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Is It the Flu or a Cold?

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As we are well into the winter season, so are we well into the season of the cold and flu. Many symptoms of both are similar, but how can we tell the difference and what are the best ways to protect ourselves? Both occur at this time of year but the two illnesses are very different. It is typical for most people to get a cold every year, but generally we do not get the flu every year. There are several symptoms that differentiate the flu from the common cold. Usually the flu will begin quickly with a fever that can last for 24-48 hours; however it can last as long as five days. Other symptoms of the flu can include body aches, tiredness, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Usually after a few days of experiencing these symptoms they will subside, but a dry, hacking cough may begin and be accompanied by a sore throat, a runny nose and sneezing. Sometimes a headache will also be experienced. For most people these symptoms will dissipate in 4-5 days however the fever may return and the cough and feelings of weakness may continue. For people who suffer from asthma or heart disease the flu can sometimes worsen these conditions.

The common cold is not accompanied by a fever. It usually consists of a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and a cough or sore throat. Sometimes headaches are present due to congestion of the nasal passages. While the first symptom of the flu is an abruptly high fever; scratchiness in the back of the throat or an irritated, itchy nose are the first symptoms of a cold. In adults it is possible to have a low-grade fever, but generally a cold is not accompanied by one.

What can we do to arm ourselves against the flu or the cold? There are some great foods this time of the year that can help boost your immune system and fight off the flu or the cold. Foods high in vitamin D like salmon and mushrooms are good sources along with citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and limes. Other helpful fruits to add to your diet are cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Other foods helpful to the immune system are whole-grains, yogurt, and an assortment of vegetables. Especially here in Buffalo, where sunlight is hard to find, we already can use extra boosts of vitamin D to our diet. If you feel you aren’t getting enough of it through your diet speak to your doctor about supplements. The medical staff at WNY Medical, PC can help recommend dietary supplements, flu vaccines, and other lines of defense to help ward off that common winter cold or flu. Visit our office at 4979 Harlem Rd. or call 923-4380 for an appointment.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Holiday Happiness for Diabetic Patients

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With the holiday upon us people with diabetes may find it difficult to resist all those holiday sweets and yummy temptations. It may be easy to turn away from the candy offered in the mall as we shop, but when it comes to sitting down to those scrumptious holiday meals desserts may be hard to refuse. If you follow a smart plan you may be able to have the best of both worlds.

Whether you have diabetes or a good rule for anyone to follow is to not go overboard. If you choose to have that piece of pie, cut back on your serving of mashed potatoes. In other words, watch those carbs! Worrying about gaining weight can in itself raise blood-sugar levels, so if you want a dessert remember to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume. If you wish you can have a half serving of each, but not a full serving of both.

Planning ahead is important to your holiday success. Decide ahead to only have that half serving of dessert and don’t feel guilty about saying, “No thank you” to the pressures of people wanting to serve you more food. Volunteer to bring a low-sugar desert and don’t take a holiday from your daily exercise. Contact WNY Medical, PC at 923-4380 for additional information, or stop in at the office at 4979 Harlem Rd.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Healthy Living

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In the last year or so we have seen a number of alternative exercise businesses opening up in our neighborhoods. Places offering yoga, meditation, and massage, are popping up all over Western New York. What these alternative solutions to traditional medicine can offer us are healthy solutions that feed the mind, body, and soul.

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that offers a low-impact exercise that is beneficial to the mind and body. People over the age of 50 can benefit from yoga as it helps to reduce stress, provides relaxation, and can help to improve movement and balance. With the additional benefit of breathing exercises from yoga, it can help to lower blood pressure. If you are a fit senior you may benefit from a more faster-paced form of yoga. Finding which type of yoga is important for the objectives you want to achieve and checking out a few of the places around your neighborhood will help answer those questions.

Meditation can help people reduce pain. It has been used to treat chronic pain by helping patients focus their attention on breathing patterns and distracting them from their pain by letting go of thoughts that center on pain. It can also be helpful for postoperative pain and acute pain situations by reducing the emotional responses to pain in the mind. Meditation can also reduce cardiovascular risk factors and increase longevity by achieving a state of stillness, rest, and an absence of mental chaos.

The benefits of massage can be many. Those with muscular problems can benefit from a professional massage which helps to reduce the amount of lactic acid that builds up in muscles through inactivity which can cause pain. Massage can also help reduce stress and help one to feel rejuvenated and promote overall wellness. Massage can help reduce injuries and help with movements of the joints. Before embarking on a good massage one needs to ask, “What is the purpose of my massage; to reduce stress and provide relaxation or to help deal with a health problem?” There again, before booking a massage let the therapist know what you are looking for.

