November 1, 2019

The flu shot. Should you get it? Who else should get it?

Short answer: everyone.

Should I Get the Flu Shot?

“One of things I continue to be presented with or concerns that I continue to get asked often in on our visits with patients is whether or not they should get the flu shot,” says our very own Scott Ulrich, PA-C here at Comprehensive Primary Care & Wellness Center. “And right now as we look at what’s happening and as we move into flu season it becomes more and more relevant. It’s absolutely something that we want to address with all of our patients and with the community.”

Here at Comprehensive Primary Care & Wellness Center, we follow the guidelines presented by the Center of Disease Control (CDC). The CDC has come out and made the recommendation that everybody receive a flu shot. Children six months and older should always receive a flu shot and there are very few exceptions to that and we follow those same recommendations.

There are definitely some high risk patients out there that kind of get to top priority. For example, if you’re over the age of 65, young children, or anyone with chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD. We strongly encourage those patients to get in and get their flu shot.

“However, above and beyond that we make the recommendation for everybody to come in to get their flu shot,” says Ulrich. “Not only to protect themselves but also to protect the community.”

It’s Not Only About You

Ulrich believes that one of the hardest things they try to help teach patients is that there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there.

“People come in thinking ‘Well, I’m young, I’m strong, my 20 year old body can fight off the flu,'” says Ulrich. “The hard thing is to help them understand that if they carry the flu virus they can affect and infect other people before they realize it.”

Our recommendation to our patients and to the community is to come in and get your flu shot. We offer them here at our office along with the majority of pharmacies here in Idaho Falls and of course a lot of other clinics offer them as well.

“Let’s make sure that we’re getting you vaccinated to help prevent the flu and to help prevent a transmission of the virus in our community.”

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

The CDC has come out and made the recommendation that anybody six months old and older get the flu vaccine. For that very young population they make the recommendation that all pregnant mothers get vaccinated. That being said, if you’re pregnant you’re a top priority and you move right to the front of the list. Especially if you’re in your third trimester. We encourage that because your body is going to build up antibodies and those antibodies are going to help take care of you. They’re going to help take care of your baby and even after birth that antibody is going to help prevent sickness in your newborn.

“Absolutely. Young infants aren’t getting vaccinated right now if they’re under six months,” says Ulrich. “However moms are being vaccinated and they’ll carry that and they’ll help share that with their babies. But, keep that in mind if you’re an expecting mother or father. Even an expecting grandparent. If you know a new baby that you’ll be close with is in your near future then absolutely this is a top priority. Make sure that you’re being taken care of you so that you can take care of those infants that you’re going to be around.”

We also make recommendations in the way of general prevention. Simple things like washing your hands, taking good care of yourself, keeping yourself clean, and cleaning off those surfaces at home that come in contact with a lot of people. We can’t stress this enough so we’ll put it in a list for you:

  • Wash your hands
  • Take good care of yourself
  • Keep high-contact surfaces clean
  • If your kids are sick and running a fever keep them home from school and activities

Do everything you can to avoid transmission of the virus. Let’s do what we can to help prevent the flu from circulating through our community here in Idaho Falls.

Posted in Community Care by Comprehensive Primary Care of Idaho Falls | Tags: , , , ,
October 23, 2019

During breast cancer awareness month it’s a good time to educate ourselves on ways to reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer (or any cancer). Christina Finnerty explains how deep restorative sleep is important to this.

The Relationship Between Cancer & Sleep

The relationship between cancer prevention and good sleep is synergistic. Getting the proper sleep can do wonders for your overall health, including cancer prevention.

“I don’t think that most people realize that sleep is directly related to cancer,” says Finnerty. “If you snore, if your partner snores, if somebody tells you that you’re not breathing at night or there are pauses in breathing. If you wake up in a panic and your heart is racing and you feel like maybe you weren’t breathing. Of if you wake up not rested in the morning and you’re just exhausted and you don’t know why. It’s really important to come in a talk to somebody at least about the possibility of sleep apnea.”

