Dr. Reddy Among First Ever Group of Board Certified Physicians for Lifestyle Medicine

The American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) recently announced that Athens GA, native Dr. Ram K. Reddy of Reddy Medical Group is among the 204 physicians and 43 Ph.D./Masters-level health clinicians who have become the first medical professionals globally to be certified as Diplomats of the ABLM/American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. The lifestyle medicine certification is an addition to Dr. Reddy’s internal medicine and geriatric certifications. The exam was given Oct. 26 in Tucson, AZ, following the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Lifestyle Medicine 2017 conference.

 

Lifestyle Medicine, defined by the ACLM, is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse chronic disease.

 

As a result of this global pioneering effort, Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance sister organizations in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Latin America are scheduled to host Lifestyle Medicine certifications in their respective countries and regions, using the identical exam, proctoring, and pass rates, resulting in standardization of the field on a worldwide basis.

 

“Gone are the days of diagnosing the ill, prescribing the pill and sending the bill, which has worked so well in combating communicable disease, but is hopelessly inadequate in the fight against chronic disease,” said ABLM Executive Director Stephan Herzog. “Nourishment, movement, resilience and social connectedness will become the focal point of physicians in addressing the underlying causes of chronic disease, with increasing numbers of medical schools starting to train their students in the principles of lifestyle medicine.”

 

“Driven primarily by large, self-insured employers, the requirement for healthcare providers to employ and deploy lifestyle medicine-certified physicians and health professionals will increase rapidly, as the reduction in medical utilization costs on a per-person per-annum basis is becoming increasingly evident when Lifestyle Medicine is used across the treatment spectrum,” Herzog continued.

 

ACLM President George Guthrie, MD, MPH, FACLM added, “For the patient, having healthcare providers not only look at the symptoms, but also at the underlying cause of disease, will help them take charge of their health and prevent, arrest and reverse chronic disease, thus returning years to their life and life to their years.”

 

ABOUT REDDY MEDICAL GROUP: Reddy Medical Group was established in August of 1984 in a small office building in Franklin Springs, Georgia. It was the vision of Dr. Ram K. Reddy, who chose to provide quality, modern health care to the community because of its peaceful atmosphere, natural beauty, and friendly people. Since its humble beginnings, Reddy Medial Group has grown to include 6 urgent care facilities, 3 primary care offices, 1 pediatrics office, and Yuva Medical Spa and Laser Center. Dr. Reddy hopes to open at least 2 more urgent care facilities by the end of 2018 as well as further expand Reddy Medical Group into the ever increasing field of telemedicine.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN BOARD OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: The ABLM was formed in November 2015, in Nashville, TN, by a group of visionary physicians who saw the need to: educate physicians and allied health professionals about Lifestyle Medicine; set a common standard/language for Lifestyle Medicine protocols globally; differentiate between evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine professionals and non-evidence based Lifestyle Medicine practitioners; set a global Lifestyle Medicine benchmark; and attract health insurance funding for evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine by requiring that any fund receivers be formally certified. Learn more at https://ablm.co/about/.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the professional medical association for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system. More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanizing force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective desire to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the cause of disease. Learn more at http://www.LifestyleMedicine.org.

 

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Get Active This Spring!

There is nothing quite as refreshing as stepping outside into warm spring air after a long winter. This year, take advantage of the weather by exercising outdoors. Refresh your workout routine with these fun activities that put you in touch with nature:

1. Go Take a Hike
Lace up your tennis shoes and hit the trails. Spring is the perfect time to get away from it all and explore what your area has to offer. From national parks to botanical gardens, most towns have plenty of paths to try. With new life all around, it is hard not to feel refreshed. Be sure to plan ahead, pack plenty of water and snacks, and bring a buddy.

2. Off to the Races
There are tons of local races offered during the spring. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just looking to get off the couch for a morning, there are race options for every level. Most 5ks offer the option to walk, and you can go at whatever pace is most comfortable for you. Races are a fun way to challenge yourself, and reaching the finish line is an exhilarating feeling. You may just get hooked.

3. Dive In
Swimming is the perfect way to cool off and tone up on warm days. It is also considerably less stressful on joints than other physical activities. Working out in the water may help those with joint or muscle problems exercise pain-free. Find a lake, pool, or ocean near you, and just keep swimming.

4. Bikes
Next time you leave the house, consider biking to your destination. Or biking those local paths you discovered on a hike. Or biking laps around your block just because. Biking is an environmentally friendly form of transportation and great cardiovascular exercise.

5. Get Sporty
Competition brings out the best in us, especially when it comes to sticking with an exercise routine. One of the top reasons people cite for not exercising regularly is boredom with their fitness routine. Incorporating an enjoyable outdoor sport like tennis or golf into your regime makes it much easier to motivate yourself to get moving. You’ll be having too much fun to even notice you’re exercising, so challenge your friends to a fierce game of basketball or frisbee!

