A Smart Approach to Dealing with Seasonal Allergies This Spring

Photo of a butterfly collecting pollen on a flower

Warmer weather. Green grass. Leaves on the trees and flowers in bloom. 

Spring is a beautiful thing — except when you’re dealing with seasonal allergies. The grass, trees, and flowers also signal the return of pollen and a season of sneezing, coughing, and stuffy noses. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

Pollen is nearly impossible to avoid altogether. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s important to come up with a plan to stay as healthy as possible, so you can enjoy this beautiful time of year. 

Start with Over-the-Counter Medicines

With so many Americans suffering from seasonal allergies, it’s no surprise that there are countless options for over-the-counter medications that can help prevent and treat your allergic reactions.

  • Oral Antihistamines — These help relieve sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses. Antihistamines are typically available in pills, liquids or nasal sprays.
  • Decongestants — These help relieve congestion by treating the linings of the nasal passages. Decongestants may come in the form of pills, liquids and nasal sprays or drops.
  • Nasal Spray — A cromolyn sodium nasal spray is most effective when used as a preventative measure before the onset of symptoms.

Your Primary Care Physician Can Help

When your seasonal allergy symptoms are severe and the usual medicines aren’t providing the relief you need, your next step should be scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician.

Your doctor can prescribe allergy medication that isn’t available over the counter. They can also recommend tests to help diagnose your specific type of allergy, so you know that you’re taking the right steps to stay as healthy as possible.

  • Skin Prick Test — A small drop of an allergen will be placed on your skin and then you’ll receive a light prick or scratch on the spot to expose you to the allergen. If you’re allergic, a small reaction may occur within minutes to help them diagnose the allergy and devise a treatment plan.
  • Specific IgE Blood Test — As an alternative to the skin prick test, you can provide a blood sample. The laboratory will add an allergen to the sample and then study the antibodies that the blood produces in response.

Be Smart and Enjoy the Season

Armed with knowledge, medication and the support of your physician — like the team at UM Charles Regional Primary Care — you don’t have to miss out on all the best parts of spring.

You may never be able to completely avoid pollen and its effects, but when you’re prepared in advance, you can enjoy more days of clear eyes and sinuses and actually be excited about the warm weather, the sunshine and, yes, even the beautiful flowers.

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Get to Know Frehiwot Temesgen, MD, Charles County’s Newest Neurology Specialist

Photo of neurology doctor standing in office

Neurologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that are caused by the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (nerves that branch off from the spinal cord through the body). Although it’s a highly specialized field of medicine, it doesn’t mean that you can’t see a high-quality neurologist right here in Southern Maryland.

We’re proud to introduce Dr. Frehiwot Temesgen, Charles County’s newest board-certified neurologist who’s now practicing at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Neurology in La Plata, MD.

Specialties and Treatments Offered

Dr. Temesgen is able to provide patients with evaluations and treatments for several neurological conditions, including:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Memory Loss
  • Neuropathy
  • Radiculopathy
  • Tremors
  • Migraines
  • Spasticity

Dr. Temesgen uses a wide variety of treatments and specializes in the following procedures:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • Botox for Chronic Migraines

Education and Background

Board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology, Dr. Temesgen has more than a decade of practical medical experience and expertise. She graduated from the Gondar University School of Medicine in Ethiopia in 2005 and worked as a general medical practitioner at Hawassa University Hospital until 2008 when she took a medical internship in Washington, D.C.

From there, she undertook a three-year neurology residency at Howard University Hospital, before becoming a clinical neurophysiology fellow at George Washington University.

Her most recent experience in the field includes:

  • Locum/PRN Neurohospitalist in Pennsylvania and West Virginia
  • Neurologist at Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellow at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

How to Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Temesgen is now accepting new patients right here in Charles County at the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion in La Plata. 

To schedule an appointment, please call (301) 609-5044 — a doctor’s referral may be required. Patient registration and authorization forms are also available online to speed up the check-in process on the day of your first appointment (click here to download Spanish forms).

