Ovarian Cysts

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office Of Women’s Health defines ovarian cysts as fluid-filled sacs in the ovary.  Ovarian cysts are common and usually form during ovulation. Most women will develop cysts at least once in their lifetime.

The two most common types of ovarian cysts are follicle and corpus luteum cysts. Other cysts that are less common include endometriomas, dermoids, and cystadenomas.

Anyone born female is at risk for developing ovarian cysts; however, the risk factor is higher with

  • Previous ovarian cysts
  • Hormonal problems
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe pelvic infections
  • Endometriosis

In most cases, ovarian cysts are symptomless and do not lead to further complications. They typically disappear within a few months without treatment. However, if cysts continue to grow and become enlarged, twisted, or ruptured, symptoms such as pelvic pain, bloating, painful intercourse, and pain in the lower back or thighs can occur.  Cysts can also lead to complications such as infertility.

If you are experiencing symptoms, speak with your doctor.  If cysts are discovered after a thorough examination and testing, your doctor will determine the course of treatment based on the type of cyst and severity.  Medication or surgery may be recommended.

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.

Debunking Acne Treatment Myths

We have all heard acne treatment myths at some point in our lives. Among the most common is the belief that toothpaste is an effective remedy for treating pimples.  The opposite is true.  While there are some ingredients in toothpaste that might seem effective in shrinking bumps, there are others that can do far more harm than good, and cause damage to the skin.

The myth that toothpaste could be used as a treatment for acne may have gained popularity when most products contained triclosan, an antifungal and antibacterial agent. Many manufacturers today no longer include this ingredient in toothpaste because studies suggest that it could negatively affect our health.

Triclosan has been removed from most toothpaste but there are still other ingredients included that prove beneficial for our teeth but harmful to our skin. These are:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Menthol
  • Flouride
  • Sodium benzoate

Using these substances on the skin can make acne worse or result in allergic reactions that include swelling, redness, or itching.

Another popular myth involves using ice to treat pimples.  While applying ice may work in temporarily alleviating symptoms such as redness, swelling, and pain in inflammatory types of acne; it has little or no effect on other types of pimples that are non-inflammatory such as blackheads or whiteheads.

It is also important to keep in mind that using ice does not treat the contents (oil, bacteria, debris, and dead skin) inside a pimple.  Additionally, applying ice for long periods to the skin can lead to rosacea, dilated blood vessels, tissue damage, or frostbite.

Damage to our skin and other complications can be avoided by using dermatologist-approved products that are intended for skin care.  They contain ingredients that have been tested and recommended by professional organizations such as the American Academy of Dermatology.

If you choose to use more natural remedies, speak with your dermatologist about their risks and benefits before applying them to your skin.

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist 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.

Latchkey Incontinence

The term “latchkey incontinence” is often used to describe a person’s constant and urgent need to urinate the moment they get home. Although the term is popular, it is not generally used in medical terminology.

A person with latchkey incontinence is most likely experiencing symptoms of an overactive bladder or OAB. Overactive bladder is a combination of symptoms that causes frequent urination, uncontrollable urination or nocturia (waking up to urinate more than two times at night).

With OAB, the urge to urinate may intensify with certain triggers such as inserting the key in the door, opening the garage door, or any behaviors that indicate to the brain that you are getting closer to home.  Over time, if this pattern continues, the brain will associate these behaviors or cues with the need to urinate and trigger the urge to go whether the bladder is full or not.  Other OAB triggers may include having the urgent need to urinate when hearing running water or while washing your hands.

OAB typically develops as a result of conditions or injuries that affect the detrusor muscle in the bladder. These conditions or injuries may include:

  • Nerve damage caused by diseases such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Hormonal changes such as menopause
  • Obesity

It is important to seek treatment for OAB because it will not go away on its own and symptoms may become more severe. Treatment may include behavioral interventions or changes such as scheduling bathroom trips, pelvic floor exercises, or bladder training. These therapies may be followed by medication, nerve stimulation, or potentially surgery if symptoms persist.

If you are experiencing symptoms of OAB, please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment with a urologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical 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.

Building Mental Resilience

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as, “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences.”  In other words, it is our ability to effectively manage our psychological health and adapt to challenging life events.

Building mental resilience or strength helps us to cope with loss, trauma, stress, or other difficulties in a healthy way.  Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Resilience can help protect you from various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.”

