Building Mental Resilience

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as, “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences.”  In other words, it is our ability to effectively manage our psychological health and adapt to challenging life events.

Building mental resilience or strength helps us to cope with loss, trauma, stress, or other difficulties in a healthy way.  Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Resilience can help protect you from various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.”

Here are a few tips you can try to help build mental resilience:

  • Have a positive mindset
  • Build strong and positive relationships
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Practice meditation
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques
  • Accept change
  • Take care of yourself
  • Take a break
  • Be proactive
  • Remain hopeful
  • Build self-esteem

It is important to remember that being resilient does not equate to being unaffected by stressors in life. You may still experience emotions that correlate with challenging events; however, resilience can help you to better adapt or recover.

Building resilience will take some time and practice; therefore, being patient is key. Everyone’s experience with building resilience is unique. What may work for one person, may not work for the other.

If you continue to feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate to seek help from a mental health provider. To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575.

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.

Lupus vs. Multiple Sclerosis: What’s the Difference?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects over 200,000 people in the United States, approximately 90% of whom are women. Due to the rare nature of this disease, it is sometimes misdiagnosed in its early stages. One condition it’s often mistaken for is multiple sclerosis (MS), a more common autoimmune condition affecting over one million Americans.

Lupus is primarily associated with chronic joint pain, skin rashes, fevers, and hair loss, as well as neurological issues such as headaches, seizures, strokes, and personality changes. While these symptoms are less common in people with MS, certain issues typically associated with this condition, such as numbness, blurred vision, weakness, and balancing difficulties, can also present with other common lupus symptoms.

Both lupus and MS tend to cause periodic flare-ups of symptoms such as fatigue and pain. Additionally, both conditions can affect the nervous system and lead to a variety of neurological problems. Certain symptoms, however, are more indicative of one disease than the other, and it’s important to look out for them to ensure that your doctor has the information necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

Many people with lupus experience a rash on their cheeks and nose that can act as a telltale sign of the disease. Knowing whether a person’s numbness, weakness, or other neurological problems are associated with seizures or strokes can also help to determine whether lupus or MS is the more likely cause.

Several diagnostic procedures are also available to confirm the cause of symptoms. An MRI scan of the brain and spinal cord may be used to diagnose either lupus or MS. If this scan doesn’t provide enough information, your doctor may perform a lumbar puncture to check for MS antigens. For lupus, several blood tests and the AVISE Connective Tissue Disease test can check for antibody measures and other signs of the disease.

If you begin to experience symptoms of either of these conditions, it’s important to speak to a doctor as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with a neurologist 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.

What is Osteoarthritis ?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, currently affecting  over 32 million Americans. This form of arthritis is known as the “wear and tear” disease because while it can affect almost any joint, it most commonly affects the joints in the knees, hips, hands, and spine that are subject to the most amount of movement. Women tend to be affected by osteoarthritis more often than men.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage, which is the slippery tissue which cushions your bones when they rub against one another deteriorates over time due to weight, stress, injuries or genetic factors. When this happens, people with osteoarthritis will experience a variety of issues including::

  • Joint pain
  • Joint Deformity
  • Decrease in joint mobility
  • Swelling of a joint
  • Joint crackling

Diagnosing osteoarthritis can be performed by taking an x-ray, a magnetic resonance image (MRI), and physical manipulation of the joint. Examining the joint fluid can help differentiate osteoarthritis from other types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis may not be able to be completely avoided but there are ways to slow down its progress and to treat it. Measures to minimize osteoarthritis include:

  • Keeping active
  • Maintaining a proper weight
  • Participating in physical therapy
  • Taking medications to reduce symptoms such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Applying transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Receiving cortisone injections into the joint
  • Receiving injections of hyaluronic acid
  • Having Joint replacement procedures

If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, speak with your physician to discuss what treatment option is best for you. If  you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

What is Sundowning?

If a friend or loved one is displaying symptoms of confusion that occur or worsen in the late afternoon and evening, they may be experiencing sundowning, also known as sundown syndrome.

Sundowning is typically characterized by problems with memory, thinking, reasoning, and mood regulation which present themselves through behaviors such as pacing, wandering, or closely following someone, in addition to more dramatic outbursts of yelling, crying, or violence. A person experiencing sundowning may suffer from paranoia, delusions, or insomnia, as well. Although these symptoms usually occur in the latter half of the day, they can also appear during the morning.

Over 20% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia suffer from sundown syndrome. The exact causes of sundowning are unknown, but physical discomfort, infections, sleep cycle disruptions, overstimulation, and low lighting can all worsen its symptoms.

Managing triggers is the best way to prevent or decrease the severity of sundowning episodes. Light therapy, music therapy, and familiar environments can also help. Additionally, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, or antipsychotic medications may provide relief in some cases. For people whose sundowning symptoms are linked to sleep-related triggers, melatonin can be used to help restore a normal sleep cycle.

It’s important to get a loved one suffering from sundown syndrome to a doctor as soon as possible and to advocate for them throughout the treatment process to ensure that any issues they can’t communicate on their own are identified promptly. Schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center now 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.

A Delicious Fall Recipe

Today is the first day of Fall and a perfect time to prepare a delicious butternut squash casserole to welcome in the season. Here is a recipe from delish.com made with butternut squash. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a40509027/butternut-squash-casserole-recipe/

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 School Backpack Awareness Day

As students begin a new school year, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is taking the opportunity to inform our community about backpack usage, potential medical issues that it can cause, and ways to prevent these issues for National School Backpack Awareness Day.

Most students use backpacks to carry the books and supplies they need for school each day, often hauling loads weighing as much as 20% of their body weight. When students frequently carry this kind of weight, the muscles and joints in their back, neck, and shoulders can become strained or injured due to continuous stress. This can also lead to posture problems, causing misalignment in the musculoskeletal system, interfering with proper joint movement and function, and wearing away the spine.

