How Much Exercise Do We Need?

Physical activity is a vital component of healthy living. It is a well-known fact that being physically active reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and also improves quality of life.

Given the benefits, it is evident that it is important for everyone to keep fit and active. However, statistics show that most people living in the United States are not getting enough exercise. In fact, more than half do not meet the recommended guidelines for weekly physical activity.

According to the American Family Physician guidelines, each week, adults should participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least two days of resistance training or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity in addition to a minimum of two days of resistance training.

Aerobic exercises work on endurance and utilize large muscle groups. Examples include walking, stationary biking, swimming or dancing. An example of moderate-intensity activity is briskly walking, while vigorous intensity activity includes jogging or running. Resistance or strength exercises involve the use of resistance bands or weights (machines or free) and can be performed while doing simple activities such as carrying groceries.

For optimal health benefits, physical activity should be performed at high intensity with greater frequency and longer duration, but any activity is preferred over doing nothing at all.

Beginning an exercise routine or increasing levels of physical activity can be intimidating. Setting goals that include specific activities and instructions can make this process easier. Doctors recommend starting slowly and gradually working up to a level that meets physical activity guidelines.

To avoid injury, be sure to stretch prior to exercising in order to increase flexibility and preserve joint motions. You should discontinue exercising and rest if you experience the following warning signs: feelings of lightheadedness, chest pain, palpitations, blurry vision, or being unable to catch your breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your exercise routine immediately and consult your doctor.

Remember to drink plenty of water while exercising, as this is essential in helping you to remain hydrated. It is also important that you make sure to eat healthily. Good nutrition combined with exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risks of chronic illnesses.

You should speak with your physician before starting a new exercise regimen. Some activities may not be safe for people diagnosed with certain medical conditions. Your doctor can also share helpful resources to assist you in your journey of leading a healthier life.

To  schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine Doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942

Dr. Colleen Hautzinger, Family Medicine

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.

Recognizing The Symptoms of A Stroke

Symptoms of a stroke Stroke is an all too common medical emergency that affects more than 795,000 people in the United States each year; of that number, 140,000 people die from complications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a stroke occurs every four seconds and someone dies from stroke every four minutes.  Because the chances of an occurrence are high, there is a possibility that you may come in contact with a person while they are having a stroke.  Knowledge is key when helping someone in this situation.

Stroke can occur when there is a blockage of blood supply or bleeding in the brain. Both instances can lead to severe symptoms if not addressed with urgency.   When stroke occurs time equals brain: meaning for every minute without treatment 1.9 million neurons (the building blocks of the nervous system) may become damaged or die.

Time is essential when treating stroke. The sooner you recognize the warning signs, the sooner you can seek emergency care.  When it comes to recognizing stroke, all you have to remember is F-A-S-T:

  • Facial droop: one side of the face isn’t moving like the other. If you ask them to smile, it will appear lop-sided or crooked.
  • Arm weakness: one side may be weaker than the other, or they cannot raise both arms together. There may also be numbness or tingling of the arm or leg.
  • Speech difficulty: slurred speech, or speech that may not make sense. They cannot repeat a simple phrase or aren’t forming their words normally.
  • Time: if you notice any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately and remember the time you first noticed symptoms, this will be very important information when it comes to treatment.

Other signs of stroke may include a sudden severe headache, changes to vision, confusion, numbness/tingling, trouble walking or poor balance.

If someone you know has symptoms of stroke, CALL 9-1-1! Emergency medical staff can provide early diagnosis and treatment and ensure that the patient gets transported where they need to go as quickly as possible. Recognizing the signs of stroke early can save a life!

For more information about stroke and stroke prevention and treatment, you can go to www.cdc.gov/stroke or www.stroke.org or schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss what risk factors you may have and what you can do to minimize your risk of stroke.

To  schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine Doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942

Andrew Flowers, MD- Family Medicine

 

 

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.

Fruit and Vegetable Safety

I bet your doctor has talked to you at some point in your life about how important it is for your health to eat fruits and vegetables; they can help prevent stroke and heart disease, help you lose weight and even help to protect against certain types of cancer.  But one thing they probably didn’t mention is how important it is to pick and prepare fruits and vegetables properly to prevent food poisoning that can be caused by germs on your fresh produce.

