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Happy New Year!


    The Office will be closed on Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th


      The Importance of Getting a DOT Physical

      Driving a commercial motor vehicle can be tough. The Department of Transportation requires that employers who are professional truck drivers or bus drivers get a physical to test their vision, blood pressure, and their overall medical history. The test ensures that drivers are able to operate commercial motor vehicles for public safety.

    • Firstly, there’s a vision test which tests your eyesight and ability to identify colors. Since you’ll be driving, recognizing signs and signals is important, you want to make sure that you are able to do so. Next is a hearing test to see how someone can hear with or without hearing aids. “A driver must be able to hear a forced whisper from less than five feet away,” according to DOCS Medical. There’s also a urinalysis, a blood pressure/pulse rate test, and a physical exam. Overall DOT Physicals help everyone on the road stay safe.
    • Although the test does seem easy to pass, you can fail for both reasons in and out of your control. If you have high blood pressure, epilepsy, missing extremities, cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, diabetes, poor eyesight or hearing, or a psychiatric disease, you might be deemed unable to drive commercial motor vehicles. There are some things that can be improved, for example eyesight and hearing. If you do fail, ask your doctor why you failed. Once you are aware of the reason why, ask them if there is anything you can do to pass the next time. If the reason that you failed is out of your control, you might be able to receive an exemption through proving that you can operate a commercial motor vehicle.
    • East Cary Family Physicians offers a DOT physical exam for only $100 (not covered by insurance and will be collected before the appointment.) Schedule an appointment now at or call at (919) – 200 – 6587.


        3 Reasons Why You Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

        As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be approved for all age groups, there is a growing hesitancy to get vaccinated. At ECFP we care about our patients and would like to keep them safe through educating and providing the care they need. We are strong believers in the COVID-19 vaccine and here are a few reasons why:

        1. The vaccine can prevent you from getting sick since it works with your immune system to fight off any potential viruses. With all vaccines, the body is left with memory B and T cells to fight off the disease if they encounter it again. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines which mean that they contain information to create replica spike proteins from COVID-19 which our body learns to fight against. The memory cells remember this and can fight against the spike proteins if they are encountered again.
        1. If not for yourself, do it for others. Getting vaccinated can help others in your community feel safer since they will be less likely to catch the disease. According to the CDC, “early data show the vaccines do help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19.”
        1. Vaccinations can help us return to a sense of normalcy with increased immunity to the nasty virus. Everyone is growing tired of staying at home and we can help end quarantine by getting vaccinated! If you’re ready to get back to normal, get vaccinated now!

        Visit or call (919) – 200 – 6587 to learn more!


          What can & can’t Celiacs eat?

          It can be a bit tricky for Celiacs to figure out which food to take or not. So, in this article, we would like to provide adequate information on this.

          Why Celiacs cannot eat everything?

          Do you know what are the causes of celiac disease? It is usually triggered due to the intake of a protein called gluten. A protein that is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Even a small amount of gluten can trigger this problem. There is yet no medication for it. But its symptoms can be prevented by changing the diet. If gluten is removed from the diet, the intestine starts to heal. If this disease is not diagnosed it can cause digestive issues, lymphoma, and some rare type of intestinal cancer. The earlier it is diagnosed the faster the healing process. People with celiac might experience diarrhea, bloating, gas, anemia, and also growth issues. 

          Which food ingredients should Celiacs avoid?

          Here are some foods gluten celiac patients should avoid at all costs: 

          1. Wheat 
          2. Rye 
          3. Barley 
          4. Triticale 
          5. Malt 
          6. Wheat starch 
          7. Brewer’s yeast 

          If you are a celiac, take care that you do not eat any food item which contains these ingredients. It can be difficult at first. But once you’ve figured it out once, you can plan your meals accordingly with dishes that are devoid of these. 

          Which are the celiac disease foods to avoid?

          Besides being careful of the ingredients, just ensure you do not go for any of these as they contain gluten, and you can be allergic to them:

          1. Beer 
          2. Bread, cereals  
          3. Desserts, soups 
          4. Crackers, flour tortillas 
          5. French fries, Pasta 
          6. Sauces, soups 
          7. Candy bars, drink mixers 

          What should Celiacs take? Celiacs might be deficient in some vitamins like B12, calcium, and vitamin D. But the absence of zinc, folic acid, and carnitine can take its place in producing energy. Chances of malfunction are huge, so a proper diet with the absence of such allergic proteins should be acknowledged. Usually, healthy foods are gluten-free like fruits, vegetables, legumes, animal protein, nuts, and seeds. So, you can easily include them in your diet. 


            Covid Vaccine in RTP, NC

            Currently the following groups are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine:

            • Healthcare workers at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 
            • Long-term care residents and staff 
            • People 75 years of age and older

            Eventually, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to receive one. Find out when you will be eligible here.

            Schedule your appointment at UNC if you fall in the above category.

            East Cary Family Physicians will keep its patient base informed on when the clinic will get COVID vaccines and how their patients will receive them. Stay safe and tuned!


              Protecting Your Skin This Summer: Sun Exposure, Poison Ivy, and Ticks

              As the weather becomes warmer and stay-at-home orders are lifted, we are all anxious to get outside, whether that means going to a park, the pool, or on a hike. With increased outdoor exposure comes increased risk for conditions such as excess sun exposure, poison ivy, and tick-borne illnesses. Below is some information on prevention and treatment of each of these conditions.

              Sun Exposure

              Excess sun exposure is very common during the summer months due to increased time outdoors. Sun exposure is highest between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm during the summer, but it is important to take precautions at any time of the day because excess sun exposure can put you at risk for skin damage. Skin damage from the sun can occur in as little as 15 minutes, and can lead to cancer. You can reduce the risk of sun exposure by wearing sunscreen SPF 15 or above, spending time in the shade, and wearing long sleeves, long pants, a hat, and sunglasses. Sunscreen wears off over time, so if you plan on being outside for more than 2 hours make sure that you reapply after 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. Some drugs can increase your risk for sensitivity to sunlight and getting a sunburn, so check with your healthcare provider to see if you are at particularly high risk.

              Poison Ivy

              If you are hiking or gardening, chances are you may come in contact with poison ivy, whether that is via direct contact with the plant, plant oils, or plant particles in the air. Signs and symptoms of poison ivy include: red rash, bumps, patches, streaking, blisters, swelling, and itching. A poison ivy rash can be quite uncomfortable and usually requires a visit with a healthcare provider for treatment with antihistamines and a prescription-strength steroid cream. An important thing to keep in mind is that the oil from the poison ivy plant is the cause of the rash and irritation, so when you think you have been exposed to poison ivy, it is important to wash everything with soap and water. This includes clothing, shoes, gardening equipment, and most importantly, skin. You can prevent poison ivy rashes by wearing long sleeves and pants when going outdoors and washing everything thoroughly after a day outside.


              After hiking or spending time in a wooded area it is important to check your skin for ticks because some ticks may be infected with tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If you notice a tick, remove the tick using tweezers and clean the area with soap and water. Symptoms of tick-borne illnesses include body aches, fever, fatigue, joint pain, and rash. If you have any of these symptoms and/or possible exposure to a tick, it is important that you see your healthcare provider. These diseases must be treated with antibiotics


                COVID-19 and Kawasaki Disease: What Parents Need to Know

                News coverage of COVID-19 and its impact on the world have dominated the headlines. Until recently, children were thought to be not significantly affected. This has changed after there were reports from the United Kingdom of a small number of cases of critically ill children presenting with unusual symptoms.

                Within a few weeks, clusters of sick kids with, what is being called, “Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome” or PMIS, started to appear in New York City and several other states. Some of these cases resembled a rare inflammatory illness called Kawasaki Disease.

                What Is Kawasaki Disease?

                Kawasaki Disease is a rare inflammatory disease that causes blood vessels to become inflamed or swollen throughout the body. We do not know what causes Kawasaki Disease. More than 80% of the children who get it are younger than 5 years of age.

                The hallmark of Kawasaki Disease is a persistent high fever (over 101°F) for at least 4 days in addition to rash, redness to eyes, lips/tongue, swelling and redness to hands/feet and neck swelling. Kawasaki Disease Shock Syndrome is a rare form of this disease characterized by severe inflammation resulting in a child becoming critically ill.

                What Is Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) and Why Do Doctors Think This Is Related to COVID-19?

                On April 27, 2020 the United Kingdom released a statement describing a number of children who were presenting critically ill. They had some clinical features of Kawasaki Disease and Kawasaki Disease Shock Syndrome.

                Soon after, multiple reports of cases came from across Europe and in the United States. Some PMIS patients were found to carry the virus causing COVID-19 and some had proteins in their body showing that they previously had the infection. A significant number of patients were exposed to someone with COVID-19 infection.

                A key finding of PMIS is evidence of severe inflammation, which is similar to Kawasaki Disease and like Kawasaki Disease, children with PMIS also have high fevers and can present with red eyes, and rash. However, PMIS patients tend to be older than typical Kawasaki Disease patients. Some of their blood tests, including markers of inflammation, are more abnormal than patients with Kawasaki disease.

                Severe abdominal pain and diarrhea is another common complaint with PMIS. So far, we know the similarities between these two diseases, but we do not have sufficient information to fully understand the differences.

