat, they will likely take a rapid strep test in the office which can give you a result for strep throat in a few minutes. In some cases, a swab culture is sent to a lab for further testing.
If another cause of your pharyngitis is suspected, your doctor may order blood work looking for specific infections, such as mononucleosis or they may perform a COVID or flu test.
What can you do at home?
If a virus is causing your pharyngitis, there are things you can do at home that can help relieve symptoms:
drinking plenty of fluids/ pedialyte popsicles
gargling with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water)
using a humidifier
resting until you feel better
throat lozenges can sooth pain
For pain and fever relief, consider taking over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen after speaking with your doctor.
If the infection is caused by strep or another bacterial infection, antibiotics are necessary. Amoxicillin and penicillin are the most commonly prescribed treatments for strep throat. It is important that you take the entire course of antibiotics for strep throat to prevent complications such as rheumatic fever.
How can you prevent pharyngitis?
avoid sharing food, drinks, and eating utensils
avoid individuals who are sick
wash your hands often, especially before eating and after coughing or sneezing
use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
avoid smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke
When to Seek Care
Let your doctor know right away if you are having a sore throat so that they can guide you on the next steps for evaluation of cause and best treatment options.
Looking for a doctor that you can text anytime and is easy to reach quickly? Book a Meet and greet with Dr Diaz today.
Winter is coming….. that means LOTS of colds/flu…. AND its WORSE than ever before ALREADY! This is the first fall with our masks off…. And all these infections are coming back out with a vengeance.
The kids are coming home from school and everyone needs more tests and notes to return to school and work than ever before. As a working parent…. I know your time is valuable… you need the highest quality and fastest care possible.
No one wants to go to an urgent care with a bunch of other sick people and pick up another virus to deal with in the home next week!
Its not a surprise that after the disappearance of COVID mitigation strategies and low population immunity, as kids have flocked back to classrooms and day cares, there is a huge upswing of respiratory viruses circulating. RSV, rhinovirus, flu, Covid… you name it. Children, on the whole, are more susceptible to these microbes then they have been in years.
Most of these viruses have been around forever and many have always posed a risk for infants/toddlers, patients with underlying respiratory diseases and immunocompromised folks. This year, flu, covid, and other commonly known respiratory viruses including RSV are on the rise to the highest levels seen in decades.
Ways to prepare for THIS cold and flu season…
Get your flu shot and COVID boosters NOW if you have not already.
Wash your hands and kids hands frequently. Use hand sanitizer to avoid germs
Avoid areas with other people with cough and cold symptoms
Breastfeed: it transfers immunity to babies to fight infections
Eat healthy with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Stay rested. Getting sleep helps your immune system stay strong
If you want to know the most effective upper respiratory infection treatments and learn how to navigate this winter to minimize the disruptions to your routine …… sign up for our FREE GUIDE to
“Best practices for the common cold, flu, and COVID”
The THINGS you DID NOT EVEN THINK to consider this Open Enrollment…..
How can I keep my costs low AND receive high quality accessible health care?
Every year we pay more for insurance while less and less is covered. When we attempt to use our insurance it is cumbersome and inconvenient at best. We have all experienced the frustration with the amount of time it requires to obtain what we need for our health and get it covered by insurance. Today we cover the basics and empower you to make decisions that will give you the most cost-effective way to obtain the high quality health care you deserve
Premium: the amount you pay every month for health insurance. Deductible: the amount you must pay before you can get any services covered by your insurance in a calendar year. A few Caveats to the deductible: Not everything counts towards your deductible. Premiums and copays generally don’t count. Some plans have separate deductibles for prescriptions.
Copay: a fixed amount you pay for a covered expense (visits, procedures, medications, etc) Out-of-pocket maximum: the most you might have to spend for covered services in a given year. This number is important to understand! HDHP is a High-deductible Health Plan (HDHP): these plans offer lower monthly premiums and allow you qualify for a Health Savings Account (HSA) HSA is a Health Savings Account: A type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. Health Share Plans*: this is not an insurance product and offers much lower monthly premiums with low initial unshareable amount (similar to a deductible). *A cooperative where members “share” medical costs. They cover catastrophic needs (hospital stay, surgery, ER visit, etc) but are not insurance products.
