National Registered Dietitian Day!

FranGPrizeWinner RDDay2017-2

March 8, 2017, is Registered Dietitian Day. Every year, on the second Wednesday of the month is set aside to honor and highlight the efforts of Registered Dietitians nationwide. Dietitian-Nutritionists work in many sectors of the health field. Here at Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) Dietitian-Nutritionists work to improve the health of patients, as well as staff. “Registered Dietitian-Nutrition Day is a way for us to continue to spread the word about Dietitian-Nutritionists and the work we do throughout the communities.” stated Michelle Hill, Chief Clinical Dietitian at Flushing Hospital.

In honor of the big day, New York City Council Member Peter Koo awarded a Certificate of Recognition to the hospital’s nutrition team for the commitment they have to the health of others.

Other events at Flushing Hospital included a Healthy Recipe Makeover contest. The first place winner of the contest was Fran Goulston, Coordinator, Performance Improvement, who submitted a recipe using vegetables as an alternative to using red meat in meat balls.

There are approximately 6,600 Registered-Nutritionists in New York State. Each has undergone rigorous academic coursework and training. Dietitian- Nutritionists at FHMC collectively hold bachelors, masters, and PhDs not only in the field of dietetics, but at times in other fields such as business, finance, journalism, and psychology earning them the title of “The Nutrition Experts.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center urges everyone to make a healthy choice a day to reach your health goals.

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.

Home Remedies for Foot Odor

feet -450795759The medical term for foot odor is bromodosis.  The main cause for this common condition is excessive perspiration. Sweaty feet create the perfect environment for odor-causing bacteria to develop.  Additional causes for foot odor may include stress, medication, hormonal changes, alcohol and drug use, fungal infections or poor hygiene.

Foot odor can be embarrassing and can affect anyone; however, there are simple and inexpensive remedies that can be used at home to help eliminate the smell.  Here are a few:

  • Wash your feet twice a  day with antibacterial soap
  • After a bath, use a cotton swab to dab between the toes with rubbing alcohol
  • Soak your feet in salt water or baking soda
  • Bathe  your feet in vinegar
  • Clean and scrub feet with a pumice stone
  • Sprinkle corn starch into your socks
  • Wear fresh socks and change them regularly (moisture absorbing socks are best)
  • Change your shoes regularly to allow them to dry and air properly. Podiatrist recommend that you do not wear the same shoes for two consecutive days

If an odor persists after trying these remedies, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.   There are several courses of treatment your doctor may recommend. Depending on the severity of your case, prescription–strength products, the use of electrical devices to eliminate perspiration or a surgical procedure that helps to control sweating are a few of the options your podiatrist may explore.

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.

Pneumonia

Examining chest x-ray

Examining chest x-ray

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, a virus or fungi. It is characterized by the air sacs in the lungs becoming inflamed and filling up with fluid or pus.  Pneumonia can vary in severity from very mild to life threatening and it is most serious in infants, young children, people who are older than 65 and people who have weakened immune systems. There are two ways it can affect the lungs: Lobar pneumonia is when only one lobe is affected and bronchial pneumonia is when both lungs are affected.
Since pneumonia affects the lungs, it can severely limit the ability of oxygen to reach the blood stream, affecting other organs’ ability to function properly.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:
• Difficulty breathing that causes chest pain
• Fatigue
• Cough with phlegm
• Fever, chills, sweating
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
• Rapid heartbeat
• Confusion
Risk factors for pneumonia include:
• Cigarette smoking
• Chronic lung disease (COPD, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis)
• Diabetes
• Cerebral Palsy
• Immunosuppression
• After surgery
There are a few ways to proactively prevent pneumonia. Anyone can develop pneumonia but those who are at high risk can ask their physician about getting a pneumonia vaccine. Practicing good hygiene and washing your hands frequently with soap and water and also using a hand sanitizer can be useful. It is also important to keep the body healthy by getting enough rest, proper nutrition, and exercise.
Pneumonia is diagnosed through a physical exam which will include listening to the lungs with a stethoscope and also may include a chest x-ray. Additional testing may include a blood test to check the white blood cell count, a sputum test, pulse oximetry or a bronchoscopy.
The treatment of simple pneumonia depends on the agent that is causing it. Many cases can be treated with antibiotics, cough medicine and fever reducer/pain reliever. More complex cases may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. If you are having difficulty breathing it is important to get checked by a physician to diagnose the reason why. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, 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.

