Employee Spotlight on Nicole Santucci, RD CDN

This month we are very happy to shine our employee spotlight on Nicole Santucci, a nutritionist who has been working at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for almost four years.

Nicole grew up on Long Island in North Valley Stream and attended the Willow Road Elementary School, Valley Stream North High School and is a graduate of Syracuse University. She is currently enrolled at Stony Brook University where she will be completing her Master’s degree in May of 2019.

Nicole became interested in nutrition while taking a course at Syracuse University. Having been diagnosed as a Type I Diabetic when she was nine years old, eating healthy became a way of life she needed to adhere to. Her parents were very supportive and she was brought up as any other normal child would be, learning how to manage her diabetes successfully through proper eating habits, exercise and taking her medication. Because she has lived with diabetes for most of her life and learned so much from nutritionists who guided her, she felt it would be a natural fit as a career choice for her. She enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital for many reasons. Her department works well together as a team which is very important. From an educational standpoint she feels that the diverse population of patients will allow her to learn about many different cultures and provide her with invaluable learning experiences.

Nicole has very family strong ties to the Richmond Hill community and to the hospital itself. Not only was her father and many of her relatives born at Jamaica Hospital, but her uncle Thomas Santucci Jr was the Chairman of the Department of Medicine for over 30 years.

In her free time, Nicole enjoys cooking, especially Italian food, going to the movies, running when the weather permits and going to plays in Manhattan. She enjoys traveling and has been to many places both in Europe and the Caribbean. One of her favorite cities is Prague because of its beauty and her mother’s family came from there so she feels a strong connection to it. She enjoys spending time with her dog, a corgi hound mix named Pebbles who is a rescue. Nicole is engaged to be married in the Fall of 2019 so wedding planning are another activity that she is enjoying.

We are fortunate to have Nicole as part of our team of nutritionists at Jamaica Hospital and thank her for playing such an important role in our patients’ treatment.

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.

Ways to Boost Your Metabolism as You Age

A less desired aspect of maturing is that your metabolism may naturally slow down.  This can cause a gradual loss of muscle mass and the numbers on your scale to creep up.

One of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism is to exercise.  As we age, extreme exercise regimens may no longer be what is recommended for us.  However, lower-impact exercises such as walking or bike riding can really give your metabolism the jump start it needs.

Another good way to stay ahead of your metabolism is to eat small meals that are high in protein, healthy snacks, such as yogurt, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  Try not to skip a meal because, if you do, your metabolism will think you are starving and slow down further.

Another method of speeding up a sluggish metabolism is with spices.  Try sprinkling chili pepper, ginger or turmeric on your meals.  They have all been found to have a positive effect on the metabolism.

Of course, if you have tried all these remedies to boost your metabolism and are still experiencing a slower than normal response, there may be an underlying medical condition.

Some medical conditions that can slow metabolism are:

  • Cushing’s syndrome – this illness happens when your body makes too much cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal system, creating a slow metabolism.
  • Hypothyroidism – (Underactive thyroid) in disease of the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause body functions to slow down and result in weight gain, as well as fatigue, joint pain, and other symptoms.
  • Graves’ disease – (Overactive thyroid) this thyroid disease occurs when the body’s immune system makes antibodies that attach to thyroid cells, stimulating the body to make too much thyroid hormone.
  • Hashimoto’s disease – is also called autoimmune thyroiditis, this occurs when the thyroid gland becomes chronically inflamed, causing it to secrete insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone.
  • Low testosterone levels – if you’re a man with a lower level of testosterone, a male sex hormone, you might find your metabolism altered.

If you have tried ways to boost your metabolism and are not seeing any results, you may want to check in with your doctor.  If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an Endocrinologist at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, 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.

Adenovirus Infections

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that can infect the lining of the eyes, respiratory tract, intestines, urinary tract and nervous system.  Infections often result in common illnesses such as bronchitis, pink eye, diarrhea, sore throat, bladder infections or pneumonia.

Adenoviruses are highly contagious and can be spread when someone who is infected sneezes or coughs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adenoviruses can also spread through close personal contact (touching or shaking hands) or by “touching surfaces with the adenoviruses on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.”  There have been cases in which adenoviruses have spread through stool or through water (for example swimming pools) but occurrences are uncommon.

The places in which adenoviruses are commonly found are daycare centers, summer camps, schools or other areas where large groups of children gather.

Anyone is at risk for contracting adenoviruses, but young children and individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infection than others.  Symptoms of infection depend on the type of illness a person develops. They may include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Loose stools
  • Pain
  • Chills
  • Burning during urination

It is highly advised that medical attention is sought if symptoms persist for an extended period of time, and immediately received if they are accompanied by trouble breathing, signs of dehydration or swelling around the eyes.

There is no specific treatment for adenovirus infections; however, the risk of transmission can be reduced by taking preventative measures such as hand washing, avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, staying home when sick, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoiding personal contact. The CDC also advises, that you “keep adequate levels of chlorine in swimming pools to prevent outbreaks of conjunctivitis caused by adenoviruses.”