What your typical open enrollment conversation is missing!!!
Smart consumers determine their out of pocket projected cost for the year and choose a high deductible plan to save on monthly premiums. Savvy consumers understand the relationship between premiums and deductibles and keep costs low by determining the most cost-effective way to lower their out of pocket-expenses over the course of the entire year.
REMEMBER HEALTH CARE DOES NOT NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE.
Direct Primary Care: The impossible Made Simple and Transparent.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) removes insurance companies from the physician-patient relationship and provides the vast majority of health care services through a low monthly fee (like a gym membership). Patients skip the hassle of traditional insurance-based care. They get more time with their physician with same day and next day appointments… all without copays or hidden fees. DPC can produce tremendous savings on out of pocket expenses when patients work with their DPC physician to find the most cost-effective appropriate health care. The enormous savings on medications, labs, and imaging often exceed the annual cost of membership.
Can you imagine if you could have easily accessible high quality health care with access to your doctor whenever you needed it AND pay less out of pocket? Have a cough and fever but dont want to go to the urgent care? ….. skip the line and the copay! Urinary tract infection while on vacation out of state?…. no problem we got you covered.
“Dr Diaz is accountable and easy to reach. I feel well taken care of and trust I am in good hands.“ – M.C.
M.C. saved 97% on her bloodwork. Imagine getting 97% OFF… you read that right! This patient had labs with Roots Health DPC and paid $29.57. The same patient had the exact samelabs billed (for the same tests) at a price of $901.24 through the same lab.
At Roots Health DPC we get it. Your health and wellness are our main goaland we are here to support our patients as they make decisions that will affect their well-being.
Open enrollment only comes once per year… make the most of it and choose the best plan to meet your health care needs. Its your money. Its your healthcare. Its your choice.
If you want to learn more about how direct primary care can help you achieve your health care goals and save you money, sign up for our free guide: “Better Healthcare for a Fraction of the Price”
Breast Cancer Screening is for women without symptoms. However, if you notice
any symptoms of breast cancer you should see your doctor for an evaluation
promptly regardless of when you were last screened.
The warning signs of Breast Cancer
1. If you notice a lump that feels firm or fixed in the breast or underarm area 2. Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast skin 3. Change in the size or shape of the breast including dimpling or puckering of skin 4. Nipple retraction or change in position of nipple 5. Discharge from your nipple
Although the vast majority of breast cancers are found through abnormal mammograms, up to 30% of breast cancer patients present with a mass that occurs between mammograms.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Part II: Screening
On average, one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Do you know which screening test is best and when to start screening for breast cancer?
There is more than one type of screening test for breast cancer and there are varying recommendations from different organizations. Education with individualized planning (based on your personal risk for breast cancer) can help determine the best screening test for you.
Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer
A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of your breasts and can find cancer early.
Different experts have varying advice for when to initiate screening and how frequently to screen average-risk women ages 40 to 49. All experts agree that at a minimum screening should occur at least every 2 years between ages of 50-74.
For average-risk women screening mammography can be performed every one to two years based on patient preference.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to screen women who have a high risk of breast cancer
MRI is a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. MRI does not use any x-rays and there is no exposure to radiation.
For women with moderately increased risk factors (based on breast density, reproductive history, and hormonal history), breast ultrasound in conjunction with mammogram or a MRI can be considered on an individual basis.
Use of MRI for supplemental screening in women with dense breast tissue has shown higher rates of detection, but there is no evidence that health outcomes are improved overall.
Women with high risk factors (based on a history of chest radiation, ancestry, genes and genetic conditions) may benefit from more frequent screening with enhanced modalities. Obtaining annual MRI and/or consultation to consider risk reduction treatment and intensification of surveillance are viable options.
It is clear that the type and timing of breast cancer screening is highly personalized. You should discuss your risk factors with your board-certified physician so that you can make an informed decision about breast cancer screening.
