Black Maternal Health Week

A pregnant Black mother looks down at her stomach.Black Maternal Health Week is observed from April 11th to 17th; it is focused on raising awareness about inequities in health outcomes among Black mothers throughout the United States. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among high-income nations. While this crisis affects all mothers, Black mothers are disproportionately likely to die due to pregnancy complications.

Several factors contribute to Black mothers’ increased mortality rate, including:

  • Limited access to high-quality medical care due to geographic factors and the potentially high cost of needed treatments
  • Organizational structures and policies that provide inadequate support for Black mothers
  • A lack of sufficient data and understanding on the part of organizations and providers regarding the health needs and circumstances of individual Black mothers and their children

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Black maternal health is important to us, and we have initiated and continually improved upon several programs designed to create a more equitable care environment for mothers at our hospital. For example, our CenteringPregnancy program offers pre-natal care in a group setting facilitated by doctors, nurses, and midwives, where expectant mothers with similar due dates can share experiences, receive support, and learn effective ways of staying healthy throughout pregnancy.

In addition to CenteringPregnancy, our hospital also offers access to midwife care and support from doulas, who help to ensure that mothers receive the guidance and support they need throughout their care. We also adhere to the Respectful Care at Birth initiative, a New York City Department of Health program focused on:

  • Providing easy-to-understand information about pregnancy, childbirth, and the care you will receive
  • Providing a sanitary, supportive environment in which to receive the care you need and give birth to your child
  • Supporting the ability and authority of mothers to make informed decisions about their care
  • Reinforcing the expectation that patients of all races and backgrounds will be treated with dignity and respect throughout their care
  • Ensuring that mothers have the support they need in terms of information, care, and having family members (or other people of their choosing) present during their care

No matter your race or background, you can always expect to receive comprehensive, high-quality maternal care at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 291-3276.

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.

April is Autism Awareness Month

April was designated as National Autism Awareness Month in 1970. The idea to recognize a month for autism awareness came from Dr. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D who was an autism researcher. In April 1988, President Ronald Reagan made it official with a proclamation declaring April as Autism Awareness Month. It is meant to bring attention and a better understanding of this disorder.

The symbol of autism is a puzzle piece that represents power, strength, hope, and unity for people who are diagnosed with this disorder.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, autism affects approximately one in 36 children and one in 45 adults. They also state that autism is seen more frequently in boys than in girls, is found in people of all ethnicities and  races, and it affects people who have it in many different ways. Some people have very mild cases and some have very severe manifestations. Some children are verbal while others may not be. Some children, but not all,   have intellectual issues, and some can be high functioning while others require assistance with activities of daily living. Signs of autism can be seen in children as young as age two or three and the diagnosis can usually  be made definitively by age five.

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.

Nebulizers: What You Should Know

A woman using a nebulizer.Over 34 million people throughout the United States live with a chronic lung disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Any type of lung disease can have a significant detrimental impact on your quality of life without effective treatment to manage it. One of these treatments is the usage of nebulizers, which turn liquid medicine into a mist that can be easily inhaled.

While they function in a similar way, nebulizers are not the same thing as inhalers. An inhaler delivers medication more quickly, is often smaller and more portable, often costs less, and usually causes fewer side effects. However, they are not as easy to use properly as nebulizers, which allow you to breathe normally to get the dose of medicine you need.

You may need a nebulizer if you plan to take certain types of medication, such as bronchodilators (which relax your airway muscles) or corticosteroids (which prevent airway inflammation). Nebulizers can also be used with some antibiotics (if you have a bacterial lung infection) or medications that loosen mucus in your lungs.

Before using your nebulizer, it’s important to make sure you’re setting it up correctly. You should:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up and using your nebulizer, which should be included
  • Wash your hands
  • Fill the medicine cup and close it tightly
  • Make sure the hose is connected to the air compressor, mouthpiece, and medicine cup
  • Plug in and turn on the nebulizer

While using the nebulizer, you should:

  • Keep your lips firmly around the mouthpiece
  • Breathe through your mouth until the medicine cup is empty (this can take up to 20 minutes)

It’s also important to make sure you’re keeping your nebulizer sanitary for future use. Each time you finish using it, you should:

  • Turn off and unplug the machine
  • Wash the mouthpiece and medicine cup under warm, running water
  • Air dry the nebulizer and run air through it for at least 20 seconds to ensure all parts of it are dry
  • Remove all detachable parts (such as the mouthpiece and medicine cup) and store the nebulizer in a covered place until the next time you use it
  • Change the machine’s filter as needed (see the instructions that came with your nebulizer)

If you experience symptoms of asthma or another type of lung disease, you can receive high-quality treatment from Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-7126.

