First, with the weather heating up and thousands across east Idaho taking advantage of the outdoors, it’s more important than ever to cover up to avoid sunburn and reduce your chances of skin cancer. Choose an SPF that is at least 30 and wear light, loose fitting clothing that covers your arms, legs and head whenever possible.
Here at Bingham Memorial’s 1st Choice Urgent Care, we are here for all of your urgent care needs this summer. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (208) 785-4100.
Idaho is beautiful and blooming in spring and summer. Unfortunately, this means irritating allergies for many of us.
The most common seasonal allergy culprits are pollen; namely tree, ragweed or grass pollen. Ragweed pollen season usually peaks later in the year, typically in the late summer.
Here are our tips to avoid allergies as much as possible this summer:
Grass pollen levels are largely affected by temperature, time of day and rain. When the weather is dry and windy, grass pollen levels are likely to be higher. Rain tends to keep grass pollen levels down. If you suffer from grass pollen allergies, avoid mowing the lawn. You should also avoid working in the lawn directly after it has been mowed. Avoid the outdoors in the early morning hours, when pollen levels are highest.
Trees are one of the earliest pollen producers. Even if they are not on your property, trees can aggravate your allergies. If you buy trees for your yard, look for species that do not aggravate allergies.
If the weather is warm, use the air conditioner instead of using fans that will blow the pollen into the air. It is also recommended that you dry your clothes in an automatic dryer rather than hanging them outside, especially in the wind.
Antihistamines and decongestants in the form of eye drops, nasal sprays, liquids and pills are all effective methods of managing allergy symptoms. Additionally, many over-the-counter medications can relieve allergy symptoms. However, you should consult with a physician before you begin taking any new medications.
Don’t let allergies slow you down this year. If you or someone you love suffers from seasonal allergies, or has any questions about the treatment options available for relief, get help from one of our family practice physicians by calling 785-4100.
- Know your numbers. Learn your weight. Keep it at a healthy level.
- Eat your greens. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Avoid salty and fatty foods.
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke. Both can increase your blood pressure.
- Exercise, any way you can. You don’t have to go to the gym to be fit. It’s also good to move your arms and legs while you sit, or walk as far as you are able.
- Take your pills. Follow the directions. If you have any questions or worries about it, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Check in with your doctor. You should have your blood pressure checked regularly. Your doctor can help you avoid a heart attack, so listen up!
The time has come for the indoor activities to make their way into the sun.
Being active is an important part of your overall health, but many Americans have one concern: joint pain. When left untreated, joint pain can cause your body to compensate for the damaged area, which can complicate your recovery.
While joint pain is most commonly associated with arthritis, repetitive physical activity and injury can also cause damage or pain. Some ways to help protect your joints include stretching, drinking water, allowing your body to properly cool down after workouts, and consulting your doctor when you experience pain.
“With all of its positive effects, exercise does have potential risks,” Dr. Richardson warns. “Injuries can occur and pain can be very debilitating. If you have pain in your limbs or joints, starting an intense exercise program may not be the right thing for you. Your orthopedic surgeon can evaluate you prior to beginning an exercise program or sport and give you tips/treatments to get you ready to participate safely.”
Here are several ways to help protect your joints while enjoying the great outdoors.
• Remember to use proper stretching and warm up techniques.
• Before, during, and after a workout or physical activity, drink plenty of water.
• Allow time for your body to cool down by taking a walk after vigorous activity.
• Use proper equipment (footwear, braces, helmets etc.).
• Consult a doctor if you have repeated or lasting pain in/or around the joints.
As a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Richardson is trained to help you get back to doing what you love. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Richardson, call 239-8000.
The children are playing, the birds are chirping, and the music is loud. The problem is, a large number of Americans can’t hear them due to hearing loss.
Loss of hearing is the third most common physical condition, next to arthritis and heart disease.
