If you had diabetes, would you know it? Sadly, many diabetics are not diagnosed for early on, this chronic disease may not present any identifiable symptoms. Here at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, Dr. Joel Biggers and Dr. Elizabeth Biggers watch their patients carefully for signs of diabetes, particularly if they have risk factors. Read on to learn more about diabetes, its dangers, and how you can manage it:
What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic endocrine disease that elevates glucose levels in the blood. According to the University of Iowa, 40 million Americans have something called pre-diabetes, and a full 20 million have the full-blown diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of diabetes? A fasting blood sugar blood test tells your physician at Biggers Family Medicine if you have diabetes or may be at risk for developing it. Sadly, many diabetics don't display any symptoms whatsoever. However, others experience excessive urination, extreme thirst, weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing, numbness, and tingling in the lower extremities.
What causes diabetes? Heredity plays a significant role, especially in juvenile, or Type 1, diabetes. Additional factors are obesity, high cholesterol, a rich diet, inactivity, and pregnancies in which an infant weighs 9 pounds or more. Some women also experience gestational diabetes in which their blood sugars are high while they are pregnant but return to normal in the postpartum period.
How do the doctors at Biggers Family Medicine treat diabetes? Much depends on weight reduction, healthy eating, medications (such as insulin), and raising your activity level. Many patients test their blood sugars at home to maintain good control.
What other health factors affect my blood sugars? High cholesterol and hypertension increase blood glucose levels and the body's ability to manage them. Stress or an acute illness, such as the flu, can impact them as well. Controlling all these factors helps patients avoid complications such as peripheral artery disease, diabetic retinopathy, stroke, heart attack and more.
What is normal blood glucose? Typically, it is 100 mg/dl or lower as revealed by routine blood work ordered by your physician. Higher levels may indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes, and your doctor may want additional tests for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.
Find out more
Do you suspect you have diabetes? Contact your friends at Biggers Family Medicine for an appointment with Dr. Joel Biggers or Dr. Elizabeth Biggers. They'll help you stay on top of your condition, avoid complications, and feel your best. Phone our Brando, FL, office today at (813) 655-4646.
Here in Brandon, FL, we provide preventive health care to women of all ages.
Women’s health is a complex issue, and it constantly changes as patients grow older. Fortunately, here in Brandon, FL, our primary care physicians, Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers, provide women of all ages with the medical care they need, treating everything from reproductive problems to arthritis, depression, and migraines. From young teens to seniors, we offer comprehensive healthcare that women living in Brandon, FL, can trust time and time again.
Learn about the various treatment options that are offered for women of all ages.:
When we think of hormone therapy, we often think of women who are going through menopause or premenopause; however, the trust of the matter is, that women of all ages can deal with hormonal imbalances. Common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include,
- Vaginal dryness
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular periods
- Chronic fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then it’s a good idea to call our Brandon, FL, office to schedule an evaluation. Based on your medical history and the symptoms that you are experiencing, we can run a simple blood test to check everything from hormone and blood sugar levels to thyroid functionality. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help balance out low estrogen levels to reduce symptoms.
A mammogram is another important screening tool that takes x-rays of the breast to look for early signs of breast cancer. It's important to note here that you don’t have to be experiencing symptoms in order to undergo a mammogram. In fact, women between the ages of 45 to 54 should start getting annual mammograms while women between the ages of 40 to 44 should consider doing the same (this is particularly important for women who are at an increased risk for breast cancer). Women 55 years and older can continue to get annual screenings or come in every two years.
Gynecological Treatments and Preventative Healthcare
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that young girls have their first gynecological visit between the ages of 13 and 15. This normally coincides with puberty, when they have their first menstrual periods. The first pap smear (a preventative test to check the cells on their cervix) will usually happen around age 21 or when the patient becomes sexually active. Another important preventative gynecological treatment for parents to consider is immunization for HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that could put some women at risk for cervical cancer.
Call us at our new office
Women of all ages can benefit from establishing a relationship with a primary care physician who also takes care of a wide range of women’s health needs. You’ll find that at Biggers Family Medicine, P.A. in Brandon, FL. To schedule an appointment, call our office at (813) 655-4646.
"A primary care physician is a specialist in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or Pediatrics who provides definitive care to the undifferentiated patient at the point of first contact, and takes continuing responsibility for providing the patient's comprehensive care," says the American Academy of Family Physicians. Here at Biggers Family Medicine, in Brandon, FL, our primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers, provide a number of services to boost the health of their patients—read on to learn more.
