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.

What is a Brain Freeze?

“SPHENOPALATINE GANGLIONEURALGIA!!!” We’re guessing you have never heard anyone yell that out after licking an ice cream cone or slurping down a frozen beverage. Perhaps you have heard someone scream “Brain Freeze” though, the more common term for this scientific condition.

Man eating ice cream cone

A brain freeze usually occurs after a cold food or beverage touches the roof of the mouth (your palate). This sudden temperature change of the tissue stimulates nerves, causing rapid dilation and swelling of the blood vessels. This response is an attempt to direct blood to the area and warm it back up. The “headache” that follows is triggered when the pain receptors in your mouth signal your brain using the nerves in your face. The end result is a sudden, sharp pain and the usual exclamation that is synonymous with this phenomenon.

A brain freeze, also referred to as an ice cream headache, can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes in duration. Brain freezes can occur as frequently in the summer as they do in the winter because the brain’s response is to the food being consumed, not to the temperature outside.

To avoid getting a brain freeze it is recommended that you eat slowly because this reaction is triggered by an immediate temperature change in the mouth. If you do suffer a brain freeze, try pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth to warm the blood vessels. Other suggested tricks include holding your head back or breathing in through mouth and out through the nose to pass warmer air through the nasal passages.

With the weather getting warmer and more people indulging in ice cream and other frozen treats, expect to hear someone yelling out “Brain Freeze” soon. When they do, be sure to share your new found knowledge about this common sensation.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Diabetes Friendly Recipes

Raw-food-diabetes-01Living with diabetes is already difficult enough without having to worry about your diet restrictions. You can enjoy healthy meals, even if time is tight in your schedule. Here are some quick, diabetes conscious recipes to keep you going through the day.

  1. Start your morning off with this delicious fruit and almond smoothie. You will need one cup of almond milk, one cup of frozen strawberries and peaches, and 2 ounces of flavored Greek yogurt of your choice. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and thick, pour and enjoy! See the full recipe here: http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/recipes/2012-04-fruit-and-almond-smoothie.html
  2. This healthy chicken and vegetable casserole is cooked in one pan and makes an easy mid-day meal. You will need chicken breasts, broccoli, spinach, wild brown rice, and cheese of your choice. See the full recipe here: http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/recipe/chicken/chicken-and-wild-rice-casserole
  3. End your day with this orange soy salmon recipe. This heart-healthy meal can be prepared, popped in the microwave, and served in less than 15 minutes. Salmon fillets are cooked over spinach and served alongside a veggie mix, all drizzled with a tangy topping of orange juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. See the full recipe here: http://www.culinaryarts.com/Recipes/recipefiles/orange_soy_glazed_salmon.htm

 

Cooking a diabetes-friendly meal doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor that traps you in the kitchen. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, are prediabetic, or cook for someone who has diabetes, you can still enjoy a healthy and delicious dish!

To schedule an appointment with a physician or nutrition expert, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’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.

Invitro Fertilization

invitroOn July 25, 1978 the first baby was born that had been conceived invitro.  These babies were referred to as “Test Tube Babies” because they were essentially created in a laboratory in a glass tube. Invitro Fertilization is the process where the egg harvested from a female is combined with the sperm obtained from a male in a lab and in a glass tube. This was the culmination of many years of research performed by Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards during the 1960’s and 1970’s in England.
The invention of the microscope in the 17th century really helped scientists understand how fertilization takes place. For hundreds of years following this development, research was done on how to implant fertilize eggs artificially, but while still within the body.  It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that fertilization outside of the body was begun. In 1959 the first rabbit to be conceived invitro was born, followed in 1963 by a hamster and in 1972 by the birth of a mouse.  The technique that really helped advance IVF was the use of laparascopic surgery. This allows the gynecologist to remove the follicles from the ovary very precisely.
It is estimated that now over 200,000 babies have been conceived using IVF. The procedure has been improved upon tremendously in the last few years.  Many times this process leads to multiple eggs being fertilized and more than one baby being conceived.
To speak to a physician at Flushing Hospital about IVF and pregnancy in general please schedule an appointment by calling  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.

Viral Hepatitis “The Silent Epidemic”- How Dangerous is This Disease?

Test tube with blood for Hepatitis test

The medical community has labeled viral hepatitis, “The Silent Epidemic,” because there are millions of people living in the United States with some form of the disease. What is most alarming is 65% of these people are unaware that they are infected and are unknowingly contributing to the rapid spread of the virus.

