Aspen Medical Center Blog

Kidney

Common Indications That You May Have Kidney Disease

More than 37 million Americans have renal disease, yet the majority are unaware of it. There are several physical indications of kidney illness. However, they are commonly misattributed to other disorders. 

Furthermore, persons with renal illness do not usually notice symptoms until the kidneys are failing or there is a lot of protein in the urine. This is one of the reasons why only 10% of persons with chronic renal disease are aware of their condition.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of renal failure, or are above 60 years old, you should get physicals and be examined for kidney disease yearly. Make sure to inform your doctor about any symptoms you are having.

While the only way to tell whether you have kidney illness is to be tested, we’ve compiled a list of probable symptoms.

Fatigue and Problems with Concentration

A significant decline in kidney function can result in the accumulation of toxins and pollutants in the blood. This can make people tired and weak, making it difficult to focus. Anemia is another consequence of renal illness that can induce weakness.

Difficulties Sleeping

Toxins remain in the circulation rather than leaving the body through the urine when the kidneys fail to filter effectively. This can make sleeping difficult. Sleep apnea is also more frequent in persons with chronic kidney disease than in the general population.

Dry and Itchy Skin

Dry and itchy skin can indicate mineral and bone disease, which frequently occurs alongside severe renal disease. This happens when the kidneys can no longer maintain the proper balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.

Puffiness around the Eyes

Protein in the urine is an early symptom that the filters in the kidneys have been damaged, enabling protein to flow into the urine. This puffiness around your eyes might be caused by your kidneys spilling a significant amount of protein in the urine rather than storing it.

Swollen Feet and Ankles

Reduced renal function can cause sodium retention, resulting in inflammation in your feet and ankles. Lower extremity swelling can also be a symptom of heart illness, liver disease, or persistent leg vein issues.

Reduced Appetite

This is a generic symptom that many conditions can cause, but one of the explanations might be a buildup of toxins caused by impaired kidney function.

Muscle Cramps 

Impaired renal function can cause electrolyte abnormalities. Low calcium levels, for example, and poorly managed phosphorus levels may also lead to muscular cramping.

Frequent Urination

If you need to urinate more frequently, especially at night, this might indicate kidney disease. When the kidney filters are compromised, the desire to urinate increases. In males, this might be an indication of a urinary infection or an enlarged prostate.

Blood or Foam in Your Urine

When healthy kidneys filter wastes from the blood to make urine, they usually retain blood cells in the body; but, when the kidney’s filters are damaged, these blood cells might begin to “leak” out into the urine. Blood in the urine can indicate malignancies, kidney stones, an infection, and renal disease.

Excessive bubbles in the urine, especially those that take multiple flushes before they disappear, suggest protein in the urine. Because the common protein in urine, albumin, is the same protein found in eggs. This foam may resemble scrambled eggs.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your physician or go to your nearest walk-in clinic. Your doctor or a healthcare team member can create a treatment plan suitable to your needs.

Are you looking to get physicals in Santa Fe, NM? Aspen Medical Center offers state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Schedule your online check-in today!

doctor

3 Reasons to Go to the Doctor After Suffering a Fall

While they may not seem like a huge problem, falls are actually one of the most common injuries in the world. Aside from being incredibly common, falls can also cause serious issues and complications. In fact, around 37.3 million falls each year require medical attention. To make matters worse, people usually don’t usually go to the doctor after suffering a fall. This is a huge mistake. You definitely want to see the doctor after suffering a fall no matter how inconsequential it may seem. If you need more convincing, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here are three reasons to go to the doctor after suffering a fall.

Your Injuries Are More Serious Than They Seem

After you slipped and fell, you may have felt fine, able to walk, sit up, and do everyday things as usual. Over time, however, you might have found yourself increasingly sick. You might have had a headache that was not there before. You might have noticed a bump on your head or a bruise that you didn’t feel before. While in the doctor’s office, you might have learned that your symptoms were the result of a concussion. Your bump on the head might not have been a bruise at all; it could have been a blood clot that was affecting your brain tissue.

You May Have an Injury You Don’t Know About

Not all injuries are obvious. Sometimes you can walk away from a fall feeling just fine not knowing that you have an injury. This can be dangerous as it can lead to more serious injuries down the line. This is especially true for internal and soft tissue injuries. You may be suffering from fractures, stress injuries, and contusions without ever knowing it. And while it is true that these injuries will surface eventually, this isn’t a risk that you should be taking. By going to the doctor, you’ll be able to find underlying issues before they get any worse. 