One of the reasons our bodies cannot get rid of the cancer cells they have is if they’re not getting into good, deep, restorative sleep. One of the things that can impair that is stress or restless leg syndrome. But, a big one is obstructive sleep apnea. Most people avoid wanting to know if they have obstructive sleep apnea. However, one of the big reasons to see if you do have it would be to potentially avoid multiple different types of cancers, including breast cancer.

The reason sleep apnea can be directly related to breast cancer is because when you sleep at night your airway is obstructed and your oxygen levels drop. If your oxygen levels drop, that is immediately stressing your body out and not allowing it to enter into what’s called slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep is the only stage of sleep in which our bodies heal and repair. If you’re body is not getting that type of deep, restorative sleep, you’re not able to detoxify, get rid of old cells, and your immunity decreases. As a result, you have an exponentially higher risk of developing multiple different types of cancers, including breast cancer.

What Is Deep Restorative Sleep?

Exposure to high levels of oxygen encourages the brain to remain in deep, restorative sleep, according to a study by University of Alberta neuroscientists.

This type of sleep seems to be the stage where metabolites are cleared from the brain, muscles grow, and proteins reform. Slow-wave sleep is the best recovery for both the brain and body. It can also help greatly with memory consolidation. Research has shown that the brain remains in active sleep when exposed to less than normal levels of oxygen

Sleep Apnea Masks

Most people are afraid of putting a CPAP mask on or using the machine at all. However, we hope to show the types of sleep masks someone would wear if they’re being treated for sleep apnea and we want to dispel any fear regarding them. We also hope to encourage you to visit with a specialist if you aren’t getting good sleep. It’s such a massive part of our daily lives and can impact your health in so many ways.

nasal sleep mask Prevent Cancer With Deep Restorative Sleep 1

The nasal mask is small and fits right under the nose with the headgear strap that goes around your head. You do not need to worry about looking like Darth Vader or a fighter pilot with the nasal mask.

Prevent Cancer With Deep Restorative Sleep 2 Prevent Cancer With Deep Restorative Sleep 3

The full face mask is not nearly as scary as it sounds. It’s very easy to get on and off with magnetic attaching straps and it just goes under the nose and around the mouth.

Sleep Matters

In conclusion, the type of sleep you’re getting truly matters in regards to your overall health. The better, deeper sleep you can get, the less likely you will run into illnesses and diseases including cancer. If you would like to have a sleep study performed or visit with our sleep specialist, give us a call (208-715-9990) or submit a contact form right here on our site.

Posted in Community Care, Sleep by Comprehensive Primary Care of Idaho Falls | Tags: , , , , ,
October 2, 2019

We often associate the beautiful and bright fall colors with the month of October. The bright yellows, the rich reds, the blazing oranges, and the remnants of greens and browns all on the tapestry of southeast Idaho. However, there is one more color we associate with October…

Pink.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Meeting

That’s right. We see our favorite NFL teams don pink gloves, cleats, and wristbands on Sundays. Large pink ribbons tied around big oak trees at the local schools. An array of marathons, 5k’s, and fun runs all set up to raise money for breast cancer research.

We see pink everywhere. But, what can you do to help?

First of all, if you are a women, use this time as a helpful reminder to perform your annual checkup. Unfortunately, breast cancer can strike at anytime, so frequent self-examinations help. Secondly, if you have the means, volunteer and help out in your local community. It’s always a good idea to spend your time assisting with worthwhile causes in where you reside. And lastly, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Perhaps you have a friend or relative that has or had breast cancer. Staying informed can be a valuable tool down the road.

Tips To Remember During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Self Exams

Self exams should be performed once every month in both the upright and laying back positions. The National Breast Cancer Foundation has great resources on how to perform these. If you have any other questions or concerns regarding self exams, call or come into our office. We are happy to help you out with these.

