Foods To Avoid Before Bed

Having Trouble Sleeping- Sleep Specialists in Queens, New York

Our late-night food options can negatively affect the quality of our slumber and contribute to a loss of sleep. Therefore, if we want to get a good night’s rest, there are certain foods we should avoid.

The following foods are either: acidic, fatty, spicy or difficult to digest. They may also contain high amounts of sugars or stimulants.  It is best that we do not consume them right before going to bed.

  • Cruciferous vegetables-   Broccoli, kale cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables contain large amounts of insoluble fiber, making them difficult to digest. Complex sugars found in these food items can also contribute to bloating and gas.
  • Red meat- Beef, lamb, veal and other types of red meat are all high in protein and fat which require our bodies to work harder during digestion.  Our bodies will be focused more on breaking down these foods than sleeping.
  • Cured meats and cheeses- Food such as prosciutto, salami or Gouda cheese contain tyramine an amino acid that can make us alert.
  • Caffeinated food- Large amounts of caffeine can be found in dark chocolate, certain sodas or coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps us alert and remains in our system for hours.
  • Spicy food- Chemicals in spicy foods can upset our stomachs, cause heartburn or raise our core body temperature, making us restless throughout the night.   Therefore, think twice before using hot sauce or eating spicy cuisine before bed.
  • Alcohol- Studies have shown that alcohol is disruptive to our sleep cycles.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, alcohol “blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.”  Alcohol also suppresses breathing which can lead to sleep apnea.

A good night’s sleep is important to our health. Taking small steps such as being smart about the foods we consume can improve our quality of sleep, allowing us to be more energetic and productive when we are awake.

 If you have questions about how diet or other lifestyle habits may affect your sleep, please call 718-206-5916 to speak with a sleep specialist 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.

Worry vs. Anxiety- What Is The Difference?

Treating Anxiety At Jamaica Hospital

Although many use the words worry and anxiety interchangeably; the two are very different psychological states.    

According to Psychology Today, “Worry tends to be more focused on thoughts in our heads, while anxiety is more visceral in that we feel it throughout our bodies.”

When we worry, our thoughts are often caused by realistic or specific concerns we can resolve by problem solving. An example of a worrying thought is “If I don’t study hard enough, I will not pass my test.”  Once you have identified the problem and arrived at the solution- which is to study hard; you are likely to move on from this thought and diminish worry.

On the other hand, when we are experiencing anxiety, our thoughts can be irrational or vague. They can linger for extended periods of time and can impact our lives in a negative way.  An example of this is persistently thinking something will go wrong every time you take a test.  As a result, you may experience fear or other emotions that will cause your body to react negatively.

Worry and anxiety affect our bodies in different ways.   Because worrying tends to be temporary, the effects are mild. You may experience short-term emotional distress or tension. The physical reactions caused by anxiety, however, can be more intense. Someone with anxiety may experience symptoms such as tightness in the chest, an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, headaches, trembling, gastrointestinal problems or trouble sleeping.

The symptoms of anxiety can serve as warning signs of serious health conditions such as anxiety disorder, panic attack or depression.  You should speak with a doctor if symptoms are persistent and interfere with daily activities.

A mental health professional can diagnose anxiety by performing a psychological examination.  Treatment may involve medication and psychotherapy.

To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional 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.

Heart Valve Disease

Heart Valve Disease

Our hearts have four valves:  the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves.  They work together to keep blood flowing in the correct direction; through the heart’s chambers and to the rest of the body. 

Heart valve disease occurs when one or more of our heart valves do not work properly, disrupting the flow of blood throughout our bodies.  This disease can be congenital (developing before birth) or acquired (developing after birth). Heart valve disease can lead to serious complications such as stroke, heart failure, blood clots, heart rhythms abnormalities or death.

The three main problems encountered in heart valve disease are:

  • Stenosis- which occurs when the flaps of a heart valve do not fully open due to the thickening of valve tissue. This makes the heart work harder to pump blood which can lead to heart failure. Stenosis can develop as a result of a buildup of calcium or other deposits on the valves. 
  • Regurgitation – this happens when the valve doesn’t close all the way. If our valves do not close correctly this will cause blood to leak backward into the heart and less blood to flow to our bodies.
  • Atresia- this is present at birth and occurs as a result of the valve not being developed. Instead of a valve, a piece of tissue forms that restricts the flow of blood.

