Archive for July 31, 2013

Understanding Asthma



Most of us have heard of asthma but what is it really?  Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease which causes reoccurring breathing difficulty.  The traits of asthma are three airway problems:

  • Blockage
  • Inflammation
  • Hyperresponsiveness

Many people don’t realize they have asthma as symptoms strongly resemble other respiratory problems including bronchitis, emphysema, and lower respiratory infections.  Anyone can get asthma but studies show that asthma is more prominent in females.

Symptoms of Asthma

  • Chronic cough (particularly at night)
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Noisy breathing
  • Wheezing

Causes of Asthma

The underlying cause of lung irregularity is unknown, yet health care professionals have determined that it is a specific type of inflammation of the airway that can cause:

  • Constriction and irritability of airway muscles
  • Production of mucus
  • Swelling and inflammation in the airways

What Occurs During an Asthma Attack?

  • Lungs and airways overreact to certain triggers and become inflamed and clogged.
  • Breathing becomes difficult and may hurt
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or whistling sound

Asthma Statistics

The latest information from the American Lung Association, the CDC, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases show the following statistics:

  • Approximately 24.6 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma.
  • More than 3 thousand Americans die each year from asthma

If you have signs of asthma or you are unsure, it’s important to see your doctor.    Let the expert physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine help create a treatment plan to manage your asthma and get you back to everyday living.  To schedule an appointment, please contact Dominion Internal Medicine at 540.878.5408.  If you would like to learn more information about our services please visit www.dominioninternalmedicine.comMost insurances accepted!

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind


Comprehending COPD



COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a disease of the lung caused by chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  According to the American Lung Association ( ) COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US.  It can cause serious disability and early death.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD but there are many ways to prevent and treat COPD.

COPD sufferers have difficulty breathing which is caused by a barrier in the lungs and the flow of air is less than it should be.  When this occurs it’s difficult to get rid of carbon dioxide which is the waste gas.  As COPD progress’s, it’s extremely hard to continue an active lifestyle due to shortness of breath.

What initiates COPD?

  • Smoking is the number one cause of COPD.  If you are a smoker stop smoking now!  If you are considering smoking – don’t!  If you are in a smoke environment you are at risk for COPD.  Protect yourself and loved ones by making your home “Smoke Free.”
  • Air pollution and aggravating fumes and dusts, especially work-related can also cause COPD.
  • In rare cases, COPD can be related to emphysema which is formed by an inherited absence of a protective protein in the blood.

Symptoms of COPD

  • Chronic coughing
  • Shortness of breath performing everyday tasks
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing or unable to take a deep breath
  • Producing large amounts of phlegm or mucus


If you or a loved one has symptoms of COPD, is a current smoker or a former smoker you should see your doctor right away.  Don’t ignore the symptoms or wait for them to get worse, valuable treatment time could be lost.  Don’t forget:  Early detection is vital to successful treatment.  Most lung diseases can be treated, allowing you to live a longer and improved quality of life!  For more information on COPD – please contact the specialists of Dominion Internal Medicine @ 540.878.5408 or visit

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind


Is your tetanus vaccine up to date?


Is your tetanus vaccine up to date?

Tetanus disease (also refered to as lock-jaw) is not to be taken lightly as it can develop into a debilitating sickness or even cause death.

The tetanus vaccine is a vaccine made of unactive tetanus toxins and is used to put a stop to an individual from becoming infected with tetanus disease.

Symtoms and prevention from

  • Painful muscle spasms that begin in the jaw
  • Stiff neck, shoulder and back muscles
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Convulsions
  • Breathing difficulty


  • The tetanus vaccine is given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age, with boosting doses at 4 years, between 15 to 17 years, and 50 years of age.
  • If you are an adult and have not had a booster in the last ten years you will need to get one when you turn 50.
  • If you have received a primary course of 3 doses as an adult, you should receive booster doses 10 and 20 years after the primary course.
  • If you have sustained tetanus prone wounds such as an open fracture, deep penetration wound, contaminated wounds or burns you should immediately disinfect the wound and seek medical attention to begin a boosting dose of tetanus vaccine if more than 5 years have elapsed since your last does.

If you have questions or concerns about tetanus disease or the tetanus vaccine please contact the knowledgeable physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine @ 540-878-5408.

Most insurances accepted!  Now accepting CareFirst

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind

Summer Safety



Summer is here and while we all love spending time outside with our families at the pool, backyard cookouts, sporting events and all types of other outdoor happenings, it’s important to keep you and your family safe.

Here are a few safety tips from

  • Guard you and your loved ones from the sun:  Wear appropriate attire such as wide brimmed hats, light clothing, sunglasses and always use water resistant sunscreen that contains SPF 15 and reapply every two hours.
  • Hydrate! Hydrate!  Hydrate!  Drink adequate amounts of water before, during and after physical activity.  A refreshing low calorie treat – add slices of your favorite fruits (lemon, lime, melons, berries, mint or even a cumber!)
  • The sun is the strongest between noon and 3pm, limit intense activities during this time.
  • Head inside if the heat becomes intolerable, research your local YMCA or rec centers to provide safe and cool indoor activities that your entire family will enjoy.

See your doctor immediately if you think you or a loved one is suffering from heat exhaustion.  Heat exhaustion may lead to heat stroke if not treated right away.  If you have questions about heat exhaustion, please contact Dominion Internal Medicine for more information or visit  Now accepting new patients!  Most insurances accepted.

July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month!



What is Bladder Cancer?

The most common form of bladder cancer is transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma.  Many forms of malignancy may occur in the epithelial lining of the urinary bladder which in turn may spread through the lining into the muscular wall of the bladder.  Bladder cancers most often are defined by how far they have traveled into the wall of the bladder.

  • Non-invasive bladder cancers remain in the inner layer of cells and have not grown into deep deposits in the wall of the bladder.  Most non-invasive bladder cancers are detected early and surgery can almost always remove these tumors.
  • Invasive cancers grow into the wall of the bladder making it easier for the cancer to spread to the lymph nodes, other organs of the body such as the kidneys, liver and lungs.  Treatment will be determined by your physician based upon how much the cancer has spread.  Once treated for bladder cancer it is not uncommon for the disease to return and your physician may recommend having chemotherapy or immunotherapy to lower the risk of return.

Symptoms of bladder cancer –

  • Blood or redness in the urine
  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty urinating

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important to see your doctor.  Diagnosis of bladder cancer will include a urine culture (searches for bacteria in the urine) and urinalysis (searches for existence of blood) and or check for tumor makers as well as a urine cytology test which will check for abnormal cells.  For more information, please contact Dominion Internal Medicine @ 540.878.5408 or visit  Most insurances accepted.  Now seeing new patients!

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind