What You Need to Know About Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A person stands in front of the mirror and glances at their reflection; they perceive their image to be severely unattractive or obese.  They become obsessed with a particular body part and deem it to be an extreme defect that alters their appearance. While this is their perception, in reality no one else sees these physical characteristics.

There is a possibility that this person may be suffering from a chronic body-image disorder known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is a compulsive obsession with an imagined or exaggerated physical trait that often no one else can see.

BDD is known to occur in both men and women and usually begins during teenage years or early adulthood.  Factors that may contribute to the development of BDD are

  • Low self-esteem
  • Traumatic events
  • Genetics
  • The influence of others who are critical of the person’s physical appearance

Characteristics of the disorder may include an obsession with skin imperfections such as scars or wrinkles, facial features (it is very common for those afflicted with BDD to be obsessed with size of the nose), body weight and hair. There are several behaviors that are identifiable with BDD, they are:

  • Constantly looking in the mirror and trying to cover up the perceived defect
  • Asking for reassurance that the defect is not obvious
  • Isolation from people due to the belief that imperfections will be noticed
  • Becoming increasingly self-conscious
  • Avoiding mirrors
  • Excessive grooming in an effort to cover up a flaw
  • Frequently consulting plastic surgeons or undergoing cosmetic procedures
  • Developing other psychological disorders such as eating and anxiety disorders

If someone you know is exhibiting these behaviors, it is recommended that they seek help immediately as this disorder can lead to self-harm. Once diagnosed with BDD, treatment will usually include a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, group or family therapy and medication. For more information about body dysmorphic disorders or treatment please contact Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry at 718-670-4416.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are you at Risk for Hep C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a disease that infects and causes damage to the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus and is spread from person to person through contact with blood. Over time, this disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and ultimately, liver failure.

Although hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States, many people do not know they have the disease until they are donating blood or are diagnosed with liver damage.  The symptoms of HCV can take years to present and may include:

  • Joint pain
  • Sore muscles
  • Dark urine
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes (jaundice) and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored bowel movements

Learning the risk factors of hepatitis C and receiving treatment promptly can reduce the severity of symptoms. Talk to your doctor about getting tested if the following pertains to you:

  • You were born between 1945 and 1965
  • You are infected with HIV
  • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July, 1992
  • You are having or have had unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • You are a current or former drug injection user and have shared needles
  • You work in an environment where you are exposed to blood through a needle stick
  • You have liver disease or have received abnormal liver test results
  • You were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • Your mother had hepatitis C when she gave birth to you

If diagnosed with hepatitis C, consider seeing a specialist who is trained and experienced in treating patients with your condition. There are several therapies and medications that your doctor may recommend.  A complete list of approved medications and treatments for HCV can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Importance of Pre-Natal Vitamins

Proper nutrition during pregnancy is so important to both mom and her developing baby.

Eating well-balanced meals should be every expectant mother’s goal, unfortunately, it isn’t always possible. In order to make sure that mother and child are getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary, doctors will often prescribe a prenatal vitamin.

One of the key ingredients in a prenatal vitamin is folic acid. This is important because it will help to prevent neural tube defects which lead to abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. It is also important to have the proper amount of vitamin D and calcium as they are important for bone development and growth. If an expectant mom doesn’t have a diet with sufficient quantities of dairy products fortified with vitamin D or other calcium-rich food, then she could consider a supplement containing them.

Prenatal vitamins should contain iron (30 mg), vitamin C (50 mg), zinc (15 mg), copper (2mg), and vitamin B-6 (2mg)

The best way to take prenatal vitamins is starting  them before you conceive so there is a proper level of these vitamins and minerals in the body from the very beginning of pregnancy. Continue to take them during the full term of the pregnancy and continue them if you are going to breastfeed.

Prenatal vitamins are not meant to substitute for well-balanced meals but they certainly serve a very important role in keeping mom and her baby healthy. Before you start taking prenatal vitamins you should consult with your physician.

If you would like to make an appointment to see at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Obstetric’s and Gynecology call 718-670-8992 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight – Lois Pettis, LPN, Office Manager Wound Care Center

This month’s Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Employee Spotlight shines on Lois Pettis, LPN and Office Manager of the Wound Care Program.

Lois has one daughter, Maya Pettis .  Being widowed at a young age and having to raise  Maya on her own, Lois had to really focus on becoming the sole provider, caretaker and role model for her daughter.  She achieved those goals through her deep faith, positive attitude and strong work ethic.  Lois believes in leading by example and lead she does! That is why she is quick to beam with pride about the fact that Maya will soon be a graduate of Fordham University.

Originally from North Carolina, Lois and Maya have made their home in Rosedale, Queens where they are deeply involved with their church.  In fact, Lois is part of the Nurses Board at the church.

