News | St. Thomas Medical Group

Get Help for COPD With a Pulmonologist In Nashville

More than three million people in the U.S. have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This group of progressive lung diseases, which includes emphysema, refractory asthma and chronic bronchitis, causes breathlessness and other symptoms. While serious, COPD can often be managed with the right diagnosis and treatment. That’s where the pulmonologists at St. Thomas Medical Group in Nashville come in.

What Are the Symptoms of COPD?

COPD symptoms don’t typically occur until damage has already been done to the lungs. Classic signs and symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath (especially when exercising)
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Chronic cough
  • Having the need to clear your throat upon waking in the morning

Some individuals may experience additional symptoms, such as swelling in the ankles, cyanosis (blue discoloration of the lips or fingernail beds) and unintended weight loss.

How Do I Know If I Have COPD?

If you have difficulty breathing or experience any of the above symptoms, see a doctor for an evaluation. Only a physician can diagnose COPD. This disease is frequently misdiagnosed, which is why it’s important to see a pulmonologist familiar with COPD and other respiratory disorders.

In diagnosing COPD, your pulmonologist may order one or more of these tests: chest x-ray, lung function test or CT scan. (This list is not comprehensive.)

COPD Treatments | Pulmonologists in Nashville

If you currently smoke, quitting will be one of the first recommendations your provider will make for treating COPD. Continuing to smoke will worsen your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Other treatments include…

  • Medication
  • Lung Therapies
  • Surgery

Medication for COPD

There is a wide range of medications available for COPD. Some medications, such as bronchodilators or steroids, may be inhaled. Others are taken orally; these include oral steroids, theophylline, and antibiotics (for use in treating respiratory infections).

Lung Therapies

If you have moderate or severe COPD, your pulmonologist may recommend oxygen therapy for raising the oxygen levels in your blood; many of these devices are lightweight and portable, while others are only used while sleeping.

Surgery for COPD

If more conservative therapies are not delivering the results needed, then your pulmonary specialist may recommend surgery as a last resort. Lung volume reduction surgery (just one example) can make more room in your chest cavity for healthy lung tissue to expand. Additional surgical therapies may be available, depending on the specifics of your COPD.

See a Pulmonologist In Nashville at St. Thomas Medical Group

Schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist at St. Thomas Medical Group, conveniently located at the intersection of Green Hills, Sylvan Park and Belle Meade. Call +1 (615) 964-5864.

The 5 Best Free Exercises Classes In Nashville

When it comes to exercise, the best option is simply the one that’s most likely to engage you. If you absolutely hate running, don’t try to make running a part of your life… you have other options, after all, that are more likely to keep you active and motivated.

One of the best parts about living in Tennessee’s fastest growing city is that there are always more forms of exercise to discover every month. Many of these options are free! Check out a few of our favorite free exercise classes in Nashville…

#1 Stroller Strong Moms

Go SLAM (Sweat Like a Mother) with other mamas and their kids in this full-body workout, which meets throughout the week at Mana Sports Club and Gordon JCC. Participants build muscle while increasing endurance and flexibility. Stroller Strong Moms is a great option for moms who would like to have their kids with them. Keep the kids moving in the stroller or, if they’re big enough, have them join in the workout with you. First class is free.

Get the details!

#2 East Nasty Running Club

We’ve mentioned the East Nasty Running Club before on the blog, but they get a repeat mention for making “East Nashville a great place to live and run, and [for making] running accessible to everyone in our community.” Join them on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m., or join one of their race training programs. This organization is free and completely run by volunteers. However, they do suggest a $10 donation per runner per year to help cover insurance costs.

Get the details!

#3 F3 Nashville

From 5:30 a.m. to 6:15 a.m., men all over Middle Tennessee, from Sylvan Park to Murfreesboro, gather for free participant-led bootcamps. In the words of F3, “All you have to do is show up. It really is free. You don’t have to be in shape.” What do you have to lose? Find a group in your neighborhood. (There are currently more than 1,400 groups meeting around the U.S.)

Get the details!

#4 Orangetheory Fitness

If you want to get your heart rate up, there are few classes more suited for the job than an Orangetheory Fitness class. A national brand, Orangetheory offers curious locals one free class at any of its three Nashville locations (Midtown, Green Hills, West Nashville).

Get the details!

#5 Kickboxing Classes

Hotbox and TITLE Boxing are two excellent options for getting a high intensity workout. Fire away at a punching bag under your instructor’s guidance… then, keep your heart rate high in between those rapid punches with additional cardio. First class is free.

Get the details! (Hotbox)
Get the details! (TITLE Boxing)

Exercise Questions? See a Doctor in Nashville Here!

Need help developing an exercise plan that serves your health and wellness goals? Our Nashville doctors at St. Thomas Medical Group can work with you to develop healthy diet and exercise habits that can serve you for years to come. Call +1 (615) 297-2700 or schedule your appointment online.

Should You See a Rheumatologist for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For many, the chronic joint pain significantly inhibits daily quality of life. Unlike osteoarthritis, which typically affects some joints but not others, rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body.

Individuals with RA may experience joints that are red, hot and swollen. Needless to say, this condition can be quite painful. Other common symptoms include fever, fatigue, and energy loss.

The fact that we don’t know what causes RA is one reason why this autoimmune disease is so complex. Furthermore, there isn’t a standard test for diagnosing RA. Specially trained physicians, known as rheumatologists, must evaluate patients and recommend appropriate tests in order to make a diagnosis.

Why See a Rheumatologist for RA?

RA can be a complex disease, and the symptoms of RA can oftentimes be mistaken for something else. For this reason, it’s recommended that patients who have been diagnosed with RA – or exhibit RA-like symptoms – see a rheumatologist for care.

A rheumatologist may be able to offer an accurate diagnosis while avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures, which may be costly or uncomfortable. Also, a board-certified rheumatologist can recommend appropriate therapies based on extensive knowledge of this autoimmune disease. Many rheumatology providers even specialize in ultrasound-guided injections and other therapies commonly used in treating RA.

Ultrasound-Guided Injections for RA

There are several medications that can be injected directly into joints damaged by RA. Corticosteroids are one commonly injected medication. These injections can be helpful for lubricating the joint and providing relief from inflammation.

The Good News About RA

While rheumatoid arthritis is a serious diagnosis, the good news is that the earlier it’s diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. And earlier treatment may lead to better outcomes in many cases.

Ready to See a Rheumatologist In Nashville?

Are you ready to see a rheumatologist for the specialized care you deserve? Schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist in Nashville at St. Thomas Medical Group by calling +1 (615) 964-5823. Not quite ready to schedule? Have questions about insurance, billing, or other aspects of care? Please feel free to contact us!