Here’s what you should know about arthritis.
Over 54 million Americans (or 23 percent of American adults) have arthritis. Out of those 54 million, 1 in 4 experience severe joint pain. Arthritis refers to a group of chronic and progressive conditions that cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in certain joints of the body. If left untreated arthritis can also cause severe damage. Whether our Woodbridge, VA, physician Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb has just diagnosed you with arthritis or you are concerned that your symptoms could be due to arthritis, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about arthritis.
What are the most common types of arthritis?
While there are over 100 different kinds of arthritis the three most common types include,
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Who is at risk for developing arthritis?
While anyone can develop arthritis there are certain factors such as genetics, lifestyle and age that can also increase your risk. While arthritis is often found in older adults, this condition can also affect children. Risk factors include,
- A family history of arthritis
- Your age (older individuals are at an increased risk for arthritis)
- Your gender (women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis while men are more likely to develop gout than women)
- Past joint injuries
Are there ways to prevent arthritis?
While certain factors such as genetics and age cannot be altered, there are still steps you can take to prevent joint injuries including proper training, conditioning, stretching and strengthening exercises.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms associated with arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and redness. Symptoms may affect mobility or range of motion. While any joints can be affected by arthritis the most commonly affected joints are the hands, wrists, ankles, feet and shoulders.
When should I see a doctor?
If you notice regular joint pain and stiffness that doesn’t go away, then you’ll want to see a doctor for an evaluation. The sooner arthritis is diagnosed the sooner we can prevent joint damage and other symptoms from getting worse.
Is arthritis curable?
There is not a cure for arthritis but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t effective treatment options to help you manage your symptoms. Our Woodbridge, VA, family physician is dedicated to helping each and every patient with arthritis live a happy, healthy life while managing their symptoms and preventing joint damage.
What are my treatment options?
Treating arthritis usually requires a variety of traditional and alternative treatment options including,
- Medication to control pain and slow joint damage
- Physical therapy
- Appropriate exercise and physical activity
- Chiropractic care
- Vitamins and supplements
- Surgery (in severe cases)
Ridgeview Internal Medicine offers both in-office and telehealth appointments to make it easier for our patients to manage their arthritis symptoms and get prescription refills without having to leave the house. To schedule an appointment with our Woodbridge, VA, physician please call (703) 494-4116.
"One in 13 people have asthma, more than 25 million Americans," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb of Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, offers her patients information and asthma treatment options.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects lungs. People suffer from wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning. The cause of asthma is unknown but it's believed to be genetic, environmental, and/or because of occupational factors.
How do you know if you have asthma?
Your physician can confirm if you suffer from asthma. Dr. Al-Khateeb will ask if you cough a lot, or if breathing worsens after physical activity. She will ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. Your physician will ask about family history with asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems.
There's also a breathing test, spirometry, to test how well your lungs are working. It tests how much air you can breathe out after taking a deep breath before and after using asthma medicine.
What is an asthma attack?
An attack is when the body’s airways constrict while air tries to move into your lungs. Less air reaches your lungs and mucous clogs up the airways, which is why people experience:
- chest tightness
- trouble breathing.
An asthma attack can happen when exposed to asthma triggers, like tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, cockroach allergen, pets, mold, smoke from burning wood and/or grass.
How is asthma treated?
- Control asthma by avoiding triggers and keeping an eye out for warning signs of an asthma attack.
- Take your medicine exactly as your Woodbridge physician tells you.
- There are different medications, like those through inhalers or pills, so find out which is best for you.
Need more information about asthma?
Asthma can make life difficult but your Woodbridge, VA, physician can help. Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb of Ridgeview Internal Medicine can be reached at (703) 494-4116 if you'd like to make an appointment or have questions about asthma.
How your women’s health specialists in Woodbridge, VA, can help
If you are struggling with urinary incontinence, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Fortunately, your women’s health and internal medicine specialists at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, can help you feel better.
Episodes of incontinence can occur when muscles in the bladder tighten but the sphincter muscles can’t close the urethra, producing a strong urge to urinate. Problems with the nerves that control bladder muscles and the urethra can also cause incontinence. You can also lose small amounts of urine when you sneeze, laugh, or exercise.
Women suffer most from incontinence because it can be related to:
A woman’s pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, urethra, and other structures. These muscles can be weakened or damaged from the issues listed above. When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, the urinary tract muscles have to work harder to control urination. This extra stress can cause urine leakage.
