Protect Your Skin Naturally

Wearing sunscreen isn’t the only way to ensure UV protection. During the dog days of summer when the sun is at its hottest try these three delicious fresh fruits and vegetables that naturally offer UV protection.

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  • . Citrus fruit – Bring some fresh lemonade to the beach! Lemons, oranges and limes all contain limonene, which studies have shown to reduce skin cancer risk by 34 percent.
  • Carrots and Red peppers – Snack on some crudité by the pool! Red, yellow and orange vegetables provide carotenoids that help to reduce sunburn intensity.
  • .  Spinach – Take a smoothie to the ball park! Leafy greens, like dark green lettuce, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are great sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that studies how halt abnormal cell growth prompted by UV light.

Remember that these fruits and vegetables are not a substitute for wearing sunscreen and protective clothing when outside in the sun, but they may give you an extra line of defense in saving your skin down the line.

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.

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.

Understanding Hysterectomies

woman with doctor 486487591 (1)A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a woman’s uterus.   It is a common operation, in fact, the CDC reports that an estimated 11.7 percent of women between the ages of 40-44 have had a hysterectomy and approximately 600,000 procedures are performed annually.

Hysterectomies are used to treat several health conditions, some of which include:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Adenomyosis

Hysterectomies can be performed utilizing several techniques.  Based on the course of treatment that is best for you, your surgeon may recommend one of the following options:

  • Abdominal hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic-assisted abdominal hysterectomy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy
  • Robotic- assisted hysterectomy

Procedures may require the complete or partial removal of the uterus.  If a complete removal is required, a total hysterectomy may be performed. In the case where the uterus and surrounding structures such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries need to be removed, a radical hysterectomy is often recommended. Treatment involving the partial removal of the uterus may include a supracervical hysterectomy.

As with all surgical procedures there are risks to consider.  However some techniques can offer patients a reduced risk of complications such as pain and bleeding. Laparoscopic and robotic assisted hysterectomies may result in less pain, minimal bleeding, a lower risk in infection and shorter hospital stays.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has a full program to provide total health care to women. Our highly trained specialists utilize the latest techniques and equipment, such as ultrasonography, color Doppler, laser, laparoscopic and robotic surgery, in the diagnoses and treatment of female disorders. Robotic surgeons at Flushing Hospital are board certified or board approved and have performed countless procedures resulting in high rates of success.

 

 

Gynecological procedures performed robotically by Flushing Hospital’s team of surgeons include hysterectomy, ovarian cystectomy, salpingo-oophorectomy, sacrocolpopexy, tubal reanastomosis, dermoid cystectomy and more.

For more information or to make an appointment please call, 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.

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.

Understanding Menopause in Six Simple Facts

womens health -472504192The life stages of women’s reproductive health begin with puberty (menstruation) and end with menopause. Menopause marks the time when a woman stops having her period and is no longer able to reproduce.  While this stage is a normal part of life it has its challenges as women may experience several, physical and emotional changes.  Here are six simple facts to educate and help prepare you for potential changes ahead.

  1. What is menopause?

Menopause is medically defined as the time in a woman’s life when she has not had her period for 12 months after her last menstrual cycle.  Her ovaries will cease to further produce eggs.

  1. When does it happen?

The average age for women living in the United States to experience menopause is 51 years old. However, in some cases, it can occur as early as a woman’s 30’s or as late has her 60’s. Symptoms can begin to present a few years earlier before the actual onset of menopause. This stage of your reproductive health is referred to as perimenopause.

  1. What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of menopause may vary from person to person; they may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • A slowed metabolism and weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Thinning hair
  • Incontinence
  1. How to treat or cope with symptoms?

There are several treatments and lifestyle changes you can apply to help relieve symptoms, some of which are:

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Strengthening pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Taking calcium and Vitamin D supplements, as recommended
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking low-dose anti-depressants as prescribed
  1. Can menopause lead to further complications?

Your risk for developing certain health conditions may increase after menopause. Examples of these include osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease

  1. When should I speak to my doctor about menopause?

If you are experiencing unusual pain, other extreme physical or emotional symptoms which affect your quality of life, it is advised that you speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may explore treatment options or suggest lifestyle changes.  It is also recommended that you begin the conversation about menopause during perimenopause (early menopause symptoms).  Your doctor can offer guidance on what to expect.

