Treating A Bee Sting

One of the things we least look forward to while enjoying summer weather is being stung by a bee.  In the event that this happens, you should know how to properly treat stings.

Treating bee stings depends on severity. People who are allergic or people who have received multiple stings should seek immediate emergency care. However, if you are not allergic, and have not received multiple stings, you can do the following to relieve pain and swelling:

  • Remove the stinger as soon as possible, in any way that you can ( using tweezers or your fingernails are some ways that you can)
  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Apply ice or cold compress to reduce swelling
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as instructed
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion  or take oral antihistamines to relieve itching or swelling

If you have a severe reaction to a bee sting, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room or call 911.

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.

Safely Grilling Food Outdoors

Summertime is a popular time of year for outdoor grilling. Food that is grilled outdoors always seems to delight our family and friends, but if we don’t practice proper food safety, people could get food poisoning.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when grilling food in order to avoid food poisoning:
• Always make sure the utensils you are using are clean before and after you use them
• Keep raw food away from cooked food by using separate plates
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching uncooked food
• Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked at the right temperature
145 degrees for whole beef, pork, veal, lamb
145 degrees for fish
160 degrees for hamburgers and ground beef
165 degrees for poultry and hot dogs
• Check the date on the meat package to ensure it is fresh when you buy it
• Don’t leave raw meat or poultry out at room temperature for more than two hours
• Keep uncooked meat refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower
• After food is cooked, keep it hot until served at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter
• Wash all of the utensils used for grilling after you are done with them
• Do not partially cook food and finish it later
• Keep food out of direct sunlight
• Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked at the right temperature

• By following these simple tips, you will ensure a wonderful meal will be enjoyed by everyone.

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.

Common Summer Illnesses

Typically when we think of seasonal illnesses, we think of conditions such as allergies, the cold and flu as they relate to winter, spring and fall months. However, it is important for us to remember certain illnesses are more likely to occur during the summer than at other times of the year.

Although the summer provides us with lots of sunshine and opportunities to enjoy recreational activities, warmer temperatures and elements of our environment can increase our risk of exposure to factors that affect our health.

Hot weather provides the perfect climate for bacteria to grow that causes food poisoning. Therefore, we have to be especially careful during summer months to make sure our food is stored and prepared correctly to avoid illness.

A favorite summer past time for many is swimming; however, the bodies of water in which we swim can serve as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that causes recreational water illnesses (RWI) and can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.  We also have to be mindful of properly draining or drying our ears after swimming, as this can encourage bacteria to grow, potentially leading to an infection known as swimmer’s ear.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that peaks during the summer months when we are more exposed to ticks in wooded or grassy areas.   Therefore it is important to take the proper precautions to prevent tick bites while we are participating in outdoor activities such as hiking.

Coxsackie is a common summer virus that mostly affects children. The hand, foot and mouth disease is spread from person-to-person by saliva, blister fluid, feces and mucus.  Outbreaks peak in the summer; however, you can control the spread of the virus by frequently washing hands and cleaning surfaces that children touch most often.

Summer heat and places of recreation can provide the perfect environment for illness-causing bacteria and viruses to flourish.  Remember while soaking up the sunshine or lying by the lake to take the proper steps to reduce your chances of getting sick.

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.

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a common condition that many of us experience at some point in our lives. It is the feeling of nausea, dizziness or uneasiness that can develop during a bumpy or rocky ride. For some, this sensation may occur while traveling in a car, boat, train, plane or other modes of transportation.

Motion sickness also referred to as seasickness, carsickness or airsickness is caused when the brain receives mixed signals from our balance-sensing system which consists of our eyes, inner ear (semicircular canals) and sensory nerves.    Mixed signals are received by the brain because your eyes cannot see the motion your body is feeling, or conversely, your body cannot feel the motion your eyes are seeing. Motion sickness can start suddenly, typically with a feeling of uneasiness then progressing to other symptoms such as dizziness, a cold sweat, headaches or vomiting.

Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to motion sickness. However, anyone who is traveling can be at risk. Factors that can increase the chances for symptoms to appear include poor ventilation in a vehicle, the type of vehicle, fears or anxieties about traveling or the orientation in which a person is sitting or standing.

Treatment for motion sickness may include medication, home remedies or applying simple changes to your environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends the following interventions for treatment or prevention:

  • Being aware of and avoiding situations that tend to trigger symptoms.
  • Optimizing position to reduce motion or motion perception—for example, driving a vehicle instead of riding in it, sitting in the front seat of a car or bus, sitting over the wing of an aircraft, holding the head firmly against the back of the seat, and choosing a window seat on flights and trains.
  • Reducing sensory input—lying prone, shutting eyes, sleeping, or looking at the horizon.
  • Maintaining hydration by drinking water, eating small meals frequently, and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoiding smoking—even short-term cessation reduces susceptibility to motion sickness.
  • Adding distractions—controlling breathing, listening to music, or using aromatherapy scents such as mint or lavender. Flavored lozenges may also help.
  • Using acupressure or magnets is advocated by some to prevent or treat nausea, although scientific data on efficacy of these interventions for preventing motion sickness are lacking.
  • Gradually exposing oneself to continuous or repeated motion sickness triggers. Most people, in time, notice a reduction in motion sickness symptoms.

Most cases of motion sickness are mild. Symptoms are typically self-treatable or go away when a person is no longer in motion.  However, medical professionals recommend that you see a doctor if you experience motion sickness repeatedly or if symptoms persist after your journey.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Tips for Traveling With Medication

Preparing for a flight often requires careful planning and packing. When traveling with medication, knowing airport rules ahead of time can help you to pack correctly and minimize setbacks on your trip.

