Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right For You?

Weight loss, loose stools, infertility, joint pain, bloating, migraines—these are only some of the varied symptoms that can result from celiac disease. For those who suffer from this mysterious illness, a gluten-free diet can be life-changing, but there is little data to prove that the diet is beneficial for the general population.

Gluten Free pastries

I would describe a gluten-free diet for the general population as a “fad” diet. It’s certainly healthy to reduce your intake of carbohydrates and accordingly consume more fruits, vegetables and lean meats, but barring celiac disease it isn’t necessary to scrub all gluten from your diet. Many celiac patients stumble on a gluten-free diet in desperation after years of living with gastrointestinal discomfort; others try the diet at the behest of their physician after diagnosis. For those with the disease the diet isn’t a fad, it is life altering. In fact, nearly all patients go into celiac remission after following the diet for one year.

The problem is celiac disease is an uncommon disease with common symptoms, which explains why it is quite elusive to many health care providers. In my opinion, increased awareness, screening and testing accounts for the rising number of people diagnosed with the disease.

If you have any of the following symptoms, or you have been suffering with unexplained gastrointestinal concerns, I recommend that you speak with your provider about testing options.

Typical Symptoms

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal distention
  • Bloating sensation
  • Joint pains
  • Skin rash

Lesser Known Symptoms

  • Bone fractures
  • Pallor
  • Recurrent migraine headaches
  • Infertility
  • Frequent miscarriages
  • Low birth weight in children

Unique Symptoms Seen in my Office Practice

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Weak and thin bones
  • Herpetic skin rash

Celiac disease is frequently associated with a variety of autoimmune or connective tissue disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. If you also suffer from any of these diseases, it might be worth getting tested for Celiac’s.

If you plan to go gluten free, regardless of your disease status, be sure to speak to a physician or registered dietitian to come up with a diet plan that is healthy for you.

Behind the Scenes of a Heart Attack

Learn What Any Hospital Should Do

Have you ever heard of “door-to-balloon time?” It’s that critical amount of time that it takes for a heart attack patient to get from an initial assessment into the Emergency Room, and it should be under 90 minutes. During this time, an accredited Chest Pain Center should begin an intricate set of steps to guide treatment once they receive their patient.

A heart attack patient’s journey first begins in the ambulance

  1. ElectrocardiogramAn electrocardiogram (a test that records the heartbeat rhythm) is given en route to the hospital. The results of this test are electronically sent to the on-call emergency physician.
  2. The “All Call”If the emergency physician determines that the patient is having a heart attack, the physician will activate an “all call,” which prepares the Emergency Department and Cardiac Catheterization Clinic team for the patient’s arrival.
  3. Patient Stabilized After an initial evaluation by the emergency medicine physician and a cardiologist, the patient is stabilized.
  4. Cardiac Lab if necessary, the patient will be transported to the Cardiac Lab for a coronary angiography. This is a rotational X-ray test that uses dye inserted through a catheter to determine if there are any blockages in the coronary arteries.
  5. Procedure is PerformedIf the technician finds a blockage, a “percutaneous coronary intervention” is performed. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that aims to clear blockages and blood clots. A coronary stent may be placed to widen the artery.
  6. Patient RecoveryThe patient will then recover from surgery in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Patients are usually up and about within an incredible eight-hour time span and can usually go home a few days later.

Learn the Signs of a Heart Attack

As a patient, it’s important to remain cognizant of heart attack symptoms, which are different for men and women. You can find more information and heart healthy tips at heart.org.

Here’s the bottom line: if you’re experiencing any unusual and concerning abdominal discomfort, along with chest or jaw pain, seek medical care immediately. It’s your job to catch a heart attack early—the medical team will take care of the rest.

Make a Plan for an Emergency

You know to call 9-1-1 if you or a loved one suffers a life-threatening emergency or illness. But did you know that what you do before and after you make that call can be just as important as dialing those three numbers? Use this guide to find out how you can prepare for an emergency.

When faced with an emergency situation, it is often difficult to stay calm and remember everything you need. Because of this, experts recommend that you prepare for an emergency before it happens by gathering all of the information you’ll need to give the 9-1-1 operator and emergency team.  This includes:

  • Your street address, apartment number and closest cross street
  • A call-back number in case you are disconnected, or emergency personnel have additional questions
  • Chronic medical conditions, if any
  • Recent medical events or illnesses, if any

Keep this information handy (by the telephone or on the refrigerator, for instance) and include contact information for your doctors and family members. Make sure caregivers, babysitters and others know where to find this information. It is also important to have a list of allergies and medications, including how much and how often each is taken.

Just as important as having the patient’s medical history and medication list handy is deciding whether or not a call to 9-1-1 is truly necessary. 9-1-1 services are meant for patients who require rapid evaluation and transport. When 9-1-1 is called and it is not a true emergency, that ambulance and dispatcher are no longer available for someone who is having a true emergency like a heart attack or stroke.

You Just Called 9-1-1. What’s Next?

When a patient or family member calls 9-1-1, they will talk to a dispatcher who is trained to send emergency vehicles to patients and find out preliminary information that can be helpful to emergency personnel.

In case the emergency is happening while the patient or family member is on the phone, 9-1-1 operators are also trained to give advice on how to handle these situations until help arrives. For instance:

  • In a choking victim, the operator may give advice on how to clear a victim’s airway, whether through the Heimlich Maneuver or another method.
  • In a patient who is bleeding, the operator will give advice on how to control the bleeding, such as applying direct pressure until the ambulance arrives.
  • In a patient whose heart has stopped, the operator might give instructions on how to perform CPR while waiting for the ambulance.

