Detecting Depression

It is absolutely normal to feel down once in awhile, that’s part of life. But it stops being normal when emotions like despair, helplessness and anguish take control of your days.

Depression is a serious and common medical illness that affects how you feel, how you face life, how you interact with others, and how you think. Hopelessness and sadness, are constant daily feelings experienced by a depressed person. The lack of interest in things that you used to enjoy is also a symptom that could show you may have depression…and depression makes everything difficult for you.

Even though you might feel overwhelmed and alone, you are not. Approximately 1 in 15 adults are affected by depression in any given year, and 1 in 6 will know how it is to live with it at some point of their life. So, it is more common than we think, but sometimes is not diagnosed or detected because patients don’t  pay attention to the symptoms or they just want to hide their condition to their loved ones.

According to the American Psychiatric Association you should be aware of the following symptoms in order to detect depression on time:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

You may experiment some or all of those symptoms, but the important message here is that depression patients don’t have to suffer in silence.  A certain feeling of shame often prevents patients from seeking help on time, and they probably don’t know that there are also medical conditions like tumors, vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems, that can mimic symptoms of depression.

The only way to receive appropriate help and treatment is to pay attention to the symptoms and consult a doctor as soon as it is clear that those symptoms have persisted for 2 or more weeks.

Call us today at 954.DOCTORS (362.8677). At Hallandale Medical Center, your health is our priority.

How to Choose your Botox Doctor?

Simple steps could prevent you to be in the wrong hands.

As always, the first thing you should do when choosing a doctor, is to check his or her credentials. Every physician or health provider should have not only certifications, but board approvals. Don’t be afraid of asking for them. At the end of the day, you are putting your health and in this case, also your beauty in their hands. You have only one face and the Botox effects could last up to four months.

As it happens in any other profession, in this case the experience is vital. Ask your friends for references. A referral will always help and could reduce the risk of side effects or even a bad procedure. Your primary doctor can also be a great source of information.

The internet is also a good place to look for providers. Look for reviews, references, testimonials, and qualifications from the providers you have in mind or the ones listed in your area. Current and former patients are always a good point of reference to know who’s who.

So, once you visit the doctor’s office look for clues. What kind of clues? It may sound weird, but a basic observation could tell you a lot about the doctor’s practice and his/her expertise.

Remember that not only doctors, but also nurse injectors could inject Botox to the patients. Look at them. If the nurse looks “fake”, “done”, or kind of “frozen”, instead of natural and fresh, that should give you a good hint.

The office itself could give you a big picture of the entire practice. If it is a dark and disorganized place, run! When a clinic or a medical office is not well cared outside, which is where patients spend most of their time while they are there, imagine how it could be inside…!

Every office should offer literature and prices about Botox, as well as the qualifications of their team. Ask everything you want to know about the procedure, the practitioner, the product and its effects. Doctors are there for you, to help you and to provide you a service. They are interested in taking care of you because, if you are happy, chances are you will keep going there in the future. They know that a satisfied client or patient, will be the best publicity for their practice.

Remember that when talking about your health or wellness, there are not silly questions.

We are here to serve you. Call us for an evaluation today at 954.DOCTORS (362.8677).

At Hallandale Medical Center your health is our priority

 

Who needs an EKG?

Let’s start by explaining that an EKG is what you probably know as an electrocardiogram, which is basically a test designed to record the electrical activity of the heart. Yes, your heart produces electric waves that allow it to pump blood to all your body. So, the test consists in attaching electrodes through your body skin that help to measure those waves.

Now we know what’s an EKG, but why you might need one? If your physician thinks that your heart arteries may be narrowed or blocked, or you have a heart arrhythmia or any other problem on your heart structure that may cause chest pain on a heart attack, an EKG could be the obvious step to take in order to know what’s going on.

Basically, we are talking about one of the greatest tools for doctors to diagnose:

  • Heart attack
  • Cause of chest pain, shortness of breath
  • Damaged heart muscle
  • Different heart conditions
  • Conditions no related with your heart

An EKG is also used to follow up patients who have had cardiac procedures, birth conditions that should be evaluated periodically. Now, if you are diabetic, your doctor could tell you if you need an EKG.

If you already know you will have an EKG, you can expect the electrodes we mentioned before to be placed on your chest, legs and arms. During the entire test the waves registered by the electrocardiogram will be recorded on a monitor that will show a graphic and the technician will tell you exactly what to do and what not to do.

As always, the most important part of this is to be honest and direct with your doctor and yourself. Once you experiment discomfort, pain or any kind of issues that you think are related with your heart, don’t wait to consult your physician. A first visit would help your doctor to determine if you may need an EKG or any other test.

There is no need to wait until things get difficult. When we talk about health, prevention is the key. Remember, at Hallandale Medical Center you health is our priority. Call us to know more 954.DOCTORS (362.8677)

 

The right caregiver is the one you choose carefully

 

Looking for that important person is a big task

Is not an easy decision to make. Once you realize and confirm that your parents, or one of them needs a caregiver, you have in your hands the big responsibility of choosing the right person.

There is not a manual or a written guidance for you to choose the person who will take care of your loved one, but there are certain things that you might want to have in mind while looking for that person.

