Is It the Flu or Something More?

 

Is it the Flu or Something More?

Though the flu can often be treated at home without a visit to the physician’s office, more serious conditions can present flu-like symptoms or result from the virus unexpectedly.

Typically, a healthy person who contracts the flu virus can recover from the disease safely at home. Common symptoms of the flu include headaches, muscle pain, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, fever and sweaty chills.

What to Watch For

 

In some cases, however, the flu does require the attention of a physician. If you think you have the flu and are trying to treat the illness at home, keep an eye out for symptoms such as a fever above 103 degrees Fahrenheit or that lasts longer than five days, severe earaches or chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, confusion, persistent vomiting, and coughing up colored phlegm. These symptoms may be the result of a new condition developing as a result of the flu, such as a sinus infection, ear infection or pneumonia.

In extreme situations, organ failure, sepsis, or inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues can also result from the flu.

Risk Factors

 

Certain people should always contact the doctor if they have the flu, especially if they have a pre-existing or chronic condition. If you have asthma, heart disease, a neurological condition, or a disorder that affects your blood, immune system, liver or other organs, then you should schedule a visit with your physician as soon as possible after common flu symptoms present themselves.

Additionally, pregnant women, nursing home residents, children younger than age 5, adults older than age 65 and people with a body mass index greater than 40 should always contact their physician if they develop flu-like symptoms.

If you’re unsure whether or not your flu symptoms warrant a visit to the physician’s office, consider scheduling an appointment regardless to prevent further health complications.

Women, Don’t Let a Heart Attack Sneak Up on You

 

Occasionally, flu-like symptoms can precede a heart attack, especially for women. These symptoms can manifest days or weeks before the incident of a heart attack and are fairly mild. Sometimes, simple nausea may be the only warning that a heart attack is on its way.

If you feel strange or believe that your symptoms may be more than just the flu, don’t hesitate to contact your physician or head to an emergency room. Quick and early action is the best way to recover from — or prevent — a heart attack.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Anywhere CareWhen it’s not possible to see your primary care doctor, try Anywhere Care. Anywhere Care is a quick and convenient way to consult with a health care provider over the phone or by web camera 24/7 without leaving home. Request care online, download the app or call 855.356.8054.

 

Survive the 5 S’s of Warm Weather

Survive the 5 S's of Warm Weather

Survive the 5 S's of Warm Weather

The weather is warm and the sky is bright – it’s time for your family to dig in and enjoy this beautiful season. Be sure you do safely.

Changing schedules and long, hot days can make it difficult to keep your family’s well-being on track. Fortunately, the right amount of know-how and planning makes it easy to navigate common concerns and face each day feeling healthy and refreshed.

Sunshine

One of the many pleasures of summer is spending time outdoors, but the sun’s rays can be particularly harmful this time of year.

Sunburn and tanning are evidence of sun-damaged skin, which can greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma. This type of skin cancer can spread quickly if not caught early.

Your best defense is to avoid sun exposure when the sun’s rays are strongest — between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you do venture out, wear light-colored clothes that cover your skin and apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Reapply after any water sports or every two hours.

In addition to burns, too much time in the hot sunshine can lead to problems such as dehydration and heat exhaustion. Drink water throughout the day to ensure your body remains hydrated and doesn’t overheat.

Swimming

Swimming is an excellent exercise for the entire family. However, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind next time you take a dip.

Dr. Lisa Corum“Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths for children between the ages of 1 and 4,” said Lisa L. Corum, MD, family medicine physician with KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates. “Parents must remain vigilant when their children are playing in or around water. This means putting away distractions and providing constant supervision.”

Being in water can also lead to swimmer’s ear — an infection responsible for 2.4 million health care visits every year in the United Sates. While common, swimmer’s ear can be prevented by keeping the ears dry or using over-the-counter eardrops that contain a drying agent.

Sleep

To feel their best, school-aged children and teenagers need between eight and 11 hours of sleep each night. While there may be more time to snooze during summer break, be careful not to set a schedule that’s drastically different from their school year one.

Children accustomed to going to bed and rising late may struggle when school is back in session. Get ahead of this problem by setting a normal sleep routine at least two weeks before school begins.

