You’ll need to find a local doctor
Whether you have allergies, chronic health issues or are healthy now, it’s a smart idea to have a doctor you know and are already familiar with.
First, check with your insurance to see if you are required to select a primary care physician (PCP). Look for a well-established doctor with a strong network of specialists for referrals. You’ll be sharing a lot of information with your PCP, so make sure you can communicate comfortably.
- Ask neighbors and friends for recommendations.
- Look for a board-certified doctor, who has earned his or her degree from a qualified training hospital licensed by a state medical board.
- How long does it take to get an appointment for a routine visit?
- Same-day appointments offered?
- You’ll want a friendly staff that can help with insurance concerns.
- Does the doctor stay up-to-date on the latest treatments and technology?
Sneezing, sniffling, watery eyes
Moving to a new community can bring on allergies you never knew you had! If over-the-counter meds aren’t helping, ask your doctor about the best allergy treatment for you.
Oh, my aching knees
In the summer, knee and joint injuries can happen easily. With osteoarthritis, knee cartilage wears out, which can be painful. There are other treatments besides surgery, however.
Hyaluronan injections into the joint provide lubrication and act like a shock absorber. Usually a series of injections are given weekly for about three to five weeks. These injections can greatly reduce pain; the effect can last up to several months.
An exciting new treatment is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Concentrated platelets from the patients’ own blood are injected into the affected joint. Those platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that are important for healing injuries.
Stem-cell therapy uses stem cells for faster healing and comfort.
With knee or joint pain, always consult with your doctor sooner rather than later to avoid further injury and damage.
As we age, our bones can become weak and brittle and more susceptible to fractures.
This is a condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis-related fractures are most likely to occur in the hip, wrist and spine.
Older women past menopause are at the highest risk of developing this condition. Screening is available to determine bone density and risk of getting osteoporosis.
Risk factors include:
- body-frame size
- certain medications
- certain pre-existing medical conditions
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends that all women over age 65 should have a bone density test. Your doctor may recommend screening for those under 65 with several risk factors.
A nutritious diet can help manage and prevent osteoporosis:
- Vitamin D for bone health.
- Protein and healthy fats are essential to a healthy diet.
- Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Reduce sugars, salt and phosphates.