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Checklist of Heat-Related Illnesses

With excessive heat this hot summer season, it’s good to know about heat-related illnesses.  Some are serious and life-threatening!

Checklist of Heat-Related Illness

1.  Heat Stroke – this is a serious life-threatening condition that occurs when the body loses its ability to control its temperature. Immediate attention is needed as many victims die from heat stroke. Signs of a heat stroke include:
  • Fever that rapidly rises to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes (104F or above)
  • Confusions
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Feeling fain
  • Staggering
  • Strong rapid pulse
  • Dry flushed skin
  • Lack of sweating
  • Delirium or coma
2.  Heat Exhaustion – this serves as a warning that the body is getting too hot. People most prone to heat exhaustion include:
  • Elderly
  • People with high blood pressure
  • People working or exercising in the hot environment
Signs of heat exhaustion include being thirsty, giddy, weak, uncoordinated, nauseous and sweating profusely.  The body temperature may be normal, however the heart rate is normal or elevated.  Their skin is usually cold and clammy.


3. Heat Rash – Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating.  It can occur at any age but is most common in young children.  A heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters.


4.  Heat Syncope – this is fainting in the heat. A person will experience a sudden onset of dizziness or fainting after exposure to high temperatures. The skin will be pale and sweaty but remains cool. The pulse may be weakened and the heart rate is usually rapid. Body temperature is normal.
While heat cramps, heat syncope, and heat exhaustion may all be present in mild degrees, you should always contact a doctor or seek emergency medical attention if the symptoms of these conditions are severe or worsen with time.
We are trained at West Valley to treat heat related illnesses.
RSVP Online or Call (623) 334-8670 


Excessive Heat Warning Through Father’s Day, June 16

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Maricopa County and the Tucson area through Sunday, June 16.

What Are the Criteria for Excessive Heat Warning

The Phoenix area has plenty of days when the temperature reaches 107 degrees, however; an excessive heat warning is not issued.  Here are the criteria for an excessive heat warning:

  1. High temperatures and low temperatures, creating a larger variance
  2. Reaches the extreme threshold for temperature, over 95th percentile for hottest temperature.
  3. Weather models show high temperatures for a number of days. The National Weather Service in Phoenix has a special computer model that measures heat impact levels and the dangers they pose to Arizonans. The algorithm factors in both the forecasted high and low temperatures. The low is very important too!

How to Stay Cool in Excessive Heat

Here are some tips for staying cool when excessive heat warnings are issued:

  • Stay indoors in the air conditioning.
  • Postpone outdoor activities & games if possible.
  • Drink at least 1 – 2 liters of water every hour you are outdoors to stay hydrated.
  • If you are working hard outside, drink at least 4 liters per hour of hard labor.
  • Eat well-balanced, light meals on a regular schedule.

You should also:

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are of high risk in extreme heat, including the elderly, young children, people without AC, people who are sick, overweight or have an underlying health condition.
  • Do not leave alone pets or children in closed vehicles
  • Limit alcoholic beverages
  • Wear loose fitting, light-weight and light colored clothes. Dark colors do absorb the sun’s rays and get hotter.
  • Wear a high SPF sunscreen, as the UV index has reached a high threshold as well.


Dry Drowning Can Lead to Death

Dry drowning occurs when a child dies hours after being in the water. It is a very rare occurrence. It can be know as secondary drowning.

In dry drowning, someone takes in a small amount of water through his or her nose and/or mouth, and it causes a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up. In secondary drowning, the little bit of water gets into the lungs and causes inflammation or swelling that makes it difficult or impossible for the body to transfer oxygen to carbon dioxide and vice versa.

Dry drowning usually happens soon after exiting the water, but with secondary drowning, there can be a delay of up to 24 hours before the person shows signs of distress. Both can cause trouble breathing and, in worst-case scenarios, death.

Secondary drowning happens a little bit differently. Your child’s airways open up, letting water into his lungs, where it builds up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema. The result is the same: trouble breathing.

To recognize dry drowning, pay close attention to your child.  If they start to have trouble breathing or you do not understand what is going on, seek medical attention right away.

