Healthy Hillsborough Magazine

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0000277496-01 HEALTHY

At MyCare Medical our senior members have:

Your personal representative who takes care of to make sure your questions are answered

Access to our care team 24/7

Diagnostics and blood tests in a same place

Invitations to educational seminars about various health conditions

Patient appreciation events and much more.


Spend time getting to know you Engage with you to understand your medical history and current needs Build customized primary care plans that work for you and your health right now

2 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023
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MyCare Medical transitioning seniors into heal thy active seniors

Grea t ca ncer care st arts with an accura te di agnosis And a trea tment pla n tha t offer s the best chance of saving yo ur li fe. Ur gency mean s everything at Moffitt. So we’re accelerating breakth ro ughs that are saving lives tod ay, re sulti ng in outcome s up to four times the nation al averages. Cho o se Moffitt first. Le arn more at Moffitt.o rg /Outcome s.

April 2023 | Healthy Hillsborough 3

Burn, baby, burn: Torch calories with these everyday activities

Long COVID or Post-COVID-19 Syndrome — What’s the story?

To juice or not to juice, that is the question

Wellness Checks: What, why, and when?

Self-Care 101: Tips for taking care of yourself as a caregiver

Is it Eczema or Psoriasis? How do you tell?

What’s the Difference between a Walk-in Clinic, Urgent Care and the ER?

18 20 23 14 COMING SOON!

Good-for-you gardening: Enjoy the many benefits of tending to the garden


We're excited to announce the opening of our new location, located at Lutz Lake Fern road, where we'll provide the same exceptional care that you've come to expect from us.

Our team of experienced doctors and nurses are dedicated to keeping your little ones healthy and happy.

I hope you dance: Discover the health benefits of dancing Getting older
the sun
Healthy Hillsborough is produced by Times Total Media, the sales and marketing division of the Tampa Bay Times. All articles in this publication were written or compiled by Times Total Media or paying advertisers. Please consult licensed professionals for qualified guidance. Contact with questions or to advertise. 4 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023 19203 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Lutz, FL 33548 • • (813) 397-5300 our deserves Yo de Your child deserves he best re. the care
5 8 11 12 13 16 best care.

Burn, baby, burn: Torch calories with these everyday activities

Feel the burn! Whether you love swimming laps, walking fast or pumping iron in the gym, we can all agree that it’s important to get moving. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, the more active you are, the more calories you burn. Here, we detail how many calories certain everyday activities can help you burn, based on a half-hour of activity. Please keep in mind, the number of calories listed here have been calculated using the weight of the average American man and woman. All caloric calculations are approximate and should be used only as a guideline. The number of calories you burn per activity will vary depending on your individual metrics

Playing with kids

There’s a reason why you may feel tired after chasing your kids or grandkids around the park or your backyard. Yep, you guessed it: You’re burning calories! Thirty minutes of running around with the kiddos playing games like tag, soccer or football will torch 195 calories for the average Amercian woman, and 225 for the average American man. Hut, hut, hike!

Walking the dog

Pet people, Fido and Spot may be able to help you get healthy. Taking your doggo (or cat … or ferret, we don’t judge) for a 30-minute walk or light run can burn 126 calories for the average man and 109 for the average woman. Missed the walk today? You can still get some exercise in. A half-hour of sitting while playing with your pet will burn 98 calories for women and 113 calories for men.


Dance, dance! The benefits of dancing are numerous (see the article “I hope you dance: Discover the health benefits of dancing” in this publication for more info), plus it’s just a lot of fun. Thirty minutes of dancing will burn 203 calories for men, and 176 for women. Different types of dancing can affect how many calories you’ll burn – for example, if you’re doing the samba, you’ll burn 135 calories over a 30-minute period if you’re a man, or 117 if you’re a woman. Fancy an Irish step dance? Who doesn’t? Men torch 203 calories and women burn 176 calories after a 30-minute Irish step dancing session. As The Beach Boys once sang, “I gotta dance!”


There may finally be a justification for your love of shopping: You can burn calories in the process, giving new meaning to “shop till you drop.” Thirty minutes of shopping will burn 90 calories for the average American woman and 103 for the average American man. (Sorry, online shoppers, these totals only count for in-person shopping sessions.) Grocery shopping, sans cart, will beef up that total a bit: Men will burn 158 calories doing this activity, while women will burn 137.


