• Primary Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Care or Retail Care?

    When you need access to healthcare, where do you turn? The answer depends on what type of care you need. Learn the difference between primary, urgent, emergency and retail care to help you decide which one to pursue and when.

    Primary Care

    A primary care provider offers preventative services, such as annual physicals and health screenings, as well as care for symptoms of chronic and acute conditions, such as allergies, diabetes and high blood pressure. Your primary care physician is someone you establish a relationship with who takes care of your routine healthcare needs.

    When you don’t have time to make an appointment with your regular doctor, or you don’t already have a primary care physician, Perimeter Clinic is the right place for you. We can address your immediate, ongoing and preventative medical needs and become your go-to source for primary care in Atlanta.

    Urgent Care

    An urgent care clinic treats minor injuries and illnesses that aren’t serious enough to warrant an ER visit. If you can’t reach your primary care doctor because it’s the evening or weekend, urgent care is the right place to go.

    Perimeter Clinic offers urgent care in Atlanta, treating ailments such as sprains, fractures, cuts, insect bites, ear infections and strep throat without the long wait or high costs of visiting the ER. Our walk-in clinic helps you receive the prompt attention you need.

    Emergency Care

    An emergency department handles life-threatening conditions that could require hospitalization or surgery. Common ailments that warrant a trip to the ER include chest pain, severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, major head trauma and uncontrolled bleeding.

    If you’re unsure whether your condition calls for emergency care or urgent care, call Perimeter Clinic at 678-999-8263 for advice. When you know the appropriate place to receive medical care, you simplify the process and ensure the best possible outcome.

    Retail Care

    A retail health clinic is one located inside a retail store. This provides the convenience of receiving primary care services – such as a flu vaccine or prescription refill – while you shop. People can also visit retail health clinics for issues they might ordinarily see their primary care physician for, including rashes, sinus infections, and minor bumps and scrapes.

    However, patients should be aware that co-pays may be higher at retail clinics compared to walk-in primary care providers like Perimeter Clinic.

    Urgent & Primary Care Atlanta, GA

    Here at Perimeter Clinic, we are dedicated to providing quality urgent and primary care when you need these services most. Our physicians listen carefully to your needs and recommend a treatment plan that’s right for you. So, whether you need a preventative health screening, symptom management, or immediate treatment for a non-life-threatening injury or illness, come to Perimeter Clinic!

    We are a walk-in urgent and primary care clinic, so no appointment is needed. However, if you have any questions or prefer to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 678-999-8263.

  • UTI or STD?

    You should always heed your body if you notice something strange going on. You might be experiencing symptoms that have you wondering – could it be a UTI or STD? Learn how to differentiate signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) vs. a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

    What is a UTI?

    The urinary tract is comprised of the urethra, bladder, ureter and kidneys. A UTI is when bacteria, especially E. coli, get into any of these body parts and multiply. E. coli is found naturally on the colon and around the anus, and because female urethras are much closer to the anus than in the male anatomy, UTIs are far more prominent in women. Common causes include:

    • Wiping from back to front after using the bathroom
    • Neglecting to urinate after having sex
    • “Holding it” for too long
    • Using a diaphragm for birth control
    • Wearing underwear or tight-fitting pants with a non-breathable fabric
    • Bathing rather than showering
    • Using feminine sprays or douching

    What is an STD?

    An STD is a condition most often transmitted through sexual intercourse. There are many types of STDs with a wide range of symptoms, including no symptoms at all. Because of the complications that can develop from untreated STDs, it’s important to be tested if you suspect you’re infected.

