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Public Health Epidemic of Gun Violence

2023-06-05T14:45:31+00:00June 5th, 2023|Adults, Uncategorized|

Gun Violence – A Public Health Crisis

Sadly, firearms are the leading cause of death in children in the United States. These deaths are completely preventable and occur at a rate more than 5x higher than drownings.

June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month.

TOP TIPS for PREVENTING FIREARM DEATHS

As with any health-related problem, prevention through education is a critical component. Did you know that firearms are present in 1/3 of households with children?

  • The best way to keep children safe is NOT to have a gun in the home.
  • If it is necessary to keep a gun in the home, safe storage is critical. Guns should be kept unloaded and ammunition should be stored separately. Both should be locked and inaccessible.
  • Parents should speak to caregivers in homes where young children are visiting/playing about guns in caregivers’ homes.
  • Talk to older kids about guns and safety.

At Roots Health DPC, we know that safety is part of health and well-being. We are rebuilding health care and are working toward whole community wellness.

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9 Critical Warning Signs of Violence

In almost every documented case of active shooters, there were warning signs. In 4 out of 5 school shootings at least one other person had knowledge of attackers plan but failed to report it.

  1. Suddenly withdrawing from friends, family and activities (including online or via social media)
  2. Bullying, especially if targeted towards differences in race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
  3. Excessive irritability, lack of patience, or becoming angry quickly
  4. Experiencing chronic loneliness or social isolation
  5. Expressing persistent thoughts of harming themselves or someone else
  6. Making direct threats toward a place, another person, or themselves
  7. Bragging about access to guns or weapons
  8. Recruiting accomplices or audiences for an attack
  9. Directly expressing a threat as a plan

Reporting warning signs of violence is critical to decreasing the risk of gun violence in our community.

Advocacy to protect children from gun-violence must take place at a national level to have meaningful impact. Basic measure such as stopping assault weapon sales and advocating for high-capacity magazine limits, alongside ammunition regulation, required background checks, and increasing gun manufacturer liability will be critical.

At Roots Health DPC we are “staying in our lane” to improve the health and wellness of our community. To learn more about how we do health care differently… join us today.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

2023-05-29T14:06:01+00:00May 29th, 2023|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Health Care, Mental Health, Uncategorized|

Is It Stress or Anxiety?

Mental Health Awareness Month

Everyone experiences stress, and sometimes that stress can feel overwhelming.

You may be at risk for an anxiety disorder if it feels like you can’t manage the stress and if the symptoms of your stress:

– Interfere with your everyday life.

– Cause you to avoid doing things.

– Seem to be always present.

Searching for a health care experience that is personalized, convenient, and comprehensive? Roots Health DPC has redefined the way health care is being delivered.

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Practice Self-Care for your Mental Health: Build a toolbox full of healthy ways to cope

Simple, everyday actions:

schedule quiet time for meditation, yoga, or reading

spend a few minutes in nature, getting out to exercise, or playing a favorite song can help you feel grounded

stick to a sleep routine to ensure enough sleep

keep a journal

connect with others in your community

Do you avoid going to the doctor because it’s a hassle? At Roots Health DPC we have made it simple. Our focus is on you. We provide the care you deserve without the hassle. Set up a complimentary session to meet Dr. Diaz and learn more.

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Mental Health Awareness

2023-05-22T15:08:22+00:00May 22nd, 2023|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Health Care, Mental Health|

Your Mental Health at Midlife

Experiencing LOTS of ups and downs? No… you’re not crazy….its part of middle age.

Do find yourself loving life and feeling fabulous one day and having difficulty with overwhelm and gloom the next? Have you found yourself loosing it… over little stuff? Feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster? Welcome to middle age.

This is a time when our bodies and minds experience tremendous change, both physically and emotionally. Kids may be leaving the home or you might be transitioning careers after decades. It’s often when we need to deal with parents’ health issues or our own. For many, this is a time when some long-term relationships end or starting new relationships or choosing time alone.

So give yourself a break… you have a lot going on right now in your life!

You must fill your own cup first… Self-care becomes even more critical as we age.

Roots Health DPC is completely changing health care as you know it. Learn more about our personalized comprehensive approach that makes all the difference!

Set up a complimentary session to meet Dr Diaz today.

