Shingles- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Screening For Shingles

Urgent Care Treatment Options For Relief

Have you ever had shingles? What you may or may not know is that the virus that causes chickenpox can reactivate and cause shingles, or Herpes Zoster. Many people immediately think of a rash when they hear this. While that is the main symptom of shingles, pain throughout the body can also be a problem for many patients. Our urgent care doctors would be happy to examine your situation and help you get some relief if you’re suffering.

At first, you may not realize what is happening when the onset of shingles occurs, because it develops in slow stages. Early symptoms of shingles include:

  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Flu-like symptoms without a fever

It can actually be several days or weeks before the rash associated with shingles appears. First, it’s more likely that you’d feel pain, burning, tickling, tingling, and/or numbness in the area around the affected nerves. Later, the rash can appear anywhere on the body, but it is most common for  it to appear on only one side of the body.

The rash starts in the form of blisters and then they scab over. After a few weeks the scabs will go away, but it’s quite possible for the pain to last for a long while. This is the final stage of shingles referred to as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). The pain associated with PHN most commonly affects the forehead or chest and may make it difficult for the patient to eat, sleep, and do daily activities. In some cases, it may also lead to depression.

Our urgent care doctors can help many patients suffering from shingles by prescribing an antiretroviral drug or steroid to help patients find relief.

If you notice any of the symptoms of shingles, please don’t hesitate to visit any one of our urgent care locations for help. Our First Med Urgent Care locations can be found by clicking here.

Vaccine-Flu-First med Urgent Care

Urgent Care Visits Increase Due To The Flu

First Med Urgent Care Encourages Getting The Flu Shot!

One expert from Bayor College of Medicine, Dr. Robert Atmar, says that while it is always difficult to predict what is going to happen, the previous flu season and current flu activity may indicate a severe flu season from October of 2017 until May of 2018. With that being said, it’s also mentioned that it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible to fight against influenza. First Med Urgent Care staff would have to agree.

First Med Urgent Care doctors have seen an increase in patients checking in for the flu. Many patients coming in are testing positive for the flu already this season. Our urgent care clinics started pushing early flu shot prevention weeks ago, but we understand that not everyone was quite ready to come in for vaccination at that time. For those of you who have been lucky enough to dodge this illness up to now, it’s not too late to come in for a flu shot!

Our urgent care staff encourages everyone at high risk for influenza (or the flu) to get the vaccine, soon. The categories of high risk persons include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly adults
  • Young children 6 month – 8 years old

If you have specific allergies, such as an allergy to eggs, you’ll need to speak with the urgent care doctor on staff to determine if the flu shot is safe for you. Some flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. Other strands do not contain egg and are approved by the FDA for use in people age 18 and older.

Of course, if you’re already past the point of getting a flu shot, because you’re already suffering from the usual flu symptoms of fever, chills, aches, cough, or sore throat then please don’t hesitate to come in for treatment. We’re still here to help you feel better soon!

Snack- Little Boy Eating- Urgent Care

Urgent Care Reveals After School Snacks Often Disguised As Healthy: Part 2

Urgent Care Warns Against Unhealthy Snacks That Appear Healthy

When you go to the grocery store to pick out the snacks your little ones will be munching on it can be easy to get tricked into thinking that what you are buying is healthy, but don’t be fooled by purposeful packaging! In part one of this series, our urgent care revealed 3 after school snacks that are often disguised as healthy, but they really aren’t. Today, we’re going to talk about 3 more popular go-to snacks that could be very unhealthy.

Additionally, our urgent care team also provides a few alternatives for each snack, instead.

First Med Urgent Care’s 3 Choices For “Snack Discussion”:

Trail Mix: The It’s easy to think nuts and seeds sound healthy enough, but the trouble is that a lot of the pre-packaged trail mixes don’t just have those ingredients in them. Most of them contain chocolate-covered candies, sweetened dried fruits, deep-fried banana chips, highly processed sesame sticks, and a lot of added salt.

Alternatively a tasty DIY option would be something like dried coconut flakes, raw nuts, raw seeds, and unsweetened dried cherries. You could try adding organic pink Himalayan salt and cinnamon rather than processed table salt or white sugar.  

Yogurt: Many When many parents think of feeding their kids yogurt they think it’s great for the gut. The truth is those cute little push-op style yogurt sticks and containers with granola added in are actually not so healthy. In fact, most yogurt marketed towards children have artificial food coloring and way too much sugar.

Alternatively you should opt for plain yogurt which does actually have high-protein, high-calcium, and healthy probiotics. To sweeten it up for those who think plain yogurt is too bitter, try adding natural sugars (not processed sugar) like honey or fruit.  

Pretzels: We all know the potato chip isn’t all that healthy which often leads parents to grab a “low fat” option like pretzels. Here’s the kicker; pretzels don’t really have any nutritional value and are nothing but white flour with added salt and sweeteners like corn syrup or malt syrup.