Here are a few tips you can try to help build mental resilience:

  • Have a positive mindset
  • Build strong and positive relationships
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Practice meditation
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques
  • Accept change
  • Take care of yourself
  • Take a break
  • Be proactive
  • Remain hopeful
  • Build self-esteem

It is important to remember that being resilient does not equate to being unaffected by stressors in life. You may still experience emotions that correlate with challenging events; however, resilience can help you to better adapt or recover.

Building resilience will take some time and practice; therefore, being patient is key. Everyone’s experience with building resilience is unique. What may work for one person, may not work for the other.

If you continue to feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate to seek help from a mental health provider. To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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 You Should Know About The Novavax Adjuvanted COVID Vaccine

The Novavax vaccine, Adjuvanted was recently authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 12 years of age and older.  It is the fourth vaccine to receive authorization in the U.S. along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine packages harmless proteins of the COVID-19 virus alongside another ingredient called an adjuvant that helps the immune system respond to the virus in the future.”

Adjuvanted is found to be 90% effective against COVID. It is used for primary vaccinations, meaning it has not been authorized for use as a booster.

The vaccine is given in two doses, three weeks apart. It is given as an injection in the muscle. Mixing Adjuvanted with other COVID-19 vaccines is not recommended at this time.

As with other vaccines, there are side effects associated with Adjuvanted.  The most common side effects include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the injection site
  • Injection site redness or swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills

Myocarditis and pericarditis, conditions caused by an inflammation of the heart, have occurred in a few clinical trial participants.

Although potential side effects can occur after receiving a COVID vaccine, the CDC advises that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. Vaccines remain the most effective form of protection against infection.

It is important to remember that information about COVID-19 is constantly changing as we learn more about the virus. We encourage you to visit the CDC for updates.

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.

Anxiety Triggers

Anxiety is defined by the National Library of Medicine as, “a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness.” Having these feelings occasionally is normal; however, they become a health concern when they are excessive and interfere with the ability to live a normal life.

The exact cause of anxiety is still not fully understood, but it is believed that the following factors play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental stress
  • Brain chemistry
  • Certain medical conditions

Although the exact cause of anxiety is unknown, there are certain triggers such as life events, lifestyle changes, or daily habits that can lead to or worsen this response. These include:

  • Financial insecurity
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Meeting new people
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Exposure to violence
  • Taking certain medications
  • Substance misuse
  • Loneliness or isolation

Anxiety triggers are unique to each individual. However, the most important steps anyone affected by anxiety can take is identifying what their triggers are and learning how to cope with them.  Here are a few tips for coping with anxiety:

  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Exercise
  • Use stress management or relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing
  • Maintain good sleep health
  • Try to minimize negative thoughts and think positively
  • Journal or write down your thoughts
  • Speak to someone about how your feeling
  • Adhere to your treatment plan

Anxiety affects many people, and no one should feel ashamed if they struggle with the disorder or other mental health disorders.  If you or someone you know is affected by anxiety, consult a mental health professional to explore possible causes and treatments.  Your mental health provider may recommend lifestyle changes,  psychotherapy, or medication.

To schedule an appointment with a mental health provider at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

The Emergency Contraceptive Pill

The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), often referred to as the “Morning After Pill”, is a type of emergency birth control used to prevent pregnancy in women who have had unprotected sex or whose birth control method has failed.

Emergency contraceptive pills contain the medications levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate.  Both delay or prevent ovulation when taken within 72 to 120 hours after contraceptive failure or having unprotected sex.  Pills containing ulipristal acetate require a prescription and those made with levonorgestrel can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.

It is important to note that while effective, emergency contraceptive pills do not prevent all pregnancies. According to The American Academy of Family Physicians, “Emergency contraception is about 75 to 85 percent effective.” 

Furthermore, they are less effective when taken beyond the recommended time of 72 to 120 hours after intercourse. The sooner they are taken the better.

Emergency contraceptive pills are generally safe to take; however, they should not be used if:

  • You know you are or think you might already be pregnant
  • You have a history of abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • You are allergic to the ingredients

Other precautions to keep in mind are:  ECPs should only be taken as a form of backup contraception. They should not be used for routine birth control. Lastly, these pills cannot be used to terminate a pregnancy.

