8 Top Men’s Health Tips

8 Top Men’s Health Tips

It’s essential to pay attention to your health. Life is busy, but that should never be an excuse for not prioritizing your health and wellness. Staying in tune with your well-being promotes a stable lifestyle and lowers the chances of medical emergencies.

Men of all ages can benefit from the following tips from Hamilton Health Center.

1. Search For a Doctor

For many men, an unhealthy lifestyle derives from the lack of regularly seeing a doctor. Finding a doctor is an easy task thanks to resources available online. With a quick search, you can find doctors in your area that are accepting new patients.

You want to find and establish trust with your doctor. These health professionals let you know of areas of improvement in your everyday life and catch warning signs of health concerns that could harm you later in life.

2. Visit Your Doctor Regularly

Whether you just found your doctor or already have one, visit them regularly. Getting an annual physical examination is the best way to fight or prevent an illness before it occurs. Stop canceling or postponing your doctor’s appointments.

Always remember that your health is a top priority.

3. Learn From Your Doctor and Make a Change

Your doctor is the key to a healthier life. Over time, these professionals know your lifestyle just as well as you do. Listen to what your doctor has to say during routine visits, and be sure to make any necessary changes if applicable.

4. Monitor Your Diet

The foods you eat directly fuel your body. Cutting back on junk foods, sugars and carbohydrates makes a difference when you replace them with fruits and vegetables.

The best way to keep a healthy diet going is to give yourself some variety each day. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber helps you avoid conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancers.

5. Make Time for Exercise

Getting activity in your day prolongs your overall well-being. Making time for 30 minutes of physical activity during most days of the week increases men’s physical and mental health. Something as simple as an evening walk could be the lifestyle change you need.

Monitoring your progress is exciting and encouraging. There is nothing wrong with starting out slow and gradually increasing your workout time and intensity as you improve.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night keeps you in your best shape. Replacing caffeine for sleep only leads to a toxic cycle that can deteriorate your health, so always give yourself time to rest.

7. Analyze Mental Health

If you have a family history of mental illness, alcohol abuse or suicide, speaking to your doctor about warning signs and symptoms is essential. A positive outlook on your life comes from wellness inside and out. Asking for help if you need it is the first step toward improving mental health.

8. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Keeping extra weight off reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke. By exercising regularly and sticking to portion recommendations, your heart has to work less during the day and while you sleep.

Schedule an Appointment With Hamilton Health Center

If you are looking to improve your health but don’t know how to get started, it’s time to connect with Hamilton Health Center. By setting up an appointment, we can direct you to the proper health care to better your lifestyle.

Find your new home for overall health and call Hamilton Health Center today.

Importance of HIV Testing

Importance of HIV Testing

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defense against disease. If left untreated, HIV can weaken the immune system so much that it can no longer fight infection. This late stage of the virus, known as AIDS, can be deadly.

HIV is a serious condition that can affect people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. Though around 40,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the United States every year, as many as one in four people living with HIV don’t know they have it.

Here’s the good news: detecting HIV and getting treatment is easier today than ever before. People living with the virus can have long, healthy and happy lives. Let’s take a look at the importance of HIV testing and what benefits it can provide.

Why Is Getting Tested for HIV Important?

Taking an HIV test is the only way to know if you have the virus. Because symptoms of AIDS can take years to develop, it’s essential to get tested even if you feel fine. Knowing your HIV status — whether you test positive or negative for the disease — is a vital step in getting treatment and preventing the disease from spreading.

HIV spreads from person to person through bodily fluids like blood and semen. This means that some of the most common ways people contract HIV are through unprotected sex and sharing needles during drug use. If you’ve engaged in these behaviors with someone whose HIV status is unknown, it’s important to get tested. Once you know your status, you can get treatment and take steps to avoid spreading HIV to others.

What Are the Benefits of HIV Testing?

Knowing your HIV status is a great way to protect your health and the health of the people you care about. There are many benefits of getting tested for HIV, whether your results are negative or positive:

  • The test is fast and easy: During an HIV test, doctors take a blood or saliva sample to analyze. You’ll know whether you have the virus in around 20 minutes. An HIV test is almost always free.
  • You can live a healthier life: If your test results show you have HIV, you can get the treatment you need to stay healthy. Today, antiretroviral drugs make it possible for people with HIV to live long, normal lives.
  • You can protect your partners: When you know your HIV status, you can take steps to protect your current and future sexual partners and encourage previous partners to get tested, as well.
  • It can give you peace of mind: If you think you might have HIV, you might feel nervous about getting tested. It’s normal to feel worried about your status, but it’s always better to take action than to ignore your concern. Getting an HIV test can give you peace of mind.

