The Benefits of Coconut Milk

There is always something new coming on the scene that is healthier for you than other choices.  Lately, the buzz is all about the benefit of Coconut Milk.

Coconut milk can be a tasty substitute for cow’s milk.  Coconut Milk is found in the white flesh of fully ripened brown coconuts.  Like, cream, coconut milk has a thick consistency and a rich texture.

Often times, people mistake coconut milk for coconut water.  These two liquids are very different.  In fact, coconut water comes from less ripened green coconuts.

Some health benefits of coconut milk are:

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Builds muscle and helps reduce fat
  • Is rich in electrolytes and can prevent fatigue
  • Can assist in weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves constipation

So, if you are looking for an alternative to cow’s milk, try coconut milk in your smoothie or cereal for a healthy change.

 

 

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.

High Blood Pressure? Check Your Salt Intake.

In the United States, one out of every three adults has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is a symptomless disease and is known as the “silent killer.” One step you can take to avoiding or controlling high blood pressure can begin with your diet.

A high sodium diet increases blood pressure in many people. Based on the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount of salt intake in your diet should be no greater than 2,300 milligram per day, which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt. This can be easily consumed if you are not watching what you eat. You may be consuming them every day without knowing its potential to harm you, or your family, in the long run. Many convenience foods can be a culprit of containing high sodium content.

Some examples of the daily foods to avoid, which contain high sodium contents are:

  • Frozen Dinners and pre-packaged foods
    • Packaged deli meats/ lunch meats
    • Canned foods and fast foods
    • Soups and nuts
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • Chips and dip

Some helpful tips to begin modifying your diet can include:

  • Creating a food diary to help keep track of the salt in the foods you eat
    • Read the ‘nutritional facts’ label on every food package and opt for a lower sodium version
    • Avoid pre-packaged foods and try using salt-free seasonings
    • Opt for fruits and vegetables to naturally spice up your food- onions, cranberries, and apple butter are some good examples of foods and products that can enhance your meal

Making the effort can be difficult at first but it’s worth your long term health. If you believe you are at risk of high blood pressure, speak with your physician and see if a low-sodium diet could benefit you.  If you do not have a private physician, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to set up an appointment with a physician.

For these and other helpful ways to side step hypertension, log onto www.webmd.com.

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.

Q&A: A lot of patients ask, do I need a PAP smear every year?

Dr. Peter Wong OB/GYN Jamaica Hospital

A PAP smear is looking at the cells of the cervix for any abnormalities. This can help identify cervical cancer. A lot of patients ask, do I need a PAP smear every year?
For a majority of women, the short answer is no. The true answer is dependent on a number of factors: past PAP smear results, your age, and the type of testing that has been done.

In 2012, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends women start getting PAP smears starts at age 21. For women age 21 to 65 years, the USPSTF recommends a PAP smear every 3 years. For women age 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval, screening with a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years.

If a woman has any abnormal findings in their PAP smear or HPV testing, then the screening interval changes.
You should continue to visit your gynecologist for yearly annual exams to ensure overall health. Your clinician will check for any signs of infection, prolapse, and abnormal growths (fibroids, cysts, polyps).

Each individual’s case is unique, speak to your doctor about your current health and their recommendations for a PAP smear.

For women experiencing gynecological issues, Jamaica Hospital provides many highly specialized services and treatments for a wide range of conditions that affect women’s health. Our specially trained staff offers expert diagnosis and treatment options for multiple forms of gynecological cancers as well as services to treat complications that may develop from fibroid tumors, bladder conditions, or menopause.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us at 718-206-6808.

 

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.

Alzheimer’s or Aging Naturally?

As you age, you may experience what is jokingly referred to as a “senior moment” when trying to remember why you entered a room or where you left your keys.  These moments are fairly common, but how do you know if your forgetfulness is the result of natural aging or Alzheimer’s?

Almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss without having any medical condition associated with it.  This process is known as Age-Associated Memory Impairment.  This condition is considered to be part of the natural aging process.

According to Alz.org, (Alzheimer’s Association) many things change as we age.  Our bodies and brain’s slow down and we are less physically and mentally flexible.  We may take more time to process information and experience some memory loss causing us to be forgetful of people places and things as we age.

Some signs of a naturally aging mind are:

  • Experiencing some memory loss, but being able to provide considerable detail when explaining the episode
  • Maintaining memory for important events, appointments and conversations
  • Occasional difficulty in finding words
  • Normal performance on mental status exams

Independent living and being able to conduct day to day activities and maintain interpersonal skills is also a reminder that you are aging naturally. As you age, it is beneficial to keep your mind sharp by remaining active, exercising, playing games that challenge your mind to think such as crossword puzzles or chess.