Phoenix Camp Physicals Special

Camp & Sports Physical Coupon

Phoenix Camp Physicals Special

Just in time for summer, we are offering kids camp physicals for just $25.  Get your children off to camp and check the physical off your list.phoenix camp physicals special

Bring in your camp physical forms and we will fill them out during the appointment. Our special is good for children and teens – 18 years and younger.

We also provide physical examinations for school, clubs, sports leagues, etc. For adults, we offer sports physicals for clubs, sports, leagues and employment.

Call for Your Phoenix Camp Physicals Appointment or Walk-in

 For over 15 years, West Valley Urgent Care:

  • Continues to be dedicated to providing quality healthcare
  • Provides fast, affordable service
  • Welcomes walk-ins
  • Online Priority Check-in is available to minimize wait
  • Accepts most insurance
  • Has Board-certified doctors onsite
  • Offers cash discounts for the uninsured
  • Provides X-rays & immunizations
  • Open extended hours

Get your Camp Physical exam at West Valley Urgent Care

West Valley Urgent Care has been providing sports and camp physicals for the past 15 years. Take care of your child’s camp physical examination requirement quickly and easily. Some physicals are covered by insurance. Our doctors are standing by. Schedule your children’s Phoenix camp physical today.

Control Asthma & Allergies – Phoenix AZ

Asthma and allergy control - phoenix az

Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. in people of all ages. There is no cure for asthma. Do you know how to control asthma & allergies – Phoenix AZ? The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take medicines to prevent symptoms and prepare to treat asthma episodes

1 in 5 Americans Suffers from Asthma or Allergies

Close to 24 million people suffer from Asthma. And over 50 million suffer from allergies. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take medicines to prevent symptoms and prepare to treat asthma episodes.

What is Asthma

Asthma is a reaction to triggers the body is sensitive to. It causes the airways to constrict, making it harder to breathe. These triggers can make your symptoms worse and cause asthma attacks. Allergens, unlike irritants, cause your body to have an allergic reaction. But exposure to either can increase your risk of asthma symptoms.

Ways To Reduce Asthma and Allergy Triggers

The best way to reduce triggers is to control your environment and get rid of the triggers the body reacts to. Some of the most common asthma and allergy triggers include:
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Rodents
  • Cockroaches
  • Mold
  • Food

Outdoor Triggers

Outdoor rritants that commonly cause asthma include:

  • Smoke
  • Strong fumes
  • Pollution
  • Ozone
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

The EPA calculates the Air Quality Index (AQI) based on five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act:

  • ground-level ozone
  • particle pollution (also known as particulate matter)
  • carbon monoxide
  • sulfur dioxide
  • nitrogen dioxide

For people who have asthma, your symptoms can worsen even when ozone levels are moderate (AQI 51-100). When the AQI is 101 or higher, it is dangerous for those with asthma. You may have to change your activities and medicines.

Here is a daily update of the air quality in the Glendale/Phoenix area:

Do you need to get checked for asthma or allergies, or get relief. Schedule an appointment today or walk-in to one of our urgent care locations. We offer allergy shots and can treat asthma.

Phoenix Camp Physicals – $49 Each

It’s Summer Camp Time

We’re Offering Phoenix Camp Physicals – $49 Each*

Most summer camps and team sports require physicals.  We’d like to help by offering affordable physicals for just $49 each.

phoenix camp physicals sale

*Offer is good through 6/30/17 and available to children 18 years old and younger.

Please bring your camp or sports physical form with you to the appointment. Our doctors and medical staff will be happy to complete the required forms.

phoenix camp physical coupon

Walk-in or call to schedule a camp physical for your child. We have three offices available:

Glendale / Peoria – 623-334-8671

Phoenix / Avondale – 623-218-0782

Surprise / Sun City – 623- 691-7748

Health Alert – Mumps Outbreak

Mumps alert from the Arizona Health Alert Network
We need to report a health alert – mumps outbreak in Arizona. Recently, four cases of the Mumps have been confirmed by the Arizona Health Alert Network. Nationally, there has been a dramatic increase in reported mumps, with four states reporting recent outbreaks. There were 5,700 cases in 2016, and already 2,000 in 2017.

