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All Posts Tagged: health and wellness

What are Common Cold and Flu Symptoms?

Everyone suffers from sickness from time to time, and cold and the flu are two common illnesses that are easily spread. Although they have similar symptoms, the treatments for colds and the flu are different, so it’s important to know which one you have. You want to start treatment and feel better as soon as possible, so how can you tell which sickness you have?

Why You Need to Know the Difference

Colds and the flu are both illnesses that affect the respiratory system, but they are caused by different viruses. This also means that the treatment for colds and the flu are different. You may be able to manage the symptoms with the same over the counter medications, but the underlying cause cannot be treated the same. The symptoms for both the cold and the flu can be very similar, making them almost impossible to distinguish from each other on your own. 

A cold can linger for weeks and make it uncomfortable or impossible to get through your day. The flu can do the same, but if left untreated the flu can turn into pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

Symptoms

Because the symptoms of colds and the flu are so similar, it can be hard to tell them apart. Symptoms they share are a cough, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, weakness, and fatigue. Flu symptoms are usually stronger than cold symptoms and may be more debilitating. 

The flu is much more likely to give you a fever and chills than a cold, although a cold may have these symptoms too. The flu can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. The flu can come on very abruptly, while cold symptoms may creep up on you gradually. The common cold is unlikely to lead to any complications or more serious illnesses, while the flu can lead to pneumonia or other infections that require medical attention. 

Treatment

Getting an accurate diagnosis is important to properly treat your illness, whether it is the common cold or the flu. Flu tests often must be done within the first few days of illness, so it’s important that if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above to get tested for the flu. 

You can get a flu test at urgent care. If you get a rapid test, you should receive results within about 10-15 minutes of taking the test. If you test positive for the flu, you may be able to receive a shot or other treatment to help treat the flu, relieve your symptoms, and shorten the length of your illness. More importantly, getting treatment will help prevent complications and more serious illnesses. If you don’t have the flu, you can still get treatment for your cold at urgent care, too. This will help you feel better faster and get back to your normal routine.

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How to Manage Stress and Other Health Conditions During the Holidays!

Stress and the holiday season are sometimes synonymous with one another, which can lead to actual health issues and complications The planning, decorating, cooking, entertaining, and general holiday chaos can build up significant stress level over a very short period of time. Holiday stress seems insurmountable but most patients can control their stress with a few prevention and self-care strategies! 

And if you every believe your stress could contribute to other health conditions, don’t hesitate to visit urgent care! An urgent care team provides patients with immediate and fast treatment for most medical needs!

How stress levels contribute to overall health conditions

High stress levels are linked to many health conditions, including chronic diseases that can lead to long-term healthcare conditions. Stress can exacerbate chronic disease factors like weight gain, high blood pressure, worsened mood, and other health factors. The types of diseases that can be triggered by stress levels includes heart disease, stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), and similar ailments. Holidays are supposed to be a happy time, so why should you health worsen because of them? People who struggle with seasonal depression during the winter months are at an increased risk of poor stress management, but it can affect anyone. 

What to do to manage stress.

Managing your stress during the holidays isn’t easy, but it is possible. A few good tips to follow include: 

  • Set realistic expectations for shopping and planning – there are only so many hours in the day and only so many days in the week. Don’t overextend yourself by planning to go to too many holiday events or gift exchanges. Choose a couple each year and decline the rest of your invites. This also helps manage financial expectations of gift giving. 
  • Talk to someone – open up to a friend or family member about the stress that you’re feeling. Chances are, they’re feeling the same way! Sometimes just talking out your stress helps put it into perspective and make it more manageable. 
  • Set aside time for you – having time to yourself during the holidays is vital this will help you decompress and enjoy being alone before you attend the next family gathering or holiday party. 
  • Don’t disregard healthy habits – if you normally exercise every day, don’t let the holidays get in the way of that. No matter what your healthy habits may be, don’t forget to make time for them during your busy holiday schedule. 

Talk to a healthcare professional about stress during the holidays!

If you begin feeling overwhelmed with stress or depression this holiday season, reach out for help right away. Visit your local walk-in clinic to speak with a professional and get more tips to manage stress, or further treatment if needed.

If you need an expert ASAP, you can always visit First Call Urgent Care for key screenings and other prevention methods to help control stress this season!

