Is My Pain From Osteoarthritis Or A Similar Condition ?

Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that typically affects parts of the body where joints are weight bearing such as the knees, hips, spine, hands or feet. It is caused by the wearing down of cartilage which is the tissue that cushions the bones where they meet each other to form a joint. Over time, the loss of cartilage will lead to bone rubbing against bone which causes them to erode and become painful with motion.

Osteoarthritis is sometimes mistaken for similar diseases that also cause joint pain. Some of these diseases include:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Lyme disease
                   

A characteristic that distinguishes osteoarthritis from these diseases is the way that joint pain presents itself. For those suffering from osteoarthritis, pain usually occurs as a result of exertion of the joints, and typically occur during or after movement. The diseases that present with some of the same characteristics, movement within a joint is not usually reason for the pain to occur.

Diagnosing osteoarthritis is done by performing lab tests to check for indicators in the blood and also by performing x-rays to check for distinctive patterns of bone and joint involvement.

If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis such as joint pain or limited mobility, you can make an appointment with a specialist known as a rheumatologist who can make a diagnosis. Treatment of the disease may include medications, therapy or surgery.

To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call 718-206-6742.

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 Depression Screening Day

October 8th has been designated as National Depression Screening day, an annual event held during Mental Illness Awareness Week. This event was started 27 years ago as an effort to provide people with mental health education materials and give them resources for support services. National Depression Screening Day was also created with the hope of removing the stigma from mental illness.

The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The organization states that early recognition and treatment of the disease offer the best opportunity for successful outcomes. If depression is left untreated it can lead to destructive behaviors and possibly suicide.

Depression screenings help to distinguish between short term feelings of sadness and stress due to transient life episodes, and more severe cases that can go on for months and years. The tests usually last between two to five minutes and the scores will indicate whether a further evaluation by a mental health professional is needed. It is important for people to know that help is available.

To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Department of Jamaica Hospital
Medical Center, please call 718-206-7160.

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.

Resting Heart Rate

The normal resting heart rate range is from 60 to 100 beats per minute. When a healthy person has a heart rate closer to the lower number, it signifies a heart that pumps blood more efficiently.

A resting heart rate lower than 60 beats per minute is called bradycardia and a heart rate above 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia. If the heart rate is below 60 beats per minute, a person may experience fatigue or being dizzy. A heart rate above 80 beats per minute can indicate circulatory problems and a rate above 90 for an extended period of time can be linked to premature death if not better controlled.

Factors that can affect a resting heart rate include:

  • Body dimensions
  • Age
  • Air temperature
  • Medications
  • Body position
  • Chronic disease ( ex: diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension)
  • Smoking
  • Emotions
  • Stress level

You can measure a person’s heart rate by taking the index and middle finger and placing it either on the side of the neck, top of the foot, inside of the elbow or on the wrist. Count the number of beats you feel in 30 seconds and then double that number to get the number of beats per minute. A resting heart rate should not be taken within an hour of exercising, drinking a caffeinated beverage, or a stressful event. The American Heart Association recommends taking your heart rate upon waking up in the morning and before getting out of bed.

It is recommended that you check your heart rate a few times a week. If you notice any abnormalities schedule an appointment with your physician for a complete check-up. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

The Difference Between the Flu and Covid-19

Flu season has arrived in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for many it will be difficult to differentiate characteristics of the flu from those of COVID because they are very similar. Both can cause fever, body aches, a dry cough or fatigue.

While there are similarities shared between the two illnesses, there are a few key differences people should be aware of. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.
  • If a person has COVID-19, it could take them longer to develop symptoms than if they had flu. Typically, a person with the flu develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection. Symptoms of COVID usually develop 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary.
  • If a person has COVID-19, they may be contagious for a longer period of time than if they had flu. Most people with flu are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms.

Older children and adults with flu appear to be most contagious during the initial 3-4 days of their illness but many remain contagious for about 7 days. For those with COVID, it is possible that they can spread the virus for about 2 days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared.

Protecting your health from the flu and COVID is crucial because symptoms resulting from these viruses can lead to life-threatening complications. This can be achieved by getting a flu shot and following safety precautions such as practicing proper hand hygiene, wearing a mask and sanitizing frequently used surfaces.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with the flu or COVID-19, please consult your doctor about being tested for the coronavirus. To schedule an appointment with a doctor 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.