Flushing Hospital also offers a full range of OB/GYN ambulatory care services in its Women’s Health Center. To make an appointment, please call 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.

Will Having Shingles Effect My Pregnancy?

pregpicAlmost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles. Shingles is the term used for a skin rash that is caused by the herpes-zoster (varicella) virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. In some cases it can reactivate and cause shingles. Anyone who has had chickenpox may develop shingles, including pregnant women and even children.

As a new or expecting mother there are a lot of concerns for staying as healthy as you can for you and your baby during pregnancy. Although you can’t give anybody shingles, you can pass the virus on as chickenpox. Whereas shingles is harmless in pregnancy, chickenpox can cause problems for an unborn baby. For this reason, stay away from other pregnant women while you have shingles.

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant:

  • First, get a blood test to find out if you’re immune to chickenpox. If you’re not immune, you can get a vaccine. It’s best to wait 1 month after the vaccine before getting pregnant.
  • If you’re already pregnant, don’t get the vaccine until after you give birth. In the meantime, avoid contact with anyone who has chickenpox or shingles.
  • If you’re not immune to chickenpox and you come into contact with someone who has it, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor can treat you with medicine that has chickenpox antibodies.
  • Tell your doctor if you come in contact with a person who has shingles. Your doctor may want to treat you with an antiviral medication. Antiviral medication will shorten the length of time that the symptoms will be present.

There isn’t a cure for shingles but a physician will usually prescribe medications to make the symptoms less intense. If you have questions about shingles send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org

To learn more about prenatal treatments please call the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Five Best Tips for Putting Your Best Fork Forward to Shed the Winter Pounds

Healthy resolutions for the New Year 2017.

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?  Every year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics generates a nutrition, education and information campaign.  This year’s message is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

Each person has the tools to make healthy dietary choices.  Now  that winter is coming to an end, and spring is approaching, it is a wonderful time to reflect on our current habits and lifestyle and decide which tools we will use to shed some excess weight gained over the winter months.

Tool #1 – Balance

  • Visit Choose My Plate at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ – Use the “my plate” method of ½ plate non starchy veggies, ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate fiber rich carbohydrate to balance your nutrients throughout the day.
  • Drink water or mild instead of sweetened beverages (soda or juice).
  • Eat healthy snacks, such as fruits/nuts with yogurt or crackers with peanut butter.
  • Substitute processed or artificially flavored food items with natural unprocessed foods. By skipping the cookies and having a piece of fruit, you will get more vitamins and fiber allowing your body to feel more energized throughout the day.

Tool #2 – Let’s get Physical

Physical activity, in any form, is imperative for managing weight. Some ways to get more active are:

  • Consider non weight bearing exercises such as using resistance bands for building muscle and increasing flexibility, stationary bike or water aerobics.
  • Walking 10,000 steps per day is equivalent to walking five miles! Aim to achieve as many steps as possible throughout the day such as parking your car a little further from your destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and partaking in walking breaks, especially if you are sitting for most of the day.
  • March gives us extra daylight, so the best way to utilize this extra time is by being active. Activities such as walking, jogging, gardening, swimming and yoga are perfect ways to spend 30 minutes doing an outside activity.

Tool #3 – Reduce Stress

  • Everyone has stress which can obstruct weight loss. Stress increased the hormone called cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain.  Stress also contributes to emotional eating and other damaging behaviors.
  • It is important to ask for help and have support to get through the daily stressors of life. Consider support groups, meditation, coloring, knitting or spending time with a loved one to relieve the stressors in your daily life and help you stay focused and on track of your goals and progress.

Tool #4 – Be SMART About Your Goals

By setting SMART goals, results are greater!  SMART goals encompass five parameters to make the goal more productive:

S          is the SPECIFICS of the goal.  Is the goal definable?

M         is the MEASURABILITY of the goal. Is it possible to track/measure progress?

A          is ATTAINABILITY of the goal.  Is the goal a reasonable one ?

R          is RELEVENCY of the goal.  Is the goal worthwhile and will it meet your needs?

T          is TIMELINESS of the goal.  How much time can you give to accomplishing goals?

Tool #5 – Track Your Progress

  • Keep a diary or journal and record your progress and shortcomings.
  • Keep a food log and track your dietary intake.
  • “There’s an App for that” – There are so many wonderful Apps for goal setting and tracking caloric intake, physical activity, etc., utilize the technology on your smart phone or tablet to monitor your progress.