You Might Be at Risk of Falling Again

If you fall, you could be at risk of falling again. If you fall and do not receive medical help, you risk reinjuring yourself and may even hurt places that were not injured before. Things become even riskier if you are already unsteady on your feet prior to your fall. This can happen if you take prescription medications, like antidepressants, sedatives, or tranquilizers. You also increase your chances of falling again if you have lower body weakness. If any of these things happen due to an earlier fall, a vitamin deficiency, or vision problems, talking with a doctor about your condition can help prevent falls from happening.

Conclusion

We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you gain a better understanding of why you should go to a doctor after suffering a fall. As you can see, seeing a doctor after suffering a fall is crucial if you want to avoid serious injuries and further complications. Be sure to keep everything you’ve learned here in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions for your health. 

If you are searching for urgent care in Santa Fe, Aspen Medical Center is your best choice. We provide state-of-the-art medical facilities and expertise to ensure that you are well taken care of. For more information on our services or to book an appointment, contact us at (505) 466-5885.

Allergy

14 Dangerous Allergy Warning Signs You Should Watch Out For

Many people think allergies are either normal or minor. These notions couldn’t be any more untrue, especially when the allergic reaction is severe. Read on to discover these fourteen dangerous allergy warning signs you should watch out for.

1. The Sinus Congestion

You may have allergic rhinitis if your nose runs or swells after going for a walk outside. This is caused by airborne particles. Mold, pollen, detergents, and cleansers are all common allergens. A runny nose after starting a new drug could be a major warning sign. This drug has the potential to cause allergic reactions.

2. The Sneezing

Coughing appears to be minimal. It could be an early indicator of a severe food allergy. Sneezing can cause serious symptoms. There will be no sneezing after eating the food. A serious reaction may necessitate hospitalization.

3. The Irritated Eyes

Itchy, watery eyes can be caused by a variety of factors. Spring pollen could be to blame. Perhaps you have a medication allergy. Don’t forget to record new medications. A response may appear immediately or weeks afterward.

4. The Itchy Ears and Mouth

You may have unusual itches after consuming a new food. Itchy ears could be a sign of a serious food allergy.

5. The Respiratory Changes

Unusual changes could indicate a food or medicine allergy. Wheezing is a condition that can occur. You may also have shortness of breath. If your breathing changes, seek medical assistance right away. This could be an allergic reaction.

6. The Hives

Red, itching lumps are terrifying. Urticaria is distinguished by its sudden onset. Common allergies include drugs, chemicals, foods, and other substances. Urticaria may signal a more serious allergic reaction if it is followed by swollen lips or wheezing.

7. The Skin Rash

Itchy, uncomfortable, hot, bumpy, or blistering rash is prevalent. Pet dander, chemicals, foods, prescriptions, and makeup are frequently the culprits. Mild rashes can be treated or avoided to heal quickly. It could be a sign of life-threatening anaphylaxis.

8. The Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea

You may have an allergy if your stomach responds severely to food. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain are among the symptoms. They can rapidly deteriorate. They are symptoms of anaphylaxis and should not be mistaken for a stomach virus.

9. The Heaviness or Tightness in the Chest

Breathing can occasionally cause chest tightness or discomfort. Your throat may be clogged. This is frequently caused by a severe food allergy. Seek immediate medical attention.

10. The Angioedema

Angioedema is characterized by the spontaneous enlargement of the mouth, lips, and tongue. It can be amusing at times. It could be fatal if swelling prevents you from breathing. If your lips or tongue swell frequently, see a doctor for treatment and to determine the cause.

11. The Rosacea

Food allergies can cause flushing of the face. You may have a severe allergy if your skin turns flushed or reddish after coming into contact with an allergen. Quick assistance is required! Do not allow the redness to fade.

12. The Anxiety and Delirium

Food allergies can cause anxiety and confusion, which doctors believe is caused by a drop in blood pressure. If you or others show this condition, get medical assistance immediately.

13. The Low Blood Pressure

A drop in blood pressure might result in fainting. It is usual to experience emotions of weakness or disorientation. It’s an illness. Low blood pressure can be fatal.

14. The Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis could be a sign of an allergy. Breathing difficulties, a pale complexion, hives, itching, vomiting, and anxiety are all symptoms. Symptoms can appear within minutes of being exposed.

