Can Your Hypertension Medication Affect Your Dental Health?

dentalManaging your high blood pressure with the appropriate medications is very important for your overall health, but sometimes those medications can negatively affect your dental health.

Often, medications that are used to treat hypertension can have side effects in the oral environment.  Some of these medications can reduce the amount of saliva you produce, causing xerostomia, or dry mouth. Without the proper amount of saliva, the mouth can become irritated and inflamed. Dry mouth can also increase the risk of developing infection, gum disease, and the development of plaque, and therefore cavities.

Gum swelling or gingival overgrowth is another possible side-effect of medications used to treat high blood pressure. Gingival overgrowth occurs when gum tissue becomes so swollen that it begins to grow over the teeth. Swollen gum tissue creates a favorable environment for bacteria because plaque can easily get trapped underneath the gums, making it hard to brush and maintain good oral hygiene.

It is import to inform your dentist about any health conditions you have, and the medications you are taking.  Good oral hygiene and more frequent visits to the dentist can help lower your chances of developing complications.

Jamaica Hospital operates an outpatient dental center that treats a wide variety of conditions. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-6980.

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Jamaica Hospital Staff Advocates for Suicide Prevention

TeenSuicide484619757Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24 in the United States. It is estimated that 4,600 lives are lost each year. These numbers are cause for great concern but with awareness and prevention can be decreased.
With the reported average in occurrences and recent high-profile suicides, the question of what is suicide and can it be prevented have become popular topics in conversation. It is of the utmost importance that trained mental health professionals address concerns through public education and advocating for the awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.

In support of Suicide Prevention week a team of doctors, residents and administrators under the leadership of Jamaica Hospital’s Dr. Seeth Vivek, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, raised awareness by displaying posters, making and distributing yellow ribbons; which represent the dedication to preventing youth suicide through education and public awareness campaigns. Proceeds from the group’s efforts will benefit future community outreach campaigns.

The psychiatric staff at Jamaica Hospital is available 24/7 for consultations, depression screenings, assessments and immediate care. The staff consists of a team of caring professionals which include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, creative arts therapists and nurses.

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Are You Raising a Tween?

 

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Want to be a great parent? Want to raise a happy, healthy, well-behaved child? The secret is to create a closer connection.One of the most frightening times for parents is when your adorable young child becomes a tween. All of a sudden, that child who needed your nurturing has acquired a strong opinion, can debate brilliantly and, often times, experiences ups and downs.

Just as when your child was a toddler, parents need to accept and constructively negotiate their child’s newest growth of independence. Using constructive negotiation may avoid a disconnect with your tween.

 The best way to navigate the tween years is by staying connected to your child. Having dinner together, as often as possible, is a great place to start. Sharing private time with your child will invite conversation. Use conversation with your tween as a trust building/getting-to-know-you again exercise. Building trust is key for your tween to be able to confide in you.

Additional tips to stay connected to your tween are:

Recognize their need for independence.

  • Re-think your previous ideas about discipline.
  • Don’t take it personally.
  • Use the tween years to teach values.
  • Be aware of the pop culture they are exposed to.
  • Stay aware of their schoolwork.
  • Know their friend-base.
  • Keep in mind that they are actively shaping their identity.

 Being a tween is a confusing time for your child. Don’t wait until you see that your relationship needs some repair work…  It’s never too late to build a great relationship with your child.

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History of Physical Therapy

The American Physical Therapy Association defines physical therapy as the treatment or management of pain or physical disabilities without the use of medication, surgery, or radiation. Some of the methods of physical therapy include massage, exercise and hydrotherapy.

The practice of physical therapy has been documented for thousands of years with Hippocrates using it for the treatment of physical disabilities. In more modern times, physical therapy became widely used to treat injured war veterans returning from W.W. I. In the early 1920’s, physical therapy was used to treat people afflicted with polio in order to help their mobility.

Physical therapy is commonly used for:

• Back conditions

• Neck problems

• Shoulder and arm problems

• People who have undergone hip or knee replacement

• Stroke patients
• Post-op rehabilitation

Starting in the 1980’s physical therapy became more high tech through the use of computers and more advanced equipment that assisted in the process. Some of the more modern modalities developed during the past 20 years include ultrasound, electric stimulators, and cold laser therapy.

Most patients who receive physical therapy are referred by their orthopedic doctors or rheumatologists. If you have a condition that you feel may be helped by physical therapy, please contact the physical medicine department at 718-206- 7140 for an appointment.

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What Foods Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can bring about many physical and emotional changes, but another area of change may be in a pregnant woman’s diet.  What a woman eats during pregnancy is just as important as how much she should eat.

