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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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Meet Chelsea Hinson, Referral Coordinator

Chelsea Hinson has been with Family Medicine Healthcare for 5 years. She started at the front desk and is now our Referral Coordinator, which means she connects our patients to the medical specialists our physicians refer them to. She coordinates their care seamlessly, always keeping in mind the patient’s best interest . Chelsea is known for her smile and sweet personality around the office.

Your Family: I grew up here in the Chesapeake/Virginia Beach area. I have been married for 6 years to my husband, Zack. We are in love with our “furbaby” Apollo, a 5 year-old toy Rat Terrier (pictured).

Chelsea Hinson

Your greatest accomplishment: I would say it is probably Zack and I purchasing our first home. We looked for three years, and we were recently able to buy new construction in the North Suffolk area. We are proud 1st time home buyers!

Someone who I greatly respect and why: I would definitely say my mom, Michele. She is one of the most hardworking people I know. She was a single parent for most of my (and my brother’s) childhood. Even being a single parent and all the challenges that come along with that, she always ensured that we had everything we needed.

In another life, I would be: A cat, so I can nap all day!

If I ever played hooky, I would_____: I wouldn’t play hooky because I have way to much work to do! (Laughing!) BUT, if I did, I’d stay home and cuddle with Apollo and watch Netflix all day.


Chelsea Hinson

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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.

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Former Combat Doctor Joins Dedicated Medical Team: As Seen in The Shopper

Dr. Kristen Reineke-Piper

More than merely a career choice, Dr. Reineke-Piper felt called to become a doctor.

For as long as she can remember, Dr. Kristen A. Reineke-Piper wanted to be a doctor. “There’s no good reason for it,” she admits with a smile. “We had no doctors in my family. No one had any ties to working in medicine. But from the time I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to take care of people. Being a doctor felt like more than just a career choice. For me, being a doctor felt like a calling.”That sense of calling led the New Jersey native to pursue a medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. But her interests were so expansive that it took her some time to decide upon a specialty.

“I love all aspects of medicine, so it was hard for me to pick just one over all the others,” Dr. Reineke-Piper confesses. “For a while I considered becoming a surgeon. Then I considered becoming an OBGYN. I finally decided upon family medicine because it allows you to do a little bit of everything.”

After graduating from Rutgers, Dr. Reineke-Piper served as an air-force physician for eight years. Her military service—which included tours of duty as a combat doctor in Afghanistan—also felt like a calling.

“While serving in Bagram, we treated our troops as well as Afghan troops and special forces,” Dr. Reineke-Piper recalls. “Every now and then, we’d treat those Afghan civilians who had clearance. We also treated U.S. civilians who were there as private contractors. Private contracting jobs in Afghanistan usually pay very well, and what surprised me was the number of Americans who, in order to get those jobs, weren’t forthcoming about their health issues and medical histories. The result was that occasionally, a U.S. civilian private contractor would have an episode—such as a massive heart attack—which was pretty serious since it was a three-hour flight to the nearest cath lab.”

Dr. Reineke-Piper’s military service was followed by stints as a Family Medicine Faculty Physician at Saint Louis University and in the Scott AFB Family Medicine Residency Program in Illinois. She also taught civilian and military medical students and residents while working in a full-scope medical practice. Deciding that she wanted to be closer to family in New Jersey, Dr. Reineke-Piper began to search for opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic states. That search led her to Family Medicine Healthcare in Portsmouth.

I enjoy meeting patients and being able
to invest the time necessary to truly get to know them.
This is the why I love family medicine: there’s so much diversity
and meaningful personal interaction.
—Dr. Kristen A. Reineke-Piper


FMHC Providers(From left to right) Physician Assistant Jessie Creakbaum, Dr. Kristin Ramsey and Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed with Dr. Kristen A. Reineke-Piper


Founded by Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, Family Medicine Healthcare has been providing comprehensive health care to the residents of Portsmouth, the Western Branch area of Chesapeake and northern Suffolk since 2004. The team at Family Medicine Healthcare stands out in the field of family medicine with their continuing care of patients who are hospitalized or placed in nursing homes. “We don’t mind the extra work to take care of our patients,” Dr. Abdelshaheed says.

The staff of Family Medicine Healthcare performs all necessary lab work and tests before directing patients to specialists. “We exhaust everything before we send patients somewhere else,” Graisse Abdelshaheed, the manager of Family Medicine Healthcare, explains.

All doctors and nurses on staff are dedicated to going the extra mile needed to cultivate the type of personal relationships that so many patients consider vitally important. The effort has paid off: for three consecutive years—2015, 2016, and 2017—Family Medicine Healthcare has been awarded the Virginian Pilot’s gold medal for Best Doctor/ Healthcare Provider in Portsmouth in the category of family healthcare.

“When I first met with Dr. Abdelshaheed and Graisse, their philosophy and approach to caring for others seemed like a perfect fit for mine,” Dr. Reineke-Piper recalls. The feeling was mutual. In August, she joined the practice.

“Dr. Reineke-Piper will be an asset,” Dr. Abdelshaheed says. “She has a strong medical background, and I am confident that she will take care of our patients very well.”

Dr. Reineke-Piper will also contribute her expertise to expanding the range of in-house procedures offered at Family Medicine Healthcare. Experienced in performing advanced medical procedures that often require the intervention of a specialist, she plans to offer vasectomies—usually performed by urologists—as well as knee and shoulder injections—usually the specialty of orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Reineke-Piper is also certified to administer Botox injections for migraines. “I have seen that the Botox injections really work and it’s immensely satisfying,” she says. “I hope to be able to do them here.” In addition, she will  perform biopsies, routine scan procedures, and procedural contraceptives.

Visiting Family Medicine Healthcare patients who have been hospitalized or placed in nursing homes enables Dr. Reineke-Piper to not only keep up with their condition, but to also offer them a sense of support and continuity.

The support that Family Medicine Healthcare offers its patients mirrors the nurturing environment in which the medical staff works.

“Everyone has been very helpful as I’ve gotten used to how the practice functions,” Dr. Reineke-Piper notes with a smile. “I love that at Family Medicine Healthcare I can take care of patients from across the spectrum—from pediatrics to geriatrics. I wanted to be able to do everything that I was doing before, including women’s healthcare. That is what drew me to this practice. I enjoy meeting patients and being able to invest the time necessary to truly get to know them. This is the reason I love family medicine: there’s so much diversity and meaningful personal interaction.”

“I love what I am doing with my life,” Dr. Reineke-Piper continues with a warm smile. “For a patient to entrust me with not only their care, but also the care of their loved ones, is something I take very seriously.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Reineke-Piper, call our office today at 757-488-3333.

~by  Anna Mirkova

The Shopper Magazine. Click here to see full article.


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