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.

Enjoy This Easy to Prepare and Healthy Springtime Recipe for Minestrone

Here is a healthy, easy to prepare, and delicious springtime recipe for minestrone with fresh vegetables from the Food Network.  https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/minestrone-with-spring-greens-12544874

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 Cancer Control Month

National Cancer Control Month, which is recognized during the month of April.April is National Cancer Control Month. During this time each year, organizations throughout the United States recognize the burden experienced by people with cancer. Each year, cancer directly impacts millions of individuals, families, and communities, and even the country as a whole. The overall goal of Cancer Control Month is to reduce this impact by:

Preventing as many cancer deaths as possible: Up to 50% of all cancer deaths are preventable through early diagnosis and treatment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Prevention is one of the most effective methods possible of controlling rates of cancer and cancer deaths. Standard cancer prevention strategies involve:

  • Raising awareness of signs, symptoms, and diagnostic testing procedures
  • Reducing exposure to known cancer risk factors
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle habits that reduce cancer risk

Detecting cancer as early as possible: Early detection of cancer is one of the most important factors for successful treatment, making this an important goal of Cancer Control Month. Cancer prevention strategies, such as patient education regarding risk factors and warning signs, are crucial for encouraging people to visit their healthcare provider for diagnostic testing as soon as possible.

Improving cancer treatments: Many modern cancer treatments are effective when it comes to improving survival rates and quality of life among patients, but further improvements, as well as more research into treatment-resistant forms of cancer, can help prevent an even greater number of cancer deaths.

You can reduce your risk of developing cancer by avoiding certain factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common risk factors for preventable forms of cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from the sun or a tanning bed
  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

If you have noticed potential signs of cancer and require a diagnostic screening or treatment, you can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Oncology Department. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6742.

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.

What is an Elimination Diet ?

Foods that you’re allergic to can cause you to experience a variety of symptoms, including gas, bloating, nausea, or diarrhea. While these types of problems are rarely life-threatening allergic reactions, they can cause significant discomfort and disruption in your daily life. However, you may not know for certain which exact foods are causing these reactions. An elimination diet can help you identify them.

Elimination diets involve removing, then later re-adding, certain foods from your diet which are suspected to be the cause of allergic reactions. This diet is typically only maintained for a brief period of up to six weeks.

An elimination diet is typically divided into an “elimination” phase and a “reintroduction” phase. During the elimination phase, potential allergens are removed from your diet. These typically include foods such as:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Starchy foods
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Spices
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Sugary products
  • Certain fruits and vegetables

During the reintroduction phase, you once again start to eat each food group you’ve cut out of your diet. Each of these groups is individually re-introduced over the course of up to three days, providing adequate time to watch for potential symptoms.

Different versions of the elimination diet, such as the low-FODMAPs diet (which targets short-chain carbohydrates), only remove specific food groups. Alternatively, varieties such as the fasting elimination diet, which involves only drinking water for up to five days, may be more extreme than the standard version.

No matter which version of the elimination diet you plan to try, you should only do so under the supervision of a medical professional. The re-introduction of food allergens can potentially cause anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that causes airways to swell and restricts your breathing. Extreme varieties such as the fasting elimination diet can be especially dangerous to your health without the guidance of a doctor.

If you suspect you have a food allergy and plan to follow an elimination diet, schedule an appointment with a registered dietician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Outpatient Nutritional Services Department by calling (718) 206-7056.

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.

Learn The Facts About Epilepsy

Epilepsy, also referred to as a “seizure disorder,” is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system. Those with this neurological disorder experience abnormal brain activity, which results in unpredictable and unprovoked seizures as well as other unusual behaviors, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain, seizures can affect any process the brain coordinates. Seizure signs and symptoms may include:

  • Temporary confusion
  • A staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Experiencing fear, anxiety, or dĂ©jĂ  vu

A person with epilepsy may experience different symptoms than others with the same disorder. In most cases, however, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.

