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.

What Should You Do During a Panic Attack?

A woman putting her hand to her chest as she experiences a panic attack.When a panic attack strikes, it can be difficult to think clearly. Panic attacks can occur suddenly and without warning, causing a feeling of intense fear as well as symptoms that may resemble other medical emergencies, such as heart attacks. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid or pounding heartbeat
  • Hot flashes and sweating
  • Numbness or tingling

While they are not necessarily dangerous to your physical health on their own, panic attacks can have a detrimental effect on your mental health, especially if they become worse or more frequent over time. If you experience one, there are certain steps you should take to get through it and improve your ability to prevent future attacks:

When in doubt, go to the emergency room: The symptoms of panic attacks are similar enough to other serious medical conditions that it may be very difficult for you to distinguish between them in the moment. The safest option is to call 911 and get to the emergency room immediately. If no signs of a heart attack or other medical emergency are found during your visit, it’s more likely that what you experienced was a panic attack.

Get a friend or family member’s help: During a panic attack, you may find it difficult to calm down or communicate clearly, so it’s important to have a friend or family member with you who can help. This person should be able to get you anything you might need while experiencing the panic attack, such as water or a quiet space to yourself, and help you communicate with any healthcare providers who treat you.

Practice deep breathing exercises: Many people hyperventilate during a panic attack, meaning that they breathe too rapidly; this can cause symptoms to worsen and increase the sense of fear that occurs during an attack. Slower, deeper, rhythmic breathing can help reduce these symptoms and make them easier to cope with.

If you experience a panic attack, it’s important to visit a psychiatrist as soon as possible to receive treatment that can reduce the severity and frequency of future attacks. You can schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Clinic by calling (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.

Insomnia

woman having difficulty sleeping Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep.  According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, It is estimated that 30% of adults living in the United States experience symptoms of insomnia.

Insomnia can be categorized into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary insomnia is not linked to any other health conditions. In contrast, secondary insomnia can be caused by underlying health conditions or medication side effects.

Symptoms of insomnia may vary and can last for a short time ( a few days or weeks), or they can be chronic occurring at least three times per week and lasting more than three months.   Insomnia symptoms can include:

  • Having a hard time falling asleep at night
  • Trouble staying asleep throughout the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Tiredness or sleepiness during the day
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

Longterm sleep deprivation caused by severe or chronic insomnia can lead to the development of complications such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Stroke

Getting good quality sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health.  There are a few things that we can do to improve our quality of sleep. They include:

  • Setting and following a sleep schedule
  • Avoid using electronic devices before bed
  • Avoid eating heavy meals late in the day
  • Avoid the consumption of foods or beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine before bed

If you are experiencing long-term insomnia symptoms that are affecting your ability to do daily activities, you should speak with a doctor. A sleep specialist can conduct a series of tests to determine the cause of sleep deprivation and create a treatment plan.

To schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month

A woman holding her stomach due to pain from endometriosis.March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a condition that affects the lining of the uterus (also known as the endometrium); it currently affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe. Some of the symptoms of endometriosis include:

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

Symptoms of endometriosis tend to appear during reproductive years, between the ages of 12 and 60. The highest number of cases are diagnosed between the ages of 25 to 35; however, some women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed because they do not have symptoms. Additionally, this disorder can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions.

Endometriosis causes the inner lining of the uterus to grow outside of the uterus. This most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, and the areas between the rectum and the vagina. Rarely, endometriosis can also occur in the lungs, thighs, arms, and other parts of the body that are more distant from reproductive organs.

When endometrial tissue spreads, it develops into growths called implants. These clumps of tissue are affected by the menstrual cycle as though they were inside of the uterus, regardless of their actual location. Each month, they build up, break down, and shed. However, endometrial tissue cannot be discharged from the body if it is not inside the uterus; as a result, these implants cause inflammation, swelling, internal bleeding, and the formation of scar tissue.

Doctors do not yet know what causes endometriosis, but certain risk factors have been identified that may make you more likely to develop it. These include:

  • An immediate family member with endometriosis
  • An abnormal uterus
  • Menstruation that begins before the age of 11
  • Shorter menstrual periods, lasting less than 27 days on average
  • Heavy menstruation that lasts for more than one week

If you experience symptoms of endometriosis, your doctor can perform a variety of tests, such as pelvic examinations, laparoscopy, and imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to accurately diagnose it. While there is no cure for endometriosis, your doctor can work with you to develop an effective treatment that may incorporate options such as medication, surgery, or alternative therapies.

You can schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center to receive high-quality treatment for endometriosis. To learn more, 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.

Jamaica Hospital Surgical Team Completes First Percutaneous AV Fistula Procedure In Queens

We are pleased to share that a Jamaica Hospital Medical Center surgical team has completed the first percutaneous AV fistula procedure in Queens.

The team led by vascular surgeon Dr. Mina Guerges utilized advanced imaging and minimally invasive techniques to achieve a successful outcome.

Percutaneous AV fistulas are performed on patients diagnosed with kidney disease or kidney failure, and require hemodialysis; a type of treatment that utilizes a dialyzer (a machine that cleans the blood).

Hemodialysis patients need safe and consistent vascular access points to complete their treatments. Traditionally,  access points are created surgically.  However,  a percutaneous AV fistula creates access using non-surgical techniques that offer several advantages  to patients including:

  • Small incisions
  • No scarring (patients are left with a small puncture site instead of a permanent scar common with surgery)
  • Reduced lifestyle interruptions
  • Shorter recovery times

Lastly, one of the most important benefits of a percutaneous AV fistula is the lowered risk of complications which can include infections and aneurysm formation.

Creating a percutaneous AV fistula requires the expertise of skillful physicians. During the procedure, vascular surgeons and radiologists utilize imaging to insert a needle and guide a tiny catheter device that helps pull the walls of a vein and artery together to create a fistula, then a special tool is used to finalize the connection and create the access point desired.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a fistula for dialysis patients, physicians at Jamaica Hospital are proud to offer the latest technology and alternative options to common surgical procedures.

Jamaica Hospital was recently recognized for its superior outcomes in surgical care. In 2023, the hospital ranked number two in New York for surgical care according to a new analysis released by Healthgrades. The recognition serves as a testament to the hospital’s commitment to delivering advanced and high-quality healthcare to patients.

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.