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Having a Happy & Healthy Pregnancy

How to Have a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy

Whether you’ve been planning this moment for years or have just been surprised to learn that a bundle of joy is on the way, every pregnancy promises a unique and life-changing experience.

Soon you’ll discover there’s no right way to parent, and the same idea is true for pregnancy. That said, the following information will give you a basic roadmap to help maximize your journey.

Preparing for Pregnancy

Even if you live a relatively healthy lifestyle already, there are still additional steps that you should consider taking to boost your preconception health. Just a few small changes can make a world of a difference down the line, as there is a greater risk of low birth weight and preterm babies when you fail to prepare for pregnancy.

You can improve your preconception health in a number of ways:

  • Take a folic acid supplement 
  • Avoid toxic substances, alcohol and smoking 
  • Monitor any preexisting conditions 
  • Talk to a doctor about your current medicines

Tackling Each Trimester

Congratulations — you’re expecting! It’s a long road until you’re holding your baby, but these 40 weeks are home to critical development within your womb, which translates to a lot of big changes for your body and lifestyle as well. Here are some common things that you might experience.

First Trimester

Hormonal changes can affect every part of your body and can trigger unique reactions. Some common symptoms include: 

  • Tiredness
  • Upset stomach 
  • Cravings 
  • Mood swings

Second Trimester

Many say that the second trimester is easier than the first. That said, more noticeable changes may affect your body including: 

  • Body aches 
  • Stretch marks 
  • Patches of darker skin on the face 
  • Numb or tingling hands

Third Trimester
Some of the same discomforts will continue, and other new ones may develop in preparation for the birthing process:

  • Shortness of breath 
  • Heartburn 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Swelling (see doctor if severe)

Birth and Beyond

It can be difficult to tell when your baby is ready to make their grand entrance. You could be having contractions, but what if it’s false labor? You could have felt your water break, but what if it’s just urine? When in doubt, seek a medical professional to confirm if you are just approaching or already in labor.

One decision you can plan for in your labor experience is how to manage the pain. The epidural is one commonly-known and popular method of pain relief, but other medical options are also available, as well as more natural routes that can also make the experience more bearable.

Once you get through labor, the pain will start to subside, but recovering from the birth should not be overlooked. New mothers must not only tend to their baby, but also take special care of their own bodies.

You will likely experience a number of physical changes in the days following the birth. Some symptoms you may encounter are vaginal discharge, cramping, swelling or constipation. Rest is a crucial component of the recovery process, and leaning on loved ones in these early days will help you bounce back.

Emotionally, childbirth will have changed your hormones and may bring unexpected feelings of sadness. This is completely normal and will usually go away on its own. If it doesn’t, reach out to your doctor and inquire about postpartum depression, a serious but treatable condition that can happen any time within the first year after birth.

If you’re seeking additional support as you go through your pregnancy journey, UM Charles Regional has a newly renovated Birthing Center with medical professionals and resources for each step of the way.


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Looking Ahead: What’s to Come for UM Charles Regional in 2020

Photo of exterior of UM Charles Regional Medical Center

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is already in the rearview mirror. Our 80th year in Southern Maryland was really one for the books, and we’re so grateful for the support of our community and the hard work of our team to make it one of our best years yet.

As we reflect on all that we accomplished last year, we’re also looking ahead to everything that will shape our medical system here in Charles County. From new practices to upgrades for existing facilities, 2020 is sure to be a great year for UM Charles Regional. Here’s a look at some of the bigger changes on the horizon for our hospital and its associated practices:

Expansion of Our Birthing Center

One of the biggest updates to come to UM Charles Regional Medical Center in 2020 is the expansion of our Birthing Center. The upcoming upgrades to this highly rated unit will enable our team to serve more expecting mothers than ever before — all with the same great level of care you’ve come to expect from our obstetrics team.

