Can Some Bacteria be Good for You?

Bacteria. The word alone makes us think of infection, disease, and illness. We hate all bacteria, right?

ThinkstockPhotos-482096272Actually, there is such a thing as GOOD bacteria. They are called probiotics and they help you maintain a healthy digestive system. They do this by lowering “bad” bacteria that can cause infections and other problems. Sometimes we don’t have enough good bacteria in our systems (for instance, like when we are on antibiotics). A lack of good bacteria can cause a variety of digestive issues. By taking probiotics, we are replacing those good bacteria which are sometimes lost.

Probiotics are most commonly taken to help prevent or improve common digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Others have suggested that they are also beneficial in treating skin conditions, such as eczema, improving urinary and vaginal health, and preventing colds and allergies.

Your body naturally generates probiotics, but if you want to increase your good bacteria levels, you can take probiotics in supplement form or get them by eating certain foods, most notably yogurt and other fermented products.

Probiotics are natural so they are generally considered safe to take, even in supplement form. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor about the best way of incorporating probiotics into your diet.

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.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity affects approximately one in five children in the United States. Obesity is measured by taking a child’s body-mass index (BMI) and evaluating where this number falls on a BMI age-growth chart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a table to make it possible to compare the BMI with those of other children of the same age and height. Other factors that need to be considered are the type of body frame, musculature, and the child’s development pattern.

There are many reasons why a child may become obese. Often obese children come from families where there are poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity. Other contributing factors can include stress, boredom, and depression as well as living in a community with limited accessibility to healthy food choices.

Obesity in children puts them at risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis, and heart disease. It also makes children more prone to depression, low self-esteem and susceptible to bullying.

Ways to control a child’s weight include:

  • Limit fast food
  • Increase fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Limit sweet drinks
  • Limit desserts and unhealthy snacks
  • Eat together as a family when possible
  • Regulate portion sizes
  • Increase physical activity, not just exercise
  • Decrease the amount of time spent watching TV or on the computer

Flushing Hospital strives to help prevent childhood obesity by participating in workshops throughout the year at schools and at community health fairs by providing educational materials and guidance on proper nutrition. To speak with a pediatrician about childhood obesity, please call 718-670-5440 to schedule 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.

Importance of a Back to School Dental Check Up

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When planning your child’s return to school in the fall, as parents you have a list of supplies and purchases that need to me be made to make sure they have everything they need to have a great school year. While planning your child’s entrance back to school, make sure you schedule an appointment for your child’s dental check-up.

Healthy teeth are important to your child’s overall health. Did you know that a correlation between oral infections and diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity has been identified?  According to the National Institutes of Health, 20% to 30% of children and adolescents in the United States have chronic health conditions due to a lack of good oral hygiene.

Chronic illness may interfere with a child’s ability to succeed in school.  There has been statistical evidence that shows a direct link between chronic illness and missed school time that can lead to a decline in your child’s school performance.

Some ways to promote healthy teeth in your child are:

  • Brush teeth regularly – At the age of 3, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques by using a drop of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Avoid Sugar – Ingesting sweets brings about an acidity that causes decay-producing bacteria. A sugary snack can lead to a mouth full of cavities.
  • Regular dental treatments – Your child should see a dentist around the time of his/her first birthday and then regularly thereafter. It is important to establish a relationship of trust between your child and their dentist.

If you feel anxious about a visit to the dentist, try not to convey those feelings to your child.  Encourage your child to discuss any fears about visiting a dentist and be reassuring that the dental professional is there to help them.

If you are interested in making an appointment for your child to see a dentist, the Department of Dentistry at Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides valuable services to the community. For an appointment call, 718-670-5521.

