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Frequently asked questions about opioids

What are opioids? Opioids are drugs used primarily to treat pain. They can be prescribed medications including codeine, morphine and oxycodone. Like fentanyl and heroin, they can also be produced or obtained illegally. What is opioid use disorder? Long-term opioid use can result in an increased tolerance, meaning an increased dose is needed to achieve the same effect. Increasing doses can lead to an increased dependence. Opioid use disorder (OUD) affects people’s ability to function in ev…

Call your family doc first

When you’re not feeling well, you just want to get better. So going to a walk-in clinic seems like a quick fix. But doctors at walk-in clinics cannot access your medical history. On the other hand, your family doctor knows more about you and can more thoroughly assess your condition.   And they can add it to your primary health record. Information from visits to walk-in clinics or emergency rooms is not automatically sent to your family doctor. Your family doctor only knows ab…

PCN pain programs and services

Calgary-area PCNs offer a variety of resources for pain management. Many are free. If you experience pain or would like information about accessing any of these resources, please talk to your doctor. With the right tools, you have the power to get back in the driver’s seat and control your health Calgary Foothills PCN Extended Health Team Provides care for patients with complex health needs, using a multidisciplinary approach to better manage chronic health concerns, including pain.…
 

Who’s Who in your medical home

Your family doctor’s clinic is your medical home — a place of care that you turn to first for health support. It’s where your doctor connects you to the care you need, when you need it. Through Primary Care Networks, your medical home is backed by a team of healthcare professionals. Depending on the support you need, your doctor can provide access to a dietitian, social worker, kinesiologist and other healthcare providers. Speaking with your doctor is the best way to find out what suppo…

Diabetes: understanding the disease

Diabetes is common in Canada, yet few of us know much about it. This chronic disease robs the body of its ability to control blood sugar (glucose) levels, either because it cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. Over time, this damages organs, blood vessels and nerves. A report by Diabetes Canada in 2015 found the number of people with diabetes more than doubled between 2000 and 2015…
 

Signs and symptoms of diabetes

Clues your body gives about diabetes By Colleen Seto More than one million Canadians have diabetes and don’t know it. That’s because, for many, diabetes gives no clues or symptoms. If you’re 40 or over, the best way to detect diabetes is to discuss your health and possible risk factors with your healthcare provider. Together, you may also consider getting screened for diabetes even if you display none of the signs of the disease. These include: Unusual thirst Frequent urinati…

Diabetes support through your Primary Care Network

Each Primary Care Network (PCN) in the Calgary Zone offers help for adults living with or at risk for diabetes. Your medical home team PCN clinicians work with you long-term to help you best reach your health goals. Clinicians answer your questions one-on-one, and connect you with other people who can help you, such as: Family physicians Certified diabetes educators Health management nurses (including weight and chronic disease management) Dietitians Clinical pharmacists …
 

8 things to keep in mind when checking your blood pressure

For a variety of reasons, your doctor or health team may recommend that you regularly check your blood pressure. One in five Canadian adults live with high blood pressure — also referred to as hypertension — so it’s handy to know how to properly check it. When checking your blood pressure, always measure your resting heart rate, which is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at complete rest. Follow these tips to ensure you get the most accurate reading possible, so you …
 
Prescription To Get Active Patient

Prescription to Get Active

People across Calgary have been filling prescriptions to get active. On the advice of a healthcare professional, they can try a number of fitness facilities around the city for free. “This is a good option for our clients that really want to try something out before they get into it,” says Katie Elgie, kinesiologist at the South Calgary Primary Care Network. “Some people can find the gym intimidating and this lets them get a feel for it before they sign up for anything.” Patients can …
 

Everything under the sun for summer safety

Advice for enjoying the season's sunny rays   LIMIT SUN: Avoid too much time in the sun between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunburn can happen in as little as 15 minutes. WATCH REFLECTIONS: Ultraviolet (UV) rays can reflect off water, concrete and other surfaces. WEAR A HAT: Protect your eyes, ears, face and neck with a wide brim hat. PROTECT YOUR EYES: Wear sunglasses and prescription glasses with 99 per cent to 100 per cent UV-A/B protection. DRESS UP: Wear loose-fitting clothes over as muc…
 
Pulse and Barley Salad

Bonus benefits

Bonus benefits Serving up healthy eating Healthy eating can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight, which in turn helps you keep a number of other health problems at bay. It also reduces your risk for a number of chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Karyn Sunohara, a registered dietitian with the South Calgary Primary Care Network says healthy eating also has a number of bonus benefits. They include: When you ea…
 
Pregnant woman eating a healthy pita

Pregnancy Weight

Pregnancy Weight Gaining the right amount for you and your baby   When you’re pregnant, you need more nourishment than usual. The average weight gain during pregnancy is 11.5 to 16 kilograms (25 to 35 pounds), most of it during the second and third trimesters. About a third (35 per cent) of that extra weight is your baby and your placenta and amniotic fluid. The rest of it is from increased blood and fluids and tissue in the breasts and uterus. Weight gain according to BMI How…
 
Dietitian Carmen Prion-Frank discusses nutrition with patient Cheryl Aitkens

Eating your way to good health

Eating your way to good health By Jennifer Allford Getting the right advice about food Cheryl Aitkens was trying to choose healthy foods and leave less healthy foods on the grocery store shelf. But it was tougher than she expected—what to do about fat-free yogurt that’s loaded with sugar? And some advice she read was confusing. “You read so much and everybody has an opinion,” she says. “I want to take better care of myself and I wanted the truth and I wanted someone to point me i…
 

5 tips to a healthy pregnancy weight, and food cravings

Start thinking about healthy eating and your weight well before you decide to have a baby. A healthy weight and eating well makes it easier for you to conceive and sets you up for good eating habits during your pregnancy. The tips and tricks below show you how to consume the ideal amount of food in pregnancy to keep you and your baby healthy. Watch the video (3:08) to get started. 1.      Know Your BMI: The amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on …

Tips on how much to eat in each trimester of your pregnancy

It is a common myth that you can eat whatever you want when you’re pregnant — bowls of ice cream, bags of chips — because you're eating for two. But that is not the case. Calgary Foothills PCN health professionals have put together some practical examples of what you can eat during pregnancy to ensure you and your baby stay as healthy as possible. Watch this video (3:04) for some healthy snack suggestions and to learn more about what you should be eating during pregnancy. htt…
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