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

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Best Of Contest: Please vote Family Medicine Healthcare Best Doctor/Health Care Provider

We are currently running in the Best Of Hampton Roads Contest, for best Doctor/Health Care Provider, Portsmouth, VA.  We’d love to have your vote.  You can vote for us via their website and via your cell phone using our text code.

Best of Contest Family Medicine Healthcare Best Doctor Porsmouth

To vote online please go to http://hamptonroads.com/bestof.  You will need to register if you have not already.  We are under  the Health/Services Category (Doctor/Health Care Provider)  for Portsmouth, Virginia.

To vote for us via text please dial 21333 and text AYFM.

Contest ends March 24th!

Thank you so much!  We work hard to earn your vote daily.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed & Dr. Veronica Ortiz

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Don’t Let Heart Burn Become a Heart Attack

Thirty to forty percent of the US population suffer from GERD, otherwise know as reflux or heart burn. This, however, is considered a risk factor for heart disease and possibly heart attack.

Around 57 percent of individuals who have heart burn have had a heart attack within five years of being diagnosed with GERD.

Family Medicine Healthcare, Dr. Abdelshaheed, Portsmouth Chesapeake Family Doctor

Individuals who were treated were at much lower risks for heart attacks. Those who continue to be undiagnosed increased their risks of a major heart attack significantly.

What is GERD? Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease is a common digestive problem caused when acid from the stomach flows backwards into the esophagus. The lining of the stomach is made to handle the strong acids that break down food. The esophagus however, gets irritated when strong acid touches it. A muscle usually keeps the stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. With GERD, however, the muscle doesn’t close the right way, allowing acid from the stomach to get into the esophagus.

Some of the most common symptoms are too much saliva in the mouth, feeling like a lump in the back of the throat, ongoing cough, sore throat, and hoarse voice.

This condition is treated by avoiding foods that may make symptoms worse, such as acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus, alcohol, chocolate, and caffeinated drinks. Also, by avoiding large meals or eating anything three to four hours before going to bed, as well as not smoking.

Please schedule an appointment with us, 757-488-3333, if your condition evolves to these symptoms: blood in stools, chest pain, choking while eating, pain or difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or vomiting.

We are always here to help you live better, not just get better.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

 

 

 

 

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Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in one or more joints.  Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines, which are normally dissolved by the body and pass through the kidneys into the urine.  With people who have gout the uric acid builds up and then forms sharp crystals in the joint spaces, which causes pain and swelling.

What Causes Gout?Image Source: http://www.gout.com/what-is-gout#/causes-triggers

 

Eating foods that are rich in purines may increase the risk of getting gout.  These are foods such as salmon, organ meats, sardines, asparagus, mushrooms, and herring.

People are more likely to develop gout if they:

  • are overweight
  • drink excessive amounts of alcohol
  • have high high cholesterol
  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure

Men develop gout more often than women.  However, women are more likely to develop gout after menopause.  Gout also tends to be hereditary.

Some medications also may cause gout.  These include:

  • Certain diuretics (water pills)
  • Niacin (B complex vitamins)
  • Low dose aspirin
  • Some drugs used to treat cancer

The symptoms of gout may be sudden and usually start at night , often in the big toe joint.  It can also occur in the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists.  The affected area becomes red, feels hot and aches.  The joint also hurts more when touched.

During a gout attack, resting in bed and placing an ice pack on the joint may help to ease the pain.  Medicines that reduce inflammation, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, may help the symptoms.  While having a gout attack reduce the amount of animal protein you eat and avoid alcohol completely.  The sooner you receive treatment, the sooner the pain will go away.  With treatment, the gout attack should go away within a few days.

Without treatment, a gout attack can last days or weeks.  This could cause more joints to get affected.  If you have gout for many years, you can develop tophi.  This is uric acid crystals that form lumps under the skin, which could lead to kidney stones or kidney disease.  Your doctor can also prescribe medicines to prevent future gout attacks.  These medications help flush the uric acid from your joints and reduce swelling.

If you are experiencing any of these painful symptoms, please give our office a call to schedule an appointment, 757-488-3333.

~Keeping you well, Dr. Abdelshaheed

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What is A-Fib?

Atrial Fibrillation is an irregular heart beat that is usually very fast.  A person’s risk for atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) tends to increase as he or she gets older. In fact, over 13% of all Americans over the age of 70 have been diagnosed with A-Fib. Since life expectancies for Americans are on the rise, so too is the number of people with A-Fib. Hospitalizations due to atrial fibrillation in the US have also increased greatly in recent years. They are now 2 to 3 times what they were 20 years ago.

