Today is World Hepatitis Awareness Day

Liver Protected Against Hepatitis Virus

Liver Protected Against Hepatitis Virus

In 2010 the World Health Organization ( W.H.O. ) designated July 28th as World Hepatitis Day. This serves to increase awareness about viral hepatitis and to influence change in disease prevention, testing and treatment. The goal for 2016 is to adopt a plan that will eliminate hepatitis as a public threat by 2030.
Hepatitis is a virus that causes an inflammation of the liver. The liver is an organ in the body that processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections. The most common forms of hepatitis are A, B, and C. Hepatitis B and C kill close to 1.4 million people each year and cause almost 80 percent of all liver cancer cases. Many people have the hepatitis virus and are unaware of it.
Symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
• Fever
• Nausea
• Loss of appetite
• Jaundice
• Abdominal pain
• Fatigue
Hepatitis is spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids. It is possible that people remain without symptoms for many years but during this time the disease is slowly destroying the liver. It can take many years for the symptoms to appear. Blood tests are available that can detect the virus at an early stage.
Ways to reduce infection:
• Use only sterile equipment for injections
• Test all donated blood for hepatitis
• Practice safe sex
• Encourage people to get hepatitis B vaccine
Medication exists that can cure hepatitis C and can control hepatitis B infection. When given properly, people are less likely to die from liver cancer and cirrhosis and also are less likely to transmit the disease to others. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses over a 6 month period and it is recommended that it be initiated right after birth if possible.
To make an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss the vaccine, please call 718-670-5486.

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

Why You Need To Take All Your Antibiotics

capsule

Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat bacterial infections and several diseases. These medications can be efficient if used correctly. However, improper use can lead to reinfection or the development of a more serious issue.

By not taking the entire course of treatment recommended by your physician you run the risk of allowing bacteria to survive and developing a resistance to antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your condition, your physician may have to resort to more invasive or extensive measures of treatment such as surgery, stronger medications or hospitalization.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov) recommend that consumers follow these recommendations for proper antibiotics use:

  • Complete the full course of the drug. It’s important to take all of the medication, even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, the drug may not kill all the bacteria. You may become sick again, and the remaining bacteria may become resistant to the antibiotic that you’ve taken.
  • Do not skip doses. Antibiotics are most effective when they are taken regularly.
  • Do not save antibiotics. You might think that you can save an antibiotic for the next time you get sick, but an antibiotic is meant for your particular infection at the time. Never take leftover medicine. Taking the wrong medicine can delay getting the appropriate treatment and may allow your condition to worsen.
  • Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. These may not be appropriate for your illness, may delay correct treatment, and may allow your condition to worsen.
  • Talk with your health care professional. Ask questions, especially if you are uncertain about when an antibiotic is appropriate or how to take it.

If you have questions about taking your prescribed medications, do not hesitate in contacting your physician or pharmacy for instructions.

For your convenience, a full-service pharmacy is located in Flushing Hospital’s Medical Science Building providing prescription services to discharged, emergency department and clinic patients. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. 718-353-316

 

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.

Emergency Preparedness Plans and What You Should Have in Your Kit

emergency checklist-155667998Disasters can occur unexpectedly but being prepared can lessen the effect of damages and the chances of accidents. Developing an emergency plan and creating a kit for your household is the best way to prepare for disasters.

When forming an emergency plan get the entire family or those who live in your home involved. Here is a checklist for things to consider:

  • Ensure that contact information for family and loved ones is up to date
  • Designate safe spaces where everyone can meet
  • Locate emergency shelters in your community
  • Assign responsibilities to each member of your household
  • Choose an emergency contact person outside of your immediate area
  • Create an evacuation plan and practice evacuating your home at least twice a year
  • If you have pets, keep a list of pet-friendly hotels and shelters in your neighborhood
  • Remind everyone to register with the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well website or call 800-RED-CROSS after a disaster. Enrolling will allow concerned loved ones to know that you are safe, by searching the list.

In addition to having an emergency plan, it is vital that you put together an emergency preparedness kit. A few suggested items to include are:

  • Water- at least one gallon per person for each day , lasting two weeks
  • Non- perishable food
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Sanitary and personal hygiene Items
  • Copies of important documents, such as ID’s, birth certificates, medical information, proof of address and insurance
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Extra cash in small bills
  • Medications
  • Multipurpose tools
  • Battery-powered and two-way radios
  • Blankets
  • Maps
  • Emergency contact information cards
  • Spare set of house and car keys

If you need assistance in making an emergency plan, City programs such as Ready New York provide ready-made templates, where you can fill in important information. Templates also include resources from utility companies, city and federal emergency departments. Please visithttps://www1.nyc.gov/assets/em/downloads/pdf/myemergencyplan_english.pdf to create a plan.

