Category: Family Practice

Sports Physicals? – Check out What Our Providers Have To Say

While sports physicals seem to be a mere formality, they can be the key to uncovering certain signs or symptoms that can indicate the potential for something serious happening during a sporting event. Since prevention is ultimately the best practice, part of our mission is to prevent sports accidents.

Let’s take a look at some common questions answered by the professionals and also how to best prepare for your sports physical.

Sports Physicals – Check out What Our Providers Have To Say
What is the difference between a sports physical and the traditional physical exam? How often should patients get a sports physical?

Generally, sports physicals are done annually by most schools and recreational or team sport organizations. The sports physical focuses on your well-being as it relates to playing a sport. It’s more limited than a regular physical, but it’s a lot more specific to evaluating for athletic issues. You should still continue to have regular traditional physical exams annually or per the recommendation of your primary care provider.

How long does a sports physical usually take?

Generally, it takes about 20-30 minutes to gather all the necessary information and complete paperwork.

What if a problem is detected during the physical?

If you don’t get the “OK” from us, does that mean you’ll never participate in sports? No! Based on the reason the patient is not being cleared for participation at the time of the visit, our providers will arrange appropriate follow-up, either back at our clinic or with a specialist for further evaluation.

What is a sports physical comprised of?

As mentioned above, a detailed history is taken followed by a head-to-toe physical. A detailed medication history is taken from the patient or patient’s parent regarding any past medical problems, surgeries, medications, immunizations, or other pertinent information. Vital signs and vision screening are performed. Then, an in-depth physical examination takes place, usually with a chaperone present. Our experts are examining carefully for any concerning or abnormal signs that would raise a red flag for sports participation. Lastly, the provider will fill out any necessary paperwork.

sports physicals

What makes sports physicals so important?

Sports physicals are important in determining an athlete’s medical capability to participate in sports safely. Sports can be demanding on the physique. Muscles are engaged and taxed, the heart rate is elevated, breathing is more rapid as the body requires more oxygen intake. These are just a few of the many changes the body can experience. Our providers want to ensure everything is working properly as it should so our patients can feel safe and confident in whatever activity they are participating in.

If you have additional questions not answered in this blog, please consult one of our experts to help you with that.
You can contact our trusted Family Health Clinic if you have any queries in this regard or you want to book an appointment. Call us at (210) 455-6253 or at info@innovativeuc.com. We can assure you will receive comprehensive and premium quality health care.

Can Family Practice Providers Help Save A Life?

Today, we will talk about just a few of the many important reasons to have a family practice provider and the advantages it can bring to your healthcare experience. Continue reading this blog to find out more!
Usually, family practice providers do not specialize in any particular area but have vast overall knowledge of medicines and treatments.

If you experience an illness, your family practice provider will not only treat you with medication but can also arrange a referral to a specialist if it is needed.

family practice provider

Advantages of Having A Family Practice Provider

There are many benefits to having regular, close follow-up visits with a family practice provider.
We all know that disease and danger can come at any time, and the family practice provider acts as your partner in care during difficult times. He or she can help you navigate the murky waters of today’s healthcare climate to best meet your needs.

Here are some other advantages of having a family practice provider.

  • They offer support to achieve your personal health goals
  • Care is provided to patients of all ages across the lifespan
  • They take time to learn your personal history & your family history
  • They offer assistance to help you fight against any disease
  • They can help improve your life while saving you money

Research shows that developing a relationship with your family practice provider is the best way to ensure continuity in patient care, and continuity provides better health outcomes for patients.

Family practice providers are advocates for you and work with specialists and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.

Family practice providers can help manage chronic conditions such as weight gain and weight loss, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. They can also treat acute illness such as sinus infections and injuries.

Would you like to make an appointment with a family practice provider? If yes, no need to wait!

Get In Touch With an Innovative Family Practice Provider

Looking for a family practice provider? Then don’t hesitate to contact Innovative Urgent Care & Family Clinic! If you are in San Antonio, Bandera, or the surrounding areas, one of our providers can meet your needs. Our providers pride themselves on professionalism, compassion and timely patient care to get you on the path to health.

contact Innovative Urgent Care & Family Clinic!

During this pandemic, we encourage patients to utilize our telemedicine services. We offer a video call format or even simple phone visits instead of coming into the clinic if this is more suitable to you. These are secure options to visit with your provider from anywhere…using your phone…at your convenience. The providers at Innovative Urgent Care & Family Health Clinic strive to offer personalized, patient-driven care and are committed to personally knowing each patient and their values. We want to know what your ultimate goal is so that we can provide an excellent healthcare experience.

Innovative Urgent Care & Family Health Clinic, 9910 W Loop 1604 N, Suite 128, , San Antonio, TX 78254 - Phone: (210) 455-6253 Email: john@innovativeuc.com Price indication: $$
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homemade sunscreens warnings

Researchers warn against homemade sunscreen

Recent years have seen a rise in do-it-yourself care products, from deodorant to soap and toothpaste. Recipes for homemade sunscreen are some of the most popular among social media users. However, a new study warns that homemade sunscreen may offer no protection against ultraviolets.

