Everyone in thirteen people in the United States lives with asthma. This accounts for nearly 25 million of the population that are plagued with this respiratory issue. Asthma has significantly reduced the quality of life by rehabilitating the person to perform routine activities. Moreover, it is also reported that the disease leads to anxiety and suicidal instinct in the younger population as well. Therefore, the best internal medicine clinic in Michigan are diligently caring for patients that live with asthma. Their internists prioritize the improvement of symptoms to increase the quality of life.
What is an Internist?
Internal medicine is dedicated to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a variety of medical conditions in adults. Physicians who practice internal medicine are trained in primary healthcare, general health status assessment, and treatment of simple and complex diseases. Internal medicine practitioners study internal medicine as a part of their medical specialty. They then complete a three-year residency program before their practice. Additionally, many internists choose additional training in subspecialties such as neurology, pulmonology, cardiology, oncology, endocrinology, and others. Since they practice in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including critically hospitalized patients – internists are experienced to handle complex diseases. Their expertise renders them capable of treating crucial medical diseases and disorders. Moreover, they also possess profound knowledge regarding an array of adult diseases, irrespective of their stage of progression.
What do they treat?
Internists offer services that are not limited to gender, organ, or organ systems. You may visit them for common ailments like allergies, colds, flu, or complex medical conditions as well. From diseases concerning the cardiovascular system, respiratory, neurology, or endocrinology – their training capacitates them to look after them all. An internist acts as a bridge between a patient and a specialist. They are the first type of healthcare provider that you would visit before consulting a specialist.
In addition, internal medicine practitioners also proffer medical and non-medical treatment strategies for both short-term and long-term management of ailments. They prescribe OTC drugs for cough and flu while managing complex conditions like hypertension or diabetes through medication and lifestyle amendments.
The practice of an internist also includes, but is not limited to the prevention of chronic diseases. They evaluate the patient’s past medical, drug, and family history to rule out the certainty of certain diseases. If your record shows you at risk for any medical condition, your internist would run screening lab tests for its diagnosis. What follows is a comprehensive strategy that prevents the disease from manifesting its signs and symptoms in the body.
Why is it better to be treated by an internist?
Internists are primarily known as healthcare providers for adults and practice in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In addition to providing comprehensive care for a variety of diseases, they care for asthma and other respiratory conditions as well. From diagnosis and treatment to performing preoperative evaluation for any related surgery – internists manage asthma well. Following are the benefits of visiting an internist to manage your asthma:
- An internist has a deeper knowledge of your health status and may manage multiple conditions in addition to asthma.
- They may consult a specialist if/when needed
- They might also refer you to a specialist if/when needed
- Internists also help their patients sort through different recommendations that their specialist suggests
- They also offer screening and treatment strategies for diseases that might deteriorate due to asthma.
When do you need to see an asthma specialist?
Since an internal medicine doctor is trained in the pulmonary subspecialty, they can expertly diagnose, manage and treat pulmonary conditions related to the lungs, airways, thoracic cavity, and chest wall.
However, there are times when you might need specialist intervention for the management of asthma. This need usually arises when you experience continuous bouts of asthma attacks or if the symptoms appear frequently. In such cases, it is essential to visit an allergist-immunologist or a pulmonologist, if/when:
- the symptoms don’t improve as the treatment progresses over 3-6 months and negatively affect the quality of life.
- you’re being prescribed parenteral or oral steroids more than once or twice a year.
- you need to visit urgent care or emergency room for asthma exacerbation more than thrice a year
- if you experience adverse effects due to asthma medications, such as weight gain, osteoporosis, or emotional change
- you require an evaluation for allergy shots or suffer from moderate to severe persistent asthma
How May a Specialist Manage Your Asthma Diagnosis?
Once the asthmatic symptoms are under control, the appointment may be delayed to once a month or a couple of times per year. When your internist and specialist team together to manage asthma, you may:
- need to keep track of your symptoms with an asthma action plan. The plan includes data from the peak flow meter, daily symptoms, and any triggers that stimulate the attack.
- be prescribed a long-term medication to manage the disease for a sustainable period. Such drugs reduce airway inflammation and minimize the onset of asthmatic symptoms.
- also, be prescribed medication with quick yet brief effects to manage acute asthma attacks. Such “rescue” drugs include beta2-agonists that quickly open the airway to treat asthma flareup.
Who Are Some Asthma Specialists That Manage The Disease?
In addition to internists, some physicians are specifically trained to deal with various aspects of asthma. They include:
- Allergist: An allergist is a pediatrician or an internist that is additionally specialized to treat allergies, asthma, and allergic asthma.
- Allergist-Immunologist: Allergy and asthma go hand in hand. Therefore, many people who have allergies live with asthma as well. Their condition is triggered by pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold that reduce the quality of life. Allergist-immunologist are trained asthma specialists that identify these triggers and derive a tailored treatment strategy.
- Pulmonologist: A pulmonologist takes up two to three of training preceded by a residency in internal medicine or pediatrics. They then qualify to treat and manage respiratory diseases. Some pulmonologists receive additional board certification in critical care medicine to treat asthma to a greater extent.
Is it better to be treated by an internist or a specialist?
The answer to this question is solely dependent on the severity of your asthmatic condition. For mild to moderate asthma, an internist can manage the condition well. They prescribe both quick and sustainable relief medications to provide timely and long-term management. In addition, an internal medicine practitioner also manages comorbidities that require effective and durable treatment. However, in case of persistent asthma flare-ups that do not comply with the ongoing treatment, a specialist may intervene for the better. They run detailed diagnostic tests and may perform surgeries if they consider it a viable solution.
Make The Right Decision For Your Health
It is better to visit an internist at the onset of asthma rather than a specialist when the prognosis worsens. When you visit the best internist – Dr. Gregory Stevens, you might even minimize the risk of your asthma exacerbating. Internal medicine physicians, by their knowledge and expertise, provide comprehensive care that does not manage the condition for a long time. Under their supervision, the asthmatic symptoms do not worsen and eradicate the need of scheduling an appointment with a specialist.