Category Archives: Healthy Tips

What is Urgent Care and When Should You Use It?

Urgent care is designed to provide medical services in half the time it takes patients to see a doctor, if they were to enter an emergency room setting. Urgent care centers are equipped with the latest equipment, so doctors can accurately diagnose and treat mild to moderate injuries, illnesses and diseases.

Urgent care facilities provide the same quality of care that emergency room gives, but with one exception. The wait time in urgent care is considerably less. Urgent care facilities treat patients with a wide range of medical conditions from flu like symptoms to bacterial infection signs and symptoms.

The most common illnesses are colds, flu, viruses and viral and bacterial infections. These illnesses are often seen in children, but they are not immune to adults.

Urgent Care Centers Provide Treatment for a Variety of Illnesses

Bacterial infections occur when germs or toxins enter the body. Bacteria enters the body through openings in the skin, mouth, nose, or eyes. Once, bacteria (which is considered a foreign material), enter the body, it begins to multiply and spread to other areas of the body, at this point, the bacteria then weakens the immune system, making it easier for other germs to invade the body. One single bacteria can reproduce more than 70 billion like bacteria in less than 24 hours.

The longer patients wait for treatment the more aggressive the bacteria become. This aggressive behavior will only lessen with medical attention, and the administration of medication. Parents are not aware of the signs and symptoms associated with bacterial infections, but doctors treat bacterial infections every day. These symptoms are hard to escape the eyes of trained medical professionals.

Bacterial infection signs and symptoms are not uncommon, and are easily mistaken for other diseases. As the bacteria spread its deadly toxin, symptoms occur, which often worsen as the bacteria continues to grow. Symptoms include pain, swelling and fever. Doctors at urgent care centers can diagnose and treat patients of all ages.

Benefits of Urgent Care Centers for Parents- Individuals- Families

Patients pressed for time and need to see the doctor on their lunch break or after work can walk into the urgent center, without an appointment, and get a quick and accurate diagnosis. Moms can bring in their little ones and let doctors treat them quicker than they can schedule an appointment with their pediatrician, and parents can avoid the long wait time.

A Step Towards Women’s Health Can Save Your Life

There are some things that we can not prevent due to genetics and forces of nature that are unstoppable but as a women you can prevent disease by staying on top of your health. There are easy preventative acts that will help you live a long and healthy life. By staying on top of your health you can catch illness early on before it’s too late. Life is beautiful, don’t end yours early by not taking care of yourself to the best of your ability. It doesn’t take long to make sure that you don’t leave this world before your time. All it takes is one visit to Express Healthcare to start taking control of your future health.

Your body should be treated as if it is your house. You don’t go and burn your house down knowing that it will leave you with no place to live so you shouldn’t treat your body like garbage until it is full of disease and clogged arteries. By taking early preventative measures you are reducing your risks for serious illness such as heart attack, breast cancer, etc. Now, you can walk into a Express Healthcare, have your tests done, and be gone without putting a major dent in your day. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Women’s health is a priority and not an option.

You may be asking yourself what tests are important for women. The following are tests that may not need but you should discuss with your healthcare provider. These tests can all be discussed and done by your healthcare professional at Express Healthcare:

* Blood Pressure Test
* Pap Smear
* Ultrasound tests
* Bone Density Scans
* STD
* Chlamydia Testing

As well as doing the appropriate tests the provider will also make sure that you are up to date on your vaccinations. Vaccinations play an important role in women’s health making sure that you do not put your body through illnesses that can be prevented and also deadly.

Express Healthcare plays a vital role in women’s health. We are here for all of your healthcare needs. We provide preventative care, vaccinations, and are open to discussing weight loss surgery when appropriate. We strive to make sure that all of our patients are taken care of at an affordable, professional and friendly way. Come see us today and protect your future!

Express healthcare women

Lifestyle Tips to Help You Manage Your Heartburn

When you have heartburn and acid reflux, your lower esophageal sphincter opens when it shouldn’t. This causes acid from your stomach to wash back up into your esophagus.

