How Are You Handling Your Holiday Stress?

During the holiday season, many of us struggle to complete an extensive list of tasks in what often feels like very little time.   We run rampant decorating our homes, attending social gatherings, shopping for loved ones, volunteering, traveling or cooking.  These activities are often added to our already busy schedules, which can make us feel overwhelmed.

Contrary to what we may think, these activities which should make us feel happy can actually increase our stress levels.

Although there are various factors such as unrealistic expectations or financial strain that contribute to holiday stress, finding ways to avoid stressors or minimize their effects is very important. If stress is not managed well, it can have a significantly negative impact on our health.

Here are five tips to help you cope with holiday stress and maintain good mental health:

  1. Set realistic goals– Unrealistic goals often equal added pressure and expectations that cannot be met. If these goals are not met, they can lead to negative feelings such as inadequacy or hopelessness.
  2. Know when to take a moment for yourself (Take a break) – We are often pulled in multiple directions during this time of the year. Know when to take a breather to decompress and clear your mind.
  3. Communicate- The added pressures of the holidays are clearly overwhelming and one of the ways that people sometimes deal with this is to isolate themselves. This is not recommended; instead, reach out to loved ones or a trained mental health professional to communicate how you feel.
  4. Do not neglect healthy habits– Taking good care of your health can help combat holiday stress. Moderating your food intake, fitting in a few minutes of exercise and getting adequate amounts of sleep can be profoundly beneficial for your health.   Additionally, maintaining a healthy daily routine can help take your mind off holiday demands.
  5. Ask for help- We live in a time where multitasking has become the norm but if you begin to feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Soliciting the help of friends or family can alleviate some of the holiday pressure. The holidays can also trigger depression; if you are experiencing symptoms of depression ask for help from loved ones or seek the assistance of a mental health professional.

The holiday season can be overwhelming; however, by applying these helpful tips you can take the steps needed to minimize stress and make this time of year more enjoyable.  If you find that you continue to experience elevated levels of stress or symptoms of depression, it is recommended that you seek the help of mental health professional immediately.

To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Clinic 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.

Dust Mites & How They Affect Our Health

allergies and dust mites

Dust mites are tiny, microscopic relatives of spiders and ticks that lurk around our homes.  They feed on the dead skin cells that we shed.  Due to their diet, dust mites are commonly found in the areas where dust and dead skin cells accumulate the most. This includes carpets, mattresses, bedding, curtains, stuffed animals and furniture.

Dust mites are allergenic- meaning materials from their skin and fecal matter can cause allergic reactions and symptoms, especially in people with allergies and asthma.

Common dust mite allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nose, mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Coughing
  • Red, Itchy skin
  • Itchy, red or watery  eyes

In people with asthma, symptoms can include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

It is impossible to completely eliminate dust mites, even in the cleanest homes.  However, there are ways to limit exposure and reduce the risk of symptoms. Here are a few:

  • Wash bedding weekly in hot water
  • Cover mattresses and pillows in zippered dust-proof covers
  • Dust regularly
  • Avoid carpeting if possible or vacuum frequently
  • Use certified allergen capturing filters in vacuums and air conditioners
  • Keep the humidity levels in your home under 50% (Dust mites thrive in environments with humidity levels of 70 to 80%)

If symptoms persist, relief can be achieved by taking over-the-counter or prescription decongestants, antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids.  Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets can also be effective. 

The Division of Allergy and Immunology at Jamaica Hospital focuses on the diagnosis and long-term treatment of allergic and immunologic conditions. To schedule an appointment with an allergist, 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.

Meet Dr. Bijal Patel

Endocrinologist Jamaica New York

Jamaica Hospital would like to introduce you to our new Endocrinologist, Dr. Bijal Patel

Dr. Patel completed her residency within the MediSys Health Network, at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. She enjoyed the network’s dedication and working with the staff so much that she decided to join Jamaica Hospital as a full-time attending physician earlier this year.

As an endocrinologist, Dr. Patel provides a wide variety of services for patients in need of help with:

  • Osteoporosis and other bone disorders
  • Thyroid cancer and related conditions
  • Transgender hormone therapy
  • Adrenal and pituitary disease
  • Diabetes

While she is well qualified to help her patients with any of the above, Dr. Patel is most passionate about is treating individuals living with diabetes. Dr. Patel states “There is a very strong need in the community for treatment of the disease. The disease is extremely prevalent in the areas Jamaica Hospital serves. In addition, many others are living with undiagnosed and untreated diabetes.”

One of the ways Dr. Patel has helped her patients is utilizing the latest technology to help them better manage their diabetes. She is aware of many new advances and has incorporated them into her patient’s treatment plan.

She is extremely happy to join the Division of Endocrinology at Jamaica Hospital and work with such a strong team of doctors. She feels that together they are building a much-needed service that can greatly benefit the community.