The side effects of emergency contraceptive pills are mild and may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Spotting (light bleeding)
  • Nausea or vomiting ( If you vomit within two hours after taking an emergency contraceptive pill, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if you should repeat the dose.)

If you are experiencing symptoms such as abnormally heavy or long-lasting vaginal bleeding, fevers or chills, pain during intercourse after taking ECPs, or missed periods within three weeks of taking the pill contact your doctor immediately.

To speak with a doctor at the Women’s Health Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-291-3276.

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.

Supplements And Drug Interactions

It is common for people to take dietary supplements while using prescribed medications.  However, many do not disclose this information to their doctors.

Informing your doctor of prescription and supplement usage is important because some supplements when combined with certain medications can cause interactions that endanger your health.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), warns against combining the following medications and supplements as doing so can result in adverse reactions:

  • Drugs for HIV/AIDS, heart disease, depression, treatments for organ transplants, and birth control pills are less effective when taken with St. John’s wort, an herbal supplement.
  • Warfarin (a prescription blood thinner), ginkgo biloba (an herbal supplement), aspirin, and vitamin E (a supplement) can each thin the blood. Taking any of these products together may increase the potential for internal bleeding or stroke.

Other examples of dietary supplement and prescription medication interactions are:

  • Goldenseal – it is highly advised that goldenseal not be combined with most over-the-counter and prescription medicines. It may interact with blood thinners, chemotherapy and HIV drugs.
  • Calcium- may interact with certain antibiotics, thyroid or osteoporosis drugs.
  • Co-Q10- may interact with blood thinners and cancer drugs.
  • Valerian- may interact with anti-anxiety drugs.

It is important to keep in mind that while many supplements are labeled as natural, they may not always be safe, especially when taken with certain medicines. The FDA advises patients to always consult with their physicians before taking any dietary supplement and medication combinations.

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.

Wearing Compression Socks During Long Flights

Staying seated during long-haul flights lasting four or more hours can slow down the flow of blood in the legs.

A slow-down in circulation can increase the risk of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins in the legs.  Pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when there is a blockage in the pulmonary arteries in the lungs.  This is most likely caused by a blood clot that traveled from the deep veins in the legs to the lungs.

DVT  and PE can lead to serious and potentially fatal complications.  However, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of developing these problems while flying, one of which is wearing compression socks.

Compression socks work by squeezing or placing pressure on the veins in the legs and feet. This helps with improving circulation and preventing blood from pooling in the veins.

Additional health benefits gained by wearing compression socks are:

  • They can help ease swelling in the feet
  • They can provide some relief to tired and achy feet
  • They can help improve lymphatic drainage

When purchasing a pair of compression socks, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • They have different levels of pressure, measured in mmHg
  • You likely have the wrong size if they feel too tight or painful

If you are flying for an extended period, consider wearing compression socks. But first, speak with your healthcare provider to decide if they are right for you. Compression socks may do more harm than good if not worn properly or if they do not fit correctly.

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.

Optimize Your Bedroom for A Good Night’s Sleep

One of the keys to achieving a good night’s rest is creating an environment that supports quality sleep.

There are a few factors to consider when cultivating that space. They include lighting, sound, tidiness, color, and temperature.

Here are a few ways you can optimize these elements to create a sleep-friendly bedroom:

  • Turn off all lights- This includes television lights, as well as lights from computers and phones. Exposure to light during sleep can throw off the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
  • Keep it quiet- Remove or turn off electronics and any other items that contribute to background noise. The only noise believed to help you sleep is white noise.
  • Clear clutter- Research shows that sleeping in a cluttered room can affect sleep and lead to anxiety or stress.
  • Choose paint colors that are conducive to sleep- Colors such as lavender, blue, silver and green are known to be calming. Whereas, colors such as purple and red are believed to be stimulating.
  • Sleep in cool temperatures- According to the Sleep Foundation, “The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.”

Following these recommendations can help you achieve quality sleep.  Sleep specialists also recommend sticking to a sleep schedule, avoiding heavy meals a few hours before bedtime, and exercising at least three hours before bed as habits you can apply to improve sleep health.

If you are having problems falling and staying asleep, please consult a sleep specialist.  To schedule an appointment with the Jamaica Hospital Sleep Center, call 718-206-5916.

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