Conversely, Alzheimer’s disease is also associated with memory loss. This disease can affect people who are advanced in age or who are younger than the age of 65.  When early on-set occurs, the disease is referred to as either younger-onset or early onset Alzheimer’s.  Forgetfulness due to Alzheimer’s is not a part of the natural aging process.

Some symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s are:

  • Personality or mood changes
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Misplacing items on a regular basis
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Difficulty finding the right words for specific items
  • Difficulty finishing a sentence
  • Losing tract of locations, dates or times
  • Asking for the same information again and again
  • Difficulty learning new things

If you are experiencing symptoms or displaying signs of the disease on an ongoing basis, it is recommended that you consult a physician who specializes in treating Alzheimer’s.   In order to diagnose the disease, the physician may complete a comprehensive medical evaluation which can include cognitive tests, brain imaging, neurological and medical exams.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can maximize the benefits received from treatment and may help you to maintain your independence longer.  Therefore, it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of a specialist immediately.

 

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.

Winter Cold or Allergy?

The winter months can be challenging to your health. The drop in temperatures often results in symptoms that could be either a winter cold or allergies.

While many of the symptoms of colds and allergies are similar, the causes of each are very different.

Colds are contagious and they are contracted when a person is exposed to an individual infected with a cold virus.  Our body’s immune system will launch a counter attack against the virus. This response usually brings on the classic symptoms, such as a runny nose or cough.

An allergic reaction is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakes harmless things, such as mold or dust mites and attacks them. To combat what it thinks are germs, your body releases chemicals called histamines as a defense. The release of these histamines can cause a swelling of the nasal passages and result in coughing and sneezing. While many of the symptoms are similar, the easiest way to determine if you have a cold or are suffering from allergies is the duration of your condition. While most colds last from three to 14 days, allergies can last for months as long as the person is in contact with the allergen. Other differences are:

  • An allergic reaction will begin immediately after exposure to an allergen while cold symptoms usually take approximately three days to appear after exposure
  • A cold virus can sometimes cause fever and body aches while allergies never do
  • An allergic reaction can often result in itchy, watery eyes, which a cold rarely produces this type of reaction
  • Allergies are not contagious.

Once a determination between cold or allergy is made, the appropriate treatment can be applied.

There is no cure for a cold, but there are medications that can help alleviate the symptoms. Cough syrups, pain relievers, decongestant sprays, or multi-symptom cold relief medicines can all be used to help, but should only be taken after consulting your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications or if you have other underlying health conditions. Drinking plenty of liquids also speeds up the recovery process.

To treat allergies, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine to block the reaction to the allergens. There are many forms of antihistamines and some may cause drowsiness so be sure to look for the non-drowsy formula or only take them at night. Decongestants may also be suggested to relieve nasal congestion and avoid an infection.

If you are not sure if you have a cold or allergies, please speak with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center can help. To make 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.

To Juice or Not to Juice? That is the Question.

Juicing or juice cleanses are growing in popularity as more people are using this practice as a way to lose weight or improve their health.  Juice bars are becoming a common fixture in shopping malls as the demand for freshly-made and all-natural juices increase.  There are a few advantages that can be achieved by juicing.

Some advantages of juicing include:

  • Juicing may be an easier way for some to obtain the daily fruits and vegetables that are essential in maintaining a healthy diet. Many people find it more convenient and less time consuming to drink fruits and vegetables instead of eating them.
  • Juicing can help in promoting weight loss- if it is done correctly and the body is not deprived of vital nutrients and fibers.

There also disadvantages associated with all-juice diets. The disadvantages that are associated with all-juice diets include:

  • An all-juice diet for a prolonged period of time is not recommended as studies have shown that LDL cholesterol levels may increase. Depriving the body of whole foods that are rich in nutrients could also weaken its ability to fight infections and function properly.
  • Juicing can prove dangerous for individuals with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. High levels of fructose, which is the sugar found in fruits can elevate blood sugar levels.  Excessive juicing can cause high levels of potassium and minerals to build up in the blood- this can become hazardous if one has kidney disease.
  • Juicing may not be the healthiest or most effective way to lose weight as your body may think it is starving and lower its metabolic rate. If your body is being deprived of the daily recommended caloric intake it could begin to burn muscle tissue instead of fat to provide energy, causing the loss of muscle mass.

If you choose to juice, consult your physician, especially if you have chronic health conditions and juice in moderation. Juicing can be beneficial if it is done properly and is supplemented with nutrient-rich whole foods. It is recommended that a glass of juice can be used to substitute one meal for example breakfast or lunch for the day. Most healthcare practitioners caution that juicing should not surpass the duration of a few days.

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.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a cancer that involves the lower part of the uterus (womb), which is known as the cervix. This can involve a microscopic lesion, that cannot be seen with the naked eye; or it can involve a larger area that is visible while performing a pelvic exam or during colposcopy.Signs and symptoms can include bleeding after sexual intercourse, irregular vaginal bleeding, bleeding after menopause, abnormal vaginal discharge, and/or pain.