Conclusion

If left untreated, any acute allergic reaction might turn out to be fatal. This is why it’s crucial for anybody who experiences allergic reactions to see a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of severe allergic responses. Once you are advised by a certified allergist, you can steer clear of triggers and avoid further attacks.

Are you looking for an urgent care center? Aspen Medical Center can aid your needs for urgent care with our experienced medical staff. Give us a call today to set an appointment!

Primary Care Physician

3 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Primary Care Physician

Choosing a primary care physician isn’t just about seeing who’s available to see you when you need one. It’s a decision that needs to be planned ahead and well thought out. After all, your primary physician will be the one you go to most often for your medical needs. So, you have to pick one that feels right to you.

1. Pick a Doctor That Can Meet Your Needs

Some people just pick the first doctor they see on the list. But the best way to choose a primary care doctor is to look at your own medical history and start to find the doctor that can meet your needs.

By thinking about your own medical history, you can look up doctors in your area, call them and ask about their experience with your specific issues. You should also ask about their office hours and fees.

The first step is looking for a doctor that is accepting new patients, someone you feel comfortable talking to, and one that can address your needs.

Be sure to ask if there is a charge for the first appointment. A lot of primary care doctors will offer a free first appointment. They want to get to know you and your needs and want to make sure they will be the ones you want to see for all of your healthcare needs.

2. Factor in Logistics

It’s important to think about your day-to-day schedule when choosing your primary care physician. When and where will you be able to schedule your appointments? If you don’t have a car and need to take public transportation to get there, what will be your wait time?

You also have to consider how long it takes you to get to and from your doctor’s office. If you don’t have a car and take public transportation, you’ll need to make sure it’s not going to negatively affect your schedule. If it’s going to take you 30 minutes to get to the doctor’s office, you’re not going to be able to make it to work on time.

Think about your schedule, where you can get to by public transportation, and the wait times that could negatively affect your job or other obligations.

3. Listen to Your Gut Instincts

One of the biggest ways to choose a primary care doctor is to just follow your gut instincts. When you meet with the doctor, try your best to listen to your inner voice and pay attention to your body.

Does this doctor give you good vibes, or do you feel rushed and like you’re more of a number than a patient?

You have to take this step seriously. Your gut instincts can tell you a lot about the state of your health and if you’re getting the right treatment. Listen to your body and how you feel when talking to your primary doctor.

This step can help identify whether you’re getting good treatment. For example, if you go to a new doctor and they give you letters with your prescriptions after each visit, you’re not getting the care you need.

You want to see a doctor that takes the time to explain what’s going on in your body and the reason behind each treatment.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, choosing a primary care doctor is a big decision, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s one of the most important choices you can make for your health. So, make sure to do your research, and don’t just look at the first doctor you find on the list. Take your time to find the right doctor that can meet your needs.

Get the quality medical care you deserve from Aspen Medical Center. We are a primary care physician in Santa Fe, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Our medical staff is trained to care for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly and everyone in between. Check in online now!

doctor's appointment

What to Expect on Your First Pap Smear Test and How to Prepare

A Pap test is critical in your fight against cancer. Your doctor will want to see a Pap smear every year for the first three years following your 21st birthday, then every third year after that. 

If you have a history of abnormal Pap smears, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing. Your exam will also include a pelvic exam, which checks your lymph nodes, vaginal walls, and labia.

Many people still feel awkward about getting a Pap smear. Some people feel like they have a “dirty” body and fear the embarrassment, pain, and natural functions of the exam.

Some women may struggle because they will have to be nude in front of another person. At the same time, others are afraid to admit that they have an infection or a sexually transmitted disease.

Whatever your reasons may be, the bottom line is that you need to understand that a Pap Smear is the only way to detect cervical cancer early. 

To help you prepare for your first Pap Smear test, here are some things that you might find helpful.

Preparations Before the Test

  • Make sure not to schedule your Pap smear test during your period.
  • Wear something comfortable and easy to remove. Your doctor may ask to remove clothes from the waist down, but others ask their patient to remove all clothes, especially when they suggest a breast exam.
  • Do not worry too much about how you should groom yourself. Keep in mind that doctors have already seen it all.

What Happens During the Pap Smear Test

At the time of your appointment, your doctor will look at your medical history, including any current health problems or medications you are taking. It is essential because it helps your doctor determine your overall health.

