Pulmonary Rehab For COPD

COPD-473880188

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term that describes progressive respiratory diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is characterized by decreased airflow over time and increased inflammation of the lungs.

A decrease in airflow often results in shortness of breath, which at times makes performing minimal physical activities difficult. One of the most recommended forms of treatments used to improve this issue is pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD.  A respiratory therapist can assess the severity of a patient’s condition before enrollment into a program by administering tests such as a pulmonary function test.

This form of treatment involves a series of exercises that teaches people breathing techniques that help them build physical fitness and lung strength.

Most pulmonary rehab programs include:

  • Exercise-This is one of the key components in pulmonary rehab. Patients are required to do a series of physical activities such as:
  1. Exercises to strengthen and improve breathing muscles
  2. Upper body exercises
  3. Lower body exercises
  4. Strength training
  • Smoking cessation- In order to improve quality of life and lung function, smoking cessation is often a goal or prerequisite in pulmonary rehab. Quitting is the most important thing a smoker can do to slow the progression of COPD.
  • Education-Programs offer education in either a group setting or on an individual basis. Education sessions are designed to teach people ways to manage their COPD or include lessons on understanding medication as well as using oxygen therapy.

Patients who participate in pulmonary rehab programs gain several benefits. Most see significant improvement in their breathing. It is suggested that participants continue the exercises even after completing a program by incorporating them into their daily life. Those who do not may experience a decline in its benefits

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.

Tips from the Doctor: How To Soothe My Crying Newborn?

Dr. Shirley Pinero-Bernardo, MD, Director, Newborn Nursery & Associate Program Director, Pediatric Residency Program offers the following tips on how to soothe a crying newborn:

DrPineroA crying newborn often provokes a lot of anxiety and stress in sleep deprived parents. Though crying is a normal type of behavior in all babies, it is important to understand that there are many different reasons why a baby cries. Determining why your newborn is crying can be difficult to figure out at first and the process of understanding the many possible reasons will take time. Providing comfort is essential so check your baby each time.

According to Dr. Pinero-Bernardo, follow HEARTS acronym:

Hold your baby with skin to skin contact. These “hugs” promote bonding, feeding and have many medical benefits for babies and parents.

Eat: Is your baby hungry? Crying is a late feeding cue. Early feeding cues are quiet signals that call for attention. Be on the lookout for early feeding cues, such as smacking of the lips, opening and closing of the mouth and sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers and toes.

Air: Does your baby need to burp or pass gas? Your baby may feel discomfort from a belly full of gas. Check your feeding position to prevent your baby from swallowing a lot of air. Keep your baby’s head upright to burp the baby before and after each feeding.

Recheck the diaper: Your baby’s bowel movements will vary in color, consistency and size in the first few days of life. It is not uncommon for a baby to have a soiled diaper after each feeding.

Temperature: Is your baby too hot or too cold? Dress your baby in layers of clothing to keep your baby comfortable in any climate. Avoid excessive blankets.

Surroundings: Could a change in the environment soothe your baby? A change in the scenery or sounds could bring both you and the baby much needed relief.

The reason for your baby’s cries may not be the same each time. Whatever you do with love, and with your baby’s safety in mind, is exactly what your baby needs. Seek the advice of your pediatrician when there is inconsolable crying accompanied by pain, fever or illness.

Dr. Shirley Pinero-Bernardo is one of many qualified Pediatricians at Flushing Hospital. To schedule an appointment for your child with her, or any of our other doctors, 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.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the flow of urine resulting in a person urinating when they don’t want to. The basic cause is due to loss of control of the urinary sphincter. This is a fairly common condition, occurring more frequently in women than in men. The American Urological Association estimates that one quarter to one third of people in the United States experience urinary incontinence.
Types of incontinence:
• Stress Incontinence – urine leaks when there is pressure put on the bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects
• Urge Incontinence – the urge to urinate can be very intense and can be caused by a severe infection or a chronic condition like diabetes or a neurological condition
• Overflow Incontinence – when the bladder doesn’t empty completely it can lead to dribbling
• Functional Incontinence – when there is a physical or mental condition that inhibits you from getting to the bathroom quickly enough. (This can be due to age or a physical disability)
• Mixed Incontinence – when there is more than one factor that leads to being unable to control the flow of urine
Diagnosing urinary incontinence can be done in different ways and depends on what the underlying cause is thought to be. In men this may include a prostate exam and in women this may involve checking the pelvic floor. A blood test may be performed to assess kidney function. Urinalysis may show if there are signs of infection.  It may be necessary to examine the bladder by performing a post void residual test to see if the bladder is emptying properly. A pelvic ultrasound can be used to see if there are obstructions in the ureters and bladder. A cystogram is an x-ray of the bladder. Another exam is a cystoscope whereby a tiny probe is placed into the urethra to see if there are abnormalities.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence depend on what is causing the problem. Options include muscle strengthening, delaying urination as a way of gaining control, going to the bathroom to urinate at set times to avoid a buildup of urine in the body. There are also medications that may be helpful in controlling an overactive bladder, and weakened sphincters.
If surgery is necessary, Flushing Hospital offers the latest in robotic surgical treatment options. If you are having symptoms of urinary incontinence and would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss these treatment options, please call 718-670-5486.

