3 Common Achilles Tendon Conditions (And How to Avoid Them)

The Achilles tendon, which stabilizes your foot and ankle by connecting your calf muscle and heel, can become injured in a variety of ways. These injuries can cause pain, discomfort, and weakness in your ankle, interfering significantly with your daily activities. However, by taking certain precautions to preserve the well-being of your Achilles tendon, you may be able to prevent or reduce your risk of injury.

Tendinitis causes swelling and inflammation in your tendons, resulting in pain and instability while walking. Tendinitis often occurs as a result of overuse of your tendons; in many cases, sports are the primary culprits.

Maintaining your flexibility through stretching or other light warm-ups prior to vigorous physical activity can help prevent tendinitis, but it’s also important to avoid repetitive motions that can lead to overuse injuries as much as possible.

Tendinosis is sometimes confused for tendinitis, as both of these conditions can occur as a result of overuse injuries. Unlike tendinitis, however, tendinosis is not an inflammatory condition; it involves degeneration of the collagen in your tendons that worsens over time, wearing down the tendon and causing its fibers to become thick and hard.

Similarly to tendinitis, tendinosis is best avoided by incorporating warm-up stretches into your physical activities and avoiding overuse of your leg muscles.

An Achilles tendon rupture occurs much more suddenly than tendinitis or tendinosis as the stress placed on your tendon is abruptly increased. This can happen if you trip, fall, or increase the intensity of your physical activities to quickly, potentially resulting in severe pain and swelling near the heel as well as weakness while walking.

Warm-up stretches can be helpful for avoiding these injuries, but calf-strengthening exercises, varied workouts, slow increases in activity intensity, and appropriate footwear are all essential for protecting your Achilles tendon, as well.

If you experience pain, discomfort, or weakness in your heel or ankle, expert podiatric treatment is available at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Podiatry Department. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6712.

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.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center First Hospital in Queens to Utilize Ceribell Rapid Response Technology

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is the first hospital in Queens to utilize the most advanced technology to detect and diagnose seizure activity for critically ill patients to ensure they receive the most appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Millions of Americans live with seizures, which are defined as sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain. Seizures may occur after a stroke, a head injury, an infection such as meningitis, or another illness. They can take on many different forms and affect different people in different ways, and in some cases, may not generate any physical symptoms. Seizures can cause changes in behavior, movements or feelings, and in levels of consciousness. If untreated, seizures can have a lasting negative effect on brain function.

Traditionally, to detect and treat seizures, doctors need to rely on electroencephalography (or EEG) monitoring, which is not always readily available. Now, Jamaica Hospital can provide immediate detection of seizures through the application of the Ceribell Rapid Response EEG program. The Rapid EEG is the first of its kind and provides a vital sign of harmful brain patterns that do not produce observable signs in the patient and can only be diagnosed using EEG.

The Ceribell Rapid Response device is comprised of a simple headband with integrated electrodes, a pocket-sized recorder with intuitive software and an online portal for remote viewing. The system can be set up by a healthcare provider in a matter of minutes. Clinicians and nurses with no prior background in EEG can triage a seizure quickly and with a high rate of accuracy, and the technology’s remote capabilities allow a specialist to review the EEG data, assess response to treatment and optimize care, all in real-time, from nearly anywhere.

“This technology is now being offered in our Emergency Department and in our Intensive Care Units,” said Dr. Aashish Patel, Director of Neurology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Our entire team has been trained to use the Ceribell device and everyone marvels at its ease of use and diagnostic accuracy. This advancement will greatly benefit our most critically ill patients and help us provide immediate and appropriate care.”

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.

5 Essential Clothing Items for Preventing Frostbite

Winter in New York City can be very cold due to windy weather and temperatures that often reach below freezing. If you are not adequately prepared, you face a greater risk of suffering from frostbite, which occurs when the skin and deeper layers of tissue freeze.

Frostbite can introduce a variety of long-term complications such as long-term numbness in the affected area, changes in skin color, loss of nails, arthritis, and gangrene, which can lead to an amputation. It’s most likely to occur when a part of your body is insufficiently protected against cold weather, but factors such as alcohol usage, smoking, and a history of previous frostbite incidents can increase your risk.

