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What is excessive alcohol use? 7 strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking!

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease and some types of cancer. This April during Alcohol Awareness Month, Statcare Urgent Medical Care encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much. 

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community, Statcare Urgent Medical Care is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.

What is excessive alcohol use?

Excessive drinking includes:

  • Binge drinking: For women, binge drinking is 4 or more drinks consumed on one occasion (one occasion = 2-3 hours). For men, binge drinking is 5 or more drinks consumed on one occasion.
  • Underage drinking: Any alcohol use by those under age 21.
  • Heavy drinking: For women, heavy drinking is 8 drinks or more per week. For men, heavy drinking is 15 drinks or more per week.
  • Pregnant drinking: Any alcohol use by pregnant women

What is considered a "drink"?

U.S. standard drink sizes:

  • 12 ounces of 5% ABV beer
  • 8 ounces of 7% ABV malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of 12% ABV wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 40% ABV (80-proof) distilled spirits or liquor (examples: gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

If you choose to drink, do so in moderation.

  • No one should begin drinking or drink more frequently based on potential health benefits
  • Up to 1 drink a day for women
  • Up to 2 drinks a day for men
  • Don't drink at all if you are under age 21, pregnant or may be pregnant, or have health problems that could be made worse by drinking

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting.

In a 2014 study of alcohol dependence among US adult drinkers, CDC researchers found that from 2006 through 2010, excessive alcohol consumption accounted for nearly 1 in 10 deaths among working-age US adults aged 20-64.

Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  1. Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
  2. Keep track of how much you drink.
  3. Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
  4. Don't drink when you are upset.
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home.
  6. Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  7. Make a list of reasons not to drink.

If you are concerned about someone else's drinking, offer to help.

New York City has many free and low-cost services for those who wish to quit drinking. You can call New York City’s 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week hotline at 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) or visit NYC Well online.

Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Source: CDC


15 Tips For Traveling With Diabetes

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

If you have diabetes, you can enjoy all kinds of recreational travel from a week at the beach, to camping, to sightseeing across Asia. Planning ahead is the key to traveling with diabetes.

  1. Be sure to have a complete medical exam well before you travel to make sure your diabetes is under control. This will allow enough time for immunizations, if you need them, and give you time to recover from any side effects.
  2. Plan your activities so you can work on your meals and insulin injections.
  3. Make a note of all medications along with dosages. Also label all medications.
  4. Make sure you carry enough medication and syringes to last through the trip with you. Also carry equipment needed to manage your diabetes(insulin, syringes, and other medicines or devices).
  5. You may want to carry at least twice as much medicine and blood-testing supplies as you think you will need.
  6. Be sure to carry extra batteries for your glucometer.
  7. Carry a well-wrapped, airtight snack pack of snacks like (crackers, peanut butter, some form of sugar like hard candy or glucose tablets) to treat low blood glucose.
  8. Before you fly, be sure to request a special meal low in sugar, fat, and cholesterol at least 48 hours in advance.
  9. Wait until you see your food coming down the aisle to take your insulin shot, otherwise, if your meal is delayed, you could experience low blood glucose.
  10. Plan for crossing time zones: Eastbound travel means a shorter day, so if you inject insulin, you may need less. Traveling westbound means a longer day, so more insulin may be needed. Talk to one of our providers for more information.
  11. Checking blood sugar while traveling is just as important as when at home. It is important to check blood sugar soon after landing as jet lag may make it difficult to tell if your blood sugar is very low or very high.
  12. Insulin does not need to be refrigerated, but should not be stored in very hot or very cold temperatures. It is important to store insulin properly. Many travel packs are available to keep insulin cool.
  13. Be extra careful about food and water precautions. Avoid uncooked foods and tap water. Foods that upset your stomach could cause your blood glucose levels to become uncontrolled.
  14. Wear comfortable shoes and never walk with bare feet. Check your feet every day, looking for signs of blisters, cuts, redness, swelling, and scratches.
  15. Get medical care at the first sign of any infection or inflammation.

