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Mondays with your MD – Just Tired or Fatigue?

2022-07-24T01:59:47+00:00July 23rd, 2022|Adults, Family Practice, Health Care|

Why am I always tired? How tired is too tired?

Today we are exploring the difference between “being tired” and fatigue which often underlies a more serious medical problem.
Tiredness happens to everyone – it’s an expected feeling after certain activities or at the end of the day. Usually, a good night’s sleep solves the problem.
Fatigue is a daily lack of energy – unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness not relieved by sleep. Fatigue can prevent a person from functioning normally and affects a person’s quality of life.

woman sleeping at desk

What are the most common causes of fatigue?

Lifestyle Factors

Taking an honest inventory of things that might be responsible for your fatigue is often the first step toward relief.

Evaluating the following can have an enormous impact on levels of fatigue:

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Alcohol use
  • Medications
  • Routines

Modifications can often dramatically impact levels of fatigue.

Medical Factors

Underlying Medical Conditions that commonly cause Fatigue:

  • Anemia: iron deficiency anemia is a common blood disorder that makes it hard for your blood to move oxygen to your organs.
  • Thyroid problem: this small butterfly-shaped gland that sits in your neck regulates your metabolism and energy levels. When thyroid gland out of whack, you’re out of whack.
  • Depression: untreated and undiagnosed depression can rob your brain of the chemicals needed to work its best causing low energy levels and fatigue.
  • Infections, Sleep Apnea, Heart Disease are common problems that can manifest the symptom of fatigue as well.

Recap

Many physical and mental illnesses, as well as lifestyle factors, can cause your fatigue, and that can make it hard to diagnose. In some cases, it might be something simple and easy to fix, like having caffeine at bedtime. But other causes, like heart disease or COPD, are serious, and you may need to start long-term treatment right away.
Your doctor can help you sift through your health issues, as well as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits, on order to zero in on the cause and help you on the road to recovery.

Mondays with your MD – Urinary Tract Infections: Separating Fact from Fiction

2022-07-17T13:40:09+00:00July 17th, 2022|Adults, Families, Family Practice, Health Care, Urgent Care|

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are extremely common, especially in women. Dealing with them is no fun and often requires frequent trips to the bathroom, pain when urinating, and soreness in the lower abdomen, back or sides. Many turn to at-home remedies to tackle discomfort or try to change risky behaviors to avoid a repeat infection.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of myths out there about UTIs that can make recognizing the causes and finding effective relief difficult.

Separating Fact From Fiction

Myth #1: Taking AZO for my UTI is “Good Enough”

Although AZO may provide symptomatic relief, it can often mask underlying symptoms and delay seeking appropriate medical care.  In addition, it can cause discoloration of urine making the infection more difficult to detect on examination.

Myth #2: Tampons Cause UTIs

Some women think tampons make them more prone to developing UTIs since tampons are placed inside the body, while other feminine hygiene products are kept outside of the body. However, tampon use may be even more effective at preventing UTIs than pads. Tampons can keep the area dryer, leaving less of a chance for bacteria to flourish and cutting down on the risk of infection.

Myth #3: Cranberry Juice Will Cure My UTI

The cranberry juice cure is one of the most commonly believed myths about treating UTIs. However, don’t for a minute think that a bottle of cranberry juice can replace a visit to your doctor or proper medication. It turns out cranberry juice isn’t nearly as effective as many people think.

Though some studies have demonstrated potential ability to prevent (not treat) symptomatic UTIs, there isn’t sufficient data to support routinely recommending it.

Myth #4: Only Women Get UTIs

Women definitely get UTIs more often than men. This is because the urethra, the duct that carries urine out of the body, is shorter in women, allowing bacteria to more easily reach the bladder. However, this is still a myth, as men can and do get UTIs. UTIs are more common in men who have not been circumcised and suffer from other medical issues including incontinence, prostate cancer or urinary tract stones.

Myth #5: Sex Causes UTIs

This one is both a myth and a fact. The real myth lies in the belief that only sexually active women get UTIs. Sex can definitely play a role, though, as bacteria near the vagina can inadvertently get into the urethra during sexual contact. Urinating after sex is CRUCIAL because it will allow your body to flush out vaginal bacteria that tends to get pushed into the urethra during sex.

Does this mean that abstinence is a sure-fire way to protect yourself from UTIs? Think again. In fact, women are most at risk for getting UTIs while pregnant or experiencing menopause or perimenopause. This is due to the change of hormones in the urinary tract during these times.

Talk to your doctor about UTI symptoms and appropriate treatment.

