The Importance of Getting a Bone Density Screening

A bone density test is a type of x-ray that measures the concentration of calcium and other minerals in the bones. This test is most commonly performed to evaluate a patient for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to lose density and become easy to break or fracture.

Some people are more at risk for developing osteoporosis than others. Risk factors include:

  • Age – Older people tend to have a greater incidence of osteoporosis
  • Race – Caucasians and Asians are typically more prone to bone density issues
  • Gender – Women experience bone loss more frequently than men
  • Dietary factors – People who have a low intake of calcium are at greater risk
  • Medications – People with a long term use of injectable steroids have bone loss issues
  • Smoking – People who smoke tend to lose bone mass at a faster rate than non-smokers
  • Family history – There is a correlation of osteoporosis and hereditary factors

Symptoms of the disease are:

  • Loss of height over a period of time
  • Back pain
  • Bones that break more easily than expected
  • A stooped posture

For those who are presenting symptoms or have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis, a doctor may recommend testing to assess the density of their bones.

Bone density screenings are non-invasive, painless, and use low amounts of x-rays. The results of the test will indicate whether or not you need to take medication that will help to maintain your bone density or make changes in your lifestyle and diet to prevent bone loss.

If you would like to schedule a bone density screening at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, ask your physician for a referral to have it performed. You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital by calling 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.

Tips To Prevent Summer Dehydration

As summer temperatures heat up, our bodies may sweat more, and exposure to the dangers of the sun can increase. These factors can lead to dehydration, and put some at risk for developing serious health complications such as kidney stones, seizures, or heat stroke.

One of the best ways to avoid dehydration is drinking enough water.

In addition to drinking your daily recommended amount of water, there are a few tips you can follow to prevent dehydration. These include:

  1. Staying out of the sun as much as possible, especially during peak hours of sunlight (typically, between 10:00 am to 2:00 pm)
  2. Eating fruits and vegetables with a high concentration of water such as celery, cucumbers, and watermelon
  3. Drinking liquids before you begin to feel thirsty
  4. Avoiding or minimizing drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea
  5. Avoiding or minimizing alcohol consumption

Dehydration should not be taken lightly, because not only is your body losing water, it is also losing electrolytes and minerals that help organs to function well. Therefore, it is important that you stay hydrated during the summer and avoid complications to your health.

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.

Summertime Allergies

If you are one of the millions of Americans who experience summertime allergies, you may want to control your seasonal symptoms with this allergy sufferer’s survival guide.

Summer allergies occur when your immune system tries to defend your body against substances that are harmless to others causing itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and an itchy, stuffy or runny nose.

About 50 million Americans suffer from year-round allergies to mold, dust, and pets. However, summer allergies are the mostly triggered by trees, pollen, leaves, grasses and ragweed.

There isn’t a cure for allergies, but there are ways you can find relief.  If you symptoms are minor, there are over-the-counter antihistamines or nasal sprays that may help.

The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to suffer unnecessarily.  If over– the-counter remedies aren’t working, then it’s probably a good idea to seek the advice of a doctor.

To schedule an appointment with an Allergist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 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.

Jamaica Hospital Warns Against Using Fireworks This July 4th Holiday

With July 4th holiday approaching, Jamaica Hospital  Medical Center wants everyone to know the potential dangers associated with fireworks so you can avoid injuring yourself or others.

Fireworks are ILLEGAL in New York State, and are extremely dangerous when they are not being used by a professional. They burn at extremely high temperatures and can rapidly burn through clothing and skin.  Items such as sparklers are mistakenly thought to be safe, but they are actually quite dangerous too.

In states where it is legal to purchase and operate fireworks, please be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under the close supervision of an adult
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks in case of fire

This year, have a safe Fourth of July and leave the firework displays to the trained professionals. If you have questions about fireworks displays and safety, you can visit The National Council on Firework Safety webpage at http://www.fireworksafety.org.  Take the test and learn just how much you know about fireworks safety.

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.

