Healthy Living Blog

Santa Doesn’t Take Sick Days: Keeping Yourself Flu-Free During The Holidays

November 17, 2014 | Community

What Exactly Is the Flu?

Home-MainImage11According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 5-20 percent of Americans get the flu each year. Most active from October to March, the flu, also known as influenza, is caused by viruses that affect the nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, severe body aches and fatigue. Unfortunately, the holiday season is often when victims become ill.

If you’re worried about the flu getting in the way of upcoming festivities, read on to learn simple methods for protecting yourself and your family.

How to Stay Ahead of the Flu

You may be asking, “What is the best way for me to avoid this virus?” This is a commonly asked question during flu season. There are many theories, but we at LeBauer HealthCare think that the following are some of the most effective.

  • Rinse and Repeat

Some of the best advice for staying flu-free is to keep your hands clean and away from your face. There are more than 5,000 germs on your hands at any given time, so when you are out shopping this holiday season, be sure to wash them thoroughly with soap and water throughout the day.

To completely rid yourself of viruses on your skin, you must scrub hard for 20 seconds or more. Consider singing “Happy Birthday” or the “A-B-C” song twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. The common “hot vs. cold water” debate doesn’t apply, as the very act of scrubbing is enough to rid yourself of germs.

  • An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

One of the easiest ways to prevent coming down with the flu is getting a flu shot. LeBauer HealthCare has years of experience in this area and our staff is available to provide consultations if you have questions about the vaccination. We also have a free flu clinic and extended hours so that you can get your vaccination without hassle in a safe, professional and friendly environment.

  • Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize

Germs tend to live longer on cold surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and handles. To effectively kill harmful germs during flu season, use sanitizing wipes that contain antiviral disinfectants rather than commonly-applied antibacterial solutions.

Not a fan of chemical disinfectants? No problem. Try this recipe for a homemade germ-killer instead! Mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil. If you’re out-and-about and worried about what germs may be lurking in plain sight, use a washcloth that’s been soaked in a weak solution of bleach and water to wipe down door handles and shopping carts. These handy wipes can be prepared in advance and stored in sandwich bags for those frequent errands that the holiday season requires.

  • An Apple a Day…

…Keeps the flu away! Perhaps it’s not a sure bet, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount in keeping illness away. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, taking your vitamins and eating a balanced diet daily. You are far more likely to get sick when you are tired, regardless of the season.

  • Keep Your Guard Up

Avoid getting close to people who are sick. Studies show that 80% of germs are passed through human-to-human contact. For example, shaking hands or spending time in enclosed spaces with people who may be sick increases your chances of catching the virus. If public transportation is a non-negotiable part of your day, consider bringing some tissues to hold over your nose and mouth should anyone around you start sneezing or coughing. This will help block out some of the airborne germs.

  • If All Else Fails…

All of these methods boil down to one principle – being aware of yourself and your surroundings. Sneeze into your elbow. Hydrate! Avoid shaking hands with others, if possible. If you prepare and remain cautious throughout the winter months, you will have better chances of remaining healthy this flu season.


About LeBauer HealthCare

One of the largest multi-specialty practices in the Southeast, LeBauer HealthCare’s goal has always been to offer the best possible medical care to the community. With our team of highly trained, family-oriented physicians, we are able to effectively meet your health needs with a smile. Please feel free to contact us for more information about the services we offer and our flu clinic. Call us today at (336) 547-1700. We are always happy to hear from you!

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Pulmonary Fibrosis Breakthrough News Features Dr. Murali Ramaswamy

November 14, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month), Event

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible form of interstitial lung disease (ILD).  It is estimated that there are between 50,000 and 70,000 patients living with IPF in the United States, and the disease typically affects people aged 50 and older.  Until recently, there was no definitive treatment, short of lung transplant, for IPF, according to myfox8, House Calls, Morning Show news that features Dr. Ramaswamy.

However, just this month, the FDA approved two new medications, pirfenidone and nintedanib, that help slow the progression of IPF.  Learn more from Dr. Ramaswamy during his interview on myfox8, House Calls, Morning Show news .




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Debunking the Myths of Epilepsy

November 12, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month), Neurology

epilepsyawarenessNational Epilepsy Awareness Month is all about elevating knowledge and working to improve the quality of life for those affected by this all-too-common disorder. This November, in addition to researching for possible treatments and a cure, LeBauer HealthCare wants to help people learn more about epilepsy. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder causing patients to experience recurrent, random seizures. Our neurologists understand that there are several myths and misconceptions  about this disorder that can be very inhibiting, both for epilepsy patients and the community at large. By addressing the common myths, we hope to move people towards understanding and compassion, while offering the highest level of care to those with epilepsy. Read on to have the top six epilepsy myths debunked.