Serial cleaners, it turns out that 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there of cleaning and picking up around the house can be an excellent way to shred those calories. Men burn 135 calories per 30 minutes of cleaning, while women burn 117. Vacuuming? For every 30 minutes of vacuuming you do, you’ll burn 137 calories (for women) or 158 (for men). Thirty minutes of light dusting around the house will burn 113 calories for men and 98 for women. Another calorie bites the dust!


Yes, you read that right: Reading can burn calories. In fact, it’s likely you’re burning calories reading this right now. (You can thank us later.) The average American woman will burn 51 calories while sitting and reading for 30 minutes, while that total comes to 59 calories for men. If you like to read while standing, you’re in luck: Not only will you enjoy a good read, but you’ll burn more calories, with men burning 81 calories after 30 minutes of standing and reading, and women burning 70. The more you know!

Information for this article was gathered from,, and

April 2023 | Healthy Hillsborough 5

World-class Cancer Care. Close to Home.

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has built a national reputation for providing world-class cancer care in community settings. From genetic screening to immunotherapies and access to the latest clinical trials, our top-ranked cancer experts provide the most advanced treatments available – increasing cure rates and extending lives.

Supporting patients and families through every step of their cancer journey Despite rapid advancements, cancer treatment can be complex and span months and years. That’s why it’s so important for patients to have convenient access to the comprehensive care they need in a single location, close to home and loved ones, without the need to drive long distances or travel out of state.

At FCS, every interaction is focused on each patient’s experience and well-being, minimizing disruption to daily life. Newly diagnosed cancer patients are seen within 48 to 72 hours of referral. Beginning with your first appointment through your last round of targeted treatment and survivorship, our dedicated FCS team will provide expert guidance and support.

At the forefront of science and research

FCS physicians and patients are part of leading-edge cancer innovations and discoveries through participation in clinical trials. In fact, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. in recent years were studied in clinical trials with FCS participation prior to approval.

No other community-based oncology practice in Florida matches the clinical trial op-

portunities we make available to patients close to home.

Embracing innovation to deliver truly personalized care

FCS’s in-house Pathology Laboratory provides cutting-edge clinical next-generation genomic testing that can rapidly detect mutations in hundreds of different genes simultaneously. Physicians are able to personalize treatments based on each patient’s unique genetic makeup and provide the best matches for clinical trial opportunities.

With access to 99 percent of all oral oncology drugs on the market, Rx To Go, FCS’s in-house specialty pharmacy, provides convenient and timely home delivery of medications and 24/7 patient support.

Leading the transition of oncology care reimbursement

FCS continues to advance and receive recognition for initiatives that are helping to

contain soaring health care costs and improve clinical quality and performance accountability We consistently outpace industry targets and benchmarks for quality and value.

Experienced doctors you can trust to treat your unique cancer

In Hillsborough County, 17 Board-certified hematologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and an expert team of clinical and support staff deliver exceptional and compassionate care for all forms of cancers and blood disorders.

Our Services:

• Cancer Rehabilitation

• Care Management

• Clinical Trials

• DigniCap®

• Genetic Counseling

• Hematology

• Infusion Therapy

• Laboratory

• Medical Oncology

• Non-Oncology Infusions

• Nutritional Counseling

• Oncology Navigator

• Oral Oncolytic Pharmacy (Rx To Go)

• Palliative Care

• Radiation Oncology

• Radiology

• Telemedicine

Providing care at five locations in Hillsborough County:

403 S. Kings Ave., Suite 100, Brandon (813) 982-3460

4051 Upper Creek Drive, Suite 103B, Sun City Center (813) 633-3955

3000 Medical Park Drive, Suite 250, Tampa (813) 632-6220

2111 W. Swann Ave., Suite 102, Tampa (813) 254-7227

3402 W. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa (813) 875-3950

Learn more or schedule a consultation today:

6 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023 0000275640-02
We take care of the big things in cancer care, so you can make the most of the little moments that matter – every step of the way.

Close to cancer experts. Closer to what you love.

April 2023 | Healthy Hillsborough 7
Florida Cancer Specialists’ top-ranked cancer experts provide the most advanced treatments in our local community.
From genetic screening to immunotherapies, our quality care brings effective, targeted treatment to you so you can stay close to home.
We take care of all the big things in cancer care, so you can focus on all the little moments that matter—every step of the way

Long COVID or Post-COVID-19 Syndrome — What’s the story?

