Gout

Gout is a common form of arthritis that is characterized by attacks of pain, swelling, stiffness, redness or tenderness in the joints. These attacks or flares typically affect one joint at a time. They can occur suddenly and return over time.

Gout is caused by an accumulation of urate crystals in the joint.  Urate crystals form when there are high levels of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is produced when your body breaks down purines; substances that are found naturally in our bodies and in foods such as steak, seafood and organ meats.  Alcoholic beverages and drinks sweetened with fructose (fruit sugar) are known to promote higher levels of uric acid in the body.

Some people are more likely to develop gout than others. Factors that increase your risk include:

  • Being obese; If you are overweight your body produces more uric acid and your kidneys may not be able to properly eliminate excessive amounts
  • Having a diet that is rich in purines, this includes seafood, red meat, organ meat, or beverages sweetened with fructose
  • Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Having certain health conditions such as  hypertension, diabetes,  heart and kidney disease
  • Using certain medications such as diuretics or low-dose aspirin

Men are more at risk of developing gout than women; this is because women tend to produce lower levels of uric acid. Men are also more likely to develop gout at an earlier age than women.   In men, symptoms may occur as early as the age of 30, and in women after menopause.

There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk for gout or prevent future attacks, they include:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Limiting your intake of seafood and meat
  • Limiting or avoiding alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

If you are experiencing symptoms of gout, or believe that you may be at risk, make an appointment to see a physician. Your doctor may order a series of test or assess your current state of health to receive a diagnosis or to determine if you are at risk.

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.

Visiting the Mall Can Improve Your Health!

We all know that regular physical activity is important to our overall health, especially for seniors.

Did you know walking is a great way for older adults to remain active?

Seniors who commit to taking a brisk walk each day may be at a lower risk of:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast and colon cancers
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

With the onset of colder months upon us, how can older adults continue their walking routine and remain active?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that in the colder months, you can utilize indoor malls for your brisk walk.  Malls can be pedestrian friendly, they are climate-controlled, are well lit, have benches for resting, fountains for hydrating, restrooms, as well as security guards and cameras for safety.

For more information on mall walking programs and for other walking resources visit the CDC’s Mall Walking: A program Resource Guide at – https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/mallwalking-guide.pdf

So get yourself a comfortable pair of walking shoes, hit the mall and improve your health!

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.

Back Pain

back pain-653834536Back pain is a common health condition that affects approximately 80% of people living in the United States at some point in their lives.

Although back pain can occur at any age, incidents are more common in people 35 years old and older. This may be due to the degeneration of the bones and discs in our spine over time.

Contributors to back pain can vary by circumstance or by preexisting health conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Injury
  • Pregnancy
  • Arthritis
  • Improper lifting
  • Osteoporosis
  • Occupation

Back pain may be caused when there is muscle or ligament strain, bulging or ruptured discs or skeletal irregularities.

Back pain can be mild or severe.  Symptoms may include a stabbing pain, muscle ache, pain that radiates down your leg or limited flexibility.

If these symptoms are continuous or become unbearable, it is advised that you see a doctor as soon as possible.  Your doctor will assess your level of pain, your range in mobility and investigate possible causes for your pain.  He or she may perform X rays, nerve studies, MRI or CT scans, bone scans or blood tests to help diagnose and treat the problem. Treatment may include medication, applying heat or ice compresses, physical therapy or surgery.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Center offers an Interventional Pain Management Practice, to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7246.

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 Winter Weather Make Arthritis Worse?

Lonely old lady

Bundle up, work out indoors, and keep plenty of vitamin D in your diet. These are some of the ways you can get arthritis pain relief despite the bone-chilling cold of winter weather. Many people who experience more severe arthritis pain in the winter than compared to other months believe that barometric pressure is to blame for their heightened discomfort. However, that old wives tale hasn’t been proven scientifically.

Whether the joint pain/weather connection is scientifically true or not, you can still use these arthritis pain-relief tips when your aching joints act up in winter.

  • Stay active. Keep your body stimulated by doing light exercises or consistent movements to keep your joints moving. Do it indoors to keep away from the cold.
  • Eat a Healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet that comprised of low saturated fat, lean proteins, more fiber, and refined carbs helps to improve body functions during the winter.
  • Add Vitamin D. It is necessary to take a supplement vitamin D or ensure to make your diet vitamin-D rich. Fish oil is a potent source of omega 3 fatty acids as well as getting natural sunlight.
  • Stay Hydrated. Hydration is most often associated with sweat and the summer months, but it’s just as important to drink plenty of water in winter, too.

If your arthritis doesn’t improve after trying the above tips it is very important that you consult with a doctor immediately. The Division of Rheumatology at Jamaica Hospital provides consultations for patients who develop rheumatological disorders, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. For more information or to schedule an appointment, 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.

Natural Relief From Arthritis Pain

male all joints pain in blue

May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a painful and degenerative condition marked by swelling in the joints that causes stiffness and pain. It is the number one cause of disability for more than 50 million Americans.