Stenosis and regurgitation can be caused by pre-existing heart conditions, age-related changes, rheumatic fever or infections. There are no known causes for atresia.

Some people with heart valve disease may not experience symptoms during the early stages of the disease. When symptoms present they can include:

  • A heart murmur or an unusual heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Swollen ankles, feet or belly

Several factors can increase the risk of heart valve disease. Risk factors include:

  • Older age ( As you age your heart valves become stiffer and thicker)
  • A history  of infective endocarditis
  • Rheumatic fever resulting from an untreated strep infection
  • Heart conditions present at birth
  • Atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque inside the arteries),  heart attack, advanced heart failure or other conditions that can cause harm to the heart valves

If you are experiencing symptoms of heart valve disease, you should inform your doctor.   A physical examination will be conducted during which your doctor will listen for a heart murmur.  Your doctor may order a series of diagnostic tests such as an echocardiography, chest X-ray, cardiac MRI or electrocardiogram to evaluate your heart’s health. 

Treatment for heart valve disease may include surgery or medications. Your doctor will most likely recommend that you make heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

To schedule an appointment with a  cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7100.

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.

Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery Laser eye surgery is one of the most popular, elective vision correction surgery procedures performed in the United States.   It is estimated that over 10 million people have received laser eye surgery since it was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999.

While there are different types of laser eye surgery procedures, laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most commonly utilized to correct the vision of people who are nearsighted, farsighted or diagnosed with astigmatism. LASIK surgery involves the use of a laser to reshape the tissue underneath the cornea, allowing it to focus light properly and improve vision.

Other types of laser eye procedures include photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) eye surgery- best for those with mild or moderate vision problems and laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)-a good option for those with thin corneas or at an increased risk for eye injuries.

LASIK remains the most commonly performed procedure due to its efficiency and the potential benefits patients could receive. These benefits may include:

  • Shorter recovery times
  • Improved vision
  • Long-lasting results
  • Eliminating or minimizing the need for contacts or glasses.

Along with the benefits, there are certain complications patients should consider before opting for surgery.   Although rare, complications can include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Glares, halos or double vision
  • Discomfort
  • Dry eyes
  • Flap problems
  • Infection
  • Overcorrection, undercorrection or regression of vision

Choosing an experienced doctor can minimize the risk of complications. According to the FDA, if you are considering surgery; you should compare doctors (choose surgeons who have performed several procedures and meet industry standards). Do not base your decision simply on cost, and be wary of eye centers that guarantee 20/20 vision.

To speak with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital about laser surgery, please call 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.

Honoring A Son’s Legacy

Jamaica hospital hospice One day in 2016, Jacqueline Messina received a phone call no mother wants to receive.  Her son Anthony was in the ICU and she needed to come to Jamaica Hospital.

When she arrived she couldn’t believe her eyes. Anthony was sedated and on a ventilator. He was not the 24-year-old boisterous young man she knew; he was unresponsive. While they hoped and prayed daily with Father Andre that he would wake up and return to his family after rehabilitation, the prognosis grew worse as the days past.  His brain injuries were escalating versus improving.  The hospital’s Palliative Care team came to visit her in the ICU and she completely went silent.  Jacqueline had no idea what the words “palliative care” even meant.

“It was an extremely difficult moment for our family. Who anticipates palliative and hospice care? We sat his brothers down and explained the next steps, but in our hearts, we were still confused about how his life was ending, a parent never imagines this.” One additional factor was Anthony’s grandmother.  “They were so close and she was diagnosed with breast cancer the day of his accident,” shared Jacqueline.  “I remember us trying to be strong for her despite my heart breaking because I was worried about how losing Anthony would affect her health and upcoming treatment.”

