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FAQs About Your Cholesterol Levels!

Knowing the facts about cholesterol can reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

But understanding what cholesterol is and how it affects your health are only the beginning.

In order to keep your cholesterol levels under control:

  • Schedule a screening
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Consume foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats and free of trans fats
  • Follow your health care professional’s advice (Cholesterol Control)

Here are FAQs about cholesterol:

What does cholesterol mean?

Cholesterol is a fat like substance that is found in the cells of humans and animals. Cholesterol is also found in blood circulation of human beings.

How do we make the cholesterol?

There are two major sources of cholesterol; one is from dietary intake and the other from your liver. You will get dietary cholesterol from fish, poultry, dairy products and meat.

Liver is one of the types of organ meats, which is high in cholesterol. After having the meal, your intestines absorb the cholesterol and then transferred into the blood. It is then stored inside as a protein coat. This cholesterol-protein coat complex is called as chylomicron.

Liver has a great role in removing the cholesterol from your blood and also manufacture new cholesterol and store into your blood circulation.

After having the meal, liver removes the chylomicrons from your blood and in between the meals, again liver manufactures new cholesterol and secretes into your blood circulation.

What are HDL and LDL cholesterols?

HDL cholesterol or high density lipoprotein is good cholesterol. These cholesterol particles help to prevent atherosclerosis by collecting cholesterol from your arterial walls and the liver disposes them.

LDL cholesterol or low density lipoprotein is bad cholesterol and LDL is linked to high risk of coronary heart disease. LDL particles places cholesterol on your arterial walls thus leading to the formation of thick or hard substance called as cholesterol plaque.

This cholesterol plaque thickens your arterial walls and narrow downs the arteries, which is a process called as atherosclerosis.

Your total cholesterol is the sum of HDL (high density) cholesterol, LDL (low density) cholesterol, IDL (immediate density) cholesterol and VLDL (very low density) cholesterol.

Is high cholesterol can be a health risk?

High cholesterol narrows your arterial walls and the walls become less flexible thus reducing the blood flow. Reduced blood flow clogs the arteries, and then you can have a heart attack or stroke.

When should I start checking my cholesterol levels?

All people over the age of 20 should have regular cholesterol screening for every five years. Studies suggested that you should have your cholesterol checked if:

  • Your total cholesterol level exceeds 200 mg/dl
  • Your HDL is less than 40 mg/dl
  • You are a woman over 50 or man over 45
  • You have other risk factors for heart disease or stroke

How often should I check my cholesterol levels?

Depending on the results and your overall risk, you should start checking your cholesterol levels regularly for every one to five years.

How Important It Is To Monitor Your Blood Pressure?

Monitoring blood pressure is very much important for everyone’s life. High blood pressure is the silent killer for everyone’s life.

Though you won’t experience any prior symptoms, high blood pressure can lead to sudden heart attacks or strokes. This is the reason, monitoring high blood pressure is so important. It may be the only way you can catch your high blood pressure before it is too late.

How to monitor your blood pressure?

There are various ways through which blood pressure can be monitored. Consult any nearest clinic to monitor your blood pressure.

Otherwise, you can buy a quality blood pressure monitor from a local drug store to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis. Otherwise, make regular appointments with your doctor to have your blood pressure monitored (Blood Pressure Monitoring).

High blood pressure in women:

Your doctor will diagnose you with hypertension if you consistently have a blood pressure reading of 140 over 90 or any higher reading. Your doctor might schedule you for frequent appointments with a nurse if you have high blood pressure.

In various cases, you might not know you have high blood pressure until you receive an abnormal reading as part of a standard checkup.

Women with high blood pressure usually notice symptoms like headaches, dizziness, visual problems, fluttering heart or feeling out of breath when lying down. You should immediately consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Sudden onset of nose bleeds
  • Sudden confusion
  • Numbness
  • Most severe headache of your life

In very rare cases, up to 1% of the people experience malignant hypertension. This can lead to swelling of the optic nerve.