These and other forms of outdoor exercise make getting moving much more enjoyable. Not only will you feel the positive results of physical fitness but also the added benefits of being with nature. You may find yourself much more relaxed and happy after opening the door. So go outside, take a deep breath, and enjoy.

Each of the Reddy Medical Group facilities provides primary care services by appointment, and urgent care services without an appointment Both our Athens and Royston offices are open seven days a week with extended hours. Our Danielsville office is open 5 days a week.

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Allergies are right around the corner, be prepared!

March means the beginning of Spring! And with the change in weather, Spring also brings a long list of allergens with it. With flowers budding and trees blooming, allergies can turn a clear March day into a groggy blur. But in order to reduce allergies, we first have to understand what they are.

An allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system when it comes into contact with a normally harmless substance, or allergen. Someone without an allergy to the substance would have no reaction. However, when a person with an allergy comes into contact with the allergen, it binds with antibodies that create chemicals such as histamine. These chemicals cause the much dreaded allergy symptoms. Normal symptoms of Spring allergies often include runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, but the list goes on. However there are many ways to reduce the effects of seasonal allergies such as pollen.

First, stay inside as much as possible on dry windy days. The wind can stir up the pollen and make it particularly unpleasant to be outside. The best time to be outside is after a good rain clears the air. To further prevent exposure, have others with milder allergies handle tasks such as mowing lawn or picking weeds from the garden if possible. If you have to take care of outdoor chores on your own, save yourself the stuffiness and wear a dust mask to keep the pollen out. Also, change your clothes after working outside to avoid bringing the allergens inside. An indoor air purifier couldn’t hurt either!

There are numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help relieve symptoms if you can’t seem to outrun the allergens. There are numerous treatments for numerous symptoms; from decongestants to antihistamines, the variety can be a little overwhelming. The friendly doctors at Reddy Medical Group are here to help you if you have any questions, or if you are suffering from a particularly strong reaction. We want you to be able to enjoy this Spring; don’t let a little pollen get in your way!

Each of the Reddy Medical Group facilities provides primary care services by appointment, and urgent care services without an appointment Both our Athens and Royston offices are open seven days a week with extended hours. Our Danielsville office is open 5 days a week.

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How to Beat the Winter Blahs

Are you feeling down this winter?

Blame it on the season. As the days get shorter and temperatures get colder, our bodies have a tough time adjusting. It helps to find creative ways to get energized… Besides a nap.

Here are four tips:

1. Get some sun.

It is tempting to stay inside to avoid the cold, but our bodies need some direct sunlight for Vitamin D production. Whether you open the blinds, go for a walk, or throw some snowballs, make sure you’re taking advantage of the short hours of sun.

2. Make Vitamin D a priority.

Even if you are venturing outdoors, you may want to supplement your sun time with Vitamin D. Looks for foods rich in Vitamin D like oily fish, meat, and eggs, or take a supplement to ensure you are getting enough.

3. Exercise regularly.

Exercise leaves you feeling invigorated and ready to tackle the next big thing. Look into some fun indoor options or outdoor seasonal activities like skiing or ice skating.

4. Develop a sleep routine.

Having a set time and duration for sleep helps your body develop a routine.

With these tips, hopefully you won’t have to wait for warmer weather to perk up!

Each of the Reddy Medical Group facilities provides primary care services by appointment, and urgent care services without an appointment Both our Athens and Royston offices are open seven days a week with extended hours. Our Danielsville office is open 5 days a week.

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Beating Breast Cancer

Breast-Cancer

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women during their lives, and many of us know someone – a mother, sister, friend – who has had it. It is the second-leading cancer killer of women in the United States, next to lung cancer. Thanks to screening, breast cancer often can be found early, when the chance of successful treatment is best. In fact, many women are even cured of the disease.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too. The most common type is ductal carcinoma, which arises in the milk ducts.

What causes breast cancer?

The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, however, it is most likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some women who exhibit many of the risk factors of breast cancer never contract it, while some who manifest none of the risk factors may succumb to it.

The two most important risk factors are a woman’s family history and her age. A woman with a blood relative who had breast cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease herself, while women older than 60 have a greater risk than younger women. Other risk factors include: gender, inherited genes, obesity, and alcohol use.

How is breast cancer detected?

Breast cancer can develop for a while without any visible symptoms. As it progresses, the following symptoms may become apparent:
· A lump or thickening in the breast or under the arm
· A change in the size or shape of the breast
· Discharge from the nipple or nipple tenderness
· A change in the color or texture of the skin of the breast or nipple
· A scaly, thickened or inward-turning nipple

See your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Your doctor may order a mammogram, or an X-ray of the breast. It is recommended that women over 50 get a mammogram every two years.