Clinical Exams

Clinical breast exams should be schedule annually and take place at your provider’s office. You should always visit with your provider about any changes that have taken place in your body during the past year. Clinical exams don’t always mean you need a mammogram, but they often do perform that procedure.

Mammograms

If you are a women over the age of 40, you should get a mammogram once a year. As unpleasant as these can be for some women, it is a paramount procedure for catching breast cancer early.

Additional Information

Always be aware of your body. If you notice any dimpling or puckering of the breast tissue area, call or visit your provider. If there is any discharge coming from the nipple area, you should contact your provider. And lastly, if you notice any tenderness, pain, lumps, or anything unusual, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

If you have any questions or concerns of any kind, we recommend that you call into our office or set up a time to come in and visit.

Our Local Expert, Monica Nealis

As a breast cancer survivor, this is an important topic to Monica. She shares some important tips that all women should keep in mind. Breast cancer is a treatable cancer if it’s caught early, which is why there is such an emphasis on self examinations and annual checkups with your provider. To learn more about Monica and her style of treatment, visit her bio page right here on our site.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a clinical exam, please contact our office at 208-715-9990 today. We also encourage you to visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s website as they have incredible resources and information.

September 3, 2019

Living a healthy lifestyle starts when you’re young. Decisions you make in early adulthood can greatly impact your overall health in future years. Just like we perform routine maintenance on our vehicles like oil changes and tire rotations, we should likewise perform routine maintenance on our bodies.

This bring us to our main point: You should still regularly visit your doctor even if you’re healthy.

If your vehicle is running well you don’t just stop having maintenance done because it’s all good. The same goes for our bodies. Now, if you’re like a lot of folks, you think you know when and when not to go see the doctor. After all, it’s up to you. While that might be true, we strongly believe that you’ll be glad you made your routine visits just to know where you stand.

To that end we’ve compiled a short list of good reasons to visit your local Idaho Falls community care doctor even if you’re healthy.

It’s Just Been Too Long

Comprehensive Primary Care waiting room

Our waiting room

Sometimes we go awhile without seeing the doctor. And while we might feel like everything is okay, you can never be 100% certain. This is where annual wellness exams come into play. Plus, if you have insurance or medicaid these are 100% covered by your provider. This is all part of our Idaho Falls community care services.

Consider an annual wellness exam to be your vehicle’s oil change, tire rotation, and inspection. It’s where we can make sure everything is running properly.

By definition primary care is healthcare at a basic rather than specialized level. However, we take that a step further. We provide an in-depth look into your health that allows us to diagnose any problems immediately. Primary literally means “of chief importance” or “earliest in time or order,” and that’s how we treat our primary care patients.

To Become More Familiar With How Your Body Operates

Your blood pressure, sleep habits, and weight management are all things that we should keep tabs on. A visit to your local Idaho Falls community care can help make sure your physical and mental health remain a priority.

We’re going to wear this analogy out, but let’s talk about car maintenance again. Once you’ve owned a vehicle for a few years you really begin to understand all it’s little quirks. You also start to pay attention to things that your mechanic suggests. Likewise, when your doctor tells you to watch specific parts of your diet or to get better sleep, you start to notice those things. Becoming more familiar with your healthy body means that you’ll be able to better address issues if and when they arise.

To Get To Know Your Doctor

Pictures of the community care staff on the wall in the clinic

We’re doctors and medical professionals with families, focused on being your family doctor.

We feel like this is a no-brainer, but we’ll explain it anyway. Here at Comprehensive Primary Care & Wellness, we actually want to get to know our patients. We believe that establishing this connection can provide a better path to healing. Our providers don’t treat patients like numbers, they treat them like people. Like human beings. The biggest difference between us and other clinics is that we truly listen to you.

We also believe that better you know us, the more open you’ll be. The more that you’ll let us know what’s really going on should something ever arise. Trust is absolutely paramount in the patient-provider relationship.

