Category Archives: General Health

uti symptoms

Urinary Tract Infection: How to Tell If Your UTI is Minor or Severe

Urinary Tract Infection: How to Tell If Your UTI is Minor or Severe

urinary tract infectionUrinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, especially in women. For some people, it is a recurrent issue. While UTIs are painful, they are typically not life-threatening, especially when diagnosed and treated early. Here is some important information about UTIs so you know what to do when you have one.

What is a UTI?

For starters, what is a UTI? A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary tract including the kidney, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A physician can determine if you or your child has a UTI and what treatment is needed.

Causes of UTIs

UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the body via the urethra and then proceed to multiply in the bladder. When too many of these bacteria begin to thrive, an infection is born. Due to a much shorter distance between the urethra and the bladder, women suffer from UTIs much more frequently than men. If you fear that you may be suffering from a urinary tract infection, getting your urine tested is as easy as a visit to the nearest UrgentMED walk-in clinic.

UTI Symptoms

uti care

Now that we have reviewed the causes of UTIs, let’s look at what symptoms you can expected when an infection strikes. The most common symptom usually experienced is that of pain, especially burning, when urinating. Other UTI symptoms include:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Feeling pain even when not urinating
  • Fever
  • Dark or cloudy urine
  • Urine that appears red or bright pink
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pelvic pain
  • Strong sense of urgency to urinate

Each type of infection may result in specific signs and symptoms, depending on which part of the urinary tract is infected. UTIs may be mistaken for other conditions in older adults.

Diagnosing UTIs

See a doctor if you experience signs and symptoms of a UTI. Your healthcare provider will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. You may also be asked to provide a urine sample.

Treating a Urinary Tract Infection

If you suspect you may have a urinary tract infection, don’t delay in getting evaluated. At UrgentMED, we pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. We offer a plethora of other diagnostic services, including lab work, and if your urinalysis tests positive for a UTI, we can provide quick treatment to resolve the infection before it worsens. The common treatment for a UTI is an antibiotic.

For you convenience, many of the medications commonly-prescirbed by our medical team (including antibiotics) are available on-site. Your physician will also discuss preventative measures to help reduce the chances of getting UTIs.

With 17 walk-in clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast, professional service without a long wait. Our clinics have extended weekday, weeknight and weekend hours. Let us assist you with all your diagnostic testing and other clinical needs. Visit us at the location nearest to you today.

does my cut require urgent care

Does My Cut Require Going to Urgent Care?

Does My Cut Require Going to Urgent Care?

Cuts come in many shapes and sizes. Perhaps it was a fall off a bike, maybe due to a mishap while working in the kitchen, or was it from stepping on that broken glass on the beach? Everyone experiences a cut at one time or another. Things such as paper cuts don’t even bleed and are little more than an annoyance. Today, let’s talk about those more significant cuts that sometimes bleed a lot. The ones that lead you to ask, “Will a bandage do the trick, or does my cut require going to urgent care?”

Dealing with Cuts

cut need stitchesProper care for the wounds that we commonly refer to as cuts is dependent upon many factors regarding the cut itself. First, where is the cut located? If the cut is in a bendable area, such as the elbow or knee, it will be harder to heal naturally and may require stitches. Another factor to consider is the depth of the cut. If it is merely a minor scrape, it is likely to heal fine after cleaning and applying a bandage.

Deeper lacerations, however, may not close well and may need stitches to help the wound close and reduce bleeding. Typically, a manageable wound stops bleeding within a matter of minutes. If a wound still bleeds after 15 or 20 minutes, it likely needs stitches to close it properly, reducing further blood loss and the risk of infection.

What About a Laceration?

What many people refer to as a cut is often referred to as a laceration. Is there a difference? The short answer is “yes.” A cut is best defined as a simple injury, from a sharp-edged object. In contrast, a laceration, think of a more uneven wound that resulted from a fall or being hit with something. Of course, whether the wound may need stitches and should be looked at by urgent care is mostly dependent upon location, depth and bleeding, as noted above. While a clean cut may stitch up easier, classifying the wound as a cut or a laceration does little to indicate the need for stitches to the area.

Does My Cut Need Stitches?

Whether you are dealing with a cut or laceration, the decision on whether the wound needs stitches should best be left to the urgent care professional. A minor cut may heal fine on its own but prolonged bleeding may indicate a more significant problem. For instance, if you cut your finger on a piece of glass you might be unsure whether it needs professional care of not. However, only a physician can properly explore the extent of your injury, including whether you damaged the tendon. If that’s the case, it could mean a loss of function in that finger down the road.

Urgent Care at Urgent Med

If you suffer what appears to be a significant cut or laceration, the safest course of action is to seek medical attention sooner rather than later. At UrgentMED we pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency and cost. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast professional service without a long wait. A cut or laceration can be serious business. Get the care you need when you need it.Visit the UrgentMED location nearest you today.

pre-employment drug test

What Substances do Pre-employment Urine Drug Tests Screen For?

What Substances do Pre-employment Urine Drug Tests Screen For?

When seeking a job today, many employers require pre-employment drug testing. This screening can cause some anxiety in some prospective job candidates, as they do not know precisely how the test works and what results may disqualify them for the job. Laws regulating drug testing vary from state to state, with some states requiring drug testing for job applicants. In California, employers can drug test applicants as part of the pre-employment process as long as the testing is non-discriminatory (not focused on one particular type of applicant). But what substances do pre-employment urine drug tests screen for?

Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Drug testing for pre-employment screening purposes can be done using blood, urine, saliva, or even hair. The most common pre-employment drug testing requires the job applicant to provide a urine sample.. Urine drug testing is effective enough to find traces of drugs in the applicant’s system even after the effects of the drugs have worn off. Drugs tested for using urine drug tests usually include amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, nicotine, and alcohol.

Drug Tests for Employment

As noted above, drug testing is utilized as a part of the pre-employment process by many prospective employers. Pre-employment drug testing is most often required of those seeking jobs in the healthcare profession, where the applicant could have access to controlled substances if hired. Any applicant for a position with the Department of Transportation (DOT) falls under a federal law requiring drug and alcohol testing for transportation jobs. Employees falling under this law include those in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipeline, and other transportation industries. The DOT testing procedure is also more involved and detects additional substances, such as PCP, Ecstasy, and Heroin.

Workplace Drug Test

drug testingMany businesses advertise themselves as a Drug Free Workplace. If you are applying for a job with such a company, expect a workplace drug test in your future. The urine drug test is also most common with these employers, but some utilize blood tests for this purpose. While blood tests are usually done to detect the same drugs as urine drug testing (listed previously), the blood test can go back further and detect drug use over a longer period. Most prospective employers continue to utilize urine drug testing as it detects drug use and is less expensive than blood testing.

Employment Drug Testing

Employment drug testing should be efficient and confidential. At UrgentMED, our skilled and professional staff is compassionate, professional, and are not here to judge you. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency and cost. We maintain a clean, professional and friendly environment and can provide you with any type of drug testing in a kind and respectful atmosphere. Our staff is familiar with pre-employment and workplace-related drug testing procedures and we can service your needs.

In addition to our drug testing services, we offer a plethora of other diagnostic services, including lab work, imaging services, surgical and non-surgical procedures. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast professional service without a long wait. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to service you on your terms, at your convenience. Let us assist you with all your drug testing and other clinical needs. Stop by the location nearest to you today.

remove your own ear wax

Three Reasons Why You Should Never Remove Your Own Ear Wax

Earwax is common.  Many people try to remove it, but shouldn’t. A common earwax removal method is using a cotton swab, but some people also use ear candles or ear vacuums to try to remove hair wax. We strongly recommend you avoid avoiding those extremely dangerous methods.  If you experience earwax buildup, we suggest you visit a doctor who can safely remove your earwax buildup.

The Danger of Putting Objects in Your Ear

While we need earwax, some people produce too much of it, and it can become hard, leading to ear infection, an earache, itchy ears, vertigo, hearing loss, and other issues. If you have a wax buildup, it’s time to look into ear wax removal. Trying to handle that on your own could lead to even more problems. Here are three reasons why you should never remove your own earwax:

Reason #1: You May Damage Your Ear Canal

Inserting a cotton swab or anything else small like that increases the risk of infection or damaging your ear canal.  And a cotton swab, for example, can push the wax even further into your canal and can become stuck in your ear canal.