Heart Disease and Hot Weather

Summertime heat affects everyone, but for people who suffer from heart disease, it can be life threatening. Activities that are performed when the weather is mild may not have much risk associated with them but once the temperature rises they can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People with heart disease are very susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

When we are exposed to the heat, our bodies respond by sweating, which is the body’s way to maintain a normal temperature. . Heat as well as the body’s response to it, leads to enlarged blood vessels, lower blood pressure and higher heart rate. This combination can cause people with heart problems to serious problems due to the stress on the cardiovascular system. If the heart is already weakened it may not be able to pump blood effectively and keep the blood pressure at a high enough level. This can lead to an overheating of the body. Some medications that are prescribed for heart patients also lower the heart rate, which can be compounded during the hot weather.

Some helpful tips for people with heart disease in the hot weather are:

  • Stay out of the heat during the middle of the day
  • Wear clothing that is loose fitting and light
  • Do not perform strenuous activities in hot weather
  • Keep hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Stay indoors in an air conditioned environment

Discuss with your physician ways to stay healthy during the hot summer months. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6742.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-our-patients/

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.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated June as Cataract Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to help educate the public on what cataracts are and how to treat them once they are diagnosed.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. This will result in blurry vision, and since less light is being transmitted, objects will appear darker as well.

Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness; therefore, it is important that you do not delay treatment.

It is estimated that 25 million people in the United States age 40 and older will be diagnosed with a cataract, and by the time people reach the age of 80, more than half of the population of the United States will be affected with the disease.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Prior eye injuries

Cataracts are classified by what causes them. Age is the biggest factor, followed by eye trauma, congenital causes and secondary to taking certain medications like steroids.

There are a few ways to lower the risk of developing cataracts, but they may not be completely successful. 

  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors
  • A diet rich in vitamin C foods
  • Avoiding smoking

Treatment for cataracts involves a surgical procedure which removes the old lens of the eye  and replacing it with a synthetic one. It is a very common procedure and considered relatively safe. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-5900.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-our-patients/

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.

Jamaica Hospital Reopening Safety Plan

To Our Patients,

We hope that you and your family are in good health. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all.  Many aspects of our lives have drastically changed, and perhaps nothing has been altered more than the way we manage our health and the health of our family.

During the outbreak, many of our primary care and specialty providers have remained in communication with and treated our patients via “video visits”. Jamaica Hospital will continue to make this service available and encourage you to use it whenever possible, but we also understand that not all healthcare can be provided in this manner.

As we start to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, Jamaica Hospital is beginning to reopen some services for our patients and community.  We understand that many of these services are vital to your health and are pleased to once again offer them to you.  As we reopen, we want you to know that your safety is our priority and our hospital is taking every precaution to ensure it during this time.

Some of our measures made to protect you include:

Modified Appointment Schedule – To eliminate overcrowding in our patient care areas, we are limiting appointments. This will reduce waiting times and help us manage proper social distancing policies.

Pre-Registration – To avoid spending unnecessary time in waiting areas, patients will have the opportunity to complete all paperwork remotely before they arrive.

Screenings – Designated hospital employees will greet all patients and screen them for COVID-like symptoms upon arrival. 

Disinfection and Cleaning – Our team remains dedicated to thoroughly and repeatedly disinfecting and cleaning all patient care areas in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Limited Companions – For everyone’s safety and to avoid overcrowding, only parents or other required companions are permitted to accompany patients during their appointments.

Protective Equipment – All employees will be wearing the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.  All patients will be required to wear a face mask as well.

Working Together – All patients should monitor their health and report if they have tested positive for COVID-19, come in contact with someone who tested positive or experienced any related symptoms in the last 14 days.

Following these safety measures will allow us to deliver the highest-quality, person-centered care to our patients and community.

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.