7 QUICK TIPS/TRICKS TO BOOST MINDSET AND IMPROVE MENTAL WELL-BEING:

1. Regular exercise reduces the risk of depression and improves mood

2. Ensuring adequate sleep that is restful and restorative is imperative

3. Quieting the mind through and directing thoughts utilizing tools

4. Training the brain with habit formation techniques

5. Social interactions creating supportive relationships to stay grounded

6. Prioritization, delegation, and time management skill building through education

7. Awareness around feelings and emotional responses

At Roots Health DPC we help patients on their wellness journey by working with them to achieve balanced whole lives. Let us help you figure out which self-care activities serve you best and create lasting lifestyle changes that work!

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Tips for Early Detection of Skin Cancer

2023-05-15T14:01:40+00:00May 15th, 2023|Adults, Families, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Health Care, Public Health, Uncategorized|

What are the skin changes you should not ignore? Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Knowing how to do a skin self-exam and what the warning signs are for melanoma are the key for decreasing risk. Follow these tips to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable.

How to perform a skin self-exam

Examine your body in a full-length mirror-Examine your body front and back in a mirror, then look at the right and left sides with your arms raised.

Look at your underarms, forearms, and palms-Bend your elbows and look carefully at your forearms, underarms, and palms.

Look at your legs, between toes, and soles of your feet-Look at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes, and the soles of your feet.

Use a hand mirror to examine your neck and scalp-Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part your hair for a closer look at your scalp.

Use a hand mirror to check your back and buttocks-Finally, check your back and buttocks with a hand mirror.

If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

Get your FREE SKIN CANCER SCREENING IN MAY with board certified dermatologist, Dr Kiracofe!

CLICK HERE TO GET A FREE SKIN CANCER SCREENING EXAM

Remember the “ABCDE rule”

Note changes in moles or birthmarks that can be warning signs of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

A-Asymmetry where one half looks different from the other

B-Borders of the mole that are irregular or not sharply demarcated

C-Color is varied from one area to another

D-Diameter over 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser)

E-Evolving or changing in size shape or color

Are you looking for High Quality health care with a board certified physician that you know and trust? Set up an initial complimentary consultation to learn more about how we always put patients first.

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Protecting Your Skin

2023-05-09T02:34:01+00:00May 8th, 2023|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Health Care, Public Health|

SKIN CARE this SUMMER

Summer is almost here…. and with it comes lots of outdoor activities. Protecting your skin from the sun is imperative. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer?

The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented and it can almost always be cured… when it’s found and treated early.

4 Simple Skin Cancer Prevention Tips:

-Seek the shade between 10am-4pm

-Do NOT get a sunburn

-Use broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher and reapply after 2hours

-Examine your skin once a month

Get your FREE SKIN CANCER SCREENING IN MAY with board-certified dermatologist, Dr Kiracofe.

CLICK HERE TO GET A FREE SKIN CANCER SCREENING EXAM

Are you looking for High Quality health care with a board certified physician that you know and trust? Set up an initial complimentary consultation to learn more about how we always put patients first.

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Preventing heart disease is better than curing it.

2023-04-24T13:49:17+00:00April 24th, 2023|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Health Care, Uncategorized|

Heart Disease: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Heart Disease is the number one killer for women…. knowing your risk is half the battle.

Are YOU at RISK? Use this FREE CALCULATOR

find out NOW

Heart disease is often preventable for women. The following lifestyle changes help lower risk and protect your heart.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight can raise your blood pressure, cholesterol, and increase risk for diabetes.

Losing 5% to 10% of your body weight can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of developing diabetes.

Quit smoking

Smokers have more than twice the risk for heart attack than do nonsmokers. The risk for blood clots also increases, which can cause stroke.

Get Active

Strive for regular moderate to high intensity physical activity. This can be done in 30 minute chunks, 5 days a week. Aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease.

Change your fats

Change the fats in your diet. Avoid saturated fats. Substitute olive oil for butter. All fats are high in calories so use them sparingly to avoid weight gain.

Also limit the following:

• Full-fat dairy products

• Fatty meats

• Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils

• Convenience or other prepared foods high in fat

Eat fruits and veggies

Eat plenty of produce. We recommned eating at least 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits daily, depending on your calorie needs. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are linked to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk for heart disease.

Fiber up

Soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol. Oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and other whole-grain foods are excellent sources of this nutrient.

Drink alcohol only in moderation

Women should limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day. That’s equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 4 to 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.

Seeking a physician who can provide ample time for discussing all options? Contact us today as we are enrolling a limited number of new patients.

FREE MEET AND GREET

Strategies for Overcoming Heart Disease

2023-04-17T14:15:19+00:00April 17th, 2023|Adults, Family Practice, Health Care, Public Health, Uncategorized|

A Woman’s Guide to Beating Heart Disease

Few women think heart disease is their greatest health threat. That thought could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, it’s the nation’s number one killer, and women are its prime target. Over one-third of the women who die in the U.S. each year die of heart disease. In fact, more women die of heart disease each year than breast cancer.