Let’s start by talking about what kind of caregiver your mother or father may need. In order to do that, is important for you to determine what kind of care is needed. It could be Health Care ( nursing, blood sugar testing, therapy, medication administration), Personal Care (dressing, bathing, eating), Emotional Care (recreation activities, companionship, affective support), and Household Care (cleaning, cooking, shopping, transportation).

Once you know what kind of caregiver you are looking for, it’s important to consult your friends, and your loved one’s primary doctor to ask for specific recommendations. There are different options that you may find on the internet, like specialized agencies. Medicare and Medicaid could also provide the same kind of specialized services in some cases.

Review and check the caregiver candidate certifications and ask that person to participate in a trial journey. During the initial interview watch the interaction between your loved one and her or him. It’s important for the patient to feel comfortable and included, when possible, on the decision of who will be part of his or her life from now on.

A visit to the primary doctor is always a “go”. It’s important for the new caregiver to understand the specific condition and situation of the patient. Time and patience will be your allies. Don’t expect for the caregiver to fit into the family dynamic as soon as he or she starts working.

Don’t be afraid of asking questions, set rules or determine the routines for the caregiver. After all, you know your dad or mom better than anyone else and your input and experience will be key on the development of the relationship between that person and your loved one.

Finally, don’t feel alone. There are support groups and communities where you can rely to get the newest information about caregiving, or even to spend a good moment with people who know exactly what you are going through.

A Neuro…who?

Neuropsychologist, the specialist who can help you understand and test your brain.

Thanks to technology and science, today’s doctors and specialists can analyze, test and measure almost every part of the human body and its functions, even the mysterious and complex brain. Actually, there are different brain-related specialties, and one of those is the Neuropsychology.

A neuropsychologist is a clinical psychologist trained to identify and treat neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, Stroke, Adult ADHD, Brain Injury, Learning Deficits, and Dementia, among others.

Even though the terminology may sound very complicated, reality is that depending on the test to be performed, your session with a neuropsychologist shouldn’t be intimidating. Remember that we are talking about psychologists with an advanced training in the assessment of brain functionality and behavior, and they are just ready to make you feel comfortable and safe.

Then, the question is who should consult a neuropsychologist?  Contrary to what many people  think, brain-related conditions and diseases are not exclusive to older people or those with a hereditary history.

If you have an already diagnosed condition that can affect the brain, like Parkinson’s disease. If you had an injury, such as a concussion, if you have been exposed to chemicals or substances that can cause brain damage (Poison, drugs, alcohol), or if you have presented symptoms that make you think that something in your brain is not working properly, is definitely a good idea to look for a professional opinion.

Your visit to the neuropsychologist shouldn’t be different from visits with other doctors, so prepare yourself by taking notes with questions, concerns or comments that you would like to address during your visit. Make sure you eat and rest before so nothing affects your testing or consultation.

Now, what kind of tests are performed by the neuropsychologist? It depends on each case, but they are basically designed to evaluate your brain functions and limits. Some of them may include specific questions, organizational, linguistic, memory or reasoning tasks for you to perform. Although, some of the results may be available immediately afterwards, in general, it may take a few weeks before you receive complete results from your specialist.

Don’t worry, the terminology may sound complicated, but a good specialist would make the difference for you. Make sure to choose someone with the proper training and credentials.

If you have questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember that at Hallandale Medical Center we are here to serve you.

 

Adult Physicals Are Not a Myth, But a Good Habit

This is the post excerpt.

There is no reason to see a doctor, right? You feel strong and healthy. Nothing is bothering you and there are no pains or aches that could make you think you are sick.Well, reality is, our body works in mysterious ways and sometimes we may be experimenting something that doesn’t show to your eyes.

That’s why adults should have a physical exam as part of their periodical health routines. During the physical exam, your primary doctor will discuss with you your medical history and will proceed to measure vital signs like Temperature, Blood Pressure, Pulse, Respiratory Rate, Weight and Height. During the same visit it will be an Organ System Review that includes cardiovascular, lungs, breast, abdomen, genitalia, nervous system, musculoskeletal, head, neck and skin. Other measurements or examinations may be included depending on your specific situation, family history and age.

Once you have your appointment to see your primary doctor, have in mind the following tips so you and your doctor can have the best results from it.

  • Bring a list of questions you may have for your doctor. Remember every pain, situation or abnormality that could be important to discuss.
  • Be clear about your family history. It is important for your doctor to know any medical conditions or diseases in your family.
  • While talking about your habits and lifestyle, be honest. Your doctor could determine certain kind of risks of disease or conditions based on all the information you provide.

Now, why is it  important for you to get a physical if you actually feel very good? The answer is simple and we could synthesize it in a “better safe than sorry”, but it goes beyond that. If we know what’s happening with our body we could make better and healthier decisions. We have the possibility to change or improve our lifestyle habits. We could know about health or disease risks that could affect not only us, but our descendants and, sure, if the doctor finds something that needs treatment and attention, is always good to know in time to take action.

So, don’t wait until you feel something is wrong. You can prevent illnesses by having the regular exams that have proven to reduce morbidity and mortality.

We are Hallandale Medical Center and we are here to serve you. Call us to schedule your next Adult Physical at:

954. DOCTORS (362.8677)