Waiting for Help to Arrive

Help is on the way, but don’t hang up the phone until the 91-1 operator tells you to do so. Families or patients can prepare for EMS’s arrival by unlocking doors, grabbing the patient’s medication list and clearing the area from unnecessary bystanders. If the patient is a minor, or an elderly or handicapped person, make sure an adult or person with power of attorney is available to authorize care.  Furthermore, if there is information regarding care that the patient, or their medical power of attorney, does not want to have rendered, such as Do Not Resuscitate status, that information should be readily available to EMS personnel upon their arrival.

While nobody ever hopes to need 9-1-1, it helps to be prepared in case that day comes. In the event of an emergency, a few minutes can make all the difference.

Preventing Food Poisoning this Summer

Ants aren’t the only pests ready to spoil your picnic

Food poisoning may also be lurking around the corner. Here are a few easy food handling steps you can take to keep your summertime al fresco meals healthy and fun!

According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from food borne diseases each year. According to the National Poison Control Center, there are four steps that can help keep your food as safe as possible

1. Clean

Wash your hands and all surfaces that touch meat. Do not wash meat, as it can splash bacteria throughout your kitchen. Clean cutting boards by washing them in hot, soapy water after each use, then rinse with clear water or use a dishwasher, unless the board is laminated. Air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels. To sanitize cutting boards, make a solution with one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Flood the surface with the bleach solution, let it stand for a few minutes, rinse with clear water, and air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels.

2. Separate

Keep your fruit, poultry, fish and meat separate at all times, including while your foods are in the grocery cart, bags and refrigerator. While prepping your food, make sure you use separate cutting boards for each food item.

3. Cook

Use a thermometer to ensure food is cooked properly. A free food temperature chart is available on both the CDC and USDA’s websites.

4. Chill

Put leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate immediately. Do not thaw frozen meats on the counter top. Instead, submerge them in cold water, ensuring that you refill with cold water every 30 minutes, or place in the refrigerator for a few days.

Wrapping Up…

Keeping the four steps above in mind, it’s also important to avoid foods that look or taste unusual and to thoroughly reheat leftovers.

From norovirus to salmonella, there are many viruses that cause food poisoning, and the symptoms are similar for each strain. Gastroenteritis, more commonly known as the stomach flu, can be classified by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

To prevent the spread of disease, wash your hands frequently, and limit the number of people you come in contact with.

If your symptoms do not go away within a few days, call your health care provider. A trip to the Emergency Department is only absolutely necessary if you feel dehydrated, have a high fever, yellow eyes or skin, blood in your vomit or stool, or if you are experiencing sharp pain.

Grace ER - Flu Shots

2018 Flu Season

Stop by our nearest Location and get vaccinated TODAY!

grace-er-flushot

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any relevant allergies. Flu shots are approved for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.  There are flu shots that also are approved for use in people as young as 6 months of age and up.

CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017.

Here are some helpful tips for this flu season

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high-risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
  • Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Source – www.webmd.com

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Grace ER - Health Insurance

2017 Health Insurance

Did you know, that Grace ER Accepts most insurance plans? We understand that there can be a lot of questions about how to pay for your medical care. What your insurance covers can be stressful, confusing, and one of the major reasons people do not seek medical care. Rest assured that at GRACE ER, we accept most Private Insurance Plans. At Grace ER, we are here for you.

Grace ER - Health Insurance

Starting November 1, 2016, you can sign up for 2017 health insurance (with coverage starting as soon as January 1, 2017) at HealthCare.gov. That’s just about a month away! You’ll be able to preview plans and prices for 2017 shortly before then.

5 tips to prepare for 2017 Open Enrollment

  1. Get a quick Marketplace overview. If you’re new to the Marketplace, this single health coverage overview page tells you what you need to know and provides links to more.
  2. Mark key dates on your calendar. Learn about the key dates and deadlines to make sure you’re covered January 1.
  3. Make sure you have everything you’ll need to apply. Use this simple health care checklist (PDF)to gather the documents you’ll need to complete your application.
  4. Stay up-to-date with the latest health care information. Sign up for email and text message reminders to get important health coverage information.
  5. Learn how to pick a health insurance plan that’s right for you. Choosing a health plan can be complicated. Knowing just a few things before you compare plans can make it simpler.

 

Source – www.healthcare.gov

We are expanding!

Guess What? GRACE ER IS EXPANDING!!!
Currently with 2 Locations in the Greater Houston and Surrounding areas, We are happy to announce that newer locations are opening soon. And it’s all thanks to our happy and satisfied clients. Your great reviews have spread around town and we have pledged to continue to deliver exceptional care for you and your family.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you, please take a brief moment to share your excellent reviews online. We appreciate positive remarks and would like to use this opportunity to reward you for taking a couple of minutes to write and complete this review. Leave your excellent review by clicking here

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Grace ER - Flu Shots

2017 Flu Season

Stop by our nearest Location and get vaccinated TODAY!

grace-er-flushot

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any relevant allergies. Flu shots are approved for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.  There are flu shots that also are approved for use in people as young as 6 months of age and up.

CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017.

Here are some helpful tips for this flu season

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high-risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
  • Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Source – www.webmd.com