One of the most important steps you can take to prevent frostbite is to stock your wardrobe with clothing that provides adequate protection against the cold. Make sure you have each of the following items:

An insulated, windproof hat that covers your ears: Your ears are at a greater risk of experiencing frostbite than other parts of your body, making it important to wear a hat that covers them and adequately protects them against cold temperatures and wind.

An adequately-insulated jacket: Some of the best jackets for protecting against cold weather are waterproof and feature down insulation with a fill power between 500 and 900, with the higher end of this range indicating superior quality. Other materials that offer good insulation include wool, silk, and fur. Types of jackets you may want to look for include puffer jackets and parkas.

Mittens: Your hands are typically better protected against the cold by mittens rather than gloves. As with your jacket, look for materials such as wool or silk to ensure your mittens can adequately retain heat.

Boots: Whether the weather conditions you walk in are snowy, rainy, or dry, winter boots can provide better protection against both cold wind and water than other types of footwear such as sneakers. As with other clothing items, look for boots that are waterproof, windproof, and insulated.

Moisture-wicking shirts and socks: Even in very cold weather, you can potentially work up a sweat, leaving you vulnerable to cold wind. Choose moisture-wicking shirts, socks, and other under-layers of clothing, as these will move the sweat you produce to their outer layers.

If you develop frostbite this winter, visit a doctor as soon as possible. You can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (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.

National Blood Donor Month

Approximately every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a transfusion of blood, platelets, or plasma. However, this critically-needed blood is often in short supply, as only about 3% of eligible people donate blood each year.

A steady supply of donated blood is necessary for transfusions during a wide range of surgical procedures to counteract any blood loss that may occur. Approximately 21 million blood components are transfused throughout the U.S. each year.

Blood donations are also crucial for treating severe injuries. Victims of car accidents who have incurred severe injuries and blood loss can sometimes require as many as 100 units of blood; a healthy human body, in comparison, typically only holds about 10 units of blood at any given time. Additionally, transfusions are an essential part of treatment for chronic conditions that cause anemia, such as cancer or kidney disease.

There are four common types of donations: whole blood donations, red blood cell donations, plasma donations, and platelet donations.

Whole blood donations: This type of donation contributes approximately one pint of blood and includes all contents of the blood, including red blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

Red blood cell donations: People who meet certain height and weight requirements may be able to donate only their red blood cells; your platelets and plasma are returned to your bloodstream.

Plasma donations: A plasma donation only contributes your plasma, which is most often needed to treat accident and burn victims. Plasma transports protein and nutrients throughout the body.

Platelet donations: Platelets enable blood clotting, which prevents blood loss after sustaining an injury. This type of donation is needed for various types of patients, including accident victims, cancer patients, and people with blood clotting problems.

To make a donation, you can schedule an appointment at a blood drive or donor center near your area through the New York Blood Center.

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 Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to your optic nerve, which transmits signals from your eye to your brain and allows you to see. This causes blind spots in your vision to develop over time.

Glaucoma often occurs due to increased pressure in the eye, which is itself typically caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye. However, it can still develop in an eye with normal pressure.

Glaucoma is also one of the most common causes of blindness for people over the age of 60, but it can occur at any age. Other risk factors for this disease include:

  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Eye injuries
  • Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia
  • Extended use of corticosteroids
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness

Glaucoma encompasses several different conditions that present varying symptoms, making it potentially challenging to identify. Additionally, many forms of glaucoma, such as open-angle and normal-tension glaucoma, may not present any symptoms in their early stages. Forms of glaucoma include:

  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
  • Pigmentary glaucoma
  • Pediatric glaucoma

There is no cure for glaucoma. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it. The first is to regularly visit an ophthalmologist for eye exams, including a comprehensive dilated eye exam by the age of 40. The second is to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure, and physical activity level.

You can schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist for glaucoma diagnosis or treatment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ophthalmology Department by calling (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.