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 to Treat Your Baby’s Diaper Rash

Ask any new mom or dad what their least favorite part about becoming a parent is and the answer you will most often get is changing their baby’s diaper. It is a task that no one loves, but it is important because parents must be aware of the development of diaper rash.

Diaper rash occurs when the skin on your baby’s bottom, thighs, or genital area becomes inflamed. The result is the appearance of a patchwork of bright red skin or scales. While diaper rash can be alarming to parents, it is actually fairly common among babies.

In addition to the physical signs of diaper rash, your baby may also display a change in their disposition. Babies with diaper rash are uncomfortable and will generally seem fussier. They will also most likely cry more during diaper changes.

Diaper rash grows in warm, moist places and the most common cause for its development is when a baby’s diaper isn’t changed frequently enough. When a diaper isn’t changed often, the exposure to stool or urine can cause irritation.

Other causes of diaper rash can include:

  • Sensitive skin
  • Allergic reaction to the diaper
  • Introduction of new foods
  • Diaper being placed on too tight, resulting in chaffing
  • Bacterial or yeast infection

Diaper rash is more likely to develop when babies get older (9-12 months old) and are more mobile and begin a diet of solid foods. Sleeping in dirty diapers can increase your baby’s chances of developing diaper rash.  Taking antibiotics and having diarrhea can also be contributing factors.

If your baby develops diaper rash, be sure to change their diaper frequently. Try dressing them in loose, breathable clothing and even allow them go diaper free for as long as possible.  When cleaning your child, gently pat the infected area and avoid wiping or rubbing. Use water when changing, but if a more thorough cleaning is required, only use mild soaps and avoid any products with fragrances or alcohol.  Parents can also use paste or barrier creams that contain zinc to soothe the skin and prevent contact with feces or other irritants. Avoid using baby powder as it can harm a baby’s lungs.

In most cases diaper rash will clear up on its own when the above techniques are followed, but you should contact your pediatrician if the rash fails to improve or gets worse within 2-3 days, if you notice yellow, fluid-filled bumps, or your baby develops a fever. These may be signs of an infection.

To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Jamaica Hospital, 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.

Sleep Apnea

America’s expanding waistline may be responsible for another growing problem in our country – sleep apnea. Approximately 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and many of them are overweight or obese. In fact, the most common cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in adults is obesity.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common and serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. People with this condition often have trouble staying in a deep sleep because their throats close, blocking their airways. As a result, they partially awaken to start breathing properly. They don’t realize they’re waking up and may become very sleepy during the day.

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and even death. People with sleep apnea are also at an increased risk of work and driving-related accidents, due to inadequate sleep at night.  It’s important that anyone with signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea — especially loud snoring, repeated nighttime awakenings and daytime sleepiness speak with a physician.

Fortunately, sleep apnea is treatable. Making an effort to lose weight is the best way to help people sleep better. Recent studies have proven that weight loss can significantly improve and potentially eliminate obstructive sleep apnea symptoms in obese individuals. If, however, weight loss attempts are not successful, a common and effective treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), where patients wear a mask connected to a machine that blows air into the throat, keeping it open while they sleep at night.

If you believe that you have sleep apnea, it is imperative that you get tested. Speak with your doctor and request a referral to a sleep center so experts can perform an overnight sleep study. Jamaica Hospital operates a three-bed, fully private, sleep center. For more information, please call 718-206-5916.

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.

Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)

If you work outside of normal daytime hours such as evening shifts, night shifts, rotating shifts or swing shifts, you may be at greater risk for developing shift work sleep disorder (SWSD).

SWSD is a sleep disorder that disrupts the circadian rhythm of an individual.

Your circadian rhythm is often called a “body clock.” It is a cycle that lets our bodies know when to rise, sleep, and eat.

More than 15 million people in the United States work various types of shifts. Some are better able than others to adjust to working irregular hours, but for those that are unable to adjust, SWSD can become a major factor in lessening their quality of life.

Some symptoms of sleep shift disorder are:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Increase risk of making mistakes and having accidents

SWSD can also have adverse effects on your health. Chronic sleep shift disorder can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive issues and depression.

If you are a shift worker with irregular hours there are some treatment measures that can help:

  • Exercise Regularly
  • Keep a healthy diet
  • Keep your sleep area dark with black out drapes or use a sleep mask
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine at least three hours before bedtime
  • Put away digital devices. The light from your device can play tricks on your brain, making it think it is daylight
  • If possible, take a 10-20 min nap during your shift

If none of the above treatment options seem to help you adjust to your irregular work schedules, you might want to consider contacting a sleep clinic. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s has a state-of-the-art Sleep Center. Call 718-206-5916 for more information or to make 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.

Is A Vegetarian Diet Healthy For Children?

Vegetarian diets have been shown to be safe for children; however, it is important for parents to ensure there is adequate nutrition in their children’s diet that allows for normal growth and development. This can be achieved by being conscious of food choices and their nutritional values.