Walk-in to any of our clinics and talk to our providers about traveling if you have diabetes. You can also get your physical (which include labs) done before traveling. We also offer travel vaccines. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Source: American Diabetes Association


11 Tips To Avoid Distracted Driving

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

Common distractions:

  • Texting
  • Using a cellphone or smartphone/App
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Before you drive:

  1. Allow plenty of travel time.
  2. Set the GPS and/or review all maps and directions before driving.
  3. Stow and secure loose objects.
  4. Prepare children with everything they need before driving.
  5. Intense emotions can be distracting. Complete the conversation with the person before you drive.
  6. Never drink under the influence.

While you drive:

  1. Do not text, use apps, or read emails.
  2. Let calls go to voicemail.
  3. Do not groom.
  4. Keep two hands on the wheel at all times.
  5. Avoid eating or drinking while driving.

New York prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices.

Sources:

CDC
NY State Laws on Cell Phone Use and Texting while driving



Back Pain? Watch out for these 8 Red-Flags

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

About 80% of people have at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime. Factors that increase the risk of developing low back pain include smoking, obesity, older age, physically strenuous work, sedentary work, a stressful job, job dissatisfaction and psychological factors such as anxiety or depression.

A common feature of low back pain is radiculopathy, which occurs when a nerve root is irritated by protruding disc or arthritis of the spine. Sciatica refers to the most common symptom of radiculopathy. It causes a sharp or burning pain that extends down the back or side of the thigh, usually to the foot or ankle. It is associated with tingling and numbness. Occasionally, sciatica may be associated with muscle weakness in the leg or the foot.

Red flag symptoms - you must seek immediate help:

  1. If you are 70 years or older with new back pain.
  2. Pain that does not go away, even at night or when lying down.
  3. Weakness in one or both legs or problems with bowel, bladder, or sexual function.
  4. If you have back pain accompanied by unexplained fever or weight loss.
  5. If you have a history of cancer, a weakened immune system, osteoporosis, or have used corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) for a prolonged period of time.
  6. If the back pain is a result of falling or an accident, especially if you are older than 50 years.
  7. If pain spreads into the lower leg, particularly if accompanied by weakness of the leg.
  8. If back pain does not improve within 4 weeks.

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop by any of our clinics. No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. We are open on weekends as well. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.


Sore throat? Find Out If It's Viral or Strep

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

A sore throat (pharyngitis) is a common problem and it is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. 

Viruses can cause a sore throat and other upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold. Sore throat caused by a virus is not treated with antibiotics but instead may be treated with rest, pain medication, and other therapies aimed at relieving symptoms. 

Strep throat is a particular kind of pharyngitis that is caused by a bacterium known as group A streptococcus (GAS). Strep throat is treated with a course of antibiotics.

Viral Pharyngitis - Most people with a sore throat have a virus.

Symptoms of a viral infection can include:

  • A runny or congested nose
  • Irritation or redness of the eyes
  • Cough, hoarseness, or soreness in the roof of the mouth.
  • Some viruses cause a fever

Influenza (flu) virus is a common cause of sore throat during the flu season. Antiviral medication is indicated if your symptoms started within 72 hours.

Strep Pharyngitis - Approximately 10% of adults with a sore throat have strep throat.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the throat
  • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF)
  • Enlarged lymph glands in the neck
  • White patches of pus on the side or back of the throat
  • No cough, runny nose or irritation/redness of the eyes.

When to seek urgent help:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Drooling because you cannot swallow
  • Swelling of the neck or tongue
  • Stiff neck or difficulty opening the mouth
  • Underlying chronic illness/medication that may impair your immune system.

At Statcare Urgent Medical Care, we can diagnose your streptococcal throat infection by a rapid strep test, which takes less than 5 minutes to yield a result. We also have an in-house rapid flu test available to diagnose influenza, if indicated.

No appointment is necessary at our clinics and you’ll only wait minutes to be seen. You can call ahead at (855) 9 FOR DOC and let us know you’re on the way or you can check in online.

Source: CDC

When to seek urgent help — See your doctor or nurse immediately if you have a sore throat along with any of the following:

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