Diabetic? Blurry Vision? Make Sure to Schedule an Exam

Blurry vision may happen for a variety of reasons, but for some it can be a precursor to something more serious. According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 20 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, while an additional 41 million are considered pre-diabetic, a condition that significantly increases their risk for developing diabetes.

Eye issues are the first early warning signs of problems for people with diabetes. In pre-diabetics, blurred vision occurs because the blood sugar levels are elevated, causing the lens of the eye to swell. By maintaining a healthy blood sugar level, vision symptoms can resolve within a matter of months. It is important to make certain lifestyle changes in order to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Managing your diet, exercising daily and maintaining a normal weight can help prevent the development of diabetes and avoid problems associated with being pre-diabetics.

Everyone should have regular eye exams, but if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, it is important to have your eyes examined annually. To schedule an eye exam, contact the Eye Clinic at the MediSys Richmond Hill Family Practice Center at 718-206-7001.

What is a 3-D Ultrasound?

One of the most exciting events during a couple’s pregnancy is receiving the ultrasound images of their baby, but many traditional ultrasound images leave a lot to the imagination.

Now, through the advent of 3-D ultrasounds, expectant parents can see much clearer, further defined images of their unborn children. 

2-D, or traditional ultrasounds, are created by interpreting reflected sound waves to form a picture. These pictures are captured by listening to sound waves on a single plain. Three dimensional ultrasounds, however, work by a different process known as “surface rendering”. In this case, the same 2D images are taken, but this time at different angles. These reflections are interpreted through sophisticated software, and a 3D image of the baby is instantly created. The software that creates these images usually also has “coloring” capabilities that can add different flesh tones to enhance the realism of the image.

The benefits of 3D ultrasound extend beyond just an improved picture to share with family. Women who have had a 3D ultrasound believe it has had a positive impact on their pregnancy by enhancing the bond it created with their baby.  Recent studies have also shown that women who received a 3D ultrasound have improved their maternal health habits as a result, including increased exercise, improved diet and the elimination of harmful habits. Another potential benefit is increased paternal involvement during pregnancy.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center now offers all of its prenatal patients a digital package, which includes a set of 3D images. “The response by the patients has been overwhelming” states Mitchell Cornett, Administrator of OB/GYN at Jamaica Hospital. “To see their faces when they receive the CD with the high definition ultrasound is priceless.”

To make an appointment to receive your prenatal care at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center, please call 718-206-3276.

Meditteranean Diet

Did you know that following a Mediterranean diet has shown to effectively control and prevent heart diseases for many people ? This diet which originated in Greece and the surrounding areas of the Mediterranean basin has recently gained popularity. It is based on eating mainly vegetables, fruits, fish, and whole grains, while limiting foods that contain unhealthy fats.

 

The Mediterranean diet focuses on:

 

  • Consuming mainly plant based foods such as nuts, legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

 

  • Eating very limited amounts of red meat, usually no more than once or twice a month

 

  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week

 

  • Substituting salt with herbs and spices

 

  • Using olive oil instead of butter

 

  • Red wine, on occasion, is considered to be acceptable

 

  • Limiting consumption of sweets and eggs

 

Research has indicated that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  This is attributed to more stable blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

 

People in the Mediterranean area have been eating this way for centuries and seem to be much healthier because of it.

Are Backpacks Better than Shoulder Bags?

With summer in full swing and beach days becoming more frequent, how do you carry your beach necessities? While many people choose to wear a shoulder bag, this might not be the best option for your health.

 While shoulder bags, such as totes, are easy to grab and are usually spacious, carrying a heavy one for a long period of time can be detrimental to your natural gait. Your natural gait is the way your arms and legs swing as you walk and is imperative to your body’s overall balance. When you carry a shoulder bag, this puts extra weight on one of your shoulders, making the other arm work harder to compensate for the weight of the bag. This can throw off your balance and result in back and muscle pain.

If you tend to carry your tote on the same arm, this can cause the muscles to grow bigger while the other arm remains the same, causing further imbalance. Depending on the heaviness of your shoulder bag, carrying it predominantly on one shoulder can also cause the opposite side of your spine to spasm, causing tightness and pain in your lower back and sacrum.
Other results of carrying a heavy shoulder bag can include:
• Muscle tightness
• Backaches
• Decreased curve of the neck due to tightness, also known as “military neck”
• Neck pain that causes the turning of the head to be difficult
• Headaches

If you want to avoid any of these results, using a backpack instead of a shoulder bag can be the answer. Backpacks distribute the weight that you are carrying evenly across your back instead of focusing it on one side, maintaining your body’s natural gait and maintaining a balanced muscle tone.
While backpacks are generally better, they too can cause problems. Carrying too heavy of a load can force your spine to bend backward, causing you to pull forward to maintain balance. This action can make your spine compress unnaturally, which can create hip and back pain and a hunched posture.

