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Listen to Your Heart - The American Heart Month

When we think of the February holidays, Valentine's Day comes to mind. We think of our loved ones, prepare cards and gifts, take our partner for a romantic dinner or even on a beautiful getaway. The affairs of the heart are especially important this month, particularly as it’s also the American Heart Month, so let’s make sure we treat our hearts with utmost care - both romantically AND physically.

If we want our love life to flourish and be an important part of our existence, we need to take care of our hearts in a more physical way than making sure we choose the right partner and avoid getting our hearts “broken”. 

This vital organ is placed in the center of our bodies - and it controls our emotions. When we feel excited, it beats faster, and when we are stressed, we hold our chest. If we want to make sure we live long and healthy lives, the most important organ to take care of is our heart.  

Listen to your Heart

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Source: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2019-01/HM_SocMedImages_Generic_FB_Final_8.jpg /

According to the American Heart Association, whilst half of American adults suffer from heart disease, 72 percent of Americans do not consider themselves at risk. So the first step you ought to take toward good heart health is to become aware of your own risk for heart disease. You'll need to gather some information to create your personal “heart profile". 

You can assess your condition and risk factors together with your physician. Your doctor can be an important partner in helping you set and reach goals for heart health. The doctors in Urgent Care Of The Palm Beaches, support you and your family in your efforts to improve your heart health. 

This short video by WebMD can help you assess your “heart age”. Are you young at heart? 

Heart disease risk factors

Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more prone to developing a disease. They can also increase the possibility of an existing disease getting worse. According to the American College of Cardiology, the main risk factors of cardiovascular diseases are as follows: 

  • Hypertension, Adults (45.6%)
  • Obesity, Adults (39.6%) Youth (18.5%)
  • Cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein) ≥130 mg/dl, Adults (28.5%)
  • Smoking, Adults (15.5%)
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (14.8%)
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Diagnosed (9.8%)
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Undiagnosed (3.7%)

Other important risk factors are:

  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Age 

You may decide that since you have just one or two risk factors for heart disease (for example you have hypertension and smoke), then you are safe. Unfortunately not. But having more than one risk factor is especially serious because risk factors tend to increase each other’s effects. That’s why it’s so important to take our heart disease risks seriously, and do whatever we can to reduce them.

HM_SocMedImages_Generic_FB_Final_5-1024x538 Listen to Your Heart - The American Heart Month
Source: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2019-01/HM_SocMedImages_Generic_FB_Final_5.jpg /

The most common and dangerous cardiovascular (heart) conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. One in every four deaths in the United States is caused by cardiovascular disease, a total of 659,000 Americans each year, which means that somebody dies from heart disease every 36 seconds.

There are many different heart conditions and problems that are called heart or cardiovascular disease.

  • Coronary heart disease

This is the most common heart disease. It is caused when the heart’s blood vessels - the coronary arteries - become narrowed or obstructed and can’t provide sufficient blood to the heart. It can lead to a heart attack.

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  • Angina

Angina is a pain or discomfort in your chest, arm, neck, stomach or jaw that happens when the blood supply to your heart becomes restricted because your arteries are clogged. 

  • Heart attack

Also known as myocardial infarction (MI) - occurs when the blood supply to a part of your heart is completely blocked. This is most commonly caused by a blood clot formed in a coronary artery. 

  • Heart failure

If your heart can’t work effectively, it cannot meet your body’s demand for blood and oxygen, and your body develops various symptoms, like fatigue and shortness of breath. 

  • Arrhythmia 

Abnormal heart rhythms, caused by electrical disruption of signals within your heart.

  • Congenital heart conditions

Congenital heart condition happens when there’s a defect within the structure of the heart of a developing fetus while inside the mother’s womb. 

Prevention is better than cure

Knowing the risk factors, controlling your blood pressure and getting regular check-ups is important, but prevention is vital. If you listen to your heart regularly, it will tell you that blood will flow through your veins more easily if it gets help from you in the form of a healthy lifestyle. 

Exercise, diet, good night’s sleep and managing your stress levels may seem easy enough, but more often than not, we simply forget to add them to our daily schedule. Sometimes changing your routine can be the difference between suffering from a heart condition or leading a healthy life.

Work with your internal medicine doctor in Palm Beach County to prepare a plan that suits your lifestyle, your home environment, and your culture. Working with a doctor may help with making changes in your diet, physical activity, managing other medical conditions, and helping you quit smoking or drinking.

Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches For Immediate Consultation

If you think you might be at risk of heart disease, don’t hesitate to then contact our doctors at Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches. We are here to help you!

In order to diagnose a possible condition, your doctor can perform several tests, including chest X-rays, coronary angiograms, electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG), and exercise stress tests. 

We accept patients who have made appointments, as well as walk-in patients. We have several locations for your convenience, including:

Are you concerned about COVID-19? Would you like to have rapid COVID testing or PCR testing? We are happy to assist you with COVID-19 testing at Palm Beach or any of our urgent care centers. 

We offer: 

  • Rapid Covid Antigen Test
  • PCR testing
  • IgG Antibody Test for immunity

The tests are available at all of our 3 locations.

For common conditions that can easily be treated from home, we offer telemedicine urgent care in Florida.

Feel free to contact our clinic or make an appointment now. We are more than willing to answer any questions you have in a partnership to keep you well!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pertains to two types of chronic medical conditions that may obstruct airflow in the lungs. These two conditions are called emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Patients suffering from this condition are prone to develop a cough and wheezing, or experience difficulty in breathing, and overproduction of mucus or sputum in the mouth. 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your urgent care doctor for a comprehensive course of treatment.

Largely described as a "man's disease," COPD has been ranked as the third leading cause of death due to a progressive disease, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019.  According to the American Lung Association, “more than 16.4 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have the disease without even knowing it.”. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) cites, on the other hand, that there are 251 million cases of COPD around the world. At least 90% of deaths due to this disease occur in countries with mostly low, or middle-income earners. 

WHO also projects that COPD cases will still increase in the years to come as the habit of smoking, especially among men, hasn't been curbed. Furthermore, as the population of the elderly is increasing, COPD cases will remain high as this group is one of the most vulnerable to the condition.

Common Causes of COPD

The most common culprit blamed for COPD is cigarette or tobacco smoking, including second-hand smoking. However, people exposed to air pollution and other lung irritants like chemicals, gasses, or fuel for cooking and heating may also be at risk.

In some cases, men whose jobs involve frequent exposure to fumes, vapors and dust also develop COPD. In fact, first responders and residents in nearby areas during the 9/11 attack in New York have developed or died from COPD because of the massive dust that swept the atmosphere for months, stated by the International Journal on Environmental Research and Public Health.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, asthma may also cause the development of COPD. People with a rare genetic condition known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency may also end up having COPD in their later years. 

At its worst, COPD may lead to lung cancer, heart disease and other complications, especially if the symptoms are not managed or treated. 

Symptoms of COPD

A person suffering from chronic bronchitis and emphysema need to be wary of COPD because the symptoms aren't immediately present. When the coughing fits have been increasingly frequent, however, it's usually the first cause for concern as the condition in the lungs could be worsening.

A patient needs to get tested and diagnosed with COPD if these symptoms are present:

  • An itchy throat 
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Shortness of breath, especially after some physical activities
  • Cough with white, yellow or green mucus
  • Frequent fatigue and tiredness
  • Swelling of the lower legs, ankles and feet

In the late stages, a person with COPD may significantly lose a lot of weight. 

Treating and Preventing COPD

There is no specific cure for COPD but this condition is highly preventable if the symptoms are dealt with at an early stage, coupled with some lifestyle changes. 

For instance, a person who is a frequent smoker may lower his risk of developing COPD if he quits the habit for good. A healthy diet plan may also curb symptoms like shortness of breath, or tiredness as the body gains more nutrients to fight infection and other common illnesses that could trigger coughs and colds. 

Drinking medications to clear the airways and make breathing easier will also reduce the COPD episodes. However, for those with chronic problems in the lungs, it might be a huge benefit to enter into a pulmonary rehabilitation program with a team of doctors, respiratory therapists, or fitness and diet experts. 

Untitled-design-4 COPD: Everything You Need to Know About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches For Immediate Consultation

If you are worried about your breathing problems or if you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of COPD, then contact our doctors at Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches. We are here to help you!

We accept patients who have made appointments, as well as walk-in patients. We have several locations for your convenience, including:

Are you concerned about COVID-19? Would you like to have rapid COVID testing or PCR testing? We are happy to assist you with COVID-19 testing at Palm Beach or any of our urgent care centers. 