Mental Health Tips for the New Year

The beginning of a new year can bring many major changes with it. You may have a wide range of ideas about what you want or expect those changes to be and are figuring out how to prepare accordingly. However, it’s also easy to become overwhelmed by these expectations in a way that negatively impacts your mental health. Keep these tips in mind to stay focused on what matters and maintain a positive outlook as 2023 begins:

Make plans, not resolutions: New Year’s resolutions have an infamous tendency of falling through once the new year actually begins. This often happens because resolutions indicate a wish more than a serious goal. If you truly intend to pursue a major goal next year, write out a detailed plan for achieving it, including the steps required, your expected timeframe, and any resources you may need.

Avoid dwelling on future possibilities: You may start to consider different events that may occur next year, both good ones such as being offered a new, higher-paying job, and bad ones such as the death of a loved one. Even if these events were to occur, they are only future possibilities and are outside of your control. If necessary, account for these possibilities only as part of a plan for a relevant goal; dwelling on them will only damage your mental health.

Enjoy the present moment: Other than making plans for things you would like to change, you should keep your attention on the present. The friends, loved ones, and circumstances around you may be different in the future, but you can choose to make the most of the time you have with the ones that are in your life right now and give yourself (and them) fond memories to look back on in the future.

Are you suffering from symptoms of anxiety or depression related to concerns about the new year? You can talk to a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Clinic. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-5575.

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.

What is Pediatric Diabetes?

Approximately 10% of all Americans have diabetes, with an increasing number of these cases occurring in children and teenagers under the age of 20. Diabetes that occurs within this age range (referred to as pediatric diabetes) usually presents as type 1 diabetes, which causes the body to stop producing insulin. However, type 2 diabetes, which causes insufficient insulin production and causes cells to absorb less sugar from the bloodstream, has begun to account for more of these cases over time.

According to Dr. Hariram Ganesh, a pediatric endocrinologist at Forest Hills Pediatrics, increasing rates of obesity and economic factors are largely to blame for the increased prevalence of pediatric type 2 diabetes.

“Rising obesity rates have caused rates of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children to even out,” said Dr. Ganesh. “Junk food is much cheaper and more accessible than healthy options. Many families would rather spend a dollar on fast food than 60 dollars on something healthy at the grocery store. “

Children with prediabetes may exhibit certain signs, such as excessive thirst and the frequency with which they need to use the bathroom. Additionally, black marks may occur around the neck, armpits, groin, or other parts of the body due to abnormally high insulin levels. Some other signs you may notice include:

  • Yellow, brown, or red patches of skin
  • Hardened or thickened skin on the fingers or toes
  • Blisters (in rare cases)
  • Skin infections or rashes

If you notice any of these signs, you should bring your child to your primary physician as soon as possible. They can help determine whether your child’s symptoms warrant a referral to an endocrinologist or are indicative of a less severe problem.

While neither type 1 nor type 2 diabetes has a cure, both are treatable. For children with type 2 diabetes, an initial plan of three to six months of dietary changes and exercise coupled with medication may help manage the condition. In cases of type 1 diabetes, however, treatment options are more limited.

“Type 1 primarily involves insulin dependence and cannot be managed with diet and exercise alone,” said Dr. Ganesh. “Even if a child loses weight, they’ll continue to need insulin. Otherwise, they may end up in the hospital.”

Still, Dr. Ganesh emphasizes the importance of diet and exercise, regardless of any diabetes diagnoses your child may or may not have received.

“Diabetes is just one problem among many related to childhood obesity, and in many cases, a diagnosis may only be a matter of time. Parents should make a point to emphasize a healthy diet and physical activity for their children, whether that involves playing with them or finding a local place for them to regularly participate in physical recreation,” said Dr. Ganesh.

If your child is exhibiting signs that may be indicative of prediabetes, schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center now by calling (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.

3 Diet Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays can be a challenging time, especially when you’re trying to lose weight or have a condition such as diabetes that requires you to stick to specific dietary guidelines.

Many celebrations with family and friends include plenty of indulgent meals and treats that can potentially set your weight loss goals back, or otherwise negatively impact your health.

