Today is the Great American Smokeout

Today is the Great American Smokeout, an annual event when the American Cancer Society encourages everyone to quit smoking. This event helps to make people aware of the dangers of using tobacco products as well as the tools that are available to help them quit smoking.

The Great American Smokeout started in 1970 in a small town in Massachusetts. People were asked to give up smoking for one day and to take the money that they would have spent on cigarettes and donate it to a local high school scholarship fund. The event spread to other cities both large and small and eventually led to legislation that bans smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces both indoors and outdoors.

Smoking  is responsible for one in five deaths in the United States today. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Smoking is also the cause of cancer of the larynx, mouth, sinuses, throat, esophagus, and the bladder. The number of people who smoke has dramatically decreased in the United States since the anti-smoking campaigns began. In 1965 it was estimated that over 40 percent of the population were smokers and today that number is around 18 percent.

Smokers have the best chances of quitting if they use at least two of the following methods:

• Smoking Cessation Groups
• Nicotine substitute products
• Support from family and friends
• Telephone quit lines
• Counseling
• Prescription medications that help to reduce the urge to smoke

If you would like more information about quitting smoking please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to discuss smoking cessation, please call 718-206-8494.

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.

November is Bladder Health Awareness Month

November has been recognized as Bladder Health Awareness month, to serve as a reminder to get the facts about common bladder health problems and to encourage patients to take an active role in their bladder health.

There are many conditions that can affect the bladder one of the most common is urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss or leakage of urine. According to the American Urological Association, about 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 4 men suffer from some type of urinary incontinence.

Urge incontinence also known as overactive bladder and stress incontinence are the two most common forms of this health issue. Urge urinary incontinence is when urine leakage occurs with the sudden and strong desire to urinate.  Stress urinary incontinence is when urine leakage occurs with physical activity such as laughing, sneezing, lifting or exercise. There are instances in which both urge and stress incontinence symptoms occur; this is known as mixed incontinence.

Depending on the type of urinary incontinence, extent of symptoms and treatment goals there may be one or more treatment options.

Treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Oral Medications
  • Vaginal Devices (pessaries,  incontinence inserts)
  • Bladder Botox
  • Surgery

There are a few things you can do to prevent common bladder health problems. Here are a few helpful health bladder tips.

  • Manage daily fluid intake and reduce bladder irritants like caffeinated beverages and alcohol
  • Limit or avoid very spicy and acidic foods that can bother the bladder
  • Stop Smoking
  • Stay active exercise regularly and don’t forget to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with kegels
  • Try to maintain a normal weight, excess weight gain can increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence

If fear of leaking urine stops you from doing things you enjoy, it may be time to consider treatment. Here at Jamaica Hospital we have providers who specialize in the treatment of bladder control issues.  To learn more about treatment options for urinary incontinence or to schedule an appointment with one of our Urogynecologist, please call 718-206-7001.

Renee Rolston MD-OB/GYN

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.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC) is joining with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO),to promote raising awareness about hospice and Palliative Care.  The theme this year is “It’s About How You Live.”  It brings focus on how hospice and Palliative care can offer a person-centered approach to treament that includes expert medical care, comprehensive pain management, and emotional and spiritual support.

When you are faced with the decision of choosing whether palliative care or hospice care better suites the needs of you, or your loved ones; it is best to know the definition and relationship between the two before deciding.

Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to a chronic illness, such as cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases. Palliative care can be used at any stage of illness –not just advanced stages.

Hospice care is palliative by nature, but is only offered when the patient has progress to a point where curative treatment is no longer desired. Hospice care supports the patient, and their families, on the journey to end of life focusing on relieving symptoms and offering comfort from pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and insomnia.

