Watch out for that Poison Ivy!

Way too often do I have patients coming in with poison ivy or poison oak rashes. These plants can be found surrounding many of our yards, parks or paths during hikes. They cause an extremely itchy, oozing and blistering rash. The best way to prevent getting in contact with these plants is to know what to look for and how to avoid them. An easy way to distinguish Poison ivy and Poison Oak from other plants is that they have 3 leaves, so remember “leaves of three, let it be!

Here is a link with pictures and more descriptions of the plants. It is important to know that the oils that come from the plants are what make our skin react. If you know you have come in contact with the plant immediately wash your clothes and clean your skin thoroughly with soap and water. If the oils come in contact with anything like your shoes, sheets, or couches, the oils can then touch a new area of your body or someone else’s and spread the rash. So make sure to clean quickly and thoroughly! If you start to notice an unusual rash on your body make sure to come in to our office so we can treat you if necessary. To learn more tips about poisonous plants click on the link!

Save Your Child’s Life With A Sports Physical Exam

As a parent you never want to see your child suffer. As a parent of an athlete you have to be prepared for injuries. Many people do not understand the importance of a sports physical. A sports physical is very important for your child to have before they start a new sport or exercise regimen because it can save your child from serious injury and even death. Imagine your high school student on the soccer field, playing the best game of his life, and all of a sudden he collapses. Everyone rushes to his side but he has already passed from cardiac arrest. This is happening more and more. This and other injuries can be avoided with a sports physicals.

Sports Physical Exam

Where can your child get a sports physicals? Med-Ped Healthcare has a team of medical experts who are dedicated to making sure that your child gets a thorough sports physical. The doctors at Med-Ped Health Care provide professionalism, education, and expertise at an affordable price. There are two parts to a sports physicals:

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION 
During a physical examination, your doctor will ask your child questions about use of street drugs, steroids, performance enhancers, supplements, and other medications that you child may be taking. Any medication that is taken has risks and benefits and it is important that your child is honest. The doctor can then recommend healthier options, explain risks and make sure that your child knows the damage that some of these drugs can have on the body. During the physical examination the doctor will measure your child’s weight and height to determine if they are in a healthy range. The doctor will make sure to check your child’s blood pressure, heart, ears, nose, throat, lungs, abdomen, vision and pulse. The doctor will also check reflexes, joints, posture, and strength. Most physicals are the same for both sexes and the doctor may ask questions on puberty. This is a good chance for your child to ask questions about the changes that may be happening to their body. If your child is a girl who is going through puberty the doctor may ask questions about her menstrual cycle to make sure that it is normal and she is not at risk for female athlete triad.

MEDICAL HISTORY
This part of the exam is to check your child’s medical history. You will be asked a series of questions about allergies, past injuries, family history of medical problems, surgeries, and medications for your child. The family medical history is very important. This part of the medical evaluation will help the doctor determine if your child is at risk for certain medical problems and if there is any further testing needed.

Why is a sports physicals important? A sport physical is highly important because it gives a healthcare professional a chance to make sure that your child will be able to play sports, stay healthy, and not be at risk for certain medical problems. Once you have a sports physical your doctor is able to follow your child and if any problems arise while your child is involved in sports they will make sure that your child is not at risk for further injury or harm. It gives a professional a chance to follow your child and make sure that they remain healthy. When the doctor goes over medications they can make sure that the medications your child is on are safe to take while being active. For example, if your child has asthma a doctor can prescribe an inhaler specifically made for athletics. It is important to have a doctor in place so he knows your child’s full sport physical results so that if your child gets injured playing sports they can determine the best route to get your child healthy again.

The doctors at Med-Ped Healthcare are dedicated towards making your child healthy and happy. If your child is injured playing sports their doctor will be able to refer them to PCP for the desired treatment. Communication is key during a sports injury and your child’s doctor will have full communication with the healthcare professional providing treatment at Med-Ped Health Care making sure that your child’s injury is treated properly and efficiently.

Our sister Express Healthcare is an Urgent Care Clinic in the Greenbelt and College Park area. Express open 7-days a week because they know the importance of sports physicals and that is why they extended their hours to make sure that your child remains healthy while active.

All healthcare professionals at Med-Ped Health Care and Express Healthcare want to make sure your child is always at their optimum health. Save your child’s life by stressing the importance of sports physicals and proper healthcare.

What is Vitamin D and what does it do?

If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods — including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks — and in fortified dairy and grain products.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Vitamin D these days is a very important nutrient, as research links it to numerous health benefits. Studies suggest vitamin D may go beyond its well-established role in bone health and reduce the risk of cancer, heart diseases and more.

Studies indicate that the effects of a vitamin D deficiency include an elevated risk of developing cancers of the colon, breast and prostate; high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease; osteoarthritis; and immune-system abnormalities that can result in infections and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and arthritis. Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all but a potent neuroregulatory steroidal hormone, shown to influence about 10 percent of all the genes in your body. We now know this is one of the primary reasons it can impact such a wide variety of diseases, including:

Cancer

Hypertension

Heart disease

Autism

Obesity

Rheumatoid arthritis

Diabetes 1, 2

Multiple Sclerosis

Crohn’s disease

Flu

Colds

Tuberculosis

Septicemia

Aging

Psoriasis

Eczema

Insomnia

Hearing lossex

Muscle pain

Cavities

Periodontal disease

Athletic performance

Macular degeneration

Myopia

Pre eclampsia

Seizures

Fertility

Asthma

Cystic fibrosis

Migraines

Depression

Alzheimer’s disease

Schizophrenia

Having low vitamin D levels can contribute to mild weight gain. Previous research has already showed that obese individuals tend to have low vitamin D levels. Women who had insufficient levels of vitamin D gained about two pounds more compared to those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D.

