Acute and Chronic Medical Conditions
Acute medical conditions occur rapidly and only last for a short period of time, but chronic medical conditions last a long time or are recurring. We will determine whether your medical condition is chronic or acute in determining the proper course of treatment.
Red blood cells rely on iron-rich protein called hemoglobin to help carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of our bodies. Oxygen is a vital part to our everyday lives from helping ensure proper heart function to allowing us to get adequate sleep at night. When a person is not able to produce enough red blood cells, it is considered a condition called anemia. There are many different forms of anemia ranging from mild to severe, temporary to long-term, each with their own cause. Most commonly, anemia forms from a loss of blood and can leave patients feeling overly weak and tired. Common symptoms of anemia include pale skin, cold feet and hands, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath. Treatments vary depending on your specific type of anemia but can range from taking supplements for management up to more extensive treatment such as undergoing a medical procedure. If you notice unexplained fatigue, contact one of our providers to determine if anemia is the direct cause.
We can all get a little worked up and experience higher levels of anxiousness in our everyday lives. When the anxiousness starts to interfere with your daily activities, work, relationships of other important aspects of your life, it’s considered an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is characterized by repeated episodes of fear or terror that can increase quickly, within minutes (considered a panic attack), and can stem from a traumatic event, an underlying medical condition or inheritance. Anxiety can start from early childhood and teenage years, well in adulthood, and appears in many different forms including social anxiety, phobias and separation anxiety; a person can experience one or several combinations of anxiety disorders. Symptoms of anxiety disorder include nervousness, feelings of being powerless, on edge due to concerns for impending dangers, sudden panic, sweating or fatigue. These anxious feelings can be difficult to control and it’s recommended that you consult with a qualified physician for proper treatment if anxiety is causing duress, depression, substance abuse or decreasing your quality of life. Without proper treatment anxiety may get worse before it gets better but with psychotherapy, medications or a combination of both.
Characterized by the inflammation of joints, arthritis commonly affects the hands, wrists, back and knees. The main symptoms of arthritis can include pain, stiffness, swelling and difficulty with range of motion. Arthritis can affect people of various ages but tends to worsen with age. There are two main types of arthritis rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, both of which can be caused from a number of reasons such as genetics, gradual wear and tear or joint injuries or infections. Arthritis treatment can come in the form of medications to reduce inflammation, physical therapy to improve joint/muscle function or surgery. Treatments are not standard for all patients and one or a combination of treatments may be necessary to help treat the arthritis. With any arthritis treatment the main goal is to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of living.
Asthma, COPD & Other Pulmonary Diseases
There are several conditions that can affect a person’s lungs and disrupt adequate airflow. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), bronchitis, pneumonia or asthma are a group of conditions that can cause difficulty breathing (due to obstructed airways due to mucus buildup, the lungs inability to create consistent inhalations and exhalations or narrowing/inflamed airways) and potentially cause irreversible damage to the lungs without proper treatment. Common symptoms of pulmonary diseases include shortness of breath, wheezing, tight chest pains, decreased energy, frequent infections of the lungs and continuous coughing. With effective therapies geared towards helping your lungs get the oxygen needed and medications, pulmonary diseases can be monitored and ongoing treatment, if needed and determined by our providers, can help you get back to feeling your best.
Heart disease is not only extremely prevalent, but it is a serious disease that causes more deaths in the U.S. every year than any other cause of death. Fortunately, heart disease generally develops slowly and proper medical care can help any patient to greatly minimize their risk for heart disease. By addressing the major risk factors (such as high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and poor diet and exercise habits), we provide our patients with long-term medical attention to counteract the risk factors that patients cannot control, such as family history. A combination of diagnostic testing—to detect risk factors and warning signs as early as possible—and individualized treatments to address any concerns discovered in the testing help our patients to maximize not only the length but the quality of their lives as well.
Depression is a condition that affects a person’s mood and can cause chronic feelings of sadness, emptiness and loss of interest. Commonly affecting daily activities, depression can take on emotional and physical manifestations such as changes in appetite, increased anxiety, chronic fatigue, physical pains or increased thoughts of death or suicide. Causes for depression can range from hormones and traumatic events to biological factors and imbalances within the brain’s chemistry. Depression affects each individual differently and therefore symptoms are also unique to each person and treatments are decided on a case-by-case basis. Effective forms of depression treatments can include medication and psychotherapy, or a combination of both, to relive symptoms of depression before they get worse.
While it can have a slow progression, diabetes is a serious disease that requires careful monitoring and management. While diabetes is very prevalent in the United States (currently affected 9.3% of the populations, while pre-diabetes affects an additional 27% of American adults), it can be caused by a number of factors. Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood, is an autoimmune disease, while type 2 diabetes arises due to a combination of lifestyle, genetics, ethnicity, and age. Regardless of the cause, we can help patients manage their diabetes and maintain a healthy life with a combination of medications, dietary planning, and long-term considerations.
Sharp, throbbing pains that occur to the side(s) of the head are known as headaches. These pains can gradually appear or become prolonged but generally speaking are induced by over-activity to pain-sensitive pathways in the brain. Headaches are not generally indicators of an underlying condition but can become more intense and come with nausea, vomiting or light/sound sensitivity – in which this is called a migraine. Treating a general headache can include medication while migraine treatment is more about managing the condition as they cannot be cured. Pain-relieving and preventative medications are two viable options for helping headache/migraine sufferers ease common symptoms associated with frequent occurrences.
