Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

No shots? No school.

In SA, many children can't start school or college without certain immunizations. Watch Dr. Ratner in this KSAT video for more info.

Friday, August 2, 2013

It's time for meningitis vaccinations!

freshman-dorm_lIt’s that time. Summer’s almost over, and the frosh are getting ready to enter college. Among shopping for new pillow cases and hoping your roomie isn’t too weird, don’t forget that all schools of higher education in Texas require a meningitis vaccine. It’s not just your school giving you more forms to confuse you; it’s actually the law here in Texas that you get and maintain your vaccination.
Don’t wait until the last minute, either. Vaccinations take 7-10 days to become effective, and most schools won’t let you register for classes before you have the vaccine, and it’s effective. That means you need to have it done at least ten days prior to registration, or you might get stuck registering too late and miss out on a lot of classes you want/need to take.
But why do the schools and the state care so much? What’s the big deal?
Meningitis is a disease that inflames the meninges, or the membranes that protect your central nervous system. It’s spread by the exchange of saliva (or throat secretions), and people who live in close quarters (hello quad dorm room!) are more likely to spread it. So say your not-too-weird roommate isn’t feeling great, and sneezes all over your toothbrush when he’s in the bathroom. There’s a perfect chance for transmission. Or you know how much you love washing dishes. Say you use a fork that’s not completely 100% home-dishwasher clean. Even sharing water bottles, food, or the best college pastime--kissing--can spread meningitis.
Symptoms of meningitis include:

  • Rash or purple patches on skin
  • Severe headache
  • Light sensitivity
  • Confusion and sleepiness
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea
  • High fever
  • Seizures

Meningitis can be very nasty. You really don’t want to catch it. It could potentially cause hearing loss, blindness, coma, kidney failure, limb damage requiring amputation, convulsions, learning disabilities and even death.
But wait, we can fix everything with antibiotics, right?
Well, you can treat meningitis with antibiotics if it’s caught early. But that doesn’t guarantee a cure, while the vaccination is effective against 4 out of 5 of the most common bacterial types that cause meningitis. Vaccination is very safe, with little to no side effects in most patients. Even when caught early and treated with antibiotics, meningitis can still cause permanent disability or death.
It is possible to decline the vaccination if it will cause you medical problems or if your religion denies vaccinations. However, this can take a while. At Texas Tech, for example,  they require a notarized affidavit and warn that it can take “a significant amount of time. Begin well in advance of your intended registration date.”
Yes, we have the vaccine! Walk in any day 8-8 to get your shot, and head on out to your close-quarters-sharing-water-bottles adventure!
For more info:
Photo credit: thegeoffmeister / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Friday, July 26, 2013

But it's so itchy!!

If you’re anything like me, the mosquitoes love you! It’s always nice to be popular, but in this case, I’d rather be a wallflower. I made the mistake of stepping outside for about ten minutes a couple evenings ago and, well, here’s the result:
Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 2.14.54 PM
Being that we’re a medical clinic, there are a lot of people here who tell me to stop scratching! So what in the world can you do when you’re covered in itchy mosquito bites and you can’t scratch?????
Please note that this is not meant as medical advice. If you’re not sure what to do, contact your doctor, or come see us.
First, the best defense is a good offense, right? So invest in a good insect repellant and apply according to the manufacturer's directions. Did you know some need to be applied more often than others? If you prefer to avoid the chemicals in many bug sprays, there are options like citronella, peppermint oil or even garlic oil. Consult with an expert, however, before you try applying essential oils to your skin. Some essential oils can be concentrated enough to burn or even blister your skin if used incorrectly.
If you’ve been bitten, here’s where your self control needs to kick in. Wash off the effected areas as soon as possible, using mild soap and cool water. Pat it dry with a towel rather than rubbing. The reason it itches is because the mosquito has injected you with an anticoagulant (to drink more of your delicious blood) and your body is fighting its and having a minor allergic reaction.
For minor bites like these, a paste made of a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a few drops of water and apply it gently. Or another option is to apply some vinegar to the bite.   Scratching, though it may feel good for a little while, can actually make the bite worse and make it last longer.
Here in the US, the risk of catching a serious disease from a mosquito bite is low, but you should seek medical help if you’re having a severe allergic reaction, like a racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing and severe swelling. If you’ve scratched your bites and they have become infected, that’s when it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Group B Strep Awareness

