What Time Do You Eat Dinner ?

Family Enjoying Meal At Home Together

Typically people eat dinner between 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM. Dinner time fifty years ago people ate between 5:00 PM and 6:30PM but now due to work and commuting schedules dinner time for many of us has shifted to eating later. The time that most people sit down for their dinner also varies in different parts of the country and the world. In some places around the world dinner isn’t eaten until 9 o’clock or later.

Research has shown though that eating a big dinner close to bed time can lead to weight gain because you probably won’t burn up all of the calories you take in. Also, late night eating can increase the amount of glucose and insulin in your body which can have an Effect on your ability to fall asleep. If you are going to be eating dinner late at night, it is best to make it a light one.

 

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.

Irritable Bowel Awareness Month

April is Irritable Bowel Awareness Month. For many people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), finding out which foods agree with them and which foods cause them discomfort, is essential to living successfully with the disease.
IBS is a condition whereby certain foods will cause intestinal discomfort after being consumed. These symptoms can include:
• Bloating
• Gas
• Nausea
• Abdominal cramps
• Diarrhea or Constipation
There is no general rule of what to eat and what to avoid in treating IBS. A physician will go through a patient’s daily diet and see if there are certain foods that are more likely to act as irritants. Foods that typically cause a problem for people with IBS  have a high concentration of insoluble fiber which are found primarily in whole grains and vegetables and that do not dissolve in water.  Insoluble fiber rich foods pass through the intestine almost intact and can act as a natural laxative.  The foods that physicians who treat this disease recommend avoiding include:
• Nuts
• Caffeine
• Chocolate
• Beans
• Cabbage
• Raisins
• Broccoli
The act of eating and chewing stimulates the digestive tract.  It has been suggested that instead of eating one or two full meals every day, eating five or six smaller portion meals may prevent   the digestive tract from becoming over stimulated.
To make an appointment with a physician specializing in IBS at Flushing Hospital please call 718-670-5486.

Businessman with stomach ache

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.

Memory Loss

Some degree of memory loss is common as people get older. It is not uncommon to forget momentarily where you left your car keys, your eyeglasses or the name of someone you know.  It is when these occurrences become more frequent that it may indicate a serious problem. Severe memory loss may be related to dementia which indicates that there are problems with reasoning, judgment, and progressively worsening memory. These symptoms may eventually inhibit a person’s ability to work and function independently.
There can be many causes of memory loss. These include:
• Alcohol, tobacco and drug use
• Vitamin B-12 deficiency
• Sleep deprivation
• Depression and stress
• Medications some examples being antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety, tranquilizers, sleeping pills pain medication
• Head injury
• Stroke
• HIV
• Syphilis
The treatment for memory loss will depend on what is causing it. If it is due to taking certain medications than alternative treatment may be the way to treat a condition.  The first step in diagnosing the cause of memory loss will be a general physical exam by a physician that will include questions and the ability to answer them appropriately.  If you think that you are experiencing memory loss and would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

Talking with Grandma

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.

History of Medical Imaging – A Brief Overview

The concept of medical imaging began in 1895 with the invention of the x-ray by a German professor of physics, Wilhelm Rontgen. The concept of x-ray is based on the principle of passing ionizing radiation through the body and having the images projected on a photosensitive plate placed behind it. The different densities of the tissues within the body will be detected when the plate is developed and will be able to show abnormalities that may be present. In the early 1900’s it was discovered that by using pharmaceutical contrast agents it would be possible to see organs and blood vessels.
In the 1950’s nuclear medicine started to utilized as a way to diagnose pathology in the body. This is based on having the patient infused with radionucleotides that are combined with pharmaceutical compounds that will find their way to organs or groups of cells that are more active than others. These images are recorded by a gamma camera and can detect medical problems earlier than other tests.
During the 1960’s sonar was beginning to be used after having been used for many years as a war time tool to detect enemy ships during World War Two.  High frequency sound waves are transmitted through a probe into the body and these sound waves are then bounced back to the probe where they are converted into electrical pulses showing us images on a screen.
In the 1970’s Computed Tomography (CT scan) was developed. The concept of this technology is to take a serial series of images of slices of the body and to then put them back together with a computer to visualize internal structures of the body.
Also in the 1970’s the technology of MRI was developed which works on the principle of nuclear magnetic relaxation times. With the very powerful magnetic forces that are used, the alignment of protons in the cells will be examined to determine if there is a problem with tissues in the body.
Medical imaging has improved immensely since the first x-rays were taken over 120 years ago. There is much more accuracy in diagnosing a medical problem and because of these advances, there is also much less need to perform exploratory surgery. This hopefully will lead to early diagnosis and better treatment options for many patients.200470369-001

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.