“I am not sure we could have endured this experience on our own. Thankfully we had the support of everyone on Jamaica Hospital’s hospice unit. They did so much to help my husband and boys as well as Anthony’s grandmother. They made sure the rest of our family and friends were well cared for,” she said.

Hours before his passing, Anthony was admitted to Jamaica Hospital’s Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care after being transferred from the ICU.  Jacqueline did not know what to expect,   “I was anxious at first.  I must have asked a million questions.”

Jacqueline’s anxieties subsided when she was greeted by a warm staff that addressed her concerns and treated her with compassion. They ensured her that Anthony was in good hands and they would do everything they could to make him comfortable. “The level of service we received was outstanding. The staff did more than what was needed during his time with us and after. They were amazing,” said Jacqueline.

Jamaica Hospital Hospice

Jacqueline Messina

The staff’s devotion to Anthony and his family inspired Jacqueline to give back. She donates to the hospice every year in honor of her son’s legacy.  “When Anthony died, I wanted to make sure others had the same comfort that he did.  This is why I work hard every year to accumulate volunteer hours of which my company Bloomberg L.P.  converts into funds for charity.  The program is called “Dollars for Your Hours” and I proudly support the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care with this gift,” shared Jacqueline.

The Ferrara Family for Hospice Care provides comfort care for those with life-limiting illnesses. Great pride is taken by their staff in providing patients and families with quality medical services as well as the emotional and spiritual support needed to help them through a challenging time.

To donate to the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/ways-to-give/

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 Importance of Knowing Your Family Medical History

family medical historyDiseases such as diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s and cancer are known to run in families.   Members of your family share certain genetic traits that can serve as clues in assessing your risk of developing hereditary diseases. That is why it is important to know your family’s medical history.

The more you know about your family’s medical history, the better. Try to gather as much information as you can from blood relatives. You can do so by reaching out and letting family members know why you are collecting this information.

When gathering your family’s medical history, there are a few key components you should include. They are:

  • Major medical issues and conditions  that run in the family
  • Age of onset ( When each member of your family was diagnosed with a medical condition)
  • Causes of death
  • Ethnic backgrounds ( Some ethnicities are more at risk for developing certain diseases than others)
  • Environment ( Families  may  share common environments that can have an impact on their health)

If you are unable to obtain this information from family members, documents such as death certificates may provide some answers.

Be sure to record information in a safe place and share it with other members of your family. You should also share the information collected with your doctor who may recommend screening tests for conditions you may be at risk for developing.

Although you cannot change your genetic makeup, knowing your family’s history can help you take the steps needed to reduce your risk of inherited diseases. If applicable, you can stop smoking, lose weight change your diet, exercise more frequently or reduce the amount of alcohol you consume to lower your risk.

 

 

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.

Blepharitis

Eye doctor in QueensBlepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid- typically involving the part of the lid where our lashes grow.   It is a disorder that can affect anyone of any age; however, people with oily skin, dandruff or rosacea are more prone to getting infections.

There are several possible factors that can contribute to blepharitis, including:

  • A buildup of bacteria
  • Dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
  • Clogged or malfunctioning oil glands of the eyelids
  • Eyelash mites or lice
  • Allergic reactions to eye makeup, eye medications or contact lens solutions.
  • Rosacea

Blepharitis can result in the following complications:

  • Excess tearing or dry eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Crusty debris at the base of the eyelid
  • Loss of lashes
  • A sty
  • Chronic pink eye
  • A chalazion ( a blockage of an oil gland at the margin of the eyelid)
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red and swollen eyes or eyelids
  • Scarring of the eyelids

Unfortunately, there is no cure for blepharitis but there are a number of treatments used to control symptoms.  Treatments an eye doctor may prescribe or recommend include:

  • Warm compresses
  • Eyelid scrubs
  • Medications such as antibiotics to fight infection
  • Medications such as steroid eye drops or ointments to control inflammation
  • Medications to treat underlying conditions such as dandruff or rosacea
  • Procedures to remove mites or open clogged glands

Practicing good eyelid hygiene tips can help to reduce the risk of inflammation.   Doctors recommend practicing daily self-care regimens which can involve applying a warm compress to break down the buildup of debris, cleaning your eyelids daily with a solution such as baby wash diluted with water or using dandruff- controlling shampoos.

