Health Education

Below are detailed descriptions of health-related topics provided by the American College of Physicians (ACP). Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns, or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers today.

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Acute coronary syndrome is when blood flow to the heart is suddenly reduced or blocked. Usually this is when a blood clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the heart. Acute coronary syndrome includes:

    • Unstable angina. This is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart that does not damage the heart.
    • Heart attack. This is when blood flow to the heart is blocked and the heart muscle is damaged.

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  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • The pancreas is a gland about the size of a hand that is located behind the stomach. It makes digestive fluid that helps to break down food. Acute pancreatitis happens when something blocks the flow of this fluid or attacks the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas becomes irritated and swollen. Factors that increase the risk for acute pancreatitis include:

    • Having gallstone disease
    • Drinking a lot of alcohol

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  • Acute Sinusitis (Sinus Infections)
    • Acute sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection or rhinosinusitis, refers to inflammation and infection in one or more of the paranasal sinuses.
    • It often occurs after a cold, when mucus gets trapped in inflamed sinuses and does not drain properly. This condition encourages bacterial growth, or rarely fungal growth, that can lead to infection.
    • Sinusitis affects is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor.

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  • Adult Vaccines
    • Vaccines help babies, children, and teens stay well. But vaccines aren’t just for kids. Adults need them too. You may need a vaccine because you never got it. Even if you got it as a child, it may have worn off.
    • Vaccines save lives. They protect you from disease. Each year, more than 30,000 Americans die because they did not get needed vaccines.
    • Vaccines are safe. You are much more likely to get very sick from the disease a vaccine protects you from than from the vaccine itself.

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  • Alcohol Use
  • Drinking more than the following amounts of alcohol puts a person at risk for heath and social problems:

    • Unstable angina. This is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart that does not damage the heart.
    • Heart attack. This is when blood flow to the heart is blocked and the heart muscle is damaged.

    A standard drink is 12 oz. of beer or a wine cooler, 5 oz. of wine, 3 to 4 oz. of sherry or port, 2 to 3 oz. of cordial/liqueur/aperitif, 1.5 oz. of spirits (e.g., a single shot glass of 80-proof gin, vodka, whiskey), or 8 to 9 oz. of malt liquor.

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  • Anxiety
    • Everyone feels worried or fearful sometimes.
    • But in some people, these feelings become overwhelming, persistent, or interfere with daily life.
    • Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • Asthma
  • Asthma is a disease that affects the airways in the lungs. Asthma is a serious health problem, but it can be managed so you can live a normal, healthy life. When you have asthma, tubes that bring air to the lungs become swollen making it harder to breathe. Coming in contact with triggers such as smoke, mold, or dust, can make it even harder to breathe. This can cause an asthma attack or flare-up. You are at higher risk for asthma if you:

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  • Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)
  • This guide will give you tips for how you can manage your atrial fibrillation (Afib), feel better, and keep from having a stroke.

    When you have Afib, taking care of yourself is important. You have a team of health care professionals who can help. The team may include:

    • Doctors (including your primary care doctor, cardiologists, and other specialists)
    • Nurse practitioners

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  • Celiac Disease
    • A digestive disease that hinders how the body absorbs nutrients from food.
    • When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, an abnormal immune reaction is triggered that damages the lining of the small intestine.
    • Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye, and barley, and is commonly found in bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals.
    • People with celiac disease can become malnourished despite a nutritious diet if damage to the small intestines is extensive.

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  • Celluitis
  • Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and soft tissue below the skin. It usually appears on the lower legs, but can show up anywhere on your body. You can get cellulitis when bacteria enter the body through a cut or opening in the skin. Certain health conditions raise the risk for cellulitis. These include:

    • Diabetes
    • Poor blood flow

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  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • The kidneys play an important role in keeping the body healthy. They remove waste from the body, balance blood pressure, make important hormones, and help keep bones strong. With chronic kidney disease (CKD), the kidneys gradually stop working. CKD can cause other health problems, like:

    • Heart disease,
    • Weak bones,

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  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease. People with COPD have a hard time getting air in and out of their lungs. COPD may also be called chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Smoking can cause COPD. Some people may also get it from being around other people who smoke or from breathing dirty air.

