What is Internal Medicine?

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Akasaka Hitotsugidori Clinic, a primary care clinic located in the heart of Tokyo, was established last year and has recently joined the HealthyTokyo Medical Partner Network. What is internal medicine? In this article, the doctors describe areas commonly treated by internists in Japan.

Diabetes
When gone unchecked, diabetes – a metabolic disease in which there is a high blood sugar level over a prolonged period – can lead to limb numbness, blindness, and cause serious complications such as kidney failure. With regular check-ups, however, patients with diabetes can lead a healthy, normal life.

Dyslipidemia (Hyperlipidemia)
Is a condition where there is an increased amount of cholesterol and fat in the blood. Like high blood pressure, there are many people who don’t think about this condition seriously enough. Even after being identified during a medical checkup, many people don’t bother getting it further examined. Left to chance, arteriosclerosis can advance and the risk of a myocardial infarction increases, so seek treatment as quickly as you can.

Second Opinion Outpatient
It is important that the patient is convinced they are receiving quality treatment. In some cases, this may require getting a second opinion from a doctor other than their primary doctor. In fact, obtaining a second – and even third – opinion is becoming commonplace. Especially in areas such as cardiovascular surgery, a second opinion is invaluable and we recommend you get one before undergoing surgery on your own body. But please also request a second opinion for anything you are genuinely unsure about.

Colds
Also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, a head cold, or the common cold, it has become a generic term for any acute inflammation of the nose and throat. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, and the like. Visit a clinic immediately if there you suffer such symptoms.

Influenza
With symptoms similar to the common cold, influenza is much more serious because you can become seriously ill from being infected by the influenza virus. Symptoms develop more rapidly than the cold and will appear throughout the body in forms such as a 38℃+ high fever and muscle pain. Seek out a doctor promptly if you exhibit these symptoms. In addition, to prevent catching influenza, inoculate yourself annually with an influenza vaccine injection.

Asthma
Asthma is a respiratory disease where the bronchial tubes become narrowed by chronic inflammation. The cause can be different in everyone affected, but in all cases becomes a problem when the affected has an asthma attack, which is characterized by coughing and breathlessness, and difficult breathing. Asthma, however, can be properly managed with help by a clinic. Those with asthma should avoid second hand cigarette smoke or, if you smoke, stop smoking.

Gastroenteritis
Also known as infectious diarrhea is a medical condition that involves inflammation of the digestive tract, and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It can often become acute, or infectious, and transmission may occur if improperly prepared foods or contaminated water is consumed or if close contact with individuals who are infected is made. In recent years, acute gastroenteritis caused by norovirus has become a big problem. If you have these symptoms, have yourself examined forthwith.

Constipation
Is a state when the excretion of feces becomes difficult. Medically speaking, one is considered constipated if there are no bowel movements over a period of three days. Although the cause of constipation differs from person to person, symptoms include painful, lower abdominal fullness, and abdominal pain.

Lifestyle Diseases (Metabolic Syndrome)
It is said that this disorder, and diseases like it, are being caused by the changes and rapid advancements in technology and modernization in society and our daily lifestyles. Because diagnosing symptoms subjectively is still not a perfect science, many people don’t regard Metabolic Syndrome as a disease. But these lifestyle diseases can cause serious complications and even be a threat to people’s lives, so schedule periodic medical examinations – and consult your primary care doctor if an abnormality is ever pointed out.

Akasaka Hitotsugidori Clinic offers services for general internal medicine as well as provides doctors from a number of prestigious hospitals. 

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