Rare but True: Sleeping Beauty or Kleine Levin Syndrome

sleeping -493503106Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS) or Sleeping Beauty Syndrome is a rare neurological condition characterized by recurring periods of excess sleep.  It is estimated that 1000 people worldwide are diagnosed with the disorder.  Adolescent boys are primarily affected but a small percentage of adults and small children (male and female) are also known to suffer from this condition.

KLS symptoms occur in episodes that can last for days, weeks or months.  During each episode, an individual can sleep from 12 to 20 hours a day- only waking to eat and use the bathroom. A person can experience anywhere from two to 12 episodes per year.   Symptoms that occur during wakefulness include:

  • Mood changes
  • Hyper sexuality
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Child-like behavior
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Excessive eating
  • Hypersensitivity to noise and light

These symptoms prevent individuals from leading a normal life. Most are bed ridden and unable to attend work or school. The frequency of KLS episodes tend to decrease with age, there is a possibility that they can recur later in life.

The cause of KLS is unknown but it is believed that it may be the result of a malfunction of the hypothalamus and thalamus (the parts of the brain that regulates sleep, body temperature, sex drive and appetite).

There is no cure for KLS but treatment is available to alleviate symptoms.  Doctors may prescribe stimulants to reduce excessive sleepiness.

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 do you rely on most for maintaining a healthy heart?

 

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1.   Exercise

2.  Balanced diet

3. Getting plenty of sleep

4.  Reducing stress

5.  All of the above

Answer – 5- All of the above

Although the American Heart Association recommends for overall cardiovascular health – at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes with a moderate to high intensity muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional benefits, best results are gained when exercise is combined with a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest and reducing stress .

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.

Automobile Safety Features

Automobile accidents happen all too frequently and can  have devastating effects on the passengers who are involved. Fortunately though, advances in safety features help to lessen the number of fatalities and the severity of these accidents.  With every year that passes, automobile manufacturers add safety features to their vehicles with the hopes that they will help lower the number of injuries and fatalities.
Through government regulation and the formation of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1970, safety became a priority for all cars being sold in the United States. Manufacturers were required to meet these standards in order to be in compliance.
Some of the safety features that became mandatory include:
• 1964 Front seat belts became required equipment
• 1966 Padded dashboard, front and rear seat belts and back up lights
• 1968 Collapsible seat belts, side marker lights, front shoulder belts
• 1969 Front head restraints
• 1986 Third brake light in rear of car
• 1998 Front passenger airbags
Some additional  features that became standard equipment over the years were windshield wipers, rear window defrosters, bumpers that can withstand front and rear impact, fuel tanks that are able to withstand impact without exploding, front and rear brakes, and shatterproof windshield glass.
We continue to see more safety features being added. They include back up cameras, blind spot detectors and sensors to alert drivers of drifting into another lane.
Each state also has regulations that require motor vehicle to be inspected every year for safety compliance. Tires, brakes, emissions, lights and mechanical equipment is checked to determine if the vehicle is road worthy. If the vehicle does not pass the inspection the owner is advised of the repairs that need to be made before they can renew their registration.  The purpose of this is to ensure that each motor vehicle on the road is safe to be operated.ThinkstockPhotos-160479991

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 Need to Know About Endometriosis

endometriosis-488786798Endometriosis affects approximately every one in ten girls and women worldwide.  This condition occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus- grows outside the uterus. This abnormal growth of tissue can commonly be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, as well as areas between the rectum and vagina.  Areas where endometriosis is less commonly found, are the lungs, thighs, arms and other areas beyond the reproductive organs or lower abdomen.

Endometrial tissue develops into growths or clumps called implants.  These clusters of tissue respond to the menstrual cycle the same as they would inside the uterus.  Meaning, each month the tissue builds up, breaks down then sheds.  Unlike the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus; endometrial tissue cannot be discharged from the body through vaginal bleeding.  This results in inflammation, swelling,  the formation of scar tissue or internal bleeding.

The symptoms of endometriosis typically present themselves during reproductive years- on average between the ages of 12 to 60 years old.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Pain during pelvic examinations
  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility

The cause of endometriosis is unknown but several factors such as genetics, retrograde period flow, immune system disorders and hormones are being researched.

