Hepatitis C

Hepatitis is a virus that causes an inflammation of the liver. The liver is an organ in the body that processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections. The most common forms of hepatitis are A, B, and C.

Hepatitis B and C are spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids.  Hepatitis A can be transmitted by coming in contact with food or objects that are contaminated, and can also be spread from person to person. There are ways to reduce the rate of transmission for the virus; here a few:

  • Using sterile equipment for injections
  • Practicing safe sex
  • Encouraging people to receive appropriate vaccinations

Many people have the hepatitis virus and are unaware of it. It is possible to remain without symptoms for many years while the disease is slowly destroying the liver. When symptoms do occur, they include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue

Blood tests are available that can detect the virus at an early stage.  Early detection and treatment can lessen the effects of the virus. Medication exists that can cure hepatitis C and can control hepatitis B infections. When given properly, people are less likely to die from liver cancer and cirrhosis and also are less likely to transmit the disease to others. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses over a 6 month period and it is recommended that the first dose is administered right after birth if possible.  Mild cases of Hepatitis typically do not require treatment and most people who are infected recover without developing permanent liver damage.  A vaccine is available for those who are at risk.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, 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.

Holiday Tips For People With Diabetes

The holiday season is here and it seems like everywhere we go a variety of treats are being served.  It becomes hard to resist temptation and we may eat more than we normally do.

While overeating is not a good idea for anyone, people who have diabetes have to be very mindful of the things they eat and practice healthy habits.

 

Following these tips can help diabetics to manage their health and still enjoy the holidays:
• Try to keep to a regular schedule of when you eat.
• If you are going to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish with you.
• Cut back on food high in carbohydrates and fat if you are going to be eating sweets
• Don’t skip meals in anticipation of eating one big one, that could lead to overeating.
• Make sure you find time for some exercise to burn up the extra calories
• Eat the things you enjoy, but try to watch the portion sizes
• Get plenty of rest.
• Check your blood sugar regularly.
• Try not to consume a lot of soda or alcoholic beverages.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to have your diabetes checked, 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.

Addiction

Addiction is a very complex chronic condition that causes a person to be dependent on performing an activity or taking a chemical substance in order to get through the day. It is a chronic disorder with psychosocial, environmental, and biological influences that affect a person’s behavior. Very often an addiction can have detrimental effects on a person’s well-being and ability to function normally.
Some of the substances and activities frequently associated with addiction include:
• Alcohol
• Marijuana
• Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP)
• Inhaled substances ( glue and paint thinner)
• Opioid pain killers
• Tobacco
• Sedatives
• Gambling
• Sex
People who are addicts may build up a level of tolerance to whatever it is they are addicted to and may need more and more to satisfy their cravings. If a person who has an addiction is not able to meet the demands of their addiction, their behavior can change dramatically and cause them to act irrationally until the cravings are satisfied.
Some of the reasons people become addicted to a substance or an activity include:
• Feeling of pleasure
• Relief from stress
• Performance improvement
• Peer pressure curiosity
Professional help for the different types of addiction disorders do exist. The first step is usually having the person with the addiction realize that they have a problem and be willing to try to treat it.  It is helpful if the reasons that a person has become addicted to a drug or an activity can be identified when trying to determine the appropriate plan of action.  Often treatment options may include prescribed medications along with individual or group counseling.  Flushing Hospital offers a specialized unit for people who have addiction problems. To schedule an appointment with this department, please call 718-670-5078.

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 Great American Smokeout

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society encourages everyone to take part in the Great American Smokeout. This event helps to make people aware of the dangers of using tobacco products as well as the tools that are available to help them quit smoking.
The Great American Smokeout started in 1970 in a small town in Massachusetts. People were asked to give up smoking for one day and to take the money that they would have spent on cigarettes and donate it to a local high school scholarship fund. The event spread to other cities both large and small and eventually led to legislation that bans smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces both indoors and outdoors.
Smoking  is responsible for one in five deaths in the United States today. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Smoking is also the cause of cancer of the larynx, mouth, sinuses, throat, esophagus, and the bladder. The number of people who smoke has dramatically decreased in the United States since the anti-smoking campaigns began. In 1965 it was estimated that over 40 percent of the population were smokers and today that number is around 18 percent.
Smokers have the best chances of quitting if they use at least two of the following methods:
• Smoking Cessation Groups
• Nicotine substitute products
• Support from family and friends
• Telephone quit lines
• Counseling
• Prescription medications that help to reduce the urge to smoke
If you would like more information about quitting smoking please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital to discuss smoking cessation, please call 718

-206-8494.

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.