Chemical Dependency Unit

Mid adult woman sprawled on a mattress with vials of pills strewn on the floor

Chemical dependency is a term used to describe a disease characterized by the addiction to mood- altering chemicals found in legal or illegal drugs or alcohol. Some of the causes of chemical abuse and dependence are environmental stressors, social pressures, psychiatric problems or possible genetic traits.

People who have a chemical dependence most often abuse one or more of these agents:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Inhalants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Methamphetamine
  • Pain medications

Warning signs that indicate a growing chemical dependence on these substances include:

  • Developing a tolerance to use more alcohol or drugs to get a desired effect
  • Interference with work, school, and relationships
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using or recovering from the use of substances
  • Craving drugs or alcohol on a continuing basis
  • Having withdrawal symptoms if drugs or alcohol are not available

The Chemical Dependency Unit at Flushing Hospital is a medically managed detoxification unit that offers safe withdrawal from alcohol and drugs. Culturally-sensitive treatment is provided by a dedicated and caring staff that consists of physicians, physicians’ assistants, specially trained nurses, credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors, creative arts therapists, social workers, and psychiatric consultants. Their focus is stabilizing the individual physically and emotionally so they can start the recovery process.

In addition to providing treatment, educational groups are facilitated to help patients learn about addiction as well as creative arts groups to help patients understand and express their emotions. Also self-help groups, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous), conduct meetings on the unit to familiarize patients with the support services they provide.

Patients are admitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The length of stay is usually between three and seven days. Discharge plans are based on the individual needs of the patient.

For more information or to schedule an appointment at the Chemical Dependency Unit at Flushing Hospital, call 718-670-5540 or 718-670-5693.

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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.

Pulmonary Medicine

Two doctors having a discussion about an x-ray of a human lung

The specialty of Pulmonary Medicine concentrates on the respiratory system which includes the lungs, the upper airways, the thoracic cavity and the chest wall. Doctors that work with the pulmonary system are called pulmonologists. Some of the illnesses that they treat include asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) emphysema, lung cancer, and occupational lung diseases.
Flushing Hospital’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine offers a wide range of services to help diagnose and treat patients with lung disease.
Some of the diagnostic testing performed in the Pulmonary Function Lab includes:
• Spirometry
• Lung Volumes (nitrogen washout or body plethysmography)
• Diffusing capacity
• Arterial Blood Gas Testing
• Pulmonary Stress Test
• Six-minute Walk Test
• Sputum Induction
• Cold Air Exchange
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist 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.

Artificial Sweetners

Sweetener

Anyone who has ever tried to watch their weight, protect their teeth, or has been told that they have diabetes, has probably tried something made with an artificial sweetener. The concept of using sugar substitutes has been around for a very long time.  A researcher at Johns Hopkins University accidently discovered a product that would be developed into what we now know as saccharin in 1879. The use of artificial sweeteners as part of our daily lives became more prevalent in the mid 20th century.

There are six sugar substitutes that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in foods and beverages. These are aspartame, sucralose, stevia, neotame, saccharin, and acesulfame potassium. These products are very sweet and therefore only very small quantities need to be added to food and beverages to make them taste good.  For as long as these products made with artificial sweeteners have been available there has been controversy over any harmful side effects that they may pose. So far the FDA has not been able to substantiate any claims of harmful effects from their use.

As people in the United States have become more health conscious, the use of products made with artificial sweeteners has increased.  More and more products are being produced each year that are labeled “Sugar Free”, “Diet”, “Low-Cal”, “Light”, or “Artificially Sweetened”. People are naturally attracted to foods that taste sweet. It has been stated that the taste of sugar may even be addictive. While limiting the intake of sugar may be seen as a good trend, people seem to be consuming more of the artificially sweetened products which may not be beneficial in the long term. Over indulgence in products that are made with these artificial sweeteners can still cause weight gain.

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.