    There are many ways to contract an STD other than having unprotected sex. These include:

    • Eating food contaminated with infected fecal matter (transfers hepatitis A)
    • Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person (spreads HPV or herpes)
    • Kissing or sharing the same straw (passes on genital and oral herpes)
    • Sharing sheets, towels or underwear (transmits Trichomoniasis)
    • Sharing contaminated surfaces, such as a tanning bed (transfers molluscum contagiosum)
    • Sharing needles or razors, which can mix blood (spreads various STDs)

    Shared Symptoms of UTIs and STDs

    STDs are misdiagnosed as UTIs more often than you might think. After all, they share many of the same symptoms, including:

    • Painful or burning urination
    • Increased need and urgency to urinate
    • Foul urine odor
    • Cloudy or dark urine
    • Pelvic pain
    • Unusual discharge

    Other Symptoms of STDs

    Remember, some STDs are asymptomatic, but if you’re experiencing some of the shared symptoms above, watch for these additional signs that indicate the problem is with your reproductive organs, not your urinary tract:

    • Genital blisters or rash
    • Pain during sex
    • Spotting between menstrual cycles
    • Seemingly unrelated symptoms, such as fever, nausea, sore throat or joint swelling

    Get Tested!

    Perimeter Clinic offers anonymous STD testing for your privacy and peace of mind. Even if your doctor has already diagnosed you with a UTI, it’s wise to be tested for an STD if there’s a possibility that you have this condition. Doing so ensures you receive the proper treatment and helps you avoid complications of STDs, such as infertility, ectopic pregnancies, stillbirth and increased risk of HIV.

    To schedule STD testing in Atlanta, Georgia, contact Perimeter Clinic at 678-999-8263.

  • The Advantages of Your Annual Physical

    Are you really as healthy as you think you are? Everything may feel fine, but health problems often develop slowly, with no discernible symptoms at first. Don’t live in ignorance – take charge of your health by making annual physicals a priority. Here are the advantages you can expect if you do.

    Gain Knowledge of Your Overall Health

    The greatest benefit of an annual physical is the chance to establish a baseline of personal health. A physical includes taking your temperature, reading your pulse, measuring your breathing rate and checking your blood pressure. Your doctor will also measure your height and weight, test your reflexes, and check your ears and mouth for abnormalities.

    By going in for a physical when you’re healthy, your doctor can compare your results with the normal range for someone your age and gender, which tells you your overall health level. Having your numbers on file makes your doctor better equipped to detect unhealthy trends that crop up in the future, allowing for proactive treatment to begin before chronic diseases set in.

    Receive Lifestyle Tips

    During your physical, the doctor may notice that your weight and blood pressure put you at risk for a heart attack. He or she can provide you with personalized tips and prescriptions to help you get a handle on your health and prevent life-threatening situations.

    Catch Diseases Early

    Of the 133 million Americans with chronic diseases, nearly one-third are unaware that they have a health problem. Only when the disease progresses and the patient develops symptoms do they visit the doctor, often to receive heartbreaking news of an advanced condition that can no longer be treated effectively.

    If preventative care was taken more seriously, up to 100,000 lives could be saved every year. Crucial health screenings performed during annual physicals can detect common chronic conditions in their early stages – including diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) – before they cause serious health issues.

    Keep on Top of Existing Chronic Health Problems

    Annual physicals are even more paramount if your doctor has already diagnosed you with a chronic health condition. Proper disease management, which includes seeing your doctor regularly, can help you avoid unnecessary hospitalization, reduce the cost of primary care and even help you live longer.

    Develop a Connection with Your Doctor

    People who never see a doctor are more likely to ignore symptoms of health problems when they crop up. If you build a relationship with your doctor and office staff, you feel more comfortable making a potentially life-saving call to ask for advice about the symptoms you’re experiencing.

    Keep Healthcare Affordable

    Preventative visits are the most affordable type of healthcare. Most insurance plans cover adult physicals, making it possible for everyone to see their doctor once a year. As a result, you can enjoy all of the above advantages of annual physicals practically for free.

    If it’s time for your annual physical in the Atlanta area, please contact Perimeter Clinic at 678-999-8263 to schedule an appointment.

  • What Causes Leg Cramps?

    A leg cramp is an involuntary and sudden contraction of one or more leg muscles, particularly the calf. Nicknamed “charley horses,” leg cramps are generally harmless, but they can be debilitating and painful until they pass. Learn what causes leg cramps so you can take steps to avoid them. Then, determine when it’s necessary to see a doctor.