This is part TWO of a THREE part series on Breast Cancer Awareness.
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Many of us have been touched by breast cancer- perhaps through a personal diagnosis- or by a family member, friend, or colleague diagnosed with this disease. Breast cancer, after all, is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and leading cause of cancer death in women. Please join me over the next few Mondays to discuss prevention, screening, and warning signs.
Education is Key for Prevention
Do you know the risk factors associated with an INCREASED risk for breast cancer?
Hormonal factors can influence your risk for breast cancer. Higher levels of endogenous estrogen and hormonal combined estrogen/progesterone replacement has been associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Reproductive factors associated with a higher breast cancer risk include earlier onset of menstruation, not giving birth or having first child later in life, and a late menopause.
Family history and genetic mutations. The risk of breast cancer is affected by the number of first-degree female relatives diagnosed with breast cancer and the age at which they were diagnosed.
The highest breast cancer risk occurs among White women (although it remains he most common cancer among women of every major ethnic/racial group).
Alcohol consumption is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
A higher BMI in postmenopausal women is associated with increased risk for breast cancer.
Do you know how to DECREASE your risk for breast cancer?
Breastfeeding. For every 12 months of breastfeeding there is an approximate 4% reduction in the relative risk of breast cancer.
Increased physical activity at all ages lowers risk.
Dietary factors may modify breast cancer risk although data is limited. Eating a low-fat high fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
This is part ONE of a THREE part series on Breast Cancer Awareness. STAY TUNED. Next week we will review breast cancer screening options and recommendations.
Want to make sure you don’t miss the next “Mondays with your MD?” Tell me where to send it to you!
Winter is coming… 5 tips to prevent eczema flares!
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Your skin works as a barrier to prevent infection. When your skin barrier is weakened you experience dryness, irritation, and inflammation. These are all signs that your skin needs attention. Follow these 5 tips to avoid flare-ups….
Keep Skin Moisturized
Moisturizing is key and it must be fragrance free! Slather on gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer several times a day, especially right after bath/shower. Highly recommended brands include CeraVe and Aquaphor.
Highly sensitive skin is prone to irritation with perfumes, dyes, and chemicals found in everyday household products. The trick is to use hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products. Minimize flare-ups and itching by using fragrance-free soaps, shampoos, and detergents.
Be Temperature Aware
Pay attention to temperature and humidity. Take shorter baths with luke-warm temperature water. Avoid exposure to extreme heat/cold and wear 100% cotton allowing skin to breath. This helps with overheating and excessive sweating which can trigger a flare-up.
Supplement with Vitamin D
Vitamin D supplementation and direct sun exposure can lessen the severity of eczema symptoms and support your skin barrier and immune system. Vitamin D supplementation is a safe and tolerable therapy.
Partner with your physician
With eczema-friendly skin care and trigger management most people can control eczema. Your physician can create custom-tailored treatment plans that can include topical medications, specialized dressings, oral medications, or UV light therapy each of which has unique risks/benefits.
At Roots Health DPC, we partner board-certified physician services with patients who prioritize their own health and wellness. If you are interested in joining our practice please schedule a free meet and greet with Dr Diaz today.
Are you frustrated with the existing health care system? Is your doctor treating your individual symptoms but not helping you find the root cause for the constellation of symptoms you have? Are you wondering if your health care needs might require an integrative approach?
Roots Health DPC provides a patient-centered approach that engages the whole person; nourishes the mind, body, and spirit; and encourages the conscious creation of personal health and wellness. Patients have constant direct access to board-certified medical care with ample time to fully evaluate and treat the root cause of symptoms.
Did you know that the average length of time spent in an office visit to cover patient concerns and circumstances is 7 minutes in the traditional insurance-based health care model? That’s right… 7 minutes! It is no small wonder that the typical health care experience feels piecemeal and rushed. You would not expect your mechanic to diagnose, let alone treat, your car problem in 7 minutes…. so why do we accept this substandard care for our own health and well-being?
At Roots Health DPC, we know that your health is the most important thing. It is the foundation for living life on your terms.