The risk of heart attack and stroke increases with age. Women can start protecting themselves early to avoid heart disease.

Knowing your risk

Things that put women at risk include:

• Being postmenopausal

• Having had a hysterectomy

• History of or currently using birth control pills

• Being pregnant and having complications including diabetes or pre-eclampsia

Credit to: My Happy Doctor

Join us at the Community Health and Wellness Fair Sunday April 23, 2023, in Oak Park, where Roots Health DPC will be providing free screening for heart disease.

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The following things put both women and men at risk for developing heart disease:

• Personal history of heart disease or stroke

• Age over 55

• Family history of heart disease

• High blood pressure

• High cholesterol

• Diabetes

• Past or current smoker

• Getting little or no exercise

• Obesity

• High-stress life

Knowing risk factors is half the battle towards beating heart disease. You can lower your risk of heart disease through preventative measures. Keep an eye open for our blog on prevention next week where we will do a deep dive on how to prevent heart disease.

Are you looking for a physician who has time to discuss all your options with you? We are enrolling a limited number of new patients and would love to hear from you today.

Schedule an initial complimentary consultation

Is Hormone Therapy safe?

2023-03-27T14:22:32+00:00March 23rd, 2023|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Health Care, Uncategorized|

What’s the deal with Hormone Therapy? Is it safe?

After the Women’s Health Initiative study done in the early 2000s that demonstrated an increased risk of cardiac events, strokes, blood clots and breast cancer was terminated early, many believed HRT to have more risk than benefit. The number of women taking HRT dropped from 20% to 5% nationwide. One of the flaws in the study was that the women enrolled were over 60y old. For women 50-59years these risks are slightly increased but no where near as drastic as the original study.

The answer to safety is not an “all or none” proposition. HRT is not “good’ or “bad.” As with any treatment, the benefits and risks must be weighed for each individual woman. Remembering that menopause is a chapter in life and not forever helps. Discussing “how long” these symptoms will last or when and which ones warrant treatment is a conversation to have with your physician.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is not a panacea for the changes that occur in menopause throughout the body. Often there are better medications to treat a lot of these specific changes. For example, it is not generally recommended to try to prevent osteoporosis with HRT. Additionally, we would not treat mood disorders that become unmasked during this transition period with HRT.

There are so many symptoms… which ones warrant consideration for HRT?

  • Severe vasomotor symptoms occurring every hour or two and disrupting daily life (not responsive to behavioral/lifestyle modification)
  • Vasomotor symptoms that are interfering with sleep
  • Vaginal atrophy or Urinary Dysfunction

Who might be a candidate for HRT?

  • In general, women who are less than 60 and less than 10 y from menopause.
  • Women without a history of heart disease, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer.

Isn’t HRT just pills?

  • Not all HRT is created equally and there are numerous different modes of delivery for Estrogen.
  • Pills by mouth can decrease testerone affects on hair loss and acne, while patches have a lot less risk of blood clots and stroke than pills.
  • Vaginal symptoms alone are best treated with cream or rings that produces only local estrogen exposure.
  • All women with a uterus taking estrogen will need to get progesterone in pill form or as an IUD as well to decrease risk for endometrial cancer.

What about “bioidentical” hormones?

  • Bioidentical hormones just means they have the same molecular structure we produce naturally. Estrogen patches and prometrium are FDA approved bioidenticals that are prescription medications.
  • People often refer to compounded formulations as bioidentical hormones… with compounded formulations there is not a lot of safety data and no regulation.

At Roots Health DPC we use the NIH Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (NCI) to assess risk for breast cancer. We assess for risk for cardiovascular disease as well when we discuss HRT treatment options so that patients can make informed decisions.

Not all HRT is equal and topical treatment options do not have the same systemic system side effects as pills and may be just as effective. A great resource for patients is NAMS (North American Menopause Society).

Are you looking for a physician who has time to discuss all your options with you? We are enrolling a limited number of new patients and would love to hear from you today.

Schedule an initial complimentary consultation.

What you need to know about HOT FLASHES

2023-03-20T13:54:27+00:00March 20th, 2023|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Health Care|

HOT FLASHES: What you need to know.

Hot flashes are the most common menopause-related symptom, affecting over 75% of women in midlife. Let’s discuss triggers, symptoms, and treatments. The most Frequently Asked Questions.

What is going on during a hot flash?

The small blood vessels near the skin surface are dilating, which causes heat release and flushing. So why does this even happen? As estrogen levels drop, changes in the hypothalamus in our brain cause dysfunction of the natural internal thermometer. The feeling of warmth results from inappropriate peripheral vasodilatation with increased blood flow to skin. Perspiration results in rapid heat loss and a decrease in core body temperature below normal. Shivering may then occur as a normal mechanism to restore the core temperature to normal.

What provokes hot flashes?

Hot flashes can last anywhere from 2-4 minutes and commonly occur related to these situations:

  • Drinking hot liquids (coffee, tea, hot water)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Taking a hot shower
  • When stressed, excited, anxious
  • When overly physically active
  • When overdressed or wearing tight-fitting clothes
  • As a side effect of some medications

It is important to know that hot flashes and/or night sweats can be indicative of other diseases (carcinoid, pheochromocytoma, POTS, certain cancers).

Does your doctor’s office feel like a place where you can talk about any symptoms you are experiencing and get answers to the questions you have? If you are searching for a physician that takes time to listen, Dr. Diaz is accepting a limited number of new patients at Roots Health DPC.

Schedule your consult today

When to consider hormonal treatment.

In general, if the symptoms are happening every hour or two and interfering with your functioning or if the symptoms are interfering with sleep, we recommend speaking to your physician about hormonal options available.

Next week we take a deep dive into Hormone Replacement Therapy… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Hormonal Sleep Disruption

2023-03-13T16:06:39+00:00March 13th, 2023|Adults, Health Care, Uncategorized|

Hormonal Sleep Disruption

We know that restorative sleep is foundational for overall health by reducing internal inflammation, including cortisol levels and other stress-related hormones. Sleep improves cardiovascular and cognitive health as well as restoring our immune health to be better equipped to fight infection.

Unfortunately, for women transitioning into menopause, nearly half report sleep disturbance and approximately one third go on to develop chronic insomnia.

For many, there can be an overlap of night sweats and hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms), mood disturbances, circadian rhythm disruption and other causes for sleep disturbance, taking on a myriad of manifestations. Quite often it is marked by difficulties falling sleep, restless sleep, or wakefulness throughout the night.

Estrogen influences the brain activating serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine neurotransmitters pathways within the brain. As estrogen decreases, these neurotransmitter pathways can be disrupted, affecting many components responsible for initiating and promoting restful sleep, as well as regulation of internal temperature (think hot flashes and night sweats).

In addition to hormonal changes, general life stress, underlying mood disturbances like depression and anxiety, primary sleep disturbances (sleep disordered breathing and restless legs syndrome) and other conditions can further erode sleep quality. The effect of hormonal changes can compound and significantly worsen each condition.

The factors leading to insomnia are complex, but a good night’s sleep is still within reach! There are many options for treatment. I recommend collaborating with your physician for restful and restorative sleep again. Are you looking for a physician who “gets it” and empowers you to make decisions that work for your health?

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Tips for Improved Sleep During Perimenopause

Even though not directly implicated in hormonal sleep disturbance, general sleep hygiene is always recommended.

AVOID “screen time” for 60 to 90 minutes before bedtime

• Consider using an orange light bulb in the bedside lamp so that you can read without inhibiting melatonin

• AVOID alcohol

• Exercising at least 2 hours before bedtime

• Keep your room cool

Women with vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) that interrupt sleep may be candidates for hormone replacement therapy. Isoflavens (soy), omega-3 fatty acid supplements and other non-hormonal medications are also options.

Hormonal changes in perimenopause can bring out mental health disorders that are linked to poor sleep. Sometimes it can unearth serious underlying mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and PTSD. Some women have mood disturbances that respond to medications that affect neurotransmitters like SSRIs (escitalopram/Lexapro or sertraline/Zoloft), SNRIs (venlafaxine/Effexor) or dopaminergics (bupropion/Wellbutrin). With seasonal symptoms, light box therapy can be beneficial as can exposure to natural light throughout the day.

Consider an evaluation for sleep-disordered breathing syndromes (like sleep apnea) which may present in women more as fatigue and decreased cognition (and not necessarily snoring which may present more commonly in men).

General stress management techniques like mindfulness-based stress reduction, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises may be helpful.

Sleep is key to our health and well-being. The factors that determine your ability to get a good night’s rest are complex and unique to your body. With the right approach, you can have restorative sleep again. Want to learn more about peri-menopause, symptoms, and treatment options? Let us send you our weekly newsletter for free.

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