    Causes of Leg Cramps

    • Physical exertion: Prolonged periods of exercise or physical labor, especially in hot weather, can lead to muscle cramps. It’s not uncommon for tight, painful leg cramps to stop runners in their tracks. Stretch your legs and drink plenty of water before and after exercise to help prevent this.
    • Poor circulation and nerve compression: These problems can cause muscle cramps to wake you up in the middle of the night. Stretching and doing a little light exercise, such as riding a stationary bike, right before bed can help prevent cramps while you’re sleeping.
    • Mineral depletion: Lack of potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet may contribute to muscle cramps. Eat foods high in these minerals and take a multivitamin with your doctor’s permission.
    • Dehydration: Failure to drink enough water can make your muscles spasm and cramp up, especially during physical exertion. Keep a water bottle with you and sip from it regularly throughout the day. Remember to stay hydrated during and after exercise as well.
    • Medications: Certain drugs cause muscle cramps as a side effect. The most common of these include diuretics prescribed for high blood pressure and statins taken to treat high cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about altering your prescription if muscle cramps or other side effects are unbearable.
    • Age and medical conditions: As you get older, you lose existing muscle mass, making your remaining muscles prone to tiring. This can increase the frequency of leg You’re also at a higher risk if you have diabetes, nerve disorders, or liver or thyroid disease.

    When to See Your Doctor About Leg Cramps

    Charley horses and other muscle cramps usually go away on their own and rarely require medical attention. However, you should consider talking to your doctor if your cramps:

    • Happen frequently and cause severe discomfort
    • Are accompanied by muscle weakness, swelling, redness or changes to the skin
    • Don’t improve with at-home care
    • Seem to be caused by prescription medication, which you can request to have altered
    • Have no apparent cause

    Perimeter Clinic offers primary care services to residents of the Atlanta area. If you don’t have a primary care physician, we are the place to come with concerns about ongoing leg cramps. We strive to provide affordable, easily accessible primary and urgent care to patients of all ages here in Georgia. To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified physicians, please contact us at 678-999-8263.

  • Why You Should Get a Flu Shot

    Based on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than half of American adults receive a flu vaccine each year. If you’ve skipped your flu shot in the past, here are five reasons to make it a priority this season.

    The flu is much more serious than the common cold.

    The 2017-2018 high-severity flu season caused record-breaking illnesses and hospitalization rates. On average, over 200,000 flu-infected people are hospitalized in the US each year, states the CDC, and annual fatalities range from 3,000 to 49,000. Some people have a higher risk of developing severe complications from the flu. Be sure to get a vaccination this year if you:

    • Have asthma, COPD, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer.
    • Have heart disease or have experienced a stroke.
    • Are 65 years or older.
    • Are pregnant.

    Last year’s flu shot won’t help this year.

    Some vaccinations last for years before they need a booster, but flu shots are different. Influenza viruses come in many different strains and change from year to year. This is why doctors recommend getting a flu shot each fall to protect against infection in the coming flu season.

    A flu shot is the most effective way to avoid getting sick.

    While you can take other preventative measures – such as washing your hands often, disinfecting surfaces in your home, avoiding contact with sick people and not touching your face with your hands – getting a flu shot is the single best way to avoid getting sick. The CDC estimates that you’re 60 percent less likely to contract the flu if you get vaccinated. Just remember, this varies depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine against that season’s flu strain.

    You can’t get the flu from a flu vaccine.

    There’s a misconception that receiving a flu shot can make you sick, but this is impossible because the vaccination delivers inactivated viruses incapable of infecting a person. However, the process of producing protective antibodies may make you experience muscle aches and a fever for a day or two, which is highly preferred over actually getting the flu.

    Also, be aware that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect. If you’re exposed to the virus before then, you may still catch the flu. It’s also possible for a vaccine to mismatch the viruses circulating that season, reducing its effectiveness.

    Most insurance plans cover the cost of flu shots.

    Preventative care, including vaccinations, are covered by most health insurance plans.

    To qualify for coverage, some require you to receive the shot from an in-network provider. As long as you meet the requirements of your plan, you can expect flu shots for your family to be very affordable.