Most cases are diagnosed in women between the ages of 25 to 35 years of age; however, some women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed because they do not have symptoms and the disorder is sometimes mistaken for other conditions.

Women who do experience symptoms should speak with their doctor about receiving tests such as pelvic examinations, laparascopy and imaging tests, to find out if they  have endometriosis.

Although there is no cure for endometriosis, effective treatments including medication, surgery and alternative therapies are available.

If you are experiencing the symptoms it is recommended that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. To make an appointment with a gynecologist at Jamaica Hospital, 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.

Does Your Child Have Night Terrors?

ThinkstockPhotos-485146134 Most parents have comforted their child after the occasional nightmare. But if your child has ever experienced what’s known as a night terror (or sleep terror), his or her fear was likely inconsolable, no matter what you tried.

Unlike nightmares, which a child can usually remember, night terrors are not memorable and the child will not recall experiencing that horror the night before. Night terrors occur when a child is in a deep sleep and there are no mental images to remember.

A night terror is a sleep disruption that seems similar to a nightmare, but with a far more dramatic presentation. Though night terrors can be alarming for parents who witness them, they’re not usually cause for concern or a sign of a deeper medical issue. The sleep disorder of night terrors typically occurs in children aged three to twelve years, with a peak onset in children aged three and a half years.

Night terrors usually occur about two or three hours after a child falls asleep, when sleep transitions from the deepest stage of non-REM sleep to lighter REM sleep, a stage where dreams occur. During a night terror, a child might suddenly sit upright in bed and shout out or scream in distress. The child’s breathing and heartbeat might be faster, he or she might sweat, thrash around, and act upset and scared. After a few minutes, or sometimes longer, a child simply calms down and returns to sleep.

Night terrors can be caused by fever, lack of sleep, stressful or traumatic life events or some medications that control the central nervous system. Parents may take some precautions at home to try and prevent night terrors:

  • Eliminate all sources of sleep disturbance like loud noises or excessive light in your child’s room.
  • Maintain a consistent bedtime routine and wake-up time.
  • Observe how many minutes the night terror occurs from your child’s bedtime.
  • Awaken your child 15 minutes before the expected night terror, and keep them awake and out of bed for five minutes.
  • You may want to take your child to the bathroom to see if they will urinate.

Continue this routine for a week. Also, make the child’s room safe to try to prevent the any injuries during an episode.

Unfortunately, no adequate treatment exists for night terrors. Management primarily consists of educating family members about the disorder and reassuring them that the episodes are not harmful. Night terror episodes are short-lived and usually occur over several weeks. Nearly all children outgrow night terrors by adolescence.

If the night terrors continue and appear to get worse consult your pediatrician immediately. The Sleep Center at Jamaica Hospital is open from 7:00pm to 7:00 am and available to diagnose and monitor sleeping patterns. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5916.

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.

Are You an Emotional Eater?

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Often, people turn to food for comfort during times of stress, anger or sadness. However, if you are eating for emotional reasons and not because you are physically hungry, there may be a problem.

Some of the signs of being an emotional eater are:

  • Eating without hunger
  • Eating until you are uncomfortable or stuffed

Many people believe that emotional eating is due to a lack of self-control, but this is not the case. There has been extensive research to prove that emotional eating is actually an eating disorder.

The five top things that contribute to emotional eating are:

  1. Unawareness – Emotional eating can be a direct result of not being conscious of what or why you are eating. Unconscious eating is defined as continuing to eat when you have finished your meal and continue to pick at it, slowly eating the remaining portion that you intended to leave behind.
  2. Food as your only pleasure – Do not use food as a reward after a long and hectic day.  Although the calming, soothing affects you may feel when you eat ice cream or potato chips are real, due to the opioids they release in our brain, they are a difficult habit to break.
  3. Inability to tolerate difficult feelings –When you do not have the ability to tolerate life’s inevitable bad feelings, you are susceptible to emotional eating.  Practice letting yourself experience difficult feelings and keeping in mind that feeling mad, sad, rejected or bored, doesn’t change anything.
  4. Body loathing – Hating your body is one of the biggest factors in emotional eating.  You have to stop hating your body before you can stop emotional eating.
  5. Physiology – The best way to leave yourself open to emotional eating is to wait until you are too tired or hungry to eat.  When we are too tired or hungry, the body sends strong messages to your brain that signal it to eat, leaving us with an inability to fight off cravings or urges.