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear over the years. Unfortunately there isn’t a cure for arthritis but there are treatment and medication options to ease the pain. Doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. However, some medications cause side effects, and a natural approach to pain relief is also an option.

  1. Reduce the stress on your joints by losing weight will improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to your joints.
  2. Get more exercise. Regular movement helps to maintain flexibility in your joints.
  3. Try Acupuncture. It is thought that acupuncture has the ability to reduce arthritis pain. If you want to try this treatment method, be sure to find an experienced acupuncturist with good references.
  4. Add turmeric spice to your dishes. Turmeric, the yellow spice common in Indian dishes, contains a chemical called curcumin that may be able to reduce arthritis pain. The secret is its anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. Try herbal supplements. Some of the herbs touted for arthritis pain include boswellia, bromelain, devil’s claw, ginkgo, stinging nettle, and thunder god vine.

Before trying any of these natural alternatives to joint pain relief, consult with your doctor first to decide what works best for you.

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.

Zika

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.

What we DO know:

  • Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
  • Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
  • You can become infected by a male sex partner
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
  • Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

What we DO NOT know:

  • How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
  • How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
  • If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
  • If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission

If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel.  Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.

If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.

For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

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 Social Media Making Me Fat?

Have you ever wondered why when you see postings of food on social media that are pleasing to your eyes, you immediately begin to desire that food or think, “Gee, I’m hungry?

The human mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and subconscious mind.  The conscious mind works while we are awake, while the subconscious mind is always activated.  The subconscious mind regulates everything in our body, our character, our speech and receives and processes information. The food and beverage postings on social media speak directly to our conscious and subconscious mind.

According to researchers, 70 percent of household meals in America are influenced by digital media.  Pictures of food and beverages show up on news feeds 63 percent of the time.  One popular social media site noted that a widely used food hashtag marked photos of snacks and meals 54 million times on their site alone.

In addition to subliminally causing you to want to eat more food, studies have shown that people who spent two hours or more using a device with LED display, such as a smart phone or tablet, had a corresponding dip in melatonin levels.  Melatonin is the chemical that prepares your body for sleep. When we lose sleep, we can pack on extra pounds because there is a link between sleep loss and weight gain.  If you are awake for longer periods of time, you may be more inclined to reach for a late night snack or bag of chips.

Some steps you can take to curb your hunger and promote good health are:

  • Choose fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
  • Prepare your meals at home and limit dining out and processed on-the-go meals.
  • Try to avoid being distracted by TV, work, driving or surfing on your computer, phone or tablet while eating.
  • Regulate your social media feed, especially if the pictures of food and beverages make your stomach moan.

Obesity is on the rise because many factors, but keep in mind that you are in control and can make healthy choices to live a healthy life. It’s better to eat with your stomach and not with your eyes.

 

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.

Arthritis and Exercise

Man Exercising On Stationary Cycle

 

Did you know that if you have arthritis, exercise may benefit your bones, muscles and joints?

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or swim with the intensity of an Olympic competitor.  Low impact exercise can help improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. These exercises may include raising your arms over head or rolling your shoulders.

In conjunction with a treatment plan, exercise can:

  • Strengthen the muscles around your joints
  • Help you maintain bone strength
  • Give you more energy to get through the day
  • Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Help you control your weight
  • Improve your balance
  • Enhance your quality of life

Exercises can relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion.  It is always good to speak with your doctor about fitting exercise into your treatment plan.  The types of exercises that are best for you will depend on your type of arthritis and which joints are affected.

If you have arthritis and would like to explore adding exercise to your treatment plan, you can speak with one of the dozens of trained physicians at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center.  To make an appointment with a physician, 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.

How “Annual” Is Your Annual Physical?

HypertesionThinkstockPhotos-477722758A.  Yearly

B. Bi-Yearly

C. When I don’t feel good

D. I don’t do doctors

 

An annual exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship betweenyou and your doctor

If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 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.

World Psoriasis Day – October 29 2015

October 29th has been designated  World Psoriasis Day by the International Federation of Psoriasis Association to raise awareness about this disease. It is estimated that worldwide there are 125 million people worldwide who have psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, reoccurring, immune related inflammatory disorder of the skin. It is believed to have a genetic component  which means it can run in families. The disease usually starts to appear in the younger years and continues into adulthood, and it affects men and women equally. There is no known cause other than it is triggered by a malfunctioning of the immune system.  Psoriasis is unsightly but is not contagious.

Psoriasis presents as reddish plaques on the skin with silvery scales. These lesions can be very painful and itchy. It can also affect the joints (psoriatic arthritis) which can cause physical and functional deformity. There is no cure for the disease, but treatments do exist that make the skin lesions less painful and less visible.
To make an appointment a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital’s ambulatory care center  please call    718-206-7001.Psoriasis

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.