It is important that you follow these tips provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to avoid delays in your travel time or confiscation of your medication:

  • Confirm that your prescription is legal at your destination; some medications that are allowed in the United States are prohibited in other countries.
  • Learn state requirements for the labeling of prescription medication. States have individual laws of which travelers must comply.
  • You can bring unlimited amounts of your medication in pill or solid form, as long as it is screened. Medications are typically screened by X-ray; however, if you do want them X-rayed you may ask to have them inspected instead. This request must be made before your medication enters the X-ray tunnel.
  • You are allowed to bring liquid medication in carry-on bags in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities.
  • If traveling with liquid medication, you must inform the inspecting officer at the start of the screening checkpoint process. Additional screening will be required and you may be asked to open the container.
  • Supplies associated with medication such as syringes, pumps, IV bags or needles must undergo screening.

Packing appropriately for your trip can make traveling with medication less complicated. It is highly recommended that you check the TSA’s website, www.tsa.gov, for updates as the current rules can 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.

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.

Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is an old Welsh proverb that many of us have heard at some point in our lives. While the saying is not accurate, and leading a healthy lifestyle requires much more than eating this fruit each day; studies have found that apples provide us with several health benefits.

Apples are one of the best foods to include in your diet. They are rich in important components such as quercetin, vitamin C, pectin and more.  Studies have associated these substances with several benefits which include:

  • Improving neurological health– Quercetin contains two compounds that are known to help reduce cellular death caused by the oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
  • Reducing the risk of certain cancers- The American Association for Cancer Research has found that consuming apples rich in flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin can help to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. Apple peels contain compounds that promote anti-growth activity in cancer cells that develop in the breast, liver and colon.
  • Lowering cholesterol- Fibers found in apples such as pectin are linked to lowering levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Boosting immunity- Apples are a good source of immune-boosting nutrients such as vitamin C.
  • Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes-  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that flavonoids such as anthocyanins are associated with lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

While eating apples each day may not keep your doctor away, they can be a key factor in helping you to maintain your health.  Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of several diseases and improve overall wellness.

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.

Will You Stay Home or Go Out on New Year’s Eve ?

Everyone knows that New Year’s Eve is the most popular night of the year to party.  It is a night to go out with family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Some people prefer to spend a quiet night at home though. The reasons are varied but commonly people don’t want to spend the money, don’t like the crowds, and think that the night is much a-do about nothing.

Which do you prefer?

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.

Obesity: Lifestyle or Genetics?

“How does she eat so much and not gain any weight?”

It’s a question that has left many puzzled and quite frustrated. The conversation about weight, however, is a longstanding one. Today, especially, weight gain and weight loss remain relevant discussions, as the United States faces an obesity epidemic.

Though several health initiatives to help fight obesity have been implemented over the past few years, it is important to first understand what factors contribute to obesity. According to a National Institutes of Health funded study conducted by UCLA, not only does behavior and environment affect obesity, but genetic factors can also play a significant role in causing obesity.

How our genes actually influence obesity varies. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genes give the body instruction for responding to changes in its environment. Some research has linked genes to metabolism, pointing out that genetics affects how one’s body responds to high-fat diets. Genes can either cause an increased tendency to store fat or a diminished capacity to use dietary fats as fuel. Other research has suggested that genes influence behaviors, such as overeating and being sedentary.

The conversation about obesity can now change since research has shown that body weight is hereditary and that genetic disposition affects weight. In all efforts to fight obesity, living environments where high calorie foods are prevalent and physical activity is limited should be looked at more closely.

We understand that the road to healthier choices isn’t easy to travel, especially alone. Here at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center our outpatient registered Dietitians assist patients to grow their knowledge about nutrition, wellness and healthy eating. To schedule an appointment the outpatient nutrition services department can be reached directly at 718-206-7056.

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.

Be Careful With This Scary Halloween Costume Accessory

With Halloween approaching, many are getting into the spirit by looking for costumes that frighten. Whether choosing  a scary witch, chilling vampire or a creepy zombie costume, there is one spooky accessory that is considered dangerous and should not be used.

Decorative, or costume contact lenses are very popular this time of year because of their ability to change the color or overall appearance of your eyes. Many people use them to create a “frightening look”, but this attempt to terrify can come at a cost to your vision.

It is important to know that contact lenses are medical devices intended to correct your vision and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They should not be worn unless prescribed by an eye doctor. Retailers that advertise them as cosmetics or sell them over-the-counter, without a prescription are breaking the law.  The issue with these “fashion” lenses is that they are advertised as one size fits all, but this is not accurate. Before wearing contact lenses, your doctor should measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to them. A poor fit can cause serious eye damage, including:

  • Scratches on the cornea (the clear dome of tissue over the iris—the part of the eye that gives you your eye color)
  • Sorneal infection (an ulcer or sore on the cornea)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Decreased vision
  • Blindness

According to an article published by the FDA, “The problem isn’t with the decorative contacts themselves. It’s the way people use them improperly—without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care.” Many of the issues arise due to a lack of care instructions on decorative contact lens packaging.

The FDA warns to never buy these types of contact lenses from street vendors, beauty supply stores, novelty or Halloween stores, or an internet site that does not require a prescription.

If you are determined to get decorative contact lenses to complete your scary look this Halloween, speak to your eye doctor and get a prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date. Then go to a seller that requires you have a prescription. Failure to do so, and the biggest scare could be the damage you do to your eyesight.

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.