As viruses go, COVID-19 has behaved much like a trickster. Depending on risk factors like age, weight, activity level and pre-existing conditions (i.e., obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure) — and sometimes with not even one of those risk factors present — it can land you in the hospital, on a ventilator or worse. Or it might slip by you, barely making a blip on your radar. Some survivors report it was the sickest they’d ever been. And some still struggle with its effects, months, even years later, limiting their lives, forcing them to curtail or even quit work and activity.

According to the COVID support group, “studies suggest that conservatively, one in three individuals who contract COVID-19 are likely to experience lingering symptoms or to develop new symptoms 28 days or longer after the initial onset of disease. This lingering condition is often referred to as long COVID, PASC (post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2) or post COVID syndrome. Long COVID symptoms can vary in intensity, type and duration depending on the individual.”

While long COVID tends to be more common in adults than in children and teens, people of any age can experience long COVID symptoms. And long COVID can develop after severe, mild or even asymptomatic cases of COVID

What does long COVID typically look like?

The most common sign of long COVID is debilitating fatigue. It’s been compared to the overwhelming tiredness that characterizes chronic fatigue syndrome. With that said, long COVID symptoms can vary significantly among sufferers. Some people have persistent headaches, chills, sleep disorders, brain fog, breathing difficulties, memory loss and/or a stubborn cough, while others develop cardiovascular complications, impotence or menstrual irregularities, or experience mental health impacts, such as depression or anxiety. Furthermore, the symptoms can wax and wane in such a way that patients can’t predict whether feeling good for a day or a week is a trend or a fluke — which makes it especially difficult to make plans or stick to a schedule. Explore the symptom checklist of potential symptoms of long COVID at If you suspect you have long COVID and need medical support, this form can help you keep track of your symptoms and note patterns in occurrence and severity.

While infection rates and deaths from COVID are down since the peak of the pandemic, the virus is still out there and still mutating, people are still getting infected and cases of long COVID are still developing. The debilitating symptoms associated with the disorder are still frustrating experts and straining relationships.

All of this makes support groups — such as, Body Politic ( and — so important for sufferers and their caretakers. Because no one can give the kind of support and understanding like those who’ve been there (or are still there). In addition to valuable emotional and mental support, connecting with support groups also is a way of crowdsourcing coping techniques, medical studies and symptom relief strategies.

If you’ve steered clear of the virus so far by staying current on vaccinations and modifying behaviors, be thankful and stay vigilant. Millions have died and millions more suffer debilitating long-term effects. The best defense is and always has been not getting COVID in the first place.

Information for this article was gathered from,,,,, and


1 in 13

ADULTS (7.5%)

have long COVID symptoms


NEARLY as many adults ages 50-59 currently have long COVID vs. those 80 or older

5.5% 9.4%

Women are more likely than men to currently have long COVID



Kentucky (12.7%)

Alabama (12.1%)

Tennessee (11.6%)

South Dakota (11.6%)


Hawaii (4.5%)

Maryland (4.7%)

Virginia (5.1%)

Content source: CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, June 2022 8 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023
by the

Heart care. Cancer care. Boo-boo care.

BayCare Kids is trusted by more parents in Tampa Bay than any other health care system.

BayCare Kids is committed to keeping children healthy so they can become healthy adults, and we’ve got an entire network dedicated to the unique medical needs of kids The BayCare Kids network includes our flagship hospital, St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, which provides comprehensive, highly specialized care for kids with complex conditions like congenital hear t defec ts and cancer. With 80 pediatric physician specialist s representing 25 medical and surgical disciplines, our pediatric team of fers the care St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is known for. And parent s can feel conf ident knowing that in addition to these specialized pediatric services , emergency care is provided by our Steinbrenner Emergenc y/ Trauma Center for Children

At St . Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, we treat more children than any other hospital in Tampa Bay, so you can rest assured your child will receive expert care close to home. Kids grow up fast . We’re here to help them grow up healthy, too. Learn more:

April 2023 | Healthy Hillsborough 9 23-2663956_0323
10 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023 OF TAMP A FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS We care like family. Our experienced and qualified professionals can help you get the care and support you need to keep your loved ones healthy and happy. Contact us today to get started! (813) 726-0320 2727 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607 Suite #100 Monday - Friday | 7AM - 5PM 0000277514-01

TO JUICE or NOT TO JUICE, that is the question

Scene: You’ve just inhaled an entire Papa Johns BBQ chicken bacon pizza and are reveling in its goodness. The following thoughts come to mind: Why must you be so deliciously cheesy, chicken-y and bacon-y?