Although there are differences between palliative care and hospice care, there is a relationship between the two. Knowing the treatment differences and similarities may be helpful when making your decision, including:

  • Treatments are not limited with palliative care and can range from conservative to aggressive or curative.
  • Hospice care treatments are limited and focus on the palliation of symptoms. The goal is no longer to cure, but to promote comfort.
  • Palliative care can be considered at any time during the course of a chronic illness.
  • With hospice care, Medicare requires that a physician certify that a patient’s condition is terminal. The physician must certify that a patient’s life expectancy is six months or less.
  • Both palliative and hospice care can be delivered at any location.
  • Palliative care services are typically provided through regular physician and nursing visits.
  • Hospice care services are more inclusive than palliative care services. Hospice care includes physician services, nursing services, social worker, spiritual care, bereavement care and volunteers. In some cases physical, occupational, speech and dietary therapy services, as well as other counseling services are deemed necessary as part of the hospice holistic care plan to manage terminal symptoms and provide support for the individual and their family.

It is important to know that choosing palliative care or hospice care is about comfort, control, dignity and quality of life and not about giving up. If you, or a loved one should need information on palliative or hospice care, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Palliative Care and Hospice Care services can help. To schedule an appointment for an evaluation, or to just talk, call 718-206-6914.

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.

E-Cigarettes And Vaping Q&A

According to the Center on Addiction, vaping has grown in popularity with the rise of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). Several studies indicate that particles found in the “vapor” produced by these devices contain toxic chemicals which have been linked to respiratory and heart disease, as well as cancer. Despite these findings, some still believe that vaping is far less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. In fact, the opposite is true. This Q&A addresses this and other misconceptions people may have about vaping.

Q: What are ENDS or vaping devices?

A: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems are tobacco products that do not produce smoke. Some of the most commonly used terms used to describe these products are e-cigarettes, vapes and vaporizers. These devices are usually composed of a battery, heating element and a chamber which is often filled with liquid containing nicotine.  This liquid is heated by the device to release an aerosol often mistaken for water vapor. Vaping is inhaling and exhaling the aerosol produced.

Q: Are there negative effects associated with vaping?

A: The liquid found in vaping devices often contains nicotine which causes addiction and increases abuse potential.  Nicotine is toxic to the brain of developing fetuses. It also harms adolescent brain development.  The aerosol component of vaping devices has cancer-causing chemicals.  Cases of accidental poisoning by the liquids in devices are becoming more common. Defective products can cause explosions and fires.

Q: How do regular cigarettes compare to vaping devices?

A: Smoking a regular cigarette will produce smoke while delivering nicotine to the body.  The smoke is a harmful component that contains many toxic agents including but not limited to carbon monoxide and tar; both of which can cause cancer and other diseases.  E-cigarettes and other vaping devices contain fewer toxic chemicals when compared to regular cigarettes because there is no smoke.  However, they still contain significant levels of harmful substances such as nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, propylene glycol and other cancer-causing agents.

Q: Can e-cigarettes and other vaping devices be used to quit smoking?

A:   E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the FDA to quit smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deems that e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers (non-pregnant) as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products, but more studies are needed to prove this. Recent CDC studies also found that most adults using e-cigarettes don’t quit smoking, instead, are using both products.

Q: Is there a rising epidemic in the use of vaping device among youth?

In the USA there are several laws put in place to regulate the use of vaping devices. Despite these regulations, the use of vaping devices is increasing among youth. Reports from the CDC indicate that 4.3% of middle school students and 11.3% of high school students have tried vaping in the past month.  Vaping devices are produced in various models, including those that look like flash drives. This makes it easier for students to mask its presence. Lack of legislation to stop advertising of vaping products, availability of multiple appealing flavors, easy access are all factors that have contributed to increased use of vaping devices among youth.

Nicotine and other toxic substances, delivered in the form of traditional cigarettes or ENDS are harmful to your health. The best way to avoid these toxic chemicals derived from tobacco use is to stop smoking or vaping.

If you are currently a smoker and would like to quit, please schedule an appointment to see your doctor. There are many resources available to help control cravings and decrease use.

To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine Doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942.

Yogaalakshmi Sundararajan M.D. -Family Medicine Physician

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.

Why STD Rates Are Rising

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates in the United States continue to rise at a pace that concerns health officials. Data gathered from 2013 to 2017 indicate that STD rates have increased greatly over the four year period.

In the United States, nearly 2.3 million cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis were diagnosed in 2017. Studies show that these numbers have surpassed previous records set in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases.  CDC reports show that from 2013 to 2017, gonorrhea diagnoses increased by 67%; primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses increased by 76% and chlamydia 22%.

