Can Practicing Yoga Help Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Practicing yoga can give your overall health an added boost.  Studies have found that it is also helpful in fighting hypertension when combined with other methods of management such as a healthy diet, medication and aerobic exercise.  Research indicates that on average patients who incorporated yoga into their care management routine saw a notable reduction in their systolic blood pressure (top number) and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).

It is believed that yoga is an effective complementary treatment for hypertension because it increases and strengthens the body’s ability to take in oxygen.  Additionally it can help improve resiliency to stress; a trigger in elevating blood pressure levels.

If you decide to include yoga as a part of your care, it is important to know that not all yoga poses are created equal in high blood pressure management. There are some poses that are helpful and there are others that can be harmful.

Yoga poses that can be beneficial are:

  • Bridge pose
  • Posterior stretch pose
  • Savasana pose
  • Child pose

Yoga poses that should be avoided or modified include:

  • Bow pose
  • Camel pose
  • Feathered peacock pose
  • Balasana pose

It is important that you speak with your physician before trying yoga.  Your physician will assess your health and advise if you are physically capable.  If your doctor has given you the green light, inform your yoga instructor about your hypertension.  This information will help in the prevention of injuries or the exacerbation of your medical condition.

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

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.

Resolve to Eat Right

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With the holidays drawing to a close, it will soon be the time for resolutions.  Why not make eating right a part of your resolution.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.  You can begin with a simple shift to lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates into your nutritional regimen while lessening your intake of processed foods, white flour and sugar.

For more information on eating right, contact the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s  Ambulatory Care Center at  718-670-5486 to speak with a nutritionist.

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.

#WELLNESSWEDNESDAY QUOTE OF THE DAY

Healthy concept, Spirit, Body and Mind

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. -John F. Kennedy

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.

Midlife Crisis or Depression?

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The idea of a “midlife crisis” in popular culture is when you do outrageous, impractical things such as straying from your marriage, buying sports cars or impulsively quitting you job.

A midlife crisis is better known as a midlife transition to mental health experts, who say this time in a person’s life is sometimes accompanied by depression.

The key is to realize when your transition is developing into depression.

Some signs that your midlife transition may be rooted in depression are:

  • Extreme change in eating habits
  • Consistently fatigued and exhausted
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • A feeling of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness
  • Irritable, restless or unexpected bouts of anger
  • Thoughts or attempts of suicide
  • Decrease or increase in desire and ambition
  • Compulsion for alcohol or drugs
  • Desire for a sexual affair
  • Feeling overwhelmingly trapped by responsibilities, such as
    financial, family and job
  • Consistent desire to run away from responsibilities
  • Doing things out of character that could lead to trouble

Studies have shown that 88% of Americans who are experiencing depression during their midlife transition have reported difficulty at work, home or with otherwise simple social activities.  Unfortunately, only 35% of them had seen a mental health professional for support or treatment.

A midlife transition can be one of the most stress-filled phases in your life’s journey.  Seeking the assistance from a mental health professional during this time can save relationships, finances and other aspects of your life.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a midlife transitional depression, call for an appointment at the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Center.  For more information or to make an appointment, 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.

Natural Ways To Defy Aging

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As far back as 1513, when Ponce de Leon traveled to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth, people have been obsessed with retaining their youthful appearance. In modern times, whether young, middle-aged or older, individuals are still in search of ways to look younger.

Could the “fountain of youth” and the ability to maintain a youthful appearance have been within our grasp all along?

It is proven that people who have maintained a fit, healthy weight throughout their life will often have a younger looking physique, as well as less sagging in their skin.

Additional ways to maintain a younger appearance are:

  • Taking care of your teeth – A full set of teeth avoids the bone loss in the mouth and jaw structures, which can give the face a sunken appearance.
  • Color your greys away – Vibrant hair color, with a glossy texture and lots of volume can also make someone look younger.
  • Dump the frumpy frocks – Modern, stylish clothing, eyeglasses, jewelry and accessories can go a long way toward appearing younger.
  • Posture – How you stand, sit and carry yourself will not only affect how other people see you, but it also has an impact on how you look and feel as you get older.
  • Adjust your mindset – Research has found that our lifestyle habits such as exercise, nutrition, stress management and sleep will enhance the body’s ability to repair cellular damage that is inevitable as we get older.
  • Get your beauty sleep – Bags under the eyes and pallor to your skin can definitely make you look old and tired. A solid seven to eight hours of sleep per night is recommended.

