Could Hypertention be Triggering your Migraine?


The exact causes of migraines are unknown, people with migraines may inherit the tendency to be affected by certain migraine triggers, such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes, and Hypertension.


One condition that is commonly associated as being a “trigger” for a migraine is Hypertension.

In patients with migraine and established hypertension, good control of blood pressure may be beneficial in controlling their headache.

So, be sure to consult your doctor before taking any migraine medications since many of the drugs used to treat hypertension may cause headaches.

If you are experiencing painful migrain headaches, the Ambulatory Care Center at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has convenient hours and days of operation.  To schedule an apointment, call 718-206-7001.


Is Your Child An Internet Addict?

It’s often difficult for parents to know how much time their children spend online—and if it’s excessive. Whether they’re playing video games, texting or on social networking sites, spending too much time online can lead to the deterioration of your child’s school work and can cause problems with their relationships with family and friends.

 Experts at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center warn that time spent online is at an all-time high, and rapidly increasing with children, tweens and teens.

 “It’s easy to see why parents can be overwhelmed by their child’s excessive internet use,” said Dr. Fermin Gonzalez, Psychiatrist at JamaicaHospital Medical Center. “According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8 to 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming media for fun, including TV, music, video games and other content. About two-thirds of 8 to 18 year-olds had no rules on the amount of time spent watching TV, playing videogames, or using a computer.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit their kids screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day and children under 2 have no TV or internet exposure.

Research shows that academic failure correlates with addictive video game play, and to a higher incidence of attention problems. Conversely, academic achievers spend less time online.  Research has also revealed that child and adolescent video game addiction correlates with functional impairment, emotional problems, poor conduct, hyperactivity and peer problems, as well as with depression and social phobia. In addition, several studies have proven a relationship between excessive video game play and obesity and poor diet among children in grades 4 through 6.

Parents should discuss with their children their expectations for responsible online usage and set limits on how much time can be spent online.  Dr. Gonzalez suggests the following rules for internet use:

  • Regularly determine how much time your kids are online every day.
  • Don’t put a computer or game console in your child’s bedroom—rather put them in the living room.
  • Avoid online activity before bedtime.
  • Charge children’s cell or smart phone or other handheld devices overnight in your bedroom.
  • Be a role model. Set an example with your own internet usage.
  • Use an alarm clock or timer to limit your child’s time online.
  • Provide alternatives to online activity and video games: sports, reading, play dates, time with pets, etc.
  • Set a rule: no handheld devices at the table during meals.

 For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child with one of Jamaica Hospital’s Child Psychiatrists, please call 718-206-5575.

How Safe is Hookah Smoking?

Hookah smoking is a growing trend among teens and young adults. Though the practice of smoking specially-made tobacco from water pipes is believed by many to be a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, medical research has shown otherwise.

When one smokes hookah, tobacco is heated by charcoal in a smoke chamber. The smoke then passes through water and is drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece. Hookah smoking typically takes place in a group setting and generally last about an hour.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “hookah smoking delivers the addictive drug nicotine, is as toxic as cigarette smoking, and poses several health risks.” In a typical hookah session, smokers take approximately 200 puffs, compared to cigarette smokers who average 20 puffs a session. Additionally, the volume of smoke inhaled during a hookah session is much higher than the smoke inhaled while smoking a cigarette, 90,000 milliliters compared to 600 milliliters.

It is also believed that the charcoal used to heat the tobacco increases toxicity levels of various compounds, including carbon monoxide and heavy metals. Therefore, hookah smoking is linked to lung and oral cancer, as well as reduced lung function. These are the same harmful health effects as cigarettes.  Since hookah smoking involves using, and often sharing a mouthpiece, there is also the risk of developing and spreading infectious diseases, such as herpes, influenza, and hepatitis.

Although research on hookah smoking is still developing, there is enough evidence that suggest it is just as dangerous as cigarette smoking, if not worse. Hookah smoking and its use of flavored tobacco is marketed to young adults but it’s important to understand there is no such thing as smoking hookah safely.

