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Viewing posts from: April 2016

Skin Cancer – Are you applying enough sunscreen?

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url-1 Many people head to the beach for spring break, or use it as a great opportunity to spend time outdoors. More often than not that also means you’re spending time outside in the sun.You are pretty good about applying sunscreen, but how often should you be applying it? Some common sunscreen ingredients, including the physical (or mineral) blockers zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, can make the skin look white, at least until the product is adequately absorbed. These sunscreens physically “block” skin from the sun, and they have several advantages. They tend to work immediately, unlike chemical sunscreens, which need to be absorbed before they work effectively. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide also screen out a wide range of the sun’s cancer-causing ultraviolet A (UVA) and B (UVB) radiation -  zinc oxide, in particular, effectively blocks all parts of the UV spectrum. Protection from both UVA and UVB is necessary, and some chemical sunscreens don’t provide comparably broad- spectrum defense. Also, physical blockers are preferred for young children’s sensitive skin, and for people who may have concerns about certain ingredients in chemical sunscreens. It is very unlikely that you’re applying too much sunscreen — most people don’t apply enough, which is why undesirable sunburns and tanning can occur despite sunscreen application. To achieve the Sun Protection Factor (SPF, which protects against the sun’s UVB radiation) reflected on a bottle of sunscreen, you should use approximately two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. In practice, this means applying the equivalent of a shot glass (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to the exposed areas of the face and body – a nickel-sized dollop to the face alone. If you’re using a spray, apply until an even sheen appears on the skin. Remember that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently after swimming, heavy perspiration, or toweling off. Also remember, no matter how much sunscreen you apply, the SPF should be 15 or higher for adequate protection – and ideally 30 or higher for extended time spent outdoors. In addition to using sunscreen, seek shade whenever possible, and wear sun-protective clothing, broad-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses. For more information about sunscreen, talk to your doctor.  

Irritable Bowel Syndrome  (IBS)

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urlIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects your large intestine or colon.  IBS commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition that more often than not will need to be managed long term. Even though signs and symptoms are uncomfortable, IBS, unlike ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, which are forms of inflammatory bowel disease, doesn't cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Only a small number of people with irritable bowel syndrome have severe signs and symptoms. Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress. Others will need medication and counseling. Contact your doctor if you would like more information about IBS.

Organ Donation

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one-organ-donor-eight-lives Did you know, you can save a life even after you pass away? Read the recent press release below about the myths and facts of organ donation! --- LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- April is Donate Life Month, which is a good reminder of how important organ and tissue donation is to our community and around the world. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, more than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ and a new person joins the list every 10 minutes. Every person that signs up to be a donor can save up to eight lives. Jason Wellen, M.D., M.B.A., Surgical Director of the combined Kidney/Pancreas Program at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, along with Mark Mastroianni, former kidney and pancreas transplant patient, clear up the misconceptions about donating. Myth 1: I signed the back of my driver's license so i don`t need to tell anyone that i want to be an organ donor. Fact: By the time your will is read or doctors see your driver's license or donor card, it may be too late to recover your organs and/or tissue. Telling your family, now, that you want to be an organ and tissue donor and enrolling, today, in the organ and tissue donor registry is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Myth 2: I am too old or too sick to become an organ and tissue donor. Fact: Anyone can be a potential organ and tissue donor regardless of age, race, demographics or medical history. Myth 3: In case of an emergency, the doctors may not do everything to save me. Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ and tissue donation can only be considered after all life-saving options have been explored. Myth 4: Only hearts, livers and kidneys can be transplanted. Fact: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated includes the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons. For more information visit:  or

Transferring Medical Records is Easy!

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Medical recordWith several physicians in Pueblo retiring, you'll need to set yourself up with a great physician to take care of you and your family. And the good news is it's easy! University Family Medicine Center is taking new patients and the process to transfer your medical records is simple. Requesting your medical records from your old physician is the following process:

  • Fill out an authorization form giving one medical provider permission to share your records with another.
  • Mark on that form which types of records you want included.
  • Pay any fees that result (if any)
Your records would arrive at your new physician's office within a few weeks, and if there is any transaction fee, you will receive a bill by mail for the transaction. If your previous physician's office is using an electronic health records system, the process is even easier. But, even if they’re still relying on a fax machine, most records offices can still fulfill this request within a few weeks. Don't be scared to ask for your records. They are yours. According to the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows you to receive copies of your medical records, whether they’re held by health care providers or your insurance company. Under this rule, providers cannot deny your request for records if you owe them money. They also cannot charge you for having to locate and retrieve your records. However, they are allowed to charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of copying and mailing the paperwork. These fees vary from provider to provider. Interesting in joining our practice? Contact us today!

April is National Autism Awareness Month

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imagesaprilAutism Did you know April is National Autism Awareness Month? The first National Autism Awareness Month was held by the Autism Society in April 1970. The goal of this month is to educate the public and bring awareness about autism. The Autism Society, Autism is a complex mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Autism can be be present from birth or form during early childhood (typically within the first three years). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause. People with autism are classed as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the terms autism and ASD are often used interchangeably. A wide spectrum disorder, people will autism have set of symptoms unique to themselves; no two people are the same. Autism is a complex disability. Levels of autism vary person, to person, but some of the characteristics in autistic patients include: Social Skills: people with autism often find it hard to interact with others. While some autistic children do not have adequate playing and talking skills. Mild symptoms on one end of the spectrum may be displayed through clumsy behavior, being out of sync with those around them and inappropriate or offensive comments being made. At the other end of the spectrum an autistic person may not be interested in others. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand the feelings of another person. Some with autism find it harder to show empathy to others although they can be taught to acknowledge the others feelings. Physical Contact: in some cases, physical contact such as hugs, tickling or physical play with others is not liked. Sudden Changes To Their Environment: Asudden change in the surrounding environment may affect a person with autism. The could be a loud noise, a change in intensity of lighting or even a change in smell. Speech: Sometimes speech can be affected in people with autism. 'Echolalia' is a typical speech symptom in which the person repeats words and phrases that they hear. The speech tone of an autistic person may be monotonous. Where symptoms are more extreme the person may not speak. These are just a few of the characteristics of autism, The Autism Society of America also run a year long campaign through their 1 Power 4 Autism initiative, in which people are encouraged to hold events to raise awareness and support for those affected by autism.To learn more, visit the Autism Society’s website.