Mump Symptoms

Mumps can cause pain, tenderness, and swelling of one or both parotid salivary glands as well as other complications including:

  • Orchitis
  • Oophoritis
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Deafness

The Mumps Virus

Mumps is a viral illness caused by a paramyxovirus, a member of the Rubulavirus family. The average incubation period for mumps is 16 to 18 days, with a range of 12 to 25 days.

Doctors are instructed to report suspect mumps cases to the local health department as well as collect specimens for testing, including:

  • Buccal swab
  • Urine
  • Serum

What to Do if You Suspect the Mumps

If you feel you might show symptoms for the Mumps, go to your health provider or come to West Valley Urgent Care. It’s important that patients are fully vaccinated against mumps.

For more information on mumps, visit https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/hcp.html

We offer three urgent care locations to serve you.  Walk in or call ahead for a priority appointment.

Eye Color Provides Hints for Your Health

what your eye color says about your health

Doctors can learn a lot about your overall health just by looking at your eyes. Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and brain tumors can leave impressions on your eyes, even without affecting your vision.

Your eye color can actually give hints to your risk for certain health conditions. No, this does not mean your eye color is causing the conditions. Your eye color is part of your heredity.

Here are some things your eye color may say about your health.

Light eyes: If your eyes are blue, green, or gray, you may be at a higher risk for skin cancer than those with darker eyes, Ruth Williams, MD tells Everyday Health (though those with dark eyes also need to be careful about sunscreen use and getting regular mole checks with a derm). You’re also more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of vision loss. But you’re at a lower risk for cataracts and vitiligo.

People with blue eyes are more prone to alcohol dependency.

Women with light-colored eyes may have a higher tolerance for pain, and lower risk of anxiety and depression, particularly during labor and after childbirth, according to the APS study.

Green eyed individuals seem to have a lower tolerance to pain.

Dark eyes: If your eyes are brown or hazel, research suggests that you’re more likely to have cataracts later in your life than those with lighter eyes. You’re also more likely to develop vitiligo, a condition in which some of your melanin cells stop working properly which leaves you with patches of skin without pigment. On the flip side, you’re less likely to develop skin cancer and macular degeneration.

Changing colors: In some cases, a sudden change in eye color can be a signal of a serious health issue. If your eyes are suddenly red, for instance, that’s a sign of irritation, infection, or allergies. And if the whites of your eyes turn yellow, that’s a classic indication of jaundice: meaning you need medical attention ASAP.


Diets Sodas May be Tied to Dementia and Stroke Risk

diet soda linked to demential Did you know, a 20 oz. bottle of Coke-Cola contains 65 grams of sugar, the same as 5 Little Debbie swiss rolls?  Many people opt for diet soda, thinking it is a healthier option.

However, gulping down an artificially sweetened beverage may not only be tied to health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain.  This is based on the findings of a new study.

According to a study published by the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke on Thursday, artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia.

“The study sheds light only on an association, as the researchers were unable to determine an actual cause-and-effect relationship between sipping artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk for stroke and dementia. Therefore, some experts caution that the findings should be interpreted carefully.” wrote CNN’s Jacqueline Howard.

No connection was found between those health risks and other sugary beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit juice and fruit drinks.

The new study involved data on 2,888 adults older than 45 and 1,484 adults older than 60 from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. The data came from the Framingham Heart Study, a project of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University.

In the older-than-45 group, the researchers measured for stroke and in the older-than-60 group, they measured for dementia.

“The sample sizes are different because we studied people of different ages,” Pase said. “Dementia is rare in people under the age of 60 and so we focused only on those aged over 60 years for dementia. Similarly, stroke is rare in people aged under 45 and so we focused on people older than age 45 for stroke.”

The researchers analyzed how many sugary beverages and artificially sweetened soft drinks each person in the two different age groups drank, at different time points, between 1991 and 2001. Then, they compared that with how many people suffered stroke or dementia over the next 10 years.