Diabetic and Vegetarian/Vegan?


Often times, diabetics wonder if they can be a vegetarian or vegan? The answer is yes, it  is possible. 

There are many different types of vegetarian diets. The most common types are:

  • Vegan- This group does not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products.
  • Lacto-vegetarian- This group does not eat meat or eggs. However, they will eat dairy products.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian- This group does not eat any meat. However, they will eat both dairy products and eggs.

If diabetics decide to become vegetarian or vegan, their diets should be rich in protein, iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D.  Eating a good mix of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy products guarantee the body receives the vitamins and proper fuel required to normally function.  As a vegetarian or vegan, this kind of diet should not solely concentrate on simple carbohydrates rich in starches, such as potatoes, white rice and white bread or even fruits, which can have the opposite effect on blood sugar levels for diabetics.  A focus on a well-rounded diet can help to improve blood sugar levels and make the body more responsive to insulin.  It can also help with weight management which can be a concern to many diabetics.

The key to a healthy vegetarian/vegan diet as a diabetic is balance and planning.  Although every person who has diabetes has his or her own individual energy and nutrient needs, anyone interested in changing their dietary lifestyle should consult with their health care professional to make sure any researched suggestions will work.

Pediatric Ear Infections: Know the Signs

Ear infections are among the most common health conditions in young children and babies. However, some children are too young to tell you that they have ear pain. How can you tell if your child has an ear infection?

Look for the following symptoms, which are all signs of ear infections:


  • ear drainage
  • fever
  • trouble hearing
  • tugging on the ear, fussiness, or excessive crying
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty eating or chewing

While ear infections are not always preventable, you can help minimize your child’s risk of developing them by keeping him or her away from second hand smoke and people with colds whenever possible. Frequent hand washing also helps. If your child has frequent ear infections it is advisable to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a complete evaluation. 

Originating from germs found in the nose or throat, ear infections are easily treated. Over-the-counter pain medications can be given as needed for temporary relief.  Ear infections may resolve by themselves, however depending on the severity, antibiotics may be needed. It is best to speak to your physician to determine the proper treatment.

If you suspect your child has an ear infection, please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician.

Play It Safe

More than 3.5 million sports-related injuries occur each year, many of which are the result of exercising too vigorously without proper conditioning.

“Most injuries occur in muscles and ligaments, and only a small percentage involve broken bones,” says Joseph Bosco III, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Thoroughly
warming up and stretching muscles before engaging in rigorous exercise will greatly reduce the risk of injury.”

Gradually increasing your level of activity over a period of four to six weeks before high-intensity exercise is best. Performing 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three days a week and working up
to 45 minutes four or five times a week is a safe way to build
endurance and prevent future injuries.

Proper Equipment
No matter your level of fitness, protective equipment should always be worn when participating in sports with a risk of head injury or falling at a high rate of speed. Sports such as biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and baseball pose a risk of serious head injury if participants do not wear proper head protection. Wrist guards,
kneepads, and mouthpieces should also be worn when appropriate.

Dehydration can occur before you realize the problem. Fluid intake before, during, and after a summer activity is recommended —especially when temperatures rise above 90 degrees. Drink one to two cups of water an hour before, at least one-half cup every 15 minutes during, and one cup 30 minutes after exercising. If you suffer a summer sports injury and need to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Department of Orthopedics, please call 718-206-6923.

Dangers of Texting While Driving

Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are one of the leading causes of death in the United States today. Each year, nearly 2.5 million Americans are treated in hospital emergency departments as a result of an MVA.  While the numbers are staggering, Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Team wants everyone to know that most vehicle-related injuries are avoidable.

Jamaica Hospital operates a Level 1 Trauma Center, the highest designation to treat critically injured patients. Last year, Jamaica Hospital’s ER treated over 500 patients injured as a result motor vehicle accidents and the staff wants to offer the following tip to our community on how to avoid serious injury.