Lois Pettis feels that when you are in the medical profession, your calling is not only to be used when you are at your workplace. “I try to make everyone feel important.   That is very important to me- everyone deserves to be made to feel special,” stated Lois.  The “personal touch” is what she strives for her patients to feel, in addition to getting excellent health care.

Lois Pettis is a beloved member of the Wound Care Team.  A “normal” day for Lois Pettis is never completely normal.  Most of her day is spent scheduling patients, meeting with patients, speaking with insurance providers, family members and working on staffing issues.

“Lois is best known for her welcoming smile and gentle nature with our staff and patients.  She is an asset to our department and a large part of why our wound care center is so successful” said Fran Pugliese, Director of the Wound Care Center.

When asked what motivates her to do her job so well, Lois answers with a wide smile, “The patients! You have to understand that our patients sometimes come in for treatment multiple times a week.  You get to know them, their story and their family members.  They become family to us.”

Lois Pettis is a success in both her personal and professional life.  She is registered LPN, registrar, billing and coding expert, and will soon start a Master’s program in Hospital Administration.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally? Cataracts are very common in older adults- in fact; it is estimated that more than 75% of people over the age of 65 will develop cataracts.  Although less common, people can develop this medical condition in their forties and fifties as well.

As you age, proteins in the eye begin to break down, causing clouding in the lens and the formation of cataracts. Many who are affected are unaware that this process is occurring because cataracts grow very slowly and does not impede vision during its early stages.   There are symptoms that can indicate the development of cataracts. Here are some that you can look out for:

  • Colors appear faded
  • Clarity in vision decreases and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses
  • An increase in sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos appearing around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyewear
  • Double vision

Some people are more at risk of developing cataracts than others. These factors increase your risks:

  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to prolonged durations of sunlight
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Advanced age
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or surgery

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this time, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants you to know, there are several things you can do to be proactive and slow the progression of cataracts.  Eating healthy is a good start. A balanced diet rich in vitamin C has shown to be effective.  Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the Sun’s UV rays.  If you are a smoker- stop smoking and drink in moderation.  Early detection can save your eyesight therefore, scheduling routine eye exams is very important.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Tips from Yan-Qun Sun, MD

Yan-Qun Sun, MD is an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Sun specializes in the diagnosis a surgical treatment of injuries and disorders involving the musculoskeletal system, such as hip replacements, arthroscopic surgery, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, ankle and knee and congenital disorders.

With the summer at hand and a milder climate that may make you take in the activities enjoyed in the great outdoors such as, running, powerwalking and hiking; Dr. Sun would like to give you a few tips on how to identify and treat a mildly sprained ankle.

As Dr. Sun described, “An ankle sprain occurs when you have stretched or torn the ligaments in your ankle. This is often caused by making too quick of a movement, which forces the joint out of its normal position.”

Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage has been done to the ligaments.  Typically symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Stiffness or restricted range of motion
  • Redness or warmth in the area

If your symptoms are mild you can treat your injury by:

  • Applying ice- This will help in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Resting the ankle- This can be done by using crutches and keeping the affected leg elevated.
  • Taking over the counter (OTC) painkillers- OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen are effective in managing pain and swelling.
  • Applying compressions- Wrapping your ankle with adhesive bandages or wearing a brace will help reduce swelling and provide protection.

Typically mild sprains tend to last seven to ten days; however, if you are experiencing intense pain, abnormal swelling and are unable to place weight on your ankle, it is likely that your case is severe and needs immediate medical attention.

If  left untreated severe ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability, chronic pain and early onset arthritis.  To reduce the risk of furthering your injury, schedule an appointment with your doctor if symptoms continue past 10 days.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun at Flushing Hospital Medical Center call 718-521-4206.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Practicing Yoga Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Practicing yoga can give your overall health an added boost.  Studies have found that it is also helpful in fighting hypertension when combined with other methods of management such as a healthy diet, medication and aerobic exercise.  Research indicates that on average patients who incorporated yoga into their care management routine saw a notable reduction in their systolic blood pressure (top number) and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).

It is believed that yoga is an effective complementary treatment for hypertension because it increases and strengthens the body’s ability to take in oxygen.  Additionally it can help improve resiliency to stress; a trigger in elevating blood pressure levels.

If you decide to include yoga as a part of your care, it is important to know that not all yoga poses are created equal in high blood pressure management. There are some poses that are helpful and there are others that can be harmful.