If you are experiencing symptoms of blepharitis and would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call  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.

What You Should Know About the Outbreaks Associated with Using E-cigarette Products

e-cigarette dangersAccording to a recent alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “over 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported.”  The number of cases is expected to grow while the CDC conducts its investigation.

E-cigarettes are devices used to inhale an aerosol that may contain nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol or other chemicals.  Research has indicated that e-cigarettes can also contain harmful substances such as lead and diacetyl (A flavoring chemical linked to lung disease).

E-cigarettes are known by different names such as vapes, vaping pens, mods, e- hookahs, tank systems or e-cigs. Patients involved in the CDC’s investigation have reported a history of using these or similar devices, and have experienced the following symptoms associated with severe pulmonary disease:

  • Chest pain, cough or shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Several state health departments have also reported deaths linked to the illness.  So far, five deaths have been confirmed.

Although all cases in the investigation have been linked to the use of e-cigarette products, the exact cause of the epidemic is unknown. Until a cause for the vaping- related illness is identified, the CDC is asking consumers to consider not using e-cigarette products.

Consumers should consider the agency’s recommendation as other serious health complications have been recently linked to e-cigarette products.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an investigation involving e-cigarette users experiencing seizures or other neurological symptoms.   The agency is asking those experiencing seizures, tremors or fainting related to vaping to consult their physician and submit a report online.

If you are an e-cigarette user and are experiencing symptoms associated with lung disease or neurological complications, please speak with your doctor.   To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy SymptomsMany people enjoy spending time outside during the summer. With more time spent outdoors, there is an increased risk of exposure to plants that can cause allergic reactions.  The most common plants of this kind are poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac; all of which grow in wooded or vegetated areas and contain urushiol.

Urushiol is an oily resin found in the leaves, stems and roots of each plant. When this substance comes in contact with our skin, it can lead to a reaction we know as poison ivy rash. An allergic reaction typically occurs 24 to 48 hours after exposure and symptoms can last up to two or three weeks.  Symptoms can be mild or severe and may include:

  • Redness
  • Blistering
  • Itching
  • Swelling

There are several ways to minimize our exposure and reaction to plants that can cause poison ivy rash.  We can:

  • Learn to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac
  • Steer clear of these plants by avoiding areas in which they grow
  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants
  • Immediately wash areas that have been exposed with soap and water
  • Bathe pets that have been exposed

Approximately 60 to 80% of people who are exposed to urushiol will have a reaction.  For mild cases, taking cool showers and applying soothing topical treatments such as calamine lotion is recommended.  In severe cases, doctors may prescribe pills or creams that contain steroids or antihistamines.

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.

Conditions That Can Affect Your Sense of Smell

Ear Nose and Throat Doctor in Jamaica Queens Every year, thousands of people lose their ability to smell.  According to the National Institutes of Health, 12% of adults in the United States have had some loss of their sense of smell.

A loss of smell can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.  Because smell and taste are linked, most people with a smell disorder are unable to properly taste their food.  Most importantly, they may not be able to detect smells that warn of danger such as smoke or gas.

The inability to smell is typically the result of a problem occurring in the nose, brain or nervous system. One’s loss of smell can be partial or reduced (hyposmia) or complete (anosmia).  In both cases, a loss of smell can be temporary or permanent.

Several conditions can lead to hyposmia; they include:

  • Colds
  • Nasal allergies
  • Flu
  • Hay fever
  • Sinus infection
  • Deviated septum
  • Hormonal imbalances

Anosmia can develop as a result of:

  • Head trauma
  • Upper respiratory viral infections
  • Nasal/ sinus diseases
  • Nasal polyps
  • Bone deformities of the nose
  • Alzheimer’s disease

If you have lost or have had a decline in your ability to smell, you should see a doctor immediately.   Your doctor can perform a physical examination, review your medical history and request a series of tests to determine possible causes. Treatment for smell disorders is based on underlying causes and can include medication or surgery.

To schedule an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7110.

 

 

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.