High blood pressure in men:

Hypertension in men can lead to various problems such as:

  • High blood pressure can cause severe fatigue and also memory issues such as confusion.
  • Men with high blood pressure may also have andropause, which is due to a shift or loss in male hormones.
  • Men with erectile dysfunction may also suffer from high blood pressure. Research has showed a strong relation between hypertension and erectile dysfunction.
  • Shortness of breathe is another symptom of high blood pressure.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should immediately consult an urgent care doctor.

Diagnostic Tests For Chronic Respiratory Diseases!

Chronic respiratory diseases are chronic diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. Among those, the most common illnesses include: respiratory allergies, asthma, occupational lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary hypertension.

The most important risk factors for preventable chronic respiratory diseases include:

  • Indoor air pollution
  • Allergens
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Occupational risks
  • Outdoor pollution

Nowadays, hundreds of millions of people are suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. According to the recent studies, presently 210 million people are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 300 million people from asthma, and millions of people from allergic rhinitis.

Respiratory system has a great role in our body. Not only it supplies oxygen to various cells of the body, but also it washouts the wastages, supplies air required for speech and filters out infectious agents. So, it is very much essential to protect our respiratory system in all aspects.

In order to investigate your chronic respiratory diseases, you need to undergo one or more of the following tests:

Pulmonary function test: It is a group of tests used to evaluate how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the lungs.

Chest X-ray: This test is used to diagnose the conditions that affect your chest, its content and nearby structures. It generates the image of your chest.

Bronchoscopy: This method is used to observe inside of your airways for therapeutic and diagnostic purpose. In this procedure, an instrument is placed in your airways through mouth or nose. With the help of this test, your practitioner can observe the abnormalities of your airways like bleeding, foreign bodies, inflammation or tumors.

Computed tomography scan: CT scan is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. This type of digital geometry processing is used to produce a three-dimensional image of the inside of your body from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis.

Biopsy: In this procedure cells or tissues are removed from the lung or pleura for examination. This method helps to find out the presence of the disease. The cells are examined under a microscope and also analyzed chemically.

Ultrasound: This method is used to detect fluid such as pleural effusion.

Ventilation – Perfusion scan: It is used to evaluate circulation of blood and air within your lungs. Perfusion part assesses how well the blood circulates within the lungs, whereas ventilation part observes whether the air reaches all parts of the lungs or not.

Culture of microorganisms: This method is used to determine the cause of infectious diseases. For instance, your throat culture is taken by scratching the lining of tissue in the back of your throat and blotting the sample into a media to be able to screen for harmful microorganisms, like streptococcus pyogenes, the causative means of strep throat.

To get tested, visit any of your nearest urgent care doctor . Screening tests help to recognize the disease in advance and allows to get treated earlier.

7 Upper Respiratory Infection FAQs!

Upper respiratory infection (URI) is also known as common cold, one of the most common illnesses that lead to more doctor visits and absences from school and work than any other illness (Treating Respiratory Problems).

Studies calculated that, in the US, every year people will suffer one billion colds. Cold is often due to a virus that inflames the membranes in the lining of the nose and throat, colds can be the result of more than 200 different viruses. Among all the cold viruses, coronaviruses and coronaviruses cause majority of the colds.

When is the cold season?

Children are more prone to get colds during fall and winter, starting in late August or early September until March or April. Higher incidence of common colds during this season is due to most of the cold viruses live in low humidity and makes your nasal passages drier and more susceptible to the infection.

How does cold occur?

There are more than 200 different viruses that can cause cold. Rhinovirus is the most common cold virus. Once the virus enters into your body, it starts a reaction. Your immune system starts to react to the foreign virus and can cause:

  • Swelling of the lining of the nose
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Increased mucus production
  • Red, watery, and sore eyes
  • Runny or stuffed up nose
  • Chills and fever
  • Tired or restless
  • Decreased hunger or thirst
  • Headache, body aches, or sore muscles
  • Sore throat, you may become hoarse (lose your voice) for a few days

Is cold different from the flu?

