Archive for May 30, 2013

Heat is in the Air!

The best way to “Beat the Heat” is to be prepared.  Heat – related illness occurs when the body cannot control its temperature.  Prolonged exposure to heat can cause sweating, headache, high fever, confusion, red hot dry skin (with no signs of sweating) and in extreme cases unconsciousness and/or coma.

Tips for Prevention

  • Wear appropriate clothing – Cool, loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and don’t forget a hat!
  • Keep yourself hydrated with water even if you don’t feel thirsty.  Sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverage should be avoided as these will cause the body to lose fluid
  • Take frequent breaks in a shaded area
  • Don’t overdo!  Monitor your physical condition and go at a slower pace than normal.

If you experience any heat related – illness, get medical assistance as soon as possible.  Heat stroke may lead to permanent disability or death.  For more information on heat stroke or any other condition, please contact the expert physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine at 540-878-5408 or visit   Now accepting new patients!  Most insurances accepted.

Compassionate Care, for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind

Don’t Panic!

A panic attack episode can strike at any time and may cause sudden periods of intense fear or apprehension.  Many who experience a panic attack have intense feelings of frightening dizziness, craziness or may even imagine they are having a heart attack.  The onset of a panic attack can begin unexpectedly (even during sleep and periods of relaxation) and most commonly reaches full climax in about 10 minutes.  Often panic attacks will last for 30 minutes and seldom last more than an hour.  Panic attacks usually occur outside of the home, but keep in mind they can happen at anytime and anyplace.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack –

  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizzy, lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Feeling of disconnection from your surroundings
  • Choking feeling
  • Fear of losing control and unable to escape the situation

Some people may suffer a panic attack only once or twice.  Recurrent panic attacks can happen as part of another disorder, such as depression, panic disorder, or social phobia.  If you are suffering from panic attacks, there is help for you.  There are several effective treatments and encouraging options you can utilize to stop the panic from taking over your life.  Please contact the expert physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine today at 540-878-5408 for more information or visit us @  Most insurances are accepted!

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind

More fruits and veggies! Less sodium!

More fruits and veggies!  Less sodium!

Too much sodium is bad for your heart and overall health.  Processed and restaurant foods are where we consume must of our sodium.  Too much sodium increases blood pressure and the risk of stroke and heart attack.  Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States.  This article from tells us the dietary guidelines for adults should be no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day.  If you fall into the following category you should consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

  • Over 51 years of age
  • You are African American
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have diabetes
  • You have chronic kidney disease

Proven fact – Reducing your sodium intake can help prevent, or control high blood pressure.  If you want to kick the salt or have tried and have not succeeded let the expert physicians of dominion internal medicine help.  Call us today @ 540-878-5408 to schedule an appointment or visit us at .  Most insurances accepted!  New patients welcome!

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind

Know your Numbers!

May is National High Blood Pressure Month!  High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated.  If this pressure goes undetected overtime it has the potential to damage the body in many ways.

In this article from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute it shows about 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure.  You can have high blood pressure for years and never know it as high blood pressure does not always cause symptoms.  It’s important to know your numbers even if you feel great!

Numbers to Know

Systolic number (Top Number) – This number is the blood pressure reading when the heart beats while pumping blood.

Diastolic number (Bottom Number) – This number is the blood pressure reading when the heart is at rest between beats.


Systolic Number


Diastolic Number



Less than 120


Less than 80





High Blood Pressure

Stage 1




Stage 2

160 or higher


100 or higher

High blood pressure tends to develop with age.  Living a healthy lifestyle will help some delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure.  If you do have high blood pressure it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, monitor your pressure with visits to your doctor and following your treatment plan.  For more information on high blood pressure please contact the expert physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine @ (540) 878-5408.

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind

Why is Family Health History Important When it Comes to Breast and Ovarian Cancer?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center breast cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in women, with the exception of skin cancer.  7 out of 100 women will get breast cancer by the age of 70; and 1 out of 100 women will get ovarian cancer by the age of 70.  Usually breast and ovarian cancers occur in women after the age of 50.

Family health history plays a big role in a woman’s risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.  Every woman should have knowledge of their family history.  The more close relatives who have had breast or ovarian cancer, and the earlier their ages of diagnosis, will increase a woman’s risk.  Close relatives would be considered parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, and grand children.

Most women have family histories that put them in the average risk category of developing cancer.  If a woman has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer the average risk is increased to moderate chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer.  Only about 2% of women will have family history that is thought to be “strong.”

As with any condition, our family health history is an important piece of information to share with your doctor.  A family health portrait given to your doctor will help provide the information needed for proper consideration of your genes and other risk factors that influence your health.

If you are concerned you may have increased risk for breast or ovarian cancer based on your family health history, see these family risk categories from  For more information please contact a patient care specialist of Dominion Internal Medicine @ (540) 878-5408 or visit Now accepting new patients!  Most insurances accepted.

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind.

Watch Out for Pink Eye! (Conjunctivitis)

It’s almost a sure sign that you suffer from pink eye when the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids become red and irritated with inflammation.  Listed below are the most common forms of pink eye (Conjunctivitis.)


Bacterial pink eye infections are most often caused by Staphylococci (Staph Infection) and Streptococci (Strep).  Typically, symptoms will occur in one eye and spread to the other eye in a matter of days.  A bacterial infection is rare but will require antibiotics for treatment.


Viral is the most widespread type of pink eye and is caused by an infection of the upper respiratory tract, the common cold, and/or a sore throat.  While viral pink eye may not require antibiotics it is important to see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dry air, smoke, chemicals and other allergens can also cause pinkeye.

Viral pink eye is extremely contagious.  Here are some helpful tips from   for preventing the spread of pink eye.

If you think you have pink eye please call a doctor.  Dr. Jennifer Ackerman, Dr. Michael Ackerman, and Dr. Robert Lin of Dominion Internal Medicine will diagnose and develop a treatment option that is best for you!  Now accepting new patients!  Most Insurances accepted.  Please call (540) 341-1475 or visit for more information.

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind

What is Esophagitis?

Esophagitis is an inflammation or swelling of the esophagus and can cause damage to the tissues in the esophagus tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Common Symptoms

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea – Vomiting
  • Painful and difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Oral lesions
  • Food gets caught in the esophagus

Several circumstances can cause esophagitis.  The most common cause is GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease.)  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above please see your doctor.  Dr. Jennifer Ackerman, Dr. Michael Ackerman, and Dr. Robert Lin of Dominion Internal Medicine are experts in the field of internal medicine.  They will compassionately work with you, the patient, to diagnose and develop a treatment plan to best suit you and your lifestyle.

Please call us @ 540.878.5408 to schedule an appointment or simply for more information.

May is Stroke Awareness Month! Get the Facts!

National Stroke Association in raising awareness about stroke this May.

Meet the Faces of Stroke℠, a community of stroke champions who have chosen to help raise awareness during May for National Stroke Awareness Month by sharing their personal stories and photos with the world.

Stroke affects people of all ages. Get prevention tips and learn how to recognize warning signs at

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke. Yet nearly 60 million people in the U.S. have high blood pressure and almost a third don’t know they have it! Learn tips for controlling this risk factor at

Make a difference in stroke advocacy on the legislative level—join the Stroke Advocacy Network and lend your voice to an important cause.

High cholesterol is a major risk factor for stroke and a healthy diet can help you manage cholesterol levels. After having a stroke, Jim changed his diet to include more vegetables and fish.

People with diabetes are at an increased risk for a stroke because diabetes adversely affects the arteries. Learn more about how to prevent stroke by managing diabetes at

Most strokes are preventable. Before her stroke, Kathy lived a sedentary lifestyle. Discover how she made the simple lifestyle change of incorporating exercise into her daily routine at

Stroke strikes FAST and you should too! Recognizing and responding quickly to stroke symptoms can save lives. Learn how to act FAST at

Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is an irregular heartbeat that’s sometimes called the invisible stroke symptom. Pat learned about her Afib after having a stroke and now works with her doctor to manage it to prevent future strokes.

Stroke can happen at any age. Elijah, 9, had a stroke before he was born. With his mom’s help, he started a nonprofit that sends stuffed bears to children in the hospital to teach them about their conditions.

Dr. Jennifer Ackerman, Dr. Michael Ackerman, and Dr. Robert Lin of Dominion Internal Medicine want to raise awareness of stroke with this important message from

Should you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (540) 878-5408 for more information.

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind