Aspen Medical Center Blog

Primary Care Doctor

Identifying the Different Types of Primary Care Doctors

A primary care physician is a professional you can trust to help you with a wide range of healthcare requirements, both normal and unexpected. These doctors can provide preventive care, and that includes routine physicals, screenings, and vaccines. They can also diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of chronic illnesses.

They usually perform regular physical exams, prescribe medications to treat illnesses, and screen you for common health problems. You can quickly turn to them to treat minor illnesses and injuries like the seasonal flu or sinus infections, skin conditions, and even sleep issues.

Find out the different types of primary care doctors in the paragraphs below and determine which one is best suited for you and your family.

Internal Medicine Doctors for Adult Patients

The main distinction of internal medicine physicians from other primary care physicians is that they only treat adults. From early adulthood until old age, these doctors are trained to handle both simple and complex illnesses.

Internal medicine specialists are adept at balancing an adult’s routine preventive care requirements with specialized treatment requirements. They are also well-versed in adult-onset illnesses such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Pediatricians for Child Patients

These doctors specialize in caring for children from birth through early adulthood. They’ve been trained to treat both mild diseases and injuries as well as more serious illnesses and injuries.

Pediatricians are specialists in understanding developmental milestones and keeping children on track for a healthy future. They are experienced with a wide range of childhood medical disorders and are skilled at conversing with children and making them feel less anxious, which is beneficial if your child is shy or afraid of going to the doctor.

Med-Peds Doctors for Adults and Children

Internal medicine-pediatricians are doctors who practice both internal medicine and pediatrics. Also known as med-peds doctors, these doctors treat both children and adults and can help with disease prevention, treatment, and diagnosis. Many people choose a med-peds doctor because they value the fact that their doctor is board certified as a pediatrician and an internist.

Family Medicine Doctors for the Entire Family

Family doctors have the distinct advantage of caring for the entire family—babies, children, parents, and grandparents. If a member of your family becomes ill, you only need to call one person who is familiar with your family’s medical history and can give highly tailored care.

Having a family physician gives you the convenience and peace of mind of knowing that all of your family’s health care requirements may be met by one trusted source. For busy parents who need to schedule many family appointments on the same day, a family medicine doctor can be a practical option.

OB-GYNs for Women

Doctors who specialize in women’s health, particularly female reproductive health, are known as OB-GYNs. They perform routine women’s health screenings such as Pap tests, pelvic exams, and STI testing. OB-GYNs can help with everything from family planning to deciding on the best birth control method for you. They also look after you during major life events such as pregnancy and menopause.

Because OB-GYNs specialize in the female reproductive system, seeing both an OB-GYN and a general care doctor, such as an internal medicine doctor, family medicine doctor, or med-ped, is a good idea. While an OB-GYN can take care of all of your women’s health issues, your primary care physician can assist you when you’re sick or have questions about your overall health.

Conclusion 

There are various compelling reasons why you should see a primary care physician—mainly because a primary care physician is your go-to person for all things health and wellness. Routine visits with the same doctor can help detect health problems sooner—keeping you healthier and saving you money on medical bills. Aspen Medical Center 

If you’re looking for a primary care physician in Santa Fe, you can find that at Aspen Medical Center. To give the best service to our patients, we offer state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Book an appointment with us today!

Stroke

Signs You Need to Call 911 for Someone Experiencing a Stroke

When it comes to dealing with strokes, time is of the essence. The longer one takes to get the treatment they need, the likelier they will end up with a life-long disability or even die. This thought isn’t a fun thing to think about, but that’s the reality of strokes. As such, if you notice anyone experiencing a stroke or is experiencing it yourself, getting immediate help is a must to maximize the chances of survival.

That said, are you here today to learn more about strokes? If so, keep on reading:

What Is a Stroke?

Stroke, also called a brain attack or cerebral attack, is a condition wherein a part of the brain gets damaged. This can either be due to lack of blood supply, bleeding, or a blood clot. How blood vessels supply the brain with blood is what separates strokes from other conditions like heart attack, heart failure, and aneurysm.

What Are the Signs of a Stroke?

A stroke may have varying symptoms but can vary depending on when it happens, its location, and what type of stroke it is. Every individual may have different symptoms, and this is why certain symptoms may not be enough to discern a stroke. If you notice any of the following symptoms, take note and learn what you need to do to keep yourself and other people safe.

1. Sudden headache

A sudden headache is one of the most obvious stroke symptoms. You can call 911 immediately if this happens, especially if the headache lasts for more than 5 minutes. Also, the pain isn’t just on one side but on both sides. It’s also severe and accompanied by vomiting.