    Flu shots for the upcoming season become available in October. Get yours as early as possible to maximize your protection against the influenza virus. Contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to schedule flu shots for your whole family.

  • STD Stigma

    Some diseases carry a social stigma, causing society to judge or condemn people with certain conditions, perhaps none more strongly than sexually transmitted diseases. Sometimes, the shame is aimed directly at the infected individual through name-calling, shunning, or intimate partner violence. Other times, STD stigma is more general, such as when someone makes a joke about Chlamydia or equates having herpes to being immoral.

    Regardless of how it’s enacted, STD stigma can be very hurtful. And the truth is there’s no logical reason to shame someone with this disease. It’s counterproductive and serves no helpful purpose. Here’s why everyone should work together to de-stigmatize STDs.

    STDs are Surprisingly Common

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 million new Americans are diagnosed with an STD every year. Keep in mind that these are the tested and documented cases, excluding HPV/genital warts and herpes, which are not required to be reported to the CDC.

    According to the American Sexual Health Association, half of sexually active Americans contract an STD by age 25. Then, more than half of all sexually active people will contract HPV in their lifetime – and most will never know it. Because of this, many undocumented cases exist, putting the estimate of Americans with STDs somewhere between 56 and 65 million.

    STDs and Promiscuity Aren’t Synonymous

    It only takes one sexual partner to contract an STD – and sometimes it takes none at all! STDs are transmitted through more than just direct genital contact – you can also get infected from blood and sometimes saliva. Sharing towels or underwear, using someone else’s needle or razor, or having a blood transfusion can spread some STIs and STDs. Then, simply kissing or sharing the same straw can spread genital and oral herpes.

    STD Testing is Important

    Despite the high probability of contracting an STD, only about 12 percent of people age 15 to 25 are tested each year. Fear of the stigma associated with a positive result is the primary reason many people decide they would rather not know their status.

    However, if left untreated, some STDs can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancies, stillbirth and increased risk for HIV. With STDs at record-level highs, it’s more important than ever for sexually active people to know their STD status so they can receive treatment and help prevent spreading the disease.

    Do Your Part to Help Eradicate STD Stigma

    Pay attention to the way you talk about STDs, and think of people with this condition as a group facing discrimination. Don’t use metaphors like “dirty” or “damaged goods” to describe people with STDs. Become more educated about sex and the risks that come with it. And if you think you might have an STD, get tested!

    Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia offers discrete, anonymous STD testing so you can find out your status while maintaining your privacy. After all, it’s your decision who you tell about your diagnosis. To learn more about our testing process, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 678-999-8263.

  • Signs You Should Get STD Testing

    You started dating someone recently, and he or she told you that the latest STD test gave the all clear, so you slept together. You trusted this person, but now you think you notice signs of a sexually transmitted disease. The problem is some symptoms associated with STDs could also be something totally benign. So how do you know when you should get STD testing? Just watch for these signs.

    Painful Urination

    Many conditions can make it hurt to pee, including a relatively harmless urinary tract infection. However, STDs such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can also cause this symptom. If you’re experiencing painful urination, start by talking to your doctor, and pursue STD testing if necessary.

    Pain During or Immediately After Sex

    The same STDs that make urination painful can also make sex uncomfortable. Human papillomavirus (HPV) can also cause this symptom. Of course, so can non-STD conditions that affect women, such as endometriosis and vulvodynia.

    Unusual Vaginal or Penile Discharge

    Chlamydia and HPV may cause increased genital discharge, while gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can make the discharge look, feel or smell abnormal. Yellow, grayish-green, frothy, foamy or smelly discharge is definitely a cause for concern, as is bleeding from the vagina other than during a menstrual cycle.

    Itchy Genitals

    Itchiness or irritation in the genital region is a sign that something’s wrong. There are many possible causes, and sexually transmitted diseases are among them, so if the itching doesn’t subside within a few days, you may want to get STD testing.

    Sores, Blisters, Warts or Rashes

    Syphilis and herpes cause sores or blisters. HPV causes genital warts. Scabies causes a rash. Some of these abnormalities are painful while others may go unnoticed for some time. Either way, sores, blisters, warts and rashes are signs of STDs that demand your attention.

