Primary Care

Why are annual checkups an essential part of your healthcare plan?

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Annual checkups provide your medical professional with essential information. They not only allow the doctor to monitor your normal day-to-day functions, they can also indicate the presence of abnormalities that may eventually cause greater health issues. Early detection is extremely important, especially if it indicates the presence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or another chronic, long-term illness.

If you normally don't go to the doctor and don't notice any symptoms on a regular basis, your annual checkup can be a lifesaver. Your doctor can use your past medical history to look for potential areas where small problems may arise. This gives you a head start on treatment and keeps small problems from turning into major issues. Early detection also allows your provider to offer you more treatment options than if the condition was caught in later stages.

What is Primary Care?

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Primary Care is the day-to-day healthcare given by a doctor such as us. Typically this provider acts as the first contact and principal point of continuing care for patients and coordinates other specialist care that the patient may need.

What role do we play?

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Early detection offers an advantage because, it allows a routine physical examination to uncover any future or current possibilities of health issues. This is good because your health will be documented and be noticed sooner to keep your health up to standard.   

Cardiology

What is Cardiology?

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 Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory system. The field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology. 

What tests are used to evaluate the health of your heart?

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If you’ve been diagnosed with any type of heart disease, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of tests that are used to monitor how well your heart functions and where potential problems may be. A few of the most common tests used in cardiology include:

  • Cardiac diagnostics
  • Echocardiograms
  • Arterial Doppler
  • Venous Doppler
  • The use of a Holter monitor
  • Stress tests

Each test offers different information that provides your provider with an accurate view of how your heart is functioning. Most tests can be performed in less than an hour, while others may take several hours to complete, especially if the doctor wants to see your heart under stress as well as at rest.

What does an echocardiogram show?

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An echocardiogram shows many different things. It provides the doctor information about various parts of your heart (walls, valves, chambers, etc.), as well as its overall structure and movement. It also gives the doctor an indication of the size of your heart. If your heart is enlarged or surrounded by fatty tissue, you may be at a higher risk for a heart attack than if it’s normal size.

Your provider can use an echocardiogram in conjunction with Doppler ultrasound to show how blood moves through your heart, veins, and arteries. This can indicate any areas where blockages may be present.

Nephrology

What is it?

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 Nephrology is a specialty of medicine and pediatrics that concerns itself with the kidneys: the study of normal kidney function and kidney disease, the preservation of kidney health, and the treatment of kidney disease, from diet and medication to renal replacement therapy 

What health conditions affect the kidneys?

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Your kidneys help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and filter wastes from your bloodstream. While lupus and polycystic kidney disease can harm your kidneys, hypertension and diabetes are the two most common sources of long-term damage. A dramatic increase in blood pressure can damage the blood vessels that feed the kidneys and allow them to function efficiently. When the blood vessels can no longer supply the kidneys with what they need to function, chronic renal disease occurs.

Diabetes also stresses the blood vessels, causing excessive wear and tear and reducing their ability to carry blood to the kidneys. When the kidneys are no longer able to filter wastes from the blood, they will continue to build up inside them causing irreversible damage. Chronic renal failure is often the result.

How is chronic kidney disease treated?

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For many, treating the underlying cause of the kidney disease will help to reduce the stress placed on the kidneys. High blood pressure medications and cholesterol medications are used to improve both the quality of the blood and its flow to the kidneys. If diabetes is a factor, regulating your blood sugar levels will also reduce the amount of stress and pressure the kidneys deal with on a daily basis.

In the advanced stages of chronic kidney, or renal, disease, the most common form of treatment is dialysis. Dialysis involves running your blood through an exterior dialysis machine that filters out the toxins that the kidneys can no longer remove. If your renal disease becomes severe, one of our specialists may recommend a kidney transplant.