| Do you know what your bodies largest organ is? It helps regulate body temperature and hydration status. This organ regenerates itself constantly and it is covered with millions of bacteria that help our immune system. Any guesses? Unlike most of your other organs you see it every day, touch it every day, and cover it up (well mostly) with all kinds of materials and products. Of course, you know I am talking about your skin.
I am often surprised that many patients do not seriously consider their skin as an organ that has very important functions and that must be cared for. Not only does the skin have a role to play in your daily health but it can also reveal changes in your health status and signal that something is wrong. Rashes and skin growths can often be indications of allergic reactions to chemicals, infection, autoimmune diseases, or signs of cancer. Skin manifestations can just as often be simple localized reactions to things that are easy to identify and treat such as insect bites or sun exposure.
In any of these cases it is very important that you take time to care for your skin which should include a thorough annual or semi-annual examination. As a primary care provider one of my most important roles is to identify indicators of potential problems and address them before they become major health issues. So please consider your skin on a regular basis, perform a self-examination, have your family member or partner examine your skin and come see your friendly local primary care provider to give your skin a thorough check up so that we can keep you healthy and refer you to a dermatologist or other specialist if needed. Please call 505-216-7772 to schedule your new patient intake and annual exam today and let us check out your skin!
|Us humans often take many things for granted. The sun will rise and set every day. My car will start every morning. It’s going to rain every afternoon in the summer. My body will take care of itself. We do this so that we don’t stress out about every little detail in our lives. However, when it comes to our health there some items that we need to be more conscious about. Hydration is a perfect example.
Not only are our bodies mostly made of water but our bodies use water for many routine functions that we often take fore granted. Not the least of which is maintaining our fluid volume and blood pressure so that our brains and other organs get the oxygen and nutrients they need. Our bodies use water to cleanse and purify our systems of toxins. Water helps to lubricate and replenish the fluids in our joints and muscles. Our immune systems uses water to help fight off disease and allergens.
I can’t tell you how many times I have began a conversation with patient about a certain ailment or disease that ends up focusing on some of the basics like poor hydration. Patients often ask how much water should I drink? The internet is full of recommendations and products you can buy to help hydrate and measure hydration. A good basic rule of thumb is to work towards 8 full glasses of water of day for starters. Then add from there. If you drink anything that is dehydrating then have a glass of water with it: cup of coffee, glass of water, glass of wine glass of water, soda glass of water. Of course in our very dry climate you need to add hydration for activities as well: hiking, biking, Indian market shopping, drink water.
Here at Eldorado Family Health we like to promote a holistic point of view which is really all about basic health care maintenance that you the patient can do for yourselves. Hydration is just one aspect of this equation. Call today for an appointment and lets have a discussion about how you can lead a more holistic and healthy lifestyle. 505 217 7772
|Your body is in essence a machine, a system of wires and plumbing that work together to provide a functioning body what it needs to operate; much like a car or a house. If the wiring malfunctions, the system does not receive the instruction and feedback it needs to continue. If the plumbing is not provided with water and pressure from the well, the machines that depend on the system (the boiler, washers, toilets, showers) will run dry, and they will fail.
So it is with your circulatory system. If there is too much pressure, as we reviewed in our last two newsletters, it can cause harm to the pipes causing heart failure, stroke, and kidney damage. If there is too little pressure, damage may occur due to decreased blood flow to the vital organs as they depend on blood to bring them nutrients and oxygen. This can lead to organ damage and death. We call this hypotension.
Hypotension is generally defined as a blood pressure reading of 90/65 or less. The most immediate concern for a patient who is hypotensive is a stroke. If the pressure is too low the brain is not receiving enough blood flow and therefore not supplied with enough oxygen. The causes of hypertension are varied but we find that dehydration is one the biggest culprits and can be caused by poor intake of fluids, illness, medication, or a traumatic injury.
In short, a low blood pressure is just as dangerous as a high blood pressure and needs to be monitored and addressed right away. The best way to do this is to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis and to report any suspicious symptoms that may indicate hypotension to your Primary Care Provider. Symptoms may include any or a combination of the following: dizziness, dry mouth, generalized weakness, confusion, diarrhea, and vomiting.