Ready to Get Tested for HIV?

There are many advantages of HIV testing for those at risk. If you’re ready to know your HIV status, call or contact Hamilton Health Center to make an appointment. We offer free, confidential HIV testing Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We’re proud to offer HIV testing and support to all Central Pennsylvania residents, regardless of age, income and insurance status.

Self-Breast Exam Tips

Self-Breast Exam Tips

You may have heard there are many advantages of performing breast self-examinations. Women sometimes detect lumps that prompt their physicians to send them for mammograms, which can uncover signs of breast cancer.

You should also perform breast self-exams for other reasons. This practice helps you become familiar with your breasts so you can report any changes in them to your physician. Most changes are benign, but occasionally there is a more serious reason for them.

If you have never self-examined your breasts, you may be unsure how to begin. Follow these tips to give yourself an effective exam.

Tips for Breast Self-Exams

Here are a few ways you can learn to do your examinations quickly, thoroughly and effectively:

  • Ask your doctor to show you how to do it: Talk to them about what they recommend for their patients and to explain what you should be looking for.
  • Time your exams to your menstrual cycle: Choose a time of the month when your breasts are less tender. Many women do this during the week after their period.
  • Look in the mirror before you start: Begin by examining your breasts to get a feel for what they look like. Search for dimpling and puckering, and note the shape and size of the breasts. Examine them with your hands raised as well and look beneath each breast to judge their symmetry. This will help you identify changes in the future.
  • Do the physical exam standing up or in the shower: The tissue thins out when you lay down. You will also find soaping your fingers helps in the shower.
  • Use the pads of your three middle fingers: Apply different levels of pressure and do it in a constant pattern to assure you do not miss any parts. For instance, you might do it circularly.

Women with disabilities that make it difficult to do any of this should ask their doctor for tips on how to proceed.

What Are Normal Lumps in the Breast?

All breasts have lumps. You will become familiar with these as you perform your exams regularly. Most lumps are normal and do not require a trip to the doctor. Abnormalities in the breast may include very hard lumps near your underarm, and you should inform your physician immediately.

Other changes you should notify your doctor about include:

  • Sores or rashes on the breast
  • Newly inverted nipples, pointing in rather than out
  • Swelling or pain in the breast

When to Start Self-Breast Exams

Doctors generally recommend that women begin performing self-breast exams in their early 20s. Teenage girls’ breasts are still growing, and they change a lot during this process. It’s also extremely rare for a girl to develop breast cancer. For those reasons, physicians say it is unnecessary to perform self-exams until you get older and your body has finished going through changes.

Still not sure how to perform a self-breast exam or want some extra guidance? Hamilton Health offers patient-centered health care at our state-of-the-art facility. Make an appointment with us today to discuss your breast health.

STD Testing Facts

STD Testing Facts

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a taboo topic in our society. However, they can cause serious health problems when you don’t treat them. STD testing helps you stay healthy, so keep reading to learn the facts about STD testing and to find out where you can get tested.

Why Is STD Testing Important?

The CDC estimates that about 19 million new cases of STDs happen every year. Since many STDs don’t have obvious symptoms, getting tested is the best way to find out if you have one. Knowing if you have an STD lets you treat your disease and protect yourself and your sexual partners. While STDs seem scary, you can get a diagnosis and treatment for many of them easily. You just need to take the first step.

Am I at Risk for an STD?

Everyone who has sex has a risk of getting an STD. Some people who don’t have sex can also get STDs, including bacterial vaginosis (BV) and other infections. You have an even higher risk than usual if you inject drugs, have multiple sex partners, don’t use protection or practice anal sex.

How Do They Do an STD Test?

The method used to test a patient for an STD depends on the type of STD that the clinic wants to diagnose. Your provider might get a swab of your genitals, check your blood or get a sample of a fluid such as urine or discharge. You can ask the provider about the method they will use before you get the test. Let them know what you feel comfortable with and try to find a solution together.

Will I Be Judged for Getting an STD Test?

Medical professionals receive training that teaches them not to judge patients who have STDs. Unfortunately, not all doctors follow this advice. However, many providers who openly advertise their STD testing services do not judge patients for getting tested. If you worry about judgment, try to find a provider that clearly says they don’t judge you when they describe their services.