This Month We Shine Our Employee Spotlight on Joel Louis

This month we shine our Employee Spotlight on Joel Louis a security officer at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

Joel Louis has been a security officer at Jamaica Hospital for five years. He was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. After graduating in the early 1990’s with a Master’s Degree in fashion from the Mercy Jaquez School in the Dominican Republic he decided he wanted to come to the United States to pursue career opportunities.

Joel comes from a very tight knit family. He enjoys spending time with them, especially his son who he considers to be a miracle child because of how difficult it was for his wife to conceive. In his free time he enjoys drawing and sewing. He enjoys dining out, going to see movies that are comedies and when possible, going to fashion events. He also hopes to complete the book he is writing which he entitled “Reason to Live”.

Joel currently resides in Richmond Hill which he likes because it feels like a nice community. Working at Jamaica Hospital also feels like a community to him and he takes pride in contributing to its well-being by keeping everyone safe.  As part of his goal to ensure the safety of others, Joel made over 2,000 masks which he donated to healthcare facilities including ours. He looks forward to many more years at the hospital and we are happy to shine the spotlight on him this month.

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.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The month of September has been designated as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to bring attention to this very common form of cancer that affects so many men. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in men and is the second leading cancer related cause of death in men. Although it is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer some risk factors for developing it are:

  •  Older age (more than 65% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65)
  • Race (African-American men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men)
  • Family history (having a father or brother with prostate cancer)
  • Obesity

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system that produces a fluid that mixes with sperm and other fluids during ejaculation. It sits just below the bladder and is normally about the side of a walnut.

Prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, may not have any symptoms. When symptoms are present they may include difficulty starting urination, less force to the stream of urine, dribbling at the end of urination, needing to urinate frequently, urinating frequently at night, pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, difficulty starting or maintaining an erection, pain with ejaculation, pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis and upper thighs, or unintended weight loss.

When screening is done there are two tests that are available. The available tests are a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam your doctor uses a gloved finger, inserted a few inches into your rectum, to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in your blood.  Many men who have prostate cancer have elevated levels of PSA, however PSA can also be elevated for less serious causes such as prostate enlargement or infection.

Further testing is needed to diagnose cancer. Additional tests that your doctor may recommend to diagnose cancer include an ultrasound of the prostate and a biopsy of the prostate.  A biopsy is when a small piece of the prostate is removed to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on many factors including your age, your overall health and the growth and spread of the cancer when it is diagnosed. Some men who have slow growing tumors may not need treatment right away and some may never need treatment.  Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive and can quickly spread to other parts of the body making treatment difficult.  Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regular testing and checkups to assess for new signs or symptoms), radiation therapy (high-energy x-rays used to kill cancer cells), chemotherapy, surgery (having the prostate gland removed) and hormone therapy.

To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital to discuss a prostate cancer screening, 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.

Could Stress Be Causing You Crisis Fatigue ?

Crisis fatigue can be defined as how a person reacts to long term stress with feelings of being very tired or numbness to the world around them.

The events of the past few months have caused many of us overwhelming emotions which include depression, sadness, anxiety, and fear. The body’s response to stressful circumstances is to produce the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. When stressful circumstances persist for long periods of time, these higher level of these hormones can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, bone loss or high blood pressure. In some cases crisis fatigue can lead to substance abuse, alcoholism and suicidal thoughts.

The signs and symptoms of crisis fatigue include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Excessive emotional responses
  • Lack of sleep
  • Changes in normal routines
  • Changes in appetite

Some of the ways a person can cope during these uncertain times is to learn how to reduce the level of stress in their life by:

  • Reducing the amount of time spent on social media
  • Limiting exposure to news reports
  • Spending more time with family and friends
  • Practicing meditation and yoga
  • Finding activities that are calming like reading, listening to music, and crafts

It isn’t always easy to cope with stressful situations without professional help. If you are experiencing any long term effects, you may benefit by speaking to a mental health professional. You can schedule an appointment with a trained professional at Jamaica Hospital by calling 718-206-7160.

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 Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – an observance that coincides with the return of children to the classroom. This convergence of events leads many parents to ask one question, “how can I ensure that my child receives a nutritious diet now that they are back in school?”

Obesity rates among children have tripled over the past three decades. It’s now estimated that  approximately 18% of children living in the United States are classified as obese. It is also estimated that children who are obese are ten times more likely to become obese as adults than other children. Since most children consume half of their daily caloric intake while in school, concentrating on providing them with a healthy and balanced diet while they are there is essential in the battle against obesity.

