PATIENT STORY: A TRUE RELATIONSHIP WITH A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN

Mr. J has worked for the State of New Jersey as a maintenance worker for 14 years. He has struggled with substance abuse for many years. The Human Resources department at work informed him that he could see a primary care physician at R-Health as part of his state benefits coverage for no extra charge and no copay. When he met Dr. Jones at R-Health in Ewing, NJ, he was surprised at how she listened to his story and let him speak. He says, “It felt good to have a primary care doctor take an interest in me and spend quality time.” He confided in her that he needed help. But one matter weighed on his mind. He wanted to see his daughter graduate from high school. Dr. Jones went to work and found a substance abuse program to help Mr. J with recovery and also make it possible for him to attend that graduation.

He’s clean, appreciative and grateful. And he’s getting ready to go back to work. Mr. J says that staying on top his health is a priority. “My body is like a car. I have to do the maintenance and make sure I’m taking care of it,” he adds. Now he has a partner in his health care.

Discover a true relationship with a primary care physician at R-Health.

ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME?

Have you ever heard of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Most haven’t unless you’re a woman who has had trouble getting pregnant. PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. With PCOS, women’s reproductive hormones are out of balance, causing problems with their ovaries. These problems could be infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone levels. Because hormones are substances that our bodies make to help different processes happen, women with PCOS can also have difficulty getting pregnant.

Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. For more information on causes, diagnoses, and treatments, click here.

If you have any concerns and think you may have PCOS, please contact your doctor to schedule an appointment.

HOW ARE STRESS AND DEPRESSION LINKED?

Most of us have felt stressed at one point of our life but aren’t sure how to answer when asked if we are depressed. I wanted to shed some light on the link between stress and depression.

Stress impacts all ages and can certainly be unbearable at times. Long-term, chronic stress can harm your overall health, enabling your body to start responding negatively. When this starts to happen, the following symptoms could occur:

  • Suppressed immune system
  • Digestive issues
  • Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • Reproductive issues

Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to more serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression. Stress can lead to elevated hormones such as cortisol and will reduce the serotonin in the brain, which has been linked to depression. Having a stress management plan can help you to effectively handle your stress to potentially prevent depression.

Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress and requires a different kind of help. If you are suffering from stress or depression, please contact your doctor to make an appointment.

SCHEDULING BACK-TO-SCHOOL PHYSICALS

As summer is just beginning, no kid wants to start thinking about the next school year. However, the best time to schedule a back-to-school or sports physicals is early in the summer so you don’t forget and have more time to enjoy your summer vacation.

Don’t need a back-to-school physical? Schedule an annual comprehensive exam. Annual visits are an important time to check in with your doctor to discuss prevention and your overall health. During this time, you can have your blood pressure checked and routine labs done to screen for diabetes and other medical problems. You can also get appropriate cancer screenings completed. When diseases are found early, you have more treatment options and a better chance for a good outcome.

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE—MEN’S HEALTH MONTH

When it comes to prevention and early detection, men’s health often takes a back seat to women’s health. Most men even find themselves skipping out on annual checkups with their doctor. The problem? Some serious health problems may not cause symptoms at first and getting annual checkups and the necessary screenings are the best way to detect health issues early.

According to the CDC, the top five health risks for men are:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Unintentional injuries
  4. Chronic lower respiratory disease
  5. Stroke

By making healthy lifestyle changes, men can help reduce their health risks and improve their overall health. Take a proactive approach by following these basic health tips.

  • Work with your doctor to identify potential health concerns that are unique to men such as prostate and testicular cancers
  • Get an annual comprehensive exam, which is an opportunity to screen for health issues including certain cancers and heart disease
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices such as avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a well-balanced diet and exercise regimen

Start by calling your doctor to make an appointment.

PREVENTING TICK BITES AND THE DISEASES THAT COME WITH THEM

Warm weather means lots of outdoor activities, and with that comes the risk of tick exposure. Ticks are tiny, have eight legs and are typically reddish-brown in color. Ticks can’t jump or fly, they climb tall grasses, leaf litter or bushes and wait for a host to walk by and brush up against them and look for a place to attach. Be especially cautious when in this type of environment. Ticks carry a lot of different diseases, some of them serious. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections.

If you spend time outdoors or have pets that go outdoors, you need to beware of ticks. You and your family can take several steps to prevent and control tickborne infections:

  • The CDC recommends using insect repellent rated for the amount of time you are going to be outside. Use DEET or for a plant-based option, oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants, and tuck your pant legs into your socks.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors.
  • Check for ticks daily—especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and on the hairline and scalp.
  • Landscaping techniques may help keep ticks out of your yard.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, follow these steps from the CDC on how to remove it safely: http://bit.ly/2LQVaXc

If you think you’ve been bitten and show any signs and symptoms of a tickborne illness, please contact your doctor immediately.

WHY SLEEP IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR HEALTH

Getting quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health. As you sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function which protects your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

Don’t know if you get enough sleep? The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant, affecting how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others. It can also cause harm over time, such as creating chronic health problems.

How sleepy you feel during the day can help you figure out whether you’re having symptoms of sleep deprivation. You might be sleep deficient if you often feel like you could doze off while:

  • Sitting and reading or watching TV
  • Sitting still in a public place, such as a movie theater, meeting, or classroom
  • Riding in a car for an hour without stopping
  • Sitting and talking to someone
  • Sitting quietly after lunch
  • Sitting in traffic for a few minutes

If you responded yes to any of the above, please contact your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your symptoms and try to improve your sleep for a better night’s rest.