Facts & Myths About the Flu Shot

Have you gotten your flu shot yet? Here’s are five great things to know about the shot, including a couple of very important reasons to get it. Remember, CareXpress will get you in, out and back to life!

Each year public health officials and health care providers encourage people to get vaccinated against the flu. Anyone at risk for the flu should have a flu shot. For seasonal flu, this includes:

  • Children ages 6 months to 18 years
  • Adults over age 50
  • People living in a long-term care facility
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • People with frequent exposure to the general public (health care workers, emergency personnel, etc.)
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with a chronic medical condition
  • Caregivers or family members in close contact with high-risk individuals
The CDC now recommends flu vaccines for everyone over the age of 6 months old.

 

Doctors Encouraging People to Take Flu Shot Early This Year

Sick woman in bed suffering from flu headache

In an effort to prevent a bad flu season like last year, doctors are urging people to get their flu vaccines right now.

Eric Cox, MD, with BSA CareXpress says it is important to get the flu vaccine early because you aren’t protected for up to two weeks.

“After you receive the vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your body to respond and produce the antibodies,” Cox explained. “Your immunity will last throughout the flu season regardless of when you receive the vaccine.”

Cox also said even though last years vaccine wasn’t a great match, it still helped reduce the severity of symptoms. He also stressed that it’s impossible to get the flu from the flu shot.

“You do hear some people complaining of a low-grade fever, but it’s not the flu,” Cox said. “That’s the immune system responding to the vaccine in the body.”

“Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the process sooner,” said Cox. “Those two doses must be given at least four weeks apart, so parents need to keep that in mind.”

“All BSA CareXpress Urgent Care clinics in Amarillo and Canyon have the vaccine available,” said Trevor Spradling, BSA CareXpress Vice President of Operations. Most insurances cover the entire cost of the flu shot. No appointment is necessary and patients can also check-in online at www.carexpressfmc.com to reduce their wait time.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year. Flu shots are approved for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.

People can go to any of the following CareXpress locations to get a flu shot: 2701 South Georgia, 34th and Coulter, 1400 S Van Buren St., 2329 Ross Osage Dr. or 911 23rd Street in Canyon.

Flu Season: What You Need to Know

Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself each year.

Flu season is just around the corner. Doctors expect to give 176 million doses of flu vaccines this season – and they agree: the time is now to urge patients to get vaccinated, as the flu antibody can take two weeks to build up in the system.

The 2018 flu season is looking like a doozy – and outbreaks may already be beginning to spread across the country. Considering flu-related deaths since 2010 are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000, it’s crucial to be prepared.  

BSA CareXpress Urgent Care also recommends practicing good hand-washing habits and avoiding contact with symptomatic family members, friends, and co-workers whenever possible.

However, getting a flu shot should be a top priority as the flu season approaches.

BSA CareXpress Urgent Care offers:

  • Flu shots, flu testing, and antiviral drugs
  • Flexible hours
  • Affordable services
  • 5 convenient locations
  • Online check-in and short wait times
Care Xpress- Urgent care

CareXpress Urgent Care: What Type of Care is Right for You?

Emergency rooms are ideal for handling emergencies, but for less severe cases that could be handled elsewhere a trip to the ER may come with long wait times and expensive bills. In response, there has been an explosion of convenient ER-alternative healthcare options offering on-demand care at a lower cost. 

When selecting an on-demand healthcare provider, consider these questions: 

How severe are your symptoms?  

For life-threatening injuries or very severe illness, the emergency room is the best option for immediate care. However, if your symptoms need to be treated quickly but are not life-threatening (e.g., a broken or sprained bone, flu or cold symptoms, minor cuts or burns), an urgent care clinic, like BSA CareXpress Urgent Care Centers, is typically the treatment option that will be the most efficient and least expensive. 

Where is the nearest on-demand healthcare option? 

BSA CareXpress Urgent Care Centers have five locations in Amarillo and Canyon for your convenience. 

Is the on-demand provider covered by your insurance? 

Freestanding emergency rooms (FSED) may look similar to urgent care centers, but have the same high costs and long wait times as standard ERs, causing patient confusion and higher cost of care. In fact, urgent care is typically thirteen times cheaper than a visit to a free-standing ER! Additionally, BSA CareXpress Urgent Care Centers accept a large range of insurance programs and your charges are the same as any primary care provider. A list of accepted insurance is available here. 

Contact us today, or stop by one of our locations to experience our quality care for yourself and see why our patients have such high praise for BSA CareXpress: 

“I’d already pre-registered so the receptionist already knew my name. PERK!! Everyone was courteous, friendly and professional.” ★★★★★ – Laura M. 

