Binge Drinking: Not Just College Students Doing It

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and those celebrations bring green beer and pub crawls … and unfortunately, binge drinking.

This St. Patrick’s Day, our team of physicians at AFC Urgent Care in Memphis want to raise your awareness of binge drinking and the harmful effects that it may have on your health.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings the blood alcohol content (BAC) to .08, which occurs after about four drinks for women and five drinks for men, consumed within a period of two hours.

Short-Term Effects

The most dangerous short-term effect of binge drinking is alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning is most likely to occur when a person is drinking large amounts of alcohol over a short period of time. Cases of alcohol poisoning can range in severity. In some cases, people may only experience problems with balance and slurred speech, but alcohol poisoning can become severe enough to lead to coma, seizure or even death. Signs of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, irregular breathing, difficulty remaining conscious, clammy skin and low body temperature.

Long-Term Effects

Binge drinking is not only harmful for your body in the short term, but it also has many long-term effects on your health.

A person who binge drinks on a regular basis increases risk for long term health problems that affect all parts of the body. Regular binge drinking can cause the following health issues:

  • Alcohol dependence
  • Neurological damage: Problems with memory, concentration, reasoning and increased risk of stroke.
  • Digestive system damage: Increased risk of peptic ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancer.
  • Heart problems: Increased risk of high blood pressure and heartbeat rhythm irregularities.
  • Liver disease: Increased risk for alcoholic hepatitis and the development of a fatty liver, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Psychological problems: Increased risk of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  • Sexual health problems: Increased risk of erectile dysfunction, lower testosterone levels and sperm growth issues for men. Increased risk of lower fertility in women.

Binge drinking has serious effects on your health, in both the short and long term. To prevent binge drinking, understand the serving size of a standard drink, consume alcoholic beverages slowly and drink water in between alcoholic beverages.

Advertisements

Look Out For These Heart Health Warning Signs

It’s the middle of February, which means our New Year’s resolutions are either new habits or fond memories. We at AFC/Doctors Express are hoping that one of your resolutions was to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to help you stay on track, we have compiled a list of things to look out for when you’re evaluating your health.

As February is American Heart Month, we’ll go over what couldheart indicate that you might have heart trouble! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States.

You get exhausted easily. If you notice that you become more tired than usual doing everyday things, you might want to get to your doctor’s office. We’re not talking the feeling you get after a long day of work. If you feel like you have the flu every day, and you haven’t changed your daily activities, that should be something you bring up with your doctor. This fatigue could be caused by circulation issues or a faulty heart valve, which could be lowering your blood pressure. If this is paired with shortness of breath or an inability to walk up a couple flights of stairs without becoming tired, this should be a serious cause for concern.

Your feet are swelling. If you notice that your feet are swelling, or if you feel pain in your legs when you walk, your heart could be having trouble moving the blood in your peripheral arteries, which are the arteries that are furthest from your heart. This could cause buildups of fatty deposits in your arteries and an increase in fluid in your feet, leading to swelling and pain. You should see your doctor or urgent care physician as soon as possible if you think you might have this condition, because while these are very treatable, they must be addressed to prevent them from getting worse.

You can hear your heartbeat. If you lie down to sleep and can hear your heart in your ears, that might spell trouble, because it could mean your heart valves are not closing and opening the way they should be. Faulty valves are symptoms of coronary artery disease and can lead to low blood pressure and exacerbate other symptoms of heart trouble.
For American Heart Month, it’s a good idea to take stock of your heart health. Visiting your local AFC/Doctors Express can give you detailed information on the state of your heart, without even needing an appointment. Your heart is the organ that keeps you going, so do your part to keep it healthy this February!

DE to AFC soon small size

Lost Time from Injury is a Loss in Productivity to Most Companies, Big or Small

All types of businesses and all sizes from small businesses to large corporations benefit from using urgent care centers in terms of the reduced lost-time-on-the-job we provide over a primary care doctor’s office and in the cost of services, which are much cheaper than an ER.

If your employees aren’t well, business suffers. If business suffers, your bottom line suffers. As a business leader you’ve got enough to worry about. You also need an Occupational Health and Workers Compensation clinic that can deliver prompt, accurate communication, a key building block to effective occupational health services.

At AFC/Doctors Express, we’ve designed programs that promote streamlined record keeping, enable a quick return to work, and keep you fully aware of your employee’s health status.

Here are just a few examples of the types of illness and injury we treat that may be related to occupational health or worker’s comp:

  • Colds, Coughs and Flu
  • Cuts and Bruises
  • Earaches and Infections
  • Broken Bones & Fractures
  • Burns, Rashes and Bites
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Nausea and Headaches
  • Eye Injuries
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Back Injury and Pain

And here are just a few examples of occupational health services we provide to meet federal regulations you and/or your employees may be subject to and some of the preventive care services you may offer to employees as part of their compensation or for pre-employment qualifications your company may require of new hires:

  • DOT medical services for CDL certification and re-certification
  • Flu shots and flu tests
  • INS physicals and shots
  • Pre-employment physicals and drug screens
  • Executive health and wellness physicals
  • Pre-operative physicals

AFC/Doctors Express offers employers an occupational medicine program that is an integrated, comprehensive source for health services.

Please contact us for more information at 901-254-8040.DE to AFC soon small size

Yes, You Can Dance Your Way to Better Health

Whether it’s a few steps around your living room or a line dance with friends, dancing can have immediate health benefits, as well as long-term effects for life.

Dancing is a popular, doctor-recommended activity that offers cardiovascular exercise, social interaction and other health benefits to keep you moving! Although the benefits vary based on the type of dance routine you choose, dancing is still a great way to keep your body healthy.

Immediate Benefits

Mood Lifter – Whether you are in a depression that you can’t explain, or you’re angry at the world, the ability to lose yourself in dance can help lift any mood. The Mayo Clinic has cited dance-based exercises, such as Zumba, as great ways to boost your mood.

Stress-Reliever – Dancing gives your mind something else to focus on, allowing you to slowly de-stress and concentrate on feeling better. Dancing also releases endorphins in the same way that running does, giving you the same elevated feeling at the end of your workout.

Self-Monitor – When you dance, you gain better awareness of your body and how it moves. You can feel what parts of your body need more activity and what parts need to be strengthened. By learning your body’s limits, you learn how to prevent injury and will know if something doesn’t feel right later on.

Short-Term Benefits

Improved Muscle Tone and Weight Management – Depending on the routine, dancing can provide concentrated exercise to specific areas on your body, as well as full-body exercises.  Ballet, for instance, consists of holding various poses which work deep muscle tissue across the entire body. A more lively dance routine like the salsa or tango targets your waistline and hips.Improved Flexibility and Balance – Daily and even weekly dancing can help you find your center of gravity and make balancing easier. Healthguidance.org says that certain dance activities can work to strengthen the smaller muscles that play a big role in your ability to balance.

Improved Self-Confidence – Whether it’s mastering a routine or learning to feel comfortable in public, dancing with a group or with a partner can help you build self-confidence. Dancing can be both a social and private event, allowing you to grow comfortable in your own skin and comfortable around others.

Long-Term Benefits

Stronger Heart –  AARP found that dancing not only strengthens your heart and lowers your risk of high blood pressure, but it also decreases your risk of a stroke. Ballroom dance and salsa have been found to have the biggest effect on heart health, because dancers are able to maintain a healthy target heart rate.

Stronger Mind- The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study in 2003 to see if regular physical activity could reduce the risk of dementia and memory loss. Dancing provided the biggest reduction in risk even when compared to bicycling, doing crossword puzzles and playing a sport.

Stronger Bones – Just like our muscles, bones grow stronger through exercise and use. The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends dancing for both children with developing bones, young adults and women. Dancing increases bone density for children and maintains it in adults, allowing for bones that are less likely to fracture.

Other Benefits

Injury Rehabilitation – When recovering from an injury, slow and steady is the best way to go. A health letter written by the Mayo Clinic states that dancing can be a positive alternative to jogging. This is because it is a low-impact way of allowing gradual movement and rotation, without added risk of further injury.

Energy Booster – Dancing not only wakes up all your muscles, but it increases blood flow and causes you to breathe more, providing your body with more oxygen. All these things combined equal higher levels of alertness, wellness and energy.

