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Physicians who diagnose and medically treat disease and provide primary care for adults are called Internists. They handle routine and complicated issues, screen patients at risk for cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, among other conditions, and will refer you to a specialist if it is determined to be necessary.

Internal medicine physicians can diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions and illnesses, including:

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition where the blood flows through the veins or arteries at a higher pressure than normal. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health issues, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure

A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher is considered high, while 180/120 is considered dangerously high and requires immediate attention.
 

How Can I Lower Blood Pressure?

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising more
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing stress
  • Medication

Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolism disorder where the body is unable to regulate its blood glucose levels.

In those who have diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not respond correctly to insulin and the high glucose levels can damage the organs. 

Asthma

A chronic disease where the airways become inflamed and swollen, asthma makes breathing difficult.

Symptoms include: 

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a progressive disease that makes breathing more difficult. There are two types of COPD: chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Symptoms include: 

  • Mucus while coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness

Pneumonia and Influenza

Internists care for many common infections, including pneumonia and the flu.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that’s caused by bacteria, a virus or by inhaling a liquid. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Left untreated, Pneumonia can be serious, especially in young children, older adults and people with other health issues.

Influenza, or the flu, is a common respiratory infection caused by a virus. Symptoms are usually worse than the common cold and may include:

  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

High Cholesterol 

A high blood cholesterol level is known as hypercholesterolemia. Symptoms can include: 

  • Fatty skin deposits on the hands, knees, shoulders and more
  • Cholesterol deposits in the eyelids
  • Chest pain

Thyroid Issues

Problems with your thyroid can range from small issues to much larger problems, and it is important to seek treatment as early as possible. Internal medicine specialists can diagnose and treat thyroid problems and get you the care you need for the challenge you may face. 

Heart Disease

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans. The American Heart Association® estimates that one in five Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. Internal medicine physicians can:

  • Diagnose heart conditions
  • Treat heart conditions
  • Coordinate with other healthcare professionals as needed