It’s July, and that means summer fun, 100-degree+ heat and (if you’re lucky) water slides! It also means it’s International Group B Strep Awareness month, which is a very common but little-known (apart from mommies and doctors) bacteria that effects babies in utero, newborns and babies up to six months old.
Huh? What is that, and why have I never heard of it?
GBS (Group B Streptococcus), or Streptococcus agalactiae--not strep throat--is a type of bacteria that can potentially effect babies as they pass through the birth canal or when the mother’s water breaks. Though up to 25% of women have this naturally-occurring bacteria in their digestive tract and/or birth canal, few babies who are exposed become ill.
However, that illness can be severe, such as meningitis, pneumonia or a permanent handicap like blindness, deafness or cerebral palsy. In some cases, GBS has caused stillbirth or miscarriage.
It’s a good idea to get tested for GBS before your baby is born (even if you’ve been tested on a previous pregnancy, that doesn’t mean you don’t currently have GBS living in your system). There are little to no symptoms associated with GBS for the mother, with the most common being yeast-infection-like symptoms or even a bladder infection. If your doctor suspects GBS when you are pregnant and have a bladder infection, they will likely perform a urine culture apart from the routine urine tests performed on all pregnant women. In the US it’s now standard practice for GBS testing to be part of your routine prenatal testing. If you test positive for GBS, you may be placed on IV antibiotics when you go into labor. Just four hours of IV antibiotics given to the mother in labor can prevent up to 90% of newborn GBS infections. Taking these prior to the onset of labor won’t help much, as the bacteria can grow back very quickly.
Just a side note: testing positive for GBS does not mean you’ve done anything wrong during your pregnancy, or are unclean. GBS can live in just about anyone.
Now your beautiful baby has been born, and you want to provide them the absolute best in care. There are some strategies you can follow to avoid infecting your baby (not just with GBS; some of these are common-sense guidelines to protect against bacteria in general)
  • Everyone, yourself included, needs to wash their hands before handling your baby. Antiseptic wipes won’t cut it--get out the soap and water.
  • If you’re able to breastfeed, it’s a great choice to supply your little one with antibodies to help fight infection.
  • Make sure everyone who takes care of your baby knows the symptoms of GBS infection in babies and how to respond.
Most cases of GSB will start in the first few hours after birth. Symptoms may include:
  • High-pitched cry, shrill moaning, whimpering
  • Constant grunting as if constipated
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Sleeping too much, difficulty being aroused
  • High or low or unstable temperature; hands and feet may still feel cold even with a fever
  • Blotchy, red, or tender skin
  • Blue, gray, or pale skin due to lack of oxygen
  • Fast, slow, or difficult breathing
  • Body stiffening, uncontrollable jerking
  • Listless, floppy, or not moving an arm or leg
  • Tense or bulgy spot on top of head
  • Blank stare
  • Infection (pus/red skin) at base of umbilical cord or in puncture on head from internal fetal monitor
  • Problems with temperature regulation
  • Grunting sounds
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Breathing problems
  • Stiffness or extreme limpness
Of course, if you have questions about GSB it's a good idea to ask your doctor! If you'd like to read more, check out these useful sites. There's even a Facebook page:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why is my child limping?

You’re wor­ried about your child. They’ve been wak­ing up com­plain­ing their knee hurts, or you notice their fin­gers seem swollen, but they can’t remem­ber hurt­ing them­selves. Maybe they’ve been limp­ing a lit­tle in the morn­ing, or they seem to have a mild flu with a  pink­ish rash that comes and goes. What could be happening?