    Aches, Pains, Chills and Fever

    These flu-like symptoms could indicate your body is fighting off a new sexually transmitted infection, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C or pubic lice. If you feel like you’re getting the flu a couple weeks after a sexual encounter, STD testing could be worthwhile.

    You and/or Your Partner are Sexually Active

    According to the American Sexual Health Association, about half of sexually active people contract an STD by age 25, yet only about 12 percent of people between ages 15 and 25 report being tested each year. One reason is that some people are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms of STDs. Therefore, if you and/or your partner are sexually active, it’s wise to be tested once a year just in case.

    STD Testing in Atlanta, GA

    If you’re concerned about STDs, visit Perimeter Clinic to set your mind at ease. We offer a wide variety of STD testing options in a clean, confidential setting. We may administer tests individually or within a panel to best meet your specific situation.

    To make an appointment and protect your health, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia by calling 678-999-8263 today.

  • Mission Trip Vaccinations Guide

    You’ve taken a big step by deciding to go on a mission trip to another part of the world. Your purpose is probably to provide help to residents of a developing country and spread a spiritual message. What you don’t want is for communicable diseases to spread to you.

    To protect yourself, start looking into which mission trip vaccinations you’ll need several weeks before you leave. The exact ones you should get depend on where you’re going. Fortunately, your doctor can make knowledgeable recommendations based on where your mission trip is located and in what season you’re traveling.

    NOTE: Some vaccines require multiple shots a few weeks apart to maximize their effectiveness.  Begin the process as soon as possible to ensure they have plenty of time to start working. Most vaccines last for several years, so there’s no need to worry about them wearing off before your trip.

    Recommended Mission Trip Vaccines

    • Routine vaccinations: You probably already have all the routine vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as polio, measles, tetanus and Double check your immunization records, and schedule a flu shot and tetanus booster if needed.
    • Hepatitis A: This vaccine is recommended no matter where you’re traveling. It protects you from months of sickness and nausea that could result from ingesting contaminated food and water on your mission trip.
    • Hepatitis B: Since this disease spreads through contact with infected blood, working at a medical clinic or performing manual labor on your mission trip could put you at risk. A vaccine provides the protection you need.
    • Typhoid: Plan to get this vaccination for travels anywhere outside the US, unless you’re headed to Australia. It prevents a potentially life-threatening fever that can occur if you eat contaminated food and water.
    • Yellow fever: If your mission trip is located in South America or Africa, plan to get a yellow fever vaccine to protect you from infected mosquitoes.
    • Malaria: This disease is a risk everywhere besides Australia and Europe. However, there is no vaccine for malaria. Instead, your doctor can prescribe medication, which you’ll need to take before, during and after your mission trip for optimal protection.
    • Meningitis: While this disease is found throughout the world, you probably only need a vaccination for meningitis if your mission trip takes place in sub-Saharan Africa, known as the “meningitis belt,” between December and June when the disease is most common.
    • Japanese encephalitis: Mission trips to Australia and Asia present an increased risk for this rare disease spread by mosquitoes. Your doctor may recommend a vaccine to ensure your protection.

    Check the CDC

    The CDC website has useful travel information for your mission trip. Check the Travelers’ Health page for the latest health notices and updates you should know to safeguard your health before your leave.

    Make sure you return home safely from your mission trip this summer – contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to schedule your mission trip vaccinations.

  • STD Myths

    There’s a frightening amount of misinformation floating around regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Are you in the know, or do you fall for some of the most common misconceptions? Clear the air by learning the truth about STD myths.

    STD Myth: HIV is Fatal

    While the human immunodeficiency virus reduces your body’s ability to fight disease, this diagnosis is certainly not a death sentence. Proper treatment using today’s advanced technology can help you live a long and fulfilling life. It’s even possible for HIV patients to have children who are HIV-negative.