2. Sudden vision loss

Sudden vision loss may be a sign of a stroke as well. Most people notice a sudden loss of vision in one eye. Some even see black spots, see double or experience blurry vision, or see a bright or flashing light. As soon as you notice any of these, get a glass of water and hold your head down. If the vision loss comes back after drinking water, call 911 immediately.

3. Disorientation

Another thing to look out for is instances where someone suffers from disorientation. They may seem confused, have difficulty in speaking or understanding, and have difficulty in coordinating the movement of their limbs and torso. If you notice this, again, call 911 immediately.

4. Weakness of the arm, hand, or leg

Weakness in the arms, hands, and legs can also be an indicator of a stroke. You might notice that someone suddenly feels weak when they’re trying to move their arms or legs. They may feel dizzy and even lose their balance when walking around. This is another sign that should definitely be taken seriously and if you notice it, call 911.

5. Confusion

If you notice someone acting confused, you should be extra cautious. They may be confused about what’s happening, where they are, or even their own identity. This is also a sign that should be reported to 911.

6. Nausea and vomiting

Two of the more common symptoms of a stroke are nausea and vomiting. Not only do they feel nauseous and vomit, but it also doesn’t stop. One of the reasons that the body feels nauseous and causes vomiting is due to the blood vessels in the brain becoming dilated. If you notice a person who feels nauseous and vomits, call 911 immediately and make sure they don’t drink anything.

Conclusion

If you notice someone having stroke symptoms, don’t wait. Dialing 911 can save a person’s life. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. If you’re not sure if the symptoms you’re seeing are from a stroke, don’t panic. Just wait and call 911 if you think it’s serious. Only trained medical professionals can properly diagnose a stroke, so it’s better to be over-cautious than under-cautious.

Aspen Medical Center offers urgent and primary care to meet various medical needs. If you are looking for an urgent care center in Santa Fe, visit us today!

allergy

The Most Common Types of Food Allergies You May Encounter

No one ever wants to experience a food allergy. Besides the fact that it robs the enjoyment from enjoying a certain dessert or delicacy, it also tends to put a person’s health at risk, even turning into a fatal mishap at times.

In order to avoid them, one must be familiar with the most common types of food allergies so that they would know what kind of allergens to avoid and how to mitigate their possible effects. The following are just a few examples.

1. Egg Allergy

Egg allergy, or an allergy to chicken’s eggs, is one of the most common and severe food allergies. This is because it usually causes immediate and severe reactions, which may be life-threatening.

2. Milk Allergy

Another common food allergy is an allergy towards cow’s or goat’s milk. Such are commonly seen in children as their digestive and immune systems are still at a developing stage.

3. Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergy is a common allergen that affects millions of individuals, particularly in the United States. As a matter of fact, they are the most common cause of severe food-allergic reactions, which can be potentially fatal.

4. Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish allergy is an allergy to certain types of seafood. It is usually caused by the protein in the shellfish. Their most common types of allergens are shrimp, crab, lobster, and scallops.

5. Soy Allergy

Soy allergy is a common allergen that mainly affects infants, children, and adults. It is a common misconception that only Asians are affected by soy allergy. This is because soy is a staple food in Asia, but that is not the case.

6. Wheat Allergy

Wheat allergy is one of the most common allergen-related diseases in the United States, affecting over 2.5 million people. But despite its prevalence, it is often a silent case because it produces few or no symptoms at all.

7. Tree Nut Allergy

Tree nut allergy is an allergy to any of the nuts in the trees. They are very common and are not life-threatening as long as the person can avoid coming into contact with them.

8. Sesame Allergy

Sesame allergy is a common allergen primarily seen in those who have a history of it in their family. When this allergen is ingested, reactions that affect the skin and the respiratory system may occur.

9. Sulfite Allergy

A sulfite allergy is a common allergen among those who have asthma, respiratory disorders, and other allergies. Sulfites are used as preservatives to help maintain the quality of certain dried fruits.

10. Corn Allergy

Corn allergy is not as common as the other listed examples. Still, it does occur, especially in those who have a family history of it too.

11. Chili Pepper Allergy

This common allergen can be potentially life-threatening. They are usually used to spice up different types of food, so it can be problematic for those who have this allergy.

12. Mushroom Allergy

A mushroom allergy is a pretty common one, but it is usually not severe. It mainly affects those who have a history of allergies or asthma.

Conclusion

Food allergies can make life difficult for those who are affected by them. But in order to avoid them, one must be aware of the different types of allergens that can trigger the symptoms.

The above examples are the most common ones, but there are a lot more of them. By familiarizing oneself with them, you may definitely avoid them all and live a healthy life.