Neurology Specialists, Right Here in Charles County

If you live in Southern Maryland and are in need of neurological care, you won’t have to travel outside of Charles County to get high-quality, expert care because UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Neurology is now seeing patients in La Plata. Led by Dr. Temesgen, this new specialty practice is located at the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion (just off Washington Ave.) and offers a wide variety of treatments for neurological conditions.

Visit our website to learn more, or call (301) 609-5044 to schedule your appointment today.

New Women’s Health Office for More Convenient Visits

The team at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Women’s Health continues to provide compassionate care in La Plata, and we’re excited to announce that seeing a women’s health specialist is getting even more convenient if you live near Waldorf. While the existing La Plata office will continue to serve patients as always, a new office will be opening up in Waldorf later this year.

Our Annual Celebration Gala to Help Support It All

Without the support of our community, none of this would be possible. And with the help of the CRMC Foundation, we’re able to provide more services and better care right here in Charles County.

You can help support our mission of making Southern Maryland the happiest, healthiest place to call home by joining us at our annual Celebration Gala on February 29. Proceeds from this black-tie event benefit the CRMC Foundation and help us continually update and improve our care and medical practices just like those outlined in this blog. 

Visit the CRMC Foundation’s website to learn more and to reserve your tickets today!

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5 Real Benefits of Having a Primary Care Doctor

photo of dr. lorenzo childress with a patient

If you’re like most people, you might turn to urgent care or even the emergency room whenever you get sick or injured. While these two types of practices are essential for short-term or more immediate needs, they generally fall short — both in terms of practicality and cost-savings — in regards to long-term wellness.

A lot of people choose to use urgent care or the emergency room simply because it’s easier and more convenient for them, or they don’t know why they would need a primary care doctor in the first place. Despite what you might appreciate about the convenience of your nearby urgent care, there are some real benefits to having a primary care provider in your life:

Consistent Care with a Trusted Partner

Healthy living is a lifelong endeavor. Sure, there are some things you can do in the short term that can help you feel better or keep you safe from getting sick, but the biggest boost to your overall health will be the result of the decisions you make over the months and years to come.

Although an urgent care provider can give you some helpful tips and advice whenever you visit, it’s important to remember that those practices rarely ever know anything about you beyond what illness or injury brought you in that day. A primary care provider, however, is there to build a long-term rapport with its patients. The biggest benefit of this is that patients will feel more comfortable over time sharing more information about their health, and a primary care doctor will then be able to better understand the big picture for each of his or her patients.

Chronic Condition Management

Regular communication, recommended specialist referrals, and long-term strategies for managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, etc. — these are all big benefits to having a primary care doctor in your corner. 

Primary care doctors can’t do it all, and they’ll often lean on other specialists for more in-depth chronic condition care. But, in general, the management of your condition is made far easier and more effective when you have someone who knows your full medical history and is with you every step of the way.

Referrals Are Made That Much Easier

When you require the help of specialists, such as those for physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, or even surgery, you’re almost always going to need a referral from a trusted doctor to get an appointment. And while you can still probably get an appointment with one of these specialists through an urgent care doctor, the process is made far easier with a primary care doctor.

A primary care doctor is usually going to be better connected and more experienced with patient referrals compared to a practitioner at an urgent care practice, so you’ll always know you’re getting the best recommendation possible. Moreover, if you’re working with a primary care provider that’s part of a larger network, like Dr. Childress at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care, you can get the added benefit of faster, more seamless referrals to other practices.

Preventive Medicine is a Priority

If you’re only turning to a medical care provider whenever you get sick or injured, you’re really only being reactive about your overall health and wellness. Preventive medicine is all about taking a proactive stance and taking the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of getting sick or hurt in the first place.

With regularly scheduled appointments with a primary care doctor, you’ll have a better chance of spotting warning signs before they evolve into something potentially more harmful or debilitating. Your doctor can also ensure you’re up to date with recommended vaccinations as well as help you along with your general wellness goals — making you more likely to live a healthier life in the long term.

