Managing your health in the time of COVID-19 is more important than ever. Uncertainty and stress can cause a chronic condition to worsen. Avni Jain, MD, a family medicine physician with Adventist Medical Group, shares how you can stay on top of your health.
STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Your doctor’s office may offer alternative ways to hold appointments, including the use of telehealth. “If you find yourself unwell due to your condition or any other reason, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor,” explained Dr. Jain. “Your doctors are there for you, now more than ever, so please reach out.”
TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS
If being out of your normal routine causes you to forget to take your medications, set an alarm on your phone, leave yourself a note or put the medication where you will see it.
KEEP A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Although you may be out of your regular routine, making healthy lifestyle choices will help you manage your health conditions, stay mentally well and boost your immune system.
• Stay hydrated: “Try setting a timer to drink water every 30 minutes, or carry a water bottle around the house that includes the number of ounces so you can ensure you drink enough water each day,” suggests Dr. Jain. “Aim for 64 ounces.”
• Exercise: Try going for a walk, bike-riding, running or finding an online workout video.
• Eat healthy: While stress might tempt you to indulge in junk food, avoid snack food and instead go for lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
• Protect yourself: Wash your hands often, practice social distancing, clean and disinfect frequently handled items and avoid
DON’T DELAY EMERGENCY CARE
If you need to see a doctor or visit the emergency room, our hospitals are ready to safely treat patients who need care. You should not ignore symptoms of life-threatening medical problems like heart attack or stroke, explains Fayaz Shawl, MD, a cardiologist at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.
Ann Michael, 74, of Gaithersburg, says that she and her family are relieved that she went to the hospital in early April when she was feeling nauseous and abnormally fatigued. After performing an emergency heart catheterization, Dr. Shawl discovered that Ann had two major blockages in her arteries and needed a life-saving stent placement to clear them.
“I felt very safe during my entire stay at the hospital,” said Ann. “I only wish I went sooner! By the time I got to the hospital, I was very close to having a heart attack.”
Call 911 if you notice these signs of a life-threatening emergency:
• Chest pain, upper body discomfort, cold sweats or shortness of breath
• Facial drooping, arm weakness or speech difficultly
• Difficulty breathing
• Head injury
• Uncontrolled bleeding