For many parents, the decision of whether to pack lunch from home or buy lunch from school is a difficult one. Some parents question the nutritional value of school lunches. Parents who have this concern should know that in recent years, schools have implemented new standards for the nutritional value of meals to align with U.S. dietary guidelines. Processed lunches that used to be high in fat, sugar, and sodium have been replaced with meals that meet or exceed national standards. School meals now also feature a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low or fat-free milk.

For those who still opt to pack their child’s lunch, they can improve their child’s diet and reduce their chances of becoming obese by following some simple tips:

  • Choose whole wheat breads instead of white bread when making sandwiches
  • Use fresh fruits instead of canned or processed alternatives
  • Fill a sandwich bag with something other than a sandwich. There are many other food options for your kids to snack on, such as carrots, nuts, granola, or raisins.
  • Initiate a salad day. Prepare the basics the night before and have your child choose some toppings including sliced chicken or turkey or low-fat cheese.
  • Introduce wraps as an option to a boring old sandwich. Give it extra flavor by coating with a low-fat spread and fill it with lettuce and protein.  You can cut the wrap into pinwheel slices for fun.
  • Invest in a thermos and fill it up with mac and cheese or your child’s favorite soup, stew or pasta.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water instead of sugary juice boxes or soda. Sugary drinks are considered one of the leading causes of childhood obesity.

Whether your child buys or packs lunch, it’s important to stay involved. Talk to them about what food choices they made and discuss the many benefits eating a healthy diet has on both their mind and body.

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.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition that is characterized by raised, red scaly patches. It is  often found on the scalp, knees and elbows, but can show up on other parts of the body as well of people who have the disease. The exact cause is not known but there is a correlation between genetics and also the body’s immune system. Psoriasis is a condition where the skin cells multiply at a faster rate than normal cells. This causes a buildup up skin lesions and the area of the body also feels warmer because it contains more blood vessels.   

Psoriasis is not contagious so it does not get passed by coming in to contact with a person who has it. It is a condition that affects men and women equally and  it can develop at any age, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 35.

Common signs of psoriasis include:

  • red patches of skin with thick silvery scales
  • cracked and dry skin that may bleed
  • stiff joints that may be swollen
  • itching, burning and soreness
  • nails that are pitted, thick and ridged

There are certain risk factors for developing psoriasis.  This includes stress, smoking, obesity, alcoholism, skin infections, a vitamin D deficiency, and a family history. Psoriasis is diagnosed by examining the skin and making a diagnosis. A dermatologist will be able to determine if it is psoriasis by the amount of thickness and redness it has. There are different types of psoriasis and they are classified by how they show up on the skin.

There are three ways that treatment for psoriasis can be approached. They can be used by themselves or together, depending on the severity. Topical creams and ointments that contain corticosteroids are usually the most commonly prescribed medications for mild to moderate conditions. Light therapy that is either natural or artificial ultraviolet light  can be used and it is directed at the area of the body that is affected. In severe cases, medications that are either injected or taken orally may be required. There are also alternative treatments that are being used and this includes Aloe vera which comes from a plant and   omega-3 fatty acids that comes from fish oils.

Depending on the severity of the disease, it may have an impact on a person’s quality of life. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital for any type of skin condition, 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 The Hurricane Season

While we typically associate the summer with delightful temperatures, this time of year can also bring dangerous weather conditions, namely hurricanes.

With a long history of providing relief to places previously devastated by hurricanes, including sending personnel to assist the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Maria, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is experienced and knowledgeable about how to properly prepare for such an event. Our hospital would like to share the following safety tips with our community:

  • In case of a need to evacuate, know where the nearest evacuation route is located
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable food that doesn’t require refrigeration or cooking
  • In an easy to locate area of your home keep flashlights, extra batteries, extra cash, a first aid kit, basic tools, charged cell phones and chargers, and a battery operated radio
  • Make sure you have a seven day supply of prescription medications
  • Have a three day supply of drinking water, one gallon per day per person.
  • Fill a bathtub with water to use to flush toilets
  • Make sure that all of your important documents are kept in a place that is high above ground level. Always keep a copy of these documents with you if there is a need to evacuate
  • Give everyone in your household a list of people they should contact in case of an emergency
  • Have a plan to protect your pets and have extra food for them
  • Prepare to put outdoor furniture away or at least firmly secured

By being prepared and following these tips, you can help keep your home and your loved ones safe from disaster.

For more information, please visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes and www.fema.gov

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.