All of these are symp­toms of Juve­nile Arthri­tis, which effects more than 250,000 chil­dren under the age of 18 in the US alone. If your child has swollen, ten­der joints that last for more than six weeks, he/she could be among their num­ber. Com­monly, the knees, hands and feet will be the most effected, though some­times chil­dren with JA can also have inflamed eyes.
Diag­no­sis comes at the end of exten­sive test­ing per­formed by a juve­nile rheuma­tol­o­gist, who will exclude other con­di­tions through imag­ing, lab work and phys­i­cals before diag­nos­ing your child with arthri­tis. Most forms of arthri­tis are known as autoim­mune dis­or­ders, where the body’s own immune sys­tem attacks its own healthy tis­sues, caus­ing swelling, sore­ness and stiff­ness in joints and the sur­round­ing mus­cles and sup­port­ing tendons/ligaments. The result­ing inflam­ma­tion can dam­age the joints.
Some­times the dam­age done to joints can effect a child’s growth, caus­ing one leg or arm to grow longer than the other, or even slow­ing the child’s over­all growth.
Unfor­tu­nately, there is no cure for Juve­nile Arthri­tis. It’s con­sid­ered a chronic con­di­tion that will require care and treat­ment with exer­cise, phys­i­cal ther­apy and pos­si­bly med­ica­tion. Since every child is dif­fer­ent, there is no one right treat­ment plan for every­one. Your child’s doc­tors will work with you to come up with an indi­vid­ual plan that works for your child. Some chil­dren will have one or two flare-ups of arthri­tis and never suf­fer again, while oth­ers may have to deal with it on a day-to-day basis.
Some doc­tors may pre­scribe med­ica­tion right away, while oth­ers will advise treat­ment dur­ing flare-ups like swim­ming, which allows the child to exer­cise and move their joints with­out putting pres­sure on them. It’s impor­tant to sup­port your child not only with their phys­i­cal but also their men­tal needs to sup­port them through JA.
Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 1.30.42 PM
There are a lot of great resources avail­able to learn more about Juve­nile Arthri­tis online. We rec­om­mend the fol­low­ing sites for more detailed info:
Photo credit: danieljohn­sonjr / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Have a safe and happy 4th!

We're working today 8-8 in case you need help. Walk in to either location or check in online and we'll txt you when it's your turn!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Allergies or strep?

It’s sum­mer time here in San Anto­nio, and while that means soar­ing tem­per­a­tures and kids out of school, it’s also allergy sea­son. We’ve writ­ten before about what causes aller­gies and some ways to com­bat them, so I won’t go into too much detail about that here. What’s con­cern­ing is that we’re start­ing to see some cases of strep throat mixed in among peo­ple com­ing in for their allergies.
You can mud­dle through allergies on your own (or we can help you if you’re really mis­er­able), but strep needs extra attention.
How can you tell if you have strep or just bad allergies?
  • Sud­den sore throat
  • Sore throat and tonsils
  • Painful swal­low­ing
  • Ten­der, enlarged cer­vi­cal nodes
  • White exu­dates on tonsils
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Occa­sion­ally nausea/loss of appetite or abdom­i­nal pain
  • Occa­sion­ally a rash 12–48 hours after onset of symptoms
  • Usu­ally no res­pi­ra­tory or nasal symptoms
  • Usu­ally pro­longed dura­tion of illness
  • Runny nose
  • Sneez­ing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Nasal dis­charge
  • Recurs at a par­tic­u­lar sea­son or with expo­sure to allergen
  • Occa­sion­ally cough, hoarse­ness, sore throat (from drainage)
Here at Impact Urgent Care, we have rapid strep tests avail­able that can con­firm our doctor’s find­ings if we believe you have strep. Then, we can pre­scribe antibi­otics and other med­ica­tions if they’re needed. Untreated strep can leave you sus­cep­ti­ble to nas­tier dis­eases, and it’s not a good idea to see if it’ll clear up on its own.
Even if it’s just a sum­mer cold or bad aller­gies, we can help you feel better.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Struggling to speak: a personal view of Spasmodic Dysphonia