With all of that being said, if you are looking for an urgent care center in Santa Fe that will tend to your allergies, look no further than our institution here at Aspen Medical Center. We are a locally owned outpatient medical facility offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Call us now to book your very first appointment.

person with mask

Can Urgent Care Treat Pneumonia: What You Need to Know

Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs and is typically mild, but can be severe in rare cases. Most patients recover quickly when treated with treatment options recommended by a doctor. However, in some cases, pneumonia is fatal. Patients should ensure they treat pneumonia properly as it can cause further lung damage if left untreated.

The key to recovering from pneumonia is seeking medical attention, including a specialized treatment plan that reduces the infection and helps you get better. Given this, some of you may be wondering if you should seek out urgent care for pneumonia. This is why we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article on this topic. If this is something that you want to learn more about, read on as we discuss if urgent care can properly treat pneumonia.

What Causes Pneumonia?

Before we discuss anything else, we first have to learn more about the disease itself. Pneumonia occurs when the air sacs in the lungs are inflamed as a result of inflammation caused by infection. This inflammation results in the fluid buildup and makes it difficult to breathe. Pneumonia usually develops in individuals who are already suffering from an upper respiratory infection, such as influenza or a common cold. Pneumonia is easier to contract if you smoke or have other underlying medical conditions that make you more prone to infection such as diabetes or heart disease.

For the most part, pneumonia is caused by:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungus
  • Aspirating (breathing in) chemicals or other particles

What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

Pneumonia can be quite tricky to detect as its symptoms vary in severity depending on your personal health. Here are some symptoms that you’ll want to be on the lookout for:

  • Coughing
  • Feeling feverish
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Muscle aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest congestion
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Chills

Can Urgent Care Centers Help Treat Pneumonia?

If you visit urgent care, you will be able to receive the same treatment as at a regular doctor’s office. Hours of operation are longer and staff is far more flexible than at a regular doctor’s office. You can use urgent care for any medical issue, but it is especially useful for those with chronic illnesses.

Two main factors determine whether pneumonia symptoms progress over time or get worse in a matter of hours. The first is whether or not you seek medical attention. This is why urgent care is effective for treating pneumonia as it ensures you get the care that you need in a timely manner. An urgent care clinic will be able to examine your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order tests to determine the type of pneumonia you have (bacterial or viral). By doing this, they will be able to provide you with the right treatment plan in order to nurse you back to health. The other factor is whether you have risk factors that put you at greater risk for contracting pneumonia, such as smoking, being obese, and having diabetes.

Conclusion

We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to furthering your understanding of how urgent care can help you deal with pneumonia. As you can see, urgent care can effectively address all the complications that come with pneumonia. If you suspect that you have pneumonia, it would be wise to seek out medical attention as soon as possible.

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.

equipment

8 Diabetes Management Tips That You Should Know About

Diabetes is a chronic health condition impacting people’s blood sugar levels and how the body transforms food into energy. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 34.2 million people in the United States are estimated to be living with diabetes. However, only 26.9 million are formally diagnosed.

Living with chronically high blood sugar levels can be inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst. Avoid getting rushed to an urgent care center because of diabetes complications. 

Here are some tips that you can use to manage your condition.

Keep Track of Your Blood Sugar Levels

Practice blood sugar self-monitoring. There are at-home test kits you can use to monitor your blood sugar levels. 

All you need is to put a drop of your blood in a test strip and place it in the machine. When you monitor your blood sugar condition, you can have more informed decisions about your diet and routine for the day.

Be Mindful of What You Eat

The diet for people with diabetes can be quite strict. But the gist of it is that you need to reduce the amount of sugar, starch, trans fat, and processed food you consume. 

All these things contribute to increasing your already high blood sugar levels. Nutritionists and primary care physicians suggest eating a balanced diet with fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, and other food with low glycemic index values.

Stay Active

Regular exercise can help you manage your blood sugar levels. Your body becomes more sensitive to insulin when you work out. 

Insulin is a hormone that your body releases to utilize blood sugar for energy. When your insulin levels are up, sugar levels remain at bay.

Learn More about Your Condition

If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes, try to learn more about your condition. Listen to your primary care doctor’s advice, read articles online, and regularly monitor your blood sugar conditions. 

You can even have a friend or family member learn with you. When you equip yourself with the knowledge now, managing your condition will be relatively easy in the long run.

Take Your Medication

You should also make sure you are following your medication plan. Keep in mind that you can use your medications and your diet program together to help manage your blood sugar levels. 

If you continue to show positive results from your medication, you can continue treatment with your doctor’s help.

Control Stress

Studies have shown that there is a link between stress and blood sugar levels. When you get stressed, blood sugar rises because your body releases glucagon and cortisol at a higher rate. 

It’s integral to learn how to control your stress levels and relax. Try practicing good stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.