Potential Long-Term Savings

What all this boils down to is this: Having a primary care doctor comes with the added benefit of saving you time and money.

Following a regular appointment schedule and keeping your primary care doctor involved in your medical history are key to preventing illnesses before they happen or limiting the damage done when you do get sick. That means you’ll be able to spend less time trying to get well and more time actually being well. On top of that, many insurance companies understand that it’s in their benefit to incentivize preventive care, so you’ll often pay far less for regular checkups than you would going to urgent care or the emergency room for far more serious ailments.

Where to Find a Primary Care Doctor in Southern Maryland

A quick online search will help you get started in your search for a primary care provider, and other resources such as your insurance company can help you narrow your list based on which doctors are in your network. 

If you live in Southern Maryland, we recommend you take a closer look at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care, located in La Plata. Led by Dr. Lorenzo Childress III, this primary care practice offers flexible appointment times in a convenient location. Visit our website or call (301) 609-5044 to learn more.

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2019: A Year in Review at Your Hospital

Photo of the hospital exterior | 2019 In Review

It’s been an incredible year for University of Maryland (UM) Charles Regional Medical Center. 2019 saw us celebrating our 80th year in Southern Maryland while serving tens of thousands of people who walked through our doors. Here’s a brief look back at some highlights from the past year:

Thousands of Patients Served. Hundreds of Newborns Welcomed.

Over the course of fiscal year 2019, our talented, compassionate team worked with thousands of people — many of whom live right here in your community. How busy were we? Just take a look:

  • 51,592 Emergency Department visits
  • 6,049 hospital admissions
  • 3,227 outpatient surgeries
  • 1,627 inpatient surgeries
  • 712 births

The Latest Awards and Certifications

Our hospital and medical system received numerous prestigious awards and certifications over the past 12 months. And while we’re proud to have received these designations, they’re simply a reflection of our ongoing mission to provide you and your community with the highest quality of medical care right in your backyard.

Here are a few of the awards and certifications we received in 2019:

A Major Employer in Charles County

We’re proud to be one of the largest employers in your community, and in 2019, we employed over 900 people, including 373 medical staff members, right here in Charles County.

Employees are found outside the walls of UM Charles Regional Medical Center, too. You can find our team members in Waldorf and La Plata in practices focusing on primary care, surgical care, diabetes and endocrinology, outpatient physical therapy, gastroenterology, medical imaging, and more.

The Dedication of the Bill and Julie Dotson Imaging Center

Photo of the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting

In early November, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford came together with the Dotson family at the Medical Pavilion to dedicate the Bill and Julie Dotson Imaging Center at UM Charles Regional Imaging here in La Plata. You can read the full press release for the event here.

More on the Horizon…

There’s so much more to come from UM Charles Regional here in Southern Maryland. 

With the support of the CRMC Foundation and the strength of the University of Maryland Medical System as a whole, our hospital and associated practices will continue to undergo improvements to provide you, your family, and your neighbors the best medical care possible. In 2020, work will begin on vital upgrades for our Emergency Department, and our highly rated Birthing Center will be expanded and enhanced as well. 

We look forward to serving you in 2020 and many years to come, and we thank you for another incredible year here in Charles County. Best wishes and happy new year!

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2019 Holiday Hours for University of Maryland Charles Regional Practices

Hospital Exterior Photo | Holiday Hours

The holidays are fast approaching, and, like you, our team members are getting ready to celebrate with their friends and family. With that in mind, many of the local practices will be operating under adjusted hours for the next couple of weeks. See below for details about holiday hours for all of our facilities and local offices:

UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation

  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation will follow normal operating hours (Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.).

UM Charles Regional Imaging

  • Tuesday, December 24: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Imaging will follow normal operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).

UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care 

  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care will follow normal operating hours (Monday, Thursday, and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Wednesday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.).

UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Women’s Health

  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Women’s Health will follow normal operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).

UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Gastroenterology

  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Gastroenterology will follow normal operating hours in these locations:

  • La Plata: Tuesday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Waldorf: Monday and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Diabetes & Endocrinology

  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Diabetes & Endocrinology will follow normal operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).

UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Surgical Care

  • Wednesday, December 25: Closed
  • Monday, January 1: Closed

On all other dates, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Surgical Care in Waldorf and La Plata will follow normal operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).

UM Charles Regional Medical Center Visiting Hours

Visiting hours at the hospital will remain normal throughout the holidays. Need more information or have a question? Please call our main phone number at (301) 609-4000.

As always, the emergency room at University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center is open 24 hours a day every day. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of the doctors, nurses, and support staff who will continue working hard throughout the holidays to make this possible and ensure that there will always be someone ready to help in the event of an emergency.

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Celebrating 80 Years: The Eighth Decade (2009-2019)

Celebrating 80 Years | The 8th Decade | Photo of the UM Charles Regional Medical Center exterior

In the past 10 years, we have simultaneously focused our efforts on contemplatively respecting the past and propelling ourselves into a bright and hopeful future.

Revitalizing our original building turned historic landmark was one of our foremost tasks. The former site of Physicians Memorial Hospital was transferred to Civista’s ownership in 2010. After a $500,000 renovation process, we were able to convert our original space to further localize care for the residents of La Plata. 

“I remember when I first came to the facility it was inadequate,” the late Dr. Guillermo Sanchez said at the time. “But the hospital has grown and become a leader in health care in Southern Maryland.”  

To commemorate this growth and the hospital’s new access to an extensive network of advanced health services, Civista Medical Center became the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in 2013. This signified its membership in a prestigious 12-hospital system and deepened our commitment to bring world-class medical care to the people of Charles County.

In 2016, we brought on a new face to take the hospital to even greater heights than the past decades could even imagine. Joseph Moser, MD, became the new chief medical officer following 18 years as vice president of medical affairs at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to work with the physicians and staff at Charles Regional,” Moser said. “This is a high-performing hospital in a premier health system, and it’s a privilege to join a team of this caliber in working to enhance health care for people in Charles County.” 

Over this past decade, we have strived to provide exceptional, award-worthy care to our patients. From our Get with the Guidelines Stroke Award for our commitment to educating the public about stroke prevention to our Workplace Center for Life recognition for promoting organ and tissue donation, we have consistently been recognized for giving back to our community. 

And we intend to do so for the next 80 years and beyond.

Miss any of the past stories from our “Celebrating 80 Years” series? Check out the posts below:

The First Decade (1939-1949)
The Second Decade (1949-1959)
The Third Decade (1959-1969)
The Fourth Decade (1969-1979)
The Fifth Decade (1979-1989)
The Sixth Decade (1989-1999)
The Seventh Decade (1999-2009)

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Important Tips for Maintaining Mental Wellness During the Holidays

Photo of a man holding his head in his hands

Feeling lonely, sadness due to personal losses, and even conditions like seasonal-affective disorder — these are all issues that can affect people during the holiday season. It should come as no surprise, either; it’s an especially busy and stressful time of year, and it can be easy to feel lost among all the excitement. 

Fortunately, there are some relatively simple ways to control your stress levels and promote a healthy mindset. Here are a few strategies for maintaining mental wellness around the holidays:

Budget Your Money and Your Time

Whether or not holiday stress, anxiety, depression or loneliness is something you’ve dealt with before, it’s always a great idea to be proactive this time of year. Here are some things you should budget out ahead of time:

Money – It can feel like there’s never enough money to get everything you want for everyone on your list. Financial wellness is connected to mental wellness, so don’t start working on your wishlist until you have a clear idea of how much you can afford without feeling uncomfortable about what’s on your credit card or in your bank account.

