Category Archives: General Health

differences between a cold and the flu

The Differences Between a Cold and the Flu

Not sure whether you have a cold or the flu? Distinguishing which illness you are experiencing can be very tricky with the naked eye alone. They share many similarities – the most significant being that they both target the same area of the body. Many people don’t know the differences between a cold and the flu, but learning about the difference between each can make a huge impact on knowing what treatment is best and getting better quickly. The specialists at any Southern California UrgentMed walk-in clinic can help.

Differences Between a Cold and the Flu

Both the “common cold” and the flu are infections of the upper respiratory tract and primarily affect the nose, ears, and throat. Additionally, both are considered to be among the most common illnesses that humans experience. This is where the similarities end.

Despite affecting the same parts of the body, these two illnesses are caused by different types of viruses, show varying degrees of symptoms, and distinct recovery behavior. Learn more about these common diseases and how to determine whether you have a cold or flu.

Cold Symptoms vs Flu Symptoms

Although both the cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses that share several symptoms, the severity of these ailments is often enough to distinguish which infection one has. The flu has a much more aggressive impact on the body than a cold and is more likely to lead to health complications such as pneumonia, and other health complications which can be fatal if left untreated.

whats the difference between the cold and flu

Aches

Bodily aches are quite common with influenza but rarely a reason for concern. These aches occur during any sort of infection where white blood cells are sent to combat the bodily invaders, which inherently leaves muscles stiff and prone to pains. Although aches can occur during a cold, they are far less severe than with the flu and are unlikely to make daily activities more difficult, as is common with influenza.

Fever

Fever is a common symptom of both bacterial and viral infections and indicates that the body is fighting the disease. Essentially, the body is, via the hypothalamus, attempting to rid itself of the illness by increasing its body temperature. A fever may be accompanied by sweating, loss of appetite, weakness, dehydration, and chills.

Fevers are common occurrences with the flu but very rarely occur during bouts of a cold.

Colds that develop fevers often indicate that the cold has developed a complication or is another illness entirely. High temperatures of 104 degrees or higher are extremely dangerous, and a doctor near you should be sought out immediately.

Sneezing, Stuffy Nose & Sore Throat

Sneezing, congestion and an inflamed larynx are iconic symptoms of a cold. These symptoms may occasionally occur during a case of the flu, but will not result in a runny nose as colds often do, and are never the sole symptoms of the flu.

How Soon Do Symptoms Show?

One of the most notable differences between the cold and flu is the onset of symptoms. Cold symptoms can develop in as little as ten hours after contracting the virus, but those ailments appear gradually, while more manifestations of the illness may later follow.

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Meanwhile, flu symptoms are full-blown and strike very suddenly. The influenza virus can take hold of the body in one or two days, causing a quick onslaught of severe symptoms such as fever, bodily aches, and fatigue. In some cases, individuals have attested to noticing exactly when they begin to feel like they have flu-like symptoms.

Cold & Flu Prevention

Both the cold and the flu have peak seasons during the winter. Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine for the common cold (The average adult is expected to contract two to three of these viral infections per year), and both viruses have no cure. Both diseases can be transmitted through the air and are highly contagious during the beginning stages of the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent illnesses like colds and the flu.

Suffering From Symptoms and Need to Know if It’s the Cold or Flu? Come to UrgentMED Today

Take advantage of flu vaccinations. Protect yourself and your family during peak season and decrease your chances of getting infected. The 19 clinics that are part of the UrgentMED Network offer local flu vaccinations in the Southern California area with no appointment necessary. UrgentMED accepts a wide network of different insurance policies and guarantees affordable rates for individuals or families that are currently uninsured and need medical attention. If you suspect that you already have a cold or flu, doctors are on hand to provide a diagnosis seven days a week. Find a walk-in clinic near you and start feeling better today!

ways to boost your immune system

Seven Quick & Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

The immune system is the body’s built-in defense mechanism. A variety of proteins, cells, and organs protect the body by neutralizing harmful and foreign elements. Your immune system also clears dead or “sick” cells within the body to fight infection and disease. Up to a point, immune systems are supposed to get stronger with age, due to the body being exposed to more pathogens and developing antibodies. However, many demands of the modern lifestyle have compromised the immune system’s ability to respond and neutralize threats. Small changes in your daily routine can offer quick & easy ways to boost your immune system, your health, and your overall quality of living. We list them below.