This week we take a look at a rare vocal disorder called Spasmodic Dysphonia. It can greatly effect your vocal cords, resulting in a strangled-sounding or hoarse voice. For some, it seems like they have lost their voice. It can be treated with a combination of speech therapy and Botox, but there is currently no cure.
My name is Mark and I am 36 years old. I have always relied heavily on my communication and people skills to get me ahead of everybody else. I never would have thought that I would struggle with something everybody takes for granted.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment where my life changed but I know for a fact that it happened in early 2006 while I was working for the San Antonio Express News in their call center as a Customer Service Representative. I was struggling to speak and was hesitating with certain words and phrases. It was extremely embarrassing!
I kept asking myself: Why is this happening? Will it ever go away? Will I lose my voice? Could it be stress related? Is it psychological?
There were certain words and letters that I really struggled with. The letter “h” was the hardest for me and to this day still is. The opening phrase at the San Antonio Express News was: “Thank you for calling the San Antonio Express News, this is Mark, how can I help you?” Two “h” words! So, I changed this to: “Thank you for calling the San Antonio Express News, this is Mark, what can I do for you?” A simple change but this really helped me on the phones.
Despite my speech issues, I never got any complaints or questions from customers or co-workers who couldn’t understand me. I thought it would eventually go away, but it never did. It was getting more difficult every day for me to speak clearly and be understood and I was embarrassed.
On May 1, 2006, I saw Dr. Yvonne Page, a Speech Language Pathologist.
As I soon started talking, Dr. Page knew exactly what I had. She asked me a lot of questions trying to pinpoint my problems and took a lot of notes. She eventually had me read these phrases: “Early one morning, a man and a woman were ambling along a 1-mile lane, running near Rainy Island Avenue” and "He saw half a shape mystically cross a simple path, at least 50 or 60 steps in front of his sister Kathy's house."
I read the first with ease but really struggled with the second sentence.
Dr. Page referred me to Dr. Blake Simpson, an Otolaryngologist, who works at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He would be able to get a better look at my vocal cords and verify my speech problems.
Dr. Simpson also wanted me to read those phrases. With the second phrase, it felt as if I forgot how to read. I couldn’t even say the word “house.” My mouth opened but nothing came out. It took a few seconds for the word “house” to finally come out and it didn’t sound good at all. By using a fiber optic Laryngoscopy, Dr. Simpson showed me what was happening with my vocal cords.
In May of 2006, I was officially diagnosed with a rare voice disorder called Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia. According to the Dysphonia website:
Spasmodic dysphonia (SD), a focal form of Dystonia, is a neurological voice disorder that involves involuntary "spasms" of the vocal cords causing interruptions of speech and affecting the voice quality. SD can cause the voice to break up or to have a tight, strained, or strangled quality. There is no cure. It is treatable by speech therapy and Botox injections in the vocal cords.
I started speech therapy with Dr. Page immediately after I was diagnosed. Our sessions were weekly for 12 weeks. For the first four weeks, we met twice a week. I was very lucky that my work schedule allowed me to have two consecutive days off during the week. Otherwise, I would have had to use all of my sick and vacation time.
We did a lot of breathing and relaxation exercises. We worked on the voiceless sounds. Every few weeks we would try words that began with the letter “h.” Dr. Page wanted me to have a soft voice; no yelling or talking loud on the phones. She had software that measured how loud my voice was and how much roughness I had. It was really interesting to see these changes before, during, and after a session. I was also able to hear my voice; it was good sometimes, bad sometimes, and sometimes just plain laughable!
I was relieved that the Speech Language Pathologist knew what I had as soon as I started talking.  Unlike other people I have met with Spasmodic Dysphonia, I didn't have to wait months or years and see several other doctors to get the correct diagnosis.  After lots of research, talking with Dr. Page and Dr. Simpson, and consulting with my parents, I decided to try the Botox injections. I was aware there could be side effects. But I was ready to take the plunge.
On August 14, 2006, I was in the waiting room at University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. I was extremely nervous.  My mother came with me and her support really helped me get thru the anticipation of getting my first Botox injection.
Dr. Simpson sprayed my nose to numb it.  It didn't taste like anything, but it really made my nose runny!!  He then inserted a needle into my neck to numb it.  The numbing medication tasted really gross and made me cough a lot; but that means the numbing was working.  A Neurologist, Dr. Carlayne Jackson, put some sensors on my stomach; this helps locate the proper spot for injection.  A resident from the hospital was also in the room and he was the one who inserted the fiber optic Laryngoscope from my nose to my vocal cords.
I coughed a few times and said the letter "E" for a few seconds.  I even read these phrases again “Early one morning, a man and a woman were ambling along a 1-mile lane, running near Rainy Island Avenue” and "He saw half a shape mystically cross a simple path, at least 50 or 60 steps in front of his sister Kathy's house."  
Dr's. Simpson and Jackson located the correct spot for a unilateral injection and I didn't even feel the Botox. Wow!  Afterwards, I was coughing a lot, had some discomfort in swallowing, and my voice was very strained.  But, those side effects wore off quickly and I was very glad.
I went back for my 2nd Botox injection on October 23, 2006. I was more eager this time and was looking forward to how my voice would fare. It was the same procedure for the treatment. I had the same side effects but again they vanished quickly.
Since my diagnosis, I have had 17 Botox injections and I am getting fantastic results and do notice a HUGE difference in my voice.   I always have the discomfort in swallowing, a strained voice, and lots of coughing.  But, they go away quicker each time.  My last 3 Botox injections have lasted about 6 months. I will probably schedule another Botox injection toward the end of the year.  Each injection I get lasts longer than the previous.
If you heard me talk, you probably wouldn't even know I have any issues.  I do struggle at work occasionally but nobody notices it. I am kinda curious to see how my voice would do without Botox?
At least I thought it was quiet...when I replayed it afterwards, I heard my keys jiggling and my turn signal clicking.  Next time, I will unhook the car key from the miscellaneous keys and find a straight path to nowhere in particular.  Other than that, I am very excited  to debut my voice and hope you enjoy it.
This post was reproduced with permission from Mark at mdlblog.com