Staph Infection on the Skin

Red pimple

Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) is a group of bacteria that can cause many diseases. It is commonly found on the skin in most people and it usually doesn’t cause infection until it enters the body through breaks in the skin or with food. These infections can range from being mild (not requiring any treatment) to very severe.
When staph infections develop on the skin, they can take on many different forms depending on the severity. The wound may be superficial (boils, abscess, furuncle) or deep (cellulitis). Usually these skin lesions are red, swollen and tender to the touch. There may also be pus that drains from the infection site. Severe infections which have entered the blood stream cause sepsis and manifest with high fever, chills, low blood pressure, and eventually shock.
Staph infections tend to be contagious when there is direct skin to skin contact with an infected wound.  They can also be transmitted with shared razors, gloves, socks, needles, and bandages. Prevention of staph infections can be achieved with frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with open wounds, and thorough cleansing of scrapes and cuts as soon as they occur.
People who are at higher risk for developing staph infections include:
• Diabetics
• Newborns
• Patients with cancer, lung disease, and vascular disease
• Intravenous drug users
• People with weakened immune systems
Treatment for staph infections depends on the severity. If it is a minor skin lesion, cleaning it with soap and water regularly may be sufficient whereas other wounds may require topical antibiotic ointments. More severe wounds will require surgical intervention and oral or intravenous antibiotics to control further spreading and eventually resolve the infection.
Minor skin rashes in children can be treated by a pediatrician and for adults by an internist or family medicine doctor.  More severe wounds and wounds that are difficult to heal may require the specialized care offered in the wound care clinic. To schedule an appointment with the appropriate physician, 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.

Power of Positive Thinking

positivethinking

According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health.

Try these morning affirmations and get your day started right:

  • Today, I will think pure and positive thoughts
  • Today, I release the past and move into the present
  • Today, I choose to have joy
  • Today, I choose peace
  • Today, I realize that I am worthy of good things
  • Today, I begin to make healthy choices for my body, mind and soul
  • Today, I claim that the healthier I live my life, the better my life will be
  • Today, I like who I am

 

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 Are the Keys to Successful Aging?

Understanding Physical and Mental Health: Depression
Ira Frankel, PhD, LCSW, Administrator of Psychiatry and Addiction Services

“Just as long as we have our health,” is something that I’ve said and have heard others say very frequently in the past few months. And, by health, we mean both physical and mental health.

Portrait of a senior man in a tuxedo showing the thumbs up

In a very basic way, health can be thought of as the absence of disease. A reason that our doctors ask us how we’re feeling when we go to see him or her is because he or she wants to know about our comfort or our absence of pain or trouble. Each one of us knows best what our physical or mental pain or trouble consists of because we feel it directly.

Another way to think of the issue of health is to describe the path to achieve it over the long course of our lives. Studies1 have shown that a path to health is achieved with a behavioral prescription for successful aging that includes diet, exercise, the pursuit of mental challenges, self-efficacy, and social support. The more we are able to follow this behavioral prescription, the more we will be free from physical or mental pain or trouble.

Let’s look at this a little more closely. Most of us already know that if we maintain a healthy diet and exercise frequently, then we will tend to be healthier. In fact, exercise is now considered a “magic bullet” in modern medicine. But, maintaining a good diet and exercising frequently is a mental challenge of self-mastery. And, most of us know how difficult it is to master ourselves to maintain both activities. There are many other mental challenges. For example, each one of us is a mental challenge to other people. In fact, getting along with others is one of the most difficult mental challenges that we will ever have to face.

The fourth successful aging ingredient is self-efficacy. Those of us who believe that we can achieve a particular goal, for example, health and longevity, will continue to do the things, such as diet, exercise, and the pursuit of mental challenges, which will help us achieve the goal. We can build up self-efficacy by taking small, rather than giant steps, towards diet, exercise, and the pursuit of mental challenges

The final successful aging ingredient is social support. If we help each other take the steps described in the previous paragraphs, then each one of us will be more likely to feel at ease, that is, without disease, successfully age, and live longer.

Self-mastery is necessary for both physical and mental health. The behavioral prescription for successful aging in the previous paragraphs are just a general outline of self-mastery steps. Self-mastery is a mental challenge.

Many things get in the way of self-mastery. One of these things is depression. If we are depressed, then we have a hard time maintaining a good diet, exercising as we should, thinking well about self-mastery, feeling self-efficacy, or being with and getting along with other people. There is a fairly simple way to ask ourselves whether we are depressed. It is called the PHQ-2, which stands for the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 because it has two questions.

Ask yourself: Over the past 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following symptoms: 1) Little interest or pleasure in doing things; and, 2) Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless. Answers are either (0) not at all, (1) several days, (2) more than half the days, or (3) nearly every day. Bring your answers to your primary care doctor the next time you see him or her.