Ask our doctors to check the Vitamin D level in your blood if you plan to visit us and if it’s low the physician can prescribe it for you.

Vitamin D Med-Ped

Sunlight is the best and only natural source of vitamin D

Echocardiogram, The Test That Could Save Your Life!

There are a vast amount of medical tests used to help prevent and diagnose illness or disease. Some of these tests may vary in importance or use between men and women. For instance, women can have a risk of developing certain types of disease or illness related to the female reproductive organs and are also at a higher risk for heart disease. Men may be at risk of illness or disease involving the male reproductive organs. The need for specific or more frequent testing may also vary between different individuals. Genetic risk factors, as well as social or lifestyle.

Some of the medical tests that can save an individual’s life are usually done with their regular check-ups. These tests can include; blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm, pulse oximetry, the individual’s weight, blood work and EKG’s (electrocardiogram), as well as pap smears and breast exams for women and  PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels for men.

However, the tests listed above are only a small portion of medical tests that may be able to save an individual’s life. They are also usually the first step in determining if further testing may be necessary. An individual, who has a family history of heart disease or abnormal findings in an EKG, would likely be required to have an echocardiogram or cardiac stress test. These tests can allow a better view of the heart and can help locate any current or arising conditions of concern. This is only one example of a wide range of testing, which could be required, depending on the need of the individual being tested. An echocardiogram is a test that checks the heart by using sound waves to produce a graphic outline of your heart’s movement. A stress echocardiogram incorporates an echocardiogram to determine how the heart muscle responds to the stress of exercise. The test begins by taking a resting echocardiogram. The second part of the test moves you from the exam table to the treadmill.

To get the most accurate picture of your heart’s performance, it is examined under stress – while walking on a treadmill, electrical leads continuously analyze your heart’s rate and rhythm and your blood pressure response is monitored. Testing the heart under these conditions yields results that are more accurately applicable to the life conditions that often cause heart attacks: physical and emotional stress.

The test is simple, non-intrusive and is highly recommended if you experience symptoms of heart disease including shortness of breath, chest pains, an irregular heartbeat, or have other risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, smoking or family history of heart disease.

In Med-Ped Health Care we do the tests every Tuesday and Friday. So, if you have a family history of heart attacks or you feel chest pain or any of the risk factors to develop heart attacks, come to visit our office and ask our professional staff about the necessity for Echocardiogram or stress test.

You’re Never too Old to Get Immunized!

Vaccines for Adults:

Vaccines work with your immune system to help protect you from infections and disease.

Vaccination, also called immunization, works by giving you a weekend or dead form of certain germs. These germs are not strong enough to make you sick, yet you will still make antibodies to fight them. The antibodies will then stick around to be ready to fight off an actual infection if you are ever exposed to one.

Fight Excuses with Facts:

Excuse:”Vaccines are just for kids“

Fact: Both adults and children benefit from vaccines. And some vaccines are only for adults of certain age. Plus, some vaccines you may received as a child will need boosters during adulthood.

Excuse: ”Vaccines will make me sick”

Fact: Vaccines won’t make you sick because they are made from a weakened or dead form of the disease. You might have mild side effects like aches and fever, but these usually only last a day or two.

Excuse:”I’m healthy so I don’t need it”

Fact: Vaccines are not just for sick or elderly people. And they are a simple step you can take today to help keep you feeling well.

You never outgrow the need for vaccines. No matter what your age, there are recommended vaccines to help keep you healthy.

• Following your immunization schedule is one of the best ways to stay on track with the vaccines you need.

• If you were vaccinated as a child, some of the protection from the vaccines can decrease over time. Plus, there are vaccines now available that may not have been available when you were a child.

• It’s never too late to get vaccinated. Even if you are behind on your vaccines or were not vaccinated as a child, your healthcare provider can help get you back on track.

• Each year more than 50,000 people in the U.S. die from vaccine-preventable diseases. That is more than the number of people who die from HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, or traffic accidents combined.

• You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.

• The following diseases are especially serious in adults 65 years old or older: flu (influenza), diphtheria, herpes zoster (shingles), pneumococcus and tetanus.All of them can be prevented by vaccines.

• Everyone should keep a record of the vaccines they’ve received.

• It’s important to talk to your doctor about your immunization history. It’s also a good idea to check if you need additional vaccines whenever you plan to travel outside the U.S. Newborns are particularly vulnerable to many vaccine-preventable diseases but are too young to be vaccinated against most of them. Adults who will be around newborns should take special care to keep up with their vaccines so they do not pass a vaccine-preventable disease to the unprotected baby. Pertussis and the flu are two of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases that infected adults can pass to a baby.

Visit us at Med-Ped Health Care LLC, and ask our doctors which vaccine you need and you will receive right away because most of the vaccines are available in our offices.

One of our patients shared her experience saying;

I decided to get the pneumonia vaccine because I had just killed off a bout of some unknown lung infection and never want to go through that again (with the pleurisy for weeks, as well…very painful) and I’m 64. I’m thinking it’s one of the best things I can do for myself, together with the flu vaccine and the shingles-prevention vaccine I got as soon as I turned 60 (that’s the suggested age for the shingles vac.) My pneumonia vaccine was a little sore at the injection site, but went away within the day. I’m wondering if I’ll need a booster in five years since I wasn’t 65 at my 1st pneum. vaccine. Since I’m only 1 year away, what do you think? Get your vaccination… it may save your life, down the road.

Another patient said;

I got mine because I got the infection three years in a row, at the same time. It was not fun. The doctor finally gave the vaccine!

vaccinations, vaccine