We offer: 

  • Rapid Covid Antigen Test
  • PCR testing
  • IgG Antibody Test for immunity

The tests are available at all of our 3 locations.

For common conditions that can easily be treated from home, we offer telemedicine urgent care in Florida.

Feel free to contact our clinic or make an appointment now. We are more than willing to answer any questions you have in a partnership to keep you well!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has significantly increased surges around the United States. Tests are becoming more popular at home, so patients receive an immediate result and can then quarantine if positive. 

When should you consider taking an at-home COVID-19 test? It's best when you start feeling symptoms. If you have been vaccinated, symptoms are generally milder, resembling a mild cold, but you are still contagious to others. Even if you have been fully vaccinated, you can still be susceptible to catching the virus. 

This article will address whether home COVID-tests are accurate and when you should visit a provider for a diagnosis.

What Should I Know About At-Home COVID tests? 

At-home COVID testing kits are rapid antigen tests. They can be purchased at most pharmacies or ordered online. 

They are most accurate if you follow directions exactly as stated for the at-home test. They are most accurate in patients with high amounts of virus particles and contagions. 

Understand, rapid COVID testing with a negative result may not mean that you don’t have the virus. Tests can result in false negatives, especially if the patient does not follow the directions. 

If you have been around someone who has tested positive, it may mean you haven't met the threshold of virus particles that would result in a positive rapid test. In this case, you may need PCR testing from a lab to confirm if you are negative for the virus. 

Many patients have had a negative test result from at-home kits, but with a PCR test, they are positive.

That said, if you test positive using an at-home kit, you can usually assume you have the virus. If you want further confirmation, you can consider a rapid COVID test or PCR test from an urgent care center. 

What are PCR tests?

PCR tests are much more sensitive to virus particles. They can confirm a positive at-home test or correctly diagnose a negative result. PCR tests are also beneficial because they can usually detect the virus sooner than at-home or rapid COVID tests. 

PCR tests may not be necessary if you tested positive using an at-home test or a rapid test, but some employers may require it before you can return to work. The demand for PCR testing continues to grow, especially since the new Omicron variant has begun to spread rapidly. 

What Should I Know about an Antigen Test for COVID?

An antigen test for covid can detect the presence of antibodies for COVID. These antibodies are the body's natural way to fight the virus. 

Antibodies can take time before they develop and stay in the body for several weeks after a patient has been exposed. Because antigens can remain in the body for many weeks after a patient recovers, they are not used to diagnose an active infection. 

When Should I Take an At-Home COVID Test?

Symptomatic 

At-home tests are convenient but can be expensive. It is useful if you are having symptoms of the virus.

Generally, if you have symptoms and a positive at-home test, you can assume you have COVID-19. Additional antigen tests for COVID are usually not necessary. 

If you have symptoms and the test is negative, you might need a more sensitive PCR test. You can also retake the at-home test the next day as the virus particles may increase and change the result. 

Whether you test positive or negative, it is essential to quarantine per the CDC recommendations if you have symptoms. If you cannot obtain a PCR test to confirm that you have COVID-19, then it is advised to quarantine for ten days. 

Asymptomatic 

If you have been around someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you may consider taking an at-home test because you may test positive without showing signs or symptoms. 

At-home tests can also be helpful before you travel, are around a large group of people, or if going to areas with risk of high exposure, such as malls or the airport. 

Remember, a negative result does not mean you don’t have the virus. Stay home if exposed and consider taking another test the day after your negative result. 

corona-1024x576 Are At-Home COVID Tests Accurate Enough?

Why You Should go to Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches for Accurate Diagnosis

Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches offers both rapid COVID testing and PCR testing to confirm a positive diagnosis of COVID. Whether you have had a negative at-home test or a positive test, we can confirm the results so you can start taking proper precautions. 

We have several convenient locations to serve our patients for COVID-19 testing in Palm Beach: 

We also offer convenient telemedicine urgent care so you can stay home to reduce the risk of COVID exposure. Walk-in service is also available for those who need care.

Contact us for all your urgent care needs. We look forward to serving you in the future. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Locations

North Palm Beach / Palm Beach Gardens Clinic Location:

11951 US Highway 1 Suite 108,
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
(561) 429-6109

West Palm Beach / Palm Beach Clinic Location:

5818 South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 429-4779

Palm Springs / Forest Hill Blvd Clinic Location:

3537 Forest Hill Boulevard,
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
(561) 328-8433
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