At Eldorado Family Health we will assist you with any blood pressure concerns or other health care needs before they become an emergency. Please call to make an appointment at 505-216-7772.
|Most of us are familiar with the term Hypertension or High Blood Pressure and it is a term that is often used to emphasize the stress of a situation. You may hear someone say something like, “Don’t do that! You’re getting my blood pressure up! Or, Boy that was crazy! My blood pressure probably went through the roof!” We often laugh at stressful situations but are these statements just a play on words about our health or is there some truth to them?
There are gold standard measurements for blood pressure readings; guidelines that we use to determine whether someone actually has hypertension. In general, a blood pressure reading of 120/80 is considered a normal pressure. Readings from 120/80 to 140/90 can be considered pre-hypertensive; 140/90 to 160/90 and higher can be considered hypertensive and these readings can be broken down further into Stage 1 and Stage 2. It is important to understand that these numbers by themselves do not necessarily indicate a problem.
First, a blood pressure constantly changes and is a fluid piece of information. It can be affected by stress, diet, and emotional state. When we encounter a patient having high readings during their office visit we usually recommend that they take readings at home for one to two weeks in the morning before any of the daily stresses have set in and again in the afternoon so we can compare the readings. Second, it is important to understand that there is much more that goes into a diagnosis and a treatment plan for hypertension than just a number. This is why annual visits with your Primary Care Provider are so important. By obtaining a thorough history from our patients and understanding their lifestyles we can identify the probable cause of elevated blood pressures and tailor a treatment regimen. This can but does not always have to involve medication. Finally, it is important to understand that measuring blood pressures is one of many tools in our primary care bag to help prevent heart disease, stroke, and many other problems.
We encourage you to come talk to us today about maintaining your health with annual preventative screenings. Call Eldorado Family Health anytime to make an appointment at 505-216-7772.
|Almost every time you enter a medical professional’s office you are asked to sit in a chair and have your vital signs taken. These measurements usually include your temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse, and blood pressure. Sometimes the provider will discuss this information with you in the course of the visit. Often times however, the subject of blood pressure doesn’t come up as the purpose of the visit distracts us from that information. For a primary care clinic like Eldorado Family Health, these measurements are a crucial first step that provides us with valuable information about your health status so we can offer preventative care and keep you healthy.
Blood pressure is explained with two numbers. Let’s say your blood pressure is “140 over 90. The first (top) number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is contracting. This is called the Systolic Pressure. The second (bottom) number is the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is relaxed, referred to as the Diastolic Pressure. If the blood pressure is elevated, we can use the information to help us diagnose problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), level of pain, or the amount of stress a patient is under.
High blood pressures do not usually cause symptoms or provide you with warning signs and can, therefore, be very dangerous. When the pressure gets too high, you are at risk for a heart attack, a stroke, and kidney disease.
There is of course much more to determining a diagnosis than just looking at one blood pressure reading but as we get to know you and record multiple readings we can use the information to assist with health care decisions.
In the following weeks we will go a bit more in depth into this topic. In the meantime, you can click on this link: https://www.eldoradofamilyhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Blood-Pressure-Information-Hand-Out.pdf and be directed to our Blood Pressure information sheet from Eldorado Family Health.
Please feel free to call 505-216-7772 or come by to schedule a new patient appointment and wellness check so we can protect your heart health.
|We always strive to provide informative material in this weekly forum that can be of benefit to our neighbors and patients from a health car perspective. However, it has come to our attention that many of you are unaware of who, what, and where we are. Several patients have confused us with Eldorado Family Practice and Dr. Becker’s office which is across the street from us in the Agora shopping center. We are two separate practices.
It is important to understand that Eldorado Family Health (EFH) is a new Primary Care medical practice, and a proud member of the La Tienda Business complex located in the La Tienda Shopping Center-Building B. We are next to Building A that houses True Value Hardware, Santa Fe Brewing Company, and several other great local businesses. We are just across the breeze way from the also relatively new Del Norte Pharmacy.
