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Pisgah Family Health
During the Spring and Summer parents are often reminded that their schoolchildren need a Physical Exam for camp, sports, or school. The physical exam is intended to assess the child's safety and preparedness for these tasks. The exam also helps to assess age-appropriate development such as growth, learning, motor skills, and social skills. In older children we also try to assess health risks such as smoking, drug use, and school performance.
Here are some tips to streamline you child's physical:
The summer is also a good time for adults to catch up on their physicals. Why? Our office is not as busy with sick visits in the summer, so we can get your physical scheduled more quickly and conveniently. Also your wait time is likely to be less in the summer.
Here are some tips to streamline your adult physical.
Pisgah Family Health accepts most major insurance plans. We currently are not accepting new patient with Medicare, Medicaid, or United Medical insurance. We will file your insurance claim, however your office visit is your financial responsibility.
HIPAA states that we can not release any of your information without your written consent. Please let us know if you would like to authorize us to release information to your spouse or a family member.
May 15, 2006 is the last day to join a Medicare Part D. plan for 2006. The next opportunity to enroll will be November 15 to December 31, 2006.
With the new year, do your medications cost more? If you have changed insurance plans, signed up for Medicare Part D, or your plan has a new pharmacy benefit, your medications may change in cost. Unfortunately, each pharmacy plan has unique benefits, and PFH cannot predict which medications will be covered on your plan. If you want help choosing less expensive medications, you MUST bring in your medication formulary. A formulary is the list of medications covered by your plan, including any differential cost teirs. This information should be available in your benefits package, or on-line. Check your insurance card for a phone number or website for your pharmacy benefits.
Summertime is here! Camping, hiking, picnicking, and yard work - all types of outdoor activities are available to us in Western Carolina. The great biodiversity in our area also gives us exposure to a wide variety of plants, some of which can be harmful. Summertime is when most plant-related illnesses occur. By far the most common among these is Contact Dermatitis (also called Rhus Dermatitis), or the rash to Poison Ivy.
What Causes the Poison Ivy rash?Urushiol Oil is the toxin on the leaves of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. The oil is very hardy, and difficult to wash off. It must contact the skin directly to cause the rash.
How can I prevent the rash?
Poison Ivy Myths vs. Facts
Poison Ivy Identification
Poison Oak Identification
Poison Sumac Identification
Virginia Creeper - a common fooler
Sources of photos and information:
May is National Arthritis Month
Arthritis has long been a misunderstood disease which exists in the shadow of misconception and old wives tales. Unless the pain of arthritis affects you or a family member directly, your exposure to it may be minimal. Arthritis is a complicated disease with many types, many variables, and numerous treatment options. In its severe form, it can be a devastating disease which affects various aspects of daily living.
The newly diagnosed arthritis patient has much to learn about how the disease affects psychological and emotional aspects, as well as physical aspects of life. Chronic arthritis patients who have had the disease a long time are challenged with integrating continual changes and adjustments into their lives. Arthritis is a life-altering disease. Arthritis patients are faced with modifying activities which become too difficult or even impossible, and learning how to best live and cope with the disease.
Since there is no cure for arthritis, management of the disease is the key. There are many positive approaches to the management of arthritis. One approach is to actively focus on the 8 best things to do for your arthritis:
During National Arthritis Month, the Arthritis Foundation is encouraging people to "Make This The Year You Get Active" by emphasizing the importance of exercise. They suggest the following:
The disease also can affect other parts of the body. Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement and sometimes swelling. Some types of arthritis are:
Sources, and Links for more information:
May is National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month
The allergy season is upon us! In Western North Carolina we are blessed with a wide variety of elevations and plant diversity. This also blesses us with a wide variety of pollens and allergens. Many people don't know much about allergies or asthma unless they themselves have them so let's get a brief overview of these two medical problems.
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system. People who have allergies have a hyper-alert immune system that overreacts to a substance in the environment called an allergen. Exposure to what is normally a harmless substance, such as pollen, causes the immune system to react as if the substance is harmful. Allergies are a very common problem, affecting at least 2 out of every 10 Americans.