I love you, Papa Johns BBQ chicken bacon pizza! But also, with a pang of regret: I think I ate too much. Maybe tomorrow I should start a juice cleanse.

What is a juice cleanse, you ask? To understand more about juice cleanses and their appeal, you must first be familiar with juicing. The basic concept behind juicing is simple: Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or veggies but is no healthier than eating them whole, reports the Mayo Clinic. In fact, the healthy fiber found in whole fruits and veggies is typically lost during the juicing process.

Fiber helps you feel full and may lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer, so you may be missing out on some health benefits by opting to liquify your fruits and veggies. There is no scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get from enjoying whole fruits or veggies, says the Mayo Clinic.

A juice cleanse takes the concept of juicing to the next level. Juice cleanses, which can last anywhere from three days to three weeks, are when an individual drinks only the juices from fruits and vegetables to lose weight and “detoxify” their body, according to Healthline.

While juice cleanses, which you may have seen promoted online by social media influencers, celebrities or your Great-Aunt Susan, may be able to help you lose weight, Healthline suggests that this is because juice cleanse participants aren’t consuming enough calories. As for the claim that they are detoxifying, well … research on the topic isn’t substantial enough to support

that claim. Plus, our bodies are usually adept at helping detoxify our systems, anyway (shoutout to the liver and kidneys!).

Additionally, according to Healthline, juicing may encourage disordered eating patterns or put those who practice it at risk for developing eating disorders, with research finding that there may be a link between juice cleanses and eating disorders.

If you love juice, not all is lost: Juices can be delicious and an enjoyable part of your diet, but as Healthline reports, they shouldn’t replace solid food. If you’re interested in juicing, consider enjoying a smoothie instead. According to the Mayo Clinic, blending up the edible parts of fruits and veggies produces a drink that contains more healthy phytonutrients and fiber.

Information for this article was gathered from and

April 2023 | Healthy Hillsborough 11

Wellness Checks: What, why, and when?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “largely preventable chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, are responsible for 70 percent of American deaths each year.”

Well, that’s sobering. Staying current with various vaccinations and wellness exams goes a long way toward keeping your health on the right track. But what shots and tests are we talking about? And what’s the timetable? The following are general indications:

In adulthood, a range of screening tests can identify early warning signs of serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

• Cholesterol check every five years.

• Blood pressure check every two years.

• Calculation of body mass index, and screening for emotional and psychological conditions including depression and anxiety.

• Fasting plasma glucose test every three years beginning at age 45; earlier if you’re overweight or have a high risk of diabetes.

• Eye examinations every two to four years until age 54; every one to three years after that. Cataracts often begin in the 40s or 50s.

• Have a dermatologist check your skin head to toe every year, as skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S.

Additionally, for women

• Generally, a Pap smear is recommended every three years between ages 21 and 65, or every five years when combined with testing for HPV (human papillomavirus).

• A mammogram is recommended every year from ages 45 to 54. From age 55, every two years, or more often for those at high risk.

• Sexually active women should be tested annually for chlamydia, and everyone should have at least one HIV test during adulthood.

40 and older

From the age of 40, check blood pressure every year. Check vision and hearing yearly to prevent age-related conditions like glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness.

Women ages 65 and up should be screened for osteoporosis every two years, and men over 50 should discuss prostate cancer screenings every two or three years.

Everyone should have their first colonoscopy at age 45, and every 10 years after that if results are negative and their risk is average.

Vaccinations has an exhaustive list of recommended vaccines with additional info about genders, ages and risk factors. Go to (or https:// pdf) to view or download.

