10 Signs Your Teen May Be Using Drugs

teen on drugs 173498889If you have a suspicion that your teen may be using illegal drugs, there are several physical and behavioral patterns you can look for. Some of which include:
•Bloodshot eyes or pupils that appear larger or smaller than usual
•A change in appetite – this could be a decrease or increase in appetite
•Skipping classes or a decline in grades
•Frequent mood swings
•Neglect in personal appearance or grooming
•Incoherent or slurred speech
•Heavy use of air fresheners, incense or perfumes in rooms
•Frequent outbursts of anger or periods of hyperactivity
•Consistent disappearance of money, valuables or medication from the home
•An increase in secrecy or avoidance
Speak with your teen about these changes, approach them in a direct but calm manner. Ask them questions about changes that may be occurring in their lives, as well as questions that may uncover drug use. If your teen admits to using drugs, it is advised not to display anger but to rather show your support in finding them help and express your concern for their safety. The next step is to immediately seek treatment from a mental health professional, drug treatment program or a qualified therapist.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Is the Winter making You SAD

155330550Seasonal affect disorder, (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs during the same season every year. Most people experience seasonal affect disorder in the fall and winter months and it is therefore sometimes also called winter depression or seasonal depression. People usually start to experience symptoms in September or October and begin to feel better by April or May.

While the cause of seasonal affect disorder is unknown, most experts believe SAD is related to a lack of exposure to sunlight. Lack of exposure to daylight can upset an individual’s biological clock and cause a drop in serotonin levels, a chemical in the brain that affects mood. Another potential factor is that the change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates our sleep patterns.

If you have SAD, you may:
• Feel grumpy, moody, or anxious
• Lose interest in your usual activities
• Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta
• Gain weight
• Sleep more but still feel tired
• Have trouble concentrating

Anyone can be diagnosed with SAD, but it’s more common in:
• Women
• People between the ages of 15 and 55
• People who live far from the equator, where winter daylight hours are very short
• People who have a close relative with SAD

It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between SAD and other types of depression because many of the symptoms are the same. Your doctor can do an assessment to determine if you have SAD. You may need to have blood tests to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as hypothyroidism.

For mild symptoms, spending time outdoors during the day or allowing more light into homes and workplaces may be helpful. For those whose symptoms are more severe, phototherapy or light therapy has been shown to be effective. During a light therapy session, patients are exposed to a device that emits bright light for an extended amount of time each day. If phototherapy isn’t effective, an antidepressant drug can be prescribed to help reduce or eliminate SAD symptoms.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Can you guess how far a sneeze travels?

sneeze480536339The spray from a sneeze can travel distances of up to five feet and speeds of 100 miles per hour. This year’s cold and flu season is predicted to be intense-so exercise the proper precautions to prevent the spread of flu and cold viruses. To prevent the spread of germs, flu and cold viruses always cover your nose when you sneeze.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Watching your weight: Are you drinking your calories?

At the beginning of the new year, people make resolutions.On the top of the list is losing weight or eating healthier.If you are one of many who have vowed to change the way you eat to mind your waistline, don’t just think about minding what you eat- think about what you drink, as well. If you’re meeting up with friends for a few drinks after work, you may want limit your alcohol intake during the happy hour.

Alcohol is full of emptWeightDrinksy calories and although there is no direct link between alcohol and obesity, research has shown it can be a reason to why people may place more on their plate than necessary. Trusted websites, such as Medicine.net reported, “Studies have shown that in the short term, alcohol stimulates food intake and can also increase feelings of hunger. Having your judgment impaired and stimulating your appetite is a recipe for failure if you are trying to follow a weight-loss plan.” A Margarita with chips and salsa may sound appetizing, but the calories in a Margarita drink can be as high as 270 empty calories; a reason the bowl of chips seem endless. Here are few other drinks and their calories to keep in mind the next time you’re out for lunch, dinner or happy hour:

Alcoholic drink                                                           Calories

Beer, regular, 12 oz.                                                     150

Frozen daiquiri, 4 oz.                                                    216

Mai tai, 4 oz.                                                                 310

Margarita, 4 oz.                                                            270

Whiskey, 1.5 oz.                                                           105

Wine, dessert, sweet, 4 oz.                                          180

Some helpful tips to help curb your alcohol calorie consumption are:

  • Eat before drinking. Having food in your stomach before drinking will help your brain receive its signal of fullness.
  • Sip your drink to make it last longer and keep water available to quench your thirstwhile you drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Whenever possible, select light beers, but be mindful that you are still drinking your calories.
  • Like wine? Try a wine spritzer, which can be as low as 49 calories and your waistline will thank you for it.

As with all things, drink alcohol in moderation and responsibly, it can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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The First Ambulance at Jamaica Hospital

The first known ambulance at Jamaica Hospital was a horse drawn wagon that went in to service in 1902 and brought seriously ill patients to the hospital. As motorized vehicles became more widely available in the 1920’s, horse drawn wagons were eventually replaced, response times shortened and more lives could be saved. Jamaica Hospital now has a fleet of 8 ambulances that run 24/7 and that transport thousands of patients every year.First Ambulance

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Protect Yourself From Getting Sick While Flying

dv2074050Thinking about escaping the germy, New York City winter season? This is a popular time of year to hop a flight to a tropical location, but did you know that air travelers are actually  up to 100 times more likely to catch a cold or the flu while flying than during normal day-to-day activities.

