Can Your Lifestyle Affect Fertility?

Infertility 99913714

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. The movement began in 1989 with the goal of raising awareness about the condition of infertility and the importance of reproductive health.

Infertility affects 10-15% of couples in the United States.  Although it is commonly assumed that this condition occurs only in women; it affects both genders.

Infertility is usually diagnosed after a couple has tried to conceive for over one year without success.  In women this problem can be the result of several problems such as ovulation disorders, pelvic inflammatory disease, blocked Fallopian tubes or uterine fibroids.  Factors that can cause infertility in men may include oligospermia (very few sperm cells are produced) or azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced).

There are also lifestyle practices that can increase the risk of infertility. Smoking, consuming too much alcohol, mental stress and poor diet are all known to affect fertility.

Excess stress can affect the function of the hypothalamus gland; which regulates the hormones that tells the ovaries to release eggs.  Recent studies have also indicated that women experiencing greater amounts of stress were more likely to produce high levels of alpha-amylase and had a more difficult time getting pregnant.

The toxins inhaled from cigarette smoke can affect fertility by causing damage to reproductive organs, eggs and sperm.  Heavy and prolonged alcohol consumption can also cause imbalances in the hormones of the reproductive systems of women and can also damage sperm in men.

Adopting a healthy diet that includes foods known to improve reproductive health and boost fertility can increase the chances of healthy ovulation. Dietitians often recommend eating organic foods and cold water fish such as salmon, increasing the intake of whole grains and drinking freshly squeezed fruit juices to couples who are trying to conceive.

If you have been trying to conceive for at least one year without success, it is possible that your lifestyle could be a contributing factor. It is recommended that you consult an Ob/Gyn to explore the possible causes of your infertility.

To learn more about infertility and treatments please call the Women’s Health Center at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center at 718-291-3276.

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.

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What Is the True Meaning and Origin of The Symbol Rx?

Rx is commonly known to most as the symbol for a medical prescription. However, the symbol is derived from the Latin word recipe or “recipere,”which means to take. The word was later abbreviated and became Rx as we know it today.  RX Symbol -177245590

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.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome – A Proper Diet

April is Irritable Bowel Awareness Month. For many people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), finding out which foods agree with them and which foods cause them discomfort, is essential to living successfully with the disease.

IBS is a condition whereby certain foods will cause intestinal discomfort after being consumed. These symptoms can include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea or Constipation

There is no general rule of what to eat and what to avoid in treating IBS. A physician will go through a patient’s daily diet and see if there are certain foods that are more likely to act as irritants. Foods that typically cause a problem for people with IBS have a high concentration of insoluble fiber which are found primarily in whole grains and vegetables and that do not dissolve in water.  Insoluble fiber rich foods pass through the intestine almost intact and can act as a natural laxative.  The foods that physicians who treat this disease recommend avoiding include:

  • Nuts
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Raisins
  • Broccoli

The act of eating and chewing stimulates the digestive tract.  It has been suggested that instead of eating one or two full meals every day, eating five or six smaller portion  meals may prevent   the digestive tract from becoming over stimulated.

To make an appointment with a physician specializing in IBS at Jamaica Hospital please call 718-206-6742.IBS

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.

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Interesting Facts About Tickling

We have all done it to someone or had it done to us. Some of us are more sensitive to it than others. What are we talking about? – tickling.

ThinkstockPhotos-455778987What exactly happens when you’re tickled? In simple terms, nerve endings in your skin send messages to the cerebellum, the area of your brain that monitors movement and reacts to sensation. When someone tickles you, the cerebellum reacts to this unexpected touch.

Our brain is aware of our body’s movement however and can predict a response to any sensation and suppress a response. This failure to surprise our brain is why we cannot tickle ourselves.