As with any new form of treatment, one always should consult a doctor to make sure these types of treatment are safe for you to do. These types of alternative treatments can offer many benefits but only if your doctor is aware of what your intentions are and agrees that it will be beneficial and not harmful to you. Consult the medical professionals at WNY Medical, PC by calling 923-4380 for an appointment or stop by the office at 4979 Harlem Rd., Amherst.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Find the Right Fit

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As we get older our reasons for seeing a doctor changes. We are encountering different changes in our bodies, some of which need extra special attention and care. The 50 and over population begin to deal with different ailments, diseases, and illnesses many doctors are not focused on or trained to treat. Sometimes as we age our expectations for doctor–patient relationships change. One of the things we may have to consider is looking to find a doctor that deals specifically with the 50 and over population. A doctor who is trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and care that is specific to our population and who is up to date on the latest conditions, medicines, theories, tests, and nutritional needs specific to our population. While many of us have held long-standing relationships with our physicians, some of us need to transition to physicians geared towards the 50 and over population. This is a decision not easily made, but can be the one decision made to your greatest benefit: your health and well being. If you are in the position or feel the need to consider transitioning to a doctor who has the latest care information on the 50 and over population, consider contacting the WNY Medical, PC professionals located at 4979 Harlem Rd., Amherst or calling 923-4389 for an appointment. The physicians at WNY Medical, PC are highly trained for our specific population and can offer the most up to date care plans to keep us healthy, active, and enjoying the quality of life we so deserve.

Written by Diane Woolverton


Dehydration Prevention

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It’s been a pretty hot summer and by now many of us are really feeling the heat. Dehydration prevention is one of the most important things you can do this summer to keep yourself healthy. With such a wonderful summer to enjoy this year many of forget that we need to keep our bodies hydrated while outdoors engaging in all those fun activities. Since we live in a humid area our bodies are easily depleted of moisture. It is important to know how to keep ourselves hydrated and how to recognize the symptoms of dehydration.

When engaging in active activities we must remember to drink before, during and after. Lemonade, sports drinks, and iced tea can help the body to retain the necessary fluids to keep ourselves both cool and keep our internal organs working properly. Adding a splash of lemon to water helps the body absorb the water better, and juices can help the body replace any lost fluids. Eating fruits and vegetable will also help the body to maintain good fluid levels, and during this time of year both of those are plentiful either from your own garden or from the grocer’s. Another dehydration prevention measure we can take is to refrain from too much time in the sun. During times of high temperatures the shade can be your friend. Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing to allow air flow between the clothing and your body. Any outdoor activities that can be done early morning or in the evening should be done so.

If you are experiencing light-headedness, feel faint, notice swelling in your legs or feet, or notice the color of your urine is darker than it normally is you may be suffering from dehydration. If you notice any of these symptoms notify your physician. The medical staff at WNY Medical, PC, located at 4979 Harlem Rd is always available to attend to your needs. Do not hesitate to call them at 923-4380.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Dance for the Health of It

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Getting out there and going dancing is not just for the young but also the young at heart. Dancing for those of us fifty and over can be one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies as well as our minds.

Dancing provides a wonderful mind and body connection. It can improve body alignment; especially for those with osteoporosis, because it builds bone strength since it is a weight-bearing exercise. It can enhance your mood by releasing endorphins which is a brain chemical that provides a feeling of well being much like how we feel after a good run or a good belly laugh, and can also help with depression. Getting out on the dance floor increases intellectual and social interaction which can help reduce the risk of dementia. Having to learn and remember intricate dance steps and the general social interaction of learning and remembering new names and interacting with a group of people can help to create new learning pathways in the brain. Dance can improve balance and flexibility. The movement of dance sends oxygen-rich blood to the brain and throughout the body which can improve cardiovascular health. Dance can also improve your coordination and can even help those who suffer with Parkinson’s by helping them to focus their movements and improve the speed at which they can move. It also allows them to find new ways of moving their body.

So no matter what the reason, get out there and dance for the health of it. As with any form of exercise check with your doctor to make sure it is something safe for you to do. Make an appointment at WNY Medical, PC located at 4979 Harlem Road or by calling 923-4380.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Compliance is Key to Good Health

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Who do we turn to when something is wrong with our health? We go to the most trusted source; our doctor. We spend our hard-earned money and our time in the waiting room for our turn to tell the doctor what is wrong, and we look to him or her for answers to help us fix it. But do we always listen?