Yes, these are two different illnesses. Cold is harmless and after some period of time, it goes away on its own. But, occasionally, it can lead to secondary infection like ear infection.

Flu can also be a harmless condition, but if untreated it can become more complicated such as pneumonia and may also death.

Who can be at greater risk?

Every year, children suffer from more colds when compared to adults because they have immature immune systems. An average child may have 6-10 colds every year, whereas an average adult can have 2-4 colds every year.

How cold can be diagnosed?

Depending on the reported symptoms, the condition can be diagnosed. But, symptoms of cold are somewhat similar to other conditions such as allergies, bacterial infection and various other medical conditions.

How the condition can be treated?

It is the fact that there is no cure for common colds. Antibiotics that are used only help to relieve the symptoms but they can not treat the cold. So, treatment is only to help with the symptoms. When you consult your medical professional, there are some specific conditions that can be taken into consideration such as:

  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance level to specific medications, therapies or procedures
  • Your age
  • Predictions for the course of the disease

Also, your doctor suggests you to increase the fluid intake as it can make the lining of the nose moist and prevents dehydration.

Are there any complications of having a cold?

Yes, there some complication that a cold can lead to:

  • Pneumonia
  • Ear infection
  • Throat infection
  • Sinus infection

Importance Of Getting Vaccinated

As individuals, vaccination is an important way of preventing development of disease in our bodies and stopping us from being ill from infections.

People who are vaccinated against a disease make it more difficult for the microbe causing the disease to find an unprotected person to infect.

When is flu vaccine available?

Generally, flu vaccines are available between September and mid-November that is typically before the late fall to early winter start of flu season.

Also, getting flu vaccines even later in the flu season may also protect you. After getting vaccination, it takes up to two weeks to build immunity.

Is it essential to get vaccination?

Annual flu protection is essential because the influenza virus changes from one year to another. Even though you got flu vaccine last year, it may not be designed to protect from the virus that exist in this flu season.

Viruses that cause influenza alter so quickly that they can turn into one season’s flu vaccine ineffective by the next year. Every year a committee conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate which strains of influenza virus will be most rampant during the upcoming flu season.

Who should be vaccinated?

CDC recommended that everyone who wants to protect themselves from getting the flu can be vaccinated. Here are some recommendations to get flu vaccine:

  • People along with the school aged children, who want to reduce the risk becoming ill with influenza virus or of transmitting influenza virus to others.
  • All adults of age 50 years or more
  • All children below the age of 19 years
  • All infants between 6-59 months
  • All pregnant women
  • Children and adolescents who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • Children and adults who have metabolic, chronic pulmonary, hepatic, renal, hematological and cardiovascular disorders
  • Children and adults who have any conditions such as: seizure disorders, spinal cord injuries, cognitive dysfunction, and other diseases that can compromise your respiratory system to function improperly or that can increase the risk of aspiration
  • Health-care personnel
  • People who are working in nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
  • People who have a weakened immune system either from some medications or HIV infection
  • Child care workers or health care workers or live with or care for someone at high risk of complications from the flu

Is It Necessary To Get Annual Physicals?

Yes, health physicals or regular annual physical exams are essential to live a healthy lifestyle, to reduce yearly healthcare costs, to prolong your life, and also to offer you great piece of mind. The components of a physical exam vary from one person to another.

Some physical exams are standard; some are especially for women while some are especially for men. Also, tests will vary depending upon the person’s age.