Get More Sleep

It has been proven that our immune systems are directly tied to our sleep cycles. Certain disease-fighting proteins and hormones are only produced during rest. Any amount of sleep deprivation immediately affects our immune system. Too few hours can make one more likely to get sick and cause a slower recovery period. Fortunately, a fully-functioning immune system doesn’t mean needing more sleep than is possible or practical for most individual schedules – simply getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night will do. In fact, oversleeping can actually be detrimental and has been linked to causing inflammation.

Take Echinacea

Echinacea is a herb with healing properties that is commonly used to fight the common cold. According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, echinacea reduces the likelihood of catching a cold by 58 percent. Echinacea has also been proven to fight inflammation associated with illness, as well as aid in the growth of healthy cells. It is available in many forms: capsules, pills, powders, liquid extracts, dried herbs and in teas. For the greatest benefits, take echinacea early on, before symptoms are full-blown

how to boost your immune system

Eat More Garlic

Garlic has been renowned for its healing properties for thousands of years. It has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral capabilities. Garlic has been noted to be effective in fighting illnesses from the common cold to cancer to influenza (the flu). The active ingredient, sulfuric compound allicin, is credited for garlic’s incredible abilities to fight infection of the body both internally and externally. To reap these benefits, experts say to eat garlic raw, since bodily enzymes can sometimes deactivate the allicin if garlic is ingested in capsule form. The World Health Organization recommends consuming approximately one clove of garlic a day to take advantage of its immune system boosting properties.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea has incredibly powerful medicinal capabilities that can fight the flu or lower the risk of cancer. Its abundance of catechin (a plant-based antioxidant called a polyphenol) gives green tea its extraordinary inflammatory capabilities. Regularly consuming green tea can prevent damage from free radicals and aid in the prevention of autoimmune disorders.

As such, green tea is favored over teas such as black tea or oolong. Unlike other varieties, green tea’s unique harvesting process preserves the natural polyphenols which are extremely beneficial. Experts recommend drinking between 3 to 5 cups of green tea a day to ingest between 240 and 320 milligrams of polyphenols a day.

Boil Your Vegetables

Consuming raw vegetables does not always yield more nutritional benefits. Although the cooking process can reduce the vitamins and minerals in vegetables, in many cases, it actually makes them more beneficial. Heat breaks down the rigid vegetable cell walls, improving the body’s absorption capabilities and actually increasing the amounts of nutrients.

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For example, it was found that cooked carrots had higher levels of beta-carotene than uncooked ones. The cooking method is also a factor in vegetable benefits. Boiling and steaming allow for the least amount of vitamins and nutrients lost. Include plenty of green vegetables to your diet, which has been linked to directly aiding the immune system’s function.

Thirty Minutes of Physical Activity

Vigorous cardio isn’t necessary for your immune system to reap the benefits. The American Journal of Medicine reports that simply walking can increase the number of white blood cells in the body. Moderate exercise at least three times a week is sufficient. Be wary that too much exercise can actually be harmful. More than 90 minutes of intense physical activity temporarily weakens the immune system, making one more perceptible to illness after strenuous physical exertion.

Choose Citrus

When you are threatened with an illness, it’s important to help the body to naturally produce the white blood cells it needs to defend itself. Vitamin C is crucial in this process, and citrus fruits of all kinds are rich with vitamin C. A glass of orange or grapefruit juice in the morning is a great way to help boost your immune system daily. 

There are many quick & easy ways to boost your immune system – many of which you might already do in your daily routine. Although these methods are natural and easily accessible, they are not cure-alls. 

Let UrgentMED Help Boost Your Immune System

If you are feeling ill and showing symptoms, and are wondering how best to boost your immune system, it might be time to visit a clinic near you. The Urgent Med Network has an in-house pharmacy and 19 convenient locations in the Los Angeles area for a quick visit to get you feeling better quickly. For your convenience, our medical walk-in clinics in and around Southern California are available day and night, on weekdays and weekends, no appointment needed. We accept a large range of insurances and guarantee affordable rates for individuals and families without insurance.

 

Causes of Dizziness

Five Causes of Dizziness and When You Should Seek Help at Urgent Care

It happens to all of us, every once-in-awhile. We get dizzy. Sometimes it lasts for just a few minutes, and sometimes much longer. But how serious are dizzy spells, and at what point should you get medical help?