Here are nutritional factors parents should keep in mind when raising children on a vegetarian diet:

  • Energy – Children have smaller stomachs than adults, so vegetarian diets must have enough energy content in each serving to fulfill their needs. Three meals and three snacks per day are recommended to sustain energy levels. It is also important to remember that healthy fats are a good source of energy and should not be restricted in children younger than two years old. Nuts, seeds (or nut/seed butters) and avocados are examples of fatty, high energy/high nutrient foods children can eat.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Vegetarian diets generally contain a lot of omega-6 fatty acids but marginal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which are important for brain, eye and nerve development. Foods like flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, and soy should be included in vegetarian diets to ensure adequate intake of omega-3s.
  • Protein – Plant-based protein can be difficult for children to digest. Therefore their intake of protein needs to be increased to meet their daily requirement. It is important to add foods such as milk or eggs, soybean products (e.g. tofu and soy milk) and other protein-rich foods to their diets. Foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds, grains, cereals, potatoes, and pasta also contribute to protein intake but to a lesser degree.
  • Iron – Heme (meat) iron is better absorbed than is non-heme (plant) iron, and children who consume only non-heme iron are at risk of iron deficiency. Vitamin C should be included in each meal to help iron absorption. Iron can be obtained by eating green leafy vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals or whole grains.
  • Calcium – Milk and other dairy products provide approximately 75 percent of the calcium in the average American diet. Calcium daily intake should be “700 mg for children one to three years, 1000 mg if they are four to eight years, and 1300 mg if they are nine years and older”. Calcium can be obtained in fortified milk products such as dairy, almond or oat milk.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D intake of 600 IU/day is necessary for adequate calcium balance. This is usually found in animal milk as well as soy milk or breakfast cereal fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation should be used for vegetarian children who don’t have access to enriched foods or that live in places without adequate sunlight.
  • Vitamin B12 – Only animal products have vitamin B12 so vegetarian children should consume either fortified foods (soy milk or cereals) or an oral vitamin B12 supplement.

If you are considering a vegetarian diet for your child and have any questions, please consult your doctor.

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

Dr. Atif Muhammad; 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.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that mainly affects people who are middle-aged or older, but it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than three million people in the United States and 60 million people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.Typically the disease starts to develop suddenly, often without symptoms,  and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much as 40 percent of vision can be lost before some people even notice a problem. It usually starts with loss of peripheral vision.Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve so that the brain isn’t able to receive images from the eyes. There are two types of Glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma where pressure inside the eye increases on its own and damages the optic nerve and Secondary Glaucoma where another disease causes the pressure in the eye to increase and that results in optic nerve damage. Both types will eventually lead to blindness.

Early detection of Glaucoma can help to slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are very important. To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-206-5900.

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 Taking Zinc Beneficial for Treating a Cold ?

Using zinc is one of the many home remedies people take when they feel like they have a common cold. Those who use it believe that it helps to shorten the duration of the cold and even lessen its symptoms.

The common cold is caused by the rhinovirus. This virus enters the body through the nasal passageway and the throat and multiplies rapidly once it is there.
The theory behind taking zinc is that it helps to prevent the virus from multiplying once it is in the body, thereby potentially shortening the duration of the cold. It also plays an important role in the body’s ability to resist infection and to help tissue repair.

The best way to take zinc is in lozenge form. It is recommended that the lozenge contain 13 to 23 milligrams of zinc and no more than four be taken per day, and not for more than four or five days. Taking too much zinc can actually suppress the immune system and can cause an upset stomach and give you a metallic taste in your mouth. While zinc is also available as a throat spray, it has side effects such as loss of the ability to smell.

Increasing the daily intake of zinc may help to prevent a cold.  Some foods where zinc  is found include:
• Shellfish
• Beans
• Dairy products
• Red meat
• Nuts

It is important to note that drinking coffee, tea or taking certain medications can inhibit the absorption of zinc by the intestines.

It is a good idea to speak with your physician before taking it to make sure that is safe for you. If you would like to be seen by a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center you may call 718-206-7001 to schedule 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.

PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that occurs in women of reproductive age. It affects 1 in every 10 women living in the United States.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown; however, several factors are believed to contribute to the disorder. Factors that may play a role in the development of PCOS are genetics, low-grade inflammation or producing excessive amounts of androgens (male hormones) or insulin.

Those affected by PCOS often develop hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems, which can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Acne
  • Hirsutism ( Excessive hair on the face or in areas where only men normally have hair)
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Thinning hair (Male pattern baldness)
  • Skin tags
  • Darkening of skin (Especially in areas such as the groin, underneath the breast and neck creases)

PCOS is linked to other health problems.  Women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome are at risk of complications such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Depression and anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea

There is no single test used to diagnose PCOS.  Your doctor may take into consideration your medical history and recommend blood tests, pelvic examinations or ultrasounds to rule out other causes for symptoms.

Treatment for PCOS is focused on managing complications.  Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medication or cosmetic procedures to improve symptoms.

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.