Senior man with bladder control 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.

Do You Have “White Coat Hypertension?

Doctor taking patient's blood pressure

Does the thought of having a physician take your blood pressure make you nervous? Anxiety over going to the doctor’s office can lead to an elevation in your blood pressure; a condition known as “white coat hypertension.”

White coat hypertension is a real condition that occurs when blood pressure readings at your doctor’s office are higher than they are in other settings, such as your home. The term white coat refers to the traditional white lab coat health care professionals wear in clinical settings.

The underlying cause of white coat hypertension is believed to be tension and stress associated with being examined by a physician. Not much attention was given to this condition since the blood pressure of patients returned to normal levels when taken in the home environment, where they feel more relaxed. Recent studies however have proven that people with white coat hypertension are twice as likely to develop true hypertension within a decade, compared to people with normal blood pressure levels.

How do you know if you have white coat hypertension and what should you do if you have it? The first step is for your doctor to have you monitor your blood pressure at home to see if it returns to normal levels. If it does, together, you and your doctor can decide whether to treat it or not. On one hand, if your blood pressure is normal during the rest of the day, taking blood pressure medications can lead to hypotension (low blood pressure). On the other hand, people with white coat hypertension might have elevated blood pressure during other stressful parts of the day. Many factors, such as age, family history, and the existence of other conditions will help the doctor make the right decision for you.

There are things that you can do to reduce your anxiety and stress before having your blood pressure checked by a health care professional. First, avoid drinking excessive amounts of water before checking your blood pressure because water can increase your reading. Also, do not participate in any physical activity before having your blood pressure taken. Excessive physical exertion will raise blood pressure. Lastly, avoid stressful situations and remain calm leading up to and during your visit to the doctor’s office.

If you think you have hypertension, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. If you do not have a primary care physician, call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670- 5486 to schedule an appointment.

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

 National Drug and Alcohol Facts Awareness Week – Prescription Opioid Facts

taking pills -464517261Prescription opioid abuse among teens living in the United States has become a major public health concern. In fact, many national health organizations have declared that the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the use of these drugs among young adults has more than doubled and the number of opioid- related deaths has quadrupled in recent years. The CDC, along with other health organizations such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), hope to reduce these statistics by increasing education among teens and their families.

It is crucial for parents and young adults to know the facts about opioids so that they can understand how these drugs can negatively affect a person’s health and quality of life.  Here are six important facts families should know:

  1. Opioids are narcotic medications that are prescribed to treat mild to severe pain.
  2. Some of the most common types of opioids are fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine tramadol and codeine.
  3. Opioids work by reducing the intensity of pain signals being transmitted to the brain. They interact with opioid receptors in the brain to produce pain relief and feelings of euphoria.
  4. Misusing opioids can result in the development of a chemical dependency to these drugs. Misuse may occur when a person is taking opioids long term, is taking more than what was prescribed or is taking them for non-medical reasons.
  5. It is common for teens to mix prescription opioids with other substances such as alcohol. A recent study revealed that seven out of ten teens combined opioids with additional substances and 52% within this group co-ingested prescription pills with alcohol. This behavior puts teens at a higher risk for overdose.
  6. Some of the warning signs of opioid abuse include; anxiety attacks, a sudden improvement in self-esteem, depression, improved alertness, increased energy, a decrease in appetite, fatigue, nausea, constipation and breathlessness.