Why should you consider direct primary care for your health care?
Quality time Quality time to understand your health care needs with your physician and create an individualized health care plan. We focus on the whole patient as a unique individual –taking into account each element of a person’s health, environment, and lifestyle.
Communication Communication with your board-certified physician that is easy and ongoing making it simple to adjust the plan as necessary to meet your health care needs. Unlimited physician access and visits… in office and virtual
No Waiting. No Copays. Ever.
Affordable Transparent Pricing.
A low monthly membership fee provides unlimited direct access to your physician to work with you as a team to obtain and maintain your optimal health and well-being. Steep discounts on labs, medications, supplements, and imaging.
If you are looking for a board-certified physician that you trust to look at the whole picture and get to the root of your health concerns and help you build a healthier life…. consider joining us at Roots Health DPC. Schedule a Free Meet and Greet with Dr Diaz today.
The new bivalent booster offers better protection against recently circulating COVID-19 variants and helps restore waning protection from previous vaccination. It offers broader protection for new variants. People must complete the primary series (original monovalent vaccines) before getting a bivalent booster dose.
Who should get the new booster?
People 12 years and older should receive the updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent booster) This includes people who have received all primary series doses and people who have received the original (monovalent) boosters
At this time children ages 12-17 years can only receive the updated Pfizer bivalent booster.
Children under 12 years do not get a bivalent booster yet.
What is considered “Up to Date” with all these boosters?
Once you have completed the covid-19 vaccine primary series and received he most recent booster dose that is recommended
When should I get the new booster? Which brand should I get?
The new bivalent booster can be given at least 2 months or more after your last COVID vaccine. The monovalent booster should no longer be given to anyone 12 years of age and older.
It is fine to get a booster from a different brand than the primary series or previous boosters. For example, if your primary series was Moderna you can get the Pfizer bivalent booster.
What about kids under 12 years old?
At this time, children under 12 years old will NOT receive the new bivalent booster dose although this is likely to change in the future.
Children 5 years – 11 years who received Pfizer for their primary series should still get a monovalent booster 5 months after the last dose of the primary series.
Children 5 years – 11 years who got Moderna for their primary series do not get a booster at this time.
Children 6 months – 4 years should get all COVID-19 vaccination primary series doses.
At Roots Health DPC we help our patients navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines around
testing, treatment, and prevention. Set up a FREE “Meet and Greet” with Dr Diaz today.
There seem to be more cases of COVID circulating in our community now… so I thought I would share the most common questions and concerns I hear from patients.
My family member has COVID. How often do I need to test myself?
If you develop symptoms it is recommended to test immediately.
If you have symptoms and your rapid test is negative it is recommended you obtain a PCR test.
If you do not have symptoms, you should wait at least 5 days after your exposure to do testing.
If you are vaccinated and do not have symptoms you do not need to isolate before testing.
Can I really get COVID again? I already had it.
Yes. Everyone 12 years of age and older can receive an updated COVID booster which targets the new COVID variants. Although your disease may not be as severe, you can still catch COVID and pass it to others who may be more vulnerable.
My COVID test is positive… still.
Some patients believe they need a negative test to return to work. The truth is that once you have a positive test there is no reason to repeat a test. The isolation period is 5 days and can last up to 10 days depending on the severity of your illness. If your isolation ends on day 5, you should intentionally wear a mask whenever you go in public until the full 10 days has elapsed.
What is Paxlovid and does it work?
Paxlovid is one of the medications used to treat COVID. It is highly recommended for those at risk for disease progression and it significantly decreases the severity of the disease. Do not delay seeking care as this treatment must be started within days of when you first develop symptoms to be effective.
When you have questions about urgent health concerns, you want accessible advice from your physician. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just text your doctor and ask? At Roots Health DPC that is how we provide medical care! We are available to our patients by phone, email, and text anytime. Schedule a FREE “Meet and Greet” at Roots Health DPC to find out more.
Did you know that trouble concentrating, headaches, urinating frequently at night, and many other symptoms can be caused by sleep apnea? Unfortunately, sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed in women.