The primary cause for an increased rate of infection is low cabin humidity on planes. Most airplanes fly in an elevation range of 30,000 to 35,000 feet, where humidity is much lower. At very low levels of humidity, our natural defense system of mucus in our noses and throats dries up, creating an ideal environment for germs to infect us.

The best way to maintain these natural defenses is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will not only counter the overall dehydrating effects of air travel, but it can actually strengthen the body’s natural immune system.

It is recommended to sip water regularly throughout the flight rather than drink a large amount at once to protect against long dry spells in your defense system. Hot beverages are a good way to keep your protective mucous membranes working because they assist in keeping you generally hydrated and also provide moisture in the form of steam. Conversely, it is recommended that you avoid caffeine or alcoholic beverages as they can dehydrate you.

Using nasal sprays or saline mists have also been proven to be an effective means of keeping mucous membranes in your nose and throat moist. They can increase your resistance to infection while on a dry aircraft. Yet another way to defend against viruses while flying is to use a germ-killing mouthwash, which adds another layer of protection while simultaneously helping to keep your throat moist. Other experts recommend taking vitamins before flights to help boost immunity levels.

By following these tips and practicing proper hand washing behavior, you will greatly increase your chances of arriving at your destination healthy.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Childproofing The Home

Young children are by nature very curious and if not properly protected from harm in the home, can end up being seriously injured. Taking a few precautions in the home is one way to protect small children from getting seriously hurt.

These are a few tips on ways to make your home safe:

• Install latches on cabinets and draws.

• Keep all cleaning products on shelves that are out of reach of small children

• Keep medications in childproof containers.

• Post the Poison Center Hotline number next to your phone (1-800-222-1222).

• Cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps.

• Put safety gates at the bottom and top of staircases.

• Do not use looped cords on window blinds.

• Prevent furniture from tipping over by securing it to a wall.

• Do not leave children unattended in a bath.

• Keep your doctor’s phone number handy.

• Put door knob covers on rooms that children shouldn’t have access to.

• Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of the home.

• Do not place furniture that a child can climb on in front of a window.

• Use window gates on every window.

• Place corner and edge bumpers on furniture.

Childproofing a home isn’t only for babies. Unintentional home injuries are one of the leading causes of death in children under 14 years of age.Child home safety

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Perils of the Pregnant Partner – Couvade Syndrome

overweight 91460588During pregnancy the focus is often on the changes that the expectant mother is experiencing and ignores the emotional changes of the other parent to be, who may be experiencing emotional and physical changes that are valid and deserving of the proper attention and support. 

 Impending parenthood can bring a rush of feelings and fears. Whether the pregnancy is planned or unexpected, the news may cause you to become introspective about many things including your relationship with your partner, the fear of newly acquired responsibilities, financial implications, feelings of inadequacy and, in some cases, sympathy pains or a condition known as, Couvade Syndrome.

 Partners who have Couvade Syndrome experience symptoms that mimic pregnancy such as, constipation, gas, bloating, irritability, weight gain, cravings and nausea right along with the expectant mom. 

Fortunately, the symptoms are almost always temporary and are not treated with medication. They, usually, resolve once the baby is born.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Has your New Year Resolution been postponed to next year?

 

New Year Resolutions are great to make and even better to keep. Here are some tips on how to make your NYR stick.

 

  1. Be realistic
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Outline your plan
  4. Make a “pros” and “cons” list
  5. Talk about it
  6. Reward yourself
  7. Track your progress
  8. Don’t beat yourself up
  9. Stick to it
  10. Keep trying

happy sad 484473893

 

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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Signs of a Heart Attack and What You Should Do

heartattack454316347Heart attack is the number one cause of death in women and men in the United States.  It is estimated that one in every four deaths are caused by a heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, that only 27% of people know the warning signs of a heart attack and when to call 9-1-1. Knowing the signs of a heart attack and following the suggested guidelines can reduce the probability of death.

Warning signs differ with each individual; they may be mild or severe. For some the attack can be immediate while for others symptoms can begin days or weeks in advance. Heart attacks have several key symptoms and warning signs to be aware of, some of which include:

  • Chest pains or discomfort (This is the most common symptom)
  • A squeezing, aching  or pressure sensation in the chest or arms, this may spread to the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out into a cold sweat
  • Nausea and (or) vomiting
  • Dizziness

If someone is experiencing these symptoms, act immediately and call 9-1-1. While waiting for emergency response, if nitroglycerin is prescribed by a doctor it should be given as instructed. Aspirin can also help during a heart attack by reducing damage to the heart and preventing the blood from clotting. However aspirin should be administered only if recommended by a physician, as aspirin can have adverse effects if taken with certain medications.

Complications due to heart disease can be prevented by exercising, quitting smoking, eating heart- healthy foods such as salmon, getting regular health screenings, taking medication, reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight.

To make an appointment  to discuss, improve or maintain your heart health  call Jamaica Hospital’s  Ambulatory  Care Center at 718- 206- 7001.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.

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