“I recommend parents provide their children with planners so they can begin scheduling school days and extracurricular activities,” Dr. Corum said. “Those plans should include a reasonable bedtime. Children like to have some say about how they spend their time, and this is one way to promote that.”

School Prep

Getting ready for the first day of school? Don’t forget to schedule back-to school physicals and check on children’s immunizations. Both are just as vital to being prepared as school supplies and a perfect first-day outfit.

A visit to the doctor gives families peace of mind. You’ll know your children are protected from contagious diseases, and they’ll have the all-clear to begin playing sports. It’s also a good time to get a general update on your family’s well-being. Consider scheduling your own annual wellness visit at the same time.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky requires student athletes to have a specific physical before they can participate in school-sponsored sports programs. Let your children’s physician know if they are planning to play sports during the upcoming school year.

Stomach

The summer season can be hard on your digestive health — a trend that catches many families off guard.

Kathleen Martin, MD“We see more intestinal viruses during the summer months,” said Kathleen Martin, MD, gastroenterologist with KentuckyOne Health Gastroenterology Associates. “Just like winter is a time to be extra cautious about hand hygiene to avoid catching the flu, summer is the time to be extra cautious about what you eat.”

Backyard barbecues, pool parties or other events that involve leaving food out in the sun are potential causes of stomach troubles. All it takes is one hour for perishable foods to spoil in the summer sun. For lactose intolerant people, cold and creamy summer treats may increase flare-ups. And even a seemingly harmless dip in the lake can increase the risk of a common intestinal parasite infection called giardia.

“To help prevent problems, wash your hands regularly and be mindful about what you’re eating or drinking,” Dr. Martin said. “Avoiding risks can keep many people healthy and free to enjoy summer activities.”

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Get Hands-on About Your Health

Get Hands-on About Your Health

Get Hands-on About Your Health
Preventive screenings help you understand your state of health.

Health screenings look for the risk or presence of a wide variety of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer, to name a few. When done regularly, screenings can help pinpoint many problems early, when they may be corrected with lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising or taking medication.

Having the right screenings at the right time is vital.

Let’s Talk About It

 

“When — or even if — you need certain screenings depends on many factors, including your age, family history and other medical issues you may be living with,” said Ron Waldridge II, MD, physician executive at KentuckyOne Health Medical Group and family practice physician with KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates. “It’s best to have a relationship with a primary care doctor who can help you make smart screening decisions.”

Use your annual wellness visit as an opportunity to talk with your primary care doctor about screenings and check in regularly about any other medical concerns that may arise. Together, you and your doctor can design a wellness plan that uses screenings and preventive measures to help you stay healthier, longer.

Speak with your primary care physician to learn more about each type of health screening.

Looking for Lung Cancer

 

Statistically, cancer occurs more frequently in Kentucky than anywhere else in the U.S., and lung cancer in particular is a serious health concern in the Commonwealth.

“Hearing you have cancer is devastating,” said Hilary Deskins, RN, manager of cancer prevention services with KentuckyOne Health. “Our lung cancer screening program helps us diagnose this potentially deadly disease early. That’s important, because catching it early saves lives. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, ours is the largest screening program in the United States.”

A lung cancer screening is done using a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan.

Patients qualify for the screening who:

  • Are ages 55 to 80
  • Have a 30-pack-year smoking history (the equivalent of smoking one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years)
  • Haven’t had a chest CT scan in the last year
  • Don’t already have symptoms of lung cancer
  • Still smoke or quit within the last 15 years

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine. To receive more wellness news and information, subscribe today

Flipping the Health Care Switch

Flipping the Health Care Switch
The transition from high school to college isn’t the only change teens need to make as they enter adulthood.

Between the ages of 18 and 21, most young adults make the switch from their pediatrician to a primary care physician who focuses on adult care.

Ben Rambicure, MD, family medicine physician at KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates, recommends families start looking for a new provider early so everyone is prepared.

A 3-step Process

Age 12

Teach preteens how to discuss their health care. Adolescents should be familiar with their personal and family history, as well as any medications they take on a daily basis.

Age 17

Start the search for your teen’s adult primary care physician and help your teen understand health insurance coverage.

Ages 18-21

Make an appointment with the internal or family medicine physician for your teen.