                At this time, we do recommend seeking medical evaluation with your primary care doctor if your child has persistent fevers over 101°F as well as severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or rash that could not be explained by another cause.

                Call East Cary Family Physicians to seek an appointment. Also note that ECFP is providing Tele-Health option for health visits.


                  Build Immunity by eating Right Foods

                  With coronavirus Covid-19 being the talk of the day, much is being said about staying as safe and healthy as possible. Eating immune-boosting foods is key to living a healthy lifestyle. That’s because, with every bite, you’re helping your body fight off viruses, infections, and diseases.

                  Ofcourse, hand-washing remains your best defense against picking up viruses, and sleep is a crucial component of a strong defense too.

                  It is believed that a good balance of right food can help you stay healthy. So, what you eat does play a role in your ability to ward off colds and flu. Though it doesn’t boil down to just one or two foods, the nutrients and other compounds found in your daily diet have an impact on how weak or strong your immunity is. Here are some eating habits that can help you stay fit and immune:

                  • Eat fruits & vegetables every day: Produce contains key vitamins involved in the immune system.
                    • Vitamin C in foods like strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and citrus, helps immune system cells function, including phagocytes (the kind that engulfs potentially harmful particles).
                    • Vitamin A helps keep tissues in the mouth, intestines, and respiratory tract healthy and is found in sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and cantaloupe.
                    • Vitamin E, which is found in nuts, especially almonds, is another cold-fighting vitamin that doesn’t get the attention it should. If you eat a half cup of them, about 46 almonds total, you will have 100% of your daily recommendation of vitamin E. Remember that eating the actual fruit or veggie is better than popping single-vitamin supplements since it’s likely that all the components in the food interact to offer protection.
                  • Get plenty of protein: Getting too little protein can weaken your immune system. Protein-rich foods supply the amino acids you need to build essential proteins in the body, including antibodies. Animal foods like beef and pork also contain zinc, a mineral that your body uses to make t-cells (you can find zinc in cashews and chickpeas too). Asian Vegetarians can include a protein like dals, pulses (sprouted), paneer, curd, nuts and seeds.
                  • Include fermented foods: These are foods that are naturally preserved by bacteria, and they’re good for the “microbiome”. That’s the name for the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut, where a lot of cells involved in immunity actually reside. Fermented foods like yogurt (look for the term “live and active cultures” on the label), kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi help beneficial bacteria flourish in the gut, leaving less room for harmful bugs.
                  • Season your meals: The culinary cabinet has a variety of spices that have significant antibacterial and anti-fungal advantages — such as ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. They have all been researched for intriguing capabilities as anti-microbials, anti-inflammatories, and cell-protecting antioxidants. They’re not magic cure-alls, and popping them in the form of pills isn’t the same as eating the real deal. But adding flavor to foods with these ingredients means you’re getting even more beneficial compounds in the meals you eat every day.

                  Talk to a provider at ECFP if you have any questions regarding your immunity.


                    Coronavirus (COVID-19): Everything You Need to Know

                    What is the coronavirus?

                    When we think of coronavirus, we think of the outbreak that is currently happening. However, there are common strains of the virus that usually cause mild to moderate upper respiratory illnesses. In fact, most people are infected with a coronavirus at least once in their lifetime. The strains of coronavirus that appear in the news are the highly infectious and aggressive mutations that cause severe outbreaks and symptoms, such as SARS in 2003, MERS in 2012, and the current outbreak of COVID-19.

                    How does COVID-19 spread?

                    Currently, we know that COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets, where an infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets are inhaled by another person. It is thought that a person is most contagious when they are most symptomatic, but there is some evidence that spread is possible before symptoms exist.

                    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

                    The primary symptoms of the virus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms range from mild to severe illness and death. At this time, the CDC believes that symptoms may appear between 2-14 days after exposure.

                    How do you know if you have COVID-19 or Influenza?

                    In the United States, the risk of getting COVID-19 is currently low; it is much more likely that a person is infected with Influenza. If you recently traveled to China, or another country that has reported infections, or were recently in the presence of someone that was diagnosed with COVID-19, please call East Cary Family Physicians and inform them of your exposure. While we want to be aware of your health status, currently only hospitals are able to test for COVID-19 so you will be referred for testing if we deem necessary. If you do not have any known exposures, it is likely that you have Influenza and you can make an appointment at East Cary Family Physicians to test for Influenza.

                    How do you prevent infection?

                    Currently, no vaccine exists to prevent COVID-19. If you or someone you know is sick, it is important to use the same precautions you would use for other respiratory viruses, including: avoiding close contact with those who are sick; staying home when you are sick; cleaning surfaces with a household cleaning spray; wearing a facemask if you are sick; and washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.