We have those answers and more in the following discussion on the five causes of dizziness and when you should seek help at an Urgent Care center. And in the meantime, if you’re having dizzy spells, head to the affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network of walk-in clinics located throughout Southern California. There’s certain to be one near you.

How Do You Know if You’re Experiencing a Dizzy Spell?

Dizzy spells are extremely common and can happen to anyone at any time. Here are some symptoms of dizziness:

  • A false sense of motion or spinning (vertigo)
  • Unsteadiness or a loss of balance
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • A feeling of floating, wooziness
    or heavy-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Double vision
  • Irregular heartbeat 

There are many causes of dizziness. Often, something as simple as getting up too quickly from a chair or bed, for example, can cause you to become dizzy. But dizziness can lead to some very dangerous situations, such as causing you to faint or fall, or preventing you from being able to walk, especially if your issues with it become prolonged or chronic

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When You Should Seek Help at Urgent Care

If you get dizzy often and are unclear as to why, you should see a doctor. Now – let’s look at the five causes of dizziness, in no particular order, and when you should seek help at an Urgent Care facility, such as the walk-in clinics that make up the UrgentMED network.

Cause #1: Certain Medicines

Some medications – for example, those used for blood pressure, pain, or antibiotics can cause dizziness. Often these medications will come with warnings that indicate the potential for dizziness. If it becomes too much for you to handle, talk to your doctor about switching medications. 

Cause #2: Heart Disease

You can also become dizzy if you’re suffering a heart attack or heart arrhythmia, in which your heart is beating too fast, too slow or irregularly. If you suspect a heart attack, get to a hospital or call for help immediately.

Cause #3: Metabolic Disorders (Hypoglycemia and Dehydration)

People with diabetes can suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), possibly causing them to faint. You can also experience dizziness if you become overheated or dehydrated after exercising or a work-related activity. To prevent dizziness associated with these health complications, be sure to drink lots of water and pursue a balanced diet that is incorporative of the right foods for your body.

Cause #4: Blood Pressure

If your heart isn’t pumping enough blood to your brain, this can cause low blood pressure (hypotension), and if you stand up or sit-up quickly, you can begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded.

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Cause #5: Vertigo Caused by Inner Ear Problems

Let’s revisit a word we just mentioned earlier: vertigo. The best definition of vertigo is severe dizziness. Imagine all of a sudden losing your balance or believe that your surroundings are spinning or moving. That’s vertigo, which is associated with a disease affecting the inner ear. Individuals suffering from vertigo may experience a debilitating bout of dizziness at just about anytime, anywhere. If you think you are dealing with vertigo, it would be wise to consult a physician at any UrgentMed Southern California walk-in clinic.

Other Causes of Dizziness

Other causes of dizziness can include some neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis; anxiety disorders; motion sickness; low levels of iron (anemia) and more, but they don’t usually require immediate help, unless you faint or fall.

Come to UrgentMED When Feeling Dizzy

If you’re feeling dizzy, head to and UrgentMed clinic near you. With 19 locations, we’re the largest urgent care network in Southern California. And we’re fast. We’ll treat you during your lunch hour. Our patients rarely wait for more than five minutes before seeing a doctor or another medical staff member. On average, patients spend about 25 minutes here in total. 

Whether or not you need help due to the five causes of dizziness when suffering from a non-life-threatening injury or sickness, head to one of the UrgentMED Network of walk-in clinics. Our facilities offer lab/bloodwork, x-rays, vaccinations/immunizations, breathing treatments, heart tests, and more. We accept most insurance plans, but we may also help you if you don’t have insurance – we accept a wide network of different insurance policies and guarantees affordable rates for individuals or families that are currently uninsured and need medical attention. You don’t need an appointment, and parking is free.

 

sprained and broken foot

How to Tell If You Have a Broken or Sprained Foot

It can happen while doing something as simple as walking, taking a misstep or exercising. Before you know it, you have a broken or sprained foot. And while they both hurt and can prevent you from engaging in activities, all the same, these are two different injuries that require different treatments, so being able to tell one from the other is important to help you heal.

Our medical experts can easily determine your condition and discuss options with you. If you think you’ve injured your foot in any way, head to the affordable walk-in clinics that make up the UrgentMED network of Southern California. Keep reading to learn how to tell if you have a broken or sprained foot.

Similar Symptoms

Differentiating between the symptoms of a broken foot and sprained foot can be tricky because they are very similar and can be equally painful from the start. If you’ve broken your foot, you will experience immediate pain and swelling, along with bruising and occasional numbness. The pain will usually be so intense that walking will not be physically possible. In some cases, you may experience shock and will not be able to notice the pain immediately.