Your child’s choice of backpack can substantially help to avoid these problems. Look for a backpack that:

  • Fits your child properly
  • Features two wide, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap
  • Has a padded back
  • Is lightweight

These features are most helpful when utilized properly. All straps on a backpack should be tightened to keep the load as close to a student’s back as possible, reducing the stress it places on their muscles. Additionally, keep the heaviest items low and toward the center of the backpack, removing any items that aren’t necessary for the day. Lastly, be sure your child is lifting the weight of the backpack from their knees, not their back.

If your child is experiencing frequent or chronic back pain, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to diagnose and treat the problem 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.

What You Should Know About The Novavax Adjuvanted COVID Vaccine

The Novavax vaccine, Adjuvanted was recently authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 12 years of age and older.  It is the fourth vaccine to receive authorization in the U.S. along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine packages harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus alongside another ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to the virus in the future.”

Adjuvanted is found to be 90% effective against COVID. It is used for primary vaccinations, meaning it has not been authorized for use as a booster.

The vaccine is given in two doses, three weeks apart. It is given as an injection in the muscle. Mixing Adjuvanted with other COVID-19 vaccines is not recommended at this time.

As with other vaccines, there are side effects associated with Adjuvanted.  The most common side effects include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the injection site
  • Injection site redness or swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills

Myocarditis and pericarditis, conditions caused by an inflammation of the heart, have occurred in a few clinical trial participants.

Although potential side effects can occur after receiving a COVID vaccine, the CDC advises that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. Vaccines remain the most effective form of protection against infection.

It is important to remember that information about COVID-19 is constantly changing as we learn more about the virus. We encourage you to visit the CDC for updates.

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 Anemia?

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States and affects over two billion people globally. More women suffer from iron deficiency anemia than men. Anemia reduces the number of healthy red blood cells available to carry oxygen throughout your body, leaving you feeling tired and weak.

The symptoms of anemia can range from mild and temporary to chronic and severe, potentially causing life-threatening complications such as heart failure. Severe symptoms may be more likely for people over the age of 65.

The severity of anemia mainly depends on its cause, which can include factors such as:

  • Deficiency of iron, folate, or vitamin B-12
  • Acute or chronic inflammatory diseases
  • Radiation and chemotherapy
  • Infections and autoimmune diseases
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Bone marrow disease
  • Blood disease
  • Genetics

Not all forms of anemia are preventable, particularly if it’s inherited genetically or the result of a condition with unclear causes. Increasing your intake of foods rich in iron, folate, and vitamins B-12 and C can help prevent certain forms of anemia or manage anemic symptoms.

Additionally, you may be able to prevent anemia associated with other conditions by managing the risk factors of those conditions. This may include reducing your intake of alcohol or avoiding exposure to toxic substances as much as possible.

A hematologist can provide treatment to help relieve anemia symptoms through intravenous infusions, red blood cell transfusions, bone marrow transplants, erythropoietin injections, or surgery to stop internal bleeding that may cause the condition.

If you’re looking for a diagnosis or anemia treatment, you can schedule an appointment with a hematologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center 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.

Head Lice Prevention Month

Since 1985, healthcare organizations have informed communities about head lice symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention for National Pediculosis Prevention Month, also known as Head Lice Prevention Month.

Although reliable data isn’t available on this condition, pediculosis (head lice infestation) is fairly common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately six to 12 million infestations affect children between the ages of three to 11 each year. Adults can also develop infestations through contact with both children and other adults.

Head lice typically spread through contact with the hair of an infested person, though it can also occur when people share clothes or lay on furniture after an infested person has recently used them. Lice typically remain on a person’s scalp; however, in rare instances, they may move to the eyelashes or eyebrows.

Signs of pediculosis include the feeling of something moving through the hair, itching, the development of sores on the scalp, and difficulty sleeping due to the increased activity of head lice in the dark. A diagnosis is generally made when live head lice are found on the scalp.

You can prevent the spread of head lice by teaching your child to avoid sharing clothes or supplies, using furniture recently used by an infested person, or coming into head-to-head contact with friends or classmates. It’s also helpful to encourage them to regularly comb their hair. You can keep yourself free of head lice by following these recommendations, as well.

If an infestation has already developed, lice removal kits are a non-chemical solution for combing lice out of an infested person’s hair. Several over-the-counter and prescription lice removal shampoos, creams, lotions, and drugs are also available.

If you or your child need a diagnosis or treatment for head lice, schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at (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.

September is Cholesterol Education Month

September is designated as National Cholesterol Education Month. The importance of this designation is to bring awareness of the health risks associated with high cholesterol.  

One of the major conditions associated with high cholesterol is heart disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. People who have high levels of cholesterol are twice as likely to have heart disease than those who have levels in the normal range.

The liver produces two types of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). When the level of LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” cholesterol is too high we can develop health problems such as peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack. We can reduce our risk of complications by making lifestyle changes.

Ways to reduce “bad” cholesterol LDL and raise HDL “good”  cholesterol include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid saturated fats and trans fats such as fried food, pizza, margarine and pastries
  • Eat foods with unsaturated fats including olive oil, olives, nuts such as almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans and canola oil
  • Eat foods with polyunsaturated fat containing Omega-3 fatty acids including salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna
  • Eat high fiber foods such as fruits, beans, oat cereal
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Use Psyllium as a dietary supplement

There are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol, so the only way to assess it is through a blood test. It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to have cholesterol level in the blood checked every five years after the age of 20 and it should be a part of your annual physical as you get older. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.