There are several simple tips you can try at home to minimize incontinence. Consider:
- Doing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- Urinating at set times to train your bladder
- Increasing the time between urination by 15-minute intervals to train your bladder to hold urine
- Losing weight to decrease pressure on your bladder and bladder muscles
- Avoiding caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol to help minimize symptoms
- Quitting smoking to improve your overall health and decrease symptoms
- Getting help for constipation, which can make incontinence worse
- Wearing pads or protective underwear to help control leakage
Your women's health specialists at Ridgeview Internal Medicine will do a comprehensive medical examination to help diagnose the cause of your urinary incontinence. If your symptoms are related to menopause, your doctor may recommend vaginal creams or other topical agents containing estrogen. Estrogen therapy can help strengthen the muscles of the urethra.
Other common treatments for urinary incontinence include introducing bulking agents like collagen, to help thicken the walls of the bladder and urethra for added support. A surgical procedure may also be recommended. Placing a sling under your urethra and bladder to hold these structures in place is a common surgical procedure for urinary incontinence.
Concerned? Give us a call
You don't have to let urinary incontinence control your life. To find out more about urinary incontinence and how your doctor can help, call your women’s health and internal medicine specialists of Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, Virginia at (703) 494-4116. Call today!
From acute to chronic health concerns, Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb, your primary care physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine, has you covered. At our office in Woodbridge, VA, we emphasize the importance of annual women's health screenings, for they prove a time for blood pressure checks, immunization schedule updates, and cardiovascular disease screenings.
You're not a set of numbers
Don't think of your annual exam as just a measurement of medical variables: it's so much more. When you visit our Woodbridge office, you can discuss women's health issues as they pertain to you personally. Whether you are in your child-bearing years or post-menopausal, your physical, emotional, and mental health needs vary. Accordingly, our physician will partner with you in preventive, personalized care that will keep you in the best possible well-being.
What an annual exam includes
When you see your doctor, she will review your medical history and discuss any changes. Dr. Al-Khateeb will take your vital signs, height, and weight.
She will also update your immunizations and order screening tests as needed (mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density, EKG, and lung function as examples). Additionally, she orders blood work to include metabolic screening tests for blood sugar/cholesterol levels, thyroid function, blood count, and more.
Expect a simple examination of muscular strength, reflexes, abdomen, lymph nodes, and issues with the ear, nose, and throat. She will ask you about your last vision and dental examinations, and if you are over 50, she may refer you for a hearing test.
Finally, your annual physical is the opportunity for you to discuss any recurring or pressing health concerns—including mental and sexual health issues. Depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and more are all problems that your physician can help you find professional help with.
Call us today
If it's time for your annual exam, please contact Ridgeview Internal Medicine for a convenient women's health appointment. Dial (703) 494-4116 today.
The Office on Women's Health estimates that up to 80 percent of women have uterine fibroids by the time they reach the age of 50. They are growths on or around the uterus that can become larger and more prevalent, especially in women who are in their reproductive years and menstruating. Get a better understanding of uterine fibroids, and what can cause fibroids in women when you visit a women’s health professional at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
A fibroid is a usually benign muscular tumor that forms on the wall of the uterus. They are classified as submucosal (in the cavity of the uterus), intramural (within the uterus), and subserosal (outside the walls of the uterus). Fibroids are the reason why some women have bloated or larger bellies as they get older. Patients can have one or several fibroids of different sizes, and some can grow as large as a fist. Though fibroids are generally benign, they can cause discomfort and heavy bleeding when a woman is menstruating. They can also cause incontinence and pain in the lower back.
What Causes Fibroids?
While there is no definitive reason why fibroids form, there are a few possible contributing factors to consider:
- Many cases are genetic—it’s common for women in the same family, from different generations, to develop them.
- Hormonal imbalances may contribute to the development uterine fibroids.
- Diet, nutrition, and obesity may have an impact on fibroid formation.
Treatments for Fibroids
Fibroids can be treated by your Woodbridge, VA women’s health specialist in a number of ways. The treatment plan will depend on where the fibroid is located, its size, your symptoms, your age, and your desire to become pregnant in the future. These are some potential solutions:
- Medication to relieve pain, especially during periods of menstruation.
- Birth control to calm heavy bleeding or similar hormonal drugs.
- Surgical removal of fibroids (called a myomectomy) or removal of the uterine lining (endometrial ablation).
- A procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization, which deprives fibroids of their blood supply.
See a Women’s Health Doctor
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, a women’s health doctor will be able to evaluate and treat your case of uterine fibroids. Call the office today at (703) 494-4116 to set a time for your upcoming visit with Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb.
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