Which Should You Choose: Urgent Care Or Emergency Room Services?

Urgent care or emergency room, which one do you need? Whether it’s an injury or an illness, understanding which type of medical service provider is right for you is the first step to getting care. Before waiting hours in the ER or getting told that you need services that the clinic doesn’t offer, check out the reasons to go (or not to go) to each of these options.

Illness Issues

Some illnesses are minor and don’t require complex types of treatments. A sinus infection, head cold, or strep throat are all examples of bugs that an urgent care clinic can easily treat. The doctors of the clinic will evaluate your situation, do an exam, and (if needed) prescribe medications. In some cases, you can even fill your antibiotic prescription at the clinic itself. But, if you have a serious or chronic illness, a high fever, are dehydrated to the point of needing IV fluids, or have any other seemingly severe symptom, the emergency room is the place to go. The ER doctors can provide treatments such as IV antibiotics or admit you to the hospital if needed.

Injuries and Imaging

Most urgent care centers offer imaging services. If you think you have a break, you can get an x-ray and possibly a cast, sling, or splint there. But, if your injury requires further testing, you may need to head out to the ER. Emergency departments can provide MRI’s, CT scans, and tests that are more sophisticated than a regular x-ray. Along with getting the right kind of test, serious injuries that involved deep wounds or bleeding or may require surgery are best served by the ER.

Well-Visits and Physicals

Not every medical visit is for an illness or injury. A work, school or sports physical requires a doctor’s review. Sometimes getting in to see your primary care physician just isn’t an option. If you can’t get an appointment with your regular doctor in the time frame that you’re on, urgent care clinics are the best option. These clinics typically have short wait times, making your entire well-visit a fairly quick process. In comparison, an emergency room visit would take much longer (possibly hours).

Before choosing an on the spot medical treatment provider, review your symptoms. If you’re not experiencing a serious illness or injury, or you need well-patient care, an urgent care clinic may be the way to go. But, if you have any concerns that your medical issue is serious or may require hospitalization, the ER is the choice for you. Keep in mind, only a qualified medical professional can give you healthcare advice or assess the situation. If you have any doubts or concerns, call your doctor, the clinic, or the hospital first. If the situation is in any way an emergency, go to the ER (or call 911) right away. Always take your health seriously. Something like a high fever can quickly spiral out of control. Only a licensed medical pro can make a diagnosis and provide the proper care that you need to get well again. 

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Things To Know About Varicose Veins

Wearing clothing that allows legs to be exposed can be embarrassing when there are veins bulging beneath the skin. If you have such a condition and want to start stop covering up your legs all of the time, there is something that can be done. You will first need to make an appointment with a physician, as it is likely that you are suffering from varicose veins. He or she will be able to get rid of them. Take a look at this article for some helpful information in regards to varicose veins.

1. The Cause of Varicose Veins

One of the things that can cause varicose veins to develop is venous valves. The valves are important because they make sure that blood is only able to flow in one direction towards the heart and legs. If the valves are unable to function as should, blood ends up flowing in two directions, which puts a lot of pressure on the veins and causes them bulge. Putting too much strain on your legs from being overweight or carrying heavy objects can cause the veins to bulge as well.

2. Treatment That Can Be Done

It is possible that surgery will be needed to get rid of your varicose veins, but it isn’t always necessary. One of the common methods that is used to treat the condition is called sclerotherapy. Basically, the physician will have to inject a special chemical in your varicose veins so they can develop scars and go away without any additional treatment being necessary. A laser can also be used to get rid of varicose veins in most cases.

3. Complications That Can Occur

If you don’t get the varicose veins treated, several complications might develop. For instance, you might start feeling a lot of pain in your feet that doesn’t go away. Your feet can also become swollen to the extent of needed prompt medical attention. In a severe case, you might develop venous leg ulcers.  

4. How Varicose Veins Can Be Prevented

Strenuous activities should be avoided if you want to decrease the risk of varicose veins coming back after they have been treated. For instance, weight lifting is great for building muscles, but it can also lead to varicose veins developing due to the amount of strain that it puts on your legs. Getting into the habit of walking can also prevent varicose veins, as it can strengthen your blood vessel walls.