Viral hepatitis is characterized by the inflammation of the liver and is most commonly caused by the hepatitis A, B or C virus.  Each type of hepatitis has its severities and can develop into chronic or life-threatening conditions, such as liver cancer, liver failure or cirrhosis (scarring and dysfunction of the liver).  While the degree of severity may differ with each strain, the advanced symptoms that present themselves are similar.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes and tongue)
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Light colored feces
  • Muscle or joint pain

Transmission of viral hepatitis differs with each form of the virus.

Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) – Is caused by consuming infected food and water or anal to oral contact during sex. Prevention includes washing your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, drinking bottled or treated water and eating food that has been thoroughly cleaned.

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) – Is a sexually transmitted disease.  HBV is 50-100 times more infectious than HIV. It is spread by contact with bodily fluids such as blood or semen.  Prevention includes practicing safe sex, using clean syringes, tattoo or acupuncture needles and not sharing personal items such as razor or toothbrushes.

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) –   Is transmitted by direct contact with the blood of a person who has the disease.  Prevention includes covering wounds, not sharing personal effects such as razors, manicure equipment or toothbrushes and using sterilized needles.

It is important for people to know their status and help combat the rapid acceleration of viral hepatitis.  Public health organizations such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) encourage people to get screened for the disease whether or not they are displaying symptoms. Individuals who are infected should seek treatment and exercise methods to prevent transmission.Health organizations are also increasing their efforts in educating the public about Hepatitis by promoting campaigns during Hepatitis  Awareness Month, which is designated as May in the United States.

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.

Robotics: Gallstone Removal

gallbladder removal

Many people have gallstones without knowing it. Gallstones are hard deposits in your gallbladder, a small organ that stores a digestive fluid made in the liver. Bile usually dissolves or breaks down cholesterol. However, if your liver makes more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve, hard stones may develop.

Not all people experience symptoms from gallstones. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 80 percent of people who have gallstones don’t have any pain at all. These are called “silent” gallstones. The most common symptom of gallstones is pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • A yellowish tint in your skin or eyes, which can indicate jaundice
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • abdominal pain

Many risk factors for gallstones are related to diet.

These include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating a diet that’s high in fat or cholesterol

To diagnose gallstones your doctor will perform a physical examination that includes checking your eyes and skin for visible changes in color. The examination may involve using diagnostic testing to see inside your body. These tests include Ultrasound, Abdominal CT Scan, Gallbladder Radionuclide Scan, and blood tests.

If gallstones are detected in your gallbladder surgery is often the first option if you have significant symptoms. Technology in surgery is constantly evolving with the intent of increasing positive clinical outcomes and improving patient safety and recovery. One of the greatest medical advances to occur in the pursuit of these goals was the development of surgical robots. Flushing Hospital Medical Center in its dedication to supplying patients with superior and technologically advanced tools in health care, acquired the da Vinci Surgical Robot. This tool allows for a minimally invasive surgery with a faster recovery time.

For more information about robotic surgery or procedures performed by our surgeons, please contact Flushing Hospital’s Department of Surgery at 718-670-3135.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on 

Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital  or Facebook.com/Flushing Hospital 

and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital or @FHMC_NYC

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 Senior Health and Fitness Day

seniorsexercisingpic

May 25, 2016, is National Senior Health and Fitness Day.  This observance is designed to shed light on the importance of the health and fitness of older adults.

Exercise is essential to improving health at any age, and seniors are not an exception.  A low-impact exercise routine can benefit your health by stretching and strengthening muscles, reducing stress and can even help to lower high blood pressure.

Staying fit doesn’t have to require a gym.  You can work out, at your own pace, with an instructor in class, on a home gym machine such as a treadmill, or utilize the great outdoors by taking a walk.

The four categories of Low –impact exercises are:

  1. Endurance –walking, swimming, or cycling.
  2. Strength –light weight training
  3. Flexibility –  Yoga
  4. Balance –Ti Chi

No matter what workout routine you choose, adding some gentle stretches will improve flexibility and range of motion.

After speaking with your physician and identifying what type of exercise is safe for you, an appropriate exercise regimen can lessen your visits to the doctor, lower your chance of being hospitalized and reduce the need for medications for a variety of illnesses.

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.

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Young girl in autumn park blowing nose. Standing in park in warm clothing.