Taking the self-mastery steps towards successful aging and longevity is a main task of modern medicine. Taking the self-mastery steps is a very important mental challenge. If you are experiencing any difficulties taking these steps, such as depression or any other difficulty on your path to ease and comfort, then speak with your primary care doctor in the community or one at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-8939

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 Could Wrist Pain be Telling You ?

Wrist pain

Wrist pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand caused by pressure exerted on a major nerve and tendons in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist through which passes the median nerve and these tendons.  It usually starts gradually with numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers that at first may appear to come and go and then as it progressively worsens, remains constant. Four out of the five fingers will eventually be affected, the little finger is exempt. It generally affects women more frequently than men.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
• Tingling or numbness of the thumb, index finger and middle fingers
• Weakness of the hand with difficulty holding on to objects
Compression of the median nerve can be caused by a few different factors. Some people have naturally occurring smaller carpal tunnels which can lead to increased likely hood of damage. Any damage to that area of the wrist can cause a problem. A previous wrist fracture or anything that may cause swelling in that area can lead to the problem developing. In addition, there are certain health related issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and arthritis which can be associated with this condition.
Temporary relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be addressed  by:
• taking quick breaks from repetitive activities of the hand
• rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers
• avoid sleeping on your hands and wrists
• ultrasound therapy which makes the area of the wrist warm and more flexible

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome really depends on what the cause is and how severe it has become.  If symptoms appear, never wait too long before seeking treatment options as this can lead to permanent damage. Some simple remedies include stopping any activity that may be compressing the nerve, putting ice on the wrist for 10 – 15 minutes once or twice an hour, taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, and wearing a night splint to take the pressure off of the nerve. Some cases can be helped with injections of corticosteroids. When the condition is really severe, surgical intervention may be required.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to be treated by a orthopedic physician at Flushing Hospital, 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.

What to Know About Bacterial Skin Disorders

Red pimple

Red pimple

Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) is a group of bacteria that can cause many diseases. It is commonly found on the skin in most people and it usually doesn’t cause infection until it enters the body through breaks in the skin or with food. These infections can range from being mild (not requiring any treatment) to very severe.
When staph infections develop on the skin, they can take on many different forms depending on the severity. The wound may be superficial (boils, abscess, furuncle) or deep (cellulitis). Usually these skin lesions are red, swollen and tender to the touch. There may also be pus that drains from the infection site. Severe infections which have entered the blood stream cause sepsis and manifest with high fever, chills, low blood pressure, and eventually shock.
Staph infections tend to be contagious when there is direct skin to skin contact with an infected wound.  They can also be transmitted with shared razors, gloves, socks, needles, and bandages. Prevention of staph infections can be achieved with frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with open wounds, and thorough cleansing of scrapes and cuts as soon as they occur.
People who are at higher risk for developing staph infections include:
• Diabetics
• Newborns
• Patients with cancer, lung disease, and vascular disease
• Intravenous drug users
• People with weakened immune systems
Treatment for staph infections depends on the severity. If it is a minor skin lesion, cleaning it with soap and water regularly may be sufficient whereas other wounds may require topical antibiotic ointments. More severe wounds will require surgical intervention and oral or intravenous antibiotics to control further spreading and eventually resolve the infection.
Minor skin rashes in children can be treated by a pediatrician and for adults by an internist or family medicine doctor.  More severe wounds and wounds that are difficult to heal may require the specialized care offered in the wound care clinic. To schedule an appointment with the appropriate physician, 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.

Cavity Prevention Tips

Father and son (5-7) brushing teeth in bathroom, low angle view

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) parents should instill in their children the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age, ensuring that this ritual will continue when they become adults.

It is suggested that good oral hygiene be factored together when children are taught how to keep themselves healthy.

The ADA provides these age-by-age tips:

Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School

  • After each feeding, clean the baby’s gums with a clean wet gauze pad or washcloth
  • When teeth start to appear, brush them with a child’s size toothbrush and plain water
  • Begin flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch
  • Start dental visits by the child’s first birthday and make visits regularly
  • Brush teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss daily
  • Supervise your children while they are brushing their teeth to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste

School-Age Children and Adolescents

  • Until they are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth twice a day with a child size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Continue to assist with flossing as needed
  • By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day but may require supervision until about age 10 or 11
  • Ask the dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coating that can be applied to chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts
  • Remind your adolescent about practicing good oral hygiene

 If your child has dental problems, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center call 718-670-5522.

 

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.