Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:
- Trouble or difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Tightness in the chest
- Coughing that often gets worse at night
- Fatigue, especially with exercise or play
If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.
During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.
Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.
The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.
Most people think that medication is the only way to manage ADHD; however, there are many treatment options that can help manage your child’s ADHD symptoms. When it comes to treating a child with ADHD it’s important that you have a family doctor that you can turn to for comprehensive and compassionate care.
What are the different ADHD treatment options?
Let’s not focus on the medication aspect of treatment just yet; after all, there are other effective strategies and resources available that can improve hyperactivity and impulsivity, classic behaviors of ADHD.
You will work with a family physician to create a treatment plan that works best for your child based on the types of symptoms and behaviors they are displaying. Some treatment options will include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Learning new coping strategies
- Improving social skills
The goal of ADHD treatment is to not only curb those negative behaviors but also improve your child’s social, academic, and personal life so they can foster relationships and enjoy the academic process.
The most common types of ADHD medication are stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin. While they are one option for helping your child they aren’t right for all children. These medications can help a child stay more focused and reduce fidgeting. ADHD medication can improve a child’s behaviors while also bolstering their academic performance. Of course, no one should rely solely on medication in order to treat the symptoms and behaviors of ADHD. After all, it’s not a cure-all.
Medication works more effectively when combined with other treatment options including lifestyle modifications and therapy. Again, this is something that you and your child’s doctor can determine together. Your doctor will also monitor your child when they begin a new treatment plan or medication regimen to make sure that it’s working effectively. If there are any problems your doctor will want to know right away so they can make proper changes.
It’s also important to understand that even if your child does receive medication to control their ADHD, this doesn’t mean that they are on it for life. If for any reason you or your child would like to stop taking medication let your doctor know so they can begin to taper your child’s off the drug safely.
The whole family will need to work together to establish boundaries and rules within the household that can reduce unwanted ADHD behaviors. This includes simple changes like eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Providing a reward system may also help your child successfully complete chores and tasks around the house. Getting ample sleep is also crucial for improving symptoms of ADHD. Make sure that your child is getting proper sleep each and every night.
Your child’s doctor may also recommend behavioral therapists, counselors and psychologists who can also work with your child to provide behavioral modifications programs and also an outlet for your child to discuss the issues they are having.
As a culture we are placing more and more of an emphasis on leading a healthier life, from exercising more often to maintaining a balanced diet. Changes to your diet and physical activity can do wonders not just for shedding unwanted weight but also improving your health. No matter whether you are looking to lose 10 or 100 pounds, sometimes losing weight can be challenging. Our bodies don’t all respond the same way and there are many factors to consider before deciding the best strategies for helping you lose weight effectively. That’s why more and more people are turning to their family doctors to help them with their weight loss journey.
Losing weight on your own can be difficult and there are so many diets out there that tout results; however, how do you know if they are the right option for you or that they are even safe? Having a doctor that you can turn to in order to provide you with healthy changes you can make to your routine is invaluable. Furthermore, having a doctor to supervise your weight loss can often increase your accountability and long-term success.
Your doctor will go through your medical history and current lifestyle to see what can be tweaked. Again, many diets out there come and go. Some people swear by Paleo while others love South Beach. Of course, some of these diets are so strict that they are nearly impossible to maintain. Sometimes it’s less about following a diet, per se and more about adopting a healthier eating mentality. A doctor can show you what foods to incorporate into your diet and which foods and drinks to avoid.
Along with recommended healthier dietary options a doctor can also help you pinpoint issues involving your eating habits. For example, you may be a stress eater or you might deal with binge-restriction cycles due to anxiety around eating. Your doctor can craft a weight loss plan that will also address some of these issues surrounding foods.
Whether you already have a fitness routine in place or you want to start incorporating physical activity into your routine, a family physician can also make sure that you are healthy enough for activity and help you create a treatment plan based on your current health and fitness level and the types of activities you prefer. Having a fitness regimen that you actually enjoy is important. For some that means joining a community sports team while others may enjoy brisk walks around their neighborhood every day. You don’t have to join a gym in order to stay physically active.
Having a doctor by your side that your trust can hold you accountable and help you lose weight. If you are having trouble with your weight and feel like you don’t know where to start then talk with your family practitioner today.
If you or someone you love has just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes then you may be wondering what you can do to manage your blood sugar. Your family doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan based on your current health and lifestyle.