As with all forms of exercise it is important to start slow and gradually work up to more complicated routines. Be sure to research different styles of dance to see which one might work for you, whether it be slow with low-impact, or fast-paced and intense.

We recommend you get a basic physical before starting any exercise program, especially if you have been away from a regular exercise program for several months or more. We can do a basic physical for exercise fitness at AFC Urgent Care in Memphis, no appointment need, done by our on-site physicians, any day of the week.

Finally, always make sure to monitor how you feel when you start exercising and throughout all your exercise routines and classes, and be sure to contact a medical professional if you notice anything irregular.0813-AFC Memphis-Dangler 11x17 LR copy 2

The top 4 health concerns facing Americans

The United States is one of the most diverse nations in the world. As different as we may seem, our health issues can be very similar. Health care trends tend to be pretty consistent across large swaths of the population, so it’s important to pay attention when one becomes widespread.

  1. The No. 1 health condition in the U.S. is heart disease. It is one of the leading causes of death, comprising more than a quarter of all deaths annually. It is estimated that someone has a heart attack in the U.S. every 43 seconds. To prevent heart disease, doctors recommend routine physical activity, a diet full of fresh produce and limited alcohol consumption.
  2. Obesity is a huge health concern in the U.S., and it affects more people each year. Staving off weight gain is difficult for many Americans, as they lack the time and resources to easily maintain a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many parts of America are referred to as “food deserts,” meaning that more than a third of the population resides an unreasonable distance away from a well-equipped and affordable grocery store, farmer’s market or other healthy food provider. Often, these same communities are also classified as “play deserts,” meaning they don’t have safe spaces for residents to be active outdoors.
  3. Another problem hospitals all over the country are facing is the growing resistance of some strains of bacteria to antibiotic treatments. Bacteria can evolve very quickly, which means that resistance to antibiotics is presenting an ever-greater challenge to health care providers. MRSA, strep throat and tuberculosis have all been the subjects of research since the early 2000s as antibiotic resistant strains have emerged. Recent epidemics of the diseases, especially in hospital settings, are scary because there are fewer ways to treat them.
  4. A public health issue that has been receiving more attention lately is the impact of stress on mental, physical and emotional health. According to a poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, a quarter of Americans say they are under a “high level” of stress. Stress not only contributes to chronic health issues like headaches, muscle pain and sleep problems, but it has also been linked to the worsening of seemingly unrelated health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Experts recommend that people who deal with chronic stress get routine checkups and find effective coping methods.

These are the most common health problems facing the U.S. today. The good news is that preventive care can go a long way in helping people who might be at risk of developing these issues.

Here at the Memphis AFC/Doctors Express (soon to be AFC Urgent Care), we can take many of these issues and recommend immediate and long-term solutions that will fit your lifestyle, without requiring you to make an appointment.

So visit us soon and learn how you can be proactive in getting and keeping yourself healthy.0813-AFC Memphis-Dangler 11x17 LR copy 2

About the Flu; Part 2

A couple of weeks ago we delivered part 1 of our, “Misconceptions about the flu,” series. And now, here we are with part 2 of our series on flu season!

We hope you took our advice and got your flu shot! We’re going to get a bit more into the nitty-gritty about how the flu spreads and what makes the flu vaccine work. So hang on, we’re diving right in!

  1. The influenza virus is a respiratory virus, and it spreads primarily through contact with respiratory droplets. However, these droplets can spread through direct bodily contact or through contaminated surfaces. The flu virus can remain alive on solid surfaces for as long as eight hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To keep from getting sick, doctors recommend you avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth after touching surfaces or other people and that you wash your hands frequently.
  2. Herd immunity is part of what makes the flu vaccine so powerful. Herd immunity is what happens when enough members of the population have an immune response built up against the disease that it doesn’t gain a foothold and spread throughout the community. This phenomenon is especially important for people who are unable to get the flu vaccine because their immune systems are too weak or because they are too young or old.
  3. In order for the vaccine to be effective during flu season, you have to get the vaccine again every year. Studies have shown that immunity to the flu wears off over time after getting the flu vaccine. The annual flu vaccine also protects against different strains of the flu each year, based on CDC predictions of what will be the most prevalent strains.
  4. New strains of the flu evolve in two different ways. One is a slow, gradual change that makes the flu unrecognizable to your immune system, and this is called antigenic drift. This makes the flu vaccine important on a year-to-year basis. The second kind is called antigenic shift and is a more sudden kind of mutation that occurs when two different strains of the flu infect the same cell and combine their genetic material. This type of mutation can cause a very severe epidemic, because people have little or no immunity to the new strain.
  5. For many reasons, the flu vaccine might not be able to fully protect you. First, if you are exposed to the flu virus before you get the vaccine or in the two weeks after, you could be vulnerable to infection because your body has not built up adequate immunity to it. You could also end up being exposed to a strain of the virus that is not covered by the vaccine, which happens often because of how easily the virus mutates. Finally, you could lose immunity, which happens over time as the body’s immune response to the vaccine dies down. The immune response can wear off faster in older adults.