Yoga poses that can be beneficial are:

  • Bridge pose
  • Posterior stretch pose
  • Savasana pose
  • Child pose

Yoga poses that should be avoided or modified include:

  • Bow pose
  • Camel pose
  • Feathered peacock pose
  • Balasana pose

It is important that you speak with your physician before trying yoga.  Your physician will assess your health and advise if you are physically capable.  If your doctor has given you the green light, inform your yoga instructor about your hypertension.  This information will help in the prevention of injuries or the exacerbation of your medical condition.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

World No Tobacco Day at FHMC

May 31, 2017, is World No Tobacco Day.  On this day, the World Health Organization (WHO) asks that healthcare providers highlight the negative effects that smoking can have on a person’s health.  This year’s theme is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) is participating in World No Tobacco Day by hosting an educational forum on how to quit smoking and the negative effects smoking has on your health.  The informational forum was provided for employees, hospital visitors and community members.

To further help those who want to quit, the FHMC Smoking Cessation Team can host classes in both English and Spanish and work out an individualized quit plan the Asian Community to help make the transition from smoker to non-smoker easier.

If you are interested in quitting, you can contact the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Smoking Cessation Navigators. Call 718-670-3146 for more information.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Slow Changes Can Lead to Wellness

Rear view of young hiking couple walking through field

When looking for a routine that can bring wellness to your entire being, you don’t have to climb a mountain in Tibet or strip away all food you love. Experts say that the best way to bring a wellness routine into your life is through a series of small changes that will gradually make a difference.

Changes such as:
◾Meditation – Take a moment in the morning to meditate. It will set the tone for the day and clear your head to prepare for what the day may bring.
◾Music – Play calming music. The body’s internal rhythms sync with the rhythms of music. By focusing on the music and its melody, you will start to feel your breathing and heart rate begin to slow down, bringing you to a much calmer place
◾Plan a trip – According to research, happiness spikes when planning a trip.
ut down your smartphone – When the impulse to pick up your phone comes, and you resist it, you may feel a wave of anxiety. Don’t panic! Breath through the anxiety and you will see that there is calm that will follow.
◾Breathe deeply – Sit in a comfortable place, breathe naturally and settle your attention on your breath. With each inhale and exhale, mentally repeat the words “in” and “out.” Even if you mind wanders, don’t get distracted; just bring your attention back to your breathing.
◾Don’t check your email when you first wake up – When you wake, sit silently and allow your mind to wander. Take 10 minutes to just center yourself before you start your day.
◾Walk – Use part of your lunch break to take a walk. This activity will aid with digestion, keep you active and relieve stress.

No one likes change and it rarely comes easy. That’s why slowly incorporating small steps toward your goals overtime can lead to huge changes in the long run.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Lyme Disease Prevention Tips

shermankleinpic

With summer approaching we will be spending more time doing activities outdoors in areas such as parks, forests and hiking trails.  While getting out and keeping physically fit is strongly encouraged it is important to keep in mind that being in these areas can put you at risk for Lyme disease.

Dr. Sherman Klein, MD, specializing in Internal Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center offers the following information on Lyme disease, how it is spread, its symptoms, and treatment.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-born infection in New York City and in the United States.  On the east coast, Lyme disease is spread by the bite of a black-legged tick infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  Not all black-legged ticks carry this bacterium and, even if they are infected, they must be attached for at least 36 – 48 hours after a person is bitten to transmit the disease.

Blacklegged ticks are rarely found in NYC, but if you have been traveling in more rural areas of New York such as Westchester and Long Island you are at greater risk of coming into contact with an infected tick.

The annual number of cases of Lyme disease reported continues to rise each year in non-rural communities.

Some of the early warning signs of Lyme disease are:

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rash

These signs and symptoms may occur anywhere from three to 30 days after being bitten.  After an infected tick bite, a widening red area may appear at the infected site that is clear in the center, forming a bull’s eye appearance.

Dr. Klein suggests that the best way to avoid contracting Lyme disease is to avoid direct contact with ticks.  You can do this by avoiding wooded and brushy areas, and high grass.  If you are hiking, try to walk in the center of the trails and wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. If in a wooded area you should use a strong repellent.  Dr. Klein cautions that when using any repellent, you should avoid applying the solution to your hands, eyes and mouth.

Some of the tips to find and remove ticks from your body and clothing are:

  • Do a check of your entire body viewing under your arms, behind and in your ears, inside your navel, behind your knees, along your legs, waist and hair. Also, check your pet.
  • Take a shower soon after returning indoors. If you wash within two hours of returning indoors, the ticks are more easily found and washed off your body.
  • Once you are indoors, take your clothing and place them in the wash using hot water and then put them in the dryer on “high” for at least 10 minutes; if the clothes were washed in cold water, place them in the dryer on “high” for at least 90 minutes

If Lyme disease is left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body causing arthritis cardiac and nervous system problems.   Dr. Sherman Klein is one of the many qualified doctors specializing in Internal Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.  To schedule an appointment with him, or any of our other doctors, please call 718-670-5486

 

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.