Information for this article was gathered from,, and

12 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023

Self-care 101:

Tips for taking care of yourself as a caregiver

Take care: According to 2020 research from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, approximately 53 million adults in the U.S. served as caregivers*, having provided care to an adult or child with special needs in the past 12 months. That’s a whole lot of caregivers, and a whole lot of care being given. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion estimates that ap proximately one in three caregivers spends at least 20 hours a week caring for a loved one. Keep in mind that many caregivers also have other jobs. As a result, busy caregivers may find it difficult to find the time or energy for self-care in their already packed schedules. Here, we outline how you can care for yourself even as you shoulder your caregiving responsibilities.

Stay healthy

As a caregiver, it’s vital that you stay healthy and look after yourself. Get ting enough sleep and enjoying healthy meals and snacks are a couple of ways to make sure you have enough energy for the next day. Also, although it may feel counterintuitive to use what little energy you feel you have left to get a workout, getting exercise may actually supply you with more energy. If you’re looking for a low-im pact activity, try yoga, which studies have shown can help with stress and anxiety.

Talk it out

Caregiving can be stressful and isolating, and sometimes, it can take a toll on your mind and emotions. Talking to loved ones, such as friends or family members, about how you’re doing may help you feel more supported. Texts, phone calls and virtual hangouts can help remind you that you’re part of a larger community that cares about you. Spending time with a loved one face to face may also help you feel more connected. Plus, it’s always nice to get a hug.

Find an outlet

With the free time you do have, consider pouring yourself into a creative outlet or picking up a new hobby to help you focus on something non-caregiving related. Start an online shop selling your original artwork, try keeping a blog or simply dance. If you love music, lean into learning a new instrument or perfect your skills on one you already play. Writers, penning your thoughts in a journal might help you release them from your mind. Want to crochet plushies of the entire cast of “Stranger Things”? Do that. But don’t beat yourself up if you’re not feeling particularly creative, because that’s OK, too.

Spend time with a pet

According to Johns Hopkins, research shows that simply petting a dog can reduce stress. If you’re

feeling overwhelmed, spend some time with your pets or, if you don’t have an animal of your own, enlist the help of friends, family members or neighbors to see if they’d let you dog-, cat- or hamster-sit their pet for a bit. You may also consider getting a pet of your own if desired. Research shows that pet owners have better self-esteem, and their fluffy companions may be able to help ease depression.

Find resources

Remember that statistic from the first paragraph? With millions of caregivers in the U.S., you’re not alone, and you’re likely not the only caregiver in your local area. There may be programs, such as a caregiving support group, in your region that can help put you in touch with caregiving resources and services as well as individuals who share like experiences with you. It’s also important to prioritize your mental health, and speaking to a mental health professional about your experiences can help you cope.

Ask for help

You may decide at some point that you need to take a break from caregiving, and that’s OK. Whether your break is short- or long-term, there are options available for you. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may have access to respite care in your area. This could include in-home services from health care aides who provide companionship or nursing services, help from adult care centers or short-term nursing homes.

For more information and resources for family caregivers, visit the Family Caregiver Alliance at or call (800) 445-8106. Find additional resources from the National Alliance for Caregiving at https://www.

*Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center defines a caregiver as a person who tends to the needs or concerns of a person with short- or long-term limitations due to illness, injury or disability.

Information for this article was gathered from,,, and

April 2023 | Healthy Hillsborough 13

Is it Eczema or Psoriasis? How do you tell?

Maybe you’ve been noticing these discolored, itchy inflamed patches on your skin. They’re really bothersome, you’re feeling self-conscious about them and they aren’t getting better. You’re wondering, could it be eczema … or psoriasis? What’s the difference? Aren’t they basically the same thing?

Short answer: Nope, they’re not. At first presentation, both conditions look similar, so they can be confused. Plus, certain topicals and UVB therapy can soothe both conditions. So it takes the experienced eye of a board-certified dermatologist, and perhaps a biopsy, to know which condition is causing your symptoms.

First, the comparison lowdown from

• Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disease associated with systemic inflammation that can lead to comorbidities like cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression.

• Eczema, according to the National Eczema Association, “is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, inflamed or have a rash-like appearance. There are seven types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic

eczema, nummular eczema, neurodermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis.”

Some people mistakenly think of eczema as “psoriasis lite,” but eczema will not develop into psoriasis. (You can have both conditions, though that’s uncommon.) Both conditions are chronic — meaning they can’t be cured — but they can be managed. Both conditions have an immune-system link, although the links are very different. And neither condition is contagious.