“At this point, teenagers can call their pediatricians and say, ‘I’m scheduled to see this provider on this date at this time,’ and arrange for their medical records to be transferred,” Dr. Rambicure said. “Because everyone is on the same page regarding medical history, screenings, vaccinations and lab work, teens can expect a smooth transition.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health Magazine. Subscribe to One Health Magazine to learn more about Primary Care information from local experts.

The Rundown on Reviewing Your Insurance Plan

Read The Rundown on Reviewing Your Insurance Plan

The Rundown on Reviewing Your Insurance Plan
The new year is here – it’s time to get a handle on your insurance plan and understand what’s covered.

“The turn of the new year marks a good time to review your current coverage and available options,” said Sherrie Troutman, benefits manager at KentuckyOne Health. “Participants need to ensure they understand the specifics of their particular health plan.”

Troutman offers a few practices for maximizing your plan in 2017 and helping you select your 2018 coverage:

  • Boost your overall health by staying up to date with recommended immunizations and screenings. “Talk with your doctor or primary care provider about which screenings and immunizations you should get,” Troutman said. “Many recommended screenings and immunizations – like routine childhood immunizations, the flu shot, mammograms and Pap tests for women, and osteoporosis screenings for older adults – are typically covered in full by your insurance company.”
  • Understand the specific in-network and out-of-network coverage benefits of your plan. Using in-network providers leaves you with a smaller out-of-pocket cost.
  • Know your out-of-pocket balance. Look up the details of your plan to find out what your out-of-pocket limit is and what is remaining. You will not maximize your benefits until your deductible, out-of-pocket maximum and other plan requirements are met.
  • Keep track of the number of visits with your doctor you have in 2017 aside form annual wellness checkups and other preventive services. This can help you decide whether a traditional plan or high-deductible plan will better suit your future health care needs.
  • Take charge of your health and well-being by scheduling an annual wellness visit, or checkup, as well as other preventive screenings with your primary care provider each year. “These visits are the cornerstone of preventive care and are covered 100 percent,” Troutman said. “Preventive screenings are crucial for finding health problems before symptoms begin, when most conditions are easiest to treat.”

And, finally, don’t forget to investigate health and wellness programs and incentives offered through your workplace.

“Employee Assistance Plans provide a wealth of information and assistance, such as face-to-face counseling, legal and financial services, and online resources, to help manage stress and work-life balance as well as improve both mental and physical health,” Troutman said.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of One Health Magazine. Want more health and wellness information like this? Subscribe to One Health Magazine to hear from experts on how to take control of your health. 

A Community Pillar

Flaget Memorial Hospital exterior

Flaget Memorial Hospital

Today, residents of Bardstown and surrounding communities can take advantage of quality, close-to-home services, such as cancer treatment, orthopedic and weight-loss surgeries, and maternity and primary care, at Flaget Memorial Hospital. Accessing care, however, wasn’t always so easy.

From Humble Beginnings

In the 1940s, the nearest hospital to Bardstown was in Louisville. People had to travel nearly an hour away from home for maternity care and general surgical services. To fulfill the unmet community need, local Bardstown leaders approached the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth congregation about opening a local hospital in Bardstown.

With the Sisters’ help, Flaget Memorial Hospital opened its doors in January 1951. The excitement was palpable – roughly 1,500 people attended the hospital’s open house. A few days later, on Jan. 7, the community celebrated the milestone birth of the first baby born at Flaget Memorial Hospital, Mary Flaget Cecil, who was named after the facility.

Within just a few months, the hospital had treated 352 patients, delivered more than 70 babies and performed more than 90 surgeries. As the population grew, so did the hospital. The 1980s saw the addition of a medical records wing and computed tomography equipment. In the 1990s, an orthopedic surgeon joined the team, and the hospital added a pain management clinic and skilled nursing unit.

Flaget Memorial Hospital moved to its current location on New Shepherdsville Road in June 2005. The 60-acre campus of the accredited, five-star community hospital features a serenity garden and a state-of-the-art cancer center in addition to existing service lines.

Looking to the future, growth will take center stage.

Plans are in place to expand the hospital’s outreach, medical team and capabilities. You can help us grow. Your generous donations to the Flaget Memorial Foundation allow us to focus on compassionate care – the mission of Flaget Memorial Hospital.