This process all starts at the grocery store or market:

  • It is very important to choose produce that hasn’t been bruised or damaged. This creates an area where potentially harmful germs can grow.
  • Once you have your produce, keep it separated from raw meats in your cart, bags and refrigerator.
  • Make sure to keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables cold or refrigerated. They are less likely to grow harmful germs when kept cold.
  • Don’t be fooled! Read packages carefully as pre-packaged does not always mean pre-washed. There is still a risk of contamination.

Once you’re home, it’s important to:

  • Wash everything that will come into contact with your produce while you’re cooking; including your hands, cooking surfaces, utensils, and the produce itself. It is best to wash your fruits and vegetables under running water.
  • Make sure to remove any bruised or damaged areas of the produce.
  • Store all cut or peeled fruits and vegetables properly. They should be refrigerated within two hours of preparation if they are not going to be cooked.

Certain people have a greater chance of getting food poisoning and it is especially important to be careful when preparing food for them. Those people are the very young, adults older than 65 years old, pregnant women, or anyone with a weakened immune system.

Although most cases of food poisoning are mild, only lasting a few days, there are some more severe forms.  If you experience vomiting or diarrhea for more than three days, have a high fever greater than 101F, or see blood in your stool, you should talk to your doctor immediately.

With a little bit of new knowledge and care, you can protect yourself, enjoy a healthier diet and live a healthier life. Just remember to buy right, store properly, separate for safety and prepare safely.

For more information about current outbreaks of food poisoning related to food products, visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/features/foodsafetyquiz/

To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine Physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942

Dr. Andrew Flowers, Family Medicine

 

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.

Healthy eating for people with diabetes

For people with diabetes, maintaining a healthy diet is crucial.  Although eating well-balanced meals is strongly encouraged, it is important to pay close attention to the carbohydrate portion of foods consumed as they become glucose when digested.

Glucose is a sugar needed to help our cells and organs function properly. In healthy individuals, the level of glucose within the blood is controlled so that it does not become too high or too low.  However, in people with diabetes, the body is unable to keep the glucose levels within the normal range. Frequent high levels of glucose within the blood is responsible for the complications that go along with diabetes including an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney damage, and many other problems.

To avoid the development of these complications and to help maintain normal glucose levels, people with diabetes should include foods that have low glycemic levels such as whole wheat bread, barley, carrots or lentils in their diets. Food such as white rice, white bread, pretzels or potatoes rank highly on the glycemic index and should be kept to a minimum or eliminated.

The glycemic index is a scale from 0-100 that gives us an idea of blood sugar response from a particular food. In general, foods that rank 55 or less are considered to have low glycemic levels and foods that rank 70 or more are high.  Anything in between these numbers is moderate.

While having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to follow a specific diet, it does mean you should remain mindful of what you eat.  Here are some recommended tips you can follow to help you along the way:

– Try to avoid or cut down on sweet drinks. Sugary drinks such as juice, soda, and energy drinks are very high in sugar and easily absorbed by the body so they will cause your blood sugar to go high quickly.

– Protein and fat in foods can lower the glycemic index (making it better for your blood sugar), but be careful you’re not eating too much because they are also rich in calories and can cause weight gain.

-Foods with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats such as lean meat, avocados, fish, and whole grain wheat are much better for you than food that contains saturated or transfats such as doughnuts, fried foods, and salami.

To schedule an appointment to speak with a doctor about managing your diabetes, please call the Jamaica Hospital Department of Family Medicine  at 718-206-6942.

Wesley Cheng D.O. Family Medicine

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.

HPV Vaccination Q&A

Q: What is HPV?

A: HPV stands for human papillomavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. The virus can cause warts to develop and can lead to cancers that both men and women are susceptible to–such as cancer of the mouth, throat, anus, cervix, vulva, vagina and penis.

Q: How do people get HPV?

A: HPV is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, including various types of sexual activities.

Q: How common do we see HPV?

A: About one out of four people in the United States is currently infected. Three out of four people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime.