Mondays with your MD – Telemedicine: Back to the Future

2022-07-11T13:33:18+00:00July 11th, 2022|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Practice, Health Care, Telemedicine|

Reminiscent of a time where patients could receive medical advice by simply calling their doctor on the phone….telemedicine, popularized with the pandemic, has always been a structured integral part of Direct Primary Care (DPC). Virtual care has been shown to increase access to health care and lead to improved health outcomes when utilized correctly.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine allows for an ongoing dialogue between patients and physicians about shared health goals and decision-making. This improves adherence to the medical plan of care by providing a platform for a collaborative approach to health, where chronic conditions can be managed.

Telemedicine provides flexibility for scheduling and eliminates barriers between physicians and patients. Follow up appointments are made easier by removing travel times, childcare concerns, and time off work.

Virtual consultations can prevent unnecessary in-person referrals to specialists and lead to shorter waiting times to see specialists.

Telemedicine has always been a structured integral part of (DPC). When patients have an urgent care need or a follow up concern from previous visits, DPC physicians are able to quickly troubleshoot those problems with patients and determine the best course of action for each individual.

Mondays with your MD – Women’s Rights to Reproductive Health Care in 2022

2022-07-03T18:04:48+00:00July 3rd, 2022|Adults, Family Practice, Health Care, Pregnancy, Public Health|

I am grateful today that I live in Illinois, but I do not believe access to health care should depend on where a woman is residing within the US. The disruption to appropriate health care for women has caused chaos in caring for women who are pregnant, and ultimately will lead to preventable deaths of women that will affect the entire nation for generations.

People misunderstand the far-reaching consequences of the ruling by believing abortion to be a simple elective decision to terminate a “normal” pregnancy. This ruling, in fact, threatens the fundamental health care rights of women. It demonstrates HOW IMPORTANT the physician-patient relationship is and why neither government nor insurance companies have any place making health-care decisions.

Reverting to state level laws from early 1900s, immediately following this ruling, has put numerous physicians in an impossible situation wondering how to legally provide appropriate care for their patients. In Utah, for example, the law describes the delivery of anything except a dead fetus as an abortion. Women who are severely infected or hemorrhaging as a complication of pregnancy, with a fetus that has a heartbeat but cannot survive outside of the uterus, have routinely been treated by terminating pregnancy as the standard of care… until now. With the change in law, instead of terminating the fetus and sparing the life of the woman, there will be an additional preventable loss of life. The lives of women will be lost.

In some states, immediately following the ruling, physicians were asked to contact the legal department prior to caring for patients appropriately….this simple delay in care can cost the life of a woman who is hemorrhaging from an ectopic non-viable pregnancy in an emergency care situation.

The supreme court decision eliminates equitable and safe access to medical care and will ultimately lead to higher maternal mortality rates in the US. There is absolutely no space for third parties, government bodies nor insurance companies, in the delivery of health care. These decisions must be made DIRECTLY between patients and their physicians.

“The American Medical Association is deeply disturbed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nearly a half century of precedent protecting patients’ right to critical reproductive healthcare—representing an egregious allowance of government intrusion into the medical examination room, a direct attack on the practice of medicine and the patient-physician relationship, and a brazen violation of patients’; rights to evidence-based reproductive health services. States that end legal abortion will not end abortion—they will end safe abortion, risking devastating consequences, including patients’ lives….

We will always have physicians’ backs and defend the practice of medicine, we will fight to protect the patient-physician relationship, and we will oppose any law or regulation that compromises or criminalizes patient access to safe, evidence-based medical care, including abortion. As the health of millions of patients hangs in the balance, this is a fight we will not give up.”

Mondays with your MD: Headaches and Migraines

2022-06-20T13:50:23+00:00June 20th, 2022|Adults, Family Practice, Health Care, Urgent Care|

June is Headache and Migraine Awareness Month.
Did you even know that was a thing?

There are many reasons people get headaches and most of us have had a headache at some point.

Today we review the most common causes as well as what the most concerning warning signs are and when you should seek immediate care.

Headaches can be due to allergies, caffeine withdrawal and even a life-threatening aneurysm.

Typical headaches are tension-type headaches and migraines.

Tension-Type headaches

Tension-Type headaches are most common and are often caused by the following 3 things:

excessive caffeine intake

alcohol intake

vision problems

Migraines

We discuss Migraines in great detail in our June edition of
“Monthly Health Tips”

Subscribe to our newsletter “MONTHLY Health Tips”


Migraines can be debilitating.
We look at symptoms, preventions, and treatments.

It is important to know that headaches

can sometimes be a sign of a life-threatening emergency.

The following signs are reasons to seek care immediately:

You are having your worst headache ever
You have loss of consciousness
You have uncontrollable vomiting
Your headache is worst upon waking
You have loss of vision

Mondays with your MD: Keeping medications affordable

2022-06-06T13:57:34+00:00June 5th, 2022|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Health Care, Membership, Prescription Costs|

Medications do not need to be expensive.

At Roots Health DPC, we are making medications affordable for our patients. How?

We buy medications at wholesale pricing and sell them to our patients directly at wholesale cost – without marking them up. We remove the profit takers, pharmacy benefit managers, and retail pharmacies between patients and their medications, effectively lowering the cost of prescriptions by 50% to 90%.

Examples of medications for under $5/month

Medication Dosage
Metformin 1000 mg
Ibuprofen 600 mg
Lisinopril 10 mg
Amlodipine 2.5 mg
Sertraline/Zoloft 50 mg
Lovastatin 40 mg
Sumatriptan/Imitrex 100 mg
Lortadine/Claritin 10 mg

A simple idea to solve a complex problem

DPC stands for Direct Primary Care – we deliver health care services, including medications, directly to our patients. We provide medications at these rates because we believe that the people in our community deserve fair pricing on the medications they need to stay healthy. At Roots Health DPC, we are uniquely qualified to partner with our patients to determine which medications will best treat their medical conditions.

Mondays with Your MD: Health Insurance is not Good Health Care

2022-05-22T19:04:31+00:00May 22nd, 2022|Adults, Copays, Family Practice, Health Care, Membership|

How accessible is health care in the richest nation? Why Health Insurance ≠ Health Care.

Many patients tell me that they love their doctor but that they cannot get through easily or book an appointment quickly. They pay thousands of dollars annually for “health insurance,” but are frustrated with their inability to access appropriate “health care.” Patients often go to an emergency room or an urgent care to be seen because it is the only option in the existing health care model.

The result: Americans visits the doctor less frequently and have the highest rate of avoidable deaths.

The United States spends 2x as much, per person, as other high-income countries, yet the US continues to have the lowest life expectancy and poorer health care outcomes when compared to other countries. Americans pay hefty premiums to health insurance plans every year. Where do the dollars go and why is health care access awful?

Traditional physician offices incur a large cost for taking care of patient needs outside of the actual patient office visit. For example, making a phone call to provide patient care is not compensated by insurance companies. Several other similar services that are instrumental to good health care include completing forms for patients, ordering and/or reviewing labs, and writing prescriptions. Restrictions placed by insurance companies make it difficult to take care of patients outside of the visit.

What if health insurance was the same as other insurance products?

A good example is car insurance. You expect to pay out of pocket for your gas, oil change, and maintenance/repairs. You have a high deductible low premium insurance that covers you in case of a car accident. In the analogous healthcare model, patients have catastrophic health insurance coverage with low monthly premiums and a high deductible.

Pairing health insurance with health care, through a physician direct primary care office, lowers out of pocket expense and improves health outcomes by providing access to obtain discounted screenings, preventative services, urgent care services, labs, and medications.

Health insurance companies have come between patients and their health. The health system in the United States is broken as evidenced by the out of control spending and health outcomes. Direct primary care offers an alternative that works. Direct primary care aligns values to prioritize patient health care needs with lower costs and better health outcomes. Find a direct primary care near you by searching https://mapper.dpcfrontier.com/

Resuming COVID-19 Testing

2022-01-11T14:40:34+00:00January 9th, 2022|Adults, Coronavirus, Covid-19 Testing, Families, Pandemic, Uncategorized|

>> CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT <<

As the number of COVID cases again increases, we are aware that reliable testing has become difficult to obtain. At Roots Health DPC, we have chosen to resume COVID testing for the community to ensure everyone who needs a test has access. We offer PCR testing (and rapid testing for those with symptoms as well). This service continues to be available and free of charge for our members. We will now make it available to the public (non-members) with discounted pricing for testing of families. We remain committed to the health of our community.

Circling back: The Pandemic. Navigating Your Health Today.

2021-08-31T13:59:18+00:00August 31st, 2021|Adults, Coronavirus, Covid-19 Testing, Membership, Pandemic, Vaccine|

As the Delta strain sweeps across our country many of the measures to prevent spread are being reinstated. Most would agree, whenever we make progress in life, it is usually “2 steps forward and one step back.” Dealing with a novel coronavirus is no different.

The vaccines have been highly effective. They continue to give vaccinated persons protection by keeping vaccinated individuals out of the hospitals as this more virulent Delta variant spreads. This is witnessed across the country where the hospitalizations and deaths are afflicting the unvaccinated population heavily.

