• The Basics About Cholesterol Levels

    If you’re age 20 or older, your family doctor serving Atlanta may recommend that you have a cholesterol test every five years. If you’re found to have abnormal cholesterol levels, your family doctor may recommend more frequent testing. When you visit a primary care clinic, you’ll learn what your test results mean. For example, if you have a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level no higher than 129 mg/dL, you’re within the normal range. LDL cholesterol is the type that is bad for your health.

    The internal medicine doctor at the primary care clinic can also explain your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level. HDL cholesterol is beneficial for your body because it helps escort LDL cholesterol out of the body. The best HDL cholesterol level is 60 mg/dL or higher. However, a good level is between 50 and 59 mg/dL for women or between 40 and 50 mg/dL for men. If your test results indicate abnormal cholesterol levels, your doctor can provide guidance on improving your health. This may include eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and possibly taking medications. Good Cholesterol

  • Male Physical Exams: What to Expect

    Undergoing an adult physical in Atlanta is an effective way to check on your overall health and to catch any medical issues as early as possible. If you haven’t been to a primary care physician for a physical exam in a while, you may be a little anxious about what will occur. The basic components of a physical exam involve a review of your medical history and a check of your vital signs. The family doctor will also perform an exam of your reproductive health.

    Medical History

    Each time you go to a primary care clinic, you should inform the healthcare provider of any changes to your medical history. Discuss whether you’ve been prescribed any new medications or if you’ve begun taking herbal supplements. If you have multiple medications to keep track of, you may wish to take the pill bottles with you. Disclose whether you’ve been diagnosed with any medical conditions. You might also be asked questions about your lifestyle choices, such as whether you smoke, consume alcohol, and practice safe sex.

    Vital Signs

    Medical Exam A healthcare provider will take your vital signs at the doctor’s office. He or she will check your blood pressure, temperature, respiration rate, and heart rate. You should feel free to ask the healthcare provider to explain whether your vital signs are considered to be within a normal range. If not, then the doctor may devote part of your physical exam to explaining how you can lower your blood pressure, for instance.

    Male-Specific Exams

    You can expect the family doctor to perform some gender-specific exams during your physical . These commonly include a testicular exam, during which the doctor will check the testicles for abnormalities such as lumps. The doctor will also examine your penis for abnormalities such as warts or ulcers. You can expect to have a hernia exam, during which the doctor can check for evidence of an abdominal wall weakness. For this exam, you’ll be asked to turn your head to the side and cough. Lastly, your primary care physician may perform a prostate exam. This involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to check the size of the prostate.

  • What Causes Warts?

    If you’ve previously undergone anonymous STD testing in Atlanta because of the presence of genital warts, then you may already know that warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Although primary care physicians do not yet have a cure for HPV, the infection is manageable with the treatment you can find at a medical clinic.

    For more information about warts, you can watch this video or consult a family doctor at an STD testing clinic. This video explains that HPV enters the body through a break in the skin. It may then enter cells and force them to reproduce the virus. This results in a multiplication of skin cells, which causes the formation of the wart.

  • When Do You Need to See a Primary Care Physician?

    If you do not yet have a family physician, it’s time to find one. The benefits of having a primary care physician near Atlanta are invaluable. A primary care physician is usually your first point of contact when you’re experiencing symptoms. He or she can coordinate your care, provide diagnostic and therapeutic services, recommend preventive healthcare measures, and more. There are many circumstances in which you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.

    To Evaluate Non-Urgent Symptoms

    It’s not uncommon for individuals to only seek medical care when they experience urgent or severe symptoms. Yet, it’s highly advisable to talk to your primary care physician if you develop any new symptoms. An internal medicine doctor can determine the cause of any new symptoms you’ve developed and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Another reason to see your primary care physician is if you’ve already been following the doctor’s treatment plan, yet your symptoms are persisting or have become worse. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment if you notice any abnormal bodily changes. Sometimes, abnormal changes to your body may be indicative of a serious problem. For example, detecting a lump in the breast may be a sign of breast cancer. In these cases, your primary care physician can refer you for any necessary diagnostic tests. He or she may also refer you to a specialist if need be.

    To Manage Chronic Medical Conditions

    Routine Medical Exam Not all illnesses and conditions are completely curable. Many people are diagnosed with chronic health issues that require ongoing medical management. These include asthma, allergies, migraine headaches, diabetes, and certain gastrointestinal disorders. You might work with a specialist to manage a chronic medical condition. However, your primary care physician can still help you by coordinating your care and monitoring your overall health.

    To Have a Physical Exam

    It is not necessary to develop new or worsening symptoms, or to have a chronic medical condition to see a primary care physician. Family doctors encourage patients to schedule an annual physical exam to keep track of their overall wellness and to detect any medical issues as early as possible. You might also schedule a physical exam with your family doctor if you’re planning to conceive a child. This is known as a preconception visit and it can help you have a healthy pregnancy.