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

Archive for Health Advice

Smoking: Steps to Help You Quit

Smoking causes changes in the bodies and behavior of those who smoke. These changes are caused by an addiction to nicotine and develop over time.

Quit smoking

There are a few reasons to stop smoking:

  • Bad breath and stained teeth/ gum disease
  • Bad smell on clothes, hair, furniture, automobile
  • Lower athletic ability
  • Cough / sore throat
  • Raised blood pressure and increased heart beat
  • Cost
  • Risk of lung cancer/heart disease
  • Breathing problems and COPD
  • Wrinkles
  • Stomach ulcers/acid reflux

To stop smoking, following these steps will result in a higher success rate:

  • Get ready (set a date for stopping)
  • Get support and encouragement(stop smoking with a friend or co-worker)
  • Learn to handle stress and the urge to smoke in other ways
  • Get medication and use it as prescribed
  • Be prepared for relapse
  • Keep trying

Set a stop date of two to four weeks out in order to prepare yourself. Write down your personal reasons for stopping, and keep the list with you for encouragement. Keep a diary of why and when you smoke to help manage the urges to smoke, and plan how you will deal with these stressors. Throw away all of your cigarettes, matches, and lighters.

Tell your family and friends that you’re going to stop smoking to help build encouragement, or seek help from your doctor, local hospital and health centers for stop-smoking programs. Find other ways to manage your stress, such as taking a hot bath, going for a walk or drinking tea.

How you feel when you stop depends on how much you smoke. You may crave a cigarette, feel hungry or edgy, have trouble concentrating, get headaches, or cough. These symptoms will go away in a few weeks.

Nicotine replacement products are ways to take in nicotine without smoking and reduce the withdrawal symptoms. They come in several forms such as gum, patches, nasal sprays, inhalers and lozenges. There are also prescription products that help people stop smoking that do not contain nicotine. Talk to your doctor to decide which products are best for you.

Finally, most people gain a few pounds after they stop smoking. This, however, is a minor health risk compared to smoking itself. Dieting while trying to quit smoking will cause increased stress on your body, so it is preferred that you tackle one goal at a time. Don’t feel like a failure if you relapse. Set a new date and try again.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to start your journey to stop smoking, please call our office at 757-488-3333. 


Posted in: Health Advice, Men's Health, News, Uncategorized

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Lauren’s Story – Why a Good Doctor is Worth the Drive

Being a critical care nurse, I know a good doctor when I see one. And that is Dr. Abdelshaheed. I have been a patient of Dr. A’s for years now. In my numerous appointments with him throughout the years, he has always made time to listen to me. Even squeezing me in when I have an emergency. No matter how much his practice has grown, he never refuses to see his patients. He even still visits his patients in the hospital! That “old fashioned” type of medicine just isn’t practiced anymore.

Lauren Thone - Patient Story Picture


I was a nurse in Portsmouth years ago when I first started seeing Dr. A; and in 2012, I moved to New Hampshire, where I am a critical care nurse at a large hospital. Every few months, I travel to Virginia to have my doctor’s appointment with Dr. A.

People ask me, “why do I still do that? Why not just get another doctor?” The answer is simple to me- it’s continuity of care. In the medical field, I see the negative effects of a patients’ medical information changing hands frequently. And with Dr. A, that just doesn’t happen. He oversees his patients’ total care, thus eliminating risks of misdiagnosis.  It is worth the travel time for my peace of mind about my health.

Dr. A is one of the most thorough Primary Care Physicians I have ever experienced, even in my career as a registered nurse.

Dr. A is one of the most thorough Primary Care Physicians I have ever experienced, even in my career as a registered nurse. He will check and double check his patients, and leave no question unanswered. I trust his medical judgment completely.

I look forward to coming back to Virginia for my appointments with Dr. A. Even when I am sick or have a health concern, he always reassures me with his calm and kind persona, years of experience and medical wisdom.

I have seen other physicians in my life, and they just don’t compare to Dr. Abdelshaheed.

