Strep Versus Sore Throat

thyroid function examinationWe’ve all been there. You wake up with that burning sensation every time you swallow and all you want to do is eat something cold to soothe the pain. Most often, a sore throat from a cold will go away on its own within a day or two, but if you’re dealing with strep throat, you may be in for a much more miserable illness. So how do you know if what you have is a sore throat or strep throat? Comparing the symptoms of each is a good start.

  • Symptoms of Sore Throat

Sore throats, which are caused by either a virus or bacteria, are often accompanied by other cold symptoms. If your sore throat is caused by a cold, you will likely also experience a runny nose, cough, mild headache and body aches, fever and consistent sneezing.

  • Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat is always caused by an infection of bacteria and has very distinct symptoms that can be easily diagnosed. If you’re suffering from strep throat, you will likely have a severe sore throat, loss of appetite, pain when swallowing, red tonsils with white spots and a fever.

  • Treating Sore Throat And Strep Throat

Because there is no cure for the common cold, there is no way to cure a sore throat caused by one either. Your best bet is to drink warm liquids, gargle warm salt water or take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

If you think you have strep throat, you should be tested immediately so treatment can begin. Once you’ve been diagnosed with strep throat, you will be given antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics can be given as either a pill or a shot. Penicillin and amoxicillin are two antibiotics commonly used to treat strep throat.

If you are experiencing symptoms of strep throat, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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4 Healthy Alternatives To Halloween Treats

Group of best friends at the Halloween party

Trick or treating is something kids look forward to each year. However, the high-calorie goodies and sugar-filled candies are unhealthy and contributing to the nation’s alarming childhood obesity rate. By finding alternatives to Halloween’s unhealthy treats, you may help persuade others to cut back on candy and sugary treats as well. Below are some great alternatives to hand out this Halloween.

  • Mini Popcorn Bags

Whether you make it at home or buy it at the store, popcorn is a great treat to hand out to trick or treaters. Most popcorn is low in calories, just be sure to steer clear of caramel popcorn or anything covered in cheese or butter.

  • Fruit Snacks

You can still satisfy the sweet tooth of trick or treaters while keeping the treat somewhat healthy. Organic fruit snacks are a great alternative to candy and, if you choose the right brand, you can find fruit snacks that are made with real fruit extracts and without artificial dyes.

  • Small Toys

If you want to stay away from food in general, consider handing out small, age-appropriate toys like spider rings, temporary tattoos, small coloring books and glow sticks. Kids will love having something to play with after the sugar rush has worn off!

  • Juice Boxes

Because kids are out trick or treating for hours at a time, it’s nice to hand out juice boxes for when they get thirsty. Parents will especially appreciate this gesture as it will help them avoid a trip back home to grab drinks!

Continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog for more healthy living tips and medical information.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

What You Should Know About Flu Shots

Fall is Flu Shot Season

Between the months of October and May, catching the flu is a major possibility. With germs easily spread throughout classrooms, daycares and offices, it is easy to catch the viral infection. And, with symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue, the flu can leave you out of pocket for weeks.

To prevent catching the flu, you should consider getting the flu vaccine. While many people avoid getting the flu shot because they’re worried they will catch the flu (which is not possible), it is one of the only ways you can truly prevent getting sick. Here is everything you need to know about the flu vaccine to help ease your mind.

  • Who can get the shot?

Anyone 6 months of age or older should get the flu vaccine. Even women who are pregnant or people with chronic health conditions are safe to get the shot.

  • Who should avoid the shot?

Those younger than 6 months of age and those with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients should avoid getting the shot.

  • How effective is the shot?

Although the effectiveness can vary, studies show that the vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by about 50-60% among the overall population.

  • Does the shot work the same for everyone?

The short answer is no. Although the vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, how well it works depends on how well the vaccine matches the flu virus and the overall health and age of the person. However, despite the health of the individual, flu shots should always provide some level of protection.

  • Are there any risks?