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Similarly, foot sprains can also cause severe pain, swelling and bruising. In some cases, you are also unable to walk from a sprained foot depending on how bad the injury is.

Do you happen to remember the sound you heard when the accident occurred? If you sprained your foot, you may have heard a popping sound. With a broken foot, however, you would have heard a cracking sound that may have been louder and more obvious.

Treatments Are Different

If the doctor determines your foot is sprained, then the treatment will be to rest, ice the injured area, compress the swelling and elevate the injured area. He or she may also suggest you take anti-inflammatory medications. A sprained foot will heal on its own with time, so long as the foot is rested and not used for intense activities during the healing process.

The treatment for a broken foot is based on its severity and the location of the fracture. There are generally understood to be different fracture types, each varying in severity and treatment required. For example, a compound fracture, in which the skin breaks and the broken bone is exposed, will require more intensive remedial measures than a stable or a hairline fracture, in which the break is minimal.

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Along with rest and medications, you may need a cast, brace, splint, or boot for your broken foot. In a worst-case scenario, you will need surgery in order to repair any damages to your foot and the bone structure may need to be permanently braced or altered.

Seeking Help for a Broken or Sprained Foot

If you suspect you have broken or sprained your foot, visit an UrgentMED Network clinic immediately. The medical professionals at UrgentMED Network – the largest urgent care network in Southern California – are ready to help you seven days a week. They will be able to quickly examine your broken or sprained foot on a walk-in basis at any of our 19 convenient Southern California locations.

If needed, the UrgentMED Network provides on-site physical therapy at our West Los Angeles Urgent Care. We accept over 15 private insurance plans as well as Medicaid. Do not hesitate to seek medical help if you find yourself injured with a sprain or a broken bone. Find the UrgentMED Network clinic nearest to you to address all of your health concerns today.

essential injections

Three Essential Injections for Overall Health and Wellness

In 1844, an Irish inventor and physician by the name of Francis Rynd made the first hollow needle and used it to perform the first-ever injection.  A few years later Charles Pravaz and Alexander Wood made the syringe with a hollow needle, and medicine has never looked back.

Injecting medicine directly into the bloodstream can be more effective than ingesting pills or taking the medication in other forms such as absorbing it via the skin. Injections have been used to administer vaccines, and, as a result, well-being has improved. Intravenous (IV) therapy, today, has become a popular treatment for people seeking fast and effective treatments for many different conditions (jet lag, exhaustion, and so on) or even acute illnesses. Today, there are a variety of injections that contribute to overall health and wellness, including B12 injections, iron injections, and fat burning injections.  

B12 Injections

Vaccines aside, there are several injections one might consider to improve the overall health and wellness of an adult such as vitamin B injections. Having low B12 can result in feeling fatigue or developing anemia. As the human body ages, acid production in the stomach reduces, making it difficult to absorb B12 from foods. Intramuscular shots may be the best solution. B12 is also known to keep your nerves and blood cells healthy, and many people claim that B12 helps with weight loss.

Three Essential Injections for Overall Health and WellnessIron Injections

There are several different reasons that one might take iron injections:

  • If your diet is deficient in iron
  • If you take medication that interferes with the body’s hemoglobin production
  • If you have lost significant amounts of blood
  • Pregnancy may require iron shots 
  • Kidney failure 

Whatever the reason, you should consult your medical professional since some side effects can occur. It is also important to tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Muscle, joint, or back pain 
  • Chills 
  • Dizziness 
  • Headache 
  • Fever 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Weakness

fat burning injectionsFat Burning Injections

It may sound too good to be true, but the fact is that there are different types of fat burning injections available.  These are used for weight loss, and the different types are easy to find. Lipotropic, for example, is made by choline, methionine, and inositol. Vitamin B12, as mentioned before, is also believed to aid in weight loss. Combined, vitamin and lipotropic provide more effective weight loss.

Ask Your Medical Professional

At UrgentMED, our expertly trained staff can advise you as to the best injections for your well-being and health. We specialize in ground-breaking IV therapy injections and can offer four different liquid vitamin and mineral blends to benefit your overall health. Contact us at 310-396-2273 or come by one of our locations in Beverly Hills, Downtown Los Angeles, Venice, or any of our 18 locations.