How to Prevent Dehydration During the Summer Heat

With the summer and warmer weather upon us causing more and more people to begin to participate in outdoor activities. Before you begin, make sure you drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated:

  • The rule that you need to drink eight glasses of water per day is a myth. The Institute of Medicine recommends women should receive 2.2 liters of fluid intake per day and men should get three liters. Keep in mind that fluid intake can come from beverages other than water.
  • While thirst is your body’s way of preventing dehydration, being thirsty doesn’t mean that you are dehydrated. Thirst is our brain’s way of telling us to drink more to avoid dehydration.
  • The color of your urine is a good, real-time indicator of dehydration, but the misconception is that urine should be clear. In truth, urine should be a pale-yellow color.
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea will not dehydrate you if consumed in moderate amounts. Caffeine is considered a mild diuretic, the amount of water in it offsets the amount of fluid it will cause you to lose through increased urination.
  • Drinking isn’t the only way of increasing your water intake. It is estimated that we get up to 20% of our daily water intake from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables contain the most, with cucumbers, celery, and watermelon having the highest concentration of water.
  • There is also such a thing as drinking too much water and becoming overhydrated. This can be very dangerous and can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue. To avoid this problem, do not drink to the point that you are full from water alone.

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.

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing has become a popular topic during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There have been ongoing discussions as to whether or not this form of testing can provide answers to some questions we have about the disease.

Common questions asked about COVID-19 antibody testing include: “Can antibodies help detect past infections?” and “Does having antibodies reduce our risk of infection?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the presence of antibodies (proteins produced by our body’s immune system to fight antigens such as viruses) can help to determine if you had a past infection of the virus that causes COVID-19.

A blood test, known as a serology test, is required to detect disease-specific antibodies.  Testing is typically recommended for individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19 or those who suspect they had or were exposed to the virus but were asymptomatic.

Positive or negative results could mean several things for your health:

  • A positive antibody test result indicates that you may have had a COVID-19 infection in the past. However, results can also be false-positive, meaning you have developed antibodies but for a different kind of coronavirus such as the one that causes the common cold. It is very important to remember that a positive test does not guarantee immunity from the disease; so there is a possibility that you can become re-infected. Therefore you should continue to exercise the proper safety precautions to protect yourself and others around you.
  • If you test negative, this may mean that you have not had a prior COVID-19 infection. But it can also mean that you may currently have the virus and have not yet produced antibodies (If you have symptoms of the disease or believe you have been exposed, you can take a viral test to learn if you have the virus.)  For those who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 but tested negative, please keep in mind that it may take 1-3 weeks after infection to develop antibodies.

Although antibody testing is providing some answers about COVID-19, there is still a degree of uncertainty about the accuracy of the information we are obtaining.  COVID-19 is a novel disease, and ongoing studies are revealing new details about it each day.  Until we are more certain in our knowledge of the disease, the CDC recommends that we continue to practice social distancing and other safety measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

To learn more antibody testing please consult your physician or visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/serology-overview.html

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.

The Importance of Monitoring Chronic Illnesses During the COVID-19 Crisis

Many health care facilities have seen a decrease in people seeking care for chronic conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This can be attributed to fears of being exposed to the virus in public places or the temporary suspension of certain services offered by healthcare providers.

Although the outbreak has caused alterations in the way we live, one thing that should remain unchanged for those living with chronic illnesses is monitoring their health. It is important that they pay attention to symptoms that warn of serious health problems, because ignoring them may put their lives at risk.

Symptoms of chronic illnesses that should not be ignored include:

  • Chest pain, pressure in your chest, shortness of breath or other heart attack symptoms
  • Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, loss of vision or other stroke symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heavy bleeding
  • High fever
  • Spikes in blood sugar (Diabetes)
  • Nausea

If these symptoms are persistent, please contact a physician for a medical consultation or seek emergency treatment. Medical facilities are well equipped to safely treat non-COVID-19 patients and many doctors are offering telehealth appointments. Some hospitals are also reopening their outpatient locations. 

In addition to monitoring symptoms, it is important to maintain healthy habits. This can be achieved by keeping routine appointments (virtually or in person), taking prescribed medications, exercising, and eating a well-balanced diet.  

If you have a non-COVID-19 related chronic medical condition or symptoms and would like to see a doctor, please contact Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001, to schedule an appointment.

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.