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Today we hear from Dr. Dan Powell, our soft-spoken and much-loved provider who mainly works at our Woodlake location. Here, he teaches us how to speak about mental illness without the stigma that's commonly associated.
Today is Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.  The National Federation of Families has declared this year's theme to be: "Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigma."
As healthcare providers at Impact Urgent Care, we frequently have the privilege of providing care for children with mental health issues who present with acute illness.  While addressing the child's acute illness is paramount, an equally important issue (as with all children we treat) is addressing any associated family or parental concerns.  Without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges parents face when caring for their child with any mental health diagnosis is dealing with the stigma of mental illness.
Whether your child is struggling with Depression or Situational Anxiety, or more chronic conditions such as ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder/Aspergers, you are already well-aware of the overt and sometimes subtle ways that the stigma of mental health illness can impact a child and his or her ability to navigate the waters that other children breeze through at school or athletics, or even just going out to eat and going to the movie theater.  Reversing the stigma of childhood mental health illness will not happen overnight, but efforts are definitely underway to begin the process, and events such as Children's Mental Health Awareness Day are critical in raising public awareness and educating all of us on how we can make a difference.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health (www.hogg.utexas.edu) has produced a brochure titled Language Matters in Mental Health that gives excellent guidelines for HOW WE TALK about persons with a mental health condition.  Saying, "He has a mental health condition" instead of, "He's mentally ill" - or "She has Anorexia Nervosa" instead of, "She's an Anorexic" may seem like potato - po-tah-toe to folks who don't have (or live with a family member who has) a mental health condition but for those of us who do, it's a night-and-day difference that expresses volumes about a person's attitude toward mental health and/or the stigma of being labeled.  Educating your child's siblings, friends and teachers on the impact of the word choices we make when talking about a child with a mental health diagnosis is crucial to helping shape a healthy and encouraging environment for them to thrive.  This approach is called "people-first language" and can open up communication lines with others that take a concern for your child's well-being.
Caring for a child with mental health issues can be an enormous challenge for their parents, and we hope you will consider us a resource you can depend on at Impact Urgent Care.  We count it as a privilege.

Dr. Dan Powell
Dr. Dan Powell
Dan Powell, M.D.
Staff Physician, Impact Urgent Care

Photo credit: alles-schlumpf / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is it IBS or just tummy troubles?

You have a chronic condition that causes pain, occasional embarrassment and lifestyle restriction. Nobody really knows why or how you got it, though there are theories. There’s no cure, though the symptoms are treatable. Sometimes you can eat whatever you want, others even looking at something as innocent as white rice causes spasms.
It sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? Well, if you are one of these people, you may have IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
For those who don’t have IBS, have you ever had food poisoning? Imagine that happening to you every day or even several times a month. The problem is that it’s not well understood. IBS can effect you either with diarrhea or constipation, and it’s estimated to effect 3-20% of the population. It’s a wide estimation because not everyone will seek medical help or even think they have a medical condition.
IBS can be treated in a variety of ways, including dietary, hypnosis, lifestyle changes, yoga, medications, therapy, etc. Some doctors will perform gastrointestinal scans to rule out other medical problems, while others will just write a prescription for an anti-spasmodic and allow you to go on your way.
Do you have IBS? How do you deal with your symptoms?
There are lots of resources out there to learn more about IBS and how to treat your symptoms. The US Department of Health and Human Services has a good overview. Thehelpforibs.com site has a lot of information and message boards (fair warning--they also sell supplements and books about IBS). There’s even a site directed at women with IBS.
In the end, you’ll need to have a conversation with your primary care doctor if you’re not sure you’ve got IBS and to make sure it’s not something more serious.
And if you have any unexpected emergencies remember we're always here to help! 

Photo credit: Dranik / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA and http://help-health.com/stomach-pain-after-eating/

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tsunamis?! But we live in SA!

This week, Dr. Rat­ner tells us about prepar­ing for the unex­pected. What’s in your emer­gency kit?
Dr. Ratner
Dr. Rat­ner
Most of us here in San Anto­nio do not know that this week is Tsunami Pre­pared­ness week. Just because San Anto­nio is only a lit­tle more likely than Salt Lake City to suf­fer the direct effects of a tsunami there are lots of lessons we can learn from this week.
  1. Really bad things hap­pen, even if they’re not very likely to hap­pen. So, do you need life vests? Prob­a­bly not, but you should think of some basic items and pro­ce­dures for any unplanned cat­a­stro­phe. Events that hap­pen far away can have rip­ple effects. Are you pre­pared if your plant closes down because you can’t get parts or your cus­tomers are unavailable?
  2. We may not be at risk for a tsunami, but what about a flash flood?
  3. How hard would it be to store 5 gal­lons of water and a few days of canned or dehy­drated foods, or some mac­a­roni and cheese for each mem­ber of your house­hold? You could fit a few days’ worth under each person’s bed.
  4. Can you put together a small plas­tic type tool­box with a few screw­drivers, a pair of pli­ers, some duct tape, a util­ity knife, some zip ties, a hack­saw and a flashlight?
  5. Take a few min­utes and dis­cuss with your fam­ily and your extended fam­ily where and when you will meet in the event of fire, black­outs or other disasters.
  6. Once a month buy a few extra AAAAA,C, D and 9 volt bat­ter­ies, and switch out your used bat­ter­ies with your cur­rent stock. This will prove very use­ful if there’s a power outage.
This is not an all-encompassing list, but it is easy, inex­pen­sive and really use­ful when the expected happens.
It’s not some­thing we want to think about every day, but if we’re pre­pared it can turn a dis­as­trous sit­u­a­tion into some­thing that’s just dif­fi­cult. The Amer­i­can Red Cross has some great resources and advice for all kinds of sit­u­a­tions here. And a tool to help you esti­mate how much you’ll need of every­thing here based on your house­hold. Always remem­ber we’re here to help at IUC, but we hope you have a happy and safe weekend!
Peacekeeping - MINUSTAH
The unex­pected strikes…unexpectedly.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ALERT! Day 2013--Learning more to stop Diabetes