National Save Your Vision Month

Ophthalmologist examining a woman's eyes with a slit lamp

The month of March has been designated as “National Save Your Vision Month” by the American Optometric Association as a way to promote good eye health. This year, the campaign wants to bring attention to eye problems that can occur at work. More people are using electronic devices for both work and for pleasure than ever before and this can lead to eye problems for some people. This year the campaign wants to bring attention to eye problems that can occur at work.
People who use computers all the time, especially at work, should be aware of developing dry eyes, blurred vision and eye strain. This is because the eyes are focused for long periods of time on an object that is at a fixed distance rather than seeing objects that are moving or at varying distances which allow the muscles of the eyes to constantly move. Also, people who use computer screens for long periods of time don’t blink as frequently and this can lead to dry eyes. To alleviate some of these problems it is important to take a break from time to time and look out a window or at least look around the room.
Some tips for good eye health include keeping the computer monitor about twenty inches from your eyes, keeping the top of the screen tilted a little below eye level, the screen should be kept clean to avoid anything that can blur the images. It is also important to eat a healthy diet which will keep the eyes well nourished.
Regular eye exams can detect problems before they become serious. Correcting faulty vision early this can prevent the problem from becoming serious later on. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor 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.

Pneumonia

Examining chest x-ray

Examining chest x-ray

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, a virus or fungi. It is characterized by the air sacs in the lungs becoming inflamed and filling up with fluid or pus.  Pneumonia can vary in severity from very mild to life threatening and it is most serious in infants, young children, people who are older than 65 and people who have weakened immune systems. There are two ways it can affect the lungs: Lobar pneumonia is when only one lobe is affected and bronchial pneumonia is when both lungs are affected.
Since pneumonia affects the lungs, it can severely limit the ability of oxygen to reach the blood stream, affecting other organs’ ability to function properly.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:
• Difficulty breathing that causes chest pain
• Fatigue
• Cough with phlegm
• Fever, chills, sweating
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Rapid heartbeat
• Confusion
Risk factors for pneumonia include:
• Cigarette smoking
• Chronic lung disease (COPD, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis)
• Diabetes
• Cerebral Palsy
• Immunosuppression
• After surgery
There are a few ways to proactively prevent pneumonia. Anyone can develop pneumonia but those who are at high risk can ask their physician about getting a pneumonia vaccine. Practicing good hygiene and washing your hands frequently with soap and water and also using a hand sanitizer can be useful. It is also important to keep the body healthy by getting enough rest, proper nutrition, and exercise.
Pneumonia is diagnosed through a physical exam which will include listening to the lungs with a stethoscope and also may include a chest x-ray. Additional testing may include a blood test to check the white blood cell count, a sputum test, pulse oximetry or a bronchoscopy.
The treatment of simple pneumonia depends on the agent that is causing it. Many cases can be treated with antibiotics, cough medicine and fever reducer/pain reliever. More complex cases may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. If you are having difficulty breathing it is important to get checked by a physician to diagnose the reason why. 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.

Staph Infection on the Skin

Red pimple

Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) is a group of bacteria that can cause many diseases. It is commonly found on the skin in most people and it usually doesn’t cause infection until it enters the body through breaks in the skin or with food. These infections can range from being mild (not requiring any treatment) to very severe.
When staph infections develop on the skin, they can take on many different forms depending on the severity. The wound may be superficial (boils, abscess, furuncle) or deep (cellulitis). Usually these skin lesions are red, swollen and tender to the touch. There may also be pus that drains from the infection site. Severe infections which have entered the blood stream cause sepsis and manifest with high fever, chills, low blood pressure, and eventually shock.
Staph infections tend to be contagious when there is direct skin to skin contact with an infected wound.  They can also be transmitted with shared razors, gloves, socks, needles, and bandages. Prevention of staph infections can be achieved with frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with open wounds, and thorough cleansing of scrapes and cuts as soon as they occur.
People who are at higher risk for developing staph infections include:
• Diabetics
• Newborns
• Patients with cancer, lung disease, and vascular disease
• Intravenous drug users
• People with weakened immune systems
Treatment for staph infections depends on the severity. If it is a minor skin lesion, cleaning it with soap and water regularly may be sufficient whereas other wounds may require topical antibiotic ointments. More severe wounds will require surgical intervention and oral or intravenous antibiotics to control further spreading and eventually resolve the infection.
Minor skin rashes in children can be treated by a pediatrician and for adults by an internist or family medicine doctor.  More severe wounds and wounds that are difficult to heal may require the specialized care offered in the wound care clinic. To schedule an appointment with the appropriate physician, 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.