March is National Kidney Month

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March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

What is Pre-Diabetes?

docpicAre you one of the estimated 54 million people in this country who have pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a silent health condition that has no symptoms and is almost always present before you develop type 2 diabetes.

It is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. If you haven’t visited your doctor, a good way to see if you are at increased risk for pre-diabetes is to take the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Diabetes risk test by visiting www.diabetes.org/risk.

Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older or those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Habitually physically inactive
  • Have previously been identified as having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are members of certain ethnic groups (including Asian, African-American, Hispanic or Native American)
  • Have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Have elevated blood pressure
  • Have elevated cholesterol
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have a history of vascular disease

That said, if you have pre-diabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by a sustained modest weight loss and increased moderate-physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day.

Through weight loss and increased physical activity, a dietitian may direct you on how to make food choices that cut down on the amount of fat and carbohydrates by:

  • Eating more foods that are broiled and fewer foods that are fried
  • Decrease the amount of butter you use in cooking
  • Eat more fish and chicken
  • Eat more meatless meals
  • Re-Orient your meals to reflect more vegetables and fruit

If you have symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision, you may have crossed from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes.

It’s best to consult a physician if you’re concerned about pre-diabetes or if you notice any type 2 diabetes signs or symptoms. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  To make an appointment, 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.

Information About Varicose Veins

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately half of Americans age 50 and older have varicose veins. These veins are most commonly located in the legs, appear to bulge from the skin and are dark purple or blue in color.

ThinkstockPhotos-483873488The veins in a person’s legs carry blood back up to the heart and should only allow blood to flow in one direction. However, when the valves in a person’s veins become weak and allow blood to flow away from the heart, blood pools and the veins in that area become stretched or enlarged, thereby, creating a varicose vein.

While varicose veins are very common among both men and women, there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of being affected. These include:
 Heredity
 Hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
 Increasing age
 Obesity
 Sun exposure

Not only can varicose veins cause discomfort and embarrassment for the men and women who have them, but they can also sometimes lead to more serious health conditions. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to:

 Blood Clots- These are extremely dangerous, as they may dislodge from the vein and travel to the lungs or heart, preventing either from functioning properly.
 Sores and Ulcers- Varicose veins may lead to sores and ulcers of the skin because of long-term buildup of fluid.

Varicose veins may also cause ongoing swelling, rashes, and pain, and can increase a person’s chances of infection.

Varicose veins may signal a higher risk for circulatory problems. If you have varicose veins that cause pain, swelling, itching, tiredness, or numbness in the legs, you should seek medical attention. Jamaica Hospital Department of Vascular Surgery offers a variety of options to treat varicose veins.
Treatment options available include:

 Sclerotherapy: A solution is injected to seal off the area in which blood is pooling.
 Laser treatment: Without the use of needles or incisions, strong bursts of light are delivered precisely onto varicose veins to make them fade and eventually disappear.
 Endovenous Radiofrequency: A catheter is inserted into the vein and radiofrequency or laser energy seals the vein wall. This approach is used in treating deeper varicose veins.
 Surgical litigation and stripping: Varicose veins are removed entirely.

If you have varicose veins and would like to schedule a consultation with a vascular surgeon at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7108.

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.