• Can Chicken Soup Really Help with the Flu?

    The best way to deal with the flu is not to get it at all. A flu shot is the most effective method of prevention, along with washing your hands frequently. If you do get sick, and you’re at a high risk of severe flu complications, you can visit a walk-in clinic to ask about antiviral medications. Otherwise, stay at home, get plenty of rest, and enjoy some steaming hot chicken soup.

    When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear about the science behind the benefits of chicken soup. The hot, steaming broth eases congestion and makes the mucus flow, which aids in the removal of the flu virus from your nasal passages. The broth is also helpful for preventing dehydration, which is more likely to develop in patients with the flu. Plus, the chicken gives your body some protein, which supports your immune system.

    If you’re suffering from severe flu symptoms and live near Orlando, you can put your trust in Paramount Urgent Care. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • The Whys and Hows of Cholesterol Testing

    Do you know your cholesterol numbers? Most Americans don’t, yet millions of adults either have heart disease or are at risk of it. The next time you go to the clinic for an annual physical exam, ask your doctor about getting your cholesterol tested. High cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms, so you can have the test even if you feel healthy overall. If you do have abnormal cholesterol levels, your physician can get you started on a treatment plan to help you live a long, healthy life.

    Why Cholesterol Tests Are Important

    Many people avoid going to the doctor’s office unless they feel sick or sustain an injury. But with preventive healthcare, many serious health problems can be avoided, or detected early and treated effectively. Cholesterol tests are a simple way to get to know your own body better, and the results can guide you as you make lifestyle decisions. People who have high cholesterol and don’t realize it aren’t getting the medical help they need to reduce their risk of these complications :

    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
    • Angina
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Peripheral vascular disease

    Who Needs Cholesterol Tests

    Most heart disease experts recommend getting your cholesterol checked every five years, starting at the age of 18. However, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing if you’re at a high risk. Risk factors include the following:

    • Overweight or obesity
    • Tobacco use
    • Family history of heart attacks or high cholesterol
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • High-fat diet

    Men over age 45 and women over age 55 are automatically presumed to be at a higher risk too. Children between the ages of nine and 11 should have a cholesterol test. This health screening isn’t recommended for children ages 12 through 16, since hormonal changes associated with puberty can interfere with the results.

    How the Test Is Performed

    Cholesterol levels are evaluated with a blood sample. Some cholesterol tests require no preparation, while others require patients to consume nothing but water for a period of time beforehand. If you’re nervous about needles, tell the technician. He or she will have experience helping patients with anxiety get through a blood draw.

    Routine physical exams are always available at Paramount Urgent Care, and we can perform blood tests, including cholesterol checks. Our five walk-in clinics around the Orlando area are open seven days per week. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • Why You Should Have Your Cholesterol Checked

    Abnormal cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and stroke. It’s not uncommon for people to have high cholesterol levels without realizing it, since there aren’t usually any signs or symptoms associated with this health problem. This is why your family medicine provider may recommend that you include a cholesterol screening as part of your annual physical exam.

    Your specific health screening recommendations depend on your age and risk factors, which include your family and personal medical history. Some doctors recommend cholesterol tests for all individuals starting at age 20. You won’t necessarily have to get it checked every year. If you’re at average risk, you may only need a test every four to six years. However, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing if you’re at a high risk of high cholesterol, or if you’re already receiving treatment for it.

    You’ll find exceptional medical care in Orlando at Paramount Urgent Care, including preventive healthcare like cholesterol screenings. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.

  • Understanding the Symptoms and Treatment Options for Bronchitis

    Your bronchial tubes are the passageways that transport air to and from your lungs. If an urgent care doctor diagnoses you with bronchitis, it means that the lining of these small tubes is inflamed. This respiratory infection can be quite unpleasant, especially as the thick mucus that accumulates can make it difficult to breathe normally.

    Onset and Duration of Symptoms

    Doctors categorize bronchitis into two main types: acute and chronic. Acute, or sudden onset bronchitis, tends to develop as a secondary infection. This means patients may develop it after they’ve already had the flu or a cold. The first symptom most people notice is a dry cough, which typically produces mucus within a few days. The coughing tends to persist for days or weeks after the infection has cleared up. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is diagnosed when a patient has symptoms on most days of the month, for at least three months during at least two consecutive years. It’s usually caused by smoking. Chronic bronchitis is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    Types of Symptoms

    In addition to a persistent, troublesome cough, both acute and chronic bronchitis can cause these symptoms:

    • Chest discomfort
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Mild fever with chills
    • Clear, white, yellowish, or green mucus production

    Patients with chronic bronchitis will go through some periods of time in which the symptoms flare up or worsen.

    Options for Treatment

    In most cases, patients with acute bronchitis simply have to wait it out. Since it’s almost always caused by a virus, antibiotics are ineffective. Antibiotics may be prescribed for those uncommon cases in which a bacterial infection is present. While waiting for the infection to resolve, patients can try using over-the-counter cough suppressants, as well as these lifestyle remedies:

    • Using a clean humidifier
    • Avoiding cigarette smoke
    • Wearing a mask when working with products with strong fumes

    Chronic bronchitis requires additional care. It’s essential for people with chronic bronchitis to quit smoking, and to avoid secondhand smoke. They may also require oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and bronchodilators.

    Paramount Urgent Care has multiple locations around Orlando, and provides medical care seven days per week. Patients of all ages are welcome at our walk-in clinic, and no appointment is necessary. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.