Although holiday gatherings may present certain challenges, there is no need to stress yourself out about sticking to your diet. A few key guidelines that emphasize moderation and patience can help you navigate your way through this part of the year in a way that preserves your health and allows you to focus on enjoying your time with your loved ones. These include:

Arriving with (and sticking to) a plan: Before your holiday gathering begins, determine ahead of time how much food you intend to eat. This may vary depending on your individual dietary restrictions and weight goals; if possible, find out what kind of food is being prepared ahead of time. If a particular option would be ideal for you, make it known to the hosts of the gathering ahead of time or prepare it yourself. Once you’ve determined the types and amounts of food you plan to eat, stick to that plan throughout the day.

Drink plenty of water: You will find your food to be much more filling when you drink lots of water. Try to drink roughly one glass of water each hour; you may find this easier by drinking one cup of water before your meal, one cup during the meal, and one cup afterward.

Talk to your loved ones: Remember that the main point of your holiday gathering is to spend time with the people you love and enjoy their company. Instead of absent-mindedly picking at hors d’oeuvres, focus on having conversations with the people around you and participating in the moment.

If you struggle to manage your diet during the holidays or any other part of the year, a nutritionist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center may be able to help. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

3 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

The holiday season is a stressful time for many people for a variety of reasons. For some it might be the pressure of buying gifts or the burden of hosting, while others might have concerns about the financial strain associated with the holidays.

No matter your situation, it’s important not to let the natural stressors that accompany the holidays ruin the season for you. Most factors that lead to stress during the holidays are manageable through the application of mindfulness techniques and an active effort to remember the things that matter most: showing love and appreciation to the people around you and making happy memories with those people.

Some tips for maintaining this perspective and preserving the positive energy of the holiday season for yourself and your family include:

Reminding yourself that your efforts are good enough: Strict expectations to find the perfect gift, make your home look perfect before guests arrive, or to cook the perfect holiday dinner may prevent you from enjoying any of these activities (or their results). Remind yourself that there is no need for perfection in any of these areas and that what matters most is doing the best you can to ensure that your loved ones have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season with you.

Releasing yourself from the expectations and opinions of other people: For many people, the thoughts and expectations of others may cause as much pressure (or more) as their own. However, you cannot control how the people around you view you or your efforts. Instead, resolve to be kind to those around you, regardless of their stated opinions, and make a conscious choice to only hold yourself to your own expectations.

Planning goals instead of making resolutions: As the New Year approaches, people often set “New Year’s resolutions” for themselves that, while indicative of goals they may truly care about, often die out within weeks. An approach that is more likely to succeed involves making a detailed, step-by-step plan for achieving the goal you have in mind, starting small and making incremental progress forward on a set timeline.

If your holiday stress is causing (or stems from) mental health problems, you can schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Clinic by calling (718) 206-5575.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency such as suicidal contemplation, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s confidential, 24/7 National Help Line at 1-800-662-4357.

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.

Avoiding the Flu During the Holiday Season

Throughout the holiday season, flu cases tend to reach their peak; many respiratory viruses have an easier time surviving in the cold than in the warm weather of other seasons. Holiday gatherings also often provide ideal circumstances for these viruses to spread.

Fortunately, there are a few ways for you and your family members to protect yourselves against the flu and prevent as few people from getting sick as possible, allowing everyone to enjoy holiday celebrations in good health. Some preventative steps you can take include:

Getting vaccinated: The simplest, most effective step you can take toward preventing the spread of the flu is to make sure you’re up to date on your influenza vaccinations. Anyone over the age of six months should get vaccinated annually.

Wash your hands regularly: Another simple method of protecting against the flu is to practice effective hand hygiene through regular, consistent handwashing. You should generally wash your hands after using the bathroom, after touching surfaces used by other people or animals, before and after preparing food, and before and after coming into direct contact with another person or animal. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Practice healthy lifestyle habits: Regular exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet are effective for keeping your body at a well-protected baseline level against many diseases and conditions, including the flu. Include regular aerobic exercise in your routine several times per week and make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

You should also make sure to visit a doctor as soon as you begin to feel symptoms of a respiratory infection, including a sore throat, difficulty breathing or wheezing, congestion, or coughing. You can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (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.