Pre-natal visits within the first trimester discuss choosing a healthy diet and foods to avoid that may pose any danger.
Some foods to avoid during pregnancy can include:
• Caffeine: 6-8 ounce cup of coffee per day may be ok, but it may be wiser to avoid caffeine altogether. Research has shown too much caffeine can increase the chances of a miscarriage within the first trimester.
• Alcohol: Once you confirm pregnancy, alcohol should be avoided at all costs. Alcohol crosses the placenta immediately. Drinking during pregnancy places your baby at risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, increasing their chances for learning disabilities, physical abnormalities, or disorders of the central nervous system.
• Fish: Certain types of fish contain high levels of mercury, which is dangerous for your unborn child. Fish that contain high mercury levels are: shark, tilefish, king mackerel, swordfish, and albacore tuna. If you would like to have fish, try salmon or tuna in a limited amount.
• Lunch meats and soft unpasteurized cheeses: Deli lunch meats or cheeses such as Brie, goat cheese, feta, queso blanco, or blue cheese can be unpasteurized and can be contaminated with a bacterium called listeria, which can trigger food poisoning. Try to avoid them, especially during the first trimester. Pregnant women have a weakened immune system and can be more prone to food-borne illnesses.
• Unprepared Eggs: Eggs are good for you. It’s encouraged to eat them since they are a good source of protein, choline, vitamins B12, A, and E. It’s the foods containing undercooked or raw eggs which should be avoided such as runny breakfast eggs, egg nog, home-made ice cream, mousse, raw cookie or cake batter or even caesar salad dressing. You can run the risk of being contaminated with salmonella.

The most important thing to keep in mind is eating healthy. Minor eliminations in your diet during pregnancy will help bring in a happy and healthy baby. Speak with your OB about foods to avoid.

If you are not receiving prenatal care, make an appointment with Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center at 718-291-3276.

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The Truth About Sugar Free

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snacks can help curb hunger and add a nutritious energy boost to your day. When you are a diabetic, planning your snacks/meals is important for managing the disease. But, what about sugar free foods?

What you may not be aware of is that sugar-free does not necessarily mean carbohydrate or calorie free.  Some sugar substitutes tend not to add calories, but it is the carbohydrate that has the greatest effect on blood glucose.

If you have diabetes, you know that by cutting sugary foods out of your diet does not manage your condition. What is necessary is to count the carbohydrates and calories in the food as part of your overall meal plan.

If you eat foods with sugar replacements such as: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, or isomalt, (all sugar alcohols), although they do not contain sugar, they are high in carbohydrates.  These foods will affect your blood glucose just as a sugar-containing food would.

However, consuming foods sweetened with aspartame or other non-caloric sweeteners like saccharin, acesulfame, potassium or sucralose do not contain carbohydrates and should not cause your blood glucose to rise.

When it comes to snacking, people often think of foods that are high in sugar or added fats, but there is a great deal of other options.  Snacks can help curb hunger and add a nutritious energy boost to your day.

Experts have recommended that people with diabetes choose “free foods” as part of their daily meal planning.  “Free foods” are those foods and/or drinks that have less than 20 calories per serving and no more than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving and are proven to be a better food option for diabetics.

Some examples of free foods are:

  • Asparagus, cooked
  • Beans, green, cooked
  • Broccoli, cooked
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce, iceberg
  • Olives, canned ripe
  • Peppers, sweet red
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato juice
  • Avocados
  • Rasberries
  • Strawberries
  • Macadamia Nuts

When planning your meals, try to fit in another serving of whole grains, fruits or vegetables.  These foods are healthier than salty snacks and sweets.  They, also, fill you up and give you the energy you need to sustain a long day.

Snack time and meal planning can be time consuming for diabetics, but is worth the result. Working with a dietitian can lessen the stress of meal planning and is beneficial when learning about the different types of foods you can eat at each meal and/or snack.  If you would like to meet with a dietitian to discuss your diabetes and meal planning, please call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center at 718-206-6023 for an appointment with a Nutritionist.

 

 

 

 

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Can Hypertension Lead to Dental Problems?

Managing your high blood pressure with the appropriate medications is very important for your overall health, but sometimes those medications can negatively affect your dental health.

Often, medications that are used to treat hypertension can have side effects in the oral environment.  Some of these medications can reduce the amount of saliva you produce, causing xerostomia, or dry mouth. Without the proper amount of saliva, the mouth can become irritated and inflamed. Dry mouth can also increase the risk of developing infection, gum disease, and the development of plaque, and therefore cavities.