Medication is usually the main course of treatment, designed to improve blood sugar levels so that they stay within a healthy range. Of course, while some diabetes medication may work well for one person it won’t always be as effective for others. You will need to constantly monitor your blood sugar every day to see whether your medication is working.
Along with taking your diabetes medication there are also other ways to manage this long-term condition and to improve not just your health but also your quality of life. Here are some things that you can do to maintain good health while living with diabetes.
A Balanced, Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is key to unlocking good health, no matter whether you have diabetes or not. What you eat can either support how your body functions and fuel you or it can cause serious dysfunction and impairments over time. When you have diabetes, you need to understand how food impacts your blood sugar so you know which foods are safe to eat and which to avoid. Here are some tips to follow:
- Understand proper portion sizes and measure out the foods you eat
- Count your carbs, as carbs often have the biggest affect on your blood sugar and will influence your dose of insulin
- Create balanced meals that offer a variety of proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
- Know how to schedule your meals with your medication so you don’t deal with severe dips in your blood sugar
- Avoid sugary foods or drinks
Get Regular Exercise
It’s important for our patients to understand that every little bit of physical activity counts toward exercise. You don’t have to run out and get a gym membership. You just have to find simple ways to stay active throughout the day in order to reap the health benefits of exercise. This might include:
- Taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood
- Doing chores around the house
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
You only need about 30 minutes of exercise per day the majority of the week in order to see an improvement in your health. Of course, before starting any kind of new exercise routine you will want to talk with your physician to make sure that you are healthy enough first. We can also recommend safe and effective exercises.
While your doctor will work with you to make sure you are getting the right medication, there are also things you should be doing to make sure that the medication you are taking is working properly. This includes:
- Knowing how to properly store your insulin so it isn’t exposed to extreme temperatures
- Tell your doctor if your blood sugar is too high or too low while taking this medication
- Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements beforehand to make sure that they are safe to take with your medication
If you want to talk to a doctor about how to properly manage your diabetes, then call our office today to schedule a consultation with us.
Through each stage of life, our bodies require different focuses of medical care. As children, we visited the pediatrician, as adults, the general physician, and as senior citizens, a geriatric specialist is who we turn to. This might leave you wondering the reasons for continual change, especially when it comes to switching to a geriatrician—after all, despite being over 65, we’re all still adults, right? To gain a greater insight into the value of geriatric medicine, read on, and if you are in need of medical care, make sure to set up an appointment with your local geriatric specialist!
The Unique Health Challenges Posed by Aging
Over the course of our lives, the health complications that we are in danger of developing exponentially increase. Although serious illness is a possibility at any age, the danger of organ failures, heart conditions, cancers, and various chronic conditions all become more common at later stages in life. This elevated peril in-turn requires regular visits to a doctor who specializes in discovering such issues early.
On top of an increased vulnerability to medical issues, the seriousness of each health problem also rises with age. This raised concern isn’t exclusive to notorious diseases like cancer, either—even conditions that are completely innocuous for younger people can carry an alarming weight when contracted by a senior citizen. Take, for example, the common cold: while someone in their 30s may just need to rest in bed for a few days until symptoms alleviate, a senior who contracts the same virus will face a whole other host of issues. Dehydration, severe constipation from over-the-counter cold medication, and muscle deterioration from lying bed-ridden can all have prolonged and dangerous effects on the elderly, long after the cold symptoms have dissipated.
If a common cold can carry effects that harmful, you can imagine how concerning other conditions can be!
What a Geriatric Specialist Can Do To Help
To counteract these issues, geriatric doctors carry specialized knowledge to help keep elderly patients stay as healthy as possible. For example, they take the time to communicate with family members and caregivers to pick up on issues that even patients haven’t noticed yet. This increased attention helps for a greatly accelerated discovery rate of potentially serious health issues.
Complementing this focus on early detection is how geriatric doctors also pay great a deal of concern to any potential side effects carried by treatment. As outlined above, even seemingly banal health matters can bring about major consequences, so having a trusted doctor that can preemptively predict possible complications is an absolute must for elderly patients. With the help of a geriatric specialist, senior citizens can maximize their golden years, and stay healthy for as long as humanly possible!
Contact Your Local Geriatric Doctor Today!
If you or an older loved one need the specialized care that only geriatric medicine can provide, make sure to call your local geriatrician today!
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