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.

Is There a Connection Between Sugar Consumption and Childhood Hyperactivity?

“He’s going be up all night after eating all that sugar” It’s a common phrase that all parents say while they watch their children run around at a birthday party. We have long believed that there is a direct correlation with sugar intake and hyperactivity in children, but is it true?

Portrait of a young girl holding a slice of cake

The fact is sugar consumption doesn’t change a child’s behavior. Multiple studies have been conducted and found that a sugary diet doesn’t affect mood or cognitive abilities. Using double blind studies, researchers observed two groups of children, one group was given sugary substances; the other group was given a placebo. The findings concluded that no noticeable changes in behavior were observed between the two groups.

So why do parents believe there is a connection? A separate study suggests that often, a parent’s expectations can affect their perceptions. It was observed that parents who believed their child’s behavior is affected by sugar consumption noticed hyperactive behaviors when they were led to believe the child had a sugary drink – even if they hadn’t.

Another reason why some parents think there child becomes hyperactive after having a high-sugar diet is the resulting “crash” that sometimes follows. Internally, when blood sugar levels rise quickly, the body produces a large amount of insulin to sweep the sugar out of the blood stream, which can result in a child becoming sluggish. The low blood sugar levels can then trigger a craving for more sweets, creating a “roller coaster” effect that can be misconstrued as hyperactivity.

This by no means suggests that a high sugar diet is good for children. Most experts will agree to choose healthy options and reserve sugary snacks as once in a while treats. A high sugar diet can lead to childhood obesity, diabetes, and oral problems.

Parents looking for reasons why their child might be hyperactive can look to other factors such as, sleep problems, emotional disturbances, learning disorders (such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or general temperament.

Consult with your pediatrician if you think your child is hyperactive. If you do not have a pediatrician, Flushing Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center has many qualified doctors who can help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-3007.

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.

Is Your Nest About To Empty?

emptynestpic-149735202-300x171

If your last child is all grown up and about to leave home, or he or she has already moved out, you may experience some mixed emotions or what’s commonly called, empty next syndrome.

Empty nest syndrome is not a clinical diagnosis. It is a phenomenon in which parents may experience feelings of sadness and loss when their last child leaves home. You may worry how well your child will function in the world without your parental supervision and question their ability to take care of themselves. If you are the parent of an only child, you may have a particularly difficult time adjusting to an empty nest.

Many parents experiencing empty nest syndrome are confused by these feelings since they actively encouraged their child to become independent. Still, letting go can be painful. The feeling of not being needed by your child anymore, missing being a part of your child’s daily lives, as well as missing the constant companionship of your child can cause some parents to have mild bouts of depression, identity crisis, alcoholism and marital conflicts.

Some tips to help you overcome empty nest syndrome are:

  • Prepare for the departure – Take time to check that your child is aware of how to do the basic essentials for themselves such as, how to wash their clothes, cook for themselves, balance a checkbook and appreciate the value of money.
  • Shift aside the terrifying thoughts – Both you and your child will be better off if you treat this as a big adventure. Try not to transfer your fears onto your child. Help them to understand that once they’re into their new routine, it will be familiar, fun and successful.
  • Explore the ways that you intend to keep in touch with your child – Keeping in constant communication is vital for maintaining a sense of family togetherness and to keep of with the news. Schedule a weekly call-in time, utilize e-mail, texting, social media, Skype, or Face Time as a way of touching base while being sensitive to their need to grow and become their own adult person.
  • Start looking toward your own needs – Once you are satisfied that you child is settled on the right bath, you will start noticing a big change in your life. This is a great time to revive some of your own interests and pursuits.
  • Rediscover the love of your life – Unless you are a single parent, you will be left with your spouse or partner. Re-kindling the relationship you shared, pre-children, can be an exciting adventure of your own to take.
  • Focus on some of the positive points of your kids moving out – You may notice that the refrigerator does not need as frequent refilling, there are less trips to the grocery store and the laundry has decreased. Seeing the brighter side will help you while you are transitioning.

As the time for your child to fly the next approaches, try to reflect on each stage in your child’s life. Each ending was a new beginning. Stay positive, the fact that your child has confidently left home means you’ve done a great job as a parent. After leaving the nest, you can forge a new and even better relationship with your child as independent adults. Enjoy the friendship without having the pressure of hands-on parenting

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.

Whole Body Cyrotherapy – Helpful or Harmful?