No matter what, treating your STD is much more important than not getting judged. Remember that having an STD is not a moral failing — it is just a medical condition like having a broken arm.

How Do I Talk to My Partner About STD Testing?

If you have a sexual partner, getting tested together will help you prevent spreading an infection back and forth. However, you might feel nervous about talking to them about it. Let them know you’re asking because you want to stay healthy, not because you think they’re “dirty.” Don’t let your partner pressure you to have sex with them if they don’t want to talk about sexual health with you.

Where Do I Get Tested for STDs Near Me?

Patients in the Harrisburg area can get STD and HIV testing right here at Hamilton Health Center. We serve everyone, regardless of HIV status, sexual orientation, income or background. Most importantly, we will never judge you for getting tested. Please call us at (717) 232-9971 to schedule an appointment today.

Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers

Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers

New mothers have so much to learn. You love your baby and want to take care of them, but all the information out there can be confusing. Many mothers want to breastfeed their babies to give them good nutrition and bond with them. These breastfeeding tips and tricks for first-time mothers will help you and your baby stay happy and healthy.

Begin Breastfeeding as Soon as Possible

If you can, try to breastfeed your baby right after birth. During the first hour after birth, babies are more interested in breastfeeding than usual. Cuddle your baby on your chest until they finish feeding. You create colostrum, the first kind of breast milk, at the beginning of your baby’s life. Breastfeeding early lets your baby get more of this nutritious milk. The skin-to-skin touch will also reduce your and your baby’s stress after delivery.

Let Your Baby Tell You When They’re Hungry

Babies show their hunger in many ways besides crying. They have a rooting reflex, where they turn towards touch and open their mouths when hungry. Your baby may also start sucking and licking their lips. Every baby has unique feeding times, and they will show these signs when they want to feed. Some babies want to feed a little bit many times a day, while other babies like a few long feedings. As your baby grows, they will have growth spurts where they want to feed more often.

Make Sure Your Little One Latches the Right Way

Correct latching makes breastfeeding less painful and helps your baby get more nutrition. Latching is the way that your baby sucks on your breast. When your baby breastfeeds, they should not hurt your nipple. They should suck on both your nipple and the areola, the darker skin around your nipple. Bring your baby to your full breast, and gently move their lips if they need help.

Wait for Pacifier Time

Your baby has a natural need for sucking that encourages them to breastfeed. A pacifier helps them suck often and feel happy. However, if they get in the habit of sucking on a pacifier instead of your breast, they might not want to breastfeed. Let them build a habit of breastfeeding for a few weeks before giving them a pacifier.

Take Care of Yourself

Your health is as important as your baby’s health. Remember to get enough sleep and to eat a healthy diet. Ask for help with chores and other tasks when you first start taking care of your little one. If your nipples get dry and cracked, try rubbing a few drops of breast milk on them after a feeding. You can also use a cream that has lanolin in it to prevent cracking.

Let Us Help You Have a Healthy Start

At Hamilton Health Center, we want to help all first-time mothers and babies stay healthy. We give care to everyone, even if you have a low income or don’t speak English as your first language. Schedule an appointment with us by calling (717) 232-9971 today.

Top Men’s Health Issues

Top Men’s Health Issues

To live long and remain healthy, adult males need to pay close attention to specific men’s health issues. That’s why we’ve researched the top men’s health problems, so you can enjoy good health now and in your later years. We believe that with regular medical checkups and some lifestyle changes, you should be able to reduce the risk of developing the top men’s health issues:

  1. Heart-Related Diseases

Heart attack, stroke and diseases that affect the arteries are among the top 10 men’s health issues worldwide. These ailments are collectively known as cardiovascular diseases.

In the U.S., about 610,000 people die of heart-related diseases, and over half of this number are men. So, you need to be aware that:

  • More than one out of three adult men are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • The number of African-American men that die of heart disease exceeds white men by over 100,000.
  • High blood pressure occurs more often in men over 45 years of age.

To prevent death from cardiovascular disease, you need to have a medical check-up at least once every six months at a one-stop medical center like Hamilton Health. You should also monitor your blood pressure and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

  1. Lung Cancer and Respiratory Diseases

Lung cancer is a terrible disease because it can spread rapidly before you notice its symptoms. It’s difficult to treat or cure this disease when it’s discovered.