In addition these tips listed above, it is always a good practice to eat several small meals during the day and get plenty of sleep. Emotional eating is a cycle that cannot be broken until you make a commitment to reach deep inside yourself to make a change.

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.

Is High Blood Pressure Affecting your Kidneys?

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High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States after diabetes.

High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to work properly. When the force of blood flow is high, blood vessels stretch so blood flows more easily. Eventually, this stretching scars and weakens blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidneys.

If the kidneys’ blood vessels are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle.

Most people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms. In rare cases, high blood pressure can cause headaches.

Kidney disease also does not have symptoms during its early stages. A person may have swelling called edema, which happens when the kidneys cannot get rid of extra fluid and salt. Edema can occur in the legs, feet, or ankles and less often in the hands or face.

Once kidney function decreases further, symptoms can include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness or feeling tired
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Generalized itching or numbness
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Darkened skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Following a healthy eating plan can help lower blood pressure.  Your health care provider may recommend a dietary approach that includes foods that are low in fat and cholesterol, dairy that is fat-free or low-fat, fish, poultry and nuts, as well as, consuming less read meat, sweets and added sugars.

If you are experiencing symptoms and would like to speak with a physician, please call 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.

March is Hemophilia Awareness Month

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan designated March as Hemophilia Awareness Month to raise awareness for the approximately 20,000 Americans living with the blood disorder.

ThinkstockPhotos-478490890Hemophilia is a general term for a wide range of bleeding disorders where the ability for blood to clot is dramatically reduced. The result is the sufferer bleeds excessively and for a prolonged period of time. When a person who does not have Hemophilia is cut, their vessels constrict and platelets “plug up” the leak by clotting to stop the bleeding. Those with Hemophilia lack certain chromosomes responsible for this function so bleeding continues.

Hemophilia is an inherited disorder that is caused by a defect in genes carried in the X chromosome. When a family member is diagnosed with Hemophilia, it is important that other family members (especially siblings and children) are also tested by performing a coagulation study.

In addition to excessive bleeding, symptoms of Hemophilia include: deep bruises, swelling, joint pain, blood in the urine or stool, and unexplained nosebleeds. Symptoms in newborns include unexplained irritability and excessive bleeding after immunizations.

Treatment for Hemophilia varies, depending on the specific type of the disorder and the severity. For some, clotting factor concentrates can be infused to prevent or treat bleeds. There are also topical products and nasal sprays available. Others may require plasma treatments administered in a hospital setting.

To be tested foe Hemophilia or to learn about treatment, speak to your doctor. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care, 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.

Whiplash – A Real Pain in the Neck

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the sudden, forceful, movement of the head and neck. Often times it is caused by a rear end car accident but can also be caused by other forms of trauma like a sports related accident, shaking a baby forcefully,  or if one person hits another in the head.

Signs and symptoms of whiplash sometimes don’t show up right away. It may take a day or two for some or all of the following symptoms to appear:

• Neck pain and stiffness
• Limitation of neck range of motion
• Headache
• Shoulder and back pain
• Tingling in the arms
• Dizziness
• Feeling tired
• Blurred vision

A complete examination by a physician will include checking range of motion of the neck and shoulders, tenderness in the shoulders, neck and back, checking reflexes and muscle strength in the arms. The exam will also probably include an x-ray, and a CT scan or MRI of the upper part of the body.

Treatment for whiplash depends on severity as each case is different. It includes rest, immobilization of the neck with a foam collar, pain management with medication, ice or heat to the affected area, muscle relaxants, or physical therapy. It can take weeks or months for the symptoms to subside. 

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.

March is National Kidney Month

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March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 for 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.