Eczema tends to start earlier, often in infancy (60 percent of eczema cases present within a baby’s first year, according to a study published

ECZEMA contnued on PAGE 21

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What’s the Difference between a Walk-in Clinic, Urgent Care and the ER?

There are more options for in-person and virtual medical care than ever before, but with all that choice comes confusion. How do they differ, and are they covered by your medical insurance? Or conversely, can you get seen if you don’t have medical insurance? Let’s break it down.

Walk-in clinic

In the first tier of care, a walk-in clinic’s staff typically includes nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants. They diagnose certain common conditions and illnesses such as ear infections, the flu or strep throat. They can also write prescriptions if medically appropriate.

Walk-in clinics are convenient locations where you can schedule and receive immediate care. They can handle treatment plans, prescriptions and minor health care concerns.

Walk-in clinics offer a variety of health care services, including:

• Treatment for ear and sinus infections, colds, flu, strep throat and other minor illnesses

• Treatment for minor wounds, such as non-severe cuts, blisters and skin abrasions

• Limited chronic condition screenings

• Immunizations for the flu, meningitis, shingles and other illnesses

• Health screenings for women’s health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs)

• Treatment for sprains and back pain

Though they may take many or most insurances, insurance is not typically required.

Retail walk-in clinic

This type of walk in clinic is part of a retail location, i.e. Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Costco, Target, a mall, etc. They are inside those locations and typically staff nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants. They can treat non-emergencies and prescribe medications. Some clinics, like CVS’s Minute Clinic, offer virtual care as well, and include instructions on their site that detail the steps for accessing that care (but are not covered by certain health care plans).

Urgent care clinic

Also known as an acute care clinic. Like walk-in clinics, you don’t have to make an appointment to be seen. Urgent care clinics can take care of more serious injuries and illnesses. This can include splinting and casting broken bones. They also treat respiratory conditions that need prompt attention but do not need full-scale emergency room care.

Urgent care clinics have higher-level diagnostic equipment, such as X-ray machines. But they’re not equipped for major surgery or procedures that require anesthesia. In most cases, if you don’t have insurance, they will allow you to pay affordable cash prices for services.

Urgent care clinics usually have at least one physician on staff. They work together with nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants. Urgent care clinics offer such services as:

• Non-life-threatening asthma and bronchitis treatment • Allergy care

• Animal bite treatment • Casts and splints • Digestive issue care • X-rays

• Infection treatment • Minor burn care • Minor wound care • STD testing

Ammar Hatab, MD, FAAAAI

Fatima E. Khan, MD, MBA, FAAAAI

Donya S. Imanirad, MD, MS

Lori Davila, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Online urgent care

One example of the expanding phenomenon of online urgent care is PlushCare, which identifies as “virtual primary care and mental health treatment when you need it.” Prescriptions are sent to your local pharmacy; online therapy is also available. PlushCare accepts most major insurances, but insurance is not required. According to their website, urgent care appointments are available online within 15 minutes, 24/7.

Hospital emergency room

A hospital emergency room is best saved for life-threatening emergencies: heart attack, stroke, appendicitis, severe burns, gunshot wound, anaphylaxis … you get the idea. But if you are truly miserable, and everything else is closed and you can’t wait until tomorrow, the ER is not going to turn you away. (Enacted in 1986, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act[EMTALA] is a federal law that requires public hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment to anyone who comes to the ER, regardless of their ability to pay.)

Bear in mind: The average ER visit can cost a patient at least $750 while the same treatment at an urgent care without insurance can cost as little as $150.

Information for this article gathered from,,, and

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Good-for-you gardening: Enjoy the many benefits of tending to the garden

If you’re the gardening type, you already know that the benefits of spending time in the garden are myriad: You can grow your own crops and blooms, take pride in cultivating the natural landscape and get very good at intimidating the squirrels and other critters that try to eat the collard greens your husband planted (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience). But did you know that gardening can have positive effects on your mental and physical health, as well as the environment? Here, we detail even more reasons to get your green on.

Physical benefits

Working in the garden can be a very physical pursuit. The vigorous work it takes to cultivate a garden, like weeding it so your plants can grow, can be good for your heart. One UNC Health physician reports that the manual labor of gardening can provide cardiovascular benefits. It can also be a good way to burn calories. The average American

man 20 years old or older will burn 360 calories during one hour of general gardening work, while the average American woman in the same age range will burn 312. If you’re actively digging and tilling the land (go, gardener, go!), that total jumps up to 450 calories for men and 390 for women over the course of an hour.

