Employee Spotlight on Cristina Gonclaves

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Cristina Goncalves, Coordinator in Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Occupational Health Services Department. Cristina has been with the hospital for seven years. She started her career four years ago at Jamaica Hospital as a switchboard operator before moving to her current position three years ago.

Cristina is a native of Queens. She grew up in the Jamaica area and attended Our Lady of the Cenacle elementary school, St. Agnes Academic High School and then John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Psychology in 2013. Cristina has three children, two girls and a boy whom she enjoys spending all of her free time with. They enjoy going as a family to museums, parks, the movies and just doing anything that is adventurous. Two of Cristina’s favorite vacation destinations are Portugal and Myrtle Beach.

On Saturdays and Sundays Cristina enjoys her kick-boxing sessions. She also likes to eat different types of foods especially sushi, as well as Spanish and Indian food. She finds listening to Latin music very relaxing and also likes Disney songs.

Cristina feels that  working at Jamaica Hospital is like being with family. She finds everyone to be very considerate of one another and she looks forward to having many more positive experiences here. Her long term goal is to return to school to become a social worker which she believes would be a very fulfilling career. We are fortunate to have her as a member of our team and look forward to her being with us for many more years.

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.

The Benefit of Breast Milk vs. Formula

Did you know that babies who are breastfed have a better chance of fighting off viruses and bacterial infections than babies who aren’t breastfed?
Well, it’s true; breast milk contains antibodies that can fight off viruses and bacteria, as well as lowering your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies.

Some additional benefits of breastfeeding are:
• Breastfeeding strengthens a baby’s immune system
• Breastfeeding aids in digestion with less bouts of diarrhea, constipation or colic
• Breastfeeding in premature babies is an effective way to enhance health, growth and development

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed exclusively for the first six months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, or longer if both the mother and baby are willing to continue breastfeeding.

The reason healthcare professionals are promoting breastfeeding over formula is commercial formulas try to duplicate breast milk; however, they are unable to completely match breast milk’s exact composition. Breast milk is a living substance made by each mother for her individual infant.

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the biggest decisions a new parent will make. If would like more information about the benefits of breast feeding over formula feeding, you can speak with a Lactation Specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center. Call 718-291-3276 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.

When is it Okay to Request a Second Opinion From Your Doctor?

Receiving news that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious or rare medical condition can be very overwhelming and scary. While it is important to listen to and follow your doctor’s instructions, it is also appropriate in these situations to seek the advice of other professionals and request a second opinion.

Unfortunately, less than half of the people diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening disease request a second opinion. The most frequent reasons individuals cited for not doing so include: feeling an urgency to seek treatment right away, lack of access to experts or centers of excellence, fear that their insurance carrier would not cover the cost, and concerns about offending their doctor.

In most cases, these reasons are unmerited; in reality, many conditions do not require immediate treatment and most physicians welcome a second opinion. In addition, many insurance providers allow for second opinions and can even help identify local experts that participate in your plan.

So, when is getting a second opinion a good idea? According to WebMD, the following circumstances are appropriate:

  • Where the treatment is very risky or toxic
  • Where the diagnosis is not clear, the treatment is experimental, or there is no established consensus or Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment
  • If you’re considering participating in a trial for a new drug
  • If you’re considering some new experimental approach or a procedure that involves using experimental instruments or devices.

In many cases, second opinions are very beneficial.  In fact, a recent study highlighted their potential value.  Researchers found  that as many as 88% of those who sought a second opinion for a complex medical condition had a new diagnosis that changed their treatment plan, and 21% received a completely different diagnosis.

If you would like to seek a second opinion, but are unsure of how to start the conversation with your doctor, try some of these tips.

  • Tell your doctor you want to be sure that you explore all your treatment options. This may include looking into several surgical and non-surgical interventions.
  • Let your doctor know that you always talk to more than one expert when you need to make an important decision, whether it’s a medical, financial, or personal decision.
  • Explain to your doctor that a second opinion would give you peace of mind that your diagnosis and treatment plan are the best option for you.

Even if a second opinion doesn’t change your diagnosis or treatment plan, you can feel satisfied that you made a well-informed decision.

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.

The NERVE of Neuropathy!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes. Typically, 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some sort of nerve problems, know as neuropathy.

Neuropathy is a shorter term for peripheral neuropathy, meaning nerve damage in the peripheral nervous system. Neuropathy from diabetes can damage the nerves in your hands, arms, feet and legs. This condition can cause pain, numbness and weakness. Depending on the degree of neuropathy, and how long you have been a diabetic, nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart and reproductive organs.

