Did You Know?

Flu Vaccine

Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine each fall.  Seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses (trivalent) that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The viruses in the vaccine can change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against the influenza viruses in the vaccine develop in the body.

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Whooping Cough (pertussis)

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is spread when infected people cough or sneeze. Pertussis causes severe coughing spells especially in infants and young children.  Those who are not vaccinated are at greatest risk of catching this disease.  Adolescents and adults are often the ones who spread this disease to infants and children.

The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria. A single Tdap dose is recommended for persons aged 11 through18 years who have completed their childhood immunizations. Adults ages 19-64 who have never received a dose of Tdap vaccine should receive a single dose of the vaccine.  Adults aged 65 years and older who are in close contact with infants should also receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine.

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Pneumonia Vaccine

Pneumonia is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in the United States. Combined with the flu, it is the fifth leading cause of death in the US! 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that: Adults age 65 and over get the pneumonia (PPV) vaccine which protects against 23 types of pneumonia. Usually, only one dose of the vaccine is necessary for adults. A second dose may be necessary for a person over age 65 who had their first dose before age 65 and more than 5 years have passed since they received the vaccine.

Children under 2 should have different pneumonia vaccine (PCV) four times before their 2nd birthday to prevent serious illness from pneumonia.

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Shingles (Zoster) Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend zoster immunization for people 60 years old and older to prevent shingles. This is a one-time vaccination. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.  Anyone 60 years of age or older is advised to get the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not.

Note: Medicare Part D plans cover the shingles vaccine. The amount of cost-sharing (money you have to pay) for vaccination varies.  Medicare Part B does not cover the shingles vaccine. If you have private insurance, your plan may or may not cover the vaccine; contact your insurer to find out.

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Everyone needs adequate sleep! 

When people get less than 6 hours of sleep per night, their risk for developing chronic disease and weight gain begins to increase.  Over time, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to serious health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even an earlier death.  Sleep reduces stress and inflammation thereby lowering the risk of heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes.  

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What about snoring, is it always sleep apnea?

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores.  Symptoms of sleep apnea include extreme tiredness and sleepiness during the daytime.  If you are concerned about obstructive sleep apnea or some other sleep breathing disorder, consider downloading and completing this simple test Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Then make an appointment to come in and discuss next steps with your health care provider.
The benefits of sleep are wide-ranging and can make a big difference in the quality of life, as well as the length of life.  Getting plenty of sleep is vital to your health!

Cholesterol and risk for heart disease

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Rationalethere is good evidence that high levels of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL) and low levels of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) are important risk factors for coronary heart disease. The risk for coronary heart disease is highest in those with a combination of risk factors.

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What are the cholesterol numbers and what do they mean?

  • Total Cholesterol:<200 Desirable, 200-239 Borderline high, >240 High.
  • A person > 240 has > 2/x the risk of coronary heart disease as someone with cholesterol
    < 200 mg/dL
  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol:  <40-men, < 50-women = low which is a major risk factor for heart disease.    60+ = high and is considered protective against heart disease.
  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol:  <100 Optimal, 100-129 Near optimal/above optimal, 130-159 Borderline high, 160-189 High; 190 Very high.

Other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including family history, smoking, etc., help determine what each individual’s LDL level should be.  A healthy level for you may not be healthy for your friend or coworker. Discuss your levels and your treatment options with your provider.

When should cholesterol screening be done?

The American Heart Association recommends that all adults age 20 or older have a fasting lipoprotein profile (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides) once every five years.  This test should be done after a nine- to 12-hour fast without food, liquids or pills.

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Diabetes type 2 Screening

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, obesity, and lack of physical activity. Type 2 diabetes is more common in individuals with a family history of the disease and in members of certain racial/ethnic groups. Diabetes is frequently not diagnosed until complications appear, and approximately one-third of all people with diabetes may be undiagnosed. Screening should be considered beginning at age 45, particularly for those who are overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2),  and repeated at 3-year intervals.  This test should be done after a nine- to 12-hour fast without food, liquids or pills.

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Men may NOT need routine PSA blood testing to screen for prostate cancer

Recently (May, 2012) the USPSTF recommended against routine PSA screening for prostate cancer in healthy men because there is insufficient evidence that PSA testing saves lives.  The PSA test often produces false-positive results which are associated with additional unnecessary tests and negative effects.  Many men suffer impotence, incontinence, heart attacks, and for some even death, from treatment of tiny tumors that would not have been fatal left untreated. The USPSTF has concluded that there is at least moderate certainty that the harms of doing the intervention equal or outweigh the benefits.  PSA testing of men who are at higher risk of the disease, black men and men with prostate cancer in the family has not been thoroughly studied.  PSA testing is still available and men who want this should discuss the benefits and risks with their provider.

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Osteoporosis Screening

According to the USPSTF It is estimated that as many as 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men are at risk for an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime. All women aged 65 years or older and younger women with an increased risk for fracture should be screened for osteoporosis by measuring bone density (Dexascan).  The current evidence is insufficient to recommend universal screening for osteoporosis in men.  Screening for osteoporosis is quick and easy; this can be done in our office. 

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Our specialty is Family Practice.

Our physicians and nurse practitioners can provide care for over 85% of the medical problems of most individuals and families. We can act as coordinators of medical services, also known as a medical home. Family Physicians Family Nurse Practitioners can provide ongoing care and management of most chronic illness with the long term goal of maintaining quality of life.

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Our Physicians

Our physicians are osteopathic family physicians, board certified in Family Practice Medicine.  In the United States there are two types of medical education for physicians, Doctors of Medicine (MD) and the Doctors of Osteopathy (DO).  Both DOs and MDs incorporate medications, surgery, and other standard methods of treating disease. Osteopathic doctors are trained to look at the whole person and integrate them into the health care process as a partner. In addition, DOs place special emphasis on problems involving the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints. One key concept in osteopathic medicine is that structure influences function. So if there is a problem in one part of the body's structure, then function in that area will also be affected.  Another principle of osteopathic medicine is the body's innate ability to heal itself.

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Our Nurse Practitioners

Our Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are board certified in Family Care. Each NP is a Registered Nurse who has completed advanced education at the Masters Degree level and holds an Advanced Practice Nurse license in the State of Illinois.  NPs offer some of the same care provided by physicians and maintain close working relationships with physicians. An NP can serve as a patient’s regular health care provider and provide treatment for both acute and chronic conditions through prescribing medications, ordering tests, and therapies. Nurse practitioners place special emphasis on prevention, wellness, and patient education. NPs also utilize a holistic model for treating illness and seek to integrate patients as partners in the health care process. 

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