Lung cancer can kill within a year after it’s diagnosed. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in men. While the number of men smoking has dropped, it’s still a leading cause of death among men.

Unfortunately, there is no early detection test for lung cancer. The best way to avoid the disease is to stop smoking. If you are or have ever been a chronic smoker, visit your doctor for a medical examination.

  1. Prostate Cancer

Only men can develop this ailment because women don’t have prostate glands. The prostate is a small gland located behind the penis. It produces fluids that are important for the release of semen during sexual intercourse.

As males get older, the prostate easily gets enlarged. Nearly 200,000 men develop this disease in the U.S. every year. One in six Americans is at risk of developing prostate cancer.

Not all cases of prostate cancer result in death. So, as you get older, it’s important to visit a medical center that has the facilities to detect the exact type of cancer you may be at risk of developing.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, occurs when a man cannot get or maintain an erection. It occurs occasionally in men during times of stress, but if it happens often, it can be a sign of a serious health problem.

Erectile dysfunction may be caused by atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of arteries. ED is a sign that blood vessels aren’t in good shape. Many doctors see erectile dysfunction as a warning sign of an upcoming cardiovascular or heart disease. If you notice you have ED, please visit a qualified doctor immediately.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the glucose in your blood becomes very high. It happens when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not respond to it. This leads to excess glucose in the blood.

Two major signs of diabetes are the frequent urge to urinate and excessive thirst. Diabetes develops slowly, and most men aren’t aware of it until they see the first two major signs.

Excess glucose in the blood can cause other diseases including strokes, heart attacks and blindness. Obese and overweight men in the U.S. are more likely develop diabetes. To prevent this disease, you need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, and you should eat a diet that has a balanced combination of macronutrients.


Take Steps to Address the Top Men’s Health Issues Early

Don’t allow your success at work or your financial success to prevent you from seeking early medical help. If you’ve observed any signs of the issues highlighted above, please call us now to book an appointment with a doctor at Hamilton Health. We offer help to all men who need medical assistance, including low-income earners and those who have no health insurance.

STI Prevention Tips

STI Prevention Tips

The prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases is critical for sexually active people. The best way to prevent a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is to abstain from all sexual activity— but that’s not practical for most people. So, we will give you proven STI and STD prevention tips that’ll help you enjoy an active sex life without the health risks.

Practice Mutual Monogamy

Do your best to stick with just one sexual partner. The only way to have unprotected sex and remain safe from infections like syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV and chlamydia is for you and your partner to abstain from having sex with other partners. This is called mutual monogamy.

Staying faithful to just one partner will limit your exposure to STIs. The risk of STIs will be very minimal if one or both of you has not had sexual contact with another person.

When one person has had sexual contact with someone else, both of you should get tested for STIs before any sexual contact. Let your healthcare provider know how long ago you or your partner had sexual contact with another person.

Communicate Openly With Your Partner

Many young adults avoid talking about sex at the beginning of a relationship, but it’s vital to talk about it if you want to prevent STIs.

Speak with your partner openly about sexual health and STIs before you engage in sexual activities. Practicing open communication about sex enhances trust and mutual respect. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your sexual practices.

Use Condoms

Use condoms correctly each time you have sex — and particularly casual sex. Condoms may not have a 100% guarantee against infection or pregnancy, but they’re quite effective when used correctly. Remember to:

  • Make sure the condom hasn’t expired
  • Use only water-based lubricants to avoid damaging the condom
  • Always leave enough room at the tip of the condom
  • Don’t reuse a condom or remove it and wear it again

Abstain From Sex When You Think a Partner Has an STI

Always avoid sexual contact with anyone who has a discharge, rash, genital sores or any symptoms of an STI. It’s best practice to:

  • Let you or your partner see a doctor and get treated before you resume sexual activity
  • Follow all the instructions of your physician
  • Always use a condom if you’re having sex with a new partner
  • Let your doctor give you or your partner an all-clear report before you start having sex again

Avoid Using Recreational Drugs and Alcohol

Getting stoned or drunk can increase your risk of contracting STIs. When you’re intoxicated, you won’t be able to exercise the judgment required to practice safe sex.

Abstaining from recreational drug use can cut your risk of being coerced to have unsafe sex. The use of recreational drugs in public places like nightclubs can easily get you to act against the good decisions you made earlier on. If you must use recreational drugs like marijuana, you should do so at home where the cerebral euphoria can wear off without making any regrettable decisions.

