Advance ER
Pin on Pinterest

It’s that time of year again when new resolutions to suddenly become physically fit are weighing heavily on our minds. With the public obsession with glamor and all things Hollywood, you may find yourself tempted to try a fad diet to drop some fast pounds.

“Healthy lifestyle habits often go unexamined while the spotlight is on the scales,” said Advance ER physician Dr. Alan Dennington. “It’s better to work at tweaking lifestyle factors such as how much exercise you are getting, how often you indulge in empty calories, and how much stress you are under. If you are smoking, now is a great time to talk to your doctor about a cessation program. If you are frequently drinking, now is a great time to cut back. These tweaks can make a big impact on your overall health.”

If you have turned your attention on dieting to work on your weight, here are five diet myths that are commonly accepted as fact:

Myth #1 – Cutting carbohydrates will help me lose weight.

Fact: Simple carbohydrates, such as cookies, cakes, white rice, white flour bread or noodles, and prepackaged cereals should be limited since they translate directly into sugar in your body. However, complex carbs, such as multi-grain bread, oat bran, pinto beans, and brown or wild rice should be kept in your diet since they give you long-lasting energy, fiber for digestion, and they help you feel less hungry.

Myth #2 – If it says “low fat” or “no fat” it’s super healthy.

Fact: Many products have added extra sugars, salt and artificial flavors to make up for the loss of fat. You should read every label to make sure you know how many calories and how much sodium you are consuming. Train yourself to notice serving size when you look at labels, since that can be much less than what you would expect.

Myth #3 – A vegetarian diet is healthier.

Fact: Maintaining a vegetarian diet can have you reaching for processed foods that have higher calories and fat. Vegetarian diets also leave deficiencies in protein, iron, zinc, calcium and B12. A well-balanced diet that includes lean meats can make a difference.

Myth #4 – High protein diets are a great way to lose weight.

Fact: While it is true that many people have had great success with a ketogenic or Paleo diet, those people tend to be at higher risk for regaining weight once they stop. Since this diet of high protein and high fats is hard to sustain for very long, it is not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Losing weight more slowly with healthy lifestyle changes is preferable.

Myth #5 – Eating late at night goes straight to your waist.

Fact: Eating a large meal just before bed can cause indigestion which reduces the quality of sleep that you get. But for some people, going to bed hungry can hurt their sleep habits, too. Sleep and weight have been linked in recent studies. One idea is that sleep affects the hormones that regulate hunger, therefore poor sleep can stimulate a feeling of hunger. If your goal is to lose weight, try eating smaller, more frequent meals and getting extra sleep.

I’m on a strict diet and I’m not feeling well, what should I do?

If you’ve been skipping meals, eating only a certain kind of food, taking diet pills or taking extreme measures to lose weight, and you find yourself feeling run-down, faint, headache, chills, nausea, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations or other symptoms, see your physician or come to the ER right away.

“Trying to lose weight fast with a bunch of different methods and without doctor’s supervision can make you very sick very quickly,” said Dr. Dennington. “Come to Advance ER anytime, day or night, for a confidential consultation to make sure you aren’t harming your health.”


Meet Dr. James Alan Dennington:

James Alan Dennington, M.D., is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Dallas, TX. He specializes in emergency medicine including wound care and closure. Dr. Dennington has been providing quality medical care for a decade for patients of all ages.

Advance ER
Pin on Pinterest

The flu is here and hitting Texans hard! Most of the United States is experiencing an early and robust flu season this year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a flu update reporting that the number of patients seeking medical care for influenza-like illness (ILI) has escalated in the past week. The predominant strain of flu at this time is H3N2 virus, or Influenza A, although other viruses are also widely circulating.

“H3N2 is a particularly hard-hitting flu,” said Advance ER Director Dr. Michael Chiang. “It can be especially harmful for the elderly, babies and people with compromised immune systems.”

While Texas remains one of the top states reporting influenza outbreaks, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. This year’s flu shot won’t inoculate against H3N2, but it will protect you from other viruses, such as the common H1N1. The CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.

“I would strongly recommend the flu shot for everyone, especially this year,” said Dr. Chiang. “You can get the shot at your regular physician or pharmacy. But it should be done quickly to start turning the tide on this wave of sickness in our area. Remember, it takes up to 10 days to become effective, so you really shouldn’t wait any longer if you don’t want to get the flu.”

What are the symptoms?

According to the CDC, the symptoms of H3N2 are similar to other strains of influenza including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In addition, patients may experience headache, sore throat, sneezing and chills. Complications can be life-threatening, such as pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalizations and even death. So far this year, 9 children have died from influenza.

What are the emergency symptoms?

If you or your child shows any of these symptoms, get emergency medical help immediately:

  • Fast, labored breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Bluish skin color
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion
  • Not responsive
  • Severe, persistent vomiting
  • Fever with a rash
  • Flu symptoms diminish, then return with fever and worse cough
  • Infants: unable to eat, few wet diapers, no tears when crying, trouble breathing

What is the treatment?

Most patients recover normally in two weeks from the flu, but others may need medical care. “Patients in the high risk category are encouraged to get an antiviral drug as soon as flu-like symptoms begin,” said Dr. Chiang. “The medication must be obtained from your physician or ER immediately in order to be effective in reducing the amount of sick time that you will experience.”

