Health Education

Curated by our Doctors and Staff!

Arbor Family Medicine is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of our patients and in reducing the stress associated with the diagnosis of an illness. The following links below will give you more information about many illnesses. We believe that having information, preventive and treatment measures will help you make more informed decisions about your healthcare. Please let us know at your next appointment if you have more questions.

Condition Specific Information:

Seasonal or Year-round symptoms of nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes. Sometimes associated with asthma, sometimes not. If the over the counter (OTC) medications aren’t working anymore, come in for a visit.

Episodes of racing heart, Panic, or feelings of impending doom, loss of control, feeling like you’re “going crazy.” Often starts with a trigger but can become Generalized Anxiety. If exercise, cutting down and caffeine, and focusing on good sleep hours aren’t helping anymore, come see us.

Coughing or shortness of breath, sometimes triggered by cold air, viral illness, or Allergic rhinitis, above. If you’re feeling these symptoms regularly, or more than a few times a month, it may be time to review your current treatment strategy.

Inflammation of the cushioning around large joints, mostly hips, shoulders. Sometimes hard to distinguish from Osteoarthritis or just Arthritis, which is wear and tear of, or pain and swelling of the joints themselves. Both cause pain, but bursitis is mostly treated without surgery. Come in for advice, a cortisone injection, or referral to physical therapy if rest and OTCs aren’t helping anymore.

Screenings for skin cancers, breast, cervical, colon, lung, prostate, and uterine cancers are all basic screening tests offered in primary care offices. These are usually addressed at an Annual Wellness Visit.

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is illness of the lungs most often found in long time smokers, but longstanding, untreated asthma, can end up with a similar picture, as well.

Diabetes, which is a rise in blood sugar due to absence or poor response to insulin. Changes in diet, food choices, and exercise are very important at all stages of illness. Early symptoms include blurry vision, frequent urination, especially awakening at night to do so. Numbness or tingling in the feet can be a later symptom. Rapid weight loss can also be a symptom of diabetes. All these issues can be addressed during an office visit.

Flu, or viral influenza, is a serious illness, often occurring during the cooler seasons of the year. Early diagnosis and treatment are important, because antivirals can shorten the duration and severity of flu, but only if started within the first 48-72 hours off illness.

Heart Disease, or coronary artery disease, is often a result of longstanding, untreated risk factors, which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes, and many times occur in a setting of family history of heart attacks or strokes. Screening for these risk factors is often offered at a Wellness Visit, but routine follow-up is important to be sure that therapy is controlling the risk factors.

Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure, is a rise in pressure as measured in the large arteries of the arms or legs. Untreated high blood pressure often causes damage to the kidneys, which can result in kidney failure and dependence on dialysis. Extremes of high blood pressure can damage the retina in the eyes, causing vision loss, or even result in certain types of strokes, resulting in bleeding into the brain and sometimes, death.

Obesity, or severe overweight, can result from prolonged inactivity, as well as excessive calorie intake. Commonly an inherited trait, which often raises the question of genetics versus poor habits started at a young age. Guided nutritional counseling, a large number of medication therapies, and sometimes surgery can help to bring the weight into a healthier range. Longstanding obesity can result in diabetes or contribute to hypertension or heart disease.

Osteoarthritis (OA), or “wear and tear” joint damage, occurs to varying degree in different people with normal aging. OA is usually sporadic and asymmetric, and often results in atrophy, wearing away of the joint cartilage lining. This is different than Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is an autoimmune condition, in which autoantibodies from your own immune system attack all of the joints. RA is usually symmetric and inflammatory, joints look the same on both sides and can be red, swollen, and inflamed.

Gastritis or Peptic disease, is inflammation of the stomach lining, that often is described as heartburn, even though it has nothing to do with the heart. Sometimes this can be treated by removing the cause of symptoms, sometimes an excessive use of caffeine, nicotine, or anti-inflammatories. Medication can help in the short term. Worrisome symptoms that should be evaluated right away include boring, back pain, pain awakening you at night, or coughing up blood.

Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinus passages in the face, can be bacterial, allergic, or even associated with chronic headache or migraines. Symptoms including fever, excessive mucous production, and severe pain in the face or teeth should be evaluated urgently.

Sprains and strains are soft tissue injuries of the extremities, usually due to trauma. Loss of function, such as trouble walking or inability to use the arm or hand should be evaluated as soon as possible. Changes in color, loss of feeling in the limb, obvious deformity, or inability to move the limb should be evaluated in an Emergency Room. A dislocated joint is considered a medical emergency because of the impaired circulation.

Urinary tract infections usually need antibiotic treatment. Although some patient have found a decrease in frequency by taking probiotics or cranberry tablets, these will not cure a bacterial infection. Fever, feeling unwell, severe urinary pain or back pain are indications for Urgent Care or Emergency Room evaluation.