This article was submitted by Sadia Tahir Khan MS, RD and Michelle Hill, RD, CDN, CDE, Food and Nutrition Department of Flushing Hospital Medical Center

 

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.

Why is the cesarean rate so high, and how can I increase my chance of a natural birth?

Woman in the operating room before a delivery

In the field of obstetrics and gynecology, there is no more debatable topic than the increased rate of cesarean (C-section) deliveries. The C-section rate is the percentage of all births that take place surgically, whereby a baby is delivered via an incision on the abdomen. Over the last few decades, this rate has increased tremendously. Up to the 1970’s, the rate of cesarean in the U.S. was less than 5% but in the subsequent few years, it climbed to 33%.

While the cesarean delivery has become a safer operation than it used to be, it is still a major abdominal surgery which should be avoided when a vaginal delivery is an option for both baby and mother. Sadly, rates of complications such as cerebral palsy have not decreased much despite the 600% increase of cesarean deliveries in the last three decades. So why then, has the cesarean rate climbed so much?

There are several factors explaining the increase the cesarean rates and there is no single answer. because so much has changed in the last two of three decades, in terms of medical, social and legal aspects. Let’s look at a few factors:

  • Breech babies: Few doctors deliver breech babies vaginally because recent studies suggested that C-section births are less risky for them.
  • Fewer patients attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean): Women with a previous C-section are either not interested or not encouraged in having a vaginal birth after cesarean. There are risks involved in attempting a VBAC, but very often, they can be minimized by close fetal surveillance in labor.
  • Less patience for prolonged labor: Although 24-48 hour labors are often ultimately rewarded by a natural birth, many women prefer to have a cesarean now as opposed to waiting several more hours for a possible natural birth. Sometimes, it’s best to let nature do its work and wait, but physicians and women are often impatient, not tolerant of long (but natural) labor.
  • C-section delivery has become a much safer operation than it used to be decades ago: Long-term complications or serious short- term complications remain rare. This is mainly attributed to proper use of antibiotics, better and safer anesthesia techniques, and safe blood banking.
  • Women wait longer to have children: Increasing age is linked to a higher risk of developing complications such as high blood pressure, placenta previa and diabetes, just to name a few. These conditions increase the risk of cesarean.
  • More multiple births: The rates of twins and triplets have increased by 200-300%. 3-5% of all pregnancies are now twins (or triplets) as opposed to 1% years ago. These high risk pregnancies are associated with a much higher risk of cesarean. The majority of twin pregnancies and nearly all triplets are born via cesarean.
  • Cesarean delivery on maternal request: Some women feel that women should be entitled to make decisions about their body, and about how they want to deliver and at times, women ask for a cesarean delivery In the absence of a medical indication.,

The WHO (World Health Organization) has been advocating since 1985 to reduce the C-section to10-15 percent since 1985. Here are some tips for women who want to achieve this goal and reduce their chances of having a C-section.

  • Don’t be tempted to have a “scheduled” induction: while sometimes, labor inductions are medically necessary to prevent an adverse maternal or fetal outcome, many physicians and patients are tempted to “schedule” a delivery at a set time, without a medical reason.
  • If your baby is breech (babys bottom is down instead of the head): attempt an external version. A simple procedure called External Cephalic Version may turn the baby from breech position to head down, simply by turning the baby externally, by an experiences obstetrician.
  • Be patient. Labors can be long, sometimes very long, so be prepared for it and be patient. Bring a good book, movies, music and try to rest when you can (this is especially possible when you have a well working epidural).
  • Bring a coach: Having a supportive person during your labor (your spouse, your mother or a trained labor coach, called a Doula) has been shown to decrease the risk of cesarean and also to improve your perception of labor. They will keep you distracted during the often very long process.
  • Good life habits: women who are physically fit and are within their ideal body weight are less likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure and excessively large babies during their pregnancy. So if you have healthy life habits, keep up with them! There is no reason to stop exercising during your pregnancy.
  • Don’t eat excessively: your baby is a magnet for the calories you ingest, so there’s no reason to eat excessively to feed your baby. Don’t believe your mother, aunts or anyone else who force you to eat in order to have a big baby and tell you that “a big baby is healthier”. It simply isn’t true. Six pounds babies are just as healthy as a ten pound ones.

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.