Grab your sunglasses, sunscreen and very fashionable, very widebrimmed sun hat and get out there: According to UNC Health Talk, the exposure to sunlight that gardening provides may be able to help you get an adequate amount of vitamin D, which can increase your calcium levels and help both your bones and your immune system. Psychology Today also states that gardening can help improve or preserve your cognitive functions, so know that when you’re out tending to your

 GARDENING continued on page 22

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I hope you dance: Discover the health benefits of dancing

Unlike George Michael, who famously crooned, “I’m never gonna dance again,” you, in fact, should embrace dancing. Not only can it be expressive and a lot of fun, but dancing can also have some nifty health benefits.

Read on to discover how adding a bit of dance to your life can give your health a boost. *insert “Careless Whisper” saxophone solo here*

Dancing is heart-healthy

Take heart: Even if you’re not a fan of typical cardio workouts like running or swimming, dance can serve as a playful and enjoyable alternative that’s good for your health. According to a 2016 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, people who participated in moderate-intensity dancing were 46 percent less likely to develop heart disease, or die from it, than nondancers over 10 years of follow-up. So, next time you lace up your dancing shoes (ours are a black patent leather), remember that you’re doing your heart a favor.

Dancing can keep you connected

Dancing can also be a social activity and a way to connect with a community of like-minded individuals. Attending dance classes at a local organization like the YMCA can help you brush up on your skills, form new friendships and learn about different types of dances. Not only that, but studies have shown that dancing can be a good self-esteem booster. The benefits of dancing abound!

Dancing can improve your mental health

Not only can dancing boost both your social life and selfesteem, but it can also improve other aspects of your mental health. For instance, studies have shown that dancing can decrease anxiety. It might also be able to make you mentally sharper overall: Research finds that dancing helps us think and can improve the parts of the brain in charge of memory and organization. One study from The New England Journal of Medicine even suggests that dancing can help prevent dementia.

Dancing can help your physical health too

Dancing gets you moving, and it can be great for your balance. Especially the tango! Research from the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity has found that tango dancing can improve balance in older adults. Ballet is another type of dance known to help improve balance as well as flexibility.

Dancing can help you lose weight

A bonus side effect of the joy that is dancing is weight loss. In fact, a study from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology reports that aerobic dance training can help you shred the same amount of pounds as biking or jogging. This is especially encouraging if running or riding a bike just isn’t your thing. Instead, get your dance on!

Dancing can strengthen your bones

You’re a born dancer, it’s in your bones! Or, in this case, it might actually help your bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has found that high-impact, weight-bearing exercises, like certain types of dances, can promote bone strength and even help build new bone mass, which slows down the progression of osteoporosis.

Dancing can reduce stress

Are you a stress eater or stress cleaner? Why not become a stress dancer instead? Sure, precious few have claimed to be stress dancers, but as dance is a natural stress reliever, there are benefits to be had in giving it a try. A study from the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that dancing with a partner to some tunes can lower stress levels. So, put on some pop music (or hip-hop, country or emo) and leave your troubles on the dance floor. When in doubt, dance it out, and prove George Michael wrong.

Information for this article was gathered from,,, and

20 Healthy Hillsborough | April 2023

ECZEMA continued from PAGE 14 in The Journal of Pediatrics). Psoriasis tends to start later in life, generally between the ages of 20 and 30, or 50 and 60. Children with eczema have a higher likelihood of developing asthma and/or nasal allergies later in life. Alternately, there is a strong link between psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

eczema. While the exact cause of eczema is unknown, researchers do know that people who develop the disorder do so because of a combination of genes, a sensitive immune system, a dysfunctional skin barrier, skin bacteria like staphylococcus aureus and environmental triggers.

If you’re still not sure, and even if you are, start seeing a dermatologist. Their hard-won knowledge and expertise can help you get control over your symptoms, so you can get back to living your best life. Which is really the whole point.