Other medical care may include receiving intravenous fluids for hydration purposes. “Making sure the sick person stays hydrated is very important. We can help with that at the ER, but you can also try sports drinks or electrolyte powder,” said Dr. Chiang. “Also, patients experiencing respiratory complications should seek medical help right away.”

How can I avoid getting the flu?

These basic tips are recommended to try to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Clean surfaces carefully
  • Sneeze into a tissue and throw it away
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Minimize contact with pigs (they can transmit the H3N2 virus)

How can I avoid spreading the flu?

If you have the flu, the CDC recommends you stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone. At that point, the fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Avoid contact with others during the duration of your fever and the subsequent 24 hours. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, then throw the tissue away. Wear a disposable mask if you must go out for medications or to the doctor’s office. Wash your hands frequently. Run an air purifier with UV light, if possible. Clean surfaces, sanitize toothbrush, and wash clothing and bedding when you are able.

“It’s up to all of us to work at preventing the spread of these viruses and to do the right things for our health when we are sick,” said Dr. Chiang. “If you are at high risk for complications, if you are too sick, dehydrated or run down, get medical help at the ER which is open 24/7. Otherwise, get rest and plenty of fluids at home. Take ibuprofen according to directions for pain and fever. If you live alone, make sure someone is checking up on you. We want everyone to be safe and healthy this flu season.”


Meet Dr. Chiang:

Michael Chiang, M.D., is the Managing Partner and Director of SPECIALIST NOWSM at Advance ER.

Dr. Chiang graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his residency from UCLA. He is board-certified and a member of the American College of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Chiang has been practicing emergency medicine for two decades and sees patients of all ages for emergency health care.

He previously served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the nationally renowned The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano.

Advance ER
Pin on Pinterest
It's time to get in the holiday spirit!
GET CREATIVE and enter your child's coloring page for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to Learning Express Toys! Ages 3+ can participate. You can pick up a coloring page from the front desk at one of our Advance ER locations at any time.
5201 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209 or 12338 Inwood Rd, Dallas, TX 75244
*Deadline to turn in: December 21st
Happy Holidays!
Advance ER
Pin on Pinterest

5 Myths about Concussions:

A head-butt in soccer, a chest tackle in football, a fall at home, or an accident can all be causes for a concussion. You’ve heard lots of things about concussions, but what are the facts? What do you really need to know about a concussion if you or your child plays sports? Advance ER’s physician, Dr. Thomas Allen, can answer your questions below.

Here are 5 myths about concussions that people commonly believe are true:

  1. If you fall asleep with a concussion you won’t wake back up – while a concussion can change your sleep patterns – make you more tired or sleep longer – you shouldn’t have a problem waking up. “If the patient is unresponsive or difficult to wake up, get immediate medical help,” said Dr. Allen. “But generally, the patient will wake up after sleeping with a concussion.”
  1. A concussion is a bruised brain – different from a physical problem with the brain, a concussion is measured by difficulties with the function of the brain. “Function impairment could include things like difficulty following directions, memory problems or concentration problems,” said Dr. Allen. “These function problems require medical supervision to work towards improvement.”
  1. Once the initial “stars” clear up, I can go back into the game – if you are suffering from a concussion and you return to the game, you are at risk for aggravating your condition or receiving a very serious second injury, called Second Impact Syndrome. “No game is worth the possibility of permanent damage or impairment caused by playing through with a concussion,” said Dr. Allen. “If your coach doesn’t remove you, you need to remove yourself and stay out of the game. Get medical treatment as soon as possible.”
  1. You have to have your head hit to get a concussion – while some concussions are caused by impact, others are caused by a violent motion of the head, such as in a tackle in football that suddenly changes the player’s momentum.
  1. I didn’t black out, so I don’t have a concussion – loss of consciousness is not a good gauge for concussions. “It’s better to be checked out by a physician to know if a concussion has occurred,” said Dr. Allen. “However, if you did lose consciousness, it’s likely that it was a concussion.”

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

There are several different symptoms that could indicate a concussion. If you notice any of these, see a medical professional immediately:

  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Wobbling or balance problems
  • Ear ringing
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty following conversation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to light or smells

What should I do if I think I have a concussion?

Have someone drive you to the nearest Advance ER in the Galleria Area at 12338 Inwood Road or in Park Cities at 5201 W. Lovers Lane. There, you will find a board-certified physician with years of experience and the necessary imaging equipment to evaluate you for a concussion. For your convenience, Advance ER features No Wait access and we are open 24/7.

I need a specialist

Advance ER is the only freestanding ER to offer bedside assessment by a board-certified neurologist. Our SPECIALIST NOWSM program offers access within minutes* to a neurologist. This unique feature is offered to our patients at no additional office charge from the neurologist. “We will do whatever is needed to make sure you’re properly evaluated and set up with a treatment plan,” said Dr. Allen.

*Access to specialists through Advance ER’s SPECIALIST NOWSM program is contingent on the specialist’s availability.


Meet Dr. Allen:

Thomas Allen, M.D., FACEP, is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from Oregon Health Science University, Portland, OR. He completed his internship at the Legacy Health Systems’ Emanuel and Good Samaritan Hospitals, Portland, OR, and his residency at the University of Texas at Houston Herman Hospitals, Houston, TX.

Dr. Allen has been practicing for over two decades. He and his family are active in their Dallas community and love being a part of the neighborhood.