Today is the American Diabetes Association's ALERT! Day. 
Today through April 9, 2013, there's a free online test you can take to help you figure out your risk factors, and for every test that's taken there will be $5 donated to help fight diabetes by a large food company. My risk factor comes up as 4--who can beat me?
Diabetes effects a staggering 14% of San Antonians, which is double the national average (!), causing numerous health problems and putting its victims at risk of amputation, blindness and even death. And the most tragic thing about type II diabetes is that it's almost completely preventable. We all know that we need to eat right, exercise, etc....consult with your doctor to help address any of your risk factors and see how you can help prevent Pre-Diabetes and Type II Diabetes.

To quote from our local ADA office: "The American Diabetes Association's San Antonio office is so committed to finding a cure, educating the public about how to Stop Diabetes and providing support for those living with the disease are central to our mission. We are here to help.
To receive local information or learn more about events occurring in and around San Antonio sign up for our free newsletter! Contact Jose Macias, Online Communication Manager, at jmacias@diabetes.org to sign up!"
There are also a lot of local opportunities to volunteer and help fight Diabetes!
There's even a free Expo coming to San Antonio in May. They're advertising nutrition info, cooking demonstrations and health screenings. What would you like to see at the expo?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Do your ears continue to grow as you age?

Prince Charles may worry about this very question.
There are definitely some changes in the face that occur with aging.  First some facial muscle tone is lost, causing that saggy look.  Then you get the dreaded double chin.  The nose can also lengthen a bit, and the skin on the face becomes thin, dry, and wrinkled.  Then there are longer, thicker eyebrows and gray hair.  We haven’t even mentioned droopy eyes, receding gums, missing, teeth, and last but not least - bigger ears.  Yes, your ears do continue to grow as you age, but only slightly.  This is probably due to cartilage growth.
What a list of wonderful things to look forward to as we enter our golden years.
Excerpt from Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Seven tips to beat spring allergies

Spring has sprung! And with it comes allergies galore. How do you know it’s allergies and not a cold? The most noticeable difference is that, while a cold will commonly last less than two weeks, allergies will drag on as long as you’re exposed to whatever it is you’re allergic to.
Here are some tips and tricks to make your allergy season a little more bearable. And if you’re still not feeling well, you can always come see us at IUC.
  1. To avoid allergens, simply keep your windows closed while you’re inside.
  2. Take a shower when you come in from the great outdoors to wash off any potential pollen that’s made you its home.
  3. Wash your clothes and bedding as often as possible. Allergens tend to stick to fabrics, and you can easily track them inside.
  4. Drive with the windows up to avoid pollen-laden air.
  5. If your pet spends time outside, keep it out of your bedroom to avoid any pollen it may bring in on its fur.
  6. Pollen is at its peak in the morning, between 5AM and 10AM, so avoid the outdoors during those hours.
  7. Treat any potential symptoms before you go outside. Speak with your doctor to determine which over-the-counter or even prescription medications could help you.
Do you have any tips of your own to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Photo credits: OakleyOriginals / Foter.com / CC BY; James Gathany / Foter.com / Public Domain Mark 1.0