People with epilepsy are disabled

One of the most common myths about epilepsy involves the publics perception of a patient’s limits. People with epilepsy are not disabled. They have careers, families and full lives. They enjoy sports, travel and other common activities. While most people believe otherwise, many epilepsy patients are not limited in any way. However, in some cases, if seizures are frequent and severe, a patient may not be able to drive until treatment begins to make a positive difference.

Epilepsy only affects children

Sometimes, epilepsy begins during childhood, however, this is not always the case. In fact, according to the National Epilepsy Foundation, seizures start for the first time in people over age 65 almost as often as it does in children. As we age, problems like stroke and heart disease can spark this condition.

Epilepsy cannot be managed

Great strides have been made in the treatment to control epilepsy. While there is still no cure, modern medicine has allowed for effective treatment, decreasing and often eliminating seizures for patients. Unfortunately, there are still about a million cases of uncontrolled epilepsy in the United States. LeBauer is committed to combatting this statistic through research and comprehensive patient care.

Epilepsy is a mental issue

Over the years, epilepsy has received an incorrect reputation as a mental disease. This is simply not the case. Regardless of the type of seizures a patient experiences, epilepsy is always a neurological disorder – completely uncorrelated with a person’s mental health. While there are physical implications, it is also important to remember that epilepsy is not a physical disorder, either.

People with epilepsy cannot drive

People with uncontrolled seizures or newly-diagnosed epilepsy may initially be unable to drive. However, in North Carolina, if the epilepsy is well-controlled, the patient is taking their anti-seizure medication as prescribed and is seizure-free for six months, they may resume driving.

Epilepsy is uncommon

Because people with epilepsy tend to lead normal lives, there is a common misconception that this is a rare disorder. This is simply untrue. In fact, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder affecting patients of all ages! There are currently more than 65 million cases worldwide, 3 million of those being in the U.S. People find it shocking that 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives, but it’s true! This is why it is more urgent than ever to spread the word, invest in research and provide high quality treatment.

Looking for an epilepsy specialist?

LeBauer Neurology has three board-certified providers that specialize in complex neurological disorders like epilepsy. If you or a loved one suffers from seizures, let us partner with you to make a difference. If not, we encourage you to share this blog post so more people can understand the prevalence and reality of life with epilepsy.

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This Flu Season: Stay Warm. Stay Healthy.

November 10, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month)

Home-MainImage11It’s that time of year again! There’s a chill in the air and jackets, scarves and gloves are becoming necessities. While everyone is focused on staying warm, shockingly, less than half of North Carolina residents will take simple measures to stay healthy. The flu vaccine is a safe and easy way to protect yourself and those around you from the devastating effects of the flu. As we move into the chilly months, LeBauer Primary Care has some facts and statistics that (we hope) will get people thinking about their ability to make a difference this flu season. And if you live in Greensboro, N.C. or in surrounding counties, getting your flu shot at one of our primary locations will be quick and painless.

What exactly is the flu?

Influenza, commonly referred to as “the flu” is a contagious respiratory virus that can become severe and lead to life-threatening complications and an inability to work. The flu is often divided into several categories or strains. Each of these strains can mutate, producing new viruses each year. This is why it is important to receive your vaccination annually.

Why should I be concerned?

According to the CDC, flu activity peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Even if you are healthy, it is important to get vaccinated for the protection of others. Flu can be deadly for babies and the elderly. In fact, 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in those 65 and older.

What is in the flu vaccine?

Handwashing and healthy habits are commendable, but the flu vaccine is the best possible way to prevent the spread of influenza and to lower your chances of becoming infected. Contrary to popular belief, the flu vaccine does not contain the live flu virus, so it cannot give you the flu. It contains inactivated viruses that simply allow your body to develop antibodies.

What is the outlook for this season?

While it is difficult to predict how many people will get the flu this year, one thing is certain: that number can be significantly reduced if more people get the flu shot. Last flu season, only 42% of adults and 57% of children in the U.S. received the flu vaccine, and 107 people in North Carolina died from the flu.  This year, you can help improve these numbers by coming to LeBauer Primary Care for your flu shot.

Get your flu shot today!

It can take up to two weeks for your flu vaccination to start providing protection. Give us a call today to schedule your visit. With extended hours, we are working to make it a simple task for all patients.

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Epilepsy Awareness Month: What Everyone Should Know About Seizures

November 5, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month), Neurology

epilepsyawarenessRecurring seizures, or Epilepsy, is a condition involving abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This causes involuntary changes to body function and movement, along with other changes that lead to stigmas and misconceptions about the condition. At LeBauer Neurology, it is our goal to help Epilepsy and seizure patients experience an improved quality of life through managing this complex disorder.

Throughout November, Epilepsy Awareness Month, we will be featuring a series of blogs to educate the community about this disorder.

Comprehensive Care

LeBauer Neurology has three board-certified providers, Rebecca Tat, D.O., Adam Jaffe, D.O., Donika Patel, D.O., on the LeBauer neurology team who bring comprehensive care to the Piedmont Triad region. Our physicians are leaders in research and treatment of complex neurological disorders, applying today’s most advanced medication and cures. The LeBauer Neurology doctors want to help you recognize seizures and respond quickly and correctly, improving outcomes for children and adults. They want to end stigmatisms and misconceptions about seizure disorders.

With proper education, we can understand and improve lives through treatment and support.

Meaningful Education

Over the next several weeks, this series will focus on explaining more about Epilepsy and seizures, common misconceptions, what to do when seizures occur, and support available for patients and families. LeBauer Neurology’s Dr. Adam Jaffe, D.O., emphasized, “It’s important for seizure patients to recognize their symptoms are real, and that they can do the things they would like to do if they receive the right treatment plan.”

Treatments could include a range of things such as:

  • Testing to further understand symptoms
  • Stress management
  • Medication management
  • Improving sleep patterns.

“Each patient is unique and treatment plans are designed around the individual,” explained Dr. Jaffe.

Stay Informed         

Follow us in November for more information on Epilepsy Awareness Month. And, for more information about LeBauer Neurology services, treatment approaches and physicians, please contact us at 336.832.3070 or learn more on our Neurology center.

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2 Wants to Know : LeBauer Provider Answers Flu Questions

November 3, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month), Event

makeAppointmentWith flu season upon us, LeBauer HealthCare is reaching out to the community with helpful tips and hints about preventing the flu from affecting you and your family. Featured on a segment of “2 Wants to Know” during The Good Morning Show in October, Layne Weaver, a Family Nurse Practitioner from LeBauer Primary Care at Oak Ridge, answered your questions about the virus and the upcoming flu season.

We invite you to view the whole segment below and contact LeBauer HealthCare for more information! We look forward to speaking with you soon!

See the full segment here on WFMY News 2!


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Zombie Smokeout: Mobile Game to Stop Smoking

October 30, 2014 | Community, Awareness (Week/Month)

Respiratory illnesses and diseases of the chest cavity are particularly serious because of their impact on the body’s ability to breathe. Many pulmonary diseases are also chronic, necessitating long-term, sometimes acute, care. From allergies to asthma to emphysema and more, LeBauer pulmonologists have the experience necessary to treat these complicated conditions. Breathe easier knowing that LeBauer’s pulmonary physicians and staff are caring for your respiratory health.

Learn more about prevention and treatment from the doctor’s at LeBauer Pulmonary.  They will provide information and education in November on the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout day.  One resource includes playing this iPhone, iPad and Android mobile game, Zombie Smokeout.  

Find out more about this game, here


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Awareness Matters: A Survivor’s Journal Entry

October 30, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month)

Fear of the unknown creates the “fight or flight” reaction in me, and I know this is the case for many others…especially when it comes to health. But being better informed, or even just being more conscious about diseases and prevention, can make a world of difference. This is where our doctors come in, assisting us through routine physicals and talking about health maintenance on a regular basis.

Why Do Awareness Months Matter?

In October alone, Breast Cancer, ADHD, Brain Tumors, Child Abuse, Lupus, and Mental Health share Awareness Month, along with a list of other causes in the U.S. and internationally. Raising awareness is not only for the survivors and their family members. They already know about the issue and want to raise awareness and support for others. They want to dispel fear and provide a platform to fight it.

In an earlier journal, I even questioned, “Should breast cancer be the focus?” And the resound answer is Yes… along with a list of other (equally important) causes to recognize this month and throughout the year. Awareness campaigns allow us to increase our knowledge and change our perceptions. There is a sense of community and support for that cause that’s created by walking together, doing fundraisers and sharing experiences.

Sharing With The Masses

In an era of viral videos, 30 days of thanks, and ice bucket challenges, raising awareness has become popular through social media. I’ve learned so much from social media and various online campaigns that otherwise I may not have heard. This committed effort to raise awareness also allows us to talk about issues with others at work and in our community in day to day casual conversations, at the water cooler in break rooms for example.

But maybe more importantly than raising awareness, and us becoming more comfortable talking about issues, is that we’re taking better care of ourselves because these campaigns have made it the trend. We build the relationships (with co-workers, friends, family members and doctors) that provide support and strength to live well and overcome the unknown. When this occurs, we no longer have to live in fear of the unknown. We are empowered, encouraged and educated.