Gum swelling or gingival overgrowth is another possible side-effect of medications used to treat high blood pressure. Gingival overgrowth occurs when gum tissue becomes so swollen that it begins to grow over the teeth. Swollen gum tissue creates a favorable environment for bacteria because plaque can easily get trapped underneath the gums, making it hard to brush and maintain good oral hygiene.

It is import to inform your dentist about any health conditions you have, and the medications you are taking.  Good oral hygiene and more frequent visits to the dentist can help lower your chances of developing complications.

Jamaica Hospital operates an outpatient dental center that treats a wide variety of conditions. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-6980.

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Fad Diets

How often do we say we need to lose 10 – 20 pounds quickly? We want to look good at the big party coming up and we are willing to try anything to make that happen. Fad dieting is a concept that has been around for a long time. The methods may change,  but the goal is usually the same.

The results for fad diets are only temporary. They don’t focus on helping a person maintain the ideal weight, and in some instances can actually cause harm. Many of these diets are not well balanced nutritionally. They don’t include a variety of food types, or in the proper quantity, to maintain good health long term.

Some of the principles include:

• Controlled carbohydrates

• Low fat/ high carbohydrates

• Controlled portion size

• Diet pills

• Herbal remedies

• Liquid protein

Weight loss is something that should be done gradually and in a manner that is tailored to a person’s individual nutritional needs. A person who wants to lose weight should always consult with their physician before attempting a diet plan. To speak to a physician at Jamaica Hospital about a weight loss program, you can call 718-206-6742 to schedule an appointment with an internal medicine specialist. They may then recommend that you follow up with a professional nutritionist to tailor a diet to help you meet your goal.

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The Potential Dangers of Tattoos

Tattoos are more common than ever. It is now estimated that 21 percent of adults have tattoos, and approximately 36 percent of those ages 18-25 have them.  Before getting a tattoo, one must consider many things, including the health risks.

Using unsterilized or used needles and equipment can cause serious health problems, such as HIV and hepatitis. Even if everything is sterile however, there are still risks associated with getting a tattoo.

Tattoo sites can easily become infected when contaminated or expired ink is used and enters the bloodstream. The first signs of an infection usually take place two to three weeks later. Red rashes, swelling, pain, and a pus-like discharge are all common early symptoms of an infection. Pain, fever, chills, and sweats can develop if the infection is not treated. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection.

An allergic reaction to the dyes used in tattoo ink is another cause for concern, specifically the red, blue, yellow, and green dyes.  Some people are allergic, but don’t realize it until after they get a tattoo. An allergic reaction can result in an itchy rash or skin bumps at the tattoo site. Allergic reactions can occur immediately, or several months or years later.

Other potential problems associated with tattoos include keloid scarring and sensitivity to MRI exams.

If you do decide to get a tattoo, follow these simple steps to minimize the chances for complications.

• Go to a registered tattoo parlor with licensed tattoo artists.
• Inquire about the expiration date of the ink.
• Make sure inks being used are approved for tattoos.
• Carefully follow aftercare instructions.
• See a doctor immediately if you think you have an infection.

Deciding to get a tattoo is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. You should be informed to make the best decision and do what is safe and best for you.

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Colon Cleansing

Colon Cleansing

What do you know about colon cleansing?

The colon is the end portion of the intestinal tract that is very important for the absorption of fluids and electrolytes from the digestive tract and stores waste products for elimination. It is typically about three to four feet in length and two to three inches in diameter.

Traditional medical doctors feel that the body has its own way of regulating what goes in and what comes out. Doctors today will tell you that the only time you need to clean out your colon is prior to undergoing a colonoscopy or a surgical procedure that involves the intestinal tract. Medical professionals feel that this part of the body takes care of itself.

People who chose to have colon cleansings will often say that they feel much healthier after the treatment. Some of the reasons they have the procedure is to remove toxins that may accumulate in the colon, improve their bowel regularity, and  improve their overall health. Colon cleansings have been used for centuries, but less frequently now than years ago.

A colonic cleansing consists of inserting a tube into the rectum and slowly sending warm, filtered water through this tube, expanding the colon. The body’s normal response is to expel this fluid, along with any waste products that may have accumulated in this area, back through the tube to an external container.

Colon cleansing can sometimes be very dangerous. Side effects include:

 Risk of dehydration

 Potential for infection

 Cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting

 Potential for puncturing the bowel

 Loss of intestinal flora (needed for proper digestion)

People who should not have a colon cleansing are: women who are pregnant, people with heart conditions,  anemic, have abdominal hernias, have ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and hemorrhoids. If you are considering having a colon cleansing, speak with your physician first to see if they think it is beneficial. Keep in mind that while the USDA regulates the production of the equipment used in colon cleansing, it does not regulate how it is used. Caution should be taken if a person makes the decision to have this type of treatment.

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