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  • Chronic Pain
  • Chronic pain is any type of lasting pain in your body. This pain can be caused by an injury, illness, or other health problem. Sometimes there is no clear reason for the pain. You can feel chronic pain in many parts of the body and for many different reasons.

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  • Concussion
    • A serious injury that damages the brain
    • Also referred to as “mild traumatic brain injury”
    • Results from a jolt, collision, or bump to the head
    • Causes include:

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  • Constipation
  • Constipation is a problem where people usually have fewer than 3 bowel movements per week. People with constipation also have bowel movements that are hard to pass. Constipation is common. Most people will have constipation at one time in their life; however, some people have chronic constipation, meaning that it lasts for several weeks. Factors that may increase your risk for constipation include:

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  • Delerium
    • A state of severe confusion that may come and go.
    • The confusion may include difficulty staying focused and fully alert and conscious.
    • It may include disorientation and inability to remember recent events.

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  • Dementia
  • Dementia is a group of symptoms related to impaired memory and thinking skills. People with dementia begin to forget things and can have problems with everyday tasks. There are different types of dementia. Dementia symptoms usually start slowly and get worse over time.

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  • Depression
  • Depression is a disorder of the brain that makes you feel sad. It makes it hard to do or enjoy regular activities and can cause problems in your life. It is different from feeling down or blue for a few days because it does not go away. Depression can last for weeks, months or sometimes even years.

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  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain and tender muscles. It can also cause a range of other symptoms. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. It is most common in women and may occur with other chronic conditions. Fibromyalgia does not cause damage to your joints or muscles. It also does not shorten your lifespan.

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  • Gout
  • Gout is a type of arthritis that causes swelling, pain and burning in joints like the big toe. It happens when there is too much uric acid in your body. Too much uric acid can cause crystals to form in the joints causing pain and swelling.

    While anyone can develop gout, it is more likely to occur in:

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  • Heart Disease
  • Acute coronary syndrome is when blood flow to the heart is suddenly reduced or blocked. Usually this is when a blood clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the heart. Acute coronary syndrome includes:

    • Unstable angina. This is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart that does not damage the heart.
    • Heart attack. This is when blood flow to the heart is blocked and the heart muscle is damaged.

    Read More

  • Heart Failure
  • Heart failure is when the heart can’t pump as well as it should. Because the heart has a hard time getting blood to the rest of the body, people with heart failure can feel weak and tired. Heart failure is more common in older people, but can occur at any age. It can be caused by many different conditions. High blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and other heart problems can increase the risk for heart failure. Treating these conditions may help to prevent heart failure.

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  • High Cholesterol
  • Lipids, or cholesterol, are fatty substances in the blood. When cholesterol is too high, it can build up and clog blood vessels in your heart. This can cause heart attack, stroke, and other blood vessel diseases. There are several types of cholesterol that affect health:

    • LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol. When there is too much LDL in the blood it can build up in the walls of arteries. This can lead to heart attack or stroke. Some oils, fatty meat, butter, fast food and foods high in fat and sugar can increase your LDL cholesterol.

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  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hypercalcemia happens when there is too much calcium in your blood. Certain glands in your neck help to control how much calcium is in your body. When these glands don’t work the way they should, you could get hypercalcemia. Other causes include:

    • Certain health conditions, like cancer
    • Certain medicines, like lithium

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  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common health problem. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder with every heartbeat. If you don’t get treated for your hypertension, you have a higher risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or kidney failure.

