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Written By: Noah Fulton

Sugar is everywhere. Seemingly harmless foods like breakfast cereals are coated with it, our fruit filled yogurt needs added sugar to enhance flavor, and we put it in our morning coffee. After dinner we grab a piece of chocolate or a cookie from the jar. Let’s not forget about that can of soda that got you through the afternoon! So, what is the big deal about sugar anyways? Recent research suggests we may be harming ourselves more than we know with our excessive sugar intake.

Sugar is a chronic toxin. One can of soda or one piece of candy is not going to cause you immediate issues, as we typically do not experience acute symptoms in response to sugar intake. However, daily intake over time can wear down our metabolic system and lead to chronic, low-grade inflammation. Chronic, low-grade inflammation is associated with several serious health conditions, such as:

The good news is, we have options to satiate our sweet tooth. Eating natural sugars, those derived from whole fruits and vegetables, does not have an association to inflammation! Fruits and vegetables are also high in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Building good dietary habits into our daily routine can make such a huge difference in inflammatory conditions and health in general. Look to avoid added sugars in your food selections and try to use a piece of fruit as your afternoon pick me up!

 

Written By: David Kwon, DO

What’s that? Appointments for Urgent Care???? Calling first???

Yes, we understand that at first, the idea of urgent care by appointment may sound like a strange idea to some, especially considering that many healthcare organizations offering urgent care services do not offer appointments and rather patients are seen on a walk-in basis.

Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin offers scheduled urgent care appointments in order to reduce the wait time spent in the waiting area for patients and to improve efficiency in caring for the patients who require urgent care.

In addition, we highly recommend calling prior to arriving at the clinic, as this will likely reduce wait time and ensure that patients are given the most appropriate advice regarding their concerns.

Typically, patients are called from the waiting area at or within a few minutes of their scheduled appointment time. Given that not infrequently, there are unforeseen and urgent circumstances that arise in caring for patients in the setting of an urgent care, there may be delays in the time that patients are actually called from the waiting room as well as possibly some waiting time in the room before the provider can arrive.

Please be assured that our urgent care team constantly strives to provide every patient with excellent, appropriate care in the most efficient manner possible. It is an expectation that our team members keep patients regularly informed of any time delays. We welcome and encourage feedback as to how we are doing with respect to communicating estimated wait time frames as well as patients’ overall experience of care.

Written By: Gwen Long, PA-C, Employee Health & Safety Specialist

Did you know… it is important to receive your flu shot not only because it protects you from the flu, but because it protects the people around you who may be more vulnerable to serious flu illness!

Flu Facts:

• Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.
• Everyone over 6 months old needs a flu shot to prevent flu illnesses, missed work and school days, medical visits and hospitalizations.
• Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. Check with your child’s health care provider.
• Special flu vaccines are available for people over age 65 to offer better flu protection.
• Infants younger than six months old are too young to get vaccinated. Your shot will help protect them.
• Flu activity usually peaks between January and March and can last until May.
• By getting vaccinated in the fall you will be protected whenever flu activity begins.
• There are many types of the flu virus that occur each flu season. You can get flu more than once due to the various viruses.
• The flu vaccine protects against several different flu viruses, providing protection all season long.

Flu viruses can change from season to season and immunity declines over time so it is important to get vaccinated each year!