Standard physical examinations for all people:

  • Everyone should carefully monitor their blood pressure during every doctor’s visit.
  • Height should be measured during every visit, because any decrease in height indicates osteoporosis. Also, spinal cord compression can lead to decreased height.
  • Your weight will be measured during every doctor’s visit. Any loss or gain in weight without trying can indicate a serious health problem. Gaining weight can indicate hormonal imbalance, fluid retention, kidney or liver disease, or potential heart. Losing weight can indicate any infection or cancer.
  • Have a blood test. Regular blood tests include blood cell count, blood sugar levels to find whether you have diabetes, blood electrolytes panel to find kidney disorders, thyroid function test to exclude any thyroid problems, and any other early heart disorders.
  • Have chest X-ray. This is essential to identify emphysema, early tuberculosis and lung cancer.
  • You may also receive ECG or electrocardiogram at early ages of 50 to check your heart’s health. After age 50, you should get the test for every 2-3 years.
  • Some other tests include: virtual colonoscopies and various methods that use flexible lighted tubes to discover polyps and tumors in your gastrointestinal tract.

Health physicals for women:

An annual mammogramphy is recommended for women over 40 years or for women who are at higher risk. An early mammogram performed can decrease the chances of developing breast cancer.

Also, regular Pap smear along with pelvic exam is essential for every year to detect cancer of the cervix, STD’s, vaginal cancer and other gynecological concerns.

Testing bone mass is also essential to detect osteoporosis. This is particularly important for menopausal women.

Health physicals for men:

Men once entered into their 50’s should start having regular prostate exam. Prostate exam includes a blood test and prostate specific antigen to identify prostate cancer. If the test results higher levels, then your doctor may recommend a biopsy of the prostate.

So, what are you waiting for. Make an appointment at our urgent care center and have health physicals.

Is It Necessary To Visit Urgent Care For Respiratory Conditions?

Most adults and children have several respiratory problems every year. Respiratory problems that need urgent care are as negligible as common cold or as serious as pneumonia.

Respiratory diseases can affect any of your upper respiratory system elements such as mouth, nose, throat and sinuses and also the lower bronchial tubes and lungs.

There are various types of respiratory infections such as common cold, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and lung diseases such as bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema and other kind of lung disease that is related to work include asbestoses. All these are due to virus or bacteria.

Upper respiratory system infections:

When your upper respiratory system is affected with any of the infections, the most common symptoms you will experience include: slightly uncomfortable, stuffy nose and congested nose.

Some other symptoms of upper respiratory problems that need urgent care include:

  • Sore throat
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Fever that strikes suddenly
  • Restlessness, decreased activity level, poor appetite and irritability
  • Severe coughing, particularly when lying down
  • Stuffy or runny nose that may cause nasal blockages and make you to breathe from the mouth
  • Slight headache

Lower respiratory system infections:

Lungs and bronchial tubes come under the lower respiratory system. Lower respiratory problems are less common when compared to upper respiratory problems, but the symptoms are more severe.

  • Severe coughing that persists whole day and night and leads to produce yellow, gray, green or brown mucus from the lungs.
  • Severe chest pain with exertion or pain while taking deep breathe
  • Chills and high fever that comes along with lower respiratory system problems such as pneumonia
  • Difficulty in breathing, you may also notice: grunting, which is noticed while exhalations, shortness of breathe, flaring the nostrils, breathing by using your chest, abdominal and neck muscles, and wheezing.

When to seek urgent care?

  • If the cold or cough that persist for more than 10 days and that is not relieved by over the counter medications
  • If you have difficulty breathing
  • If you have chills, high fever, severe chest pain and cough with bloody mucus

If you neglect seeking treatment for any of these conditions, viruses that cause the illness can lead to severe bacterial infections of your sinuses and throat. Smoking people are vulnerable to get chronic lung diseases like COPD, asthma and various other chronic medical conditions.

Have your doctor investigate your symptoms to enable a proper diagnosis to be done.

Infectious Conditions That Need A Visit To Urgent Care

Some infections are mildly irritating, while some others are more serious in nature. Infections can affect any part of your body. So, it is very much essential to know various kinds of infections and how they affect your body.

There are some common infections like cold, ear infections, etc. These are mildly irritating, but when they become severe they can irritate a person in a great manner. It is very difficult to list all the infections in one article. This article will give you various categories of infections that need urgent care in some cases.

Skin infections:

There are various kinds of skin infections and most of them can be treated with topical medications. If they can’t give any relief, your urgent care provider will suggest you some oral medications also. But, one thing you should remember is skin infections should be treated as soon as they affect your body. Not only they spread overall skin, but also they spread other parts of your body.

Respiratory infections:

These are the most common among all the infectious diseases such as common cold. Some respiratory infections are most dangerous and affect of these infections depend on age and general health of a person. When the patients are very old or very young, they are at greater risk of these infections.

If the person has any underlying diseases, then he/she may also have some serious complications. Everyone should keep in mind that, anyone can potentially experience these complications. Some of the respiratory infections include sinusitis, bronchitis, and pharyngitis. When these infections become severe, you should visit nearest urgent care center.

Common cold is caused when the virus from one person is transmitted to another person causing irritation and congestion inside the nose; it also causes running nose, headaches and fevers. When these symptoms become sever, you need to consult urgent care doctor.

Yeast infections:

Most commonly yeast infections affect women’s vaginal area. Sometimes they can also affect the person’s mouth. Men too get yeast infections in their genital area. When naturally occurring bacteria become too numerous then yeast infection can erupt. Over-the-counter medications can treat this condition.

If the infection becomes severe, then you need to consult your urgent care provider. In some cases, you need to wait until the infection clears on its own, while in other cases, medicinal intervention can heal your condition.

Urinary tract infections:

These infections can affect your urinary tract. Specific type of infection will depend on the specific part of the urinary tract that the infection occurs. For instance, if the infection occurs in your bladder, then it is called as cystitis, if the infection occurs in the kidneys, then it is called as pyelonephritis.

Some type of medications can treat these conditions. Consult your nearest urgent care provider so that he will advise you to avoid those activities that aggravate your condition.

Flu like infections are caused by viruses that enter into your body. These infections can cause fever, leg pains and muscle aches.

About Apple Urgent Care

Apple Urgent Care is an excellent Urgent Care Service provider. We offer urgent care services for several illnesses. Here you will get a quality care at an affordable price without a long ER wait. We can take care of most of the acute illnesses, minor injuries and physicals.

You can walk into our urgent care center at any time and get treated promptly. Some of the illnesses that we treat at our urgent care include:

  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Fever
  • Minor breaks and sprains
  • Infections
  • Minor cuts and burns
  • Insect bites
  • Diarrhea and vomiting and rashes
  • Dislocations
  • Moderate pain
  • Earaches

What Needs A Visit To Urgent Care?

Urgent care is a medically necessary treatment that is required for an illness or injury, which would not result in further disability or death if not treated immediately, but it needs medical attention and has the potential to develop such a threat if treatment is delayed longer than 24 hours.

Urgent care is necessary when you have a sprain, rising temperature or sore throat. Consider urgent care center when you need more than a first aid kit but less than an emergency room.

Illnesses that require urgent care include:

  • Colds, cough and flu
  • Allergy and asthma
  • Sprains and strains
  • Eye and ear problems
  • Pain in your back, stomach and pelvis
  • Strep and sore throat
  • Skin rashes, bruises and bites
  • Muscle pains and aches
  • Urinary and bladder problems
  • Diarrhea, vomiting and nausea
  • Upper respiratory problems

Nowadays, urgent care has become quite popular. Usually, it is preferred for minor illnesses, which do not require a visit to the emergency room. Urgent care services are similar to a doctor’s office.

Most of the hospitals now run urgent care clinics, which are close to the emergency room.

Most of the people like urgent care because:

  • It doesn’t need an appointment
  • Urgent care centers are also open outside of the normal business hours. This will be useful sudden illness or injuries that happen at night or on weekends.
  • It is helpful for those parents who work throughout the day and find their children are sick when they come to home.
  • There is short waiting time for urgent care service than the overcrowded emergency room or physician’s room. As urgent care services mainly focus on care for acute illnesses, the wait time is often between 20-30 minutes.
  • Also, urgent care services have an advantage over the regular physician’s office when it comes to diagnostic testing. Often they are equipped with X-ray machines to diagnose the breaks and fractures.