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.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

When a person is recognized as having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, they demonstrate unreasonable thoughts and fears that make them perform repetitive and ritualized behaviors.  A person with OCD feels obliged to perform these actions as a way to reduce their stress and anxiety. They will feel that by not giving in to these impulses will cause something bad to happen, which can raise their stress and anxiety.
Traits of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders fall into themes:
• Washers  – have a fear of germs makes them wash their hands  over and over
• Checkers – will check to make sure a door is locked more than once
• Doubters and sinners – fearful that harm will occur to someone if everything isn’t done correctly
• Counters and arrangers – everything has to be in a certain order or something will go wrong
• Hoarders – hold on to everything so that nothing bad will occur
There are three main theories as to what causes obsessive compulsive disorder:
• Biology – caused by changes in the body’s chemical make-up or the way the brain functions.
• Environment – causes a person to respond to a triggering event that leads to the obsessive compulsive behavior.
• Genetics – may contribute to a person’s susceptibility to OCD and also a certain level of stress in a person’s life may be a factor.
What should a person do if they feel they may have obsessive compulsive disorder? The first step is to identify what traits they feel they are exhibiting that may be out of the ordinary. Consulting with a primary care physician about symptoms is a good place to begin. They may recommend seeing a mental health professional who can determine the degree of OCD and recommend psychotherapy and possibly medication to control the symptoms.  You can schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 718-670-5562

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.

Summer Weight Loss Tips For Kids

Is your child at risk of gaining weight this summer?

We consider summer to be a time when kids run around, go swimming and generally remain active. With all this physical activity, it is a common belief that children keep weight off or maybe even lose a few pounds in the summer, but that is not the case. There are many reasons why parents are now noticing that their children are actually gaining weight during the summer.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in America in recent decades. Now, one out of three children in this country is considered overweight or obese. When are children gaining the most weight?  Recent studies have revealed that during the summer, the rate of weight gain in children is double that of the rest of the year. Why?

One of the biggest contributing factors is that children today live a more sedentary lifestyle. During the school year, children participate in fitness programs, both during recess and in physical education classes. Without a regimented exercise program, children opt to spend their free time playing video games or watching television.

Another factor in summer weight gain is the foods children have access to in their home. In an effort to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits, many schools provide healthy alternatives for lunches and snacks during the year. During the summer, however, kids have access to whatever snacks are in the home. Kids will often choose unhealthy snacks, such as cookies, chips, and soda if they are available to them.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Flushing Hospital offers the following summer healthy living tips for your kids:

• Stock your home with healthy food options like yogurt, carrots, or summer fruits like peaches, berries, or melons.

• Make water the beverage of choice. Juices and sodas are high in calories and low in nutrients. To make water more flavorful, consider adding fruit slices or berries.

• Limit TV and video game usage. It will force kids to become more physically active and prevent them from enticing junk food commercials.

• Walk more. Everyone can do it. Incorporate regular family walks to the park or around the neighborhood.

• Be inventive. Not every child is interested in formal team sports, but every kid loves to run around. Encourage activities like hopscotch, jump rope or a simple game of “tag.”

• Be a role model. Children often take cues from their parent’s eating habits so if you want your kids to eat healthier, you should eat healthier

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.

Flushing Hospital is Honored for Services Offered to the Asian Community

The Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA) held their annual Asian Heritage Night awards ceremony this year at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The event was held to acknowledge and thank the efforts of health care organizations that are committed to improving health in the Asian American community, including Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

This year, Flushing Hospital was recognized for their dedication and commitment to creating a culturally sensitive environment where members of the Asian community can receive the highest quality care. During the ceremony, CAIPA officials presented Flushing Hospital Medical Center with a plaque that stated “In appreciation for your outstanding and culturally sensitive services to the Asian American community.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center understands the importance of providing quality care for our Asian community, which comprises roughly 35 percent of our patient population.  As a result, the hospital has taken many steps to meet the population’s needs, including hiring an ethnically diverse staff to help understand and meet the specific needs of those we serve, (over 200 members of Flushing’s staff are bi-lingual in either Chinese or Korean).

While Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides many services, two specific programs were highlighted

  1. Flushing Hospital’s dedicated Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program for Asian patients allows an otherwise private and cautious portion of our population an opportunity to share their feelings and experiences with Asian mental health professionals who can better understand the issues facing those in the Asian communities. This service designed specifically for the Asian community provides a forum to break down cultural barriers and address subjects that might not be addressed.
  2. Flushing Hospital’s Asian Hospitalists Program provides our Chinese and Korean speaking patients the opportunity to have dedicated Asian hospital-based physicians to oversee their care and address all of their needs in the language they are most comfortable communicating. This program allows for better outcomes as our Asian patients can more effectively share their medical issues directly with a physician who speaks their language, allowing our staff to provide the most appropriate care.

During the event, Flushing Hospital’s efforts were highlighted as part of a ten minute video that featured members of the hospital team including Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO, Dr. Daniel Chen, Assistant Chairman of Mental Health and Dr. Yueting Shang, Coordinator of the Hospitalist Program, who all shared the hospital’s commitment to patient care.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is proud of their relationship with the Asian American community and will continue to work to meet their healthcare needs and improve the overall wellness of those who depend on us.

 

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.

Arthritis Awareness Month

arthritis -599969806May has been designated National Arthritis Awareness Month and Flushing Hospital, along with the Arthritis Foundation want to raise awareness about conquering this disease.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America. It is not a single disease, but a grouping of conditions that affect joint pain.  There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.  More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. While arthritis can affect both men and women, it is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain and inability to do daily activities. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-rays. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

To learn more about arthritis, visit http://www.arthritis.org

If you think you have arthritis and would like to schedule an appointment, please call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

American Heart Month

Heart Disease

This month, many candy hearts will be exchanged in honor of Valentine’s Day, but Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants the community to give some thoughts to hearts that are not made of chocolate. That’s because February is also American Heart Month, a special designation intended to remind everyone the importance of heart health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States and the numbers are increasing. The good news is, by working with your doctor to monitor your condition and by making changes to your lifestyle, heart disease is preventable for most.

Here are some tips to improve your heart health

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can conduct a physical evaluation and test your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe certain medications to control both.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and control your weight. Obesity is one of the leading contributors to heart disease.
  • Increase your physical activity. By joining a gym or taking up walking, make exercise part of your daily routine
  • Monitor your alcohol intake and if you smoke, quit immediately. Cigarette smoke and alcohol are two factors that put individuals at an increased risk of heart disease.

Please make an appointment to see your doctor to have your heart checked immediately. If you do not have a doctor, you can make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486. If a heart condition is suspected, a referral can be to our Cardiology Department, where we can perform a variety of tests to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Join Flushing Hospital as we recognize American Heart Month. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and your regularly scheduled appointments, you can enjoy this Valentine’s Day with a clean bill of heart health.

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.

Preparing for Childbirth

Family With New Born Baby In Post Natal Hospital Department

Giving birth is one of the most beautiful experiences in a woman’s life. While every hospital will provide you with items to make your stay more comfortable, many people prefer to bring items from home to enhance their experience.

 

 

Some suggestions for the mom to be are :

• Insurance card
• Important phone numbers
• Cell phone and charger
• Comfortable clothing  (underwear, bathrobe, slippers, nightgown and pajamas)
• Items for personal hygiene (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, body lotion)
• A favorite pillow
For the baby:
• Receiving blanket
• Hat
• Clothing
• Socks
• It is also important to have a car seat for the day of discharge
Typically new moms tend to bring more supplies than they will need. Remember, the items above are all suggestions and should be used only as a guide. Most hospitals will provide new moms and their infants with basic items for comfort and for personal hygiene.

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 Heart Syndrome

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Holiday Heart Syndrome, coined in 1978, is a real syndrome in which the heart’s vulnerability to certain arrhythmias is increased by excessive alcohol ingestion (binge drinking) and the onset of a heart rhythm disturbance in people who are otherwise healthy.

The most frequently seen arrhythmia during the holiday season is atrial fibrillation, in which the top chambers of the heart quiver or fibrillate causing the heart to beat irregular and often quite fast.

Excessive alcohol intake in women is defined as consuming seven or more drinks per week or over three doses at one time.  For men, heavy consumption is defined as over 14 drinks per week or over four drinks at one time by the U.S. Department of health and Human Service.

Alcohol alone does not fully explain Holiday Heart Syndrome.  There are other risk factors for atrial fibrillation that are higher around the holidays such as:

  • Overeating
  • Stress
  • High levels of sodium consumption
  • Dehydration

Everyone has some degree of stress in their lives.  Health concerns, family and relationship issues, financial problems can all cause stress which can ultimately affect your health; the idea of “letting go” at a holiday event and consuming more alcohol than usual as a way to forget the present may have a negative effect on your future.

If you have any heart symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention immediately; even if your symptoms appear ON a holiday.

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.