There are several steps one can take to prevent or reduce the chances of prescription opioids misuse, they include; keeping medication locked up or keeping track of medication to ensure pills are not missing, correctly disposing unused medication, monitoring your loved one’s behavior while they are taking medication and communicating with your doctor about not exceeding the recommended time period for pain treatment.

If your loved one is addicted to prescription opioids it is highly recommended that you have an honest conversation with them about harmful effects that could potentially lead to death.  Reassure them that you are here to help and not to judge them. Seek help from a trained medical professional immediately.  There are several treatment options available which include medication and counseling. Your physician or mental health counselor will determine which treatments are best for a healthy recovery.

The National Institute for Drug Abuse has designated the week of Monday, January 23rd, 2017 as National Drug and Alcohol Facts Awareness Week in an effort to provide teens with the facts about drugs and alcohol.

For further information and resources about opioid addiction and treatment, please visit the NIDA’s website www.drugabuse.gov.

 

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.

Keeping The Weight Off With Bariatric Surgery

Man Measuring Stomach Fat

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, judging by an increase in gym memberships, is to lose weight. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet isn’t always the hardest part of the weight loss journey, keeping the weight off is. Bariatric surgery enhances weight loss in obese people who have not achieved long-term success with other weight loss methods.

Bariatric surgery is performed on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. The basic principle of the procedure is to restrict your food intake and reduce the absorption of food in the stomach and intestines. As a result of this weight loss procedure you will feel full after eating a small amount of food. That is exactly what bariatric surgery does and why it helps people lose weight.

There are multiple forms of bariatric surgery. Options include:

  • Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Revision
  • Lap Band Surgery
  • Duodenel Switch

The rate of obesity in America is rising at an alarming rate. Bariatric surgery certainly represents a powerful tool for providing sustained relief for overweight people. There are many health complications associated with being overweight. Weight loss surgery can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complications, gallbladder disease and more. Your physician can help determine if you are eligible for surgery and, if so, which option will work best for you.

Bariatric surgery aids in mass weight loss at one time and keeping the weight off. Losing the weight and gaining it back does nothing to alleviate the potential health problems associated with obesity. You must keep the weight off for a minimum of five years to consider the loss successful, resulting in a healthier, happier you.

Flushing Hospital Bariatric Center is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of health care providers that are compassionate and fully invested in helping you in every step of your weight loss journey. For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908.

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.

Thyroid Awareness Month – Flushing Hospital Raising Awareness

The thyroid gland serves many functions. It regulates our rate of metabolism, growth and development, and our body temperature. So when it isn’t working properly it can have a major impact on our health.

Human Thyroid Gland

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), thyroid disease is a more common disorder than diabetes or heart disease. It affects as many as 30 million Americans, more than half of whom remain undiagnosed. To raise awareness about the thyroid gland and symptoms of thyroid disease, January has been designated Thyroid Awareness Month.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of the neck.. Although small in size, the gland plays a large role by producing thyroid hormone which influences the function of many of the body’s most important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. When the thyroid gland is not producing the right amount of hormone (either too much or too little), problems can start to arise.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones. This can result in a range of symptoms that include unexplained fatigue, weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, feeling cold, hair loss, or low sex drive. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is a condition when the body produces an abundance of thyroid hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include rapid heart rate, heat intolerance and unexplained weight loss and anxiety. For both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, medication can be prescribed to regulate hormone levels.

A more serious concern involving the thyroid gland is thyroid cancer, which can develop independent of the above thyroid disease. According to the AACE, about 60,000 cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S. In most cases, thyroid cancer has a good prognosis and high survival rates—especially when diagnosed in its early stages.

Through attention raised by Thyroid Awareness Month, more and more primary care physicians are screening for thyroid disease, which has greatly helped those who would have otherwise had their condition go undiagnosed.

Flushing Hospital is proud to help raise awareness for thyroid disease and encourages everyone experiencing symptoms to ask their doctor to do an evaluation. If you do not have a doctor, call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to make an appointment 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.

Who Should Get Tested For Hepatitis C?

hepatitis-c-541268966-300x200Hepatitis 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.

In addition to treatment, your doctor will also advise that you live a healthy life by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, quitting recreational drug use, practicing safe sex and getting regular checkups.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on Facebook.com/Flushing Hospital and follow us on Twitter @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.