Information for this article was gathered from nationaleczema. org,,,, and

While both have an immune system component, psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease, while eczema, at least currently, is not. (Both conditions run in families, so genetic triggers are being studied.) In the case of psoriasis, skin cell turnover is sped up from every four weeks or so to every four days, leading to a buildup of new skin cells on top of older skin cells that can’t be shed quickly enough. This buildup manifests as the thickened, scaly, itchy patches called plaques (plaque psoriasis being the most common form of the condition). This rapid cell turnover and resulting buildup is not a feature of

Eczema on a patient’s neck & chest Psoriasis on a patient’s arms
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Do you experience Chronic Achilles tendon and Heel Pain? A new NON-SURGICAL treatment is now available with Amazing Results! Call us to see if this option is right for you. Genuine caring and listening to each and every patient is the hallmark of this practice. We offer traditional foot and ankle care services with the unique option of alternative/regenerative medicine for those who prefer that paradigm.

GARDENING continued from PAGE 18

flowers, herbs or pumpkin patch, your body and brain are also reaping the benefits.

Mental benefits

Brain? Did someone mention the brain? Yes, there are more moodboosting, brainy benefits from gardening that help support mental health. According to UNC Health Talk, gardening can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and you may even get a boost of serotonin from digging in the soil. Inhaling Mycobacterium vaccae, a healthy bacterium found in soil, can help reduce anxiety, UNC Health Talk writes. Psychology Today states that this same bacterium has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties that may protect against stress. Gardening is also a self-esteem booster, so you may be cultivating both confidence and crops as you work. A win-win!

Environmental benefits

When you plant a garden, not only are you creating something beautiful that you and your loved ones can enjoy, but you’re also paying the environment a favor. According to Green Matters, plant roots can absorb errant chemicals or heavy metals from the soil they’re planted in, and can also help bind soil together, so it’s less likely to wash away in heavy rains. Plants also may be able to help counteract global warming, reports Green Matters. Growing your own crops may even


help the environment because it means taking fewer trips to Publix (and more trips to the garden to ward off those collard green-loving critters).

Next time you’re digging up weeds or planting seeds, remember: Having a garden of your own can be beneficial in many ways – not just for your mental and physical health, but for the world around you.

Information for this article was gathered from healthtalk.,,, psychologytoday. com and

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Getting older under the sun

Did you know that 80 percent or more of the visible signs of aging are due to sun exposure?

Eighty percent is a big number. But, depending on your resolve (and your personal history), it could be a lot lower. Of course, the earlier you start protecting yourself from the sun, the better. Young people tend to not give it much thought; old age seems far away. (Maybe that was you back in the day.) That said, many older people think the damage has already been done and there’s nothing they can do about it now. On that, they’re wrong. Recent research has shown that we continue to experience substantial UV exposure as long as we live; the majority of exposure occurs after age 40. This later exposure is often what kicks in to contribute to skin cancers, so sun protection remains critical throughout our lives. There are many reasons to protect yourself from the sun your whole life long. As in:

• Skin cancer – Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is now one of the most common cancers in the 15-29 age bracket. But the average age of people when it is diagnosed is 65.

• UV rays damage the DNA inside skin cells. Skin cancers can begin when this damage affects the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth.

• Cataracts (if untreated, they can lead to blindness)

• Corneal burning (aka snowblindness)

• Damage to the lens

• Damage to the macula (the central portion of the retina), increased risk of macular degeneration

• UV-induced immunosuppression – overexposure to UV radiation can weaken the immune system, reducing the skin’s ability to protect against cancers and infections.

• Heat stroke

Protect yourself. A sunny day is irresistible, but never forget: The sun’s rays can do significant damage to your skin, eyes and health if you don’t take precautions. Protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses, apply a high SPF sunblock every two hours when you’re outside, go indoors or seek the shade during peak hours and check your skin monthly for moles or lesions. Follow the ABCDE rule when it comes to whether moles or lesions should be looked at:

• A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

• B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.

• C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white or blue.

• D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.

• E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape or color.

Finally, get a full body check with a dermatologist every year. Random facts…

• Rule of thumb: if, when standing outside, your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade or go inside.

• Ultraviolet UV radiation from the sun and from tanning beds is classified as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the World Health Organization.

• More people develop skin cancer because of UV tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking (per

• Confused about UVA and UVB? Think of UVA as the aging sunlight, and UVB as the burning sunlight.

Information for this article was gathered from,,,,,, and

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