While there is a strong correlation between hearing loss and age, it is not the only reason people lose their hearing. Anyone, at any age, can become subject to hearing loss if they experience the following:
- Congenital Hearing Loss
- Gunfire Explosion
- Every day noises, such as loud music or machinery
- Injury to the head or ear
- Earwax buildup
- Ear infections
- Ruptured Eardrum
- Object in the ear
Loss of hearing can be damaging to relationships and daily life. We can help. For the month of May, we are offering free speech and hearing screenings. Screenings are offered for both adults and children and include hearing, speech/language, and voice screenings. Free screenings are offered in both our Blackfoot and Pocatello clinics. To schedule an appointment for your free screening, please call (208) 782-3733 for pediatric screenings and (208) 785-3883 for adult screenings.
Growing up, our grandparents didn’t know all the dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Today, we know the risks and how to protect ourselves: with sunscreen. However, there are still lots of questions when it comes to sunscreen.
Dermatologists suggest using one ounce each day. An ounce of sunscreen is roughly the size of a shot glass. Most people don’t apply that much, or they don’t reapply it frequently enough. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours while outside, or every 45 minutes while swimming.
Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you head outdoors so your skin has time to absorb it. And use common sense: Limit outdoor activities when the sun is strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., or keep to the shade; wear UV-protective sunglasses; and don’t forget to slick on an SPF-containing lip balm. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a sunscreen rated at least sun protection factor (SPF) 15. This protects against 93 percent of UVB rays, whose absorption is linked to sunburn and skin cancer.
Skin care experts recommend using higher SPF sunscreens to offer greater protection. Even “sport” or “waterproof” options need to be reapplied. Choose a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection against both UVB and UVA rays. These rays reach your skin more deeply and cause your skin to age and create wrinkles. They also can cause skin cancer.
With these precautions, we can ensure that we are able to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
We’re rounding out American Heart Month, and want to take a moment to talk to you about one of the most important factors you should take into consideration when thinking about your heart health: cholesterol.
You’ve probably heard the word cholesterol from your doctor before, or from ads on TV. But have you ever really stopped to understand what cholesterol really is?
Put simply, your cholesterol level how much cholesterol you have in your blood. Cholesterol itself is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of your body. When doctors talk about watching your cholesterol, they’re specifically talking about how much cholesterol you have in your blood.
Why? Because a build-up of too much “bad cholesterol” can lead to a plaque-like building in parts of your circulatory system, which may put you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
That’s right, there is such thing as “bad” and “good” cholesterol. Your body actually needs cholesterol in order to function. Good cholesterol is known as HDL. Doctors recommend your HDL levels be at least somewhere about 40 mg/dL (your doctor will be able to show you and explain these numbers when you are tested).
As far as bad cholesterol, or LDL, experts recommend keeping your levels between 100 and 130 mg/dL. Anything above that may be cause for concern.
There are actually some things you can do to prevent your cholesterol levels from putting you at risk from heart disease. Eating healthy, especially with an emphasis on fiber and whole grains, has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. And getting regular exercise has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol levels.
Just being aware of what your cholesterol numbers are is vitally important to your health. If you’ve never had your cholesterol checked, now is the time to find out where you’re at. Many of the symptoms of high cholesterol aren’t noticeable to you until damage has already been done to your body.
That’s why it’s so important to know your numbers. A visit with one of our internal medicine physicians can help you get on the right track to managing your cholesterol. Call 785-3838 for Dr. Cory Brown or 785-5801 for Dr. Saad Hijazi. And get to know your numbers this Heart Health month.
Most people with diabetes know how important it is to monitor their blood sugar. But making sure you’re taking care of other parts of your body is also key to preventing complications from diabetes.You could be at risk for some of the following foot conditions if you have diabetes:
- Neuropathy (tingling or loss of feeling)
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Skin cracking and peeling
- Possible amputation
What You Can Do
Like all chronic diseases, diabetes requires constant care and attention in order to prevent complications. That’s why taking care of your feet is so important. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, diabetic foot conditions contribute to as many as 80 percent of non-traumatic foot amputation cases each year. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Regular monitoring of your feet is key. Any changes to the look or feeling of your feet may be a warning sign. And with diabetes, it’s important to act on warning signs quickly, as early detection could make the difference.
That’s why Dr. Dan Robinson, foot and ankle specialist at Bingham Memorial Hospital, offers regular diabetic foot screenings every other Monday in his office. He can help prevent problems before they happen. Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms now, it’s still important to have your feet evaluated on a regular basis due to common conditions associated with diabetes.
