All posts in Health Tips

10 Alzheimer’s Symptoms and Warning Signs

Share Button

Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent type of dementia, causing a gradual deterioration of memory function, reasoning and other cognitive abilities that can hinder the normal activities of daily life.

Alzheimer’s SymptomsIf you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of the following Alzheimer’s symptoms, please consult your physician to find out what the next steps for diagnosis and treatment are.

1. Loss of Memory

Forgetting important dates and events, as well as information that was recently learned, is one of the most typical Alzheimer’s symptoms. The need to have information repeated again and again, as well as an increased need to use memory aids (sticky notes or labels), can also indicate the presence of the disease.

2. Problem-Solving Difficulties

Another signpost of Alzheimer’s disease is when you or someone close to you has trouble cultivating and sticking to a plan, following well-known recipes, or demonstrates increased challenges when working with numbers or keeping up on monthly bills. Concentrating may prove increasingly difficult, and getting things done may take significantly more time than in the past.

3. Trouble Completing Common Tasks

Common daily activities may become progressively more difficult, such as driving to a well-known place. Alzheimer’s sufferers typically will have trouble recalling the simple rules of a loved game or dressing themselves.

4. Difficulty Establishing Time and Place

Patients with Alzheimer’s can become increasingly confused about where they are located, and determining how they got there. They can easily forget dates, seasons and the normal passing of time.

Any past occurrence or event not happening in the immediate present will become more and more challenging to remember, as will planning for events in the future.

5. Visual and Spatial Problems

Some individuals may experience problems with reading, perceiving distance and recognizing color contrasts; this often leads to difficulty when driving.

6. Difficulty Expressing Oneself

As Alzheimer’s symptoms progress, individuals may lose the ability to find the right words, either in conversation or in writing. It may prove difficult to join an ongoing conversation, or to complete a thought once spoken aloud.

The Alzheimer’s Association commonly explains this phenomenon to friends and family of Alzheimer’s patients as: “I know what I want to say, I just can’t find the words.”

7. Frequently Misplacing Things

Alzheimer’s sufferers will often lose things and have trouble remembering where they placed them. When found, the items may turn up in odd places. Sometimes a certain paranoia may creep in that other people are stealing.

8. Problems with Decision Making

Alzheimer’s symptoms can involve increased poor judgment regarding financial affairs and personal hygiene. Mismanaging money, or making large donations to questionable organizations can be a tell-tale sign. Paying less and less attention to bathing, changing clothes and grooming is also typical as the disease advances.

9. Avoiding Friends and Co-workers

As Alzheimer’s symptoms worsen, individuals may start to withdraw from social engagements, work outings or well-loved sporting activities. They may have trouble engaging in hobbies and activities that are an important part of their lifestyle.

10. Mood Swings

Patients with Alzheimer’s can experience fluctuations in their mood, typically in situations where they are outside of their comfort zone, either at home or at the office. As a result, they may get:

  • Confused
  • Suspicious
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Irritated
  • Fearful

If you or someone close to you is experiencing symptoms that could be the result of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, you should make an appointment with your physician.

More

Why is an Annual Physical Important?

Share Button

Did you get a reminder that it’s time to schedule your annual physical, again? We know you are busy, and may be tempted to just throw it out and worry about it later, but this would be doing your health a big disservice. Annual physicals allow for early detection and treatment if there is something wrong, and peace of mind if everything’s A-OK.

What Happens at An Annual Physical?

The physical will begin with your physician or PA having a conversation to discuss your lifestyle including your diet, exercise, alcohol and tobacco use and sexual health. You will have the opportunity to update your family history and ensure your vaccines are up to date.

Vitals

The physician will then check your vital signs. These include:

  • Blood pressure

Blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats over the pressure in the arteries in between heartbeats.

  • Heart rate

The heart rate is the number of time the heart beats per minute.

  • Respiration rate

The respiration rate is the number of breaths taken per minute.

  • Temperature

A part of the brain called the hypothalamus controls temperature and it fluctuates throughout a regular day.

The physician will be looking for blood pressure that is less than 120 over 80. A normal heart rate is considered to be between 60 and 100 and 12 to 16 breaths per minute is considered a normal respiration rate. While the average temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, healthy people can have a temperature slightly higher or lower.

Physical Appearance

During the physical exam, the physician will watch you and make note of whether you have a healthy skin tone, have trouble standing or sitting, or difficulty breathing.

Head and Neck

Say “Ah!” You physician will also do a head and neck exam in which he or she will examine the health of your tonsils, tongue and teeth. They may also check the ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries.

Annual Physical

Abdominal Exam

To check your internal organs, your physician may tap your abdomen to detect liver size and presence of abdominal fluid, listen for bowel sounds with a stethoscope, or feel for tenderness.

Gender Specific Exams

During the physical exam, your physician may also perform a few tests depending on your gender. In addition to looking for signs of sexually transmitted diseases, a physician will also check a male’s testicals for growths or lumps that could be a sign of cancer. For females, your physician may perform a breast exam in which they feel for abnormal lumps, which could be cancerous or benign.

Tips For An Effective Annual Physical

To make the process as seamless as possible for you and your physician, it’s important to come prepared. Consider these tips before your appointment:

  • Arrive on time (or early)
  • Have the names and doses of medications you take
  • Know your family’s history
  • Bring your most current vaccine record (if it’s not already on file)

Annual Physical

  • Know the dates of your most recent cancer screenings
  • Always be honest. Your doctor is better prepared to help you when he or she has more information about your lifestyle. Let them know if you drink or smoke, even if only on occasion.

When to Get Screened for Other Issues

Aside from the annual physical, you should also get regular check ups including cancer screenings depending on your age and family history.

  • Starting at age 50, everyone should have a screening for colorectal cancer by getting a colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • When a woman turns 40, she should have a regular mammogram every year.
  • Women should have an osteoporosis tests or bone density test starting at age 65.
  • Women who are sexually active or over the age of 21 should have a Pap Smear every one to three years.
  • Starting at age 50 men should begin getting an annual prostate exam. African American men should start being tested at age 40.

If you would like to schedule a complimentary meeting with one of our physicians, please call our office at 407.876.CARE(2273).

More

Is It a Cold or the Flu?

Share Button

woman-698946_1920Your nose is stuffy, your throat is sore and your body aches. Do you know if it’s the common cold or the dreaded flu virus? What’s the difference between the two anyway?

A cold is a contagious respiratory infection. Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is another type of respiratory infection that develops into a more serious condition, like pneumonia, bronchitis or sinus/ear infections. A cold can be caught year round, while the flu is typically seasonal.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, adults have an average of two to three colds per year and children have even more.

Annually in the United States it is estimated that five to 20 percent of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications.

More

Ear, Throat and Sinus Infections

Share Button

Little girl opening mouth for doctorYour ears, nose, and throat are all part of your upper respiratory system. They share anatomy and have similar mucus membrane linings, which means they are able to get similar infections. Understanding the anatomy of your ears, nose, and throat will help you know how to keep them in good health and free of infections.

Below you’ll find information regarding common ear, throat and sinus infections and how they can be treated at Windermere Medical Center.

More

Protecting Your Skin from the Summer Sun

Share Button

During the summer, you may to like to go to the beach, go to a water or theme park, enjoy a picnic outside or even just go for a stroll outside. While you’re outside soaking up the sun, you should be sure to protect your skin.

Protecting your skin from the sun can help prevent the premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts and skin cancer. You can protect your skin by applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and staying in the shade.

More