If maintaining healthy skin is your concern, foods containing vitamins A, C, and E, polyphenols (antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties that protect and benefit the skin should be part of your daily diet)

Here are some examples of foods that provide these key nutrients:

  • Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, broccoli, leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), red, yellow and orange produce (such as cantaloupe, carrots, bell peppers), and asparagus
  • Vitamin C – Red bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, pineapple, kiwifruit, oranges and cantaloupe
  • Vitamin E – Nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, tomato products, and spinach
  • Polyphenols – Green tea, cocoa and dark chocolate

By maximizing your intake of the items listed above, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and drinking plenty of purified water while minimizing your intake of sugars and highly processed foods, you  will be doing your best to keep your body functioning well as you age.

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.

Take a Break

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Studies have shown that taking regular breaks during the work day can improve productivity and mental acuity, reduce fatigue, relieve joint or muscle pain, and increase overall alertness.

Chronic stress from over working can put a strain on your body and put you at risk for poor health. Taking a break can give your body the chance to turn off the stress so that you can recuperate and repair.

Research has shown that people on a break feel healthier, have less physical complaints and could have a reduction in cholesterol levels on their return.

Some other benefits of taking a break or vacation are:

  • Vitamin D – The Sun is rich in Vitamin D which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and keeping the immune systems and nervous system functioning normally.
  • Relaxing – Taking time to relax on a break from working has powerful benefits for adults. It can be as important as sleep.

Break time shrinks stress – Time away from work helps shrink stress and anxiety while boosting mental and physical health.

Keep in mind that regularly scheduled breaks should be approved by your supervisor.

 

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.

Benefit of the Annual Physical

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The greatest benefit of an annual physical is knowledge for both you and your physician.  An annual visit establishes a baseline for your personal health.  Armed with this information, your doctor can detect unhealthy trends before they become risk factors.

Nearly one third of the population with a chronic disease is unaware that they have the disease.  According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, as many as 100,000 lives could be saved each year by increasing preventive care services.

Health screenings, such as blood glucose and blood pressure tests can easily detect the two most chronic conditions, diabetes and hypertension before they cause serious health issues.  The Centers for Disease Control cites that seven out of every 10 deaths are caused by chronic disease.  Proper management of these conditions can prevent unnecessary hospitalization.

In order to get the most out of your annual physical, take a moment to prepare:

  • Make a list of your health concerns
  • Make a list of all the medications you are taking
  • Get a copy of your medical records and your family medical history

Dozens of Patient Care Specialists, on staff at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, are ready to provide you with your annual check-up.

Flushing Hospital is a certified Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) in its Ambulatory Care Center. The Center offers more than 50 outpatient general and specialty services for children adolescents and adults.

Flushing Hospital’s ambulatory care services accepts most major insurances, is centrally located and has convenient patient hours.  Call 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.

Will a Cup of Coffee Help Reduce the Risk of Skin Cancer?

 

ThinkstockPhotos-92572283A recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has found that drinking coffee is associated with a slightly reduced risk for melanoma, the most serious kind of skin cancer and leading cause of skin cancer death in the United States.

Using health and dietary data, researchers concluded that the more caffeinated coffee consumed, the lower the risk of melanoma. Drinking four or more cups of coffee was associated with a 20 percent risk reduction compared with those who drank none.

While the results are encouraging, more research is needed. There are some health risks associated with excess caffeine intake, so please consult with your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake. The best way to reduce your risk of skin cancer is to limit sun and ultraviolet light exposure, and make sure you or your dermatologist perform a skin check. Usually, skin cancer is not painful. A change on the skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. This may be a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in a mole or old growth.

To make an appointment with a dermatologist, 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.

The History of Contact Lenses

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It’s Contact Lens Health Week. Do you know the history behind the contact lens?

Contact lenses are so common today that people don’t give them a second thought, but did you know that the concept for contact lenses goes all the way back to Leonardo DaVinci who described them back in 1508? Experiments over the next centuries yielded little success until the late 1800s when German scientists devised a prototype made from a thin piece of glass.

In the early 1900s, it became possible to make a mold of the entire eye and this helped to make lenses fit better.  Plastics were developed in the 1950s that allowed the lens to be made thinner and with an even better fit.   By 1960, Bausch and Lomb developed a technique to cast hydrogel, a plastic material that could be molded and shaped when wet, allowing for the production of high quality, mass produced lenses.  Today’s lenses are much more comfortable than the lenses made even 20 years ago. They can be worn for long periods of time and they let the eye to breathe which earlier versions couldn’t allow for.

Learn how to protect your eyes and care for your contact lenses at CDC.org.

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.