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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.

Ticks

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Brain Health and Cell Phone Usage Reveal an Unseen Problem

The hidden impacts of Electromotive Force (EMF)

Migraine headaches are not uncommon, but they are tending to occur more these days. Cell phone use is at an all time high, and the occurrence of migraines has also increased. While cell phone use cannot be directly linked to migraines, there are unusual problems showing up that can link overuse of cell phones to such symptoms as neck pain, migraine headaches and mental lethargy.

How does cell phone use impact the brain?

The human brain takes in and gives off frequencies that send and receive signals. The frequency of a brain wave is always within a certain frequency for the purpose of receiving information, creating a feedback and replying to information. Wireless signals that come in through a cell phone contain what is called an electromagnetic frequency that resonates differently than normal brain wave patterns. An oversupply of these frequencies can result in a misfiring of the brain’s natural circuits.

This is important for you to know because you may experience some unusual symptoms that you cannot attach to any other physical problem. If you use your cell phone and make calls with the phone to your ear, you could experience a sensation of heat on your face, almost like a fever. If you live your life on your smart phone you may experience headaches even when you are not putting the cellphone to your face. These are all possible symptoms of EMF sensitivity.

Damage to the Neck and Related Neck Pain

Another problem that is showing up among people who use their cellphone several hours a day is unexplained neck pain and bone spurs. The angle at which you bend your neck down to answer a text or scroll through social media, is not conducive to optimal positioning of the head and neck. The skull is very heavy so constantly bending your neck forward can cause unexplained shoulder and neck issues.

There is probably no way to slow down the use of cellphones because they provide a means to communicate and entertain, but, to stay totally healthy, you should consider monitoring your time looking at your cellphone at an odd angle.

Avoiding Damage from Too Much Cell Phone Usage

The brain is a sending and receiving unit in the human body. Frequencies that do not match the optimal frequency of the brain, can cause an obvious misfiring and can result in symptoms from migraine headaches to the feeling of having whiplash. Here are three ways you can start to preserve your health by paying attention to the signs of too much cell phone use.

  1. Charge your cellphone at night, away from your body. One of the habits of people who use their cellphone too much, is to charge the phone’s battery near them at night. While having an alarm on your phone or the ability to listen to music is tempting, the phone still puts out electromagnet frequencies. Further, the constant notifications from the phone can prevent you from getting good sleep.
  2. Use earbuds when possible. Putting a cellphone directly on your face can cause your face to feel hot and your body to feel overheated. A good idea to mitigate damages from this action, is to get a good set of earbuds so the actual phone is not close enough to your skin to create an impact. There are many types of earbuds that can help you stay away from Electromagnetic Frequencies of cellphones.
  3. Finally, take care of the blue light that comes from a phone when you are in the dark. There are settings on your phone that regulate light, so you are not putting bright, white light into your eyes. The over exposure of this light has been linked to eyestrain and headaches.

Cell phones are valuable tools but the signals they emit can be harmful to you. If you experience migraines more when you have been on your phone for a long period of time, it may be time to exercise some new habits to keep you healthy. For serious pains, contact East Cary Family Physicians

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Cold and Flu: Knowing About Symptoms and Precautions

Flu and cold both are respiratory illnesses which are result of infection caused by different viruses. It becomes very difficult for a common man to differentiate between them because both are having almost similar symptoms. Generally cold affects a person milder rather than flu and stuffy nose can be seen but symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, headache, high fever, extreme tiredness, sore throat, body aches and others are associated with flu complications. All these symptoms and other health issues can be better examined under services of East Cary Family Physicians and cured with best Family Physician in Cary.

Prevention is always the best step to take care of our health so to protect ourselves from cold and flu we should be more careful about personal hygiene and should take some precautionary measures also. Generally cold and flu both are contagious and a person should avoid close and direct contact with infected person. Respiratory droplets of infected person carry the viruses and can affect others. So if you are suffering from flu and having some other queries then consult with reliable and experienced medical professionals at East Cary Family Physicians.

Flu can affect any person but adults who are above 65 years, small children, people with weak immune system are prone to this. Any person who is suffering from heart and lung disease needs to be more careful about flu and should take necessary precautions. Generally flu gets recovered within few days or up to two weeks but unfortunately if it is not being properly cared then some people might have serious complications. Pneumonia is the result of flu one such serious complication and others can be life threatening also which can cause death. Consulting with Doctor in Cary is the best way to deal with such health issues.

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5 most common causes of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Blood pressure is the force that the blood puts when it flows from the heart to the other parts of your body through the arteries (blood carriers). And, high blood pressure is a situation when this pressure goes beyond a specific limit and remains high for a long time. Uncontrolled blood pressure may cause many health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and even death.

When there is no cause for high blood pressure, it is called primary or essential hypertension. On the other hand, if it is caused due to any specific medicine you have been taking lately, it is known as secondary hypertension.

Symptoms

Hypertension is often called “The Silent Killer” as it doesn’t have any specific sign. However, some people experience severe headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, visual changes, and nosebleeds when their blood pressure gets very high over a period of time. Therefore, it is recommended to visit Primary Care in Cary or any other physician, near you for a regular check-up of your blood pressure.

Causes

1.Diet

Having a diet that is high in salt, fat, or cholesterol can cause hypertension. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), your daily salt intake should be under 5 g to decrease the risk of this problem. Moreover, it is also advised to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

2.Family History

If your parents and other close relatives have high blood pressure, then you may also suffer from this problem. Don’t forget to do a routine check-up to avoid this health issue.

3.Stress

Stress can also cause high blood pressure. Doing meditation and yoga can help you relieve from the stress, and thus, avoiding hypertension.

4.Alcohol

Consuming moderate to excessive alcohol and the use of Tobacco can also lead to this problem.

5.Obesity

Being obese or overweight may also cause high blood pressure. Follow a healthy lifestyle and increase physical excuse to deal with it.

If you think you are suffering from hypertension, then simply write doctors near me in any of the search engines and choose a reliable and experienced medical professional, from the results displayed, to diagnose and treat hypertension. You can directly contact Family Physicians in Morrisville who are best to get the treatment of hypertension.

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What is epilepsy and how to treat it?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that leads to recurrent and unpredictable seizures and loss of awareness. Affecting both males and females of all ages, epilepsy can be diagnosed if there are at least two unprovoked seizures.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Epilepsy may include temporary confusion, staring anything blankly for a few seconds, twitching in arms or legs, unconsciousness, and anxiety. A person with this problem will likely have the same kind of seizure every time, which means the symptoms will also be similar.

Diagnoses

To find out the cause of the seizures, your doctor may ask you to get several tests done. To evaluate this chronic disorder, you might have to do go for a neurological exam, different blood tests, Electroencephalogram (EEG), High-density EEG, Computerized tomography (CT) scan, Positron emission tomography (PET), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Functional MRI (fMRI), or Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT).

To find the exact position of the seizure in the brain, your doctor may use the following techniques:

  • Curry analysis
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • Statistical parametric mapping (SPM)

Treatment

This chronic disorder is usually treated with anti-seizure (anti-epileptic) medication; however, it may also have side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, the problem in speaking, and more. The doctor may also performsurgery to check the origin of the seizure and to determine other factors. Some of the common types of surgeries that can be performed include:

  • Focal resection
  • Lesionectomy
  • Multiple Subpial Transections
  • Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy
  • Anatomical or Functional Hemispherectomy and Hemispherotomy
  • Corpus Callosotomy
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery
  • Neurostimulation Device Implantations

Apart from the surgeries and medications, epilepsy can also be treated by therapies such as Vagus nerve stimulation, Ketogenic diet, and Deep brain stimulation.

How to control seizures?

Merely by making a little change to your lifestyle, you can control seizures. It is advised you never to skip your medicines, get proper sleep (at least 6 hours in a day), wear a medical alert bracelet, avoid alcohol & cigarettes, and do some physical exercise.

To know more about epilepsy and seizures, contact the best doctors in Cary or the city you are living in.

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HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE ALZHEIMER WITHOUT VISITING A DOCTOR?

This World Alzheimer’s Month, let’s spread awareness about Alzheimer, a disease that causes memory loss and other mental abilities. Here, in this article, we have mentioned five early symptoms of this progressive brain disorder which are described by best physicians in Cary.

1) Gradual Memory LossOne of the most common signs of this neurological disease is a slow decline in memory and reasoning skills. People suffering from this problem forget recently learned things, important dates, events, and also ask the same question over and over.
2) Problems while doing daily chores or tasks People in the early stage of this disease often find it difficult to complete their daily tasks or going to familiar locations. For example- they forget organizing a grocery list or where they have kept things in their home.
3) Trouble while writing or speaking words Finding it difficult to write or speak words during a conversation is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer. People living with this brain disorder may struggle with vocabulary or may stop in the middle of a conversation with no idea of what they were talking about.
4) Poor JudgmentThose who have Alzheimer may experience problems while making decisions. For instance, they may judge poorly while dealing with money. Some people living with this common type of dementia may also find it problematic to keep track of monthly bills. Concentrating or focusing on certain things is yet another issue with people having Alzheimer.
5) Confusion with time People living with Alzheimer can forget seasons, dates, or passage of time. Some even fail to recall where they are and how they reached there.
If you observe any of these symptoms, then schedule an appointment with East Cary Family Physicians, one of the prominent names in the healthcare industry.

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4 COMMON FALL-ALLERGENS AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM?

Want to know the types of fall-allergens and how to fight them? Check out the information given below:

1) Ragweed Ragweed blooms in August and leads to allergic symptoms in September. You would be surprised to know that even a single plant of this can produce around 1 billion grains of pollen per season. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Ragweed affects approximately 75% of the people who are susceptible to springtime allergies.

Way to prevent – Avoid going outside, especially from mid-margining to early noon. It is also recommended to keep your windows closed and remove your shoes as well as jackets out. Search for the physicians near me to connect to a doctor and know which mask would go perfect for filtering pollen.
2) Mold and Mildew These two types of allergens grow throughout the year, but they increase on the damp areas such as the basement, kitchen, etc. They also grow on wet and fallen leaves and don’t get killed by the frost. However, they get dormant during the winter season.

Way to prevent – Do not let piles of fallen leaves accumulate in your yard. Moreover, keep your gutters clean and yard-waste piles away from your place. While cleaning the leaves, make sure you opt for all the preventive measures so that the allergens don’t stick on your clothes.
3) Dust mites These are flakes of the human skin that shed naturally and spread around the home. These flakes automatically die when the temperature goes high, or humidity drops to 70%.

Way to prevent – Clean the air vents before switching the central heating unit on for the first time. Use dust-proof covers for your mattress and pillows. Get a dehumidifier to maintain the level of humidity
4) Pet Dander Pet Dander is the dead skin of your pet dog or cat or any other animal, which causes seasonal allergies. These are caused by fur, saliva, and urine of the animals.

Way to prevent – If you know you have an allergy then maintain a distance from your pet. Make sure your pet bathes and grooms regularly.
Those suffering from any of these allergies can visit one of the best physicians (ECFP) in Cary or any other family care physicians to get the right medication and treatment.