Some helpful tips to avoid experiencing the symptoms of a heavy weight on your back and shoulders due to a shoulder bag or a backpack include:
• Choose a bag with wider straps that will further distribute the weight across your back and shoulders
• Periodically switch shoulders
• Choose bags with alternative strap options
• Avoid wearing heels while carrying your bag, this will cause further imbalance and pain

If you are having back and shoulder pain, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Orthopedics Department at 718-206-6923 with any questions.

Bad Air Quality and Asthma

 

 

 

 

 

About 25 million Americans have experienced Asthma symptoms. Asthma is a condition that constricts your airways, causing them to become swollen and filled with mucous.  It has many triggers, such as, tobacco or dust but, what if your trigger is the air you breathe outdoors?

Air pollutants can trigger asthma.  The air around you can carry particulate matter, such as, dust, soot, smoke, diesel exhaust particles, and smog. These particulates can cause you to labor while breathing and feel a shortness of breathe.

 Recent studies have shown that air pollution is a major cause of asthma attacks.  More than 40% of the nation’s populations live in areas with poor quality air. 

If you have asthma, your doctor can help you design a plan to control and prevent an asthma attack.  Limiting your exposure to air pollution can be an important part of that plan.  The EPA keeps tabs on local air quality across the country through its daily Air Quality Index, which measures levels of major air pollutants.

 Completely avoiding air pollution is impossible, but you can take steps to reduce your family’s exposure to air pollution and reduce the health risks.

 For more information, or treatment, call The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’sAmbulatoryCareCenterat, 718-206-7005.

Does One Part Alcohol + One Part Breast Milk = Bad For Baby?

Women have been warned not to consume alcohol during pregnancy.  There is sufficient research that confirms drinking alcohol, while pregnant, poses several, avoidable risk to an unborn baby.  However, the risks of consuming alcohol while breastfeeding are not as well defined.  

Breastfeeding mothers often receive conflicting advice about whether their alcohol consumption can have an adverse effect on their baby.  This leaves mothers with more questions than answers. A good resource to start looking for answers is the La Leche League.  Their article, The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding says: The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount the mother ingests.  When the breastfeeding mother drinks occasionally, or limits her consumption to one drink or less per day, the amount of alcohol her baby receives has not been proven to be harmful.

 The League further published:

 Alcohol passes freely into mother’s milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption, 60 to 90 minutes when taken with food.  Alcohol also freely passes out of a mother’s milk and here system.  It takes a 120 pound woman about two to three hours to eliminate from her body the alcohol in one serving of beer or wine.  The more alcohol that is consumed, the longer it takes for it to be eliminated.  It takes up to 13 hours for a 120 pound woman to eliminate alcohol from one high-alcoholic drink. 

 Opposing research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that breast-fed babies, whose mothers drank, as few as, one drink a day may present with impaired motor or development and that alcohol can cause changes in sleep patterns.

 Also, to dispel any notion that encourages drinking alcohol to improve milk production. Facts show that the presence of alcohol in breast milk can cause the babies to drink about 20 % less

 Paula Utilla, Lactation Specialist atJamaicaHospital’s Women’sHealthCenternoted that although you can safely consume some alcohol during breastfeeding, there are some guidelines that can help you gauge when you’ve had enough.  “If you have consumed more than the legal amount of alcohol to drive a vehicle, you have consumed more than the recommended amount of alcohol to safely breastfeed.” Ms. Utilla further stated, “Mom should be mindful that the level of alcohol in her blood, matches the level of alcohol in her breast milk.”

 Research has shown that breast-feeding is an optimal way to feed your newborn and is recommended until a baby is at least age one.  If you have questions on what method to use to when deciding how you will feed your baby, please callJamaicaHospital’s Women’sHealthCenter, 718-291-3276 to speak with a Lactation Specialist.

 

 

TheFacts About Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Summer gives us a break from the flu and many other viruses prevalent during the winter months, but there is one contagious virus that your child is at risk of contracting during the summer.

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness in the summer months, predominantly found in infants and children under the age of 10, but one that can also affect teens and adults. It is caused by a family of viruses known as the Coxsackie virus. There are multiple types of Coxsackie virus, but the A16 strain causes HFMD.

HFMD can produce a wide variety of symptoms, including mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, head and muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, and poor appetite. The fever usually lasts anywhere from 24 hours to 2-3 days. One or two days after the fever begins, small red spots begin to appear in the mouth, throat, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. These spots develop into blisters and eventually into painful ulcers, which resolve within a few days without any scarring.

These blisters give the illness its name, but it should not be confused with the similarly named foot (or hoof) and mouth disease, which is found in cattle.

HFMD is spread between children either hand to hand or through tiny air droplets that are released when they sneeze, cough, or blow their nose.  The illness can also be spread when a person is exposed to an infected child’s stool or the fluid from their blisters.

HFMD is contagious and tends to spread most easily in settings where many young children are together, such as day care centers.  In tropical parts of the world, HFMD is present throughout the year, but in cooler climates, such as New York, outbreaks take place only in the summer or fall. Some people incorrectly believe that the illness is spread in swimming pools, but a properly chlorinated pool should kill the virus.