The heart has 4 compartments called chambers.  The top 2 compartments are called atria.  The bottom 2 chambers are called the ventricles.  During atrial fibrillation, the atria stop beating regularly.  Instead they tremble in a disorganized way.  This can cause an irregular and very fast heart beat.

A-Fib is most common in people older than 60 years of age; however, it can appear at any age.  Sometimes atrial fibrillation has no cause, yet the risks increase with the following conditions:

  • Heart disease due to high cholesterol
  • Larger heart size caused by high blood pressure
  • Damage to the heart valve
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Heavy alcohol intake
  • Use of certain medications

The most common symptom of atrial fibrillation is feeling your heart beat rapidly, for no reason.  This is known as heart palpitations.  Other symptoms include irregular pulse,  feeling tired, shortness of breath and chest pain.  Other times atrial fibrillation may have no symptoms.  Atrial fibrillation can also cause blood clots to form in the heart.  This blood clot can travel to the brain and lead to stroke.

The treatment for atrial fibrillation depends on the severity of symptoms and the patient’s past medical history.  That is, it depends on how the person is feeling and if they have a history of stroke or high blood pressure.  Your doctor will make this evaluation and establish a unique treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

Treating the cause of atrial fibrillation will often return the heart to a normal state.  Those who are taking blood thinning medicine will probably need regular blood tests, as well.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms of A-Fib, make an appointment to discuss this with me today – 757-488-3333.

~Keeping you well! Dr. Abdelshaheed

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Hemorrhoids

We know this is an “uncomfortable subject”, but a very common problem many of our patients deal with.

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectum or anus. There are three types of hemorrhoids; internal, prolapsed, and external. Internal hemorrhoids involve the veins inside your rectum. Internal hemorrhoids usually don’t hurt but they may bleed painlessly. Prolapsed hemorrhoids stretch down until they bulge outside the anus. A prolapsed hemorrhoid may go back inside the rectum on its own, or can gently be pushed it back inside. Finally, external hemorrhoids involve the veins outside the anus. They can be itchy or painful and can sometimes crack and bleed.

Relieving the pain

  • Take warm baths.
  • Clean your anus after each bowel movement by patting gently with moist toilet paper or moistened pads such as baby wipes.
  • Use ice packs to relieve swelling.
  • Use acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol), ibuprofen (one brand name: Motrin) or aspirin to help relieve pain.
  • Apply a cream that contains witch hazel to the area or use a numbing ointment. Creams that contain hydrocortisone can be used for itching or pain.

Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the veins of the anus or rectum. One of the main causes is straining when having a bowel movement. This may happen if  constipated or have diarrhea. It may also happen when on the toilet too long. Hemorrhoids can also be caused by obesity, heavy lifting, child birth,  or any other activity that caused you to strain.  Just about everyone has hemorrhoids at some time, but some things may make someone more likely to get them. People whose parents had hemorrhoids may be more likely to get them. Pregnant women often get hemorrhoids because of the strain from carrying the baby and from giving birth. Being very overweight, or standing or lifting too much can make hemorrhoids worse.

Preventing constipation

  • Include more fiber in your diet. Fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals are good sources of fiber.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (except alcohol). Eight glasses of water a day is ideal.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid laxatives, except bulk-forming laxatives such as Fiberall, Metamucil, etc. Other types of laxatives can lead to diarrhea, which can worsen hemorrhoids.
  • When you feel the need to have a bowel movement, don’t wait too long to use the bathroom.

 

See your doctor if you notice bleeding to make sure the cause is hemorrhoids and not some other problem. Bleeding from your rectum or anus or bloody stools may be a sign of something more serious, such as cancer.

Don’t use hemorrhoid medicine without talking to your family doctor first. Painful hemorrhoids usually stop hurting on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. If yours keep causing problems, talk with your doctor.  Rubber band ligation can be used to treat internal hemorrhoids. It involves placing a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. This stops the flow of blood to the area and the hemorrhoid withers away. Internal hemorrhoids can also be destroyed by injecting them with a chemical. A hemorrhoidectomy (surgical removal of the hemorrhoid) may be needed if internal hemorrhoids are prolapsed or very large.

 

If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, call the office at 757-488-3333 and make an appointment today. Treatment is available!

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, MD

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