A reaction to being tickled does have benefits. Many believe it to be a defense mechanism. Being tickled often draws attention to external stimuli. Like an itch, it can alert us to predators, such as insects crawling on our skin. In addition, some of the most ticklish parts of our body, such as under our arms and our ribs, are also some of our most vulnerable, reinforcing the theory that tickling is a way of warning our body to protect these areas.

Another potential benefit is that being tickled can be slimming. Tickling makes you laugh, which burns calories. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that 10 to 15 minutes of laughing burns 10 to 40 extra calories a day — which could add up to one to four pounds in a year.

There are still many things we do not know about tickling, including why some people are more ticklish than others, but at least you now know that you cannot tickle yourself.

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.

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Spring Cleaning? Take Precaution When Using Your Cleaning Supplies

ThinkstockPhotos-467912941Spring cleaning offers an opportunity to get rid of old things and bring a sense of refreshment to your environment, but the process may not always be so pleasant to the senses. Often times, household cleaning products can irritate the eyes, nose and throat and trigger allergic reactions or even an asthma attack.

Sneezing, coughing and itchy skin can be symptoms traced back to chemical allergies found in everyday cleaning products.  We are exposed to hundreds of different chemicals in the products used every day to clean our homes, cars, or offices. If you read the list of ingredients in these cleaning products, you may be surprised to find that many of these ingredients are potentially toxic chemicals which can trigger asthma attacks.

According to the AmThinkstockPhotos-153187215erican Lung Association, some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other harmful ingredients include ammonia and bleach. VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches.

Cleaning products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include:

  • Air fresheners
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Detergent and dish washing liquid
  • Dry cleaning chemicals
  • Rug and upholstery cleaners
  • Furniture and floor polish
  • Oven cleaners

The American Lung Association suggests reading all labels on cleaning supplies and household products before you buy them. Choose products that do not contain or have reduced amounts of VOCs, fragrances, irritants and flammable ingredients. Products that are labeled “green” do not necessarily mean they are safer.

As a safer cleaning alternative, warm water and soap often will do the trick, especially at home. Baking soda is good for scrubbing. A mix of vinegar and water can clean glass.

Another helpful tip: when using cleaning or household products, keep the area well ventilated. Never use cleaning products in a small, enclosed space and open windows and doors.

Happy and safe cleaning and enjoy your new clean space!

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.

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What Are Keloid Scars?

Keloid scars occur when the body responds aggressively to an injury to the skin. Damage to the skin can be the result of a cut, scrape, burn, piercing, or surgery.

ThinkstockPhotos-451889141Keloids are usually pink or red and are raised above the normal skin surface. They are different from other scars in that they have the ability to stretch beyond the original boundary of the wound. They develop most often on the chest, back, shoulders, and earlobes and can become painful, itchy, and in extreme cases, even affect muscle function.

Doctors do not know why certain individuals develop keloid scars and some do not, but research suggests that some people’s skin is unable to identify and correctly respond to the damage at the site of the wound. Keloid scars can be developed by anyone but they are much more common in those with darker colored skin. The tendency to form keloids sometimes seems to run in families.

Treatment options include surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections, or silicone sheets to flatten the scar. Smaller keloids can be treated using cryotherapy (freezing therapy using liquid nitrogen).

The best keloid cure is to prevent one before it starts. People who are prone to keloid scars should not undergo cosmetic surgery or get piercings because chances are another keloid will develop. There’s no guarantee that a keloid will not develop after an injury, but there are steps that can be taken to aid in the prevention.

At the initial period of injury firm pressure should immediately be placed on the wound. This will help to stop the bleeding so that your body can begin the healing process. The wound should be cleaned with cool running water and mild soap to rid the wound from any dirt or debris. Keep the wound covered with a bandage to keep out bacteria and other toxins. Silicone gels are very effective for this because they form a barrier on the skin locking in moisture while keeping out germs.

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.

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Diabetes and Surgery

A surgical procedure for any patient requires a certain amount of preparation, both for the pre-operative phase and the post-operative phase. A patient with diabetes however has to be monitored very closely because they are at greater risk of developing complications than non-diabetic patients.