BSA CareXpress Urgent Care Centers are a service of FMC Medical Foundation. With the latest technology in electronic medical records and Board Certified practitioners, BSA CareXpress Urgent Care Centers offer your family the highest quality urgent care services in our region. As a member of the Family Medicine Centers network, your urgent care needs and medical records can be easily accessed by your primary care provider and you get the same level of compassionate care that all FMC clinics offer. 

CareXpress Urgent Care: Tips for a Healthy Spring

The weather is starting to warm up and the days are getting longer which means Spring is here! Here are some tips to get recharged for the new season.

Consider Becoming an “Early Bird” – studies have shown that people who wake up earlier are healthier than those night owls who snooze the morning away. Taking advantage of the morning light will also give you a good dose of needed vitamin D. And you’ll get a leg up on symptoms of depression.

Get Dirty – and let your kids get dirty too. Getting dirty can expose you to common bacteria, and those bacteria are actually good for you. When they routinely inhabit our bodies, they can produce vitamins and proteins we need and help make our immune and gastrointestinal systems work.

Change your Pillows – some experts estimate that after five years up to 10% of a pillow’s weight is made up of allergens, asthma-provoking bacteria, pollen, fungi, mold and dust mites. Disgusting, yes, so take steps to allergy-proof pillows with protective covers that seal out allergens, and wash pillowcases with hot water weekly. Can’t remember when you bought your pillows? Experts recommend tossing them out every three to five years.

Start Thinking About Allergy Season – If you know you’re prone to sniffles and sneezes as the weather warms up, now is the time to stock up on allergy medications. And there’s some extra good news this year: both BSA CareXpress Urgent Care Centers, Panhandle Pediatrics, and many Family Medicine Centers now offer allergy testing. We test for 48 allergens specific to our geographical location, both seasonal and perennial, trees, grasses, weeds, animals, and insects. Testing only takes about 15 minutes and is non-invasive and not painful!

Care Xpress- Urgent care

CareXpress Urgent Care: Foods to avoid for a healthy heart

CareXpress Urgent Care: Foods to really avoid for a healthy heart

All throughout this month of love, we’ve talked about the heart and how to keep it healthy. We’ve talked about what you should eat to keep your heart in great shape, but what about what you shouldn’t? Well, CareXpress Urgent Care has some tips for that as well. It should be noted that you don’t have to cut out these foods entirely, you can still enjoy them on occasion but they shouldn’t make up the bulk of your diet.

Highly Processed meats: Processed meats refer to meats like deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, and other packaged easy to prepare meats. These meats are often loaded with sodium and nitrates. They can also hav a large number of preservative in them that can harm the heart. You should really try to limit yourself to 2 servings a week for these kinds of meats. Raw beef or frozen boneless, skinless chicken can be great meat alternatives. Just make sure the chicken has not been infused with sodium-rich broth.

Refined Grains: White bread and rice, low fiber and sugary cereals, sweets and other refined carbohydrates can also be bad for your heart and overall health. High levels of processing often removes much of the fiber, minerals, and fatty acids that make whole grain options healthier. These kinds of grains also cause a much higher spike in blood sugar than they’re whole grain counterparts. Good replacements are whole grain breads and brown rice. High fiber cereals can replace the sugary ones.

Sugary Sodas: Surprise! Soda is terrible for you and your heart! In addition to causing weight gain and rotting teeth, sodas and other sugary drinks affect your heart much the same way highly refined grains do. Diet sodas are ok, but they have no nutritional value. Water or other low calorie low sugar drinks like certain teas is really the best replacement.

If your feeling sick, visit CareXpress Urgent Care at one of our many convenient locations!

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CareXpress Urgent Care: Signs of a Heart Attack

CareXpress Urgent Care: Warning signs of a heart attack

The thought of you or a loved one suffering a heart attack can be too scary to think about. But it’s an all to real possibility, especially for older men and women. You can reduce the risk of a heart attack with good eating habits and regular exercise, but even the healthiest person can suffer an unexpected heart attack. Getting treatment quickly is important for surviving a heart attack and that’s why it’s important to know the warning signs of a heart attack. Luckily, CareXpress Urgent care is here to explain some of the most common signs. Most heart attacks don’t start suddenly, but have a gradual build up. If you see these warning signs, get help immediately.

Chest Discomfort: Most heart attacks will have some kind of chest discomfort. It usually appears as pressure or discomfort. It can lasts for several minutes or come and go with time.

Shortness of Breath: If your having a hard time catching your breath, it can also be a symptom of an oncoming heart attack. Should you find yourself having shortness of breath combined with any of these other symptoms seek help immediately.

Discomfort in the upper body: In addition to the chest, it’s common to have pain in other areas of the upper body like the arms, back, neck and shoulders.

Other Signs: Other signs can include breaking out in a cold sweat, feelings of nausea, and feeling lightheaded.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, even if you think it’s not a heart attack, have it checked anyway. Minutes matter when it comes to heart attacks. 911 will almost always be the quickest way to get to an emergency center from wherever you are.

Feeling sick? Visit one of CareXpress Urgent Care’s many convenient locations!

Care Xpress- Urgent care

CareXpress Urgent Care: Heart Healthy Foods pt. 2

CareXpress Urgent Care: More tips to keep your heart healthy

CareXpress Urgent Care is back with Part 2 of our talk about foods and habits your can start to improve and maintain the health of your heart and whole body!

Low-Fat Protein: Poultry, lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are all great sources of protein. Be careful to choose the low fat options like skim milk over whole milk. Skinless chicken is preferred to fried patties. Fish are another great source of protein. Fish can also help lower triglycerides and have Omega-3 fatty acid to help support brain health. Legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) are also another option for lean protein. Replacing animal protein with vegetable protein is a great way to keep your cholesterol in check. High fat protein, like beef, will raise your cholesterol, leading to heart problem later in life.

Reduce the Sodium in your diet: Eating lots of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure and will put you at risk for cardiovascular disease. You should have no more than 2,300 Mg of sodium a day in your diet. You can reduce the amount by replacing salt with herbs and spices. Keeping table salt off your table can also reduce the temptation to put it on your meals. Keep away from condensed soups and frozen dinners as they’re loaded with sodium. Beware food that claim lower sodium because they use sea salt. Sea salt is no different from regular salt.

Indulge every once in awhile: Keeping your heart in healthy shape doesn’t mean you have to give up other foods forever. Eating a candy bar or indulging in a particularly unhealthy meal is fine. As long as you keep to a heart healthy diet most of the time it will balance out over time.

Feeling sick? Come visit one of CareXpress Urgent Care’s many locations!

Care Xpress- Urgent care

CareXpress Urgent Care: Heart Healthy foods

CareXpress Urgent Care: Foods great for your heart

Looking to take care of your heart? Maybe you had a scare recently and are heeding a wake-up call. Maybe your family has a history of heart problems. Whatever the reasons, CareXpress Urgent Care is here to talk about what foods are best for a healthy, happy heart!

Portion Size: First off, how much you eat can often be just as important as what you eat. Controlling your portion sizes can go a long way in managing your heart and overall health. Avoid eating until your “stuffed” and going for seconds. Using smaller plates can also help control your portion sizes. Eat low-calorie snacks like fruits and vegetables over high sodium, processed snacks and fast food.

More Fresh Fruits and Veggies: Fruits and veggies are a great way to fill your stomach without loading up on calories and sodium. Keep veggies washed and prepared in your fridge for a snack. Prepare meals that use veggies and fruits as the main ingredient like stir-fry or salads. Avoid canned fruits loaded with high sugar syrup and vegetables that are in a heavy, creamy sauce or that have been breaded. These are loaded with fats and sugar and won’t help at all.

Whole Grains: Fiber is the main reason whole grains are good. They also have other nutrients that help regulate heart health and blood pressure. Oatmeal is a great one and perfect for breakfast. Whole grain breads, not made from flour, are also great. Whole grain such as brown rice or barley are also great options. Doughnuts, cornbread, muffins, and other breads made from flour you’ll want to avoid.

These are only a couple of ways you can promote general and heart health! Check back next week for more! Sick? Come visit one of CareXpress Urgent Care’s many convenient  locations!

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CareXpress Urgent Care: The Best workouts for losing weight

CareXpress Urgent Care: Best Workouts to help you lose weight

CareXpress Urgent care is here with one more blog to help you stick to that new year’s resolution to lose weight. Diet is the most important aspect to losing weight, but exercise is also key to losing weight and maintaining a healthy body. But which exercises will help you lose weight in the fastest way possible? Now, it should be noted that ANY exercise is good for weight loss. But if your curious about which ones promote weight loss the best, read on.

Interval Training: The type of exercise most experts recommend to lose weight is interval training. What’s Interval Training? Interval Training refers any kind of exercise where your heart rate spikes and then comes back down again. Generally, this means working out hard for a set amount of time and then resting letting your heart rate come down before ramping back up.

Weight Training: If Interval Training doesn’t sound like a good fit, the next best thing is weight training. Weight Training is any exercise that includes, well, weights. Either your own body weight or with weights. Weight training builds muscle and burns fat. This type of training has the added benefit of increasing your resting metabolic rate. Meaning you’ll burn more calories as you rest than if you practiced other types of exercise.

Running: The easiest one to get into, the cheapest one to start, running is an exercise you can start today. Any running will help you lose weight when it’s coupled with a proper diet. But if you really want to crank up the weight loss, you need to find a hill. Running up a hill will work the glutes and legs. Two of the largest muscle groups in your body.

If you need an Urgent Care, come visit one of CareXpress Urgent Care’s many locations.