Family Medicine Services

ARTHRITIS & OSTEOPOROSIS

Arthritis is a common disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, immobility, and swelling. Arthritis is actually a term for a group of over 100 diseases that affect the muscle and skeletal system, particularly the joints. Arthritis alters the cartilage in joints. Cartilage is a very tough, shock absorbing material that covers the ends of many of our bones. The cartilage forms a smooth surface and allows the bones in our joints to glide easily during motion. Arthritis can cause the cartilage to wear away. Loss of the protective lining can cause painful bone on bone rubbing. Arthritis can be quite painful and disabling. While this may be tolerated with medications, therapy, other modalities, and lifestyle adjustments, there may come a time when surgical treatment is necessary.
Most cases of arthritis can be treated with non-surgical methods. Temporary joint rest and pain relievers are sometimes all that are needed. Over-the-counter medication or prescription medication may be used to reduce pain and swelling. If your symptoms do not improve significantly with these medications a cortisone injection may be successful in reducing inflammation and pain.
Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease. It causes progressive bone loss and increases the risk of fractures. Osteoporosis is more common in women than men, and the incidence increases with age. Bone loss from osteoporosis can lead to fractures and disability. The progression of osteoporosis may be reduced with treatments, including dietary changes, nutrition supplements, exercise, and medications.
Lost bone cannot be replaced, but further bone loss can be prevented. Treatments are also aimed at reducing pain and preventing fall-related fractures. Your doctor will make nutrition and exercise recommendations for you. Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are commonly advised. Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, can help prevent bone loss and possibly increase bone density. It is also helpful to reduce the risk factors that you can control, such as quitting smoking.

ALLERGIES, ASTHMA & SINUS PROBLEMS

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a normally nonthreatening substance. There are many types, causes, and symptoms of allergic reactions. Different areas of the body can be affected depending on the allergic trigger. Some allergic reactions can be life threatening and require emergency medical attention. Allergy treatments include avoiding the triggers of an allergic reaction, medications, and desensitizing shots.
You can avoid allergic reactions by avoiding the allergens that trigger them. You may not be able to avoid all allergens. Your doctor can recommend medications to relieve your symptoms. Allergy shots can make your immune system less sensitive to allergens, which can help to reduce symptoms. You may be instructed to carry emergency medication with you to use in case of a severe allergic reaction.
Asthma is a lung disease. Asthma causes the breathing tubes in the lungs to temporarily narrow. People with asthma have difficulty breathing air in and out of their lungs. An allergen or irritant in the environment usually triggers an asthma flare-up.
The goals of asthma treatment are to establish normal lung function, relieve symptoms, and prevent asthma flare-ups. There is no cure for asthma, although symptoms may decrease over time. It is important to identify and avoid the allergens that trigger your asthma. Your doctor may prescribe medications based on your condition.

BIRTH CONTROL & STDs

Contraception can reduce the risk of pregnancy. There are many types of birth control methods. Some forms of birth control require a doctor’s prescription or a medical procedure, while others may be purchased as over-the-counter products. Some forms of birth control are temporary and others are permanent and cannot be reversed. You may want to use more than one form of birth control to increase the effectiveness. Common forms of contraception in the United States include behavioral methods, over-the-counter products, prescription products, and permanent procedures. Your healthcare professional can help you determine which one is best for you.

CHOLESTEROL PROBLEMS

High cholesterol occurs when there is too much or an unhealthy balance of cholesterol in the blood. Your body needs some cholesterol for healthy functioning but too much is dangerous to your health. High cholesterol has no symptoms. The only way to find out if you have high cholesterol is to get tested with a simple blood test. High cholesterol is treated with lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and medications. Untreated high cholesterol increases the risk for heart and blood vessel disease, including heart attack and stroke.
The goal of treatment for high cholesterol is to lower cholesterol levels into the healthy ranges to reduce the risk of heart disease. High cholesterol is treated with lifestyle changes, special diets, and medications. Your doctor will make specific recommendations for you based on the results of your lipid profile.