Alternatively to get that crunch you’re after you could just grab a hand full of raw nuts or seeds to serve to your kids.

Our urgent care staff hope that the warning about these popular unhealthy after school snacks have enlightened you a little more. Making the changes for your children’s diet could mean the difference in maintaining their healthy bodies longer.

Thanks for reading our urgent care blog series! We hope the rest of your school year is a healthy one!

Snack- Little Boy Eating- Urgent Care

Urgent Care Reveals After School Snacks Often Disguised As Healthy: Part 1

Urgent Care Warns Against Unhealthy Snacks That Appear Healthy

Often kids come home from school and they want to snack, right? It’s a common occurrence and busy parents are usually just trying to transition from a long work day to an evening at home so they are willing to let their kids have what they believe are healthy snacks before dinner is prepared. It’s important to understand that not all snacks are as healthy as they may seem. In part one of this series, our urgent care reveals 3 after school snacks that are often disguised as healthy, but they really aren’t.

With that being said, our urgent care team wanted to also provide a few alternatives for each snack, instead.

First Med Urgent Care’s 3 Choices For “Snack Discussion”:

Applesauce: The most convenient of snacks like applesauce that come in squeezable containers should be regarded carefully.  You should steer clear of brands containing high-fructose corn syrup, sugar and artificial colors, which account for a large majority of kid-friendly packaged applesauce. Before purchasing take a look at the labels, because many applesauce brands that are marketed for children actually have tons more sugar than some of the regular sized containers.

Alternatively you could just buy whole apples and purée them in a food processor, adding a little natural sugar like honey rather processed white sugar.

Flavored Drinks: Many parents openly admit to thinking sports drinks and flavored water are perfectly healthy for their children to consume, because of the electrolytes. The truth is that these types of beverages are normally loaded with sugar.

Alternatively you should opt for plain water, but if a subtle sweetness is what you’re after try an all natural coconut water with no added sugar, because coconut water naturally contains electrolytes. 

Snack Bars: Most granola bars and energy bars are no healthier in many cases than a candy bar, because they often contain large amounts of  high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and fat. This is another one of those treats that will require looking at labels as it may be possible to find a few brands that are decent.

Alternatively you could make your own snack bars so that you know exactly what the ingredients are.

Our urgent care staff hope that the warning about these popular unhealthy after school snacks have enlightened you a little more. Making the changes for your children’s diet could mean the difference in maintaining their healthy bodies longer. To learn more, feel free to come back for part 2 of this urgent care blog series in 2 weeks!

Woman blowing nose- sick with flu-urgent care

Early Flu Prevention At First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Prepared For Flu Season

This year weather in Oklahoma has thrown us all for a loop. It was one of the rainiest summer seasons we’ve seen in a long while, followed by a quick burst of heat for a few short weeks, and then suddenly fall weather slowly began rolling in one morning. By the middle of the day it’s not dreadfully hot and it’s not quite full fledged fall weather either, but these rapid changes have all had one thing in common; they caused people to start getting sick with the flu earlier than usual. Luckily, First Med Urgent Care has prepared for the flu season early, too!

If not caught in time, the flu can wreak havoc on your life and it is a formidable foe to battle with. It’s no fun for anyone to be stuck in bed trying everything to help with a sore throat and feeling like a truck knocked you down. First Med Urgent Care would caution people with already poor immune systems to be extra careful. In addition, pregnant women, young children, and the elderly have a higher risk of catching the flu.

If you feel nauseated, have diarrhea, a fever, or have difficulty breathing these are all more signs of the flu. Please don’t hesitate to get treatment at one of our local urgent care locations if you’ve made it to the later stages of the flu fight, but the best thing to do if you can is prepare ahead of time. Getting the flu shot early is best for preventative measures.

As we mentioned, we’re prepared for you! Our urgent care clinics received our supplies for flu shots earlier this month and we’ve already been helping people prevent the flu from getting them!

If you would like to get your flu shot before the flu gets you, please stop by any of our locations. First Med Urgent Care locations are open 7 days a week 8:00am – 7:30pm. No appointment is necessary to enjoy our convenient medical care, just walk in and receive prompt attention.

Stress- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals 9 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Life: Part 3

First Med Urgent Care Shares Information About Stress

In part one and part two of this urgent care blog series, we have listed several ways in which stress can cause a slew of other issues for people who don’t get it under control. In the final part of this series, our urgent care staff will go over another 3 ways to demonstrate how stress can be troublesome in the long-term.

1. Stress can make you look older.

Chronic stress contributes significantly to premature aging.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that stress shortens telomeres — structures on the end of chromosomes — so that new cells can’t grow as quickly. This leads to the inevitable signs of aging: wrinkles, weak muscles, poor eyesight, and more.

2. Stress weakens your immune system.

The connection between mind and body is often underestimated.

It could be stated that nearly everyone has experienced a cold when they could least afford to have it happen. That’s because the high demands that stress puts on the body makes the immune system suffer, which makes you more vulnerable to colds and infections.

The American Psychological Association (APA) recommends calming exercises, as well as social outlets, to relieve stress.

3. Stress can lead to long-term disability.

The potential dangers created by even mild stress should not be underestimated. They can lead to long-term disability serious enough to render you unable to work.

Researchers reached this conclusion after their five-year study of 17,000 Swedish working adults, ages 18 to 64, published in 2011 by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

One in four study subjects in the Stockholm area who had mild stress were awarded disability benefits for physical conditions like angina, high blood pressure, and stroke. Nearly two-thirds drew benefits for a mental illness.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on August 27, 2013 and was updated by Patrick Keeffe on August 4, 2016.

Our urgent care staff hopes that this information spread over our 3-part urgent care blog series has been eye-opening. If you think you have too much stress in your life it might be time to consider some techniques to bring your stress levels down.

On behalf of First Med Urgent Care, we hope that you have a safe, happy, and low stress fall!

Stress- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals 9 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Life: Part 2

First Med Urgent Care Shares Information About Stress

In part one of this urgent care blog series, we listed 3 out of 9 ways that stress can impact a person’s life. Today, our urgent care staff wanted to dive in a bit more and give you 3 more ways, in part 2 of this series, which describe how stress can introduce other problems.

1. Stress can ruin your teeth and gums.

Some people respond to stressful situations through nervous tics or by grinding their teeth. While people often grind their teeth unconsciously or when they sleep, it can do lasting damage to your jaw and wear their teeth thin.

A multi-university study, in 2012, also linked stress to gum disease. Researchers concluded that the pressures of marriage, parenthood, work, or lack of romantic involvement were factors in periodontal disease.

Moreover, those at greatest risk were people who became highly emotional when dealing with stress caused by their finances.

2. Stress can ruin your heart.

Stress can physically damage your heart muscle. Stress damages your heart, because stress hormones increase your heart rate and constrict your blood vessels. This forces your heart to work harder, and increases your blood pressure.

According to the American Institute of Stress, the incidence rate of heart attacks and sudden death increases after major stress inducing incidents, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

3. Stress can make you gain weight.

In the ancient days of hunter-gatherers, harsh conditions forced people to eat as much as possible when food was available in order to store up for lean times. That compulsion lives on inside us, and comes out when we are stressed.

Researchers at the University of Miami documented that when people find themselves in stressful situations, they are likely to consume 40 percent more food than normal. Those scientists recommended turning off the nightly newscast before eating dinner, to keep bad news — and overeating — at bay.

Our urgent care staff hopes that this information will help you make decisions in your life which may keep your stress levels lower. After all, once you’re aware of the many ways stress can negatively impact you, the more equipped you are to defeat those “demons”.

Our urgent care staff feel it is important to share this information as it may keep you from becoming unnecessarily ill. If you’d like to know even more about the negative impacts of stress, feel free to come back in a few weeks to read the final part of our urgent care blog series on this topic!

Stress- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals 9 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Life: Part 1

First Med Urgent Care Shares Information About Stress

It’s no secret that stress can cause people to act outside the norm. In part one of this series, our urgent care article provides 3 out of 9 ways that stress can impact a person.

1. Emotions can be difficult to control under stress.

New research shows how even a little stress can be destructive and cause people to slip. In fact, a 2013 study by neuroscientists found that even mild levels of stress can impair our ability to control our emotions.

In the study, stress control techniques were taught to the subjects. Afterwards, the subjects were put under mild stress — by having their hands dunked in icy water — they could not easily calm themselves down when shown pictures of snakes or spiders.

“Our results suggest that even mild stress, such as that encountered in daily life, may impair the ability to use cognitive techniques known to control fear and anxiety,” lead author Candace Raio, Ph.D., said in a press release.

2. Stress can promote disease.

Illnesses that have been linked to stress are cancer, lung disease, fatal accidents, suicide, and cirrhosis of the liver. Some of the population are more prone to diseases, and steady supply of stress can give these conditions the green light.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that children subject to chronic stress are prone to developing a mental illness if they are genetically predisposed.

3. Stress can affect your love life. 

Your love life can be an effective and pleasurable way to relieve stress, but stress can also throw a wrench in the works faster than you think.

According to a 1984 study, it was found that stress can impact a man’s body weight, testosterone levels, and sexual desire. Numerous studies have shown that stress — especially performance anxiety — can lead to impotence.

High levels of stress in pregnant women also may trigger changes in their children as they grow, specifically behavioral and developmental issues.

While visiting an urgent care may not take care of stress related problems in your life our urgent care staff feel it is important to share this information as it may keep you from becoming unnecessarily ill. If you’d like to know more about the negative impacts of stress, feel free to come back in a few weeks to read the second part of our urgent care blog series on this topic!

Abdomen Pain- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals Reasons For Abdominal Pains: Part 2

First Med Urgent Care Sharing Helpful Information

In part one of this series, our urgent care article focused on 7 possible culprits of pain in the abdominal region. As we mentioned, pain in the abdomen can range from being a temporary problem to something more serious. As there are so many different problems that could be associated with pain in the area, we’ve come back to list 7 more possible reasons someone might feel pain in the stomach area.

  • Endometriosis – This one if for women only as it is a condition that affects the cells of the lining of the uterus. Pain, irregular bleeding, and infertility issues can be the result of these cells escaping and starting to grow in other parts of the body, usually somewhere in the pelvis.

 

  • Thyroid Problems – The thyroid, even though it is located in the neck, can cause digestive tract problems. The production of too many hormones can lead to pain, diarrhea, and cramps. An under-active thyroid can lead to the slowing down of the digestion process potentially causing pain in the form of constipation and gas.

 

  • Parasites – There are all types of parasites and many ways that they can enter someone’s body. You can get them from eating undercooked food, from your pets, and even from just walking outside in soil without any shoes on! Not matter how you get them, parasites can cause cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.

 

  • Ulcers – Pain from peptic ulcer disease (ulcers in the stomach and small intestine) can be felt by most in the mid-upper abdomen.

 

  • Stress – This alone can cause a multitude of pains throughout the entire body, including digestive pain.

 

  • Some Foods – Lactose intolerance, Gluten intolerance, and reactions to too many sugar substitutes like Sorbitol can all cause people to have digestive pains including; bloating, diarrhea, burping, gas, and indigestion. Eating undercooked food or bacteria ridden food can lead to food poisoning which can cause pain in the stomach for up to a few days.

 

  • Cancer – It’s rare for patients to feel pain from cancer in the abdominal organs, but it’s not impossible. This pain may most likely be felt in later stages of cancer.

Our wish is that you’ve found this list informative. As we stated in part one, our urgent care doctors may be able to help you narrow down your type of abdominal pain to a specific cause, but some of the more serious diseases will require follow-up treatments. First Med Urgent Care is for non-emergency medical problems such as the flu, common colds, sore throats, ear infections, minor burns, cuts and scrapes, and minor injuries.

Some the types of pain mentioned in this article are only temporary pains that may not require medical attention; however, others listed may require surgery or ongoing medical assessment. Should you feel that your stomach pain is caused by something minor, please feel free to come in and get a check-up at any of our 6 urgent care locations.

Abdomen Pain- First Med Urgent Care

First Med Urgent Care Reveals Reasons For Abdominal Pains: Part 1

First Med Urgent Care Sharing Helpful Information

Pain in the abdominal region can be caused by something temporary or it could be a signal from your body that something more serious is to blame. As there are so many organs in the abdomen it can be difficult for some patients to pinpoint the exact reasons for their tummy issues. Today, our urgent care article focuses on 7 possible culprits of pain in the belly area.

  • Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas that can cause burning pain in the upper or middle abdomen. Sometimes, it can even be felt in the back.
  • Appendicitis –This kind of pain is usually very sudden in the mid-abdomen, progressing into the lower, right side. This usually warrants surgery to remove the appendix before it bursts.
  • Gallstones – These can form in the gallbladder, causing a blockage of the duct that leads into the intestinal tract which can result in pain. You may notice this pain in the right, upper side of the abdomen.
  • GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause pain in the upper stomach and patients often feel heartburn in the lower chest.
  • Diverticulitis – This happens when the pockets that form the lining of the intestines become inflamed. Pain can range from mild cramping in the lower abdomen to sever pain as a result of abscesses, bleeding, and even perforations.
  • IBD – Inflammatory bowel disease is inflammation inside the small or large intestine and can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. This can progress to cancer so it requires monitoring.
  • IBS – Irritable bowl syndrome can cause similar stomach pains as those with IBD, but it doesn’t cause inflammation, rectal bleeding, and doesn’t progress to cancer.

We hope this list is informative for you. Please note that our urgent care staff has provided this information for educational purposes. While our urgent care doctors may be able to help you narrow down your type of abdominal pain to a specific cause, please note that we may not have the capability at our clinics to treat some of the more long-term and serious abdominal diseases. First Med Urgent Care is for non-emergency medical problems such as the flu, common colds, sore throats, ear infections, minor burns, cuts and scrapes, and minor injuries.

Many of the conditions mentioned in this article may require you to take serious action such as receiving emergency surgery or ongoing medical assessment. Should you feel that your stomach pain is caused by something minor, please feel free to come in and get a check-up at any of our 6 urgent care locations.