Over time, the constant backwash of stomach acid can irritate and damage your esophagus. If this happens, it can lead to complications like swelling or narrowing of your esophagus. If you have acid reflux disease and your symptoms like chest pain, acid taste in your mouth or burning in the back of your throat come back or get worse, it could be a sign that your treatment need to be adjusted.

In Express Urgent Care clinics, we have physicians expert in gastrointestinal disorders. We have many diagnostic tools help us to reach the diagnosis of your problem.

Our services include:

– Laboratory and screening tests

– Ultrasonography

– H-Pylori Breath Test

When you have acid reflux, this means that something in your body isn’t working the way it should. For example, your lower esophageal sphincter might be weak or something could be putting extra pressure on your stomach.

A weakened lower esophageal sphincter can be a result of:

* Drinking Alcohol

* Smoking

* Eating certain foods like foods high in fat.

Extra pressure on your stomach can be caused by:

* Eating large meals

* Wearing tightly fitting clothes

* Pregnancy

* Being overweight

Ask our doctors how can you change your lifestyle and how eat smaller meals. Ask how to control your weight because carrying extra pounds puts pressure on your stomach. In our offices, we have certain methods that can help you lose weight.

Express Healthcare is a walk-in urgent care clinics located on Greenbelt Rd in Premier Medical Center and on Baltimore Ave near the University of Maryland. Talk to us today if you have any symptom.

5 common causes of heartburn - and some foods to avoid!

Just Girls – Odors, Bumps and Everything Inbetween

Hello ladies. We’ve all been there when something changes “down there” and the great unknown can leave you feeling worried as well as uncomfortable. I know how to take care of you at Express Healthcare, whether you think you may be pregnant or you’re concerned about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Here are a few things you should know about your body and how you can be better at listening to it.

Appearance

First and foremost, everyone looks different. You are a stunning, gorgeous woman, exactly the way you were made. Love your body and it will love you back.

Here is a diagram of your basic anatomy. Keep in mind, there are many variations to a woman’s appearance.

women basic anatomy

Shaving

It’s bikini season! The last thing you want are those painful red bumps that you get after shaving. This is a common result of shaving coarse hair found in your groin and armpits. This is most likely due to folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicle. There are some over-the-counter products that may provide relief or prevent these bumps. Here are some handy tips:

  • wash before and after with antibacterial soap, such as Hibiclens
  • use a fresh, sharp shaving razor
  • just trim! no need to shave all the way down to the skin
  • after, use a product that has “rubbing alcohol” in the ingredients
  • or try a little over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, do not use more than twice a day

If these simple tricks do not help, you may have developed an infection that can be treated at our urgent care.

Douching and Discharge

Douching is a practice I discourage to all of my patients. Douching can disrupt the pH of your vagina and can leave you susceptible to an infection such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Over-the-counter tests for these problems are not reliable nor are they accurate. Having a discharge is very normal, for all women. If you are having a change in your normal discharge or odor, there may be something else going on that needs medical attention.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

These types of infections can wreak havoc on our bodies by causing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), infertility, cervical cancer and other complications. If you have had multiple partners or have a new partner, don’t hesitate – you should be tested.

Annual Well-Woman Exam

Just like your yearly check-up, you should have a yearly female check-up in addition. This exam generally includes a Pap Smear and a breast exam. A Pap Smear is recommended beginning at the age of 21, if you are sexually active. It is so important to have your annual well-woman check-up every year. You can utilize this visit with your primary care doctor or gynecologist to discuss contraceptives or any questions you have about your sexual health or well-being

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions. Feel welcome to walk-in or make an appointment to address any concerns you might have. You know where to find us at Express Healthcare in College Park and Greenbelt, MD!

Guidelines for Responding to Mental Health Crisis

Feeling under the weather? Blue? Not quite yourself? You may have a mental health disorder.

Mental health can be quite the taboo topic. It’s frowned upon in the military. It makes us feel uneasy regarding the possibility of school shootings or random acts of violence. It can be difficult to face for those that have survived suicide attempts. It can be unbearable for those that have lost a loved one that took their own life or passed away unexpectedly.