Stay Focused on the Road and Avoid Becoming a “Distracted Driver.”

Each day, more than 15 people are killed in accidents involving a distracted driver, a driver engaged in another activity that distracts them while driving.  Distractions can impair a driver in three ways:

• Visually  – Forcing the driver to take his or her eyes off the road
• Manually – Forcing the driver to take his or her hands off of the steering wheel
• Cognitively – Forcing the driver to take his or her mind off of driving while they are doing something else

While there are many forms of distractions for drivers, the type that has seen the largest increase in occurrences is texting while driving.  Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it impairs the driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive abilities. In a recent study by the CDC, 9% of U.S. drivers reported texting or emailing regularly or fairly often while driving.

Last year, nearly 6,000 people died and approximately another 500,000 were injured in automobile accidents that were reported to involve a distracted driver – and the numbers are steadily rising. 

Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Team is well aware of the growing trend involving injuries and fatalities associated with texting and driving and they want to warn drivers on the road to resist the urge to text OMG or LOL or you might end up DOA!

The Harmful Truth about High Heels

High heels can make you look long and lean, and can definitely add some glitz to your outfit—but unfortunately, that’s not all they’re doing. According to podiatrists at Jamaica Hospital, high heels, shoes with at least a two inch heel, can also lead to several medical problems.

“Prolonged wearing of high heels can lead to foot pain, ingrown toe nails, bunions, nerve damage, or damage to leg tendons,” explained Dr. Nicholas Camarinos, Chief of Podiatric Medicine at Jamaica Hospital. “Additionally, lower back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, and overworking an injured leg muscle can also result from wearing high heels over time.”

These problems are likely to develop because the feet are forced into an unnatural position when they are in high heels, therefore placing increased weight on the toes. The incorrect redistribution of weight causes the body to lean forward and puts a strain on the back, knees, and hips. In addition, the change in posture also puts pressure on the nerves which can trigger numbness and pain throughout the entire body.

The conditions that result from wearing high heels don’t develop immediately. They occur from frequent high heel wear. Dr. Camarinos understands that it’s hard to discourage women from entirely eliminating heels from their wardrobe. Instead, he offers the following recommendations:

  • wear a sensible heel height or consider a wedged shoe
  • use insoles to help reduce the impact to your knees
  • wear the correct size shoe
  • wear heels on days you expect limited walking or standing
  • alternate shoes throughout the day or from day to day
  • stretch your calf muscles and feet a few times a day

“Ultimately, our advice isn’t to forbid women from wearing heels. Wearing heels are fine, as long as they aren’t worn all the time and for everything,” explained Dr. Camarinos. “Moderation is key.”

If you frequently wear high heels, are experiencing foot pain, and would like to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Podiatry at 718-206-6712.

Cold Weather and Asthma

People who suffer from asthma definitely know the effects that cold air can have on their ability to breathe. When very cold and dry air enters the body, and subsequently the lungs it can cause a tightening of the airways. Cold air can cause wheezing, tightness of the chest muscles, shortness of breath, coughing, a sense of dizziness and sometimes difficulty speaking.

Taking some precautions before going outside in very cold weather can help ease the symptoms. It is important to keep asthma under control at all times. It can be helpful to take a dose of an asthma inhalant ten minutes before going outdoors. This will aid in keeping the airways open. People with asthma should carry their medication with them if they know they are going to be outdoors for any period of time. Another good idea is to keep your mouth and nose covered with a scarf when you are outside in cold weather. This will help to warm the air you are breathing. Anyone who has asthma should avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Sometimes the act of just walking on a windy day can bring on symptoms of an asthma attack. Try breathing through your nose more and through your mouth less. This will help to warm the air that enters your lungs.

People with asthma know the effects it can have during the cold days of winter. Taking a few precautions can help minimize the effects of the cold air on the body.