Overall, this is good for everyone, but particularly good for children. It’s nice for them to see a doctor outside of those times when they’re sick or hurt. This gets them comfortable with the process, environment, and more.

To Spot Concerns Before They Become Problems

Some of the biggest indicators of whether an elderly person is doing well isn’t just the absence of traumatic events like falling or bad knees. It is how well they are maintaining the little things. Things such as keeping their hands and feet clean, getting out and exercising, social visits from loved ones, etc. A visit to the doctor will help you ensure you’re covering all your bases no matter the age.

This is a universal principle. Take care of the little things and the big things will fall into place. Establishing a baseline for you and your body will help alert your provider if something is off. If issues are caught early enough they can often be reversed without major medical treatment or medication. This is a huge reason to visit your doctor even if your healthy.

You Probably Do Have Questions That Should Be Asked

Mental health services

We make sure you have someone to talk to.

Let’s face it, most of us have little nagging questions that “would be nice to get a doctor’s opinion on” or something like that. Resolve to not let these burden you anymore. Either get assurance that you’re okay or know that we’ll help you take the necessary steps to resolve the issue. We often ask our spouse, partner, or parent for their opinion when most of the time they’re not medically qualified to know.

Having frequent visits with your doctor can open a dialogue between the two of you concerning your private medical matters. The better you get to know one another, the more questions that you’ll feel comfortable asking.

If nothing else, we encourage you to call into our office at 208-715-9990 and at least visit with one of our nurses.

Stay Healthy, Feel Healthy, Be Healthy

For more great tips and reasons why it’s good to visit your doctor when you’re healthy, click here. Whether you feel perfectly healthy or you struggle with sleep, back or neck pain, or have trouble with your weight, we believe you should visit with your doctor. It’s important to not only feel healthy, but rather to actually be healthy. Knowing can make all the difference.

Posted in Community Care by Comprehensive Primary Care of Idaho Falls | Tags: , , , ,
July 24, 2019

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Health & Quality 4We often associate the term “hygiene” with things like our oral health, body maintenance, and even smells. However, becoming aware of your sleep hygiene just might be one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

We’re sure that you’ve seen articles float across your Facebook or Instagram feeds. You might have even had a close friend post an article that mentions how paramount sleep is to the human body. But, at the end of the day, are you making any changes in your life? Are you actually willing to give up your bad habits and guilty pleasures to get better sleep? Hey, you’ve made it this far so why should you change now?

Here’s the deal. Whether you’re 21 or you’re 65, you can benefit from making minor, yet disciplined, adjustments to your sleep hygiene that can pay big dividends down the road. Establishing and implementing better sleep hygiene is the single best thing you can do to improve your quality of life. And better yet, local experts at Comprehensive Primary Care & Wellness Center are here to help.

Create Sleep Routine

Our very own Christina Finnerty recommends creating a nighttime routine among a few other helpful tips:

Allow Time To Prepare For Sleep

Set a consistent time that you’d like to go to bed and allot 20-30 minutes or so beforehand to wind down and prepare for sleep. “Take a few minutes of time to yourself to do some deep breathing. Perhaps analyze how the day went. The worst thing you can do is bring stress into bed with you. Address things on your mind before you get into bed.”

Ditch The Screens

“We can’t be watching TV, playing on our phones, or working on our computers and then expect to immediately go to sleep. It’s really important to have a routine. There should be no electronics in the bedroom. The rule of thumb is that the bed is for sleep and sex only. The room should be very dark. Any amount of light tells the brain to continue to be awake.”

If You Can’t Sleep, Get Out Of Bed

“If it’s taking you longer than 20-30 minutes to get to sleep, or if you wake up and can’t fall back asleep, get out of bed. One of the worst things you can do is stay in bed. That trains your brain that your bed is a place to do whatever it wants it to do as opposed to a place to be asleep. If you find yourself in this type of situation, get out of bed, go to a quiet and comfortable place in your home and practice deep breathing.”

