Internal Medicine

Internal MedicineInternists focus on diagnosing and treating medical conditions that affect adult patients. A Chapel Hill internal medicine physician can educate you about preventing chronic diseases and help you manage conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and COPD.

What is Internal Medicine?

Internal medicine involves the application of clinical expertise and scientific knowledge in diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases. A Chapel Hill Primary Care internal medicine specialist works specifically with adults and sometimes acts as a consultant for other types of doctors. Other terms used for an internal medicine physician include “internist,” “doctor of internal medicine,” and “general internist.”

Chronic Conditions

Lung Diseases

Any disease that makes it difficult for you to breathe can affect your quality of life. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is one of the most common causes of death in the United States. This disease can be managed, but there is no cure, so it continues to get worse over time. If you have COPD, it is important that you work with your Chapel Hill internal medicine physician to manage the symptoms.

If you have asthma, regular medical care is important. Uncontrolled asthma can cause shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. It is possible to reduce the number of asthma attacks you have by using prescribed medications and avoiding certain asthma triggers.

Heart Disease

When most people refer to heart disease, they are talking about coronary artery disease. This disease occurs when one of the blood vessels that delivers oxygen to your heart becomes blocked or damaged. Reduced blood flow causes chest pain and other symptoms. If you have sudden chest pain, you should visit an emergency medicine department immediately. Other symptoms of coronary artery disease include shortness of breath and heart attack.

An internal medicine physician can also help you manage other heart conditions. If you have a heart rhythm disorder, your physician might order an electrocardiogram to make sure the problem is under control. If you have chest pain that is not caused by a heart attack, your doctor can order tests or refer you to a cardiologist for further evaluation.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects nearly one-third of all Americans. Because many of them do not have symptoms, they do not know they have an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Our experienced medical professionals can help you control high blood pressure by recommending lifestyle medications or prescribing medications.

Diabetes

Your body needs insulin to carry glucose into the cells, where it is used as a source of energy. When you have diabetes, you do not produce enough insulin or you are not able to use the insulin you produce. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious complications, so work with your internal medicine physician to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Internal Medicine Approach

The experienced professionals at Chapel Hill Primary Care are focused on your well-being. We will give you the information you need to control conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, or we will provide medical referrals to specialists who can conduct additional tests.