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Evidence-Based Nutrition Tips to Improve Overall Health

If you’ve ever tried to look up some nutrition info online or asked a friend for advice, you’ve likely heard some conflicting statements. Many of the nutrition tips we’re told are actually opinions rather than evidence-based facts. Today we’re going to share some of our favorite nutrition tips that can actually be backed with solid evidence and science, not just one strong opinion.

Processed Foods are Bad

Many diet plans recommend sticking to whole foods and avoiding processed options, but it turns out that recommendation comes from real evidence. The processed foods we eat are loaded with unnecessary chemicals and sugars that trigger the pleasure center in the brain. That causes you to want to eat more processed junk and ultimately, your health pays the price.

Sleep is Key

Rather you want to improve your mental or physical health, sleep is the answer. Without enough quality sleep your body’s performance begins to go downhill. You’ll be less focused, more likely to eat unhealthy foods, and be at an increased risk for diabetes. Kick-start your new healthy sleeping habits by setting a “bedtime” for yourself each night and avoiding all electronics for one hour prior to that time.

Drink Water Before a Meal

Did you know that drinking more water makes your body begin to burn more calories? In fact, if you drink 2 liters of water per day, your body will automatically be burning 96 extra calories! Enjoy some water 30 minutes prior to each meal time. This habit will help you to feel full faster and gradually lose weight.

Monitor Your Intake

Evidence shows that occasional monitoring of your food and beverage intake is very good for your overall health. Not only does monitoring allow you to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming, but what’s in those calories as well. Once you get in the habit of checking the nutrition label you’re more likely to make healthier choices, even if you aren’t counting calories. Pay attention to your protein, fat, and carb intake to see where you can improve your diet.

Surround Yourself with Positive Relationships

Negative personal relationships in your life could be having a negative impact on your health. Not only do positive personal relationships improve mental health, but physical health as well. Studies have shown that people with positive friends and family relationships take better care of themselves and have a higher life expectancy.

If you’ve heard other help tips that you’re skeptical of, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or do some research on your own! Evidence-based facts are widely agreed upon and supported by plenty of notable research. Just remember, not every health tip you’re told is actually true!

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word cloud of 2019 healthcare goals and medical appointments

How to Plan your Critical Medical Appointments for 2019

New year, new you, correct?

On top of all those new year’s resolutions you’re making for 2019 it is now a better time than ever to plan any medical appointments you may need. Taking the time to organize medical appointments like annual physicals, vaccinations, and other critical healthcare needs.

Here is a bonafide list of all the medical appointments you should try and plan for in 2019.

Get your flu shot if you haven’t already!

The flu shot is the best way to ensure that you don’t contract the flu during the peak sick season. Flu shots, or influenza vaccinations, work by taking a weakened strain of the flu and either injecting it or using an alternative nasal. The weakened strain is not potent enough to cause the flu and helps the body create more antibodies to fight the disease.

Most people should schedule their flu shot in mid-September or as quickly as possible during the winter. As a general guideline, getting the flu shot is better sooner rather than later no matter when.

Schedule your annual physical

An annual physical may likely be the most important medical you schedule in a given calendar year. Primary care providers use the information from a physical to recommend any medication, lifestyle, or dietary changes you may need to improve your overall health.

More importantly, a routine physical allows your doctor to identify and potential healthcare complications and risks in the near future.

Coordinate your physical examination with work or school in order to avoid any scheduling conflicts with primary commitments. A physical may also last between 15 to 45 minutes, so make sure you are mindful of a potentially lengthy appointment when scheduling.

Also, make sure that you have all up-to-date medical information on hand when you begin your physical. Your medical history is crucial to help your provider make healthcare recommendations and referrals.

Get any travel vaccinations as needed for a long-distance vacation!

Planning a big trip or an exotic vacation next year? Make sure to thoroughly plan out any travel vaccines, depending upon where you go. Check on the CDC’s website to see if your destination requires any specific vaccinations for your trip.

Additionally, you should also keep up to date on your routine vaccinations through a primary care provider or another medical professional.

Taking the time plan any preventive medical appointment helps to lower your overall health risks throughout the year. Make sure you’re planning any medical services to have your healthiest year yet!

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