Reason #2: You May Puncture Your Eardrum

Putting foreign objects into your ear may cause you to perforate or puncture your eardrum, leading to hearing loss. The signs of a punctured eardrum include immediate, intense, or sharp ear pain, vertigo, or dizziness.

Reason #3: We Need Our Earwax

You might not know this, but our ears are self-cleaning and don’t require a lot of maintenance. And earwax is there for many reasons. Earwax protects our ears, and traps and prevents dust, insects, and any other small objects from entering and damaging the ear. It also has antibacterial properties and prevents bacteria, fungi, and other germs from going into the ear canals.  Earwax also acts as a lubricant for the ear canal, and even repels water from entering and irritating the ear canals.

We Can Safely Remove Your Earwax

You may be wondering how to remove earwax or an earwax buildup safely. UrgentMED can help.  Our medical staff will quickly determine if you’re experiencing any hearing loss, suffering from an ear infection, or any other ear-related medical concern.  We have special instruments specifically designed for removing earwax. We provide fast service, and there’s no appointment required. If you think you may have an ear canal blockage from earwax or something else, or if you need other services,  stop by one of our 16 walk-in UrgentMED clinics in Southern California.

fast before a blood test

Why Do Some People Need to Fast Before a Blood Test?

When scheduling a blood test, doctors often instruct patients to do a fast or refrain from eating for a certain number of hours, prior to undergoing the lab work. Have you ever wondered the reason behind that requirement?  Certain food and drinks impact our blood glucose or blood sugar levels, affecting the results of your fasting blood tests.  Not everyone has to fast, while some people have to fast for more hours than others. Why is that? Many factors determine doctors’ decisions.

Requirements on Fasting for Blood Work

What is fasting for bloodwork? It’s simple – you can’t eat or drink anything except for water, for a certain length of time, until you’ve gotten the test done.  The number of hours you will need to fast will depend on the particular blood test you’re getting done. But typically fasting times go from 9 to 12 hours. Say, for example, you need to do a 12 hour fast. If you eat your last morsels at 10 o’clock at night, you’ll do your test at 10:00 AM the following day. The physician ordering the blood tests will specify the time you should do it. Once your blood is drawn, you can eat immediately following the test. Not all blood tests require fasting. Here are the ones that typically do, along with the required length of fasting:

how long should i fast before a blood test

  • Fasting blood glucose – Measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood to test for diabetes or prediabetes. (Minimum of 8 hours)
  • Blood cholesterol tests/Lipid Profile – Used to check cholesterol levels and other levels of fat in the blood. (9 to 12 hours)
  • Basic or comprehensive metabolic panel –  This is often part of a routine physical exam which measures blood sugar, electrolyte, and fluid balance, and kidney function. (10 to 12 hours)
  • Iron Tests – Measures your iron levels to determine if they’re too high or too low. The latter could mean you have anemia.  (12 hours)
  • Renal function panel – The main test to check the health of your kidneys. (8 to 12 hours)
  • Vitamin B12 test – Tests your vitamin B12 levels.  (6-8 hours)
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT): GGT is an enzyme found in many organs in the body, but this test diagnoses alcohol-related liver disease.  (8 hours)

Tips for Preparing for Blood Tests

In addition to refraining from food and drinks, you should also refrain from smoking, chewing gum (even sugarless), and exercising.  These things can boost your digestion, which can affect your results. Ask your doctor about taking medications – prescribed or over-the-counter – prior to your test. None of us is perfect, and sometimes we slip up. If you’ve eaten or drank something besides water, be sure to tell the person who’s drawing your blood. This is important.

why do you have to fast before a blood testVisit Us for Your Blood Tests

Visit us – the affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network – for blood tests.  We’re fast and convenient, and with 16 locations, we’re the largest comprehensive urgent care network in Southern California. We accept most insurance plans, and if you don’t have insurance, we have affordable rates for uninsured patients. We look forward to helping you stay on a healthy track!