Swimming after Eating – How Long Should You Wait ?

Is it true that people should wait 30 minutes or even an hour after eating before they go swimming ? According to some health experts,  this rule is merely a myth.  Some people will experience stomach cramps if they do anything vigorous after a meal, but moderate swimming or any type of exercise shouldn’t cause any serious side effects.
The process of eating and digestion diverts some blood away from the muscles in the arms and legs and sends it towards the stomach and the intestines to aid in digestion. In most cases there is still enough blood for all of the body parts to function normally after a meal. In extreme cases when excessive exercise begins right after a meal, cramping can occur due to lack of oxygen, but this isn’t common.
Although there is very little risk of cramping associated with going swimming right after eating, it is still better to be safe and wait.

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.

Why Wearing Socks is Important

We are coming in to the warmer months of the year and many of us will be dressing more casually. Either as a fashion statement or as a way to be comfortable, some people will chose to wear shoes without wearing socks. Socks provide a bit of cushioning so that our feet don’t rub directly against the lining of the shoe, and they also help to keep them dry.  When feet are exposed to prolonged moisture, there is a potential for foot fungus to develop. Foot fungus thrives in places that are warm, dark and moist, which is exactly what the environment inside of a shoe is.
One of the easiest ways to prevent foot fungus is to wear socks whenever you wear shoes.  This will help to keep the feet dry. Keeping the feet clean will also help because it will remove any bacteria and dead skin that can potentially lead to an infection.
If you develop a fungal foot infection, especially a fungal infection, it will be important to see a podiatrist who can diagnose the condition properly and prescribe an appropriate medication. To make an appointment with a podiatrist at Jamaica 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.

Dr’s Tips For Dealing with 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.

Dr. Madhu Rajanna; Director of  the Mental Health Clinic and Assistant Director of the Psychiatry Residency program at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers  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.

Dr. Madhu Rajanna- Director of the Mental Health Clinic and Assistant Director of the Psychiatry Residency program

The holiday season can be overwhelming; however, by applying Dr. Rajanna’s 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.

Dr’sTips for Choosing a Good Day Care and Keeping Your Kids Healthy Away From Home

For many parents, the decision of where to enroll their child in daycare is difficult. There are many factors to consider, such as ensuring that your child remains in a safe and healthy environment at all times.

Dr. Rosa Tajian, Pediatric ER Physician is sharing a few tips to help parents with asking the right questions and making certain the best practices are used:

Safety

  1. Require proof that the facility and staff are fully licensed and trained– Asking for proof of licensing for the facility and staff is a must. Daycares should be able to provide official documents demonstrating their facility is upholding health and safety requirements. Training on safety policies and emergency measures such as CPR should be ongoing for staff.  It is also important to learn how the staff is screened before hire; does the facility conduct a complete health and background check?
  2. Make sure that the staff to child ratio is adequate– There is safety in numbers. When choosing a daycare knowing how many adults are caring for groups of children is important. There are regulations that stipulate the maximum amount of children allowed per staff member in a daycare setting. To learn the appropriate numbers, a parent can always obtain that information from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Division of Childcare Services. It is always good to confirm from time to time that the ratio remains adequate because facilities can lose staff members and not replace them.
  3. Check for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire extinguishers –Ensuring that these devices are present and functional reduces the risk for hazards. Each mechanism should be inspected as recommended and documentation of inspection should be presented if required.
  4. Medications and hazardous materials are out of reach– Ask the daycare provider to show you where hazardous substances are kept. They should be locked away and out of reach.

Health

  1. Hand washing policy– Daycares should reinforce strict handwashing policies. Staff should be required to wash hands after changing diapers, before preparing food, after wiping spit up, drool or runny noses.
  2. Sick policy –Find out if there is a strict, written policy for sick kids that all parents must abide by. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics provide general guidelines of when children should stay home from daycare or school.  Equally as important is a sick policy for staff. Adults should be asked to go home if they are feeling sick or presenting symptoms that can jeopardize a child’s health.
  3. Cleanliness –The cleanliness of the daycare is extremely important. Ensure that play areas are properly sanitized as well as toys. Areas such as bathrooms and kitchens should be exceptionally clean at all times.   Daycares should exercise a strict cross –contamination policy that prohibits actions such as washing or preparing bottles in the same sink used to wash hands after changing diapers.
  4. Immunization policy –Daycares often require immunization records when a child first enrolls. However, they should also follow up with parents to ensure that subsequent vaccinations are up to date. It is very important for the staff to receive vaccinations for diseases such as pertussis which can be harmful to children’s health.

The Department of Pediatrics at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center provides comprehensive care for children in our community.  Our physicians are highly trained in a wide variety of specialties needed to help children overcome illnesses.  To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Jamaica 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.

Dr.’s Tips: Health Symptoms and Warning Signs That Should Never Be Ignored

Dr. Alan Roth; Chairman of Family Medicine

Occasionally we may experience symptoms that we choose to ignore under the assumption that “it’s nothing serious” or “it will pass.”  However, it is important to remember our bodies are designed to provide us with warning signs that alert us when a serious problem is developing.

