Family Medicine Healthcare | Primary Care Physician | Family Doctor | Hampton Roads, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk, VA.

Archive for May, 2013

A Healthy Prostate

Benign prostatic hyperplasia also called BPH is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men.  The prostate is a gland that is found between the bladder, where the urine is stored, and the urethra, where the urine passed through.  As men age, the prostate gland slowly enlarges.  This growth may press on the urethra and cause the flow of urine to be slower.  This enlargement typically isn’t caused by cancer or infection.

Most symptoms of BPH start gradually.  One symptom is the need to get up more often at night to urinate, and to empty the bladder often during the day.  Other symptoms include difficulty in starting the urine flow and dribbling after urination ends.  The size and the strength of the urine may also decrease.

Such symptoms can be caused by other things besides BPH.  They may be signs of more serious diseases, such as bladder infection or cancer.  Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms so they can evaluate your condition.

In order to know if you have BPH your doctor will perform a rectal exam, which will allow the doctor to feel the size of your prostate.  To ensure that the problem is benign the doctor may need to look a sample of the urine for signs of infection.  A blood test may also be in order.  An ultrasound or a biopsy of the prostate may help the doctor make the diagnosis.

Once the doctor is sure that the symptoms are caused by benign growth of the prostate gland, treatment can be recommended.  Surgery is considered the most effective treatment and is used in men with strong symptoms that persist after other treatments are tried.  Drug treatments are also available, which block a natural hormone that makes the prostate enlarge.  This medicine has side affects that have to do with sexual function.

Another medicine called alpha blockers, can also help the symptoms of BPH.  Alpha blockers have been used for a long time to treat high blood pressure, but they can also be used to help the symptoms of BPH, even in men with normal blood pressure.  These medicines may not work with all men.  The side affects include dizziness, fatigue, and lightheadedness.  The side affects go away once the medication is stopped.

If you are dealing with any of these symptoms, make an appointment today. Call 757-488-3333. Treatment is available.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

Posted in: Blog, Company News, Health Advice, Men's Health, News

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Now Offering – Home Sleep Study!

Family Medicine Healthcare is now offering our patients a home sleep study for those patients who qualify.  This is a low cost and extremely convenient option for people who find themselves extremely tired and suffering from fatigue. Those who qualify for a sleep study can enjoy the convenience of having the study done while they are at home, sleeping in their own bed.

So, how tired are you? Here is a Sleepiness Scale Self-Test (click here). Answer the questions to see how likely you are to doze off in normal, day to day, situations. These answers may show if you are possibly suffering from a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.

You can also answer this simple questionnaire from ResMed, a leader in diagnosing and developing technology to help Sleep Apnea and Sleep Disorders.

ResMed Sleep Apnea Questionaire


If you have any of these symptoms, call our office today at 757-488-3333 to schedule an appointment with me. I would like to discuss this option with you, and see if you qualify for a Home Sleep Study.

Sleep is essential to your overall health. We want to ensure you are getting the sleep you need.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, MD


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Eating Disorders

New studies are showing that eating disorders are on the rise both among teens, young adults, and the elderly.  Women are 50% more likely to have an eating disorder than men.  With such statistics, it would be appropriate to discuss this topic.  An eating disorder is an obsession with food and weight that could become harmful to a person’s well being.  The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia

No one knows exactly what causes eating disorders, yet there is much speculation.  Some possible causes include stress or being upset about something in life or the need to be ‘in control.’  There are many society related pressures on people, especially women, to be thin.  People with anorexia are obsessed with being thin.  They don’t want to eat, are afraid of gaining weight, and they constantly worry about how many calories they take in and how much fat is in their food.  They will take diet and water pills to lose weight.  People with anorexia may get so thin that they look like they’re ill  Bulimia is eating a lot of food at once, binging, and then throwing up or using laxatives to remove the food from the body.  After a binge some bulimics fast or over exercise to keep from gaining weight.  Bulimics often try to hide their binging and may hide food.  They are usually close to normal weight, even though it may fluctuate.

Woman's Feet

Drastic fluctuations in weight and using weight control medications can do serious harm to a person’s body causing:

  • Stomach problems
  • Heart / kidney problems
  • Irregular or no periods
  • Fine hair all over the body including the face
  • Dry scaly skin
  • Dental problems
  • Dehydration


Some of the warning signs of eating disorders include:

  • Overly concerned about body weight
  • Obsession with calories and fat grams
  • Use of any medications to keep from gaining weight
  • Refusal to eat or lying about how much was eaten
  • Fainting
  • Over exercising
  •  Absence of periods
  • Increased anxiety about weight
  • Calluses or scars on the knuckle from forced throwing up
  • Denying that there is anything wrong

 If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, please make an appointment at our office today. Call 757-488-3333. There is help available!

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, MD

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Choosing a Family Doctor

As the seasons change, folks are making important healthcare decisions of whether to choose a new Family Doctor or to continue with their current care. This being said, I decided to dedicate an article to Choosing a Family Doctor. Family doctors are doctors that care for the whole family. They care for the physical, mental and emotional health of both the patient and their families.

Family doctors know the most current treatments and technologies. They normally train for at least 3 years in a medical practice setting, treating patients in the office, the hospital and possibly at home. They also re-certify more than any other medical specialty. Family doctors continue to educate themselves as part of their re-certification. This allows them to apply the latest medical breakthroughs in their patients’ lives.

Family Health


Family doctors are specially trained in preventative medicine. They believe that preventing a health problem is better than having to overcome one. If you are looking for a family doctor, try talking with your friends and family.

Once you have the names of a few doctors, call their offices to get more information:

  • Do they accept your insurance?
  • What are the office hours?
  • What hospital does the doctor use?
  • How many doctors are in the practice?


Once you find a doctor that meets your needs, schedule an appointment so that you can meet and talk to the doctor.

Family Health - Preventative

During the appointment be sure that:

  • You’re comfortable talking to the doctor.
  • The doctor answers all your questions.
  • The doctor explains things so that you understand them.
  • You had enough time to ask all your questions.


For an effective visit, be sure to tell your doctor about any current and past health care issues.

  • Any symptoms you are having.
  • Your health history.
  • Personal information including whether you are stressed or if your life is changing.
  • Any medicines you are currently taking. Bring them with you or create a list of all you medicines. Include information about what and how often you take the medicine. You should also write down the strength of the medicine.
  • Any side effects you have from your medicine.
  • Vitamin supplements you take
  • X-rays or test results or medical records you have can be brought to the appointment.


Family Health - Relationship

Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s important for you to let your doctor know if you don’t understand something. Family Practitioners want to educate their patients because they know that education and prevention go hand in hand. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call our office at (757) 488-3333. I would be glad to get to know you and your family!

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, MD

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