Q: What symptoms do people have?

A: Most people with HPV infection have no signs or symptoms.  In most cases, HPV goes away on its own. However, in other instances, symptoms can develop and can take years to present. Symptoms may include warts (small bumps or groups of bumps) or cancer in the back of the throat, tongue, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis or anus.

Q: How can I protect myself or my children from getting HPV?

A: There are vaccines available to prevent HPV infection. Depending on the age group, there are a series of two to three vaccinations that are administered over a period of time.   If doses are administered before the age of 15, there will be a total of 2 vaccines given 6 months apart.  For those ages 15 to 26, there are a  total of 3 vaccines given at 0, 1 and 6 months. All boys and girls are recommended to obtain a full series of the HPV vaccination. It is recommended to start at ages 11-12, but can be given as young as 9 years old.

Q: How effective is HPV vaccine?

A: HPV vaccine can prevent over 90% of cancers caused by HPV which is 30,000 cases of cancer each year.

Q: What is the most common side effect of the HPV vaccine?

A: It is a very safe vaccine. Like any other vaccines, most of the side effects are mild. The most common side effects are redness or swelling at the site it was given.  Additional side effects may include dizziness or fainting, which can be prevented by sitting or lying down when the vaccine is being given and remaining in that position for 15 minutes after administration.

Dr.  Pan San Chan, Family Medicine Physician

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 Bike Month – Stay Safe and Fit

National Bike Month begins on May 14th and culminates with Ride to Work Day on May 18, 2018.

Communities nationwide will participate in this week-long recognition good health and bring attention to the need of lessening toxic emissions that motor vehicles are having on our environment.

According to Bicycling Magazine, more than half of all Americans live less than 5 – 10 miles from work. By utilizing the extensive miles of bike lanes to and from your work destination, you could probable arrive at your destination in less than an hour.

Riding a bicycle to work can be a fun and effective way to get fit.  Cycling is beneficial for the cardiovascular system because it increases oxygen intake and stimulates the heart. Studies show that riding can increase energy levels by 20 percent and in one hour burn up to 488 calories when pedaling at 12 to 14 miles per hour.

Although a bicycle is an excellent fitness tool, it is also considered a vehicle.  Therefore, the rules of the road must be obeyed and a bicycle should be operated safely to prevent injuries and accidents. Statistics show that bicyclists face higher risks in crash-related injuries and deaths than drivers in a motor vehicle.

Follow these basic riding tips to ensure your safety and reduce the risks:

  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic and do not weave in between other vehicles.
  • Obey traffic laws and signals.
  • Do not listen to music or speak on cell phones while riding.
  • Wear a proper fitting helmet.
  • Never pass another vehicle on the right.
  • Always keep your hands on the brakes.
  • Stay aware of dangerous road hazards such as potholes and broken glass.
  • Use hand signals to show motorist where you are going.

So suit up, remember to wear your helmet and cycle your way to health and a cleaner environment!

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 There a Benefit to Wearing a Fitness Tracker?

Generally speaking, if you are inactive your risk of  experiencing obesity, low energy, diabetes and hypertension is higher.  To combat these health issues, you can incorporate a brisk walk or run into your weekly activity.  The addition of this type of movement to your day may prevent or, in some cases, reverse health issues.

One of the ways some are finding it beneficial to keep track of their activity level is by wearing a “fitness tracker.”  Surprisingly, one of the first reports you may receive from your tracker is that you are not as active as you thought you were.

Most fitness trackers are a good way of monitoring your steps, calories, distance travelled, caloric intake, as well as your heart rate and sleep patterns.  They can be viewed as your “conscience” for personal accountability and motivation for a relatively low cost.

Some of the benefits of a fitness tracker include:

  • Encouraging physical activity – If you check your tracker and see that you are behind in your steps for the day, you may “step” up your game a bit and take a walk.
  • Measuring your heart rate – This feature can give you hard data on the effort you exert while doing a particular workout and/or task. It can give you a hint on the condition of your cardiovascular system by allowing you to see just how quickly your heart rate increases.
  • Providing insights on your sleep patterns – Sleep has a definite influence on your overall health. Fitness trackers that log sleep activity can help you address whatever is lacking in your sleep cycles.
  • Encouraging healthy eating – Fitness trackers can come equipped with apps that help you track your food and may help with weight loss.
  • Promoting interaction – Some fitness trackers allow the user to interact with other users, create group challenges and receive rewards for meeting goals.

