World Hepatitis Day

In 2010 the World Health Organization ( W.H.O. ) designated July 28th as World Hepatitis Day. This serves to increase awareness about viral hepatitis and to influence change in disease prevention, testing and treatment.

Hepatitis is a virus that causes an inflammation of the liver. The liver is an organ in the body that processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections.

The most common forms of hepatitis are A, B, and C. Hepatitis B and C kill close to 1.4 million people each year and cause almost 80 percent of all liver cancer cases. Many people have the hepatitis virus and are unaware of it.
Symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
• Fever
• Nausea
• Loss of appetite
• Jaundice
• Abdominal pain
• Fatigue

Hepatitis is spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids. It is possible that people remain without symptoms for many years but during this time the disease is slowly destroying the liver. It can take many years for the symptoms to appear.

Blood tests are available that can detect the virus at an early stage.
Ways to reduce infection:
• Use only sterile equipment for injections
• Test all donated blood for hepatitis
• Practice safe sex
• Encourage people to get hepatitis B vaccine

Medication exists that can cure hepatitis C and can control hepatitis B infection. When given properly, people are less likely to die from liver cancer and cirrhosis and also are less likely to transmit the disease to others. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses over a six month period and it is recommended that it be initiated right after birth if possible.

To make an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital to discuss the vaccine, 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.

Summer Is Kidney Stone Season

They are less than a centimeter in size, yet they can cause intense discomfort.  Kidney stones are one of the most painful urologic disorders, and they occur more frequently during the summer because our bodies loose more water due to sweating, which can result in dehydration.

Kidney stones are small, hard masses made of mineral and acid salts that develop in the urine.  No single factor causes kidney stones, and not everyone is susceptible to them.  Several factors often work together to create an environment in which at-risk people develop kidney stones.  People most at risk for kidney stones include:

• Adults
• Males
• Those with family or personal history of kidney stones
• Those with personal history of digestive diseases and/or surgery

In general, kidney stones form when the fluid and various mineral and acids that make up urine are out of balance.  “With adequate hydration, calcium and other crystal-forming substances properly dissolve in the urine,” says Ricardo Ricciardi, MD, Director of Urology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. 

Although genetics, family history, and some medical conditions can increase your odds of developing kidney stones, you can still play a role in preventing them through the following steps:

• Drink enough water. “If you’re prone to kidney stones, your best defense is to stay hydrated during hot summer months,” says Dr. Ricciardi.  “Hot temperatures make your body lose more water than usual, so it is important to replenish it throughout the day, depending on your weight and activity level.”

• Eat less meat.  Diets rich in animal protein increase your risk for kidney stones; so try to incorporate other protein sources, such as beans, nuts and seeds, instead.

• Limit your salt intake.  Excess salt absorbs water in your system, which can also dehydrate you.  Limit your daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less by avoiding fast food, reading nutrition labels when you buy groceries, and cooking with less salt and more herbs and spices.

• Drink less caffeine.  Even though you may think you are getting enough liquid by consuming caffeinated sodas, coffee, or tea, caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can dehydrate you.
Sneaking Symptoms

Kidney stones often do not cause symptoms.  If the crystals are small enough, they may pass through the urinary tract and out of the body without being felt.  If a stone is large enough to attract attention, however, the first symptom is usually severe pain in the backside that begins when the stone moves into the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine.  The pain may later spread to the groin and lower abdomen.  Other symptoms include a persistent urge to urinate, painful urination, and pink, red, or brown urine.

Seek medical attention if you have pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting or fever and chills, or if pain is so severe that you cannot sit still or find a comfortable position. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, or suspect you have Kidney Stones and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

Swim Safety Tips

The weather is warming up and people will be looking for ways to keep cool. One way that has always been popular during the warm summer months is swimming in a pool. Every year there are countless accidents and also fatalities at or near swimming pools. Many of which  could have been avoided had precautions been taken.

Safety Tips to follow:
• Never leave children unattended near a pool
• Only swim when there is a lifeguard present
• Every pool should have proper drain covers
• Pools should have alarms and proper fencing
• Keep the pool clean
• There should be no diving allowed in pools that are shallow
• Never swim alone
• There should be no horseplay in or near a pool
• Do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs
• Do not swim in a thunderstorm
• It is a good idea to give children swimming lessons before the start of the summer
• Children who don’t know how to swim should be given flotation devices to wear

There are many organizations around the country that offer swimming lessons for children and adults of all ages. If you don’t know how to swim, look into getting some lessons before heading out to the pool. You will have a good time and you will also be a lot safer this summer.

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.

Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapple’s have been trending in both pop culture and as an amazing source nutrition packed with antioxidants that can fight inflammation and disease.

According to healthline, some of the most widely known benefits of pineapple’s are:

  • Packed with nutrients.
  • Contains disease fighting antioxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids.
  • Contains enzymes that can ease digestion.
  • May help reduce the risk of cancer.
  • May boost immunity and suppress inflammation.
  • May ease the symptoms of Arthritis.
  • May speed recovery after surgery or strenuous exercise.
  • Tastes delicious and is easy to add to your diet.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of pineapple’s, visit healthline.com.

