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My stomach hurts – what could it be?

spring hill walk in clinic

First, you hear the rumble, then you feel the pain – or is it the other way around? All you know is that you’re doubled over, grasping your stomach and imagining the end of the world is coming. What could it be? Why does your stomach hurt? Well, the truth is there are lots of different reasons. Here are a few of the most common acute causes of stomach pain.

Appendicitis

Is the pain sharp and located in the lower right side of your abdomen? It is possible that you have appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix. According to the National Institutes of Health, appendicitis is the most common cause of abdominal pain resulting in surgery. It is most common between the ages of 10 and 30, and more common in males than females. If you notice this pain or you suspect you might have appendicitis, come to Spring Hill walk-in clinic immediately. Untreated appendicitis can result in your appendix bursting, which is extremely serious.

Viral Gastroenteritis

What we more commonly refer to as the stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis is definitely no treat. With symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and body aches, you not only need to be near a bathroom, but near a bed to rest. Viral gastroenteritis is caused by a number of viruses, and it spreads most quickly in group situations. You can prevent it by washing your hands frequently and properly, ensuring you’re using clean water to cook and avoiding undercooked foods. Most of the time, you need to let this virus run its course, but if you have had diarrhea for three days or more, there is blood in your diarrhea or you are experiencing dehydration, it’s best to come to Spring Hill walk in clinic to restore your fluid balance and get back on the road to recovery.

Food poisoning

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether you have viral gastroenteritis or food poisoning because the symptoms are quite similar: nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, among them. However, the treatment plan is roughly the same: Tough it out unless you’ve had 3 or more days of diarrhea, a high fever, symptoms of dehydration or blood in your urine. If you have any of these symptoms, visit our Spring Hill walk in clinic immediately for treatment.

Indigestion and acid reflux

Although acid reflux can also be a chronic condition, it often appears after eating certain foods or after eating large meals. This is also true of indigestion; however, the causes are different. For acid reflux, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) begins to function improperly or doesn’t close tight enough. This allows digestive stomach acid to escape from the stomach up to your esophagus, which gives the burning sensation of heartburn. Indigestion can have many underlying causes, although it is often associated with ulcers and gastritis.

In both cases, over-the-counter treatments are acceptable as a first line of defense; however, if you use antacids for more than 2 weeks (in the case of acid reflux) or you have bloody vomit or trouble swallowing (in the case of indigestion), it is necessary to seek help immediately from your Spring Hill walk-in clinic.

 

Lifeguard Urgent Care – Spring Hill Urgent Care

If you have unexplained stomach pain which doesn’t seem to be going away after a few days, or your symptoms are severe, Lifeguard Urgent Care is here to help. We are open 7 days a week so that we are there when you need us and for a more affordable visit than the ER.

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Antibiotics – when to take them and when to avoid them

walk-in clinic Spring Hill

You wake up and you know it instantly – a tickle in your throat, a surprisingly difficult time breathing, maybe a headache – you’re sick. You weigh the options of going to work or calling in sick, try to decide whether to see a doctor. You give it a day, do your normal thing, and you just feel worse. After calling your boss to let her know you won’t be in tomorrow, you head to your Spring Hill walk-in clinic to get some antibio — wait, what? Antibiotics? But your symptoms sound like a bad cold! Should you really be getting antibiotics?

 

Maybe not. The doctors at our walk-in clinic in Spring Hill say that there are more and more people asking for antibiotics to treat head colds and other viral infections. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Here’s all you need to know about antibiotics.

 

What antibiotics are

Antibiotics are a class of drugs that act against bacteria and are used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections – think pneumonia (sometimes), strep throat, and a number of sexually transmitted infections. Antibiotics either inhibit the growth of these “bad” bacteria or kill them outright, which enables you to feel better.

 

What antibiotics aren’t

Antibiotics are not an effective class of drugs against viral infections or fungal infections. That means if you have the flu, Lyme disease, or hepatitis, antibiotics are not going to help you feel better. Viral infections are best avoided by getting vaccinated, which we offer as part of our services – check out flu shot Spring Hill, but serious viruses, like Hepatitis B and HIV can be treated with antiviral medications.

 

Fungal infections like yeast infections or athlete’s foot also cannot be treated by antibiotics; for these you need antifungal medications, which inhibit the growth of the fungus and restore balance.

 

Antibiotic resistance

The biggest concern about the overuse or misuse of antibiotics – i.e. when they are prescribed to treat viral or fungal infections or when they aren’t used as prescribed – is that they become less effective against the illnesses they’re meant to treat. When antibiotics are used improperly – and this also includes not taking the proper dosage or not finishing a course prescribed by your doctor, the bacteria which they fight against adapt and become stronger. Then, the antibiotic doesn’t work anymore.

 

A famous example is strep throat. While this illness is awful in its basic form, it has evolved to an even more dangerous version called MRSA – or “methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.” MRSA doesn’t respond to traditional antibiotics for strep and can be fatal. It also happens to be quite contagious, which is why you will hear reports of outbreaks in hospitals and communities.

 

What you can do

What you can do is simple: Don’t ask for antibiotics if you have a viral infection. You may feel crummy as the virus runs its course, but an antibiotic wouldn’t help you feel better, anyway. If you do have an bacterial infection, take your medicine properly: in the dosage recommended and for the full 7-10 days as prescribed. If you don’t, imagine that little evil bacteria are still floating around your body, figuring out ways to get around the roadblocks you’ve put up against their existence.

 

Secondly, consider eating less meat. The meat industry is the No. 1 user of antibiotics in a preventive manner. They are fed to livestock, poultry and even fish to help them grow faster in relatively unsanitary conditions. We know that it’s hard to give up meat altogether, but less meat intake will reduce your exposure to unnecessary antibiotics.

Have more questions about antibiotics or want to get a flu shot in Spring Hill? The staff at our Spring Hill walk-in clinic are happy to answer any questions you have about your health. When you come in with symptoms, we don’t automatically prescribe antibiotics; we diagnose the root of the problem first. We are open 7 days a week for your convenience.

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