Diabetes Awareness Month

The month of November has been designated American Diabetes Awareness Month by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Diabetes affects nearly 30 million people in the United States which is ten percent of the total population. There are 86 million more people who have pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing type II diabetes during their lifetime.
There is no cure for diabetes but there are many ways for people who have been diagnosed with the disease to live long, healthy lives if it is controlled properly. Learning to live with diabetes is one of the most important components for managing the disease. Proper nutrition, regular physical activity, monitoring blood sugar daily and taking medication to control diabetes are some of the ways complications can be prevented.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to many complications. It is the leading cause of blindness, non traumatic amputations, kidney disease and also increases the risk for heart attacks.
During the month of November, the ADA sponsors events around the country that serve to make people aware of the risk factors and the warning signs of diabetes. For more information on events taking place, please see the American Diabetes Association’s website at www.diabetes.org. It is important to have regular medical exams to manage diabetes successfully. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital 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.

Receding Gums

Receding gums, also known as gingivitis, is a condition where the gum tissue pulls back from the bottom of the teeth, exposing more of the tooth’s root. It may take a long period of time for receding gums to become noticeable and at first, it may not cause any discomfort. If it is left untreated it can cause tooth decay and eventual loss of a tooth or teeth.

Causes of receding gums:

  • Brushing teeth vigorously over a prolonged period of time
  • Family history
  • Irregular tooth positions
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Inadequate dental hygiene
  • Hormonal changes in women

There are a few things you can do to prevent receding gums and this includes brushing your teeth properly twice a day, regular flossing and professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist at least once a year.

Once gums have started to recede, a dentist can try a few methods to treat the condition. They can take tissue from other areas in the mouth, usually the roof of the mouth and try to graft it into the area where gum tissue is missing.  Dentists can also  apply a technique called root planning to deep clean the exposed tooth or they may use specialized materials on patients that will help the gum to regenerate over time.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, 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.

Halloween Safety Tips

Mother with her son and daughter in Halloween costumes

Halloween is known as a kid-favorite holiday full of spooky fun and lots of candy.  However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as children take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treat goodies.

Statistics show that roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year.  Also, injuries such as falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween.

Parents can help minimize the risk of children getting injured at Halloween by following these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council.

On Halloween children should:

  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches than entering houses.
  • Travel in small groups accompanied by an adult.
  • Use costume plastic knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
  • When walking through neighborhoods trick or treating, use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross at the corner, use crosswalks and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Be sure to stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing or costumes that are bright, reflective and flame retardant.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over children’s eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.
  • Be reminded to look left, right and left again before crossing a street.

On Halloween parents and adults should:

  • Supervise the trick or treat outing for children under age 12.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such a gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick or treaters.
  • Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways slowly and carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curbs side, not on the traffic side.

By following these simple tips, you and your children can have a safe and fun Halloween!

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.

Ways to Prevent Acid Reflux

How many times have you eaten something you wish you had not because you ended up with a burning sensation in your chest? This is a classic symptom of acid reflux, a condition also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Acid reflux is a common condition where the symptoms typically last for a few hours. Symptoms of acid reflux are a burning sensation in the abdomen and lower esophagus.                                   There are several things you can do to reduce the occurrence of acid reflux:
• Don’t eat a big meal before going to bed.
• Stop smoking.
• Elevate the head of your bed so that your head is higher than your abdomen.
• Avoid tight clothing that press on your abdomen.
• Reduce your consumption of alcohol.
If you are experiencing symptoms of acid reflux on a regular basis you should consult with a physician who may want to perform tests to find out how serious the condition is. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, 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.

How to Prevent the Flu

It is nearing the middle of October and it is also the beginning of flu season. None of us want to catch the flu so it is a good idea to take some preventative measures that can help us to stay healthy.
Here are a few of the ways we can prevent getting the flu:
• Everyone who is six months of age and older should get the vaccine every year
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
• Keep a hand sanitizer handy for the times soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Whenever possible, disinfect surfaces that are frequently used by others such as tables and chairs.
• Clean your drinking glasses and dishes in hot water and with soap
• Keep your immune system healthy by eating a balanced diet, exercising  regularly and getting enough sleep every night
• Tobacco can suppress the immune system, so it is highly recommended to quit smoking.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss the flu vaccine and other ways to stay healthy, 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.

How Smoking Can Affect Digestion

Smoking can affect the body’s ability to operate properly. One of the body’s functions that smoking greatly affects is digestion.

Many organs are associated with the digestive system and they produce chemicals that aid in the breakdown of the food into nutrients and other substances that the body needs to survive. All of these organs are susceptible to changes due to the effects of smoking.

Not only can smoking elevate the risk for cancer in any of these organs but because of the body’s response to the irritants it contains, smoking can also lead to:

  • Heartburn
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Liver disease
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Polyps
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis

Smoking can increase the production of pepsin which can harm the lining of the stomach, and it can have an effect on blood flow to the lining of the digestive tract which will inhibit healing. There is also a decrease in the amount of mucous that is produced and this will cause irritation of the lining of these organs because the protective layer is diminished.

One of the ways to prevent the effects of smoking on the digestive system is to stop smoking. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to find out which way may be best for you, 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.