“There are times when your body is telling you that you need to pay attention and seek medical assistance immediately.  Symptoms can be indicators of disease or conditions that may be potentially life threatening,” shares Dr. Alan Roth, Chairman of Family Medicine at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Ignoring telltale signs can be a detriment to your health. Here are a few health symptoms that you should not take lightly or dismiss:

  • Leg pain with swelling – Swollen legs serve as a symptom of many medical conditions including heart failure. If the heart is not functioning properly, it is unable to circulate blood throughout the body causing blood and other fluids to back up in the veins and store in the limbs.  If the swelling is accompanied by pain, there is a possibility that you have developed a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis.
  • Severe and sudden head pain- These are two common symptoms of a brain aneurysm. This occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain and results in intense levels of pain. A sudden and severe headache is also indicative of a stroke.
  • Severe and sudden abdominal pain- This could be a sign that you have an aortic aneurysm that has ruptured. Aneurysms are bulges in the aorta and while they can form anywhere in the body; they are most commonly found in the belly area.  Aortic aneurysms can lead to stroke, blood clots or death.
  • Chest Pain – Intense discomfort of the chest that include pressure or pain are symptoms synonymous with a heart attack. Other symptoms of a heart attack you may experience include: shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting or sweating. Intense chest pain can also be indicative of a condition that is known as aortic dissection, this is caused by a tear in the aorta.
  • Unexplained weight loss- If you have lost more than 5% of your body weight within a period of six months without changing your diet or trying to lose weight, there may be need for concern. Weight loss is a common symptom of several cancers. It is also a symptom that presents itself in people with endocrine disorders and could also be a sign of diabetes.
  • Abdominal discomfort with bloating- In women, if abdominal pain with bloating persists almost daily and consistently for  more than two to three weeks, it is a reason  to raise concern.  The symptoms are common in cases of ovarian cancer. Other symptoms include changes in bowel movement and pressure in the pelvis or lower back.

While some of these symptoms are alarming and others are more subtle, you should always pay attention to changes in your body.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, It is highly recommended that you do not ignore them and seek immediate medical attention, as it can be the difference between life and death in some cases.   To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-657-7093.

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.

Food Poisoning During Summer Months

Each year an estimated one in six people living in the United States develop foodborne illnesses, such as food poisoning.  The illness occurs when an individual consumes food that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites.

The chances of getting food poisoning are higher during the summer months as the warmer weather promotes the growth of these organisms and increases the likelihood for contamination to occur.

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, “Foodborne bacteria grow fastest at temperatures between 90 to 110 °F (32 to 43°C.)” In higher temperatures, food will produce the nutrients and moisture needed for pathogens (virus, bacteria and other microorganisms that cause disease) to flourish.  Some of the most common pathogens that cause food poisoning are Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma, E. coli and norovirus.

In addition to warmer temperatures, summer provides us with more opportunities to cook outdoors. It is difficult to utilize food safety controls such as refrigeration, thermostat-controlled cooking and convenient facilities to wash our hands when cooking outside. These factors can further increase the risk of food contamination.

Food poisoning is preventable and there are several safety measures that can be exercised to reduce the risk of exposure. Dr. Asit Mehta, Gastrointestinal Specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center shares the following tips to prevent contamination:

  • Clean hands and food preparation stations often– It is important to wash your hands. Unclean hands can spread germs and cause foodborne illness. It is equally as important to keep the areas where you prepare food clean; germs can thrive on hard surfaces as well.
  • Cook food at proper temperatures- The USDA recommends that you cook the following meats and poultry until they reach these internal temperatures:

Poultry (whole, pieces & ground): 165 °F /74 °C

Ground meats: 160 °F /71 °C

Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts & chops): 145 °F /63 °C

  • Keep raw and cooked foods separate- Avoid cross contamination of food by wrapping raw meats and poultry separately during storage. Keep them away from other foods in coolers or similar storage devices. Do not place cooked meats on plates or other utensils that previously contained raw meat; unless they have been properly cleaned with soap and hot water.
  • Refrigerate perishables and leftovers promptly- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, “Germs can grow in many foods within 2 hours unless you refrigerate them. (During the summer heat, cut that time down to 1 hour.)”
  • Clean produce- Before cutting, preparing and serving produce, it is important to wash them.

Food poisoning is characterized by symptoms that include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps and nausea. Symptoms may take a few hours or days to present.  These symptoms typically run their course and go away on their own.  Your doctor will recommend that you keep hydrated, and may suggest that along with water, drink clear broths and non-caffeinated sport drinks.  Getting plenty of rest and avoiding foods that contain dairy, alcohol, caffeine, high concentration of fats and seasoning may also be recommended.  Before taking over the counter medications such as anti-diarrhea medicine, consult your doctor first.

Dr. Mehta advises, “If severe symptoms such as the following persist, see your physician right away”:

  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Frequent vomiting and the inability to keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, excessive thirst, severe abdominal cramps,  weak or no urination and dry mouth
  • Neurological symptoms such as tingling in the arms, blurry vision and weakness in muscles
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fever over 101.5 F

“Food poisoning can be very dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Do not take symptoms lightly in these individuals and seek treatment immediately,” warns Dr. Mehta.

Gastroenterologists specialize in the treatment of gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic disorders, including colorectal cancer screenings. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Division of Gastroenterology consists of Board-Certified gastroenterologists who provide high quality and expert care to patients who suffer from such conditions in both inpatient and outpatient settings. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mehta or any our gastroenterologists, 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.