Here is a few service your primary care physician can provide:
- Treating Acute Diseases: Acute diseases, like influenza virus and the common cold, come on suddenly and go away in a day or two. When symptoms affect babies, children, and those with weak immune systems, you need to consult your doctor. Symptoms of acute diseases include nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, chills, fever, body aches, sore throat, malaise, and nausea.
- Treating Chronic Diseases: Chronic diseases last a minimum of three months and can't be prevented by vaccinations. Chronic diseases appear as we age but younger people can get sick as well. Examples of chronic diseases include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy/seizures, obesity, and oral health problems.
- Preventative Care: Preventive family medicine maintains a person's health and protects against disease, disability or death. The only way to do this is when patients come in for routine visits. This includes going to your Brandon primary care physician for your child's wellness visits, stay updated on immunizations, routine blood work, blood pressure check, annual pap smears and advice on preventive lifestyle changes.
- Women's Health Care: This type of service focuses on women's needs, like reproductive and sexual health. Women have a higher risk of contracting/developing chronic health issues, like migraines, arthritis, or depression. Women's health care consists of family medical services and screenings, like mammography, hormone therapy, pregnancy and childbirth, reproductive disorders (e.g. polycystic ovarian syndrome), osteoporosis, heart disease, bladder health, gynecological checkups, and immunizations.
If you would like to learn more about what Biggers Family Medicine can offer, be sure to call our office in Brandon, FL, today by dialing (813) 655-4646.
It's vitally important to keep your household as healthy as possible, and we here at Biggers Family Medicine aim to do just that. They provide their patients with dedicated primary care physicians who tailor their medical care in accordance to patients' medical needs. One of the many advantages of family medicine is that doctors treat a variety of conditions, people of all ages and all genders.
Biggers Family Medicine provides the following services:
- Treatment of Acute Diseases
- Treatment of Chronic Diseases
- Annual Checkups
- Preventive Care
- Women's Health Care
- Mental Health Care
- Family Medicine
- Osteopathic Medicine
So, how does one become a family physician?
Family physicians need specialized training for the wide spectrum of people that they provide with medical care. They need to be well-equipped in providing custom-care as well and to do that, you need training and a larger base of knowledge.
Family medicine enables your physicians to do the following:
- Look through your family history and determine the best ways to reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
- Help you stay on top of your immunizations, especially if you're a new parent.
- Provide patients with different forms of screening tests and medical counseling to diagnose acute and chronic health diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Offer patients reliable, trustworthy and invaluable medical education and care.
Need medical care? Give us a call
It doesn't matter if you need a yearly physical, need to test for allergies, or need a consultation regarding a specific problem. The physicians at Bigger Family Medicine are here to serve you and make sure that everyone in your family stays healthy. If you are interested in knowing more about family medicine and finding a family physician, don't hesitate to call Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, today by dialing (813) 655-4646.
If you want to change your Medicare coverage now is the time.
Every year from October 15th until December 7th, Medicare has its Annual Fall Open Enrollment. This open enrollment only happens once a year and it allows everyone a chance to change, enroll or even disenroll from their Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. Our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers offer up this friendly reminder that the time to change your Medicare plan is now. Don’t deal with Medicare coverage that doesn’t offer what you need.
Here are some things you should know about Medicare’s Annual Fall Open Enrollment,
- It might sound obvious but if you are satisfied with your current plan then you don’t have to do anything during this time; however, because plans can change each year you may want to take some time to look over your current plan and other Medicare plans to ensure that any care and medication you receive from our Brandon, FL, doctors will still be covered in the upcoming year.
- If you’re interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan this is the only time in which to do it. Along with enrolling yourself in a plan, you can also switch to another plan that can include prescription drug coverage.
- If you are someone who doesn’t need to take regular medication then the Advantage plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage may be better suited to your needs. The reverse is true for those who take long-term prescription medications. The Fall Open Enrollment is the only time that you can pick a new Advantage Part D plan, or prescription drug plan.
- If you want to sign up for Medicare, October 15th through December 7th is the only time to do this. Annual Fall Enrollment Period and Open Enrollment Period (which occurs January 1st through March 31st) should not be confused. The Open Enrollment Period only allows pre-existing Medicare Advantage Members to make a one-time change.
- You can enroll in a new plan simply by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. Working with Medicare directly will ensure that you get the coverage and plan you want. Make sure to write down the date and name of the representative that helped you. Confirm all the details of your new plan with Medicare to make sure you understand the plan fully before enrolling.
Here at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, your health comes first. We want healthcare to be affordable for everyone. Whether you have questions about your Medicare coverage or you need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us.
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