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Posts for: February, 2020

February 25, 2020
Category: Family Medicine
Tags: wellness visits  

Developing illnesses is an unfortunate and inevitable part of life. Fortunately, visiting your family physician for regular wellness visits can safeguard you from experiencing the worst of these conditions. Get more information from Dr. Joel Biggers and Dr. Elizabeth Biggers at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL.

What are Annual Wellness Visits with Your Family Physician

These appointments generally include the following:

  • Physical exam

  • Immunization updates

  • Tracking child development

  • Identifying potential problems

  • Information on health trends

  • Nutrition and physical fitness recommendations

  • Managing emergencies and illnesses

You can also use this time to discuss specific children's concerns related to behavior, learning, and puberty.

Gender and Age Specifics

Your healthcare needs vary based on your age and gender. For instance, older women need bone-density tests and older adults, in general, are advised to undergo a colorectal cancer test. In contrast, younger women require pap smears regularly, and younger men are often examined for hernias.

Regular vaccinations are essential for all ages. The types of vaccinations vary over the years. To determine when to schedule specific vaccinations, refer to resources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC provides the most up-to-date information regarding vaccinations based on age.

During your visit, the physician measures your blood pressure and BMI. Some physicians perform yearly blood tests to find out if you are at risk for potential problems such as high cholesterol or diabetes.

Scheduling Regular Check-ups in Brandon, FL

Your health should be a priority. Schedule regular check-ups to screen for potential problems. Before your appointment, make a list of any questions you have regarding your health. Ask for recommendations to specialists, including mental healthcare providers.

Bring a list of current drugs you are taking, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs, including nutritional supplements. Check with relatives if unsure about your family history.

To learn more about annual wellness visits, make an appointment with Dr. Joel Biggers and Dr. Elizabeth Biggers at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, at (813) 655-4646.

February 24, 2020
Tags: Osteopathic  

How osteopathic wellcare from your doctors in Brandon, FL, can make a difference in your health

If you think medicine is all about prescription medications, you need to discover the difference that osteopathic wellcare can make in your life. A method focusing on your whole person, not just individual parts, osteopathic wellcare is all about keeping you well by preventing disease.

Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, offer osteopathic wellcare that can make a difference in your health.

What osteopathic medicine can do for you

Osteopathic medicine uses all of the tools and techniques of conventional medicine including x-rays, laboratory testing, and other diagnostic tools, combined with a different approach. Osteopathic wellcare focuses on your body as an interrelated organism, with all parts of your body dependent on each other to create an environment of optimal health and vitality.

Osteopathic wellcare is designed with the goal of preventing illnesses and diseases before they can occur. Osteopathic treatments are proactive to prevent disease, not reactive, as in reacting to disease after it has happened.

Taking a holistic approach, osteopathic medicine uses all the best knowledge and techniques from Eastern and Western medicine. Your osteopathic doctor will perform regular examinations to keep you healthy, including taking blood pressure and other vital stats, dietary counseling, current medication regimen, lifestyle factors, the amount of exercise you add into your life, and your stress levels.

If you do get sick, your doctors at Biggers Family Medicine also treat all types of illnesses and diseases including:

  • Viruses and bacterial infections like colds, the flu, or pneumonia
  • Strains and sprains of muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Chronic pain from an injury, accident, or other cause

You can rely on the doctors at Biggers Family Medicine for all of your medical needs including physicals for work, sports, or school, vaccinations against infectious diseases, and to answer any questions you have about medical care.

Contact us

If you want more than conventional medicine has to offer, it’s time to discover what osteopathic wellcare can do for you. To learn more, call Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, today by dialing (813) 655-4646.

February 24, 2020
Category: Family Medicine
Tags: Acute  

People often confuse acute and chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are long term and may last a lifetime. The acute illness appears suddenly and may go away in a few days. More severe acute conditions need medical attention or, in some cases, hospitalization. At Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, Dr. Joel Biggers, and Dr. Elizabeth Biggers want patients to be aware of signs and symptoms of acute diseases that need medical attention.

What are Acute Diseases?

Acute diseases can appear suddenly. Some, such as a common cold, may only last a short period. Acute conditions can be severe. The term acute refers to the length of the disease. Examples of acute diseases include the following:

  • Appendicitis
  • Acute leukemia
  • Strep throat
  • Influenza

Severe conditions may require hospitalization, such as pneumonia or heart attacks.

Treatment of Acute Diseases

You can recover from some acute diseases through natural healing. Treatment by Dr. Joel Bigger or Dr. Elizabeth Bigger in Brandon, FL, can hasten and ensure a full recovery.

Early diagnosis and treatment are critical in preventing acute conditions from becoming long-term diseases. Your primary care physician can provide a thorough examination and history. The examination may include laboratory or other diagnostic tests. Drugs, such as antibiotics in cases of infection, for example, are prescribed. Preventative care, including regular vaccinations, may prevent acute diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, or tetanus infections.