Health officials are most concerned about these sharp increases because chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea are all diseases that were once nearly eliminated or widely controlled but now have resurged.

Several factors have contributed to the resurgence of these diseases.  There has been a rise in risky sexual practices such as sex without condoms.  Studies show this may be the result of a reduced fear of getting pregnant and less fear of the risks associated with unprotected sex.  Other factors believed to be contributors to the escalation of STD rates include:

  • The rise of certain dating apps which have made casual sexual encounters more readily available and anonymous.
  • STDs spreading in populations that were not traditionally affected. The CDC reports that more and more women are being diagnosed with syphilis and some have passed the disease on to their babies. The agency states that in 2016, “there was a 36 percent increase in rates of syphilis among women and a 28 percent increase in syphilis among newborns.”
  • A lack of education and resources to combat these new challenges. According to the CDC, there isn’t enough funding available for STD clinics or programs to provide effective prevention education and healthcare.

There is still a stigma attached to STDs and people may be reluctant to speak to their doctor about screening and treatment.  However, it is important to keep in mind that your doctor is professionally trained to assist you or provide treatment.  If you are sexually active and believe you may be at risk of exposure to STDs, it is important that you get screened regularly.  Leaving certain STDs untreated can lead to complications such as infertility, stillbirth in infants, an increased risk of HIV infection, pelvic inflammatory disease and certain cancers.

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.

Can Small Changes Affect Your Health

When seeking a routine that can bring wellness to your entire being, you don’t have to climb a mountain in Tibet or strip away all the food you love.  Experts say that the best way to bring a wellness routine into your life is through a series of small changes that will gradually make a difference.

Changes such as:

  • Meditation – Take a moment in the morning to meditate.  It will set the tone of the day and clear your head to prepare for what the day may bring.
  • Music – Play calming music.  The body’s internal rhythms sync with the rhythms of music.  By focusing on the music and its melody, you will start of feel your breathing and heart rate begin to slow down, bringing you to a much calmer place.
  • Plan a trip – According to research, happiness spikes when planning a trip.  Shut down your smartphone – When the impulse to pick up your phone comes, and you resist it, you may feel a wave of anxiety.  Don’t panic!  Breathy through the anxiety and you will see that there is a calm that will follow.
  • Breathe deeply – Sit in a comfortable place, breathe naturally and settle your attention on your breath.  With each inhale and exhale, mentally repeat the words “in” and “out.”  Even if your mind wanders, don’t get distracted; just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Email – Don’t check your email when you first wake up.  Instead, sit silently and allow your mind to wander.  Take 10 minutes to just center yourself before you start your day.
  • Walk – Use part of your lunch break to take a walk.  This activity will aid with digestion, keep you active and relieve stress.

No one likes change and it rarely comes easy.  That’s why slowly incorporating small steps toward your goals overtime can lead to huge changes in the long run.

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.

Measles

The measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is easily transmitted from person-to-person. Thanks in large part to most people receiving vaccinations in early childhood; the number of cases had been kept low. Recently however, there have been a number of cases reported in the New York area; believed to have been spread by people who were exposed while visiting Israel.

People who have been infected with the measles virus may initially most likely have a fever, a cough, and white spots on the inside surface of the cheeks. The classic skin rash will also start to develop, usually on the face first and then spread down to the rest of the body. Long term complications can include an inner ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis and in rare cases, death.

The people who are at greatest risk of contracting the measles are people who have not been vaccinated, who are immunocompromised, young children, pregnant women who have not been vaccinated.

Treatment of the measles involves basically just keeping the patient comfortable at home. Contact with others should be avoided as much as possible and proper handwashing should be exercised at all times.

If you think you or your child may have been exposed to measles, or exhibiting symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor. To schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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.

