Archive for August 19, 2013

Trouble Sleeping?


Sleep is vital to a bodies overall well-being and does not include relaxing or taking a break from everyday routines.  Ample sleep also may play a part in helping our bodies recuperate from sickness and injury.  Continuous lack of sleep is associated with obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.

Adequate sleep is very important for emotional and mental well-being.  If you suffer occasionally from sleep problems you may show signs of stress and be less productive in normal routine tasks.  People with ongoing insomnia are more likely to develop psychiatric problems.  In a recent survey, those who had trouble getting enough sleep described the inability to perform the following tasks:

  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Mathematical calculation


Inadequate sleep is thought to be a factor in strained relationships and unfulfilled potential at work, and overall is quite dangerous as it can lead to serious or possibly fatal accidents.  Think about these facts from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Sleep problems get worse with aging.
  • Lack of productivity and health care expenses cost approximately 100 billion dollars annually.
  • Sleep deprived drivers are the cause of at least 100,000 police reported accidents a year.
  • 40 million Americans report having difficulty sleeping.

How much sleep do you really need?

Sleep requirements are not the same for everyone; usually most healthy adults need no more than seven to nine hours of sleep a night.  If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may need additional sleep, or a better quality of sleep, than you are receiving:

  • Trouble staying alert during monotonous or boring activities
  • Irritable feelings
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering facts

Types of Sleep Disorders

Disorders of sleeping and waking hamper with quality of life and overall health.  These problems range from staying awake or having a normal sleep/wake cycle to sleepwalking, bed wetting, nightmares, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, snoring and sleep apnea.

If you suffer with a sleep disorder there is help.  Talk with your doctor about which sleep disorder program is right for you.  If you have questions regarding sleep disorders please contact the specialists of Dominion Internal Medicine @ 540-878-5408 or visit us at www.dominioninternalmedicine.comMost insurances accepted

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body and Mind

Resources (,P01329




Most of us consume around 6 to 18 grams (equivalent to 1 to 3 teaspoons) of salt every day.  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it’s important to limit your sodium intake to help prevent or control high blood pressure.

Recommendations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest limiting your sodium consumption to less than 2,300 mg a day.  The AHA (American Heart Association) takes a more cautious approach and recommends no more than 1,500 mg a day.

How do you measure sodium?

  • 28 grams = one ounce
  • 1 gram = 1,000 milligrams
  • 5.5 grams of sodium = 1 teaspoon

High sodium foods

Although most foods include sodium the majority of sodium is added during the processing of prepared and prepackaged food products.  Here are some examples:

  • Meats – Bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, cold cuts (bologna), Canadian bacon, corned beef, hot dogs, Polish and Italian sausages
  • Fish –  Canned tuna, salmon, sardines; commercially frozen, prebreaded, or smoked fish; canned shellfish
  • Canned foods – Vegetables, soups, vegetable and tomato juices
  • Prepared or premixed products – Boxed macaroni and cheese, potato mixes, TV dinners, frozen entrees
  • Snacks – Salted crackers, pretzels, potato chips, commercially-prepared baked goods (for example, cookies and doughnuts)
  • Other foods, such as olives, pickles, commercially-prepared salad dressings, soy and steak sauces, cheeses

There are many tasty alternatives now available with lower sodium content.  Try adding fresh spices and herbs for a tasty surprise!  Salt substitutes are also available.  When you purchase food items, don’t forget to look for NA or NACl, or sodium or sodium chloride on the label.  This will indicate sodium is in the food and will give you an accurate measurement.

For more information and tips on how you can manage diabetes and sodium in your diet, please contact the expert physicians of Dominion Internal Medicine at (540) 878-5408 or visit  Most insurances accepted and Dominion Internal Medicine is now accepting new patients!


 Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind

Are you having a Medical Emergency?



How do you know when you have a medical emergency?  According to the American College of Physicians (ACEP), these 12 signs require immediate medical attention.

Emergency symptoms –

  • Unexpected or severe pain (Any)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Trouble catching breath or breathing difficulty
  • Vomiting or coughing blood
  • Vision changes
  • Chest pain or pressure lasting longer than two minutes
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
  • Problems speaking
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Unusual pain in the abdominal pain

Other symptoms to be on the lookout for –

  • Blood in the urine – Blood in the urine can be a sign of a bladder infection or something much more serious such as a kidney stone or a malignancy.
  • Rectal bleeding – Blood in the stool is commonly associated with hemorrhoids.  However, blood in the stool can also be caused by an active ulcer or colon cancer.
  • Abnormal sores, lumps or lesions – Keep your eyes out for sores that are irritated or moles that change size, have unusual shapes, or change color.

If you experience emergent symptoms please seek medical attention immediately.  If you have other symptoms that may not require emergent treatments please don’t ignore them.  Your doctor will perform a variety of health assessments and tests to determine the underlying cause.  Please contact the office of Dominion Internal Medicine today @ 540.878-5408 if you are seeking answers to your medical questions.  We can help!  Most insurances are accepted!

Compassionate Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind


Lyme Disease



Summer is here.  While we begin to enjoy the beauty of spring, we need to protect ourselves from Lyme disease.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread by black legged ticks.  In this article from The Center for Disease Control it shows in 2009 there were almost 30,000 confirmed cases in the United States.

Here are some helpful tips to safeguard you this spring –

  • Use a repellent with Deet
  • Know where to expect ticks.  Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in wooded or grassy areas.
  • Modify your landscaping to create “Tick-Safe Zones.”  Keep patios, play ground areas away from shrubs, bushes and other vegetation.
  • Use a chemical treatment.  There are many safe chemical agents available or if you feel more comfortable, call a professional.
  • Prevent family pets from bringing ticks inside.  There are many tick medicine and collars available.  Work closely with your veterinarian to choose the right one for your pet.
  • Be sure to check for ticks after you have been outside.  Ticks can hide under arms, around the ears, inside belly button, back of knees, in and around all head and body hair, and around the knees.  Check clothing and pets as well.

What should you do if you are bitten by a tick?

Remove the tick using fine tipped tweezers as soon as you realize you have been bitten.  If you are unable to remove the entire tick, it’s very important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor.  If left untreated, Lyme disease may often lead to a stage of Lyme that is disabling and difficult to treat.  In rare instances it can be fatal.   If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chances of developing Lyme disease is minimal.  To be safe, watch for signs or symptoms of Lyme disease by following these tips as provided by The Center for Disease Control.

  • Red expanding rash
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If you experience any of the above symptoms please contact your doctor immediately.   Dr. Jennifer Ackerman, Dr. Michael Ackerman and Dr. Robert Lin of Dominion Internal Medicine are expert internist’s who will collect your medical history and perform a physical exam to determine if you are infected with this often hard to detect disease.  For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact our specialists @ 540.347.5408.  Now accepting CareFirst.


Compassion Care for a Healthy Heart, Body, and Mind