As the Delta variant continues to circulate and cases climb, we now know that vaccinated individuals can transmit the Delta variant to unvaccinated. We must again choose to protect our most vulnerable by wearing masks in public spaces, avoiding large indoor gatherings, spacing 6 feet, and getting tested. This time around, Covid testing is more widely available and there are rapid tests that can be done in the comfort of your own home.

I recommend Bimax now Antigen test, but would like to make you aware of the rapid testing limitations. The test works well if you have symptoms and it is a positive result. However, if you have been exposed you will need a PCR test 4-5days after exposure. If you have symptoms and a negative rapid test result you will also require a PCR test.

Our patients at Roots Health DPC are able to obtain PCR testing when they need it and it is sent to the lab for results. More importantly, each individual receives personalized and specific recommendations for their unique situation. Can you imagine navigating covid without a board-certified physician available to answer questions?

As with anything difficult, we can always find a silver-lining… and we must if we want to continue to grow and improve. The pandemic has made the case … we all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship and unlimited access to your physician when you need it. How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.

COVID 19 VACCINE: Where do I sign up?

2021-05-08T12:35:19+00:00February 4th, 2021|Adults, Community, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Vaccine|

COVID VACCINE INFORMATION.

Illinois entered phase 1b for vaccinations at the end of FEB
INCLUDES 65+ AND OVER, FIRST RESPONDERS, EDUCATION WORKERS LIKE TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF, CHILDCARE WORKERS, GROCERY STORE EMPLOYEES, POSTAL SERVICE WORKERS, AND MORE.

If you are unsure if you are in Tier 1B, please *SEE COMPLETE LIST BELOW from IDPH website.

We know many of you desire vaccination but are unable to obtain an appointment. This is slowly improving and we will update the following information as available. For now, we have compiled a list of the places where you can sign up and check for an appointment.

New IDPH Vaccine Appointment Call Center
The Illinois Department of Public Health launched a Call Center to help bridge technology barriers and assist with vaccine appointments. It is to help assist people who do not have access to or who have difficulty navigating online services in making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
– The Vaccine Appointment Call Center is open 7 days a week, 6am-midnight.
– The phone number is 833-621-1284.
– There are approximately 500 agents answering calls with the ability to expand during peak periods. The call center has English and Spanish speaking call agents with the availability for translation into other languages.

Vaccine Finder
https://vaccinefinder.org/
– The Vaccine Finder website allows you search for Vaccine Providers by zip code across the country
– It will state if that location has vaccine in stock or not and direct you towards registering for appt

ZocDoc Appointment finder
https://www.zocdoc.com/vaccine/
– This is an additional way to schedule vaccine appointments through participating providers by Zip Code

Walgreens has opened limited vaccination appointments through this link
https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

Albertson’s Companies including Jewel have opened limited vaccination appointments through this link
https://mhealthappointments.com/covidappt

IL Department of Public Health (ILDPH) at the following link
https://covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov/

Cook County COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program
https://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov/

If you have a provider at a local medical center, we recommend you call them to determine when the vaccine will be available for you. If you are a Loyola or PCC Wellness patient this may already be available to you through your medical center.

Roots Health DPC does not have access to the vaccine, but we are working on partnering with local community organizations to ensure access.

Please note: after vaccination we will still need to practice social distancing and wearing masks. A vaccine that is 95% effective means that about 1 out of 20 people who get it may not have protection from getting the illness.

 

*LIST OF TIER 1B CANDIDATES (per IDPH guidelines)
Phase 1B:

Persons aged 65 years and older
Frontline essential workers, are defined as those workers who are essential for the functioning of society and are at highest risk of exposure, including the following:
First responders: Firefighters (including volunteers), Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs), 911 Dispatch (Public Safety Answering Point – PSAP), Security Personnel, School Officers. (EMS personnel are considered under Phase 1a).
Corrections Officers/Inmates: Jail Officers, Juvenile Facility Staff, Workers Providing In-Person Support, Inmates.
Food and Agriculture Workers: Processing, Plants, Veterinary Health, Livestock Services, Animal Care.
Postal Service Workers
Manufacturing Workers: Industrial production of goods for distribution to retail, wholesale or other manufacturers.
Grocery Store Workers: Baggers, Cashiers, Stockers, Pick-Up, Customer Service.
Public Transit Workers: Flight Crew, Bus Drivers, Train Conductors, Taxi Drivers, Para-Transit Drivers, In-Person Support, Ride Sharing Services.
Education Workers (Congregate Child Care, Pre-K through 12th grade): Teachers, Principals, Student Support, Student Aids, Day Care Workers.
Shelters/Adult Day Care: Homeless Shelter, Women’s Shelter, Adult Day/Drop-In Program, Sheltered Workshop, Psycho-Social Rehab.

No waiting. Healthcare delivered when you need it.