Allergy symptoms can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe (anaphylactic). Mild reactions include those symptoms that affect a specific area of the body such as a rash, itchy, watery eyes, and some congestion. Mild reactions do not spread to other parts of the body. Moderate reactions include symptoms that spread to other parts of the body. These may include itchiness or difficulty breathing. A severe reaction, called anaphylaxis, is a rare, life-threatening emergency in which the response to the allergen is intense and affects the whole body.
Not everyone has allergies. Most allergies are inherited, which means they are passed on to children by their parents. People inherit a tendency to be allergic, although not to any specific allergen. When one parent is allergic, their child has a 50% chance of having allergies. That risk jumps to 75% if both parents have allergies.
There are a number of different allergy-causing substances. The most common include pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, insect stings, latex and certain food and medication.
If you have an allergy your symptoms can range from mild eye irritation and congestion to a more severe reaction causing generalized swelling and difficulty breathing. And, if you have asthma, a reaction to any offending allergy-causing substance can worsen your asthma symptoms.
Asthma affects 12-15 million Americans, including approximately 10%-12% of children under age 18. Asthma may occur at any age, although it's more common in younger individuals (under age 40). People who have a family history of asthma have an increased risk of developing the disease. Asthma is also more common in people who have allergies or who are exposed to tobacco smoke. However, anyone can develop asthma at any time. People with asthma have very sensitive airways that react to many different things in the environment called "triggers." Contact with these triggers cause asthma symptoms to start or worsen.
The following are common triggers for asthma:
Common Asthma symptoms include:
Not every person with asthma experiences the same symptoms in the same way. You may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times. Your symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one attack and severe during another. If you suspect that you may have asthma, see your doctor. He or she can run tests to determine if you have it. If a diagnosis is made, there are many treatments available to make you feel better and improve the underlying problems that caused the asthma.
Links for more information:
Web MD - www.webmd.com
Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America - www.aafa.org
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology - www.acaai.org
May 14-20 is National Running and Fitness week. If you have ever wanted to start a fitness program, now is the time. The weather in Asheville is perfect; The daylight is longer; The flowers are in bloom; And you are not getting any fitter just sitting there. So why not start your new routine now?
2006 Beginning Runners Program
The Asheville Track Club in conjunction with Asheville Parks and Recreation will be conducting a beginning runners program starting May 9.This will be the tenth year of the class. Over 400 runners have been added to the community over the last nine years. The age of the participants has ranged from preteens to 70 years old. The goal of the program is to train new runners to be able to complete the Bele Chere 5K on July 29.
People are aware of the need to increase their physical activity to control their weight and improve their cardiovascular fitness. Some people try to run a mile. They feel like it is the worst thing they have ever done, and they never try again. The Asheville Track Club program is the safe, sane way to start on the road to physical fitness. Each class is a combination of running and walking. As we progress through the program, the amount of running increases and the walking decreases until we are able to run nonstop. The class does a trial run on the Bele Chere course the week before the race.
There will be guest speakers on training, stretching, nutrition, hydration, injury prevention, running shoes, and apparel. This is an excellent class for first time runners, injured runners who want to come back gradually without reinjuring, and runners who have taken time off and want to resume running. There is no charge for the course. If one stays with the program, they are asked to join the Track Club. Each class member contributes 50 cents every class until enough money is collected to buy special shirts for the class graduates. A contest is held among the class members to design the shirts.
On July 13, the class will continue the tradition of the red dress run. On that day all runners including the men are requested to run in red dresses. The red dress run originated as a tribute to women suffering from heart disease.
The class meets at the Carrier River Park by the old speedway on Amboy Road. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The program is 12 weeks long. Registration for the class will be at the park on the days of the class. If you have any questions, Call Barbara at 299-7851 or Wayne at 253-8781.
For more health information, check out these links:
About our Newsletter
Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients. Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics. We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news. The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/.
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