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Chronic
Disease

Thyroid Disease

The treatment for your thyroid condition depends on the type of thyroid problem and whether your thyroid is overactive, underactive, enlarged, or is cancerous. Here is an overview of the different treatments provided for thyroid conditions.

On the integrative medicine front, we sometimes recommend iodine supplementation, other nutritional supplements, dietary changes, particular yoga poses, mind-body medicine, and different complementary approaches to help the thyroid.

Other integrative treatment approaches include:

  • Supplementation with selenium to lower antibodies
  • Addressing related adrenal imbalances that may be complicating thyroid treatment
  • Dietary changes to reduce inflammation
  • Eliminating gluten from the diet due to a connection between gluten and autoimmunity
  • Stress reduction and management

Asthma

To rule out other possible conditions — such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — we will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your signs and symptoms and any other health problems.

Tests to measure lung function:
You may also be given lung (pulmonary) function tests to determine how much air moves in and out as you breathe. These tests may include:

  • Spirometry. This test estimates the narrowing of your bronchial tubes by checking how much air you can exhale after a deep breath and how fast you can breathe out.
  • Peak flow. A peak flow meter is a simple device that measures how hard you can breathe out. Lower than usual peak flow readings are a sign your lungs may not be working as well and that your asthma may be getting worse. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to track and deal with low peak flow readings.
  • Lung function tests often are done before and after taking a medication called a bronchodilator, such as albuterol, to open your airways. If your lung function improves with the use of a bronchodilator, you likely have asthma.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious disease that you cannot treat on your own. Your doctor will help you make a diabetes treatment plan that is right for you -- and that you can understand. You may also need other health care professionals on your diabetes treatment team, including a foot doctor, nutritionist, eye doctor, and a diabetes specialist (called an endocrinologist).

Treatment for diabetes requires keeping close watch over your blood sugar levels (and keeping them at a goal set by your doctor) with a combination of medications, exercise, and diet. By paying close attention to what and when you eat, you can minimize or avoid the "seesaw effect" of rapidly changing blood sugar levels, which can require quick changes in medication dosages, especially insulin.

High Cholesterol & Blood Pressure

High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Medications can help improve your cholesterol.

  • Eat heart-healthy foods, reduce saturated fats, eliminate trans fats, eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, increase soluble fiber and add whey protein.
  • Exercise on most days of the week and increase your physical activity. Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol. With your doctor's OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week or vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week.
  • Quitting smoking improves your HDL cholesterol level. The benefits occur quickly:
    • Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike.
    • Within three months of quitting, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve.
    • Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.


Frequently Asked
Questions

  • What services are available for chronic disease management?

    Brand New Med takes an integrative approach to manage symptoms and provides regular screenings and monitoring services. Management services ensure your quality of life isn’t affected by your condition and prevent the progression of the disease. She listens to your concerns with an empathetic ear and offers a variety of resources and educational tools to help you better manage your health.

    For your convenience, Brand New Med offers on-site lab services, including blood work and urinalysis testing. We also offers in-office nebulizer treatments for chronic asthma conditions.

  • What options are available for chronic pain?

    If your condition leaves you with persistent pain, Brand New Med provides direct referrals to other specialists for comprehensive care. We do not offer narcotics or long-term benzodiazepines but works with you to find the best resources to help you manage chronic pain conditions.

  • Can health coaching services help my chronic disease?

    Health coaching can help. Brand New Med takes a whole-person approach to manage your chronic condition. She reviews your medical history and current lifestyle choices to determine what changes you can make to improve your overall health.

    These changes may include improving your diet to incorporate more whole, fresh foods. If you can benefit from weight-loss guidance to help improve chronic disease symptoms and manage conditions like diabetes, Dr. Southerland works with you to create an exercise program and diet to help you maintain an ideal weight.

    We are also great motivators and certified personal trainers, helping you stay on track with your health goals and ensuring you’re doing what’s necessary to achieve good health and keep your condition well controlled.

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