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Natural Ways To Combat The Side Effects Of Breast Cancer Treatment

While it is important to work with your doctor to come up with the best breast cancer treatment plan for your specific case, you’ll also want to be proactive in implementing a few natural strategies to combat the side effects that cancer treatments are known for. These strategies provide much needed relief and may eliminate the need for additional drugs to treat such reactions as nausea and joint pain. 


According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, 70 percent of cancer patients suffer nausea as a result of their treatments. The center goes on to recommend ginger to combat the nausea. There are several different ways a patient can take the ginger, which makes it an excellent, all-natural choice. If you prefer, you can purchase the ginger in pill form, or you can use it to make a refreshing cup of tea. Another option is to pick up soda that contains ginger. It is important to note that some sodas bare the name ginger ale, yet contain no real ginger. Make sure you read the ingredients list before buying yourself a bottle.

Aloe Vera

Should your breast cancer treatment involve the use of radiation, you’ll want to pick up a bottle of pure aloe vera gel. The National Center for Biotechnology Information shared a study of 60 cancer patients, 38 percent of which had breast cancer, who used aloe to treat their radiation-induced dermatitis. The study concluded that the use of the aloe vera did reduce the amount of dermatitis that patients experienced. Aloe has been used for centuries to treat burns and heal skin, so it makes sense that this plant would also have a positive effect on cancer patients. 

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Some women are prescribed aromatase inhibitors as part of their breast cancer treatment. One of the biggest side effects of this treatment is joint pain. Dr. Nalini Chilkov of The Huffington Post reports that when glucosamine and chondroitin are used together, they do an excellent job relieving joint pain and stiffness so that patients can continue on with their treatment. 

Coconut Water

Another side effect of chemotherapy is an increased risk of dehydration. In addition to making sure you stay hydrated with traditional water, you’ll also want to start adding a few glasses of coconut water to your diet. The Hope 4 Cancer Institute lists coconut water as having the same concentration of salt as our cells and blood, lots of potassium, and important vitamins and minerals that will keep your body properly hydrated. The institute points out that you need to get your coconut water directly from the fruit and not from a can or bottle. 

For more information and help, talk with your doctor about breast cancer treatment

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Two Reasons Why You Should Start Buying Essential Oils

Essential oil is comprised of the liquid that comes out of a plant when it is distilled.  The oil then contains the fragrance of the plant and is used in a number of applications.  While you may have heard about essential oils before, it may not have occurred to you that you should start purchasing them.  You just might be able to get a number of great benefits when you make essential oils a part of your life.  Use this information to learn more about why now is a great time for you to start purchasing essential oils right away.

Essential Oils Have Many Different Uses

One of the main reasons why you should start buying essential oils is because they have so many different uses.  It’s amazing how a single product can be used in a valuable way each and every day.

For example, if you’re the kind of person who loves relaxing in a house that smells delicious, essential oils are the way to go.  You can place a few drops into a burner and unwind while the gentle scent wafts across the room.  Placing a drop or two into your washer during a cycle is also a great use for essential oil.  It will make your clothes smell amazing.

Also, essential oil makes the ideal perfume.  Instead of wearing a manufactured scent that may contain harmful chemicals that cause a negative reaction when used on your skin, you’ll have a natural, chemical-free product that allows you to smell incredible without the need for artificial perfume or cologne.  Just be sure to purchase oil that is advertised as being 100 percent pure.  This is how you’ll know that it isn’t mixed with harmful ingredients that you may not know about.

Essential Oils Could Help You Save Money

Another reason why you should use essential oil is because it could be the key to helping you save money.  Because a little bit of essential oil goes such a long way, you’ll find that you likely won’t have to purchase it as often as some of the other air freshener products or perfumes.  This is a great way to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Purchasing essential oils is a great way to make your home and clothes smell great while saving you money. To browse scents that you may like, check out online retailers like Tru Brand.

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Can You Have An MRI While Pregnant?

If you’re currently pregnant, you may find the lengthy list of things you can (and can’t) do during this time to be overwhelming and often even contradictory. Whether debating the consumption of un-microwaved lunch meat, the risks posed by sushi, or even the placement of your vehicle’s seat belt while driving, the changes in your life and routine during pregnancy can be exhausting. Those who find themselves in need of medical imaging — from X-rays to MRIs — during pregnancy may wonder if these processes are safe or whether it’s better to simply put them off until after the baby is born. Read on to learn more about which scans are safe during pregnancy and which you may want to avoid.

