Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - 55

HOW TO TALK
TO RELATIVES
ABOUT HEALTH
CONCERNS

WEBSITE

Care for Every
Family Member

constant massaging of the back," says
Jay Desai, MD, a geriatrician with
Northside Hospital and Gwinnett
Internal Medicine Associates.
Unfortunately, osteoporosis doesn't
typically have obvious symptoms. So
when in doubt, encourage your family
member to speak with a doctor or take
a bone density test.

Forgetfulness

Maybe your grandpa forgot you graduated
a few months back or can't remember that
you moved to a new city. Little instances
like this can be easily overlooked by those
who see your grandparents every day;
however, these lapses in memory can also
signal something more serious, such as
Alzheimer's disease.
Forgetfulness is just one part of the
equation, though. Alzheimer's can also
cause general confusion, especially in
the evening hours; difficulty completing
routine tasks, such as paying bills;

Your journey to lasting health
starts with Gwinnett Medical
Group Primary Care. As the
health care team that knows
about life's ups and downs,
GMG Primary Care offers
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every life stage. Learn more
at gwinnettmedicalgroup.
com/primary.

and aggressive or agitated behavior.
"When it comes to this condition,
catching symptoms early can make all
the difference in terms of treatment,"
Dr. Desai says.

Changes in Weight

Fluctuating weight might be one of the
most frequent changes we see in family
members year to year, but just because
it can be common doesn't mean you
shouldn't take note.
For instance, sudden or rapid
weight gain may indicate underlying
issues, such as an underactive thyroid,
diabetes, increased stress or even
polycystic ovary syndrome.
On the other end of the spectrum,
unexpected or sudden weight loss

Having a conversation with family members
about their health can be a tall task. Luckily,
these talks don't have to be as uncomfortable
as we make them out to be.
Start by asking your loved ones how they
feel physically and emotionally. Ask if they
have been feeling off or if there are any
health conditions they're concerned about,
and don't forget to share your own.
Having frequent open conversations about
your health can help ease stress and make
these talks feel more conversational, rather
than confrontational.

may be the result of celiac disease,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD), irritable bowel syndrome or,
in some cases, cancer.
"Either way, when trying to talk
with a family member about changes
in weight, it's important to tread
lightly and be sure to focus more on
overall health, not necessarily the
number on the scale," says James
Lin, MD, a provider with Northside
Hospital Duluth's Center for
Weight Management.

Fatigue

Although it may just be stress and
a lack of quality sleep, chronic or
persistent fatigue may be a sign of
something more. For example, if you
notice a family member who wakes
up feeling tired-even after a full
night's sleep-it may be a sign of a
sleep disorder, a thyroid condition
or depression.
With the holiday season upon us, soak
up every minute of time spent together
and take the time to really see each
relative. Little differences in their
bodies or personalities might seem like
small changes-but they may make a
big impact on health. ■
W INT E R 2 01 9

55


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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC

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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - 2
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2019 - GMC - Cover4
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