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a growing treatment trend for athletes looking to recover from injury as well as non-athletes seeking a cure for any number of mental or physical conditions, but there are many questions about the effectiveness and safety of this relatively new form of therapy.

Nitrogen

Cyrotherapy involves the “super cooling” of the body for therapeutic purposes. The practice has been used for quite some time, and can include using products such as ice packs in localized parts of the body. Whole body cyrotherapy however involves exposing the entire body to vapors that reach temperatures ranging from -200 to -300 degrees Fahrenheit. Those who receive WBC are placed in a confined chamber, some with the head enclosed, others without, for two to three minutes while the body is exposed to frigid temperatures generated by liquid nitrogen.

Those who sell or operate WBC machines claim that this treatment offers many benefits including improved blood circulation, increased metabolism, , quicker recovery and relief from joint pain. Proponents also boast WBC therapy can help slow down or reverse the effects of many conditions, such as:

• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Asthma
• Depression
• Fibromyalgia
• Insomnia
• Migraines
• Rheumatoid Arthritis

The problem unfortunately, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is there is no proof that WBC effectively treats any of these conditions and none of them have been cleared or approved by the FDA in support of these claims. While the healing benefits of WBC remain unconfirmed, the potential risks are substantiated. The use of nitrogen vapors in an enclosed area lowers the amount of oxygen in that area, which can result in oxygen deficiency and loss of consciousness. Other risks include frostbite, burns, and eye injuries.

With so much attention given to WBC, medical experts are concerned that many will opt for this treatment over traditional treatment options, which may result in a lack of improvement or worsening of medical conditions. If you are considering WBC, speak with your doctor first.

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 Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Family on beach

Family on beach

We live in a stressful society that is full of situation. It is very important for people to take a break in order to stay healthy. Studies have shown not taking a vacation for a few years can increase the risk of heart disease and the potential for a heart attack. People who take vacations  have an easier time to breaking bad habits such as nail biting, smoking, and eating poorly because stress the triggers for these bad habits aren’t present.
There are many benefits to taking a vacation:
• Betters outlook on life
• Allows the body to unwind
• Increases happiness
To really benefit from a vacation a person has to leave their work environment at home.
Today, with electronic devices so prevalent, it is important to not check them more than
once or twice a day.

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.

Synthetic Marijuana

Teenage boy (16-17) smoking outdoors, close-up

Synthetic marijuana, or K2, is another name for synthetic cannabinoids and it refers to a number of man-made chemicals that are applied to dried, shredded plant material. The substance can be either smoked in the herbal form or inhaled as a vapor in its liquid form. These mind altering chemicals are very closely related to the chemicals found in marijuana, however, the effects on the brain are much more intense and can have unpredictable and sometimes even life threatening consequences. Synthetic marijuana is known to be addictive.
Some of the reasons people like synthetic marijuana are:
• Elevated mood
• Relaxation
• Changes in perception of surroundings
Using synthetic marijuana can have psychotic effects which can lead to extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. People under the influence of this substance are often brought in to hospital emergency rooms with signs and symptoms including rapid heart rate, vomiting and violent behavior.
When people try to stop using synthetic marijuana they often experience headaches, anxiety, depression and irritability.  If you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem and would like to receive help, Flushing Hospital has a program that may be able to help. Please call 718-670-5078 to schedule an appointment with a professional counselor who will evaluate and offer suggestions on treatment plans.

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 Sun is Nothing to Sneeze at…or is it?

Have you ever stepped out of a dark movie theatre into the bright sunlight and felt the urge to sneeze? If so, you probably have a harmless and not all that uncommon disorder known as Photic Sneeze Reflex.

allergy concept

This condition is characterized by the uncontrollable impulse to sneeze provoked by a transition from dark environment to an intensely bright surrounding, usually sunlight.
Also referred to as the “Achoo Syndrome”, this involuntary reflex is a genetic trait that affects both males and females alike. It is estimated that anywhere from 15 – 35 percent of the population has this disorder.

Those who have the photic sneeze reflex usually sneeze two to three times (although in rare case, some can sneeze up to 40 times) when transitioning from dark to bright environments, and while there are no associated health risks, there are concerns that this condition can be dangerous for people in certain professions, such as airline pilots.

While no one really knows why this reflex occurs, there are multiple theories that suggest that certain optic nerves are too close to other nerves that may trigger a reaction in the brain of photic sneezers or simply that those with this condition have a more sensitive visual system.

Regardless of the reason, the next time you exit a movie theatre on a bright sunny day, take notice of how many people exiting start sneezing, you might be surprised.

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.