My Blog
November 06, 2020
Category: Health Care
Tags: Vaccines  

Vaccines are effective medicines that guard against communicable diseases. Important from birth through the senior years, routine immunizations save lives. At Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, Dr. Tomas Rios and Dr. Nicolin Neal want your family to stay well. Preventing disease is a path toward this goal--both for you and your teen. Does he or she have all the vaccines needed for college?

The college environment

Yes, higher education teaches young people to think, gain knowledge and wisdom, and set and attain career goals. But, have you considered how the college environment--particularly in dormitories, sports training, group assignments, and more--exposes your child to a communicable disease?

Influenza, upper respiratory infections, mono, meningitis, STDs and strep throat rank among the top reasons college students visit the infirmary or their primary care doctor if they commute, reports Healthline. At Rios Healthcare Associates, these illnesses concern Dr. Rios and his colleagues.

Prevention is so important

So, our team encourages college-bound students to get their vaccines early. Schools require them for admission and dorm life.

At our Houston, TX, office we follow the vaccine schedule for 19 to 26-year-olds set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Each vaccine stimulates your young person's immune system, creating antibodies against many diseases and their potentially devastating consequences. Additionally, with each individual vaccinated, community, or herd, immunity increases, protecting those most at risk for complications and those who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons.

Protection for your college student

The "shots" protect against many illnesses, including:

  • Influenza
  • Mononucleosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Pneumonia
  • Varicella-zoster related diseases (chickenpox and shingles)
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Human papilloma virus, or HPV

Additionally, the CDC recommends you check your teen's immunization record to be sure he or she is up to date on all childhood vaccines. Fortunately, the staff at Rios Healthcare Associates helps families maintain these records, making them available for work, school, sports, and other venues as needed.

Stay healthy

Vaccines are a great way to ensure your teen stays healthy in college. Phone Dr. Tomas Rios and Dr. Nicolin Neal at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, for more information. Call (832) 323-9230. We are open seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm for your convenience, and as always, walk-ins are welcome!

November 05, 2020
Category: Health Care
Tags: arthritis  

Arthritis can completely change your life, making even simple movements difficult and painful. Fortunately, your doctors at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, Drs. Tomas Rios and Nicolin Neal, offer treatments that will help relieve your pain and stiffness.

How arthritis affects you

Injuries and wear and tear destroy the cartilage at the ends of your bones if you have osteoarthritis. Without that protective layer of cartilage, the bones in your joints rub together painfully. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but is most likely to occur in your hips, knees, spine, and hands.

Rheumatoid arthritis, another of the more than 100 forms of arthritis, happens when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. Most people first notice rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in their toes or fingers. Eventually, the disease begins to affect the larger joints.

If you have arthritis, you may experience any of these symptoms:

  • Pain in Your Joints: Pain may be worse first thing in the morning and decrease as you move more. The skin over the joint may be red or feel warm.
  • Joint Changes: Your joints may be stiff, swollen, or look deformed if you have arthritis.
  • Decreased Range of Motion: Stiffness and swelling caused by arthritis can decrease your range of motion, making it difficult to reach a glass on a high shelf or walk up the stairs easily.
  • Trouble Holding Things: If you have arthritis in your hand or fingers, you may notice that your hand feels weak and that it's harder to grasp objects.

How is arthritis treated?

Over-the-counter pain medication, hot or cold packs and pain-relieving patches can dull the pain of arthritis. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you keep your joints moving freely and prevent weight gain, which may stress your joints.

If home treatment doesn't improve your pain, it's a good idea to pay a visit to Houston, TX, office. Depending on the type of arthritis and the severity of your symptoms, you may benefit from one or more of these treatments:

  • Prescription pain medication
  • Medication that reduces inflammation and prevents joint damage
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Surgery

Don't let arthritis pain keep you on the couch. Call Drs. Tomas Rios and Nicolin Neal of Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, at (832) 323-9230 to schedule your appointment.

September 21, 2020
Category: Health Care
Tags: Annual Checkups  

Prevention is really worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes, and this applies to your annual doctor checkups. Health professionals and organizations cannot stress enough the importance of these regular visits to help you identify your specific health risk factors and any issues before they become harder to manage.

Detected early on, most diseases can be treated more effectively. Ultimately, regular checkups with your doctor, Dr. Tomas Rios or Dr. Nicolin Neale, here at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, will help in ensuring a healthier and longer life.