Made up of hardened mineral deposits that form when urine becomes concentrated in the kidneys, kidney stones have no single known cause and can affect the urinary tract from the kidneys to the bladder. Most patients do not have early symptoms of kidney stones and do not know they exist until they have entered the ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) and causes discomfort.
Symptoms of kidney stones may include:
- Side/back pain
- Pain in the lower abdomen or groin
- Pain or blood when urinating
Depending on the size of your kidney stone there are several treatment options that the Dr. B. Abraham, P.C. team utilizes. For smaller stones, waiting until the stone has passed is an option and while it can be painful to pass, there is generally no permanent damage that occurs. Drinking lots of water and combining pain reliever medication or medicine we prescribe are also effective for treating kidney stones. Larger kidney stones, depending on the size and location, may be treated with sound waves that are used to break up the kidney stone into smaller pieces, making it much easier to pass, or surgically if deemed necessary. Depending upon the size and quantity of the kidney stones, if necessary, a referral to a urologist will be provided.
Neurological disorders are diseases that specifically affect the brain, spine and nervous system. There are more than 600 known diseases that are considered neurological disorders and the causes vary from person to person but most commonly include genetics, inherited disorders, infections, trauma and even malnutrition. Types of neurological disorders range from mild, such as headaches and migraines, to more potentially life-threating disorders like epilepsy, Alzheimer disease, dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and brain tumors. Neurological diseases can alter a person’s behavior, memory or cognition and be associated with symptoms of paralysis, muscle weakness, confusion or extreme pain.
Chronic pain is a surprisingly common condition, affecting as many as 100 million Americans, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine. There are a wide variety of causes for chronic pain. It sometimes stems from an initial injury, such as a back injury or serious infection, or it may be the result of an ongoing condition, such as arthritis or cancer. For other patients, there is no discernable physical reason for chronic pain. While there is not typically a way to cure chronic pain, at the offices of Dr. B. Abraham, P.C., we help patients manage pain through medication, physical therapy/occupational therapy, and referrals to pain specialist based on the level of pain and the best combination of options.
Dr. Abraham will thoroughly examine respiratory and circulatory systems to find the cause of your illness. Diagnostic testing may be required. Once a diagnosis is reached, Dr. Abraham will determine the proper treatment method.
Sexual Diseases (STDs)
At the offices of Dr. B. Abraham, P.C., we offer diagnosis and treatment for a number of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). STDs vary widely, as some are caused by bacterial, some by viruses, and others by parasites. The cause of an STD determines what treatments are available. Bacterial and parasitic STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or trichomoniasis, can often be cured with antibiotics as long as the disease is diagnosed and treated early, although some strains of gonorrhea are becoming increasingly resistant to medications. Viral STDs, such as herpes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and human papillomavirus (HPV), currently are not curable. However, we can help patients to manage the symptoms and in some cases can use medications to weaken the virus in order to lower the risk of transmission to others and minimize the occurrence of symptoms.
Because many STDs do not display symptoms in their earlier stages but may results in long-term health effects, we encourage all patients to receive regular STD screenings. The frequency of your recommended screenings is based on a number of risk factors, which we can discuss with each patient during their first appointment.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the area of the neck right below where the Adam’s apple would be located. Typically, the thyroid is a gland responsible for producing thyroid hormones that are carried throughout the blood and regulates your heart beat, body temperature, blood pressure and weight. For some, the thyroid is unable to produce a sufficient amount of the hormone to be absorbed and utilized by the body. More women than men are affected by thyroid disease but most thyroid diseases can be managed if diagnosed early and properly treated.
There are two main types of thyroid diseases:
- Hypothyroidism – producing too little thyroid hormone
- Hyperthyroidism – producing too much thyroid hormone
The severity of your thyroid disease can range from mild (enlarged glands; relatively harmless for patients) to life-threatening thyroid cancers (although rare among patients). At Dr. B. Abraham, P.C., we perform diagnostic examinations (i.e. thyroid ultrasound and lab tests) to test the level of thyroid that is produced and absorbed into the body to determine the best treatment for your condition. Our treatments can include referral medication, lifestyle changes or surgery, for more extensive thyroid diseases. If necessary, we will refer you to an endocrinologist.
Our body’s vascular system is made up of a network of blood vessels that are responsible for carrying blood to and from our hearts (made up of arteries, veins and capillaries). Many of our day to day functions rely on getting adequate blood supply to travel throughout the entire body and vascular disease, while common, can be detrimental to your health.
Vascular diseases occur when the vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, kidneys and other important organs narrow and restrict the blood flow. There are several risk factors that increase a person’s chance of developing a vascular disease including:
- Family medical history
- Age (those 45 and older tend to have a higher risk)
- Smoking history
- Weight (obese patients are increased risk)
- High blood pressure/cholesterol
Blood clots, thickened arteries, weakened blood vessels or internal bleeding are commonly associated with vascular disease, however it’s important to note that symptoms may not appear until an artery has actually become blocked or too narrow but generally include numbness, weakness, cramping, pain, stiffness and coldness. We will work with you to help manage your symptoms and reduce the progression of the disease to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Lifestyle changes of incorporating balanced diet and exercise can help mitigate vascular disease symptoms as well as medication, or in more severe cases, surgery to help relieve any blood clots or blocked arteries and restore better function to your vascular system.