At your initial visit, Dr. Robinson will establish a “baseline” for your foot health, which will allow him to regularly monitor any changes that may happen over time to your feet. Regular check-ups ensure irregularities are caught earlier than self-monitoring alone. And if you do develop a diabetic foot condition, Dr. Robinson can help you come up with a healthcare plan that fits your individual needs.
For more information about Dr. Robinson’s diabetic foot screening clinic, or to set up an appointment, contact his office today at 782-2490.
Bingham Memorial Hospital today presented Bingham County Commissioners with a check in the amount of $356,628.33, the latest payment made as a result of an agreement signed in 2007 when the hospital converted from a county owned and operated facility to a non-profit, 501(c)3 private entity. The payment amount includes the annual lease payment for the liquid asset transfer, reimbursement for indigent care provided by the county to area residents and a percentage of excess revenues over expenses as dictated by the agreement.
The press conference was held at the Bingham Memorial facility with Bingham Memorial board of directors and hospital administrator, Louis Kraml. County Commissioner, Cleone Jolley, was in attendance to receive the check.
The Bingham Memorial board of directors chairman, Lee Kniffin, said, “We’re pleased to provide this payment to the County Commissioners to further benefit residents of Bingham County. We are proud of the work that we do at Bingham Memorial, our commitment to provide world-class patient care, and of the positive impact the hospital has on the local community, including the employment of more than 650 area residents. We look forward to the coming years as Bingham Memorial continues to bring state-of-the-art care to the residents of Southeast Idaho.”
In 2007, Bingham Memorial Hospital and County Commissioners signed a contract that would collect $150,000 per year for the liquid asset transfer, collect up to $150,000 for a percent of excess revenues over expenses and collect up to $150,000 in reimbursements for indigent care provided by the County to area residents. This year the payment includes $150,000 for the liquid asset transfer, $150,000 for the excess of revenues over expenses and $56,628.33 in indigent care reimbursement.
In aggregate, Bingham Memorial Hospital has paid out more than $1.5 million over the course of five years to the benefit of Bingham County residents.
“This is the latest example of how Bingham Memorial is positively impacting the community we serve,” said Louis Kraml, Administrator of Bingham Memorial Hospital. “We work hard to provide an environment where our patients can be assured they are receiving the best care available. We do this by recruiting the finest, most talented doctors in their fields, creating a hospital atmosphere that is nurturing for our guests, and putting together community outreach programs that benefit our residents like our free “Brake for Breakfast” breast cancer awareness event to be held Wednesday October 3rd. We’re pleased to present this check to Bingham County.”
Bingham Memorial Hospital is the fifth largest employer in Bingham County and provides care for residents of Southeast Idaho, treating close to 120,000 patients per year.
For millions of people who suffer from arthritis, there’s no imagining. The pain is real. Arthritis is a condition that affects nearly 50 million people in the United States. And of those 50 million, over 90 percent have or will develop arthritis in the feet or ankles, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body is actually attacking its own systems. With arthritis, the joints in the body are attacked, causing pain and inflammation. When the joints of the feet are affected, it can have a tremendous impact on quality of life. Just getting from the couch to the kitchen seems like a monumental task for someone suffering from arthritis of the feet and ankles.
That’s why Dr. Dan Robinson, foot and ankle specialist here at Bingham Memorial Hospital, has developed a new FREE seminar aimed at those suffering from this condition. In his new seminar, Dr. Robinson will explore some of the options available for people suffering from pain associated with arthritis of the foot and ankle.
This seminar will be offered in three different locations around east Idaho throughout the fall. The locations and dates are:
Blackfoot – September 20
Pocatello – October 16
Idaho Falls – November 29
Dr. Robinson is committed to helping you live your life without pain and, when possible, without surgery. Minimally invasive options are available depending on your situation.
“Another thing we’ll discuss is some of the bracing and medication treatments available conservatively for these particular issues,” says Dr. Robinson.
Don’t let foot and ankle pain dictate how you live your life any more. Come to Dr. Robinson’s free seminar at 6 p.m. next Thursday in the Medical Office Building across from Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot. There is no obligation and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions specific to you. Register online now by going to www.MyFreeSeminar.org or by calling 782-2937.