DIABETES

Type 2 Diabetes, also called Adult Onset Diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is a source of fuel. Normally, insulin, a hormone, helps glucose get into the body cells where it is used for energy. People with Type 2 Diabetes produce insulin, but they either do not produce enough or the insulin is not very effective in allowing glucose to get into the body’s cells. As a result, glucose remains in the bloodstream. Too much sugar in the blood can make people ill and result in medical complications.
Treatment of Pre-Diabetes can return blood glucose levels back to normal and prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. Treatment for Pre-Diabetes includes good nutrition, weight loss, and exercise. Even a small amount of weight loss, 5-10% of the total body weight, can help. Moderate exercise, such as walking, should be done for 30 minutes each day, five days per week.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)

High blood pressure, or hypertension (HTN), is a common condition in the United States. High blood pressure is termed a “silent killer” because it usually does not have symptoms but can cause significant cardiovascular and organ damage. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get tested. High blood pressure can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medications. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to life threatening medical conditions.
The goal of treatment is to keep blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg. The goal is lower, 125-130/80 mmHg, for people with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or a prior heart attack or stroke. You doctor can tell you what your specific goal should be. Treatment of secondary conditions can return blood pressure to normal. Treatment for high blood pressure usually consists of lifestyle changes, medications, or both.

PEDIATRIC (CHILDHOOD) CONDITIONS

Children are our most precious resource. Children’s health encompasses the physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of children from infancy through adolescence.
Our doctors’ and staff’s concern for children and adolescents will become clear the first time you see them interact with your child at Greater Atlanta Family Healthcare in Clarkston, Georgia. As board-certified family physicians, Dr. Lewis and Dr. White-Williams also have experience in pediatric medicine. They treat the full spectrum of childhood health problems, including:

THYROID DISEASE

Hypothyroidism is a condition that most often occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck. Thyroid hormones regulate your body metabolism. Metabolism refers to all of the chemical processes that take place in your body. This includes the production of energy and hormones, tissue growth, elimination of waste products, and the distribution of nutrients in the blood.
Hypothyroidism is easy to treat. Your doctor will prescribe a type of thyroid replacement hormone for you to take each day. The purpose of treatment is to replace the absent thyroid hormone and alleviate symptoms.

WELL-WOMEN EXAMS (PAP EXAMS)

A Pap smear test is a preventive measure that can detect precancerous or cancerous cervical cells. A yearly Pap smear used to be recommended for for most women, but this changed in 2013. Current guidelines from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend the following:
  • Pap smear once every 3 years for women under 30.
  • Pap smear and HPV (human papillomavirus) test every 5 years for women under 65.
  • Women over 65 do not need a Pap smear unless there is a history of two or three abnormal test results in the last 5 to 10 years, or if there is a history of dysplasia or cervical cancer.
  • Pap smear and HPV testing is not recommended for girls under 21 years of age.
A Pap smear is a short in-office procedure. You should avoid douching, using tampons, or sexual intercourse for 24 hours before your test. Schedule your Pap smear for a time when you do not have your period, as blood or fluid may interfere with your test results.

WOMEN'S HEALTH ISSUES

Because of the uniqueness of the female anatomy and its design to bear children, women often have special health needs. In addition, certain diseases and health conditions are unique to females. Some are unique to females at different life stages, too. There are four main stages to a woman’s life. There’s adolescence, the childbearing years, midlife and senior adulthood. Each has its own unique health concerns and challenges. Visit Greater Atlanta Family Healthcare in Clarkston, Georgia today!

Convenience

  • Flexible appointment times, including Saturdays
  • Most insurance accepted & filed
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover & American Express accepted
  • Friendly, helpful staff
  • Handicapped-accessible
  • Free parking

AFFILIATED WITH EMORY HEALTHCARE
Our mission is to provide culturally, ethnically and economically sensitive healthcare, incorporate primary and secondary prevention of disease, provide continuity of care for chronic medical problems, coordinate medical care for our patients, emphasize mental, physical and spiritual health, make healthcare more accessible to the insured and uninsured and aid patient compliance with medical regimens.

Greater Atlanta Family Healthcare is conveniently located in Clarkston, Georgia. To schedule an appointment, call 404.298.9333.

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