The doctor will ask some personal questions about your daily activities to see if there is any physical activity that can cause damage to your cervix.

Next, the doctor will ask you to undress from the waist down. The doctor will then go to your back and introduce the speculum. It is the same instrument used in a Pap Smear test. 

There is no need to spread your legs or hold them. Your doctor will move the speculum in and out and do what is necessary to get the sample. The speculum opens up the vagina. At this point, the doctor will also introduce the culture swab. 

The doctor will gently insert the swab into your vagina to collect cells from your cervix. The doctor will also collect a sample of cells from the endocervix and the ectocervix.

After the sample is collected, the doctor will remove the speculum and insert a white plastic stick with a thin cotton-like material on the top. It is used to capture the sample. Your doctor will then gently touch the cotton tip to your cervix and collect several samples.

What to Do After

Your doctor will let you know if the Pap smear test results are positive or negative. However, even if the results are negative, you must continue visiting your doctor for regular checkups because abnormal cells may reappear after several months.

If you are found to have abnormal cells, your doctor will give you treatment options. Treatments can range from regular checkups to surgery. It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice.

Conclusion

Getting a Pap Smear test is not something you should avoid. It is a normal part of being a woman. When performing a Pap Smear, your doctor ensures that your body is healthy. If you have early signs of cervical cancer, your doctor will have time to treat you.

Know that a Pap Smear is not painful. The process takes only a few minutes, and the doctor will spend the rest of your appointment answering any questions you may have and making sure that you are comfortable.

Are you looking for a reliable primary care doctor in Santa Fe? Visit us at Aspen Medical Center. We are an established primary care provider offering comprehensive annual wellness visits and physical exams. Call us at (505) 466-5885 to book an appointment.

urgent care clinic

Inquiries to Ask before Visiting an Urgent Care Clinic

Many people prefer urgent care when they can’t see their doctor immediately or don’t want to go to the emergency room. For most non-emergency situations, urgent care clinics are a better alternative than the emergency room. But you must know what to ask before you set foot in the door. 

Here are some inquiries you need to make at an urgent care clinic:

1. What Type of Provider Will See Me?

Many urgent care centers have different healthcare professionals. Some are open during the day, and some are open during the evening. Many of the available centers 24/7 have only nurses staffing the facility at night. You must know what type of provider will see you because each provider has different rules for admitting patients to the hospital. 

In addition, if you need to see a specific type of provider, you should call in advance to speak to the person who will be seeing you.

2. What Prescriptions Can Be Refilled at the Center?

Some urgent care centers can refill many types of prescription medications. These centers will have this information posted on their websites, so you can check before you go. 

If they can’t refill your medication on-site as a walk-in, you should know this ahead of time. Sometimes, centers right down the street from your pharmacy won’t fill your prescription unless you pick it up at the center. This isn’t convenient, so you want to find one that will let you pick it up right at the pharmacy.

3. What Do They Charge for Their Services?

Some urgent care centers have a set fee on their website. Other centers have varying prices depending upon your level of coverage. 

For example, if you have Medicare, you might pay a little more than if you have just regular health insurance. You’ll want to find out about their fee schedule before your visit.

4. What Is Their Walk-in Policy?

Some urgent care centers will be busy, and you may have to wait a little while to be seen. If you need to check as soon as possible, you’ll want to ask about their walk-in policy. 

Do they take walk-ins, or do you need to make an appointment? You may need to call ahead to see if they have the capacity to attend to you at the moment.

5. How Long Is the Current Wait Time?

Some urgent care centers are bustling, especially in the evening and on the weekends. If you have to see them during these times, you’ll want to know the current wait time. If you have to wait for a long time, you can make plans to do something else while you’re waiting.

6. Do I Need to Follow Up with You or My Primary Care Physician?

If you break your arm, urgent care centers may be able to set the bone, put it in a sling, and send you home. But if it’s not healing correctly, you’ll need to go back for further treatment. 

If your urgent care center sends you home, but you’re concerned about your injury, you’ll want to make sure that you follow up with your primary care physician.

Conclusion

Visiting an urgent care center is an excellent alternative to the ER. They help relieve stress in emergency rooms and reduce wait times. If you have questions about using an urgent care clinic, talk to your regular doctor or call the facility.

Aspen Medical Center is your urgent care center in Santa Fe, NM, offering health services to all ages. Contact us for a consultation today!