Your physician will tell you when you should eat before surgery and when you should take your last dose of diabetes medication prior to any surgical procedure. During the surgical procedure your blood glucose levels will be monitored to make sure that it stays with normal range (80-150 mg/dL).

Diabetic patients post operatively may experience:

  • Poor wound healing
  • Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia
  • Infection at the wound site
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

After the surgical procedure is over, check your blood sugar level frequently because you may not be eating properly, may be less active, and are stressed. Diabetic patients may require a few days in the hospital post-op to have their glucose levels monitored carefully. If you are a diabetic patient and are scheduled for surgery, discuss pre and post-operative preparations with your surgeon.200252904-001

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.

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What is an allergic reaction?

Your own asthma allergyimmune system is what really causes allergic reactions.  Grass and tree pollen’s, ragweed, dust- it mistakes these harmless allergens for a serious threat and attacks them. The sneezing, watery eyes or coughing are the result of your body mistakenly attacking itself. It begins with exposure to the allergen. Even if you’ve inhaled an allergen many times before with no trouble, at some point, the body flags it as an invader. The immune system studies the allergen and readies itself for the next exposure by developing antibodies; you are now “sensitized” to the allergen.

If you are having trouble finding relief from allergies, contact Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center and set an appointment with one of our physicians for help at 718-206-7001.

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.

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Let The Grilling Begin!

200422318-001With summer a season away and the time to uncover our grills is getting closer, a simple and healthy way to grill is to incorporate vegetables. We have compiled some simple rules for successful grilling vegetables.

  • Start with a clean grill and well-oiled vegetables
  • Do not move your vegetables on the grates. Leave them on the grill until they are nicely seared and lift off easily
  • Use the hottest spots on the grill for the heartier vegetables, like onions and bell peppers. Keep the more delicate produce, such as tomatoes over places with less heat.
  • Group the food by cooking time so you remember to remove everything from one area all at once, since some foods take longer to grill than others.

These tips should provide foolproof results every time!

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.

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Is My Teen Troubled?

Troubled 465581459Although there are many books that offer tips, there isn’t a universal reference guide that can prepare a parent for what will happen during their child’s teenage years.  There are so many changes that your teen is facing that could influence them in a positive or negative way.

As your teenager begins to assert their independence, some behavioral changes may become bizarre and unpredictable. Your once sweet, obedient child, who always wanted to be with you, now wants to have as little association with you as possible.  The child that hung on your every word now rolls their eyes when you give your opinion or advice.  These are the actions of a normal teenager, but how can you know if their behavior is a sign of greater issues?

Some teenagers exhibit a break in communication, fighting, defiance, violent mood swings and explosive anger. These teens face behavioral, emotional, and learning problems that are beyond the normal teenage issues and pose a greater challenge for their parents.

Some warning signs that your teen may be troubled are:

  • Changes in appearance, if it is accompanied by problems at school other negative changes in behavior, such as self-harm or extreme weight loss or weight gain.
  • Repeated escalation of arguments, violence at home, skipping school, getting fights, and run-ins with the law.
  • Rapid changes in personality, falling grades, persistent sadness, anxiety or sleep problems, depression, bullying or talk of suicide.
  • Alcohol consumption or drug use becomes habitual.
  • A sudden change in peer group, especially if the new friends encourage negative behavior.

The challenge for parents is to help their teen cope with emotions and deal with anger in a more constructive way.  First, parents need to establish clear rules and consequences; teens need rules now more than ever.  Secondly, suggest exercise and team sports to your teen, they have proven effective in the relief of tension and anger, give your teen and yourself, space to cool off.  Lastly, you can’t help your teen if you lose your temper as well.

Parenting a troubled teen can seem like an impossible task, but identifying red flag behaviors in your teen, seeking help from a doctor, counselor, therapist or other mental health professional is a step in the right direction.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health at 718-206-7160.

 

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.

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