Proper hand washing is considered the best protection against the virus, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. The virus can live on contaminated surfaces for several days. Therefore, parents should clean shared toys and all surfaces potentially contaminated with disinfectant cleaners to protect against the spread of HFMD.

There are lab tests to confirm HFMD, but doctors usually can diagnose the virus based on a physical examination. There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Doctors often recommend over-the-counter pain and fever reducing medications to make your child feel more comfortable. Salt water rinses might also provide relief.

If you think your child has hand, foot and mouth disease, you should see a pediatrician or call Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to make an appointment.

Weight-Loss Pills

According to the Food Research Action Center, about 68.5% of people in the United States are obese. With this statistic rising each year, many people are desperate to shed pounds, but have a hard time losing a significant amount by diet and exercise alone. Due to this struggle, a majority of the population has resorted to taking weight-loss pills, but is this a healthy choice?

 Weight-loss pills can be appealing because of their convenience and their ability to dramatically affect weight loss in a short amount of time, but these results are not guaranteed and are surrounded by many negatives and damaging to one’s health. Over-the-counter diet pills can be dangerous because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate them as closely as other medications. This makes their ingredients, their effectiveness, and their risk a mystery to the user.
 Some of the most common side effects of over-the-counter weight-loss pills include:
• Upset stomach
• Raised blood pressure and heart rate
• Dizziness
• Nausea

Prescription weight-loss pills are regulated by the FDA, but are only administered to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and higher and have other health problems, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. If these pills are not taken exactly as the doctor prescribes them, they can lead to increased heart rate and poor sleep, which can ultimately cause a heart attack or stroke.

There is no easy solution to obesity. Even if you are taking weight-loss pills, eating too much fat can decrease the product’s ability to produce the desired result and cause weight gain and other detrimental effects on your body. Instead of spending money on weight-loss pills, try some healthy alternatives, such as playing a sport or going on a regulated diet. An active lifestyle and healthy eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off permanently.

Are you taking a weight-loss pill and aren’t sure of its effectiveness or its side effects? A physician at the Family Medicine Ambulatory Care Center at Jamaica Hospital can help. Please call 718-206-6942.

Knee Repalcemrent

Today total knee replacement is one of the most commonly performed orthopedic surgical procedures. Hundreds of thousands of people undergo this procedure annually in order to relieve their pain and suffering due to arthritic conditions and also due to trauma.

The first known knee replacement was performed in the 1890’s. Back then an ivory hinged apparatus’ was used to replace the knee joint. Many complications occurred from this primitive procedure and it wasn’t widely used due to the high rate of infection. In the 1950’s and 1960’s hinged apparatus’ were used in knee replacement surgery but they often didn’t last long, and they didn’t fully restore range of motion to the knee joint. The modern era of total knee replacement really began in the 1970’s. Thanks to advances in medical technology, knee replacement implants are now able to last up to 20 years, and range of motion is almost the same as that of a normal knee.

Total knee replacement surgery involves replacement of the damaged or diseased knee joint with either plastic or metal components that allow for proper range of motion. While total knee replacement is the more common variation of this procedure, approximately 20 percent of people are able to have a partial knee replacement procedure performed. The determining factor is the severity of the deformity.

It is estimated that by the year 2030, as a larger percentage of the population ages, the number of procedures performed annually will be more than 3 million. Most people who have had knee replacement surgery lead fully active lives and the quality of their lives is undoubtedly improved owing to the procedure. For more information about knee replacement surgery, please feel free to call our Orthopedic Department to schedule an appointment. They can be reached at 718-206-6923.

Knee Replacement

Today total knee replacement is one of the most commonly performed orthopedic surgical procedures. Hundreds of thousands of people undergo this procedure annually in order to relieve their pain and suffering due to arthritic conditions and also due to trauma.

 The first known knee replacement was performed in the 1890’s. Back then an ivory hinged apparatus’ was used to replace the knee joint. Many complications occurred from this primitive procedure and it wasn’t widely used due to the high rate of infection. In the 1950’s and 1960’s hinged apparatus’ were used in knee replacement surgery but they often didn’t last long, and they didn’t fully restore range of motion to the knee joint. The modern era of total knee replacement really began in the 1970’s.  Thanks to advances in medical technology, knee replacement implants are now able to last up to 20 years, and range of motion is almost the same as that of a normal knee.

Total knee replacement surgery involves replacement of the damaged or diseased knee joint with either plastic or metal components that allow for proper range of motion. While total knee replacement is the more common variation of this procedure, approximately 20 percent of people are able to have a partial knee replacement procedure performed. The determining factor is the severity of the deformity.

It is estimated that by the year 2030, as a larger percentage of the population ages, the number of procedures performed annually will be more than 3 million. Most people who have had knee replacement surgery lead fully active lives and the quality of their lives is undoubtedly improved owing to the procedure. For more information about knee replacement surgery, please feel free to call our Orthopedic Department to schedule an appointment. They can be reached at 718-206-6923.