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Support in Unexpected Times and Places: A Survivor’s Journal Entry

October 22, 2014 | Community, Awareness (Week/Month)

As I sat in the bookstore coffee shop, enjoying a cup of Joe on National Coffee Day with my friend, we talked about the importance of early detection, recurrence stats, various types of breast cancer and our personal experiences. The heartfelt connection was mutual and the goal was evident – though we hadn’t chosen this path, we would continue walking it together and providing support for others. The salted caramel mocha was not nearly as enriching as our conversation. We talked excitedly about raising awareness, providing education, creating support groups and defining healthstyles.

Life-Changing Awareness

We agreed that awareness of breast cancer has grown over the years with awareness month, community walks and the iconic pink ribbon. In my opinion, raising awareness of the medical advancements and technology available may be the next step. For example, three very important advancements to be familiar with include:

  1. 3-D Mammograms
  2. Genetic Testing
  3. Hormone Receptor Testing

Life-changing information can be gained from each of these tests. Understanding the research on each stage of breast cancer, while also understanding that every case is unique allows practitioners to make a treatment plan centered on the patient.

Worthy Connections

The breast cancer journey is personal, but connecting with others for support can make a huge difference in our overall health and wellbeing. After taking a second bite of her maple walnut scone and another sip of coffee, my friend proceeded to tell me stories of when she would go to her appointments, inevitably meeting a spouse or a family member of another patient and striking up a conversation. She said almost all of the “new ones” would ask if everyone waiting had cancer.  She would answer, “Yes, either they have cancer or are like you, waiting for someone in an appointment.”  She said she would add, “And just think, this is only one waiting room and a snapshot of one moment in their lives.”  She is a sign language interpreter by trade and said that in that instance she could see their demeanor and body language change from apprehensive to compassionate. My interpretation from her experience was that they realized they were not alone and were comforted.

There are several support groups and other activities that provide encouragement and education for healthy lifestyles. I became involved in exercise and nutrition classes, as suggested by my primary care doctor. I also joined a women’s group where we talked about our different experiences and could just relax and relate.  And, as I have said before, the medical staff was a huge support system. We met routinely and went through it together. It is obvious that they value patient relationships and treat each person with highly individualized care.

Moments of Impact

In wrapping up our time together, my friend put down her cup of coffee and emotionally shared one last experience before we left the coffee shop.  Apparently, during the pre-surgery visit as she was giving her medical history, the medical assistant gave her a hug and some reassurance. The medical assistant shared that she was in her early twenties and had some serious health issues of her own. She had chosen a vocation to help others in medical crises.  This medical assistant showed amazing compassion while facing her own challenges and took a leap of faith to work in healthcare. This is the spirit of care and compassion that makes a difference in our journey.

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What My Friends Said About Breast Cancer: A Survivor’s Journal Entry

October 15, 2014 | Awareness (Week/Month), Community

Learning that my friend had also gone through breast cancer treatments was a surprise. I thought surely I would have known, but she seemed healthy so I never considered it. As a matter of fact, more than one friend or family member shared their stories and encouraged me, and we now walk the journey together to live healthier and take care of ourselves.

I was confused.  Women talk about everything.  We even go in groups to the restroom, to talk. So, why had none of these ladies talked about this before?  It was one of my primary care physicians who started the conversation about self-breast exams and having mammograms at my appointment.  But before then, I had hardly ever mentioned it to anyone…other than during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Any other time, it seemed that acknowledging it or talking about it in public or with friends was taboo.

Breaking the Silence

But, once emerged into the breast cancer arena, it was all I thought about and talked about because there was so much information about my health that came forward and there were important decisions to make.  My friends sharing their stories encouraged me and my healthcare team was great to take time to answer all my questions and share their personal experiences and stories of women on the other side of breast cancer living out healthy lives….so inspirational and compassionate.  I distinctly recall one of my doctors who fondly recalled an aunt who faced cancer and was courageous and strong, and a nurse using a metaphor of how we go to the dentist for procedures and check-ups routinely and women’s health should be the same.  She said, “We need to take care of ourselves and visit our doctor on a routine basis, not just when we are sick or something doesn’t feel right, and just like when we find out we have a cavity, take care of whatever needs to be repaired and schedule your next visit.”

Making Strides Together

She was right, and since my experience overcoming breast cancer, I have been to my doctor for scheduled visits like timework to monitor and manage my “health style” (as described in my previous blog), and I wish I’d had started sooner because I now feel more knowledgeable and comfortable about my health and making decisions. During my routine physical and routine follow-ups, my doctor goes over my medications and my labs, and we talk about what’s working and the plans for me to continue to take care of myself. I know I have a whole team on my side who care and support me.

So, as a survivor and a friend, I say, “Take care of yourself.”  Find out how to get started today with a LeBauer Primary Care doctor below.

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