Chronic ConditionsDo you want a better quality of life and better health in your middle and older years? There is now a solid body of medical research showing that patients who have one or more chronic diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes can live longer lives, have fewer heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and other complications if they succeed in reaching specific goals for their conditions.
PriMed Physicians is dedicated to be the best medical group in the nation at getting our patients who have chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes to their treatment goal. We're also dedicated to diagnosing at-risk patients for osteoporosis - one of this country's most under-diagnosed medical conditions. We know from the medical research that this will help our patients live a longer and, most importantly, a better life.
A recent research report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that only 34% of the patients under treatment for high blood pressure have been able to lower their blood pressure to the proper level, the level that will help them be healthier. At PriMed Physicians, we feel that this national statistic in unacceptable and we are highly dedicated to achieve better results for our patients.
One tool that we have found very helpful in managing high blood pressure is the Impedance Cardiography test, or ICG test. This is a painless and quick test that allows you and your doctor to see what is contributing to your high blood pressure. The report from the ICG test is available minutes after the test is finished and helps your doctor to select the right drugs and the right dosage to successfully manage your condition.
Keeping Your Blood Pressure at Goal
- Take all your medicines. Some people don’t like to take medications, but taking blood pressure medicine is much better for you than having high blood pressure. If your blood pressure remains high it can hurt your brain, your heart, your kidneys and your arteries.
- If you think or fear that your medicine is causing an effect, tell your doctor about whatever you have experienced.
- Exercise at least a little bit. Take at least a few walks each week. It really helps.
- See your doctor at the time you agreed to meet next. Your physician will want to check your progress so they can adjust your medicines, if necessary.
- Don’t hesitate to mention any problems or issues or ask your doctor any questions about your blood pressure, the drugs you are taking or any other health concern that you may have.
For more information on high blood pressure visit the American Heart Assocation.
DASH Diet - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
Reduce elevated blood pressure levels by following this clinically proven eating plan. Access a week’s worth of sample menus, recipes, heart healthy dishes and a chart to help with meal planning and food shopping.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can be managed through lifestyle changes and medication. Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes, and another 57 million have pre-diabetes. Whether you just found out you have diabetes or have been living with it for years, you can control your diabetes and live a long, active life. And if you are at risk or have pre-diabetes, you can take small steps to prevent the disease.
Diabetes is a serious disease, but it is controllable. Learn more about the disease, treatments, monitoring, and preventing severe complications by talking with your PriMed physician.
Many PriMed physicians have been awarded recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for providing quality care for their patients with diabetes. This program was developed in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association.
If you have, or think you may be at risk for diabetes, contact PriMed Physicians for the quality care you deserve.
Although more than 10 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis, the majority of patients are not even aware that they have it. Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People most often become aware they have osteoporosis when a bump or fall causes a fracture. Fractures have the potential to be painful and can drastically affect you and your lifestyle.
People are often surprised to learn that more than 40% of women over 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. It’s important to know, however, that osteoporosis is not a natural part of aging. It has been described as a geriatric disease with an adolescent onset, highlighting the importance of beginning to take steps – in exercise and diet – early in life to reduce its disabling impact in later years.
Reducing Your Risk
Many factors can affect your chances of developing osteoporosis. The good news is that you control some of them. Even though you can’t change your genes, you can still lower your risk with attention to certain lifestyle changes that will help build and maintain bone mass. The younger you start, and the longer you keep it up, the better.
Here's what you can do for yourself:
- Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D
- Engage in regular physical activity, especially weight-bearing exercises
- Don't smoke, and if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
Other factors are beyond your control.
Being aware of these factors can provide extra motivation and can help you and your doctor to make health care decisions. These risk factors are:
- Being female - women are at five times greater risk than men
- Thin, small-boned frame
- Broken bones or stooped posture in older family members, suggesting family history of osteoporosis
- Early estrogen deficiency in women who experience menopause before age 45
- Estrogen deficiency due to abnormal absence of menstruation (as may accompany eating disorders)
- Ethnic heritage - white and Asian women are at highest risk
- Advanced age
- Prolonged use of some medications - It is important to discuss the use of certain drugs with your physician, and not to stop or alter your medication dose on your own
- Growth hormone deficiency in children and adolescents
How do I know if I have osteoporosis?
One of the best ways to determine if you have osteoporosis is through a bone mineral density (BMD) exam. The gold standard to measure BMD is through a quick, easy procedure known as a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) evaluation.
The DXA evaluation is one of the most recommended ways for a physician to measure bone density. The exam is easy, painless, and only takes about 20 minutes. The DXA evaluation measures bone density at various places in the body, such as the spine and hip, and does not require special preparation, medications or injections. The DXA exam uses a very weak form of X-ray (a small fraction of the radiation of a standard chest X-ray) to rapidly scan your bones. A computer then converts this information to numbers indicating your bone density.
About your DXA Bone Density Study
- Eat normally the day of your test, but do not take calcium supplements (including your osteoporosis medication) for at least 24 hours beforehand.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing without zippers, belts, or buttons made of metal.
- The DXA exam is a simple procedure. You wil lie on a table and be asked to hold a certain position while the arm of the machine passes above you and takes measurements.
- The scan is painless and does not require anesthesia. Exposure to radiation is minimal.
What if I have osteoporosis?
The good news is that your physician can help you treat osteoporosis so that a fracture is less likely to affect your life.
You can change dietary and lifestyle behaviors to help improve your bone health, including taking calcium and vitamin D and exercising. Your physician can discuss these options with you. In addition several prescription medications are now available that can help prevent and treat osteoporosis and related fractures. Your physician can use the results of your bone density evaluation to help develop a treatment plan that best meets your needs.
Why choose PriMed?
Our practice is recognized in the community as a leader in quality care. We balance the latest technology in bone density measurement with a personal, caring approach to ensure that you receive bone care with the attention and respect you deserve.
Talk to your physician about osteoporosis and your risks. If your physician prescribes a DXA exam, it can be performed at a PriMed Physicians location convenient to you. Most insurance carriers, including Medicare, cover the DXA exam for patients at risk for osteoporosis. If you have questions about your coverage, please call your insurance company.