One of the most frustrating things for a doctor is when we do ask for help and the doctor recommends treatment, prescriptions, or therapies, we don’t follow the doctor’s orders. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to follow the advice of our doctor. Our doctors have spent long, hard years learning the best ways to treat patients and non-compliance is a doctor’s main concern. Our doctors have dedicated their lives to helping us live happy, healthy lives.

The best thing we can do for them, and ourselves, is to follow through with whatever they advise. Many of us are guilty of stopping medication once we begin to feel better, or deciding that what the doctor recommended is either unnecessary or inconvenient. Even something as simple as a routine mammogram can be dismissed by a patient, which can be dangerous. When we put our health and our lives in our doctors’ hands we trust that they not only have our best interests at heart, but also know what the best course of action to take to treat us. Let us help them do their job. Our lives may depend on it!

Let the medical staff at WNY Medical, PC begin caring for you. For an appointment call, 923-4380 or stop by our office located at 4979 Harlem Road, in Amherst.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Breast Cancer Awareness

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2010 alone and over 39,000 deaths. Breast cancer is claiming the lives of too many of our women. We are losing friends, sisters, aunts, and mothers to this disease. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to make sure we are doing everything possible to help prevent breast cancer from invading our lives. While many risk factors that cause breast cancer can be avoided others cannot. We can help to prevent breast cancer by changing our lifestyle, maintaining healthy eating habits, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking can all help to reduce our risk factors. Other risk factors can be prolonged use of alcohol, and hormone replacement therapies. Knowing the health history of the females in our family, also known as genetic risks can help determine whether you are at an increased risk for possible breast cancers. The last two preventative measures we can take are to perform a monthly self-exam on our breasts to detect any palpable lumps. Another is to have a routine mammogram as recommended by our doctor. To make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your breasts healthy schedule an appointment with one of the physicians at WNY Medical, PC at 4979 Harlem Road in Amherst. Call us at 923-4380. Don’t wait to call. Your health and even your life may depend on it.

Written by

Diane Woolverton


Beware of Sun Sensitivity

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Now that summer is here we love to spend as much time in the sun as we can. If you have been in the sun for any length of time and notice any changes to your skin, how you are feeling, or experience any type of sensitivity a doctor should be consulted. The medical staff at WNY Medical, PC can review any diseases from which you suffer, any prescriptions you may be taking, or any lotions or make-up you apply to your skin to determine if you may be suffering sensitivity to light. For example, if a rash appears on the skin that has been exposed to sunlight you may be suffering from a photosensitivity reaction. A doctor visit can help determine the causes. The doctor can perform tests to rule out any skin disorders. Certain prescription medicines can make you sensitive to sunlight as well. Drugs such as antibiotics, heart drugs, chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, and antidepressants can cause a reaction to sunlight. Some skin care products such as antifungal creams, sunscreens, and antibacterial ointments can also make you sensitive to the sun. To determine whether or not you should take precautions while in the sun please see our medical professionals at WNY Medical located at 4979 Harlem Road in Amherst. For an appointment call 923-4380.
Written by

Diane Woolverton


Be Smart about Supplements

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Maybe you have noticed the variety of advertisements in magazines, on television, and across the internet aimed at boosting your memory and focus, enhancing your energy, or even spicing up your sex drive. It is only a natural extension of the aging process to not have the stamina, sharpness, or interest we had once we slip into the 50+ age group. We begin to notice after a day of activity we’re exhausted, our recall might be a tad slower, and our intimate moments seem to wane. We have all at some time been tempted, even just a little, to try out one of these magic pills to reclaim that vitality but we need to take care and be cautious; especially if taking prescription medicines.

Many of these over-the-counter panaceas claim to be all-natural or herbal so we think they should be relatively harmless, but the interactions with prescription medicines can be dangerous; even fatal. Also, many of these supplements have not been FDA approved meaning there have been no long-term studies or tests done to prove or disprove their effectiveness and their side effects have not been studied or documented. Before embarking down the path to reclaim your youth it would be wise to visit a doctor to make sure these products are safe for you to use. The doctors at WNY Medical, PC will be able to sit down with you and discuss your overall health, diet, lifestyle and prescription regimen to determine the best course for you to take. Call 923-4380 for an appointment or visit our office at 4979 Harlem Road in Amherst.

Written by

Diane Woolverton