The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathy also appears to be more common in people who have issues with controlling their blood glucose, have high blood pressure and are overweight.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary depending on the nerves affected and develop gradually over the years. Symptoms may include:

  • Trouble with balance
  • Numbness and tingling of extremities
  • Abnormal sensation to a body part (Dysesthesia)
  • Diarrhea
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vision changes
  • Burning or electric pain in extremities

When treating diabetic neuropathy, a nutritionist may recommend healthier food choices and exercise to help lower your glucose and glycohemoglobin levels. Additionally, analgesics and low doses of antidepressants can be prescribed for pain relief, burning and tingling.

If you are a diabetic and have been experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center and Department of Nutrition can help. Call 718-206-7001 to get the process started.

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.

Hidden Illnesses

Ten percent of people living in the United States have a medical condition that can be characterized as an invisible or hidden disability.

Hidden disabilities may not be visible on the outside or immediately apparent; however, their symptoms can be physically and mentally limiting (impairing individuals from leading a normal life). These limitations are often the result of chronic hidden illnesses such as:

  • Lupus- A chronic autoimmune disease that can cause the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissue. Symptoms include damage and swelling of the skin, joints, kidneys, heart and lungs.
  • Cystic fibrosis – A progressive and chronic genetic order that causes persistent lung infections. Symptoms include salty-tasting skin, frequent lung infections, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, greasy or bulky stool.
  • Chronic fatigue- A debilitating disorder characterized by extreme fatigue or tiredness that does not go away with rest. Symptoms include chronic insomnia, frequent headaches, loss of concentration or memory, muscle pain or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Lyme disease – An inflammatory disease caused by bacteria that are transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Symptoms include rashes, severe headaches, inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.
  • Fibromyalgia – A chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread pain in the muscles and bones.  Symptoms include severe pain, fatigue or difficulty concentrating.

Living with a hidden disability or hidden illness can be difficult because those diagnosed are often met with skepticism due to a lack of knowledge.  Another challenge that a person living with this type of illness or disability may encounter is social isolation.

There are a few things that can be done to overcome these challenges such as educating loved ones and others about your disability, inviting loved ones to your medical appointments or joining a support group.

 

 

 

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.

Lead Poisoning Facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that “at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.”

This raises concern because even low levels of lead in the blood have been directly associated with irreversible effects such as lower IQ and decreased ability to concentrate. Exposure to lead has also been shown to increase the risk of:

– Slowed growth and development

– Learning and behavioral problems

– Speech and hearing deficits

Children can become exposed to lead in several ways.  Lead is a naturally occurring element that was once widely used in the manufacturing of paint, gasoline, as well as some toys and jewelry.  Lead-based paint, used in homes and offices during the early and mid-20th century, is the most common source of exposure today. Old, chipping or cracking paint found in these homes can easily be eaten by children, and old paint can become dust and be inhaled.

As a safety precaution, any house built prior to 1978 should be inspected for the presence of lead paint as this can be a potential hazard to children and pregnant women.  Remove any old, chipping or cracking paint from your home and have it tested for lead if you are unsure if it was made prior to 1978. If it is found that lead is present, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a lead paint remediation expert.

There are other preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of lead exposure, they include:

  1. Avoid using herbal remedies whose sources are unknown (Greta, Azarcon, Ghasard, Ba-baw-san and Daw Tway are all remedies from around the world that have been shown to contain lead).
  2. Do not use cookware or other food storage containers that have not been shown to be lead-free.
  3. Visit the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website and remove any toys or toy jewelry from your household that has been recalled.
  4. Make sure to wash clothes and bodies thoroughly after any known exposure to lead or lead dust (i.e. renovating an old home, working with stained glass)

If you believe your home may contain dangerous lead paint, contact your state or local health department about testing the paint and dust in your home for the presence of lead. If you have further questions regarding the testing of blood lead levels and the possible effects of elevated blood lead levels, you can visit the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/default.htm) or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.

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

Dr. Andrew Flowers, 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.

Psoriatic Arthritis

According to the American College of Rheumatology, psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in some patients with psoriasis (is a chronic skin condition caused by an overactive immune system) and can affect the joints in the body.

It is a chronic disease that may present as mild with occasional flair ups or, in more severe cases, can cause joint damage in fingers and toes, as well as larger joints in the lower extremities, such as knees, back and sacroiliac joints in the pelvis.

The Mayo Clinic describes the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis as:

  • Swollen fingers and toesPsoriatic arthritis can cause a painful, sausage-like swelling of your fingers and toes. You may also develop swelling and deformities in your hands and feet before having significant joint symptoms.
  • Foot pain -Psoriatic arthritis can also cause pain at the points where tendons and ligaments attach to your bones — especially at the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis) or in the sole of your foot (plantar fasciitis).
  • Lower back pain -Some people develop a condition called spondylitis as a result of psoriatic arthritis. Spondylitis mainly causes inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae of your spine and in the joints between your spine and pelvis (sacroiliitis).

Psoriatic arthritis can go into remission.  When in remission, the symptoms may alternate causing them to subside for a time and then reappearing in the form of painful, swollen joints.

