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Prediabetes – What is it exactly?

2023-01-31T00:36:36+00:00January 30th, 2023|Adults, Diabetes, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Health Care, Membership|

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.

Book a free meet and greet today!

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.
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Mondays with your MD – Soothing a Sore Throat

2022-11-20T23:18:25+00:00November 19th, 2022|Community, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Public Health|

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?

Physical exam

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.

Throat culture

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.

Blood tests

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

Medical treatment

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.

Book free meet and greet

Mondays with your MD – Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

2022-10-17T23:16:13+00:00October 16th, 2022|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Health Care, Public Health|

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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.

 

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Mondays with your MD – 5 tips to prevent eczema flares

2022-10-10T21:29:01+00:00October 7th, 2022|Adults, Family Medicine, Health Care|

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.

Avoid Irritants

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.

Free Meet & GREET

Mondays with your MD – Getting to the root of your healthcare concerns

2022-10-08T18:48:36+00:00October 3rd, 2022|Community, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Health Care, Membership|

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.

Free Meet & GREET


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    Mondays with your MD – HPV: What you should know

    2022-08-15T21:41:16+00:00August 15th, 2022|Adults, Family Medicine, Health Care, Public Health|

    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.

    Talk to your doctor today about HPV screening

    Mondays with your MD: Formula Shortage

    2022-06-25T21:22:11+00:00June 25th, 2022|Families, Family Medicine, Public Health|

    Formula Shortage

    Recently I had a patient reach out to let me know she was unable to locate the formula she routinely provided to her baby. She let me know she was considering feeding her baby with breastmilk from a friend and was concerned about allergens in some of the other formula products.

    Nothing is as important to families as the health and safety of their babies. The formula shortage has left many anxious about how to feed them. My guess is that many are thinking about a similar solution. I thought I would share a few recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    • Consider trying a brand new formula
    • Consider trying a formula made in another country
    • Talk to your physician about substitutes for hypoallergenic or specialty forumulas (as was the case in the above example)

    OPTIONS for HOW to FEED YOUR BABY SAFELY

    • Consider discussing using whole cow’s milk if baby is over 6mo
    • If baby is close to one year discuss with physician options for toddler drinks
    • Consider using local milk bank

    AVOID these options

    DO NOT share breast milk with friends or purchase on the internet. There are significant infectious disease and storage safety risks

    DO NOT water down formula

    DO NOT make it at home

    DO NOT use expired formula

    If you are having difficulty finding formula and solutions please reach out to your physician.

    Mondays with Your MD: Skin Cancer Awareness Month

    2022-05-22T17:59:05+00:00May 15th, 2022|Community, Families, Family Medicine, Special Offer|

    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?

    skin-cancer-prevention-facts

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

    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

     

    Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more and get FREE SKIN CANCER SCREENING

    Subscribe to our monthly newsletter “Health Tips”

    The Pandemic. Deferred wellness. Navigating health today.

    2021-05-13T18:23:04+00:00May 8th, 2021|Community, Copays, Deductibles, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Membership, Pandemic, Telemedicine, Urgent Care|

    As we pass one year since the pandemic started, it is time to take stock of our overall health and what it means to us as individuals.  It’s important to note the collateral effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our individual health as well as the overall wellness of our community.  Many avoided or delayed care (both urgent and routine) to lower the risk of acquiring COVID-19.   We now have evidence that this shift has led to delayed diagnosis and treatment which results in poor outcomes.

    While we can celebrate some success as the number of vaccinated individuals increases in the United States, we still struggle with effects of social isolation and the surge of mental health problems that accompany it.

    Prior to the pandemic, it was common for patients to avoid the “hassle” of the traditional health care system. Patients disliked the “big production” around getting an appointment and waiting to be seen as well as the amount of time and energy spent to engage with the insurance-based model of care. Often patients delayed care because the cost was not transparent and surprise billing was never popular.  Between copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums most people have no idea what costs to expect when they seek the care that is recommended.

    The pandemic has accentuated the difficulties of getting care… we have witnessed that our health care system is beyond broken.  It does not serve patients and the time for change is past due.

    What if getting care was as easy as scheduling online and speaking directly to your doctor via phone text or email whenever needed?  What if there was no “hassle” to get an appointment and no wait to see your doctor?  The Direct Primary Care (DPC) model has made this a reality.  Your physician is easily accessible with time to address all your health concerns.  DPC is the future of health care and is championed by physicians around the country dedicated to doing what is best for their patients.  DPC takes away the “pain” of seeing the doctor.  It emphasizes the value of the patient-physician relationship and creates space for shared decision-making around health and wellness.  DPC provides excellent care, transparent pricing, and unparalleled accessibility.

    During the pandemic, DPC patients had unlimited access to their physician.  They were engaged in healthcare prevention and maintenance conversations with their physicians.  They received superior care by having direct communication with their physician.  There were no “surprise” bills because DPC membership fees are transparent and extremely affordable.

    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 for DPC.  We all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship.  How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.

    >>LEARN MORE ABOUT ROOTS HEALTH DPC<<

    >>Click here to call ROOTS now 708-613-7916<<

    COVID 19 Timeline Information

    2021-05-08T12:54:48+00:00November 9th, 2020|Adults, Community, Coronavirus, Family Medicine, Family Practice, Pandemic|

    The disease that is caused by the SARS CoV2 virus presents and transmits like many other respiratory viruses which makes it difficult to identify and contain.  I would like to provide information about the period from when someone is exposed to the SARS CoV2 virus, when they are infectious, and when they are most likely to have a positive test.

    The graph above illustrates the timeline of COVID-19 illness after exposure.

    Incubation period is the estimated amount of time it may take for someone to develop COVID-19 after exposure. Right now, for adults it is about 2-14 days. This is why we use the 14 day guideline for close-contact quarantine period.

    Studies show that PCR tests for coronavirus can detect up to 98% of cases by day 7-8 after exposure.

    Infectious period is when you are contagious after exposure to the virus. Most respiratory viruses have an infectious period of about 48hrs before symptoms develop.  Anyone that has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 48hrs before that person’s symptoms began should quarantine for 14 days. The end of the infectious period can vary, but is defined as being fever free for at least 24 hours AND 10 days from symptom onset.

    The local health department contact tracers are not able to reach out to every person (roughly 50% of people are being contacted who have been exposed). This is why it is important for the general public to know these guidelines so we can appropriately notify our potential close contacts to help mitigate the spread.

    Be well, everyone. Stay diligent… wear a mask, wash hands, social distance and try (if possible) to keep interactions with folks brief. This will reduce your risk of transmission, and also your chance of needing to quarantine.

    Dr Natasha Diaz

    No waiting. Healthcare delivered when you need it.