There really isn’t a downside to tracking your activity, unless you take your fitness tracker off and it remains lost at the bottom of a drawer.

 

 

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.

Lead Poisoning an Ongoing Risk for Children Living In New York City

Lead poisoning is an ongoing risk for children living in New York City. According to NYC Environment & Health Data 2016, 300 children in New York City were found to have dangerously high lead levels in their blood.

While the rate of lead poisoning has generally declined since 2008, it is important to know you and your family’s risk of lead exposure or how harmful it can be to your health.

Lead is harmful when ingested or inhaled. Lead that gets into your body can travel to many organs by the bloodstream It can stay in certain organs for up to 25 years. Children absorb more lead from digestion than adults (up to 70 percent versus 20 percent in adults). Because children have a growing brain they are more prone to develop serious health complications caused by lead. Lead poisoning can lead to intellectual disabilities, decreased IQ, seizure disorders, behavioral problems, peripheral neuropathy (nerve disease), hearing loss and brain damage. These effects go on to adulthood.

Lead poisoning is more common among urban than rural children, low-income than middle-income children, and children who live in older housing. Children with Sickle Cell Disease are at an increased risk for medical problems from lead poisoning.

Lead is a metal present in the environment; it can be found is various places such as:

Lead based paint:  Dust produced as lead based paint deteriorates or during renovations, particularly in houses built before 1978

Water pipes: Decay of old lead based pipes, fixtures or solders connecting drinking water pipes

Places of work:  Parents working in industries such as construction, plumbing, mining, smelting may be exposed to and bring home particles containing lead

Other sources:   Candy, make up, glazed ceramic pots, pewter pots, herbal medicine from other countries

Lead testing is recommended for those who may be at risk for lead poisoning; this includes:

  • All children at 12 and 24 months. (this may change based on local recommendations)
  • All pregnant women (pregnant women exposed to lead may potentially put their unborn child at risk)
  • Children and adolescents between 6 months and 16 years of age who enter the United States as an immigrant or refugee
  • Parents with certain occupations or hobbies (e.g., smelting, soldering, auto body repair)
  • People who live in or visit a home or child care facility with an identified lead hazard
  • People who live in or visit a home or child care facility that was built before 1960 and is in poor repair or was renovated in the past six months.

There are steps you can take to prevent or reduce levels of exposure to lead:

  • Run tap water before drinking or cooking: While the NYC water system from the upstate reservoir is essentially lead-free, older piping and fixtures may put lead into running water. It is recommended to run your tap for at least 30 seconds until the water is cold.
  • Take care to read or research imported consumer products: Take caution with imported toys, jewelry, pendants, skin-lightening creams, camphor, ceramic ware or pottery, cosmetics and religious powders (Kajal, Kohl, Surma, Tiro, Sindoor), Georgian and Bangladeshi spices, as they may not meet the standards set in place by  S. regulatory and health agencies.
  • Make sure your home is safe: Make certain that your place of residence is currently not exposed to lead

According to the New York Department of Health, a new program to test lead in drinking water is now available for New York State residents. To learn more about this program, visit

https://health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/lead/free_lead_testing_pilot_program.htm

If you are concerned about lead exposure for yourself or your family, please make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942.

Yogaalakshmi Sundararajan M.D. Family Medicine

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 Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are a hormonal type of oral contraceptive that needs to be taken every day to prevent pregnancy. They work by stopping ovulation so that the fertilization of an egg by sperm cannot occur.

Most women are prescribed combination birth control pills which contain two types of hormones- estrogen and progestin. There are progestin-only pills available as well. These are often recommended for women who have medical reasons for avoiding estrogen. Most combination birth control packs contain pills for every day of the month (depending on the pack). The three first weeks of the pack are pills with hormones. The final week contains placebo pills or sugar pills (no hormone). This last week of having no hormones allows your menstrual period to occur.

