The Pulse

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    Some common conditions we treat include:
    Congestive Heart Failure
    Occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to the other organs in the body and results from a number of reasons. Conditions such as narrowed arteries in the heart, high blood pressure, or previous heart attacks can gradually weaken the heart keeping it from pumping efficiently. Some damaging effects and conditions that cause heart failure may not be reversed, but many can be managed. The physicians of Catawba Valley Internal Medicine can diagnose and treat many of the conditions that lead to Congestive Heart Failure. We not only consider medication management, but also can recommend lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, that can lead to an improved quality of life.
    Stroke
    A stroke is a very serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment. When the blood supply is cut off to a part of the brain, it is deprived of oxygen and cells begin to die. Prompt attention can help minimize brain damage and the subsequent complications. Our physicians can provide guidance to help prevent strokes before they happen by identifying the major risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol. There also are diagnostic tests that can be performed.
    Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    The most common indicator of obstructive sleep apnea is a pattern of heavy snoring with periods of silence with no breathing. Often, the silence is interrupted with a snort or gasp for air and return to snoring. A person who suffers from CSA will feel sleepy during the day and could even experience depression, personality changes or memory problems to name a few. At Catawba Valley Internal Medicine, we provide diagnostic testing and may recommend a sleep study for patients who may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Once the condition is diagnosed, we can help provide options for treatment.
    Diabetes
    Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body does not process blood sugar properly. Diabetes can affect patients of any age at any time, but there are certain risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop the disease. At Catawba Valley Internal Medicine, we can diagnose and help manage this serious condition. Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can make the difference in the severity of diabetes and eliminate the need for insulin therapy. We make diabetes screening a part of our annual physical exams. However, should you experience any of the signs of diabetes: increased thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination and fatigue, it is important to contact your doctor for a proper evaluation. These symptoms could also be attributed to other conditions, so speaking with your doctor is the best way to stay healthy.
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – COPD
    One of the most common lung diseases, COPD has two forms: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic bronchitis results from irritated and inflamed airway passages in the lungs causing the lining of the airways to thicken and create mucus. The build up of mucus makes it difficult to breath and can create a persistent cough. Emphysema takes a slightly different form as the walls between the air sacs are damaged and lose shape. The disease can also destroy the walls of the air sacs, diminishing the capacity to breathe. Many times, COPD patients will have both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. There are certain lifestyle changes and medicines that can help patients stay more active and slow the progress of the disease. They physicians of Catawba Valley Internal Medicine are experienced in the diagnosis and management of this chronic disease based on a patient’s individual situation. Early diagnosis is key in helping slow the progression.
    Hypertension
    Over twenty-five percent of the American population will be affected by high blood pressure. When tension builds in the arteries (the blood vessels which carry blood from the heart throughout the body), it can lead to a host of other life-threatening illnesses including heart attack or disease, kidney disease, eye damage, stroke, and many more. A simple, painless blood pressure test can determine a patient’s blood pressure. As with many other conditions, lifestyle changes can many times have a positive affect on blood pressure and overall wellness. Simply eating healthy foods, maintaining an optimum weight and moderate exercise can lower blood pressure and keeps many from having to stay on medication long term. Every time you visit your medical provider at Catawba Valley Internal Medicine, you will be given a blood pressure check. If a patient’s blood pressure is elevated, we determine the cause and help develop a treatment plan based on his or her lifestyle and other medical conditions.
    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – GERD (or acid reflux)
    GERD occurs when liquids and acids from the stomach back up into the esophagus. Many times it is confused with heartburn, but GERD is a chronic condition that can cause inflammation and damage to the lining of the esophagus. Though treatment options may be simple, it is probable that once this condition starts, the patient will have to be treated indefinitely to heal any damage and keep the condition controlled. Our medical team at Catawba Valley Internal Medicine can help diagnose and treat the condition and identify any risk factors that make a patient more susceptible to GERD.
    Weight Management and Obesity
    Most are aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for optimum health, but many do not heed this core element to total wellness. Around 65% or more of the population is overweight or obese, creating a health crisis of epidemic proportions. Obesity can lead to a host of other medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, back and joint pain and much more. Unless a patient experiences a metabolic disorder, weight can mostly be managed through diet and exercise. But their isn’t a “one size fits all” option for weight loss and management. It is very important to have a medical examination and discuss your needs with your physician before attempting any type of diet or exercise program. The medical staff at Catawba Valley Internal Medicine can help determine your healthy weight and discuss exercise, nutrition and other things that may affect your weight management outcome.