While epilepsy has no identifiable cause, about half the cases can be traced to a variety of different factors, including:

  • Family history
  • Head trauma
  • Stroke
  • Infectious diseases such as meningitis encephalitis, or AIDS
  • Developmental disorders, including autism

Medications or surgery can control seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy. Some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures, but for others, the seizures eventually go away. Some children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition with age.

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.

Surprising Things That Can Raise Your Blood Sugar

High blood sugar can lead to various health problems for people living with diabetes. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of triggers that may cause blood sugar levels to elevate.

  • Stress – causes release of certain hormones that raise blood sugar
  • Sunburn – because the pain raises stress
  • Lack of sleep – causes the body to not properly use insulin
  • Artificial sweeteners – may contain carbohydrates
  • Dehydration – causes blood sugar to become more concentrated
  • Medications – ingredients in some cough medications, diuretics, heart medication, oral steroids can raise blood sugar
  • Gum disease – an infection can cause higher blood sugar levels
  • Not eating breakfast – might lead to reduced production of insulin by the pancreas
  • Menstruation – due to hormonal changes
  • Physical inactivity – has the opposite affect of keeping active which reduces blood sugar
  • Caffeine – stimulates hormones that may increase levels
  • Sugar free foods – may contain carbohydrates that serve to raise blood sugar
  • High fat foods – digesting fatty foods causes the body to raise blood sugar
  • Sports drinks – they are usually high in sugar content
  • Birth control pills – the ones that contain estrogen can raise blood sugar

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to discuss proper nutrition and physical activity, 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.

Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A man holding his wrist in front of his laptop due to pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition affecting the hand; it causes symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and weakness, all of which can interfere significantly with work activities, chores at home, and other aspects of your day-to-day functions.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve (which runs through the forearm to the hand through the wrist). A wide range of risk factors can cause this pressure to occur, including:

  • Injuries to the wrist
  • Nerve-damaging or inflammatory conditions
  • Obesity
  • Fluid retention
  • Work that involves repetitive flexing of the wrist

If you have developed (or are starting to develop) carpal tunnel syndrome, effective treatments are available to help you reduce discomfort and remain functional throughout your daily activities. Some of these treatments include:

Making adjustments to your work environment: If workplace factors are contributing to your carpal tunnel syndrome, certain adjustments may help to reduce the impact of symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. It is recommended that you maintain good posture, keep your wrists relaxed and straight as often as you can, and take frequent, brief breaks to rest and stretch your hands. It may also help to change certain tools you use, such as your computer mouse, which may be contributing to the problem.

Wrist splints: You may find it helpful to start wearing a splint while sleeping. A splint holds your wrist still, reducing symptoms during the night. Using a splint at night may also improve your symptoms to a lesser extent throughout the following day.

Corticosteroids: Your doctor may inject a corticosteroid into your wrist to provide relief from your symptoms. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation in the wrist, which relieves pressure on the median nerve.

Surgery: If your symptoms are severe or unresponsive to other treatments, your doctor may recommend surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, which involves cutting the ligament that’s placing pressure on the median nerve.

Non-surgical treatments may be more effective if the condition is caught early. You can receive a diagnosis and treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome with an orthopedist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6923.

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.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Brain Injury Association of America ( BIAA) has designated the month of March as Brain Injury Awareness month. This designation was initiated over thirty years ago to bring attention to this very serious issue.

There are two basic types of brain injuries. They are:

  • Non Traumatic Brain Injury – caused by lack of oxygen, a tumor, a stroke or a birth defect
  • Traumatic Brain Injury – caused by a fall, penetrating wound, or by blunt force to the head

The BIAA estimates that there are over 5.3 million people in the United States that are living with a brain injury and it is estimated that 2.8  million new cases  occur each year.

A brain injury can affect a person physically, behaviorally or emotionally. Almost half of brain injuries are due to a person falling and hitting their heads. Other leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are sports-related injuries and head trauma due to domestic violence.

Anyone who experiences a head trauma should immediately seek proper medical evaluation and care. If the person loses consciousness, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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.