What types of medical imaging are safe during pregnancy?

Although X-ray technicians will always inquire whether you’re pregnant (or possibly pregnant) before placing the leaded gown over your body, being pregnant doesn’t mean X-rays are automatically (or completely) off limits. Because medical X-rays target radiation at the specific part of the body being examined, you should be able to have an X-ray of your hand, foot, or other extremity without ever putting your belly in harm’s way; and even if you do inadvertently come into contact with this radiation, it’s usually at a low enough dose that you’d need to have hundreds (or thousands) of subsequent X-rays before ever seeing any effect on your child.

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, can provide a much more comprehensive view of bones, tendons, and other internal structures, and they are often used to assess interior damage to a joint when mere X-rays aren’t enough. Although the MRI machine is much larger and more intimidating looking than an X-ray machine, MRIs are considered relatively safe for pregnant women and should only be avoided by those who have pacemakers or other implants that could be jarred loose by the heavy-duty magnets used. 

What imaging procedures should you avoid? 

With proper precautions, pregnant women shouldn’t find themselves foreclosed from any of the more common types of medical imaging. But it’s important to ensure that any imaging you’re having done is medically necessary and shouldn’t be postponed. For example, a knee problem that has been bothering you for decades and hasn’t significantly increased in severity during your pregnancy can probably be placed on the back burner until you’ve given birth, but a suspected broken foot or ankle will require immediate imaging to set the bone.

For more information, contact a clinic like Kenai Peninsula Imaging Center, LLC.

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Understanding Whooping Cough Treatments And How You Can Help Your Child Through The Illness

If you have a child, then you probably understand that children become ill quite often. There are a wide variety of flu and cold illnesses you will need to deal with. Some of these sicknesses will seem a bit more troublesome than others. This may be true if your child develops whooping cough. Keep reading to understand how this ailment is treated and also to find out what you can do to make your child feel better.

How Is Whooping Cough Treated?

Whooping cough is a respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussisThis type of bacterium is a gram-negative variety that multiplies very quickly once it infects the respiratory mucous. This means that your child is likely to develop symptoms very soon after they become infected. In many cases, the bacteria is spread through the mucous that is excreted from infected individuals. Specifically, the droplets of fluid that release from the lungs when you cough is how the disease is spread to others.

Since pertussis is a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics. The disease will start off like a cold with congestion and coughing. During the beginning stages of the disease, treatment is most effective in keeping the whooping cough from developing further into a more serious issue. If your child has been around someone else who has recently developed whooping cough, then your child should be taken to their pediatrician as soon as they start to show symptoms.

Relatively long courses of antibiotics need to be provided to children, even if the infection is caught early on. You should not be surprised if your child needs to take medication for longer than 10 days. While the medicine will help to minimize some of the more serious effects of the illness, you are likely to notice that the illness takes several weeks to completely resolve itself.

How Can You Help Your Child?

If your child does contract whooping cough and they start receiving treatment within a short period of time, then your child has a very good chance of fighting off the disease at home without having to stay in the hospital. While this is true, you will need to do some things to make your child feel as comfortable as possible. When adults develop whooping cough, physicians can prescribe strong cough suppressants. These medicines are not typically safe for children, so they are often avoided. You also should not give your child over the counter cough medicines since they rarely help to stop coughing fits. 

You should work to reduce irritation that can trigger a coughing spell. Adding a humidifier to your child’s room and keeping it on at all times can help. This helps to loosen mucous congestion in the lungs so your child has an easier time coughing it up. If possible, use a cool mist humidifier. 

You also should make sure that your son or daughter’s room is as clean as possible and free from dust, smoke, pollen, pet dander, and fumes that can cause irritation. 

Offer your child plenty of fluids while they are ill. Drinking is the best way to encourage a productive cough that brings mucous out of the lungs. Also, dehydration is a serious concern and can lead to complications while your child is ill. Water, soup broth, juice, and sports drinks are all good choices. Make sure your child sits up when they drink to minimize choking concerns. 