The month of May has been designated as “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Spring is the beginning of the peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers. Asthma affects approximately 24.5 million Americans, 6.3 million of them are under the age of 18. More than 50 million people in the United States have some type of allergy and that number is increasing every year.
If a person knows that they have asthma, it is suggested that they avoid things that can trigger an attack. Triggers are anything that the body is sensitive to that causes the airways to become inflamed.
Common triggers are:
• Pollen
• Changes in weather
• Dust
• Stress
• Exercise
• Chemicals
Symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. There is no cure for asthma however there are medications that can help to keep it controlled.
Allergies are a very common chronic illness that lasts a long time or occurs frequently. Allergies occur when the body comes in to contact with a substance that causes the immune system to overreact.
Some of the more common substances people are allergic to are:
• Food
• Insect bites
• Latex
• Mold
• Pets
• Pollen
• Medications
Symptoms of allergies may include watery eyes, sneezing, itchiness, rash, hives and difficulty breathing. Severe cases can lead to anaphylactic shock which is potentially life threatening due to a lowering of the blood pressure and a dilation of the blood vessels, if not treated quickly.
Doctors can perform tests to see how you respond to small amounts of allergens.  There are ways to treat allergies, the best method though is to avoid things that you know will cause a reaction in the first place. There are medications available to control allergic reactions and doctors can give injections that act to train the immune system to not overreact to these substances.
To schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital with a physician to discuss controlling asthma and allergies, please call 718-670-5486.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on 

Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital  or Facebook.com/Flushing Hospital 

and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital or @FHMC_NYC

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.

Health Effects Caused By Worrying

Woman looking at bills and receipts on floor

Worrying yourself sick is not just a saying; studies prove that being in a constant state of worry can have a harmful effect on your physical health.   Excessive worrying can lead to anxiety and an increase in your levels of stress. This can trigger a number of problems that can make you ill.

 

High levels of stress produce hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, both can negatively impact the nervous system, digestive system, the heart and glands; leading to health conditions such as:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Heart disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep disorders
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Short term memory loss

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help decrease how frequently you worry and potentially reduce the risk of developing serious health problems- they include:

  • Exercising
  • Practicing relaxation  techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi
  • Drinking caffeine in moderation
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Socializing with people who are supportive

If these tips do not help and you continue to experience stress-related symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.

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 Helping to Raise Awareness About Stuttering

The National Stuttering Awareness Week is an observance in the United States for those who stutter. It was established in 1988, by a President’s proclamation as the second week in May in response to the advocacy of the members of the National Stuttering Association.

Stuttering, sometimes called stammering or dysfluency, is a disruption in the normal patterns of speech. It can take many forms, such as:

Message on chalkboard

• Repeating a sound or a syllable, especially at the beginning of the word, such as “li- li- like.”
• Prolongation of a sound such as “ssssss”
• Complete stoppage of speech or the omission of a sound.
• Repeated interruption of speech with sounds such as “uh” or “um.”

Stuttering can begin at any age, but it’s most common among children who are learning to form words into sentences. Boys are more likely than girls to stutter.

Approximately one out of every 20 children will develop stuttering that lasts for more than six months, but this does not necessarily mean that stuttering is going to be a lifelong problem. Knowing what to look for and responding appropriately to your child’s stuttering will go a long way toward preventing it from becoming a more long-term or even permanent condition.

Why does stuttering begin? At one time many people thought that stuttering was the result of either physical or emotional trauma. While there are rare instances of stuttering following traumatic events, this is not the typical factor when determining why stuttering begins. Instead, experts point to other factors that contribute to stuttering:

• Family History – According to research, 60% of all stutterers have someone in the family who also stutters.
• Child Development. – Children who have other language and speech problems are more likely to stutter than children who don’t.
• Neurophysiology – Which part of the brain processes language can contribute in identifying why some children stutter
• Family Dynamics – Some children’s stuttering has been attributed to high family expectations and a fast-paced lifestyle.

Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s stuttering. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who can evaluate your child and determine whether or not there is a risk of a long-term problem. In most cases, treatment primarily focuses on training and working with the parents to develop techniques to help the child cope with and get beyond his or her stuttering.

Parents of children who stutter can also help by creating a relaxing atmosphere at home that encourages speech, even if a stutter is present. Some tips include:

• Create opportunities for talking that are relaxed, fun, and enjoyable.
• When conversing with your child, try to create an environment with limiting distractions, such as the presence of television.
• Don’t be critical of your child’s speech or insist on precise or correct speech. Don’t correct his speech, or complete his sentences.
• Don’t put pressure on your child to verbally interact with others when stuttering becomes a problem.
• Listen attentively to what your child is saying, maintaining normal eye contact without displaying signs of impatience or frustration.
• Model a slow, relaxed way of speaking to help your child slow down his own speech.
• Don’t be afraid to talk with your child about stuttering and answer questions. Explain that disruptions in speech are common.

Flushing Hospital joins the effort to raise awareness about stuttering. Through understanding the factors that lead to stuttering and providing support to those who stutter will help those with this problem.

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.