    STD Myth: Public Toilet Seats Pass on STDs

    No scientific study has ever concluded that sitting on a public toilet can give you a sexually transmitted disease. This is because bacteria and viruses that cause STDs don’t live outside the body very long, and remnants of urine and fecal matter on toilet seats don’t cause STDs.

    STD Myth: It’s Easy to Tell if Someone Has an STD

    While a lot of sexually transmitted diseases cause visible lesions, sores, swelling and other symptoms, many individuals with herpes, Chlamydia and human papillomavirus (HPV) are asymptomatic for long periods of time. You can still, in fact, contract these diseases from an infected individual who has no visible outbreak at the time. Therefore, it’s best to rely on test results and not assume someone is STD-free based on how clean or attractive they look.

    STD Myth: The Only Way to Contract an STD is by Having Sex

    STDs are transmitted through semen, blood, genital contact and sometimes saliva. This means activities such as sharing razors, getting a blood transfusion, having oral or anal sex, using unwashed sex toys and pulling out before ejaculation can all result in spreading STDs. Genital and oral herpes can even transmit just by kissing or sharing the same straw.

    STD Myth: Birth Control Pills Prevent STDs

    The pill is designed to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against STDs. However, condoms are another form of contraception that significantly reduces the risk of pregnancy and STDs. Just don’t fall for the myth that two condoms are better than one. The friction between them increases the risk of breaking or leaking, so just stick with one condom every time.

    STD Testing in Atlanta, GA

    According to the American Sexual Health Association, about half of sexually active people contract an STD by age 25, yet only about 12 percent of people from age 15 to 25 report being tested each year. If you or your partner is concerned about STDs, Perimeter Clinic is here to help. We offer same-day STD testing in a clean, confidential setting. The entire process takes just 15 to 20 minutes, and our dedicated counselors will guide you each step of the way.

    Contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to make an appointment and help protect your health today.

  • The Importance of Regular Physicals

    You take your car in as recommended for routine oil changes and inspections because you want the engine and other parts to last. Why wouldn’t you give your body the same preventative care with annual physicals?

    Several major medical organizations suggest making regular doctor visits a priority, including the American College of Physicians and the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Here’s why.

    Assess Your Overall Health

    A physical exam begins by taking your vital signs, including your temperature, pulse, respiration rate and blood pressure. These simple measurements indicate the state of your essential body functions.

    Your doctor also measures your height and weight, tests your reflexes, and checks inside your mouth and ears for anything abnormal. Comparing your results with the normal range for your age and gender can help the doctor assess your overall health.

    Receive Personalized Lifestyle Recommendations

    Are you interested in starting a new exercise program, but you’re not sure how it will affect your arthritis? Perhaps you want to start a vegetarian diet, but you don’t want to miss out on important nutrients. Or maybe a prescription you’re on is causing side effects, and you want to request an adjustment.

    Your annual physical is the perfect time to ask your doctor about any health and lifestyle questions you have. He or she will steer you in the right direction based on your current fitness level, age and other factors, which may help you adopt lifestyle behaviors that will help keep you healthy.

    Catch Dangerous Health Conditions Early

    Many chronic, potentially life-threatening conditions start out slowly and may go unnoticed for years. That’s why adult physicals include cancer screenings and blood tests to check your cholesterol, blood glucose levels and other critical numbers.

    You may have no idea that the mole on your chest is melanoma – or that you’re at risk for heart disease – or that you have pre-diabetes – until you get the results back from your annual physical. With this information, you can make lifestyle changes or begin treatment to curb the disease and possibly even cure it.

    Connect With Your Doctor

    If you only visit a general practitioner when you’re sick, you never have a chance to get to know your healthcare provider outside the stress of a crisis. Doctors and patients both benefit when they create a connection during annual physicals, which can help ensure the very best care if an injury or illness occurs.

    Enjoy Affordable Healthcare

    Most health insurance covers the cost of preventative care for nothing but an affordable copay. This means the cost to see your doctor once a year for an adult physical is practically free, yet the chance to assess your health, catch dangerous health conditions, receive advice and connect with your doctor is worth its weight in gold.

    If you’re overdue for your annual adult physical, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to make an appointment and help protect your health.