If your child has a bit of an appetite, then offer small meals several times a day. This can keep your child from vomiting, since coughing fits can cause your son or daughter to throw up. Also, offer whole fruits and vegetables to increase the intake of fluid. 

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Take Prednisone For IBD? Why You Need To Be Aware Of Spinal Compression Fractures, How To Avoid Them, And Treatment

If you have to take courses of prednisone frequently to help control your Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) flares, then you need to know what spinal compression fractures are, how to avoid them, and what to do if you suspect you have one. Why? Taking frequent courses of prednisone can lead to bone thinning and osteoporosis, and IBD itself puts you at risk for osteoporosis due to your frequently inflamed colon’s inability to absorb many vitamins and nutrients that support healthy bones. While bone thinning and osteoporosis both put you at risk of many types of bone fractures, if you suffer from a spinal compression fracture, you may not even realize you developed one at all if you already suffer from frequent back pain. Read on to learn more about spinal compression fractures, how to avoid them, and what to do if you suspect you have developed one. 

How Spinal Compression Fractures Develop

When your bones are thin and weak due to osteoporosis, the small bones that make up your back, called vertebrae, can develop small cracks called hairline fractures very easily. These small cracks themselves can go unnoticed by you, and you could even already have a few of them and not feel any pain — yet. However, once a few of these small cracks develop in one back vertebrae, it weakens the bone dramatically, and this weak vertebrae can then collapse. 

Surprisingly, many people feel no pain after suffering from a spinal compression fracture. However, others do. In people who suffer pain from the fractures, the pain typically hits them very quickly and suddenly. Pain from a spinal compression fracture typically worsens when standing and is greatly relieved when lying down on your back. 

How You Can Prevent Spinal Compression Fractures

While you cannot control the fact that you have IBD or the fact that you need to take prednisone when your symptoms are “flaring” and your doctor needs to control the inflammation for your overall health, there are some spinal compression fracture risk factors that you can control. 

First, since smoking leads to bone loss, don’t smoke cigarettes; smoking cigarettes doesn’t just affect your lung health, but it truly affects the overall health of your body. Don’t drink more than four alcoholic drinks each day, since this can also cause your bones to thin, and try to keep your BMI above 19; a too-low BMI can cause your body’s estrogen levels to plummet, which increases your risk of developing osteoporosis. 

Of course, keeping your daily intake of calcium high is important for strong bones, along with vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium more efficiently. Strive to consume about 1,200 mg of calcium each day and 600 or more IUs of vitamin D. Sun exposure causes your body to create Vitamin D naturally, so enjoy a nice walk in the sun each day, if you can, to take advantage of this natural source of Vitamin D. 

Using good body mechanics can also help prevent spinal compression fractures; remember to always bend your knees when picking up objects off the ground. 

Spinal Compression Fracture Diagnosis &Treatment

Only about one-third of all spinal compression fractures suffered in the US are ever diagnosed due to the fact that there are so many causes of back pain that it can be so easy for a doctor to misdiagnose this type of fracture. If you ever suspect that you have developed one, your doctor will likely ask you questions and order back x-rays. However, these fractures can be missed on x-rays, so don’t be afraid to ask for a CAT scan or MRI if your x-rays do not detect the fracture you suspect. 

It is important to receive a proper diagnosis, so your treatment can then be targeted to exactly what you are suffering from. Your doctor may first take a “wait and see” approach to see if your fracture heals on its own; during this time, you will be instructed to rest as much as possible and may be prescribed a pain medication, if you feel you need it. 

If your spinal compression fracture does not heal on its own, then your doctor may suggest a surgery to relieve the pain and help you lead a normal life again. There are two types of spinal compression surgeries that are commonly used: vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. While slightly different, both offer similar benefits — they help stabilize your spine to help you begin performing your normal daily activities again, relieve pain, and restore the height that you lost during the fracture. 

If you suffer from IBD and take courses of prednisone or other corticosteriods frequently to control colon inflammation, then be aware that both having IBD and taking prednisone increase your risk of osteoporosis and the spinal compression fractures that, unfortunately, often occur in people with weak bones. Commit to taking steps to keep your bones healthy and, if you ever experience sudden back pain, know that it could be a spinal compression fracture that your doctor can help you heal. Reach out to a professional, such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates, for more information. 

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