A quick Google search for the term “homemade sunscreen” will list about 9,750,000 results. Many are recipes for “natural,” “simple,” and “nontoxic” do-it-yourself (DIY) products.

The allure of DIY sunscreen is rooted in multiple factors, such as potentially lower costs and the belief that an all-natural cream made with handpicked ingredients is more healthful than a mass-produced sunscreen with an ingredient list that features chemicals with illegible names.

However, a new study warns that we shouldn’t trust the sunscreen recipes that we find online to yield a product that offers the protection we need against sunburn.

The study comes from a team of researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, OH, and the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville. Its findings will appear in the journal Health Communication.

“The internet is a great place for families to go to for recipe inspiration and arts and crafts projects, but not necessarily for making their own safety-related things,” warns study co-author Lara McKenzie, Ph.D.

Homemade sunscreen is ‘risky’

Since social media are a top source, worldwide, when it comes to DIY products, the researchers turned their attention to one such website: Pinterest, a social platform that allows users to display moodboard-like digital collections of their interests.

Some data suggest that Pinterest is the fourth most popular social media platform in the United States, where the website had an estimated 77.4 million users in 2018.

In the current study, the researchers looked at how Pinterest users described and rated various recipes for homemade sunscreen. According to the researchers, this is the first ever study to look at the portrayal of DIY sunscreen on Pinterest.

They found that most — 95.2%, to be exact — of the saved posts (called “pins”) regarding DIY sunscreen suggested that the homemade products were effective, and 68.3% of the pins promoted DIY sunscreens that, the researchers say, did not ensure appropriate protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Moreover, the team noted that a third of the posts featuring recipes for homemade sunscreen claimed specific sun protection factor — rendered on commercial packaging as “SPF” — rankings, of anywhere from SPF 2–50.

However, the researchers warn that such claims can be misleading, since the ingredients featured in those recipes actually offer minimal protection against UV radiation.

Yet many people appear to show keen interest in these recipes pinned on Pinterest, with users saving each such pin, on average, as many as 808 times. One specific DIY sunscreen pin was saved over 21,700 times, the team saw.

In their study paper, the investigators write that “[s]ocial media has become a powerful tool for sharing health information, yet it becomes dangerous when the information being shared isn’t accurate or complete.”

This also applies when people take the information regarding homemade sunscreens for granted. The researchers explain that specialists do not test such products, and for this reason, they may not provide any protection against UV rays at all.

“Homemade sunscreen products are risky because they are not regulated or tested for efficacy like commercial sunscreens. When you make it yourself, you don’t know if it’s safe or effective.”

Lara McKenzie, Ph.D.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that having “a history of sunburns, especially early in life,” can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Thus, it is important to wear sunscreen that is tested and proven to be effective, from childhood onward, whenever exposed to strong sun.

Currently, the American Academy of Dermatology recommend using sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection — that is, protection against both UVA and UVB rays. It should also be SPF 30 or higher and water-resistant.

The same guidelines state that adults should apply about 1 ounce of sunscreen all over their skin. Individuals should reapply the cream once every couple of hours when out in the sun and even more frequently if they go swimming or become sweaty.

VITAMIN D HEALTH BENEFITS

Health Benefits Of Vitamin D & Best Sources

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin responsible for numerous body functions, ranging from supporting bone health to regulating the immune system. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D functions as a hormone, meaning that it serves as a messenger, controlling and coordinating activities throughout the body.

Vitamin D can be obtained from some foods, but the body can also create its own. Often called the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is synthesized by the body when invisible UVB rays from the sun are absorbed by the skin. Vitamin D may also be obtained through supplementation if food intake and sun exposure do not provide enough.

Vitamin D benefits

Outlined below are some of the health benefits of vitamin D.

Promotes healthy bones

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones. Bone mass is determined by a number of factors, including genetics, physical activity, and nutrition. By age 40, bone mass begins to decline, increasing our risk of fractures and osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone mass.

Calcium, a mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones, requires vitamin D for proper absorption. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain adequate calcium in the blood, which promotes bone mineralization. If vitamin D levels are not sufficient, calcium is released from the bones to help maintain blood calcium levels, contributing to soft, brittle bones.

Research suggests that supplementing with vitamin D may increase bone density, resulting in a decreased risk of osteoporosis and fracture.

Boosts immune health

The immune system, the body system responsible for defending the body from foreign invaders, is influenced by vitamin D status. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased susceptibility to infection.

Research has also identified a link between poor vitamin D status and multiple autoimmune diseases, including lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Deficiency is common in individuals with autoimmune disease, however, improving vitamin D status, though supplementation, diet, and sun exposure, may have protective effects against autoimmune disease.

