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.

Protect Yourself From Getting Sick While Flying

preventing sickness while flyingAir travelers are up to 100 times more likely to catch a cold or the flu while flying than during normal day-to-day activities.

The primary cause for an increased rate of infection is low cabin humidity on planes. Most airplanes fly in an elevation range of 30,000 to 35,000 feet, where humidity is much lower. At very low levels of humidity, our natural defense system of mucus in our noses and throats dries up, creating an ideal environment for germs to infect us.

The best way to maintain these natural defenses is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will not only counter the overall dehydrating effects of air travel, but it can actually strengthen the body’s natural immune system.

It is recommended to sip water regularly throughout the flight rather than drink a large amount at once to protect against long dry spells in your defense system. Hot beverages are a good way to keep your protective mucous membranes working because they assist in keeping you generally hydrated and also provide moisture in the form of steam. Conversely, it is recommended that you avoid caffeine or alcoholic beverages as they can dehydrate you.

Using nasal sprays or saline mists have also been proven to be an effective means of keeping mucous membranes in your nose and throat moist. They can increase your resistance to infection while on a dry aircraft. Yet another way to defend against viruses while flying is to use a germ-killing mouthwash, which adds another layer of protection while simultaneously helping to keep your throat moist. Other experts recommend taking vitamins before flights to help boost immunity levels.

By following these tips and practicing proper hand washing behavior, you will greatly increase your chances of arriving at your destination healthy.

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 Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal Care  Flushing Hospital 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.

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.

Peer Pressure: Teen Smoking

Adolescents feel social pressure in various ways, from wearing the latest clothing trends and styles to current music choices. Your child’s friends are one of the strongest influences during this time in their lives, especially when it comes to risky behaviors like tobacco use.

During the pre-teen and teenage years, your child is asserting their independence and exploring their identity. Yet they still crave the approval of their peers and often worry about being rejected. Peer pressure makes them feel they are being pulled in two directions. When it comes to smoking cigarettes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted the rate among teens that have three or more friends who smoke is 10 times higher than those that reported none of their friends smoke.

However, based on behavior recent research, teenagers who don’t smoke say one of the main reasons is their parents. Your influence is real and as a parent, you can help your child as he struggles with peer pressure, examines their options, and becomes a mature independent thinker.

Some helpful tips for your teen to avoid caving into peer pressure are:
• Set boundaries: Place smoking on the list of things they shouldn’t do. Make sure they understand smoking’s health risks, know the consequences for breaking the rules and enforce them.
• Know your child’s friends: Pay attention to how your teen interacts and observe. Are the relationships equal and respectful? If not, make time to about them.
• Manage stress: Be on the look-out for signs of stress. Empathize with their feelings, and help them prioritize their activities.
• Encourage independent thinking: The more they trust themselves, the less vulnerable they will be to peer pressure.
• Show and teach empathy: By showing empathy for your child’s feelings, you teach them how you value their thoughts and in turn will teach them to trust themselves.
• Get them involved: Try having them become involved in groups or clubs that fit their interest and reduce the chances of boredom while gaining a new set of strengths.

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 Effects of Drinking Alcohol and Hypertension

HypertensionDoes Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Blood Pressure?

There is a definite correlation between drinking alcohol and a person’s blood pressure. Blood pressure is raised because of alcohol’s effect on the blood vessels causing them to dilate.

Most people who occasionally consume  more than three alcoholic drinks at one sitting will experience a short term rise in blood pressure. Three drinks or more can lead to a rapid increase in blood pressure which could lead to a stroke, for those who already have hypertension.  People who regularly have three or more drinks every day will experience a prolonged elevation in their blood pressure which will be harder to reduce.

Staying away from alcoholic drinks completely for two weeks usually allows the blood pressure to return to whatever is normal for that individual.  Alcohol may also have an effect on blood pressure medications which could limit their effectiveness.

While drinking moderate amounts of alcohol occasionally won’t have a prolonged effect on a person’s blood pressure, drinking excessively certainly can.

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.

Streptococcus B

StreptococcusStreptococcus B  is a type of gram-positive bacterial infection that is commonly found in the intestine, the vagina, and the rectal area of women. It can affect newborns as well as adults. Most pregnant women who carry this infection don’t have any symptoms. It is transmitted during childbirth to the newborn as it passes through the birth canal. It is also a leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns.
Strep B also can also affect adults who are not pregnant but who have chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer. People who are over the age of 65 have the highest incidence of the disease.
Symptoms of strep B  in newborns include:
• Fever
• Breathing problems
• Poor feeding
• Lethargy
• Symptoms of strep-B in adults include:
• Sepsis
• Skin infection
• Bone and joint infection
• Urinary tract infection
• Pneumonia
Strep  B is diagnosed by taking a culture of blood, urine or performing a spinal tap. If the results are positive, it can be treated by antibiotics, usually given intravenously.  If Strep – B has infected the skin, then surgical intervention may be necessary. Routine screening is recommended for women who are pregnant as to avoid transmitting the bacteria during childbirth to the newborn.

It is also possible to schedule an appointment at the Flushing Women’s Health Center at 718-670-8994.

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.

To Hookah or Not to Hookah?

Article by Jennifer Ceide,  AE-C, CHES, CTTS Flushing Hospital Medical Center

Brunette with hookah

For my birthday, I am definitely going to a hookah lounge!” was excitedly determined by my cousin several years ago. As a developing tobacco treatment specialist, I wanted to proclaim my objection by saying, “Do you know that one hookah session is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes?!” Luckily, we couldn’t find a lounge that was open. Besides hookah lounges, hookah is also offered at night clubs and restaurants; it’s almost impossible not to find an opportunity to smoke hookah.  So why the sudden burst in popularity, especially among never-smoked-a-cigarette millennials who without hesitation detest cigarette smoking?

So, what’s a Hookah? 

Hookah is a water pipe used to smoke tobacco. Tobacco is burned at the top of the pipe, the smoke is then passed through water and the vapor is inhaled.

It’s safer…right? 

Wrong! Besides the delivery of the highly addictive drug nicotine, the smoke from hookah contains toxins that contribute to cancer and other diseases. The water through which the smoke passes gives the false impression of purification; this process has not been shown to decrease any toxins associated with smoking. The vapor contains carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals.

According to the World Health Organization, a hookah session can last between 20 to 80 minutes, one session can be equal to smoking 100 cigarettes.

When we consider the added risk associated with sharing a mouthpiece with others, the possibility of contracting communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, herpes, influenza, or hepatitis becomes a noteworthy threat.

To hookah or not to hookah?

From what we know so far the risks linked to smoking hookah should deter and not encourage. Because the popularity of smoking hookah is a recent trend, long term effects of the activity continue to be determined; however, we have enough evidence to conclude that hookah is not the safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Hookah smokers are at risk for developing the same cancers and diseases that are linked to cigarette smoking in addition to the added risk of developing communicable diseases.

 

 

 

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.