The Benefits of Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

If you were to look in a textbook for a description of a pediatric dentist, you would read a definition that states “the branch of the dental healing arts that focuses on the condition of children and associated structures of the oral cavity.”  However, if you ask a pediatric dentist to define what they do, you will get a much different answer. The truth is a pediatric dentist is so much more and there are many benefits to having a pediatric dentist treat your child.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist is their gentle nature. Going to see the dentist can be overwhelming for many adults, so imagine how a young child must feel. Pediatric dentists are aware of these common concerns and because they have the training and skills to manage them, they are best suited to make your child feel comfortable and at ease once they are in the dentist’s chair.

While having a dentist who makes your child feel comfortable is important, it is equally as important to make sure that the person taking care of them is well qualified; this happens to be another advantage of selecting a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of formal training to focus on the growth and development of a child’s oral cavity, from birth through the teenage years. Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they are naturally better equipped to address the many potential problems that may occur, such as a delayed loss of baby teeth or the development of cavities and tooth decay.

Pediatric dentists take a holistic approach to provide care to children and work with parents to identify environmental factors that may contribute to poor dental health, such as dietary choices and the potential risks associated with habits such as thumb sucking, teeth grinding or the use of a pacifier.  These interactive opportunities serve to empower the entire family to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Statistics indicate that pre-school children are getting more cavities than ever before, with one out of every four children having one by the age of four. In addition, children miss more time from school due to toothaches than they do from the flu. Due to these alarming facts, a pediatric dentist will practice developmentally-based dental care by focusing a great deal of time during your child’s initial visits on teaching them about good dental habits, such as how to properly take care of their gums and teeth.

The pediatric dental team at Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to treating all children, from the time their first tooth erupts through their high school years. They believe the world is a happier place when it is filled with smiling children and they take pride in maintaining those smiles.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

 

 

 

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.

Can Journaling Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that keeping a journal is a great tool for relieving anxiety and stress?  According to Verywellmind.com, “Journaling can relieve stress by helping you work through your anxious feelings.”

By journaling, you can minimize thoughts that may have you anxious.  Writing down what is causing you to stress may help you shift feelings of fear and hopelessness to empowerment and solution orientated thoughts.

Some tips on how to get started are:

  • Start journaling for five to 15 minutes – Too much time shouldn’t be spent on your journaling. Write about what is concerning you most.
  • If an event is currently causing difficulty write it down in detail. If it is not a current issue, but something that has been plaguing you, focus on writing that you worry about the “what could possibly happen” factor.
  • Write how these feelings affect you in your daily life
  • Once your thoughts are arranged, you can write about what positive measures you can implement to help relive how you are feeling (i.e. meditation, exercise, support groups)

The hardest part about journaling is getting started.  Many people think that they don’t have the time to journal, but if you have the time to fret, you have the time to put pencil to paper and work on feeling better!

For more tips on how to benefit from journaling visit – www.verywellmind.com

 

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.

Running Do’s and Don’ts

It is no secret that exercise does wonders for your health.  Running, in particular, offers many benefits, and is known to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, it was found that” five to 10 minutes a day of low-intensity running is enough to extend life by several years.” Similar studies have also indicated that running can help reduce the risks associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Given the benefits, your doctor may recommend that you include running as part of your exercise regimen. If you decide to run, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to prevent injury and optimize your workout. Here are some running dos and don’ts:

The Do’s:

  • Keep your head up -This will keep your body in alignment and prevent injuries
  • Stretch and warm up-This reduces muscle tightness and increases your range of motion
  • Start slowly -Starting off too fast can lead to overexertion which may result in side aches
  • Schedule rest days –Allow your body days to recover and reduce the risk of exhaustion
  • Remain hydrated- Drinking enough water will prevent dehydration

The Don’ts:

  • Do not run in shoes that are worn or not intended for running- Shoes that are worn or not designed for running may lack support and lead to injuries
  • If running outdoors, do not run with headphones – It is important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid hazards
  • Do not eat big meals before running-Eating too much can slow you down
  • Do not ignore injuries- It is important that you rest if you are injured, not doing so can lead to complications

The most important thing to consider before starting your running routine is to speak with your doctor. Experts recommend that you receive a full medical checkup if you are over the age of 40, have preexisting medical conditions, are obese or have a family history of heart disease.  Your doctor will be able to assess your health and determine if running is best for you.

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.