Mental health encompasses many facets such as mood and personality disorders. The truth of the matter is, no matter who you are you can still benefit from some form of mental healthcare. Whether that means you have a friend you can always talk to or you find your therapy in art and music or you need a professional counselor and psychiatrist to guide you.

mental health

Here is some info about common issues that you may find helpful.

Depression

Depression is a powerful thing. It can consume us. Do you believe you have a depressed mood? Have decreased sleep? Decreased interest in activities? Guilt of worthlessness? Decreased energy? Concentration difficulties? Changes in appetite or weight loss? Feel agitated? Suicidal thoughts? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to address these symptoms with your primary care physician or psychiatrist.

Anxiety

The pressure is on. Get into the best school. Make straight A’s. Always win. Never lose. Have the perfect spouse. Dog. Car. Child. Wardrobe. House. Job. Life.

Feeling nervous. Sweaty. Hyperventilate. Don’t like crowds. Can’t sleep. Full of worry. Obsessed with negativity.

There are many causes of anxiety. The first thing to understand is that anxiety is a totally normal emotion. It makes us competitive and alert. It makes you a better person, until it doesn’t. If you suffer from severe anxiety that has become debilitating, that doesn’t mean you should let it get the best of you. Talk to someone today, see a professional like your doctor and get some solid advice.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a form of depression that comes and goes depending on the time of year. Mostly commonly, symptoms start in late fall and fade in the spring/summer. Theses symptoms include:

  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Having a bigger appetite than usual, especially for sweet or starchy foods, like pastries or rice
  • Gaining weight
  • Becoming cranky or irritable
  • Having trouble with relationships, especially with feeling rejected

SAD is a condition that can be treated. If you feel like these symptoms describe you, you’ve overcome the first step and have recognized there is a problem. Discuss your concerns the next time you see your primary care physician or psychiatrist.

Bereavement

Mourning a lost love one or living with a terminal illness is a one-day-at-a-time process that simply takes time. There are 5 basics stages of grief, here is what to expect if you or a loved one are dealing with this type of issue:

  1. Denial — trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of his/her situation, and begin to develop a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger — Why me? Who is to blame? Why would God let this happen?
    Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, or at a higher power, and especially those who are close to them.
  3. Bargaining — I’ll do anything for a few more years. I will give my life savings if…
    The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow undo or avoid a cause of grief.
  4. Depression — I’m going to die soon so what’s the point? I miss my loved one, why go on?
    This process allows the grieving person to disconnect from things of love and affection, possibly in an attempt to avoid further trauma. It is natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation. Oftentimes, this is the ideal path to take, to find closure and make their ways to the fifth step, Acceptance.
  5. Acceptance — It’s going to be okay. I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.
    In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their situation. This typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable mindset.

Grief is a normal part of the process. However, complicated or prolonged grief is not. If you are having any suicidal/homicidal thoughts or if this process takes more than 6 months, you must seek professional help immediately.

Therapy

Therapy is an integral part of our lives. Exercise is therapeutic. Music. Art. Cooking. Laughing. Writing. Intellect. Sex. Relationships. We need these things. Yet, sometimes, it’s not enough and you may benefit from seeing a professional.

Too often we realize our best friends really aren’t great counselors. For example, have you ever tried to talk to a friend about something important that was going on in your life and they answer “me too!” and relates your problem to their life? This can make you feel invalidated and you may not ever be able to resolve the issue you have. A professional counselor is trained to help you deal with your most personal and private issues. Seeing a counselor or therapist may drastically change your outlook on life and can help you heal, no matter what you may be dealing with.

If you are contemplating suicide, tell someone. Get the help you need.

I hope you’ve found some of the info in this blog helpful. Let me know which topics you would like more posts about!

The 8 Must-Know Tips to Stay Hydrated During Summer

Did you know that the human body is mostly water roughly 12 gallons? That’s approximately 50 to 75% of the body’s weight. 

According to the American Diabetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, the average adult loses about 10 cups of water daily. 

That volume needs to be replenished by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Water is essential for general health and survival.  No one needs a study to accept that conclusion. But what does demand closer scrutiny is the effect that water has on performance, as some theorize that minor dehydration is a natural part of exertion.