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  • Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)
  • The thyroid is a small gland in the neck. It makes hormones that control how the body uses energy. Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, is when the thyroid gland makes too many hormones. The extra hormones speed up the functions of your body, which can cause health problems. Overactive thyroid is more common in women, and can be caused by:

    • Grave’s disease
    • Certain medicines

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  • Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid)
  • The thyroid is a small gland in the neck. It makes hormones that control how the body uses energy. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is when the thyroid gland is not working and making enough hormones. There can be many different causes, including:

    • Hashimoto’s disease
    • Radiation therapy to treat cancers of the head and neck

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  • Influenza and Flu Shots
  • Flu (Influenza) causes fever, cough, body aches, tiredness, sore throat and runny nose. Some people can get very sick. Here is what YOU can do to keep from getting it or to feel better if you do.

    • A flu shot is the best way to keep from getting the flu. The shot cannot give you the flu.
    • All people age 6 months or older should get a flu shot.
    • It’s best to get a flu shot in October or November before the flu season starts, but you can still get one until the middle of February.

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  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    • IBS causes pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Another name for the condition is spastic colitis.
    • The cause of IBS is believed to be intestines that are overly sensitive to normal intestinal movement, gas, some foods, and stress.
    • There is no test for IBS, so doctors make the diagnosis by carefully evaluating symptoms and excluding other conditions.

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  • Kidney Stones
  • Kidney stones are small pebbles of salt and minerals that form in the kidney from materials in urine. Kidney stones may stay in the kidney or break loose and move down the urinary tract. If they do break loose, they can cause pain, but usually not permanent damage. Kidney stones are more likely to occur in male adults, but women can get them too. You have a higher risk for kidney stones if you:

    • Have had kidney stones in the past

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  • Lupus
  • Lupus is an autoimmune disease that happens when the body attacks its own tissues and organs by mistake. This can cause rashes and pain and swelling in the joints, kidneys, and other organs. The cause for lupus is not clear. It usually starts when people are in their 20s and 30s and occurs more often in women than in men.

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  • Lyme Disease
  • Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that sometimes live in deer ticks. Humans can be infected with these bacteria if they are bitten by an infected deer tick. The tick must be attached to your skin for at least 24 hours before it can cause an infection. If Lyme disease is left untreated, it can cause long-lasting symptoms.

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  • Migraine Headaches
  • Migraine headaches (migraines) are severe headaches that can last from four hours to three days. They are common, especially in women. The cause of migraines is not clear. They are related to family history and lifestyle factors, including:

    • Stress or anxiety
    • Hormonal changes
    • Lack of food or sleep

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  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bone loss, which can lead to weakened bones. Weakened bones can easily break. These breaks, sometimes called fractures, can be painful and make it hard to take care of yourself. The risk for osteoporosis increases with age. It is more common in women, especially after menopause. Other risk factors include:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking large amounts of alcohol

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  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that causes cartilage in your joints to break down. Cartilage is the flexible tissue between bones at the joints. When you have osteoarthritis, it can become hard to move and do daily activities like walking, cooking, or writing. Osteoarthrtis usually develops slowly and affects the hands, knees, hips, or spine. Risk factors include:

    • Getting older.
    • Being a woman.

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  • Parkinson Disease
    • arkinson disease impairs muscle control, movement, and balance.
    • t occurs when nerve cells in the brain’s substantia nigra area deteriorate and can’t produce dopamine
    • As a result, the brain loses the ability to communicate normal muscle movement messages

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  • Pharyngitis
    • Pharyngitis indicates inflammation of the throat.
    • Patients with pharyngitis seek medical attention because of a sore throat
    • Depending on the cause, patients may have other symptoms, such as fever, headache, runny nose, cough, hoarseness, and rash.