Now that you’ve read this series, you should be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make it through flu season unscathed.

If you have any more questions about the flu and what risk it presents to your family, you can visit us in #Memphis at #AFC #DoctorsExpress without an appointment to get checked out regarding your exposure to the flu and get our doctors’ directives on what you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy.

0813-AFC Memphis-Dangler 11x17 LR copy 2

 

Do you have any of these symptoms? If so, time to see a doctor.

So you’re sick … or someone you care about is sick, or injured.

Just what are some of the symptoms or warning signs that signal you shouldn’t “tough out” the illness or injury at home?

In general, if you have an injury or illness that demands immediate attention, yet isn’t urgent enough to justify a trip to a hospital emergency room (ER) or emergency department, it still is likely urgent enough to not wait on getting an appointment with a doctor, which may take several days.

Instead, go to an urgent care clinic or center where no appointments are needed and you will be seen by a doctor.

An injury that is truly life-threatening – a cardiac event, for instance, a serious or compound bone fracture, a dramatic injury to the head – are all best treated at a hospital emergency room.

On the other hand, a household cut or burn, a persistent low-grade fever, flu-like symptoms, or joint sprains can all be easily treated at urgent care. And while urgent care centers generally aren’t open 24 hours a day, most of them open early and close late.

Here are some of the conditions for which a trip to a conveniently located urgent care is a good solution:

  1. Cold or flu symptoms: Nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose, low-grade fever, sore throats, and chills can all be easily treated at urgent care.
  2. Earaches: An ear infection can be serious if left untreated, and urgent care can provide the proper treatment, or provide a prescription for an antibiotic.
  3. Foreign objects: A cinder or speck of dust in your eye can feel like a boulder when you can’t flush it out and your eyes are red and irritated. And children are known for getting pieces of toys and games stuck in the strangest places — including up their noses and inside their ears. These are routine issues for urgent-care staff.
  4. Migraine headaches: Migraine victims often need prescription pain medication stronger than the average headache sufferer requires. Urgent care can provide them.
  5. Burns: A household burn can be incredibly painful, but it’s easily treated at urgent care. Serious (third-degree) burns are better treated at the emergency room.
  6. Sprains: If you’ve hurt your wrist or turned an ankle on the tennis court or the front stair, urgent care is fine. Same thing with a pulled back muscle, a bad bruise or bump from a fall, or simple household accident.
  7. Breathing difficulties: Allergy or asthma attacks that are making it difficult to breathe and may require either medication or a prescription inhaler can be handled at urgent care.
  8. Cuts: They’re among the most common household injuries, and as long as the bleeding is controllable, they can be handled at urgent care – including those that may need a few stitches.
  9. Abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea: Urgent care is equipped to dispense anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medications. If the pain is severe, and appendicitis is a possibility, or if you’ve been so ill that you’re dehydrated, the emergency room could be a better option.
  10. Rashes: Urgent care can address skin irritations or eruptions caused by poison oak, poison ivy, and/or minor food allergies.

In summary, an injury that might permanently impair or endanger an individual’s life is best handled by an emergency room – including seizures or loss of consciousness, serious head or neck injuries, poisonings, knife or gunshot wounds, or fever in newborns.

However, with more “everyday” medical matters, urgent care can handle pretty much any and all nonlife-threatening conditions, which is what we do every day, 7 days a week at #AFC #DoctorsExpress urgent care in #Memphis. DE to AFC soon small size