Risk factors for cervical cancer include: infection with certain types of human papilloma virus, and having diseases that lead to lower immunity (such as HIV). Smoking is also a risk factor.

A vaccine is available that can prevent infection with some of the high risk and low risk types of HPV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine vaccination for boys and girls ages 11 or 12. Vaccination is also recommended for women 13 years through 26, and men ages 13 through 21. Routine screening with a pap smear or going for an annual gynecologic exam can help with the detection of early signs and symptoms of the disease, or the detection of pre-cancerous changes of the cervix. Practicing safe sex and smoking cessation are also some methods to reduce your risk.

Cervical cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy of the cervix.  Prior to having a biopsy, there are abnormal results that can be encountered on a pap smear, that would require further testing or exams (such as colposcopy). There are also two types of procedures that can be performed if there is an abnormality detected with colposcopy and with biopsies, called a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) or a Cone biopsy of the cervix. These procedures can be diagnostic as well as therapeutic.
Treatment options for cervical cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of these methods. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician in the Women’s Health Center, 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.

I Need a Nap

An office protocol, that normally would have been grounds for termination, is now being considered for its many benefits. Several companies are now acknowledging the health benefits of a short nap during the workday, which include increased alertness, enhanced brainpower, and fewer sick days.
It is recommended that adults sleep for at least eight hours every night, however, research has shown that most individuals suffer from broken sleep and fail to get a good night’s rest. For these individuals, a short nap can help. A quick 15 to 20 minute power nap can provide the boost needed to effectively complete your workday.

There are several progressive companies, such as British Airways, Nike, Pizza Hut and Google, who are now seeking to reap these benefits. These companies have created designated nap rooms or “renewal rooms” for their employees, allowed their employees to bring a nap mat for the office, or simply encouraged their employees to sleep at their desk.

Some employers are now encouraging napping for the wellness of their employees. People who take daily 30-minute naps are 37 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who don’t nap, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007. Naps can also boost the immune system—theoretically leading to fewer sick days—and propel employees into their most alert, energetic, and creative states, say nap advocates. Believers in this protocol feel that a well-rested employee is a pleasant employee, noting that if you’re sleep deprived, you’re going to be moody.

Napping Further Explained
Naps can be broken down into four categories:

  • Planned napping, also known as preemptive napping, involves taking a nap before you get sleepy. It is a good thing to do if you know you’re going to have a late night.
  • Emergency napping is exactly as it sounds— taking a nap when you’re so sleepy that you can’t properly engage in your current activity.
  • Habitual napping is the practice of taking a nap at the same time every day.
  • Appetitive napping is the act of napping strictly for enjoyment.

As noted, napping increases alertness, learning capacity, memory and performance— and we have known this now for several decades. Naps can also reduce stress, as well as lower blood pressure, which is important for our overall health. So, with the research and results on “power napping,” it is safe to say that a well-rested employee is a more productive employee.

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 Your New Years Resolution to #StressLess ?

For many, each New Year their resolution is to lessen the stress that seems to have become a way of life.

There is a reason we all strive to lessen the stress in our daily lives. When you are stressed the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline- which causes the fight or flight reaction. This can speed up the normal function of several organs, including the heart.  The fight or flight reaction is appropriate when we face immediate threats but can be damaging if prolonged; as our bodies are only designed to deal with the effects of stress for short intervals.

Extended periods of stress can take its toll on our health in many ways. Long-term stress is known to negatively affect several systems of the body, including:

  • The Nervous System– High levels of cortisol and adrenaline can impair the nervous system, which regulates heart rates, the excretion of waste, breathing rates and the dilation and constriction of blood vessels.
  • The Immune System– Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, which increases the risk of infections, infectious diseases, skin problems such as eczema and can slow down wound healing rates.
  • The Digestive System– Excessive levels of stress can stimulate the muscles of the intestines and cause diarrhea or constipation. It can also lead to indigestion or nausea and increase the risk of ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • The Endocrine System– Stress hormones can cause the liver to increase blood sugar levels. This is particularly dangerous for diabetics.

Some helpful techniques that can assist you in managing your daily stress are:

  • Meditation – is helpful to the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress
  • Breathing Deeply – triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, neutralizes stress and elicits a calming feeling
  • Exercise – all forms of exercise can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain releasing feel-good chemicals giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress
  • Eating Healthy – choosing a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fiber may reduce the chance that stress can boost the body’s natural defense system

It is important to reduce excessive and prolonged periods of stress. A healthy lifestyle that helps manage stress often requires changing your mindset. But, if you are willing to make the changes that will improve your health, the impact can be far-reaching.

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.