Time – With all the holiday parties, happenings, get-togethers, and shopping trips to get through — on top of your normal work and family responsibilities — your calendar can get out of control fast. Take a look at the next few weeks ahead and block out time for yourself along the way. You’d be surprised how much less stressful everything can feel if you plan it all out ahead of time. 

Feel Empowered to Say No When Necessary

Even if you don’t really celebrate the holidays as much as other people, you’re still going to be asked for something by someone this time of year.

It’s 100% OK to say no when you feel like you’re taking on more than you can handle — whether it’s to someone inviting you to join them for an event or simply a local charity asking you for a donation. Not making it to every event isn’t going to make-or-break a relationship with someone, and not making a donation doesn’t make you a bad person.

Go Easy on Yourself

Even the best-laid plans for happy holidays go awry every now and then. Sometimes, our self-control loses out to the delicious food and drinks that surround us this time of year, or we spend just a little bit too much on gifts for friends and family. Just remember, no one is perfect, and what you do during the few weeks surrounding the holidays can’t and won’t define you for the next 12 months.

Stick With Routines You Know Work

You probably have normal routines that help keep you balanced and energized throughout the year. It could be your nightly walk outside, the hour you carve out every day to read a book, or the daily trip to the gym.

Whatever activity you count on to keep yourself happy and calm, stick with it as best as possible. You’ll find that all the excitement, energy, and stress that come along with the holidays aren’t quite as jarring when you’re sticking with things that are familiar and comfortable.

Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help

The feeling of loneliness and isolation is a big problem for many people this time of year, but there’s always someone who can help. If, despite your best efforts, you find that you’re still struggling to keep everything together, don’t be afraid to talk with friends, family members, or a medical professional about what you’re feeling.

If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis during the holidays — or any other time — free and confidential support is available 24/7 from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and it can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255.

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Keeping Strokes at Bay: Identification & Prevention Tactics

BE FAST - Stroke Prevention Graphic

Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Due to their lasting impact, strokes have become the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. 

Strokes can also kill. 

One of every 20 Americans die because of strokes, and with around 140,000 yearly deaths, someone loses their life to this disease every 4 minutes. 

Fortunately, strokes are preventable and treatable. This means that with the right tools, you can take steps to increase your health and reduce your chances of experiencing a debilitating stroke. 

Know Your Risk

Although it’s out of your control, genetics do play a part in your risk of having a stroke. Your family history could put you at a greater hereditary risk. Factors like age, gender and ethnicity also affect stroke statistics. This disease is more common in older people, women and African-Americans.

Take Prevention Measures

Medical conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol are also key indicators that raise your chances for a stroke. But these risk factors can be mediated through precautions and preventive steps. Maintaining a healthy weight and an active lifestyle can help. This means adjusting your diet to reduce your intake of salts, fats and cholesterol. Also, make sure to get moving with at least 2½  hours of physical activity a week. You should also avoid smoking and drink alcohol only in moderation, as these are also linked to the risk factors. 

BE FAST — Understand the Warning Signs 

Most strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This results in a variety of symptoms that can be tricky to recognize in the moment. The most common symptoms are easily remembered with the acronym BE FAST.

B — Balance

E — Eyes and visual disturbances

F — Face drooping

A — Arm weakness

S — Speech difficulty

T — Time to call 911 

Although many don’t recognize all of the possible symptoms, this early stage of detection is especially important given that early identification can be the key to rapid treatment. Getting to a medical professional quickly in an emergency can mean better chances at a full recovery. It’s been shown that arrival to the hospital within three hours of the first symptoms is associated with greater success at reducing disability three months out. So if you notice the warning signs, act with the utmost urgency. 

Get Professional Help

When you’re experiencing a stroke, emergency medical staff will be there to guide you. But what if you want to access professional care as a preventive measure — whether to just learn more or work towards reducing your risk? Experts in the neurological field are the best doctors for extra care when it comes to strokes. 

If you’re seeking specialized neurological services in Southern Maryland, UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Neurology is now accepting patients at the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion in La Plata.

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