Many people worry they will catch the flu from the vaccine, which is not possible. Actually, the flu shot has very few risks. Very rarely, people will experience muscle pain or a feeling of discomfort after receiving the vaccine, but this usually lasts no more than two days.

If you want to get the flu vaccine, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the quality care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

5 Common Fall Illnesses

Sick ill woman in autumn park sneezing in tissue.

The cold weather associated with the fall and winter seasons are prime times for various medical conditions. While there are actions you can take to help prevent getting sick this time of year, sometimes it just happens. Knowing what illnesses are most prevalent during the fall is key to diagnosing early.

Flu

Typically peaking between November and February, the flu commonly results in fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue and sometimes vomiting. The flu is spread via droplets made when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks. Those infected are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to 7 days after becoming sick. In most cases, the flu is treated using influenza antiviral drugs.

Common Cold

While ultimately harmless, the common cold can be miserable. Over the course of a year, people in the United States develop 1 billion colds. Known by a sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing, the common cold is spread by touching your eyes or nose when germs are on your hands. While there is no cure for the common cold, treatment may include getting rest, drinking plenty of water, using cough drops and taking cold medicine.

Allergies

When your immune system overreacts to an allergen (this could be something as harmless as plant pollen, dust mites or food), you experience allergies. Certain allergies become worse during certain times of the year. Common allergy symptoms include skin rash, headache, sneezing, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea. While someone who suffers from allergies will likely never be completely rid of them, there is medication that can usually help, depending on the type of allergy he or she suffers from.

Sinusitis

When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluids, germs can cause an infection, known as sinusitis. This blockage can be caused from a number of things, including the common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps and a deviated septum. Facial pressure, stuffy or runny nose, loss of smell and congestion are all symptoms of sinusitis. An antibiotic is sometimes recommended if the symptoms have been persistent and a bacterial infection is suspected for sinusitis treatment, although a warm compress and over-the-counter decongestants can sometimes help.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Commonly referred to as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression experienced when the seasons change. Normally, the disorder begins in the fall and continues into the winter. Those experiencing SAD will likely feel depressed and hopeless every day, have low energy, be easily agitated, lose interest in activities and experience difficulty concentrating. Most often, light therapy will help for SAD, although sometimes antidepressants are prescribed.

If you’re experiencing a seasonal illness like any of the above, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for a proper diagnosis. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. Be sure to check in online at dentionregionalurgentcare.com! 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

5 Healthy Foods That Peak In The Fall

iStock_37218270_MEDIUM.jpgStudies show that only slightly more than 25% of American adults eat their vegetables. While this may not be surprising, it should be concerning. It is recommended that adults in the U.S. eat between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. By eating the suggested amount of produce each day, you can reduce your risk of some chronic health conditions.

When selecting fruits and vegetables, it’s important to choose what’s in season. So what fruits and vegetables should you be looking for during fall? Below are a few foods that peak during the fall season.

Pears

Known to reduce, or even prevent, the development of asthma and various forms of disease, pears are rich in antioxidants and can help prevent inflammation. They are an excellent source of fiber and come in at only 100 calories for an average-sized fruit.

Brussels Sprouts

While many people remember Brussels sprouts as “that green veggie Mom made you eat,” they are actually a great source of fiber, folate and vitamin C. They are known for keeping your immune system healthy, fighting inflammation.

Kiwi

One of the best sources of vitamin C is kiwi, offering more vitamin C than an orange. This tiny fruit is also known to lower the amount of stress hormones in your body and to boost your immune system. Additionally, eating kiwi with the skin on can provide more antioxidants than eating it skinless.

Pumpkin

Fall wouldn’t feel the same without pumpkin. Aside from being delicious in pies, coffee and other fall favorites, pumpkin is also full of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. Their seeds are also a great way to get protein, iron, B vitamins, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Kale

At only 36 calories per cup, kale is often called a super food. That same cup also packs vitamin A, vitamin C and more than 1,000% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K. The nutrients may help lower your risk of certain types of disease.

For more information on family safety, helpful health tips and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care Center blog regularly. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.