Get an STD Prevention Education With Hamilton Health

Hamilton Health provides STD prevention education for a wide variety of patient groups including low-income earners. We’re committed to helping you enjoy good health while you’re sexually active.

Call us at (717) 232-9971 to book an appointment with one of our caring and compassionate healthcare providers today.

Common Signs of Hernias

Common Signs of Hernias

Hernias are a common medical concern among adults. They do not always have an obvious physical cause. Hernias become more of a risk factor with age, but anyone can experience the discomfort of these medical complications.

What is a Hernia?

Hernias occur suddenly or over time, where there is a weakness or opening in the abdominal muscular wall. This area is called the peritoneum, and its main purpose is to keep abdominal organs in place. When a hole or weakness exists here, organs and tissues can push forward and create an uncomfortable bulge.

Hernias are simple for doctors to diagnose, but there are a few different types.

Types of Hernias

Hernias are typically found across the groin, stomach, belly button or on an abdominal surgical scar. They are identified through the following categories:

  • Inguinal hernia: These are the most commonly diagnosed hernias, and they are a result of the intestines pushing through the abdominal wall. The intestines usually push through the inguinal canal found within the groin.
  • Hiatal hernia: These hernias are a result of part of your stomach pushing up through your diaphragm. These occur frequently in adults over 50 years old.
  • Umbilical hernia: A hernia taking place when a baby is under six months old. These are noticeable near the belly button, but they happen when the intestines stick out through the abdomen wall. This hernia corrects itself as the child grows older and muscles strengthen.
  • Incisional hernia: This hernia happens after abdominal surgery. The intestines push past weak muscles, scarring or tissue.

How Do You Know if You Have a Hernia?

You can usually tell if you have a hernia if a bulge is coming from your abdominal area. These bulges are easier to find when you are standing or bending as opposed to lying down flat. Inspecting your body for hernias is done by feeling your abdominal muscles for any lumps that don’t match the opposite side.

Other common symptoms of a hernia include:

  • Pain or aches in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Straining when using the restroom

When Should I Worry About Hernia Pain?

The best tip with hernias is to watch them regularly. If pain levels become excruciating and prevent you from living a normal life, surgery might be your best option. Depending on the location and type of hernia, you might need open or Laparoscopic repair surgery.

Open surgery involves sealing off the hernia using mesh or bone while Laparoscopic repair requires smaller incisions for a shorter recovery period. Both methods repair a hernia in the same way, but Laparoscopic repair uses a small camera to guide instruments and lighting through the abdomen.

Are You at Risk?

It’s always proactive to monitor your body and health. Your risk factors of a hernia increase if you have a family history of hernias, are overweight, experience long-term constipation or smoke. If you are concerned about hernias or think you might have one, Hamilton Health Center is here to help.

By making an appointment with Hamilton Health Center, we can guide you on the best path toward overall well-being. Welcome to your new home for health. Call Hamilton Health Center today.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One in five Americans experience a mental illness.

Hamilton is growing to support our patients’ full array of health care needs. In the past month the Behavioral Health Department has doubled in size. This team is now comprised of Dr. Goins, Joyce McCadney, and Yvette Bailey for brief intervention, brief cognitive therapy, behavior modification and crisis management. Dr. Majeed is now available for psychiatric evaluation and medication management needs. The team is supported by their Unit Secretary, Liz Lewis, who is a Certified MA and Certified Medical Interpreter. For any and all referrals, please reach out to the team via warm hand off. If unavailable via warm hand off, access is also available via placing orders in EHS and will be scheduled in a timely manner by Liz.

Our Recovery Services Department is led by Jillian London. Her team includes Adlih Leon, Santosha Perez, Michele Jeszenka, Angela Blair, and Jorge Collazo. This team addresses those impacted by the opioid epidemic as well as pregnant and parenting families experiencing any addition. In the next month they will also be supporting Hamilton providers who will be providing Medically Assisted Treatment to eligible patients, initiating with Vivitrol.

In 2019 the Pediatric Department also kicked off using the kiosks in the exam rooms to screen patients for mental health and substance abuse. This practice will be expanded to other departments as the year progresses. Pediatrics also initiated the Patient Centered Care Model, which takes a closer look at the patient’s full health factors and barriers. Trainings will be available this year to learn more about what each person we encounter may have experienced and how our experiences impact our behaviors in seeking optimal care.

We look forward to working with you to destigmatize behavioral health this year and as we continue to grow.