How is breast cancer treated?

The course of treatment depends on the stage of cancer, the woman’s age, and her general health. Treatment options include:
· Lumpectomy, or surgical removal of the tumor
· Partial mastectomy
· Total mastectomy
· Modified radical mastectomy
· Chemotherapy
· Radiation
· Hormonal therapy
· Targeted drugs

What can you do to reduce your risk of breast cancer?

Lifestyle changes have been shown to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:
· Limit alcohol
· Don’t smoke
· Control your weight
· Be physically active
· Breast-feed
· Limit does and duration of hormone therapy
· Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution

It is also important be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.

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Save Some Skin: Identify and Take Hold of Psoriasis

psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can occur on any part of the body. The disease is the result of faulty messages sent by the immune system that expedite skin cell growth. Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disorder in the United States, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans. The disease is not contagious, but could be linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

Psoriasis can appear in a variety of forms, each with unique and distinct characteristics. Listed below are the five most common forms of the disease.

Plaque Psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris)
The most common form of the disease, plaque psoriasis affects the skin in the form of raised, red patches and dead skin cell build-up. Most commonly, plaque psoriasis shows up on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. Plaque psoriasis can be very painful and itchy, causing cracking and bleeding of the skin.

Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate Psoriasis often begins in childhood or young adulthood. This form of psoriasis typically appears in small, separated, red dots on the skin. There can often be hundreds of the dots, and they most frequently appear on the torso, arms, and legs.

Inverse Psoriasis (intertriginous psoriasis)
Inverse psoriasis appears as very red lesions found in body folds, and often has a smooth and shiny appearance. This form of psoriasis is particularly susceptible to irritation due to rubbing and sweating, and is most commonly found in people who are overweight, and in people with deep skin folds.

Pustular Psoriasis
Pustular psoriasis is characterized by white pustules surrounded by red skin. Pustular Psoriasis is not an infection, and the pus is made up of white skin cells. This form of psoriasis is most commonly seen in adults, and is generally limited to one area of the body, such as the hands or feet.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis
This form of the disease is very rare, occurring once or more during the lifetime of about 3 percent of people affected by psoriasis. Widespread redness and inflammation characterize this form of psoriasis, and severe itching and pain often accompany it.

Psoriasis is inherited by approximately 10 percent of the population, however only 2-3 percent will develop the disease. There are several medicines that can trigger psoriasis, as well as stress, and injury to skin. Learn more about potential triggers at https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/causes

Treatment of psoriasis is very important and crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system. There are a variety of treatments that can reduce and eliminate your type of psoriasis, and working together with a doctor will help you determine what option is best for you. Becoming educated about the different treatment options, along with trial and error, will eventually help you learn which regimen is best for your condition.

If you or someone you know is suffering from psoriasis, do not hesitate to consult a physician. Call and schedule an appointment at Reddy Medical Group today at (706) 621-7555.

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Are You Getting Your Vitamin D?

vitamin d

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. Research is increasingly revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health complications, and it is important for you to know about reducing your risks as well.

Vitamin D deficiency can occur if:

  • You don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time.
  • Your exposure to sunlight is limited.
  • You have dark skin.
  • Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form.
  • Your digestive tract cannot adequately absorb vitamin D.
  • You are obese.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Below are some of the most common, though there is no clear pattern of consistent symptoms.

  • Fatigue
  • General muscle pain and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation or diarrhea

What diseases are associated with vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every major disease. This includes:

  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
  • Varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Infertility and PMS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psoriasis

How much vitamin D do I need?

How much vitamin D you need varies with age, body weight, percent of body fat, latitude, skin coloration, season of the year, use of sun block, individual variation in sun exposure, and whether or not you are ill.

Here are some guidelines:

If your blood level is above 32ng/ml and for maintenance, I recommend 1000 IU daily depending on age, weight, season, how much time is spent outdoors, where one lives, skin color, and obviously, blood levels.

If your blood level is below 32 ng/ml, I recommend you correct it with 5,000 of vitamin D3 a day or 50,000 IU a week for 3 months under a doctor’s supervision. It takes a good 6 months usually to optimize your vitamin D levels.

If you think you may be at risk of having a vitamin D deficiency, or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see a specialist at Reddy Medical Group today. Feel free to email info@reddymedicalgroup.com with any questions.

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In the Know: HIV/AIDS

AIDS, or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, affects approximately 1.7 million people in the United States alone. One in five people are currently living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and are unaware of their condition. In the presence of such a serious epidemic, it’s important to know how it’s possible to catch the disease, and how to recognize the signs of contamination.