Compared to never drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks, those who drank one a day were almost three times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blocked blood vessels, the researchers found.

They also found that those who drank one a day were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia.

Those who drank one to six artificially sweetened beverages a week were 2.6 times as likely to experience an ischemic stroke but were no more likely to develop dementia, Pase said.

“So, it was not surprising to see that diet soda intake was associated with stroke and dementia. I was surprised that sugary beverage intake was not associated with either the risks of stroke or dementia because sugary beverages are known to be unhealthy,” Pase said.

“We know that sugary and artificially sweetened beverages are not great for us. This study adds strength to that, and also says they may not be great for your brain, specifically,” she said. “There are alternatives — things we can all do everyday to keep our brains and our bodies as healthy as we can as we age.” Alternatives such as regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates heart rate and increases blood flow and doing puzzles and games to activate and challenge the mind. These are recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Associations list of 10 lifestyle habits to reduce risk of cognitive decline.

Source: CNN Health, April 20, 2017: Diet Sodas may be tied to stroke, dementia risk.

Your Gut May Be The Cause of Your Depression

Depression may be linked to your gut

Research now points the to bacteria found in your gut as the cause of depression.

Doctors and nutritionists have always known there is a connection between the brain and the gut. Research shows that the gut has a mind of it’s own called the enteric nervous system. According to UK based nutritional therapist, Eve Kalinik,

“the brain and gut neurons are directly connected via the vagus nerve, explaining why we feel “butterflies in the stomach” when faced with an anxiety-provoking situation.”

How does bacteria in your gut cause depression?

Causes of Depression

Scientists were able to discover that the cause of depression, anxiety, and several paediatric disorders, including autism and hyperactivity, have been linked with gastrointestinal abnormalities. Like other chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, depression is primarily an inflammatory condition. To be specific, gut inflammation is the root of depression.

This one revelation has the potential to profoundly impact the medical field and be a major step forward in effectively treating and possibly curing people plagued by depression. While changing a person’s bacteria is still a stretch for doctors, it is easier and more straightforward than trying to change an individual’s genes.

Help to Treat Gut Caused Depression

There are some things you can do to help reduce “bad” bacteria and cultivate good bacteria in your gut.

  • Eat more whole foods– by eating more whole foods and reducing the amount of processed foods you can eliminate gastronomical inflammation. The manipulation processed foods undergoes introduces unnatural toxins and chemicals into your system. Your body has to struggle to break down chemical compounds that are foreign and not intended for the human body. In fact, one study suggests that eating a lot of nutrient-sparse processed foods could up your chances of becoming depressed by as much as 60 percent.
  • Avoid processed forms of sugar, dairy and gluten– Natural sugars, grains and dairy products are good for you. Refined sugars, gluten and processed dairy products have been altered from their natural state. These alterations promote the development of bad bacteria and drastically reduce nutritional value–leaving your brain starved and causing it to malfunction.
  • Eat plenty of fats and proteins–Not all fat is bad for you. Researchers believe that chicken, turkey,  brazil nuts, eggs, avocados and oily fish all have a powerful impact on our mental state. These are sources of important amino acids, vitamins and minerals, which convert into mood-enhancing brain chemicals.
  • Get plenty of Vitamin D– Vitamin D is required for overall brain development and function. Vitamin D deficiency is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders. Sunshine, fortified cereals, breads, juices and milk are packed with this essential vitamin.
  • Skip the supplements if possible– Work to get your nutritional needs met through healthy eating habits and not supplements. Nutrients work together in context. Scientists are diligently working to discover if low levels of nutrients are the cause or consequence of poor brain health. You can’t “biohack” your way out of depression with a few pills or “superfoods.”
Science is not definitive and is constantly evolving. If you or your loved one is depressed, seek professional help. And along with following the advice of the medical professional, remember that the root cause of your depression just may be in your gut. By changing your diet and paying attention to how your stomach feels, your road to recovery could be short and sweet.
Source:  Life Hacks