Why Quality Sleep is Important

The reason sleep is so important to the human body is because the damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant. It can manifest itself in terrible things such as a car crash or other physical accidents. Or, it can harm you over time without you noticing it as much. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also affects how well you think, react, work, & learn.

Not all sleep is created equal. Many in the Idaho Falls area suffer from sleep apnea. This is a condition that can show itself with loud snoring, and a feeling of being tired after a full night’s rest. Low quality sleep doesn’t just affect your quality of life, but can be a dangerous condition to live with.

Back in 2006, the Harvard Medical School published a piece about the importance of sleep and reasons why we should get better quality sleep. You can read that article here: Importance of Sleep: Six Reasons to not Scrimp on Sleep

Christina Finnerty, Your Local Sleep Expert

Sleep Health & Quality 5

Christina Finnerty, FNP-C, is committed to improving the sleep health and quality of those local to Idaho Falls and the surrounding area. Christina provides patients with sleep studies and specializes in improving how we should be spending that third of our life. Visit our Sleep Specialist page and see if you suffer from any of the symptoms of poor sleep. You can also read about what to expect from a sleep study.

Posted in Community Care by Comprehensive Primary Care of Idaho Falls | Tags: , ,
June 15, 2019

As healthcare gets more complicated, we’re committed to providing Idaho Falls families with a simple solution. We are a community care center with expertise touching all areas of healthcare.

We feel that too many choose to suffer unnecessarily with treatable symptoms. This can be because of the fear of cost or the uncertainty that their situation isn’t serious enough to warrant an emergency room visit. There are many reasons to need to speak with a community care doctor that don’t require a visit to the emergency room. We aim to meet all of those needs.

Please Note: If you have a medical emergency that requires immediate care, please call 911 or go to the Emergency Room. We are not a hospital.

Primary Care

Comprehensive Primary Care waiting room

Our waiting room

What is a primary care physician? We are healthcare providers that practice general medicine. This means that we can be a first stop for your journey to feel better, no matter what symptoms you may be experiencing. Below are some of the most common community care visits we receive.

Urgent Care

If you don’t have an appointment, but need to see a doctor right away we are a perfect fit. Our staff will assess the situation, and work to give you peace of mind knowing you’re receiving the care you need. Common urgent care needs include:

  • Cold & Flu symptoms
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Stomach issues (vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Concussions
  • Sprains
  • Burns and Cuts

Family Doctors

The doctor-patient relationship is a priority for us. We look forward to getting to know your unique situation and needs. As your family grows or you bring loved ones in for checkups, you can trust we will address you and the ones you care about with the care and attention you know they deserve.

As members of this community, we know how important it is to have a family doctor that you know and trust. Part of this is being available to meet and answer your questions as you need them. As our doctors work with your family, the care you receive continues to improve with each visit as we become more familiar with the unique requirements of the members of your family.

Contact us about your annual wellness visit, sports physicals or other general checkups for you and your loved ones.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Beyond general medicine we have a chiropractor on staff. Neck, joint pain and even head aches can often be traced back to spine alignment issues. This is helpful for not only treating the symptoms, but addressing the root cause of your pain. Regular chiropractic adjustments can greatly improve the life of someone suffering back or other joint pain.

Chiropractic treatments are an excellent option for people looking to treat symptoms without the use of drugs or other invasive techniques.

Diet and Exercise

Wellness doesn’t just end at a single visit to the doctor. With a registered dietitian on staff, we help patients with their fitness and weight goals as well. This long term approach to wellness means that we will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you have the knowledge and tools to manage your weight.

Mental Health

We help our patients address mental health issues by teaching meditative techniques. We also provide hormone therapy when a chemical imbalance may be contributing to mental anguish. Ask our doctors about our hormonal therapies.

Community Care

Providing Idaho Falls, Ammon and surround areas with the healthcare they need is why we are here. Take a moment and get familiar with the services we offer. Or call to speak with a doctor today and begin your journey to wellness with Comprehensive Primary Care and Wellness Center.