The pill is generally safe when taken as prescribed; however, if you are considering this form of contraception, there are a few things you should know:

How effective are birth control pills?

When taken correctly, birth control pills are about 91% effective. It is important to take the pill at the same time every day to improve efficacy. If you are forgetful, there are some easy ways to remember to take your pill every day.  You can set an alarm on your phone or put your pills next to your toothbrush or in other places you are likely to see them every day. If you decide that you want to become pregnant; birth control pills can be stopped at any time and periods typically return within three months.

What are some benefits of taking birth controls pills other than preventing pregnancy?

In addition to preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are great at helping women with irregular and/or painful periods regulate their cycles and minimize pain.  OCPs can also help decrease the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which involve mood changes related to menstrual cycling. Another added benefit of taking OCPs is, they can also help improve cystic acne in many women.  Lastly, studies have found that taking birth control pills may reduce the likelihood of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

What side effects are likely to occur?

Women may experience side effects with birth control pills but they usually go away after 2-3 months. Some common side effects are spotting between periods, changes in libido, or nausea. Doctors sometimes advise that you stick with the pill for this duration of time to see if the side effects will subside. If they don’t or you experience more serious effects such as increased blood pressure or blood clots, speak to your doctor. Serious side effects are generally rare and many people have to try different birth control pills until they find the right one for them.

What should I do if I forget to take my pill?

If you missed one pill, take your pill as soon as you remember. It’s okay to take two pills on the same day or within 24 hours. If two or more pills are missed in the 1st week, take the most recent missed pill as soon as possible (discard the missed pill). Continue taking your daily pills according to the pack. If you missed two or more pills, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant: resume taking your daily pills and avoid having sex without condoms, or use another backup birth control method for at least seven days of hormonal pills. Emergency contraception should be considered if you missed pills within the first week and had sex without a condom in the previous five days. If the forgotten pill is during days 15-21 of a 28-day pack, then skip the placebo pills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommended actions for late or missed OCPs. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/pdf/248124_fig_2_3_4_final_tag508.pdf

Who should not take birth control pills?

Talk to your doctor if any of the following pertain to you:

  • Are over 35 years old and smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day
  • Have hypertension
  • Have a history of Venous thromboembolism (blood clots)
  • Have a history of, or current, breast cancer
  • Have liver cirrhosis or failure
  • Suffer from migraines with aura at any age

It is important to remember, that while OCPs are very effective at preventing pregnancy, they do not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  If you are having sex with a new partner, or you are concerned about infections, it is important to use condoms in addition to OCPs. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs at your doctor’s office.

If you have questions about contraception or family planning and would like to schedule an appointment with a family medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call, 718-206-6942

Marina Bissada D.O. Family Medicine

 

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.

Baby Boomers Encouraged To Get Hep C Testing

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver. It can be a short-lived infection, however more often; it is a chronic silent disease that leads to liver failure and sometimes liver cancer after many years.

Your risk of being infected with hepatitis C is increased if you:

  • Were born from a mother with the virus
  • Received body piercings or tattoos from non-sterile instruments
  • Had unprotected sexual contact with multiple partners
  • Received blood transfusions, blood products or organ donations before 1992
  • Are on long-term hemodialysis treatment
  • Work in health care or public safety and were exposed to blood through a needle stick
  • Were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • Shared needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs

Baby boomers or people born between the years 1945-1965 are recommended to get tested once, regardless of exposure history or risk. If you were born between these years, please ask your doctor to order this blood test for you.

If you have hepatitis C, a cure can be possible with the appropriate treatments.   Recent research has produced new medications that can essentially cure hepatitis C from the blood and liver. These newer medications have few side effects and are usually taken once daily for 8 or 12 weeks for most uncomplicated hepatitis C infections.

Contact your primary care doctor about how to start the process. Once cured, you are likely to regain improved liver function and reduce the risk of liver failure and liver cancer in the future.

If you have concerns about your risk for hepatitis C or have questions about testing and treatment, please call 718-206-6942 to schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Radeeb Akhtar, MD MPH, Family Medicine

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.