When Do You Need Primary Care?

Apr 25, 2023
When Do You Need Primary Care?
You’re not feeling well. How do you know when it’s time to see your primary care physician? Get guidance on what situations call for a visit to the doctor.

Your day has basically stopped because you’re sick. Maybe it’s a cough with cold symptoms. It could be anything from digestive issues to frequent headaches. Do you need to go to the doctor? Sometimes it’s hard to tell without some guidelines. 

Jason Sims, DO provides expert primary care services from his office in the Kendall-Whittier area of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Consider him your health care manager. Dr. Sims performs annual physical exams, gives vaccinations, and focuses on preventive care and wellness screenings. He helps you manage chronic conditions, coordinates your care, and provides referrals to specialists when you need them.  

Following are some of the situations that call for a visit to Dr. Sims. 

Cold/flu symptoms that don’t get better

The common cold gets better in a little over a week. The runny nose and nasal congestion are inconvenient, but you can manage. 

With that said, it’s time to call Dr. Sims if your symptoms are more severe and you experience any of the following: 

  • A fever of 101 degrees or more 
  • Sore throat with white spots or difficulty swallowing 
  • A persistent cough that lasts more than two weeks
  • Earache
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days or get worse instead of better

Diarrhea/problem with bowel movements

If you have diarrhea for a day or so and then it clears up, it’s probably something you ate or a 24-hour virus. However, some bowel symptoms may signal more serious conditions. You need to be checked if you experience any of the following problems:  

  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Black stools
  • Blood in your bowel movement 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Signs of dehydration (very dry mouth or skin, fatigue, decreased urination, confusion, or irritability)

Persistent/severe headaches

Everyone gets headaches occasionally. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you need to schedule a doctor’s appointment: 

  • Frequent headaches 
  • More severe headaches
  • Headaches that don’t resolve after taking over-the-counter pain medication

If you have a stiff neck, a high fever, or difficulty speaking or walking with a headache, call 911. 

Digestive tract problems

Call our office if you have any of the following symptoms: 

  • Painful swallowing; a sensation that food is trapped in your upper chest or throat 
  • Heartburn that doesn’t resolve with over-the-counter medicine 
  • Persistent hoarseness/sore throat
  • Persistent nausea 
  • Vomiting blood or green bile 
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent constipation or diarrhea

Unexplained musculoskeletal pain 

You understand that sometimes you’re sore after a hard workout or from hitting your knee against the bedpost. However, if you have unexplained musculoskeletal pain or any of the following symptoms, call our office: 

  • Pain that doesn’t resolve
  • Pain that spreads down one or both legs
  • Pain with weakness, numbness, or tingling that runs down the leg(s)
  • Pain and unexplained weight loss
  • Pain with swelling or redness on the skin 
  • Pain with a fever

Head injury

If you hit your head from a fall or an accident, seek medical attention right away. You could have a concussion. 

Call the Higher Care Clinic today or book an appointment online for expert primary care.