Know the Signs of Hyperglycemia

As a patient with diabetes, your blood sugar tends to shift more drastically than most people. If your blood sugar level goes even higher, you can experience fatigue, frequent urination, blurred vision, nausea, and hunger. 

Unmanaged high blood sugar levels can result in blood vessel damage, organ blood supply issues, and more. Remember to keep your medication at hand.

Know the Signs of Hypoglycemia

The blood sugar pendulum for a person with diabetes can swing to the other extreme—hypoglycemia. Signs of hypoglycemia include sweating, shakiness, tremors, paleness, and difficulty speaking, thinking, or walking. 

Do not automatically assume that your blood sugar levels are high when you feel ill. Check your blood sugar with your test kit, take your medication when it is too high, and eat something sweet when it is too low.

Conclusion

Living with diabetes is a challenge, but it is necessary. When you properly manage your condition, there is almost nothing that you can do. Don’t forget to listen to your primary care doctor’s advice, eat healthy, stay active, and stay positive.

Aspen Medical Center is a respected medical clinic and urgent care center in Santa Fe, NM. We offer a wide range of medical services, from family urgent care to PCR tests, to keep you healthy and safe. Set an appointment today!

covid test

What You Have to Know About “Inconclusive” COVID-19 Test Results

There are several benefits to obtaining a COVID-19 certification. Perhaps you are suffering from flu-like symptoms or have been infected with the virus. If you’re going on vacation or seeing a sick relative, you should consider getting tested for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 test can detect SARS-CoV-2 infection regardless of the purpose for testing. Additionally, they may also work in different ways. However, while a COVID-19 test can help determine whether you are infected, it is not always accurate. Other times, results can be “inconclusive.”

Read on to learn more about “inconclusive” COVID-19 test results, as well as what to do next.

The Fundamentals of COVID-19 Testing

While all COVID-19 tests can help you determine if you have the virus, some are more accurate than others. Although most COVID-19 tests collect nasal mucus, others collect saliva from the mouth or throat.

Viral antigens in your mucus are detected using rapid assays (proteins found on the surface of viruses). Antigen testing, on the other hand, produces results in a couple of minutes (much like a pregnancy test). The latter is less exact and more likely to result in false negatives, meaning a person infected with the virus might have an incorrect negative result.

To detect the virus’s genetic material, COVID-19 PCR, viral RNA, and nucleic acid tests must all be performed. After this process, results may be ready within hours, or even a day or two. Additionally, such false-positive results from these tests are uncommon.

Because of the ease and speed with which antigen testing may be performed, it is still widely employed. If the antigen test results in a negative result, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test should be performed as a confirmatory test. Inconclusive outcomes, on the other hand, are the exception.

The COVID-19 Test Results

COVID-19 tests can yield one of three outcomes:

1. Positive Result

SARS-CoV-2 or antigens were discovered in your mucus sample, depending on the test.

2. Negative Result

Neither of them was discovered at the time.

3. Inconclusive Result

A laboratory’s interpretation of a test result may be incorrect, leaving patients with an inconclusive result. If the laboratory is unable to interpret your test owing to a variety of variables, such as a lack of mucus sample, a new infection, or nearing recovery, your results may be inconclusive.

Steps to Take with An Inconclusive COVID-19 Test Result

Receiving an inconclusive COVID-19 test result is disheartening, given that it provides you and your loved ones no peace of mind. Whatever your purpose for testing for COVID-19, if your results are inconclusive, you should retest.

Following an inconclusive test result, continue to self-isolate or follow quarantine recommendations until you obtain your new test results. You may also speak with your doctor or a local health agency to learn more about what to do if your lab results are unclear.

Seeking Medical Advice

If you’ve recently been exposed to COVID-19 or are having any coronavirus symptoms, the smart thing to do is to isolate and schedule an at-home testing service or at the nearest clinic nearby.

COVID-19 testing is available at a number of pharmacies and clinics. Contact your local health agency for more information on COVID-19 testing. If your flu-like symptoms increase or do not improve, see a doctor.

Additionally, it would be best to seek emergency medical attention if you or someone you know is suffering from breathing problems, chest discomfort, confusion or brain fog, trouble focusing, trouble sleeping, as well as pallid skin, lips, or nail beds.

Conclusion

These signs and symptoms may indicate a medical emergency, but it’s important to note that these are not the only ones that should be addressed. At the age of a pandemic, almost any sickness should be treated immediately. At the same time, continue strengthening your immune system through a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management, among others.
If you need to schedule a PCR test in Santa Fe, Aspen Medical Center can aid your needs of urgent care. Our experienced medical staff are experts in offering essential primary care designed to keep you and your loved ones healthy. Give us a call today to set an appointment!