Eldorado Family Health provides Primary Care Medical services which means that we are interested in seeing patients over the long term and keeping them healthy and/or managing their chronic health care issues in order to enhance their quality of life. We will see new patients for acute issues because we understand that it is frightening when a health concern suddenly appears but in doing so we hope that you will come back and let us be your primary care provider. Our intention is to be your Health Care Home. We accept Medicare and most major insurances have accepted us. We always want to encourage you to call your insurance company to make sure we are part of your network. Please stop by to meet our Office Manager, Jennifer Coburn to sign up for services or ask questions. For more information you can also visit our website at EldoradoFamilyHealth.com or call us at 505-216-7772.
Allergy season is upon us and this year seems worse than many. With the blooming and re-blooming of the worst offenders, like Juniper, many of us wonder if this is ever going to end. The remedies for our allergy symptoms are various and confusing and honestly, there is no right answer. Most over the counter pharmaceuticals seem to be designed to mask and suppress the symptoms so that we can function. Many of the natural and herbal remedies seem to be targeting the underlying causes our allergies by desensitizing our systems.
Whether you choose the quick fix of the former or the potential long-term salvation of the latter there are a few important things to remember. No matter what we all need to hydrate to support our immune systems and have the moisture our bodies need to wash out allergens. We need to be vigilant so these chronic allergies don’t turn into something more serious. Many of our patients come in to see us after several days of feeling congested wanting to make sure that they do not have a serious upper respiratory infection. This is exactly what we are here for; as a safety net for you and your families.
Come establish care as a new patient at Eldorado Family Health. Come meet us and let us get to know you and your health history so we can be your safety net when you need us. 505-216-7772.
We do it every year. We promise ourselves we won’t eat too much. Then comes the turkey, that yummie stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and all those wonderful pies! A few drinks and some homemade rolls with butter. Next thing we know, we’ve done it again. Over eaten on Thanksgiving Day. But there are many ways to enjoy our Thanksgiving without overindulging. First off, consider eating your meal earlier in the day, so there’s more time for your body to digest. Then, make a few wise choices about all those calorie laden recipes. Pick one or two of your favorites and go low cal on the rest. Pull the skin off the turkey. Use low fat ingredients whenever possible. Forgo traditional stuffing and consider a side of wild rice. Instead of cheese and crackers before dinner, consider carrot sticks and sliced bell peppers. Maybe skip the fat-rich gravy altogether. Consider your portion size. Do you really need to try everything? If so, take just a little taste of everything. How many times do our eyes seem a whole lot bigger than our stomachs? Then before moving onto dessert, start a new family tradition of taking a good long walk. This gives your body an opportunity to burn off some of that meal. So this year, why not dedicate yourself to enjoying a beautiful holiday meal but perhaps in a slightly healthier way. Happy Thanksgiving from Eldorado Family Health. Call for appointments at 505-216-7772.
That is the question. As always, there are several sides to the decision. The current recommendation is for all individuals over the age of 6 months to receive a flu shot annually. Children receiving a flu shot for the first time are recommended to receive a booster dose one month after their first dose to ensure better protection. Many people swear they NEVER get the flu. Certainly, there may be a minority of people who are naturally resistant to the disease or maybe simply have less exposure. But most of us, children and adults, will experience some degree of flu illness during the winter. Many of us use the term “flu” so liberally during the year that it often seems we forget what true Influenza really is and how serious a disease it can be. Symptoms of the flu include: sudden onset of body aches, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and the development of a dry scratchy cough. These symptoms will often last 7 – 14 days. People with the flu are at risk for bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections. What about those folks who insist the flu shot makes them sick? I recently heard a great explanation of this reaction from an infectious disease specialist. The flu vaccine stimulates our immune system. When this happens, some of us can experience flu-like symptoms: fever, body aches, chills. But this reaction typically lasts one to two days at most and is nothing compared to the true disease. People who should definitely consider a flu shot: very young children, the elderly, those with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular illness, anyone who is immune suppressed. We are currently in the ideal time to receive a flu shot. Generally, the shot takes about 4 weeks to “rev up” the immune system and protection lasts for about 6 months. Typical flu season in New Mexico begins right after the holidays and lately has been lasting well into the spring. To discuss whether the flu vaccine is right for you and for any other health care concerns, call Eldorado Family Health at 505-216-7772.