You’ve romped outdoors with the kids all day, and your water bottle ran dry long ago. Suddenly you feel dizzy and lightheaded, and your mouth tastes like cotton. You’re dehydrated — meaning you haven’t taken in enough fluids to replace those you’ve been sweating out. People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it’s much more common in the summer months, when they are active outdoors in the warm sun. Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration. That’s when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, have hallucinations, or suffer seizures.

One dilemma with dehydration, particularly in the summer, is separating dehydration from heat stress.  Athletes and general population exercisers have been implored to consume copious amounts of water, lest they reach a dehydrated state.  However, it is also possible that heat causes the brain to enter somewhat of a “safe mode” to prevent overheating and this may be mistakenly attributed to a loss of water.

People with diabetes can face further challenges in maintaining an adequate level of hydration in hot weather, since diabetes can lead to an increase in the body’s excretion of urine when blood glucose levels are elevated. Prevention of dehydration is essential for everyone during the hot summer months, especially when spending time outdoors. Staying well-hydrated can help prevent fluctuations in blood glucose levels as well as heat-related complications such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Drinking plenty of water may be all that is needed to offset the mild dehydration that occurs when you’re outside in the summer heat.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Keeping track of how much water and water-based beverages you consume: count any frozen juice bars or icy treats.
  • Fruit juices may be diluted with water for the calorie conscious.
  • One of the first signs of dehydration is dry mouth. Carry a bottle of water around with you to take a sip whenever needed.
  • Caffeine acts as a diuretic; so caffeinated beverages can cause fluid loss.
  • Watch your urine: It should be almost clear and without smell. If it is changing then you are dehydrating.
  • Sports drinks can be a good source of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, which help keep the body electrically balanced.
  • Stop if you get the dizzies. Feeling lightheaded during a workout is a sign of dehydration and a signal to tone it down a notch, feeling dizzy is an indicator that it’s time to hydrate.
  • Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover.

Staying off of direct sun could also help to avoid heat stroke and sunburn. It might be important for some to be in large shopping mall areas where conditioning is available and access to water is easy.

Children and adults who are severely dehydrated should be treated urgently. At Express Urgent Care Clinics, we provide treatment for dehydration cases. Where patients can receive salts and fluids through a vein (intravenously) rather than by mouth. Intravenous hydration provides the body with water and essential nutrients much more quickly than oral solutions do — something that’s essential in life-threatening situations.

Walk-in today to our clinics, we are open 7 days a week.

dehydration summer pets urgent care

Water is our most important nutrient. 

What Do You Need to Know About Vaccination for Travel?

Travelers to other countries often face health issues they wouldn’t ordinarily experience at home. To minimize your risks of becoming seriously ill when traveling abroad, you should find out in advance whether any specific immunizations may be recommended for travel to the region of the world you’ll be visiting. It’s also a good time to review your own immunization history.

vaccinations international trip selfie

Your next trip could end with a Turtle selfie!

It’s best to schedule a visit to your doctor four to six weeks before an international trip. Since your body needs time to build up immunity after receiving a vaccine and many vaccines are given in a series over time, getting an early start on your immunizations is the best way to protect yourself. Even if you are making a last-minute trip or plan to leave in less than four weeks, you should still check with your doctor to see if any vaccines or preventive medications might be recommended.

The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) divides travel vaccinations into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. The only vaccine classified as “required” by International Health Regulations is the yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America.

Routine vaccinations 

Routine vaccinations are those that are normally administered, usually during childhood, in the United States. These include immunizations against

  • diphtheria,
  • tetanus,
  • pertussis,
  • measles,
  • mumps,
  • rubella,
  • pneumococcus.
  • poliomyelitis,
  • hepatitis B,
  • hepatitis A,
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b,
  • rotavirus,
  • meningococcus,
  • human papillomavirus, and
  • Varicella,

International travelers should make sure that these vaccinations are up to date and that no boosters are required, since many conditions which are rare in the U.S. due to immunity in the general population may be more common in other countries.