Many people with psoriatic arthritis may first think they have rheumatoid arthritis since both diseases have similar symptoms. The only difference is that psoriatic arthritis is prevalent in patients who have psoriasis of the skin as well.

When seeing your doctor to determine whether or not you may have psoriatic arthritis your doctor may examine your joints for swelling or tenderness, check your fingernails, hands, feet and toes for pitting, flaking or other abnormalities.

Psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed by X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), testing the rheumatoid factor (RF) antibody in your blood or a joint fluid test to see if you have uric acid crystals in your joint fluid.

Since there isn’t a cure for psoriatic arthritis, healthcare professionals are focused on controlling the symptoms and thwarting permanent damage to the joints.

Some medications prescribed to treat psoriatic arthritis include:

  • NSAIDs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
  • Disease-modifying ant rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) -These drugs can slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis and save the joints and other tissues from permanent damage.
  • Immunosuppressants -These medications act to tame your immune system, which is out of control in psoriatic arthritis.
  • TNF-alpha inhibitors – Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is an inflammatory substance produced by your body. TNF-alpha inhibitors can help reduce pain, morning stiffness, and tender or swollen joints.

Other procedures that have been effective are steroid injections or joint replacement surgery.  Steroid injections reduce inflammation rapidly and joint replacement surgery replaces the severely damaged joint with an artificial prosthesis made of metal and/or plastic.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and would like to speak with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital, call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment with a Rheumatology specialist.

 

 

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.

National Organ Donor Day

There are currently over 120,000 people in the United States who are awaiting an organ donation that could potentially save their lives.

It all started in 1998 when the Saturn company joined together with the United Auto Workers and supported by the U.S. Department of Health to recognize the need. Every year February 14th is a day designated as National Organ Donor Day that serves to make the public aware of the importance of how an organ donation can save a life for someone else.

There are different types of donations:
• Organs
• Tissue
• Marrow
• Platelets
• Blood

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center supports organ donation. To find out how you can register to become an organ donor, go to www.liveonny.org  for more information.

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.

The History of Diabetes Testing

Diabetes was recognized as far back as 1500 BC by Egyptian scientists. In 600 BC scientists later noted that ants seemed to be particularly drawn to the urine of people with diabetes. The earliest documented diagnosis of the disease was during the middle ages when Chinese, Indian and Egyptian scientists tested the urine of people thought to have diabetes by tasting it for a sweet distinctive taste.

The first clinical exam for diabetes was performed by a doctor named Karl Tommer in 1841 who tested urine with acid hydrolysis which broke up the disaccharides into monosaccharides and then after the addition of other chemicals results in a reaction forming if sugar is present.

In 1850 Hermann von Fehling was able to expand on Trommer’s work to quantify the results. Later in the 19th century, Frederick Pavy developed tablets that when added to the urine would show if there was glucose in the urine. In 1907 Stanley Benedict was able to refine Fehling’s test. In 1913 Ivar Bang discovered a way to test the blood for glucose.

In the 1940’s urine test strips were developed that would change colors depending on the amount of glucose was in the urine. In more modern times,  test strips were introduced in 1964 that could check the blood for sugar and the first glucometer that was able to test blood samples for elevated sugar was developed in 1970. Another test for diabetes was developed in the mid 1970’s and it tested for hemoglobin A1c.

Glucose testing has now progressed to the point where blood sugar can be determined by a sensor that can measure it through the skin, with no need to take a drop of blood.

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.

Homemade Oat Milk Recipe

Oat milk is a dairy-free milk alternative that is made from oats.  It has a ratio of 1 cup of oats to ¾ cup of water.  The mixture is then strained to create a liquid.

According to https://www.livestrong.com, oat milk is a healthy alternative to whole milk and skim milk.  It is rich in vitamin D, iron, calcium, potassium and fiber.  One cup of store bought oat milk may have up to 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber.

Comparatively, cow’s milk contains 3.5% fat, 146 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat and skim mild has 83 calories, 122 grams of carbohydrate, 0.2 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein.  Even though the numbers for skim milk seem better than oat milk, skim milk still contains lactose.

If you’d like to try your hand at making your own oat milk, here is a simple recipe from https://simpleveganblog.com that you may want to try. 

Prep time:      15 minutes

Total time:      15 minutes

Yield:              3 – 4 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled or quick oats (100 g)

3 – 4 cups water (750ml – 1liter), depending on how thick you like your milk

Instructions:

  • Soak the oats in water for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Drain the oats and wash them (discard the soaking water).
  • Blend the oats with 3 – 4 cups of clean water.
  • Strain the milk using cheesecloth, a strainer, a napkin or a nut milk bag.
  • Store oat milk in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Homemade oat milk reduces the risk of cross contamination with potential allergens at the manufacturer and can is less expensive to make than to purchase.

If you’d like to read more about oat milk, visit – https://www.flushinghospital.org/newsletter/?p=4603

 

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.