In the News

Designate your State Tax Dollars to Support our Vital Hospitals

When you contribute to Tift Regional Medical Center and/or Cook Medical Center through the Georgia HEART program, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of rural Georgians and you will also receive a 100% state tax credit. Now there’s even more incentive to support our mission! Individuals, married couples filing jointly, and c-corporations are all eligible for Georgia HEART state tax credits. Visit www.TiftRegional.com/TaxCredit or www.GeorgiaHeart.org for more information.

 

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Stay Healthy & Safe this Holiday Season

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Affinity Clinic! Holidays are a time to celebrate, give thanks and relax with family and friends. They are also a time when it is especially important to keep a watchful eye on health and safety. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so don’t let an illness, injury or accident keep you from celebrating a happy, healthy holiday season with loved ones. Check out our health and safety tips, which are designed to help you keep the season bright. Click here to read more. 

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Announcements

New Policy Regarding Late Arrivals for Appointments

Please note: starting Jan. 2, 2019, Affinity Clinic patients who arrive more than 15 minutes late for appointments may be asked to reschedule unless they want to wait for a cancellation or see if the provider can work them in to the schedule. Thank you for your understanding.

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Blog

May is Food Allergy Action Month - Do You Know the Basics?

May 1, 2019 by Molly Huff

Over 15 million Americans struggle with food allergies, and this issue has gained significant awareness over the past decade or so. May is Food Allergy Action Month, a great time to learn about this disease that affects so many. Whether you just know of someone with a food allergy or this affects you or a member of your family, Affinity Health hopes you will take the time to educate yourself on this issue - it could save the life of someone you love!

What is Food Allergy?

The body’s immune system identifies and destroys germs that make you sick. A food allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly targets a harmless food protein - an allergen - as a threat and attacks it. Unlike other types of food disorders - like intolerances - food allergies are “IgE medicated.” This means that your immune system produces abnormally large amounts of antibody called immunoglobulin E - IgE for short. IgE antibodies fight the “enemy” food allergens by releasing histamine and other chemicals, which trigger the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Food Allergy Symptoms

An allergic reaction to food can affect the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, and, in the most serious cases, the cardiovascular system. Reactions can range from mild to severe, including the potentially life-threatening condition, anaphylaxis (a severe, potentially fatal allergic reaction).

Symptoms typically appear within minutes to several hours after eating the food to which you are allergic. Keep in mind that children may communicate their symptoms in a different manner than adults.

Mild symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Itchy mouth or ear canal
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nasal congestion or a runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Slight, dry cough
  • Odd taste in mouth
  • Uterine contractions

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Obstructive swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Turning blue
  • Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak, passing out)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • A weak pulse

Severe symptoms may be signs of anaphylaxis and require immediate treatment at an urgent care facility or emergency room.

If you suspect you or a loved one might be suffering from a food allergy, please make an appointment with one of Affinity’s family practice physicians or internists. If you would like to have your child tested for food allergies, contact Affinity Pediatrics to make an appointment. Food allergies are manageable and many live with them experiencing minimal issues, but knowledge is power, and it is important to be prepared. Fortunately, experts and families have compiled a wealth of information and resources that will help those with food allergies stay safe and enjoy a rich, active life.

Source: Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)

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Affinity Clinic, a multi-specialty clinic, provides adult and pediatric patients across South Georgia with medical care in a variety of areas including Cardiology, Family Practice, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatric & Adolescent MedicinePulmonary Medicine & Critical Care, and Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The Aesthetic Center at Affinity offers patients the latest in medical grade skin care. From microdermabrasion and vein treatment to laser hair removal, photofacials, BOTOX and more our certified laser assistant and licensed skin specialist provides patients with personal attention and quality care.