Tips To Guard Against the Stomach Flu

The flu isn’t the only virus that we need to protect ourselves against this time of year. Gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu is a very contagious bug that is common in our region beginning in the fall and winter months.Unlike influenza, which affects your respiratory system, the stomach flu attacks your intestines causing the following symptoms:

• Watery, non-bloody diarrhea
• Abdominal cramps and pain
• Nausea, vomiting or both
• Occasional muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever

Businessman with stomach ache

Gastroenteritis is typically spread through the sharing of food or drink with someone who is infected or sharing other items with them such as utensils or towels. Children can also spread the illness by placing their hands in their mouths after touching contaminated items or surfaces.

Symptoms usually appear within one to three days after exposure and can range from mild to severe. Typically symptoms last only a day or two, but in some cases, they may persist for up to ten days.

The main complication from viral gastroenteritis is dehydration — a severe loss of water and essential salts and minerals. If you’re healthy and drink enough to replace fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration shouldn’t be a problem. However, infants, older adults and people with suppressed immune systems may become severely dehydrated when they lose more fluids than they can replace. Hospitalization might be needed so that lost fluids can be replaced intravenously. Dehydration can be fatal, but rarely.

To avoid catching the stomach flu, it is recommended that individuals wash their hands thoroughly, use separate items around the home, disinfect all potentially infected items and surfaces, and keep your distance from those who are infected.

If you do contract gastroenteritis, follow these tips:

• Let your stomach settle. Stop eating solid foods for a few hours.
• Try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water. You might also try drinking clear liquids or broths or non-caffeinated sports drinks. Drink plenty of liquid every day, taking small, frequent sips.
• Ease back into eating. Gradually begin to eat bland, easy-to-digest foods, such as ginger ale crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas, rice and chicken. Stop eating if your nausea returns.
• Avoid certain foods and substances until you feel better. These include dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods.
• Get plenty of rest. The illness and dehydration may have made you weak and tired.

See a doctor if you become dehydrated (characterized by excessive thirst, dry mouth, dark yellow or no urine, severe weakness or dizziness), if symptoms persist for over 24 hours, if you are vomiting blood or have blood in your stool, or if you have a temperature of 104 degrees or above.

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 Cold Weather To Blame for Back Pain?

Maybe you’ve heard before that people with achy joints or arthritis can predict cold weather coming long before the local weather man. Or maybe you suffer from back pain that seems to get worse every time winter strikes and the temperature drops below freezing. The technical name for this condition is “cold allodynia”, but what is actually happening with your body when these instances occur?

Some experts believe that barometric pressure on your joints is the cause of cold allodynia. There are many receptors in the bodies’ nerve endings which detect things like texture, temperature, and of course pressure. However, these nerve endings may also pick up on changes in barometric pressure in the air and respond, in some people, with a pain reaction.

So what can you do about back pain during cold weather? Well, the first thing you can do is to keep warm and bundle up. Extra layers are extremely helpful to retain heat and keep the cold out. Understanding how and why winter weather affects your body is the first step to mitigating your pain. With this in mind, here are some important facts about back pain this season:

  • While there is no known connection between barometric pressure and back pain, cold temperatures are associated with an increased risk of back injuries. One thing we do know is that when you’re cold, the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your back tighten and become less flexible, thereby making them much more prone to injuries that in turn can cause you plenty of back pain.
  • Dark and gloomy days in winter may contribute to depression, which in turn can cause or aggravate chronic back pain.
  • Shorter, colder days may discourage you from exercising, which can be a formula for back pain. After all, that early morning run or evening bike ride might be dangerous as well as uncomfortable when it’s dark, wet and/or cold outside.

Many people say they experience back, neck and joint pain either just before a storm or when the temperature falls quickly, implying that their bodies are in some way able to register the barometric pressure changes that occur during such times. However, to date, there is no scientific evidence proving a correlation between declining atmospheric pressure and back pain. The takeaway from this is that winter back problems may be avoidable when you wear the right clothing to keep you warm, stretch your muscles regularly, stay active and employ basic fall prevention techniques when needed.

The Pain Management Center at Flushing Hospital is designed to diagnose and treat a vast array of chronic pain syndromes. For any questions about the services provided, please call 718- 670-8797.

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.