Vitamin D supports the immune system by stimulating immune cells, such as macrophages and T-cells, that defend the body against harmful pathogens.

Several studies have found a correlation between optimal vitamin D levels and a decreased risk of upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. It’s believed that this protective effect is the result of an increased expression of anti-microbial peptides in the lungs.

May support healthy cardiovascular health

Vitamin D deficiency is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While existing research is inconclusive, there is some evidence to suggest that supplementing with vitamin D may support heart health by lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Supplementing with vitamin D and calcium together may decrease risk of heart failure by 25 to 37%. Furthermore, sufficient vitamin D status may reduce elevated levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), a hormone that regulates calcium in the blood. When excess PTH is secreted, risk of hypertension and heart failure increases.

One study found that vitamin D supplementation may improve blood flow. Another study of overweight adults with vitamin D deficiency investigated the effects of vitamin D supplementation on high blood pressure. After six months of supplementation, blood pressure significantly improved.

May delay age-related cognitive decline

Age-related cognitive decline may be associated with vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D receptors are found throughout the brain and research has shown that vitamin D may have neuroprotective effects, including reducing beta-amyloid plaques, a protein buildup that contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin D also acts as an antioxidant. Adequate levels of vitamin D may help reduce or prevent oxidative damage to nervous tissue that can lead to cognitive decline.

Some research suggests that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D may improve visual memory, particularly among individuals with vitamin D insufficiency. While human studies are limited, one animal study showed that vitamin D supplementation improved age-related cognitive decline.

How much vitamin D do you need?

The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) sets intake reference values for various nutrients, including vitamin D. The established recommended dietary allowance (RDA) represents a daily intake of vitamin D that is sufficient to maintain bone health and normal calcium metabolism in healthy people.

Also established is the tolerable upper intake level (UL), which represents the maximum daily amount of a nutrient that is unlikely to cause adverse effects. Since vitamin D is stored in fat cells, excess amounts can build up to dangerous levels, causing high blood calcium and damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is very common, affecting approximately 41% of the population. Low levels of vitamin D can have serious consequences and are associated with several health concerns, including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.

Certain populations are at increased risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency, including older adults, those who live in northern regions of the world, breastfed infants (often a result of low vitamin D status in the mother), individuals with darker skin, people with a BMI ≥30, and individuals with certain chronic conditions affecting fat absorption (e.g., celiac disease and ulcerative colitis).

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms

Vitamin D deficiency may manifest itself in any of the following ways:

  • Bone pain

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Muscle pain

  • Weakness

Sources of vitamin D

There are three key sources of vitamin D – sunlight, dietary sources, and supplements.

Sunlight

Sunlight is a reliable source of vitamin D. When the UVB rays from the sun (the same rays that cause sunburn) come into contact with our skin, cholesterol in skin cells reacts by converting these rays into vitamin D. The success of this reaction depends on the amount of skin exposed to sunlight, as well as the amount of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that determines the color of our skin, hair, and eyes. The more melanin your skin contains, the darker your skin, resulting in fewer amounts of UVB rays absorbed by the skin.

How much sun exposure is enough?

Spending approximately five to 30 minutes outdoors, twice per week, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. typically provides enough UVB to meet vitamin D needs. The face, arms, legs, or back, without sunscreen, should be exposed to the sun during this time. It’s important to note that sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer, so only spend short periods of time in the sun without protection.

Fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms naturally contain vitamin D.

Dietary sources

Vitamin D is naturally found in a limited number of foods, as well as in some vitamin D-fortified products. The list below outlines the most common food sources.

Natural food sources of vitamin D include:

  • Beef liver

  • Cheese

  • Egg yolk

  • Fatty fish (e.g., mackerel, salmon, and tuna)

  • Some mushrooms (e.g., chanterelle, maitake, and UV-treated portabella)

Foods fortified with vitamin D often include:

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Dairy products (e.g., milk and yogurt)

  • Non-dairy milk (e.g., soy and almond milk)

  • Orange juice

Did you know?
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, pairing vitamin D-rich foods or supplements with high-fat foods, such as avocados or nuts, can significantly increase absorption.

Supplements

People who spend limited time in the sun, don’t consume enough vitamin D-containing foods, or have low blood levels of vitamin D may benefit from a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D supplements are typically available in various forms, including capsules, chewable tablets, and drops. Talk to your healthcare practitioner, who can help determine if supplementation is right for you.

Did you know?
Vitamin K, specifically K2, is often paired with vitamin D in supplements. Vitamin K2 promotes bone calcification and minimizes the accumulation of calcium in the blood vessels.

Vitamin D supplements should only be taken on the advice of a healthcare practitioner.

The bottom line

Vitamin D deficiency is common, however, it’s feasible to get enough through adequate sun exposure and intake of vitamin D-rich foods. If you are at risk for a vitamin D deficiency, consult your integrative healthcare practitioner for testing and specific recommendations.