Gay and bisexual men of all races are the most severely affected by HIV/AIDS, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear if you don’t fall into this category. AIDS can be transmitted in various ways including intimate contact, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, injection and drug use, occupational exposure, and blood transfusion/organ transplants. With so many possible ways to become exposed to the virus, it’s not surprising that every 9.5 seconds, another person contracts HIV.

But what exactly is the HIV virus, how does it turn into AIDS, and what is happening within the body? Below is a breakdown of how this invasive disease tears apart the immune system leading to severe sickness and diminished health.

hiv-symptoms

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that are vital in fighting disease and infection. HIV can hide for a very long time in the cells of your body, and works on destroying T-cells, or CD4 cells, that are necessary in order to fight off contaminates in the body. AIDS is the final stage of an HIV infection, and people with this disease usually have significantly damaged immune systems, putting them at risk for opportunistic infections (OIs). You will be diagnosed with AIDS if you have one or more OI, certain cancers, or a very low number of CD4 cells. Medical intervention and treatment is necessary in this state in order to prevent death, confirming how serious the disease can be.

If you think you may have contracted HIV, or simply want to get tested, Reddy Medical Group offers laboratory services in-house at all locations, producing test results in a matter of minutes. Don’t wait around with this dangerous disease. Get tested today.

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Skin Cancer: Stay Away!

skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It affects more than two million people in the US alone each year. Despite this large number, it is one of the easiest to cure, if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, when allowed to progress, skin cancer can lead to disfigurement and even death. To effectively reduce the chance of developing skin cancer, it is essential to understand what the disease is first.

Skin cancer occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Skin cancer itself is the abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on skin exposed to the sun, but it can also occur on areas not ordinarily exposed to sunlight. There are three major types of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. Therefore, it is important to perform regular self-examinations and alert a physician if you spot anything suspicious.

There are several warning signs of skin cancer. Alert your physician if you notice:

  • A skin growth that increases in size and appears, pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or brown spot that changes color, increases in size, changes in texture, is bigger than the size of a pencil eraser, or appears after the age of 21
  • A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, scab, erode, or bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

Aside from treatment, protection against skin damage from harmful UV rays is extremely effective in reducing the risk of skin cancer. When you’re out enjoying the warm weather this spring and summer, make sure you use sunscreen! Covering up with long sleeves and sticking to the shade are also effective, but make sure you apply sunscreen to any exposed areas. It’s also important to see your physician every year for a professional skin exam. By taking a few extra steps along the way to save your skin, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and prevent such a potentially dangerous disease!

Each of the Reddy Medical Group facilities provides primary care services by appointment, and urgent care services without an appointment Both our Athens and Royston offices are open seven days a week with extended hours. Our Danielsville office is open 5 days a week.

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What You Need to Know About Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and bumps typically on the face. Rosacea is particularly mysterious because no one completely understands what causes the condition. The symptoms of Rosacea typically reveal themselves in periodical flare ups, in which the blood vessels in the face to expand causing redness. A wide array of triggers can cause flare ups. Exercise, sun exposure, hot weather, stress, and hot baths can all be triggers, among other causes. Dramatic swings in temperature can also occasionally cause a flare-ups.

Anyone can develop rosacea, but if you have fair skin, are between the ages of 30 and 60, experience frequent blushing, or have a family history of rosacea, you may have a larger risk.Symptoms of rosacea usually involve a flushed, red face with sensitive, dry skin. The skin may burn or sting. Along with red skin, small bumps or acne-like breakouts often appear. Additionally, rosacea often results in the skin becoming coarser and thicker with a bumpy texture. Left untreated, rosacea tends to get worse over time. Despite its mysterious and chronic nature, physicians have a wide variety of treatments that control and reduce the signs and symptoms of rosacea.

Oftentimes doctors can prescribe low-dose antibiotics or skin creams to reduce redness and breakouts. Dry sensitive skin can often be treated simply with moisturizers and sunscreen. In more involved cases, doctors can treat redness from tiny blood vessels with light or cosmetic surgery and can remove thickened skin with cosmetic surgery. If you have rosacea, you can reduce your risk of flare ups by sticking to the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, being gentle to your skin, and noticing and avoiding your personal triggers.

Rosacea is uncomfortable and often hurts the confidence of those affected. Reddy Medical Group has a friendly staff of experienced professionals who are very knowledgeable about the chronic disease of rosacea. If you feel you may have some of the symptoms or need treatment for an existing condition, we would love to help you feel better and get your confidence back.

Don’t let rosacea get in your way. Come see us today!

Each of the Reddy Medical Group facilities provides primary care services by appointment, and urgent care services without an appointment Both our Athens and Royston offices are open seven days a week with extended hours. Our Danielsville office is open 5 days a week.