Annual Prevention Checkup Basics

Depending on your sex, age, and health history, your prevention checkup might include the following:

  • Urine, blood, hearing, and vision screenings to assess your overall health
  • Evaluations of your weight, cholesterol level, and blood pressure
  • Vaccines and booster shots
  • Your physical activity and eating habits as well as any alcohol, drug, or tobacco use
  • Tests to evaluate your risk for certain conditions like diabetes or cancer
  • Screening for colon cancer, beginning at 50 years old or younger for people who have a history of cancer in the family
  • Your stress level and general mental health

Specific Women’s Health Issues

  • A breast examination to check for abnormal bumps or lumps
  • A mammogram, beginning at 40 years old or younger if you have a history of breast cancer in the family
  • Bone density testing, beginning at 65 years old to check for osteoporosis

Specific Men’s Health Concerns

  • Beginning at 50 years old or younger for people who have a prostate cancer history in the family, a rectal examination for checking prostate health and a PSA or prostate specific antigen blood test
  • An abdominal examination for cigarette smokers or ex-smokers, between 65 and 75 years old, to check the state of your aorta

Prepping for Your Annual Checkup

Prior to your checkup, make sure to review your health history and update it as necessary. Make sure you can answer questions about your immunization record and general health screenings you’ve undergone. List down any questions you may have for your doctor in Houston, TX, especially if you have specific health concerns.

Likewise, take notes on your smartphone or a notebook during your discussions, so you don’t forget anything. Coming in fully prepared will help ensure that you make the most out of your annual checkup.

Talk to Us to Learn More About Annual Checkups and Preventive Care

Book a visit with your doctor here at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, Dr. Tomas Rios or Dr. Nicolin Neale, by dialing (832) 323-9230.

July 10, 2020
Category: Health Care
Tags: diabetes  

When you eat, your body converts much of your food to sugar and uses it for energy. Your pancreas produces a hormone known as insulin, which helps your body absorb glucose into the bloodstream. If you suffer from diabetes, it may be because your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin, or because your body cannot absorb insulin properly. The latter will cause an excess build-up of sugar in your system. Diabetes can cause several serious complications including heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure. Dr. Tomas Rios and Dr. Nicolin Neal at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston TX can help you manage your diabetes.

Type I Diabetes

This type of diabetes usually affects younger individuals and is caused when the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. Treatment is a lifelong commitment that involves:

  • Monitoring blood sugar
  • Taking insulin
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Keeping a healthy weight
  • Regular exercise

Type II Diabetes

This type of diabetes arises when the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin, or when insulin doesn’t function adequately. This form of diabetes affects people who are overweight. Treatment usually involves:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Possibly taking diabetes medication or insulin

Diabetic Diet

You can live a healthy lifestyle with diabetes if you follow these simple dietary tips provided by your Houston TX doctors to help you maintain a balanced metabolism:

Low Glycemic Index: This includes food that is digested slowly without causing rapid rises or depletions of blood glucose levels.

Complex high-fiber carbohydrates: This type of carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly. This increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin and prevents blood sugar from peaking.

Alpha-lipoic acid: This is an antioxidant that promotes glucose absorption and can also improve nerve damage of diabetes sufferers.

Omega 3: Protects against the hardening and blockage of the arteries.

Foods to avoid, suggested by your Houston TX doctors

Refined and simple carbohydrates: These include glucose, sucrose, and fructose and are found in white bread, refined sugar, honey, white rice, white bread, and corn syrup.

Alcohol: High amounts of fat contained in alcohol can lead to heart disease and liver damage.

High sodium food: Excessive salt intake can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

If you live in Houston TX and would like to find out more, you can reach Dr. Tomas Rios and Dr. Nicolin Neal at Rios Healthcare at (832) 323-9230.

May 28, 2020
Category: Health Care
Tags: Urgent Care  

Find out if the symptoms you are experiencing require a hospital visit or urgent care.

Nothing is more stressful than dealing with your own illness or injury, or a sick loved one. These problems often occur suddenly, and you may find yourself wondering whether you should take a trip to the hospital or whether an urgent care center will be able to handle the problem. Here in Houston, our team of board-certified internists Dr. Tomas Rios and Dr. Nicolin Neal are able to address any and all non-emergency medical issues in teens and adults.

Hospital or Urgent Care?

Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: If you are dealing with a serious symptom (e.g. chest pain; trouble breathing) or a potentially life-threatening condition (e.g. concussion with blackouts) then you should head to your local ER immediately for care; however, if you are dealing with injuries, symptoms or illnesses that aren’t life-threatening but do require medical attention within the next 24 hours then our Houston urgent care office is here to help.

Conditions and Injuries that Require Urgent Care

Here in Houston, our team of doctors provide preventive care, treatment for both acute and chronic diseases and also urgent medical care for,

  • Sprains
  • Burns
  • Fractures
  • Abdominal pain
  • Ear infections
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Wheezing due to asthma or allergies
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Influenza
  • Bronchitis
  • Strep throat
  • Rashes
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • STI (Sexually transmitted infections)

We offer on-site lab testing, which means that we can take blood, urine or other samples and analyze them right here in our office instead of sending the samples away for analysis. This means that you’ll get your results much faster, which also means that you’ll get treated faster.

Whether you are looking for a doctor who can help you manage your diabetes, you are looking for a regular physician to visit for routine physicals and checkups, or you are dealing with an urgent health problem, the medical team at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston is here to help. Walk-ins are welcome but you can also call us at (832) 323-9230 or book an appointment online.

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