Posted in: Blog, Company News, Health Advice, News, Uncategorized

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Botox for Migraines

Botox is famous for smoothing out wrinkles on the face and also has medical uses. In 2010, the FDA approved Botox for treatment of migraine headaches.

Botox has been shown effective in the treatment and prevention of debilitating headaches. Twelve percent of Americans suffer from these types of headaches, which cause intense pulsating or throbbing pain, accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Chronic migraine is the most disabling form of headache. Patients who suffer more than 14 days of the month with such headaches can greatly benefit from Botox treatment.

Botox for Migraines

Migraines are an under-recognized neurological condition that can be debilitating. Botox prevents headaches and migraines before they even start.

Chronic migraines can impact family, work and life. Having options for treatment is a great benefit. Those who suffer from this condition should discuss it with their doctor to see if Botox is appropriate for them. Migraines are an under-recognized neurological condition that can be debilitating. Migraine patients may mistakenly self-diagnose their symptoms as headaches or infrequent migraines, and treat them with drugs that provide rapid but temporary relief rather than seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified specialist. One of my associates, Dr. Reineke-Piper, has been successfully treating patients with such ailments for years.

Dr. Kristen Reineke-PiperDr. Kristen Reineke-Piper

Botox prevents headaches and migraines before they even start. It is given 12 weeks apart to determine how well it may work for each individual. The needle is small, and the injections may feel like tiny pinpricks. It must be injected by a doctor who is experienced in treating with Botox. It only takes about 15 minutes, right in your doctor’s office.

To schedule your appointment, call our office today at 757-488-3333. We look forward to helping you!

~ Dr. Abdelshaheed and the FMHC Team


Posted in: Blog, Company News, Health Advice, Uncategorized

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Are Medications Safe During Pregnancy?

About 6 million women become pregnant in the United States each year. It is estimated that 50 percent of pregnant women take at least one prescribed medication, and 90 percent take an over the counter medication. Yet, most medications have not been adequately studied for their impact on pregnancy and childbirth.

Medicines and Pregnancy

Your physician plays an important role in helping you make informed choices about the medications you take during pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration has developed a Medicine and Pregnancy website that provides valuable patient education and resources to help facilitate this conversation. Visit the FDA’s website here:

The site also includes information on food safety, breast pumps, as well as tips for new moms. Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medications, herbs or vitamins.
  • Check the drug label and other information that comes with the medication to learn about possible risks for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You may need to change your medication to avoid unnecessary risks.
  • Update your medications with your doctor when you start breastfeeding.
  • Report any serious medication side effects to your doctor as soon as possible.


Pregnancy is an exciting time for women but they may have questions and concerns about how to take medications that may affect their baby. We offer this advice so we can help make a woman’s pregnancy happier and healthier. If you are pregnant, stay in close contact with your doctor so he or she can monitor your medications as well as your baby.

~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed and the FMHC Team

Posted in: Blog, Health Advice, Uncategorized

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Linking Vitamin D with Alzheimer’s

Not all vitamins and supplements are consistently beneficial. As we age, we tend to accumulate more and more prescriptions, and our relationship with our medications becomes one of avoidance and duty or fear— unless we’re somehow motivated to take the pill through positive results or actually feeling better.

Vitamin D has a good reputation when it comes to the heart, and now a new neurological study tells us that it’s also good for the head. 

In addition, having too much of any one supplement can have a negative impact on the body. Physicians always keep this delicate balance in mind when adding medications to their patients’ regimens. Vitamin D, however, seems to be able to consistently deliver positive results.

Vitamin D has a good reputation when it comes to the heart, and now new concentrations are associated with a significant decrease in the risk of all causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

We now know that Vitamin D seems to help the bones and the brain work better. Vitamin D level is typically checked through a serum blood test. It is very simple and relatively inexpensive.

As we approach more cloudy weather and spend more time indoors with family and friends, use this information wisely and ask your doctor to check you Vitamin D levels.   Request your appointment today!


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