Dr. Patel treats patients at the following locations:

TJH Medical Services
134-20 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11418
718-206-6742

Jamaica Hospital Ambulatory Care Center
8900 Van Wyck Expressway
Jamaica, NY 11418
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.

Alternative Ways to Treat Chronic Pain

We all experience physical pain at some point in our lives. In many instances pain will subside after a few hours or days. However, when pain lasts for weeks or longer, it is considered chronic and may require some form of pain management therapy.

Chronic pain could be caused by many things, such as a medical condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia.  It could also be the result of ongoing medical treatments, such as cancer therapy or it could be caused by nerve damage sustained by an injury. Whatever the cause of your pain, it is important to know that there are many options available to treat it.

For many years opioids were prescribed to treat pain, but they can be very addictive and therefore not always the best option. It is important to understand the potential benefits and risks before you begin taking these types of medications and explore alternative forms of pain management.

Other, non-addictive types of medication available to treat symptoms of pain include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
  • Acetaminophen – Tylenol

  • Antidepressants – can improve sleep and alleviate pain
  • Anti-seizure medications – effective in treating pain related to nerve damage or injury

  • Steroids – used to alleviate inflammation and pain

Medications however are not the only form of therapy to manage pain. Physical therapy and exercise, if done correctly and under the supervision of a professional can build tolerance and reduce pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy (TENS) is another type of therapy that uses electrical stimulation to diminish pain.  Other types of pain therapy can include acupuncture, massage, heat and cold therapy, meditation, as well as dietary modifications and nutritional supplements.

A doctor who specializes in pain management can help. They can identify the source of your pain and determine the best approach to manage it, both physically and emotionally.

If you are experiencing chronic pain and would like to see a pain management specialist, please call Jamaica Anesthesia Associates at 718-06-7246 or 718-206-PAIN.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital’s ER Earns Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to announce that its Emergency Department recently received Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Clinical ultrasound is the real-time performance and interpretation of ultrasound by a physician at the bedside to diagnose, monitor, and treat medical conditions.

Jamaica Hospital’s emergency department physicians are now trained to utilize ultrasound to guide them during complex procedures and help them expedite the correct diagnosis for many life-threatening conditions such as abdominal aneurysms, ectopic pregnancies, and internal bleeding. This diagnosis can be made within minutes, ultimately resulting in faster treatment and better patient outcomes.

Accreditation by the American College of Physicians indicates that Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Ultrasound Program meets the high standards set forth by ACEP in the Ultrasound Guidelines: Emergency, Point-of-Care and Clinical Ultrasound Guidelines in Medicine.  The hospital’s program has met ACEP standards in all areas including administration, performing and interpreting ultrasound examinations, and patient confidentiality and privacy.

In addition, accreditation required the hospital’s emergency physicians to be credentialed in emergency ultrasound – a process that requires extensive training and continuing education.

Jamaica Hospital was one of only a handful of hospitals in New York State, and the only one in Queens to obtain ACEP’s Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation.  This designation is a testament to the continued high quality of care provided by Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Department.  According to Celine Thum, MD, FAAEM, Director of Emergency Ultrasound, “Point-of-care ultrasound is an integral part of how emergency care is delivered at Jamaica Hospital and has already had a positive impact on our patients. Our doctors have used this technology to identify emergent pathologies in patients, which has resulted in positive outcomes and lives saved.”

Geoffrey Doughlin, MD, Chairman of Emergency Medicine added, “We are proud to have achieved this accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians as it demonstrates that Jamaica Hospital is among the best in the world at delivering point-of-care emergency ultrasound.”

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 Type Of Flu Vaccine Is Best For Seniors

With flu season upon us, it is recommended that everyone six months and older receive their annual influenza (flu) vaccine.  This is especially true for senior citizens as they are at a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. While there is no debate over whether or not seniors should get their flu shot, there is one about what type of vaccine they should receive.

Many providers are now recommending that patients over the age of 65 receive the vaccine Fluzone, a higher dose injectable vaccine formulated specially for seniors.  Like other flu vaccines, Fluzone is comprised of three different strains of the influenza virus that are most likely to cause the flu during the upcoming season.  However, Fluzone contains four times the amount of antigen (the inactivated virus that promotes a protective immune response) as a regular flu vaccine and produces a stronger immune response.

This high-dose vaccine was created specifically for seniors because their immune defenses are weakened due to their age. It is estimated that approximately 75% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.

The results of seniors who have taken high-dose vaccines are promising. Initial studies have indicated that 25% fewer cases of influenza occurred in adults 65 years or older who took the high-dose vaccine compared with those who took the standard-dose vaccine, but other studies also revealed that seniors who received the high-dose vaccine were more likely to develop side effects, such as a fever and soreness at the injection site, during the week after vaccination.

If you are over 65 years old and still haven’t received your flu vaccine this year, speak to your doctor about whether or not a high-dose vaccine is right for you.

If you would like to make an appointment with a doctor t Flushing Hospital, 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.