Learn about sleep apnea and signs that it might be affecting your health.
Who gets sleep apnea?
Both men and women can have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is commonly under-diagnosed in women because they do not present with “typical” symptoms. Often, women’s concerns are “dismissed” by their physician. Some doctors may have preconceived notions about what a typical sleep apnea patient looks like, and may overlook the reported symptoms by women when they don’t fit the common portrait. Education is key and allows women to advocate for their own health care needs.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Snoring is the most obvious sign but it is more common in men. Other signs and symptoms of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) include:
Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
Restlessness during sleep, frequent nighttime awakenings
Sudden awakenings with a sensation of gasping or choking
Dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening
Cognitive impairment, such as trouble concentrating, forgetfulness or irritability
Mood disturbances (often dismissed as depression or anxiety which can co-exist with sleep apnea)
Frequent nighttime urination
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Speak with your primary care physician about your symptoms. If your doctor determines that you have symptoms suggestive of sleep apnea, you may be asked to have a sleep evaluation with a sleep specialist or an overnight sleep study to objectively evaluate for sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea treated?
The treatment for sleep apnea is extremely individualized and based on the underlying cause for the sleep apnea. Most commonly the cause of the obstruction to the airway is treated. In a many cases the airway obstruction can be relieved with conservative therapies targeting the underlying cause. These may include:
Sleep position changes
Treatment for underlying sinus or nasal congestion
Additional therapies utilized (based on the underlying cause of the sleep apnea) include:
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines or other mechanical therapy
Dental appliances that keep the airway open
Surgical procedures are usually reserved for unresponsive cases
Diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea are important for your long term health. If you are looking for a physician who spends the time required to evaluate your health concerns and will get to the root of the your health care needs, schedule a FREE “Meet and Greet” at Roots Health DPC.
Human Papilomaviurs, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States.
70- 80% of women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime. HPV can cause cervical cancer.
The following questions and answers address what you need to know about HPV and screening for cervical cancer:
What is human papillomavirus (HPV)?
HPV is a group of viruses that can be passed through sexual contact. The types that infect the genital area are called genital HPV.
Who gets HPV?
Genital HPV is the most common STI in the United States. It is so common that 70-80% of women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime.
What are the symptoms of HPV?
Most people with HPV do not have any symptoms which is why women need regular Pap tests starting at age 21. The Pap test can find changes on the cervix caused by HPV. If you are a woman between ages 30 and 65, you can also do a DNA test for HPV strains of the virus that cause cervical changes.
HPV infections can sometimes cause genital warts. Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area and physicians can usually diagnose warts by looking at the genital area.
What health problems can HPV cause?
HPV usually goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems including: cervical cancer and genital warts most commonly.
Do I need to get tested for HPV?
If you are 21 to 29 years old, your doctor might suggest the HPV test if you have had an unclear Pap test result. Most women younger than 30 do not need the HPV test, because the immune system fights off HPV in the vast majority.
If you are 30 years or older, you may choose to have the HPV test and Pap test to screen for cervical cancer. If both tests are normal, the chance of getting cervical cancer in the next few years is very low and often you can wait up to five years for your next HPV screening.
How can I prevent HPV?
There are two ways to prevent HPV. One way is get an HPV vaccine. The other way to prevent HPV or any STI is to avoid sexual contact with another person.
If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:
Use condoms. Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex.
Limit your number of sex partners. Your risk of getting STIs goes up with the number
of partners you have.
If I get the HPV vaccine, do I still need to use a condom?
Yes. The vaccine does not replace or decrease the need to wear condoms. Using condoms lowers your risk of getting other types of HPV and other STIs.
Do I still need a Pap test if I got the HPV vaccine?
Yes. There are three reasons why:
Although the HPV vaccine protects against many of the HPV types that cause cervical cancer, it does not prevent all HPV types that cause cervical cancer.
You might not be fully protected if you did not get all the vaccine doses (or at the recommended ages).
You might not fully benefit from the vaccine if you were vaccinated after getting one or more types of HPV before vaccination.