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.

Interesting Facts and Myths About Using Sunscreen

During the summer months, basking in the glow of the sun becomes a national past time.  Bronzed, or tanned skin comes from the sun activating a color pigment in the top layer of your skin, the color only lasts between six to 10 days. However, the long-term effects of your skins over exposure to the sun may cause longer lasting conditions, even if you have a darker skin pigmentation.

Myth:  People with darker skin tones do not need to apply sunscreen because they are not as susceptible to getting sunburned.

Fact: Health experts suggest that no matter your skin tone, you should use sunscreen to prevent sunburn and sun-induced damage to your skin.  People with darker skin tones may believe they do not need to apply sunscreen because they are not as susceptible to getting sunburned as quickly as those with a lighter skin tone, but they are still susceptible to the damage the sun can cause to their skin, such as sunspots and wrinkles and cancer.

To maintain the health of your skin after tanning you should:

  • Exfoliate – The night before you are lying in the sun to ensure that your skin prepped for tanning, slough away dead skin cells with a gentle exfoliator. Dry skin can lead to peeling and, in some cases an uneven tan.  It is easy to create your own body scrubs by combining a few heaping spoonsful of rock salt with essential oils or your regular olive oil from the kitchen.
  • Protect – Wearing sunscreen is vital when exposed to the sun, not only to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but also if you want a long-lasting tan.  Wearing sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of 30, will help protect against damaging your skin. Make sure to opt for a sunscreen with a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) and re-apply throughout the day.
  • Hydrate – Water helps extend the life of your skin cells, so drink as much as possible.  Melons, cucumbers, and celery are also high in water content and make the perfect skin-friendly snack this summer.
  • Moisturize – In addition to drinking lots of water, it is also important to keep the peeling at bay with a daily dose of moisturizer.

While tanning, keep in mind that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  Exposure to the sun, without the benefit of sunscreen increases the risk of melanoma.

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.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which gives us the chance to make the public aware of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease being very important health issues.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s have profound effects on many people. There are an estimated 5 million people with the disease and 15 million people who are caring for them. It is said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

It has been said that Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can lead to death that cannot be slowed down, cured, or prevented. It acts by slowly killing brain cells which affects all of our ability to function normally.

Brain exercises may help mental functionality in areas of memory, focus, concentration and understanding.

Some suggested ways to keep our brains healthy are:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating properly
  • Not smoking
  • Challenging your mind with social interaction
  • Taking classes
  • Being aware of challenges that could lead to depression

If you would like to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like 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.

June is Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like 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.

Using A Mouth Guard For 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 do not 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. Trying 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.

According to WebMD, oral appliances may be an effective treatment option, such as:

  • Mandibular advancement device (MAD). The most widely used mouth device for sleep apnea, MADs look much like a mouth guard used in sports. The devices snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. Some, such as the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), allow you to control the degree of advancement.
  • Tongue retaining device. Used less commonly than MAD, this device is a splint that holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open.

These options are effective for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea, particularly those who sleep on their backs or stomachs, dental devices may improve sleep and reduce the frequency and loudness of snoring. Also, people are more likely to use their dental appliances regularly than CPAP.

These devices must be fitted by a Dentist or Orthodontist and worn in the mouth at night.

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and have not been helped by the CPAP, you can contact Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center to schedule a consultation with a Dentist to see if a mouth guard is a better option of treatment for you.  You can call, 718-206-6980 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.

Information On COVID-19 Third Dose

Since the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, over 43% of the population in New York has been fully vaccinated. This number is rising daily as age restrictions lower for those eligible to receive the vaccine are announced.

Still, the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be questioned by many members of our community. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is sharing the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to answer them.

Some commonly asked questions that people are asking:

  • Is the vaccine safe? The vaccines that are being distributed have undergone rigorous testing and have met the safety standards set forth by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Are there any side effects of this vaccine? The known side effects of the vaccines currently being distributed include soreness in the arm in which the vaccine was administered and some people have developed low grade fevers. Both of these only lasted less than 48 hours. There may be other side effects that we aren’t aware of yet.
  • Will the vaccine prevent me from getting COVID-19 ? This vaccine, like all other vaccines, will lessen the chances of getting the virus but is not 100 percent guaranteed to be effective for everyone.
  • How long will the vaccine be effective for? Until more time has passed and more people have been vaccinated, the CDC is not sure how long the vaccine will be effective for.

Most recently, there has been another question added which is:

Will there be a need for a third dose (booster) of the vaccine to maintain effectiveness? According to a recent CNBC report, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, “People “likely” need a a booster dose within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated.

Although the “booster” vaccine is not currently available, it is hopeful that it will be available sometime this year.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is committed to vaccinating member of its staff and the community with the hope of vaccinating enough of the population to finally eradicate this deadly virus.

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.