Recommended Vaccinations

Recommended vaccinations are given to protect travelers from illnesses that occur routinely in other parts of the world. Express Healthcare Doctors determine which vaccines are recommended for international travel on an individual basis, taking into consideration your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, your overall health status, and your immunization history.

Required Vaccinations

The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.

Our board certified physicians will provide comprehensive health care that includes consultation and immunization services; after checking your current health and ask about your medical history and knowing your destination the physician will offer appropriate vaccines (according to CDC Guidelines) and optimum and up to date health information for your travel needs (such as insect precautions and insect repellents, Anti-Malarial, water and food precautions, current outbreaks and health safety measures).

You can walk-in to our urgent care clinics any day during the year. Our office personnel and medical staff speak English, Spanish, Somali, Chinese and Arabic. Appointments are recommended at Med-Ped Health Care (301-345-4400), however the physicians can see patients on a walk-in basis at Express Healthcare (301-345-6600).

Tips for a Safe, Healthy Memorial Day

Healthy Tips Memorial Day

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States.

This holiday is one of our favorites, and not just because it is the unofficial start of the summer season. It’s the time to shed our winter attire for our favorite shorts and tanks and spend some time with family, friends and to honor those who have served our country. Whether you’ll be swimming or grilling, here is some information to keep you happy and healthy:

Fun in the Sun: Protect yourself and your family from harmful UV rays with a quality sunscreen. I would recommend using a product that contains at least SPF 50 for the face and SPF 30 for the body. Remember to apply frequently or hourly if you will be swimming and sweating. The repercussions of having two or more blistering sunburns in your lifetime will significantly raise your risk of skin cancer and skin aging. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It keeps you hydrated as well as protects you from the environment, love it wisely!

What is a quality sunscreen? UV radiation from the sun comes in the form of UVA and UVB. Selecting a “full-spectrum” product will guarantee protection from these harmful rays. These products will contain ingredients such as zinc oxide, avobenzone or ecamsule. For children, only products with zinc oxide are recommended.

If you do get sunburned, at what point would you need to visit us at Express Healthcare? Some sunburns can be as severe as a second degree burn. If you find your sunburn to be especially painful, this may be the case for you and you may be at risk for dehydration and infection. If your sunburn is mild and not very bothersome, you may be able to treat yourself at home. Here are some things you can do:

– Apply an emollient three times a day. Choose a moisturizer that is bland (no fragrance or dyes) and without alcohol, such as CeraVe.

– Aloe Vera! Apply to the affected areas as much as you want.

– Cool Compresses or baths with or without colloidal oatmeal. Use a clean, cold, damp washcloth and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. Also, you can take a cool oatmeal bath using products such as Aveeno that are available at any drugstore.

All of these techniques will promote skin healing. It is important to avoid the sun until your sunburn has completely resolved. Do not use petroleum jelly, such as Vasoline, unless directed by your healthcare provider.

Stay Hydrated: The combination of dehydration, heat, and consuming alcohol can be detrimental to your health. Young children and the elderly may be especially susceptible to the summer heat. Make sure to stay cool and keep your ice chest full of water and sports drinks and skip the sugary beverages.

Symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of consciousness are all signs that you need to seek treatment with health professionals such as at our urgent care, Express Healthcare which will open on Memorial day at College Park location.

Swimming and Water Sports: Never leave children unattended in or near water, no matter how experienced you believe they are at swimming. Make sure you are prepared with the proper equipment such as life jackets, first aid kits, and a cell phone to call 9-1-1. One tool you may find to be a useful resource is the First Aid Kit app by the American Red Cross.

Grilling Light: Time to break out the grill! Not only is grilled food absolutely delicious, it can be quite healthy too. Pick out lots of fresh vegetables to skewer or to wrap in foil for that great grilled flavor. Season your food with low-sodium seasonings such as Mrs. Dash’s tasty seasoning items. We all love burgers and hotdogs, but choosing proteins such as salmon or chicken breast instead of red or processed meat is a great alternative that still taste great on a whole wheat bun! Always remember to keep your grill at a safe distance from flammables and children.

Everyone at Express Healthcare and Med-Ped Health Care wishes you a fun, safe holiday as you celebrate this day in remembrance of those who have served and sacrificed.