Sometimes, your primary care physician may recommend lifestyle changes. These can include bed rest, diet, or exercise. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for further treatment.

Your primary care physician is familiar with your health history and is often the best choice for treating and preventing acute illnesses.

Managing Acute Emergencies

Some acute symptoms are life-threatening and require immediate care. In these cases, you need to go directly to an emergency room. Examples of acute emergencies include the following conditions.

  • Acute asthma attacks
  • Myocardial infarctions (heart attacks)
  • Anaphylactic shock (allergic reaction)
  • Hypoglycemic coma
  • Convulsions
  • Head injuries and trauma

If you are unsure whether your condition is life-threatening, refer to the following list of symptoms that require emergency attention.

  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Change in vision
  • Chest pain lasting up to two minutes or longer
  • Confusion, abnormal behavior, difficulty walking or speaking
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Fainting, dizziness, sudden weakness
  • Severe or continuous vomiting or diarrhea
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Uncontrolled bleeding

Your primary care physician should be informed of emergencies as he or she will provide follow-up care.

To learn more about acute diseases and preventative care, make an appointment with Dr. Joel Biggers or Dr. Elizabeth Biggers at Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, at (813) 655-4646.

February 20, 2020
Category: Cardiovascular
Tags: Heart Disease  

Could you be at risk for heart disease? Also known as cardiovascular disease, the disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. Your Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, can help you protect your health and decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease includes several different types of conditions, including narrowing of blood vessels and arteries, heart valve problems, abnormal heartbeats/rhythm, and defects, diseases, and conditions that affect the heart muscle.

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a common cause of heart disease. It occurs when plaque collects in the walls of arteries, impeding the normal flow of blood to the heart and brain. Plaque, a substance comprised of cholesterol, calcium, and fat, is soft and sticky at first but soon becomes hard and inflexible.

Who is at risk for heart disease?

You may be more likely to develop heart disease if:

  • You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • You're a man or a post-menopausal woman.
  • You're 65 or older.
  • You smoke.
  • Other members of your family have had heart disease.
  • You often eat foods that are high in salt, sugar, cholesterol, and fat.
  • You often feel stressed.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You're obese or don't exercise regularly.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Chest pain doesn't always occur if you have heart disease. In fact, many symptoms of heart disease can be subtle at first. Symptoms may not occur at all during the early stages of the disease. In addition to chest pain, symptoms may include:

  • Palpitations or fluttering in your chest or throat
  • Racing heart or skipped heartbeats
  • Pressure in the chest, arm, shoulder, jaw, abdomen, or back
  • Swelling in your ankles, feet, or hands
  • Fatigue after minor exertion
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

It's important to pay a visit to your Brandon doctor if you have any of these symptoms or have risk factors for heart disease. Go to the emergency room immediately if you experience chest, jaw, or arm pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, fainting, sweating, or pressure or a squeezing sensation in your chest.

Concerned? Give us a call

Are you concerned that you may have heart disease? Call your primary care physicians in Brandon, FL, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, today by dialing (813) 655-4646.

February 19, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Weight Loss  

Losing weight makes shopping for clothes easier, but that's far from the only benefit. In fact, weight loss offers a simple, effective way to improve your health. If you've been struggling with your weight, your primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, can help you find a weight loss strategy to shed those extra pounds.

How Weight Loss Affects Your Body

Losing weight, even if you only take off 10 or 20 pounds, is an easy way to stay healthy and avoid many chronic diseases and conditions. Weight loss offers these advantages for your health:

  • Reduced Risk of Diabetes: Diabetes is on the rise in the U.S. In fact, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with the disease every year, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes increases your risk of kidney disease, vision loss, nerve damage, stroke, and heart attack. Losing weight can help decrease your risk of developing diabetes and may even reverse pre-diabetes.
  • Improvements in Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol: High blood pressure and high cholesterol, common factors in heart disease, can be prevented or controlled by maintaining a healthy weight. Carrying excess pounds also stresses your heart and makes it work harder.
  • Lower Likelihood of a Stroke: Strokes can affect your ability to speak, think, and move, changing your life forever. Fortunately, losing weight can help you reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke.
  • Better Stamina and Endurance: Exercising or even walking your dog around the block can be difficult when you're overweight. Thanks to your weight loss efforts, you'll notice improved stamina and endurance whether you're cleaning the house or competing in a marathon in the Brandon area.
  • Less Joint Pain: The more you weigh, the greater the chance that you'll develop arthritis or another joint condition. Losing weight eases pressure on your joints and can help increase mobility and range of motion.
  • Lower Risk of Sleep Apnea: Fat doesn't just collect around your abdomen, but it builds up in nearly every part of your body, including your throat. If your throat narrows due to excess fat, you may develop sleep apnea, a condition that causes dangerous breathing pauses while you sleep.

Contact Us Today

Are you ready to lose weight but need a little help? Call Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine in Brandon, FL, at (813) 655-4646 to schedule your appointment.