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  • Pneumonia
  • Pneumonia is a serious infection of the lungs. Community acquired pneumonia is a type of pneumonia that you catch outside of a hospital or nursing home. It is most commonly caused by bacteria, but viruses can also cause it. Risk factors for pneumonia include:

    • Being 65 years or older
    • Eating a poor diet

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  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE) happens when the blood supply to the lungs is blocked by a blood clot. The blood clot usually forms in the legs and then travels to the lungs and gets stuck there. The blockage can damage part of your lung and cause low oxygen levels in your blood. Certain factors increase your risk for blood clots, such as:

    • A major injury, such as a broken leg
    • A major operation, such as knee replacement surgery

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  • Pulmonary Hypertension
    • Pulmonary hypertension (PH) means high blood pressure in the lungs.
    • It occurs with narrowing of the arteries in the lungs, which carry blood from your heart to your lungs to pick up oxygen.
    • Medical conditions that can lead to PH include heart and lung diseases or blood clots and connective tissue disease (such as lupus or scleroderma).

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  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is a condition that causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs. RLS can also cause urges to move the legs that you can’t control. These feelings and urges usually get worse during periods of rest. RLS symptoms can make it very hard to sleep. What causes RLS is as yet unknown, but other health conditions could make it more likely, including:

    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Low iron levels

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  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease in which your body’s immune system attacks the joints. The joints can become swollen, painful, and stiff. RA can affect any joint, but it most often affects your wrists and fingers. The same joints are usually affected on both sides of the body. Doctors don’t know what causes RA. In people who have severe RA, it never goes away. In these cases, it could cause serious joint damage.

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  • Sarcoidosis
    • A disease causing small patches of inflamed cells (granulomas) to form, usually in the lungs but sometimes in other parts of the body.
    • The cause is unknown.

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  • Shingles
  • Herpes zoster is often known as shingles. It is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles.

    Shingles is most common in people:

    • 50 years of age and older
    • Who have a serious medical condition
    • Who take a medicine that makes it harder to fight infection

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  • Sleep Apnea
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common problem that disrupts breathing during sleep. People with OSA temporarily stop or decrease their breathing while sleeping, causing decreases in oxygen levels. These pauses can awaken a person or prevent the deepest and most restful sleep, causing daytime sleepiness. OSA is also associated with serious health effects. Poor sleep can lead to an increase in accidents and a reduced quality of life and is also associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

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  • Smoking Cessation
  • Smoking cigarettes can lead to many serious health problems, including:

    • Cancer
    • Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Heart disease

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  • Transient Ischemic Attack and Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a mini-stroke. TIA happens when blood going to the brain is blocked. This can happen when a blood clot gets stuck in an artery leading to the brain. This causes a quick but not lasting decrease in brain function. Symptoms go away when the blockage is cleared. TIA usually goes away after a few minutes or up to an hour

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  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that attack the lungs. There are 2 kinds of TB:

    • Active TB is when the disease starts to make a person feel sick and can spread to others. It’s spread when a person with active TB coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
    • Latent TB does not make you feel sick and does not spread to others. People with latent TB are infected with the bacteria but don’t have the disease. Some people with latent TB may get active TB later on. This can happen to people who are older, have poor nutrition, or other health problems.

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  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Diabetes is a condition where there is too much sugar (glucose) in your blood. Sugar can build up because your body doesn’t make enough of a hormone called insulin. Diabetes can happen if you don’t have enough insulin to turn the sugar into energy. It also may happen if your body doesn’t respond to the insulin it does have.

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  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Kidney stones are small pebbles of salt and minerals that form in the kidney from materials in urine. Kidney stones may stay in the kidney or break loose and move down the urinary tract. If they do break loose, they can cause pain, but usually not permanent damage. Kidney stones are more likely to occur in male adults, but women can get them too. You have a higher risk for kidney stones if you:

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  • Zika Virus
  • Zika virus is an illness spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika virus is also spread through:

    • Pregnancy. Zika virus can pass from mother to child during pregnancy. This can cause serious birth defects.
    • Sexual contact. A man with Zika virus can spread it to his sexual partners through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

    Zika virus is spreading through South and Central America, and other tropical parts of the world. You can visit www.cdc.gov/zika for up-to-date information about where cases of Zika virus have been identified

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