Anxiety, Fatigue, Heat Intolerance and Other Telltale Signs of Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease, also referred to as Basedow’s disease is an immune system disorder that affects the thyroid gland.

The disease is caused by a malfunction in the body’s immune system that creates antibodies known as thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins (TSI); which attach themselves to healthy thyroid cells and mimics the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).   This causes the affected cells to work overtime in overproducing and releasing thyroid hormones.

When the body produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), it can have a negative impact and lead to symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, weight loss and anxiety. Many of these symptoms can be found in a person diagnosed with Graves’ disease along with the following common signs:

  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Changes or irregularities in menstrual cycles
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Fatigue
  • Bulging eyes (Graves’ ophthalmology)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Thick, red skin (Graves’ dermopathy)

Although it is possible for anyone to develop Graves’ disease, some people are more at risk than others. Factors that could increase the risk of the disease include:

  • Age- Individuals under the age of 40
  • Pregnancy- Pregnancy or recent childbirth in women who are genetically susceptible
  • Smoking- Smokers have an increased  risk of Graves’ ophthalmology because the immune system is compromised
  • Gender- Women are seven to eight times more likely to develop the disease than men
  • Living with other autoimmune disorders- People with diseases such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis  that compromise the immune system are  more  at risk

If you are at risk or experiencing symptoms, an endocrinologist, a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the body’s hormone- secreting glands can assess your medical history and conduct an examination.  If it is determined that you do have Graves’ disease, your doctor may recommend a course of treatment that is best for you.

There are typically three options for treating patients with Graves’ disease that include: medication, radioiodine therapy or thyroid surgery. The most common approach for treatment is radioiodine therapy.   In addition to treatment, your doctor may also suggest making changes in your lifestyle such as improving your diet.

To schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist 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.

Is Social Media Making Me Fat?

Have you ever wondered why when you see postings of food on social media that are pleasing to your eyes, you immediately begin to desire that food or think, “Gee, I’m hungry?

The human mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and subconscious mind.  The conscious mind works while we are awake, while the subconscious mind is always activated.  The subconscious mind regulates everything in our body, our character, our speech and receives and processes information. The food and beverage postings on social media speak directly to our conscious and subconscious mind.

According to researchers, 70 percent of household meals in America are influenced by digital media.  Pictures of food and beverages show up on news feeds 63 percent of the time.  One popular social media site noted that a widely used food hashtag marked photos of snacks and meals 54 million times on their site alone.

In addition to subliminally causing you to want to eat more food, studies have shown that people who spent two hours or more using a device with LED display, such as a smart phone or tablet, had a corresponding dip in melatonin levels.  Melatonin is the chemical that prepares your body for sleep. When we lose sleep, we can pack on extra pounds because there is a link between sleep loss and weight gain.  If you are awake for longer periods of time, you may be more inclined to reach for a late night snack or bag of chips.

Some steps you can take to curb your hunger and promote good health are:

  • Choose fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
  • Prepare your meals at home and limit dining out and processed on-the-go meals.
  • Try to avoid being distracted by TV, work, driving or surfing on your computer, phone or tablet while eating.
  • Regulate your social media feed, especially if the pictures of food and beverages make your stomach moan.

Obesity is on the rise because many factors, but keep in mind that you are in control and can make healthy choices to live a healthy life. It’s better to eat with your stomach and not with your eyes.

 

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.

Grandma’s Chicken Soup

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When you have a cold or flu, it is best to keep hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day.  A great way to keep hydrated, help relieve the symptomscongested nose and sore throat is to eat chicken soup.

Researchers believe that substances in chicken soup can help reduce the inflammation associated with a cold or flu.

If you would like to test the effects of chicken soup on your cold or flu you may want to try

Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe –

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups wide egg noodles

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

12 cups chicken broth

1 ½ tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup cornstarch

¼ cup water

3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat

Directions:

  1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add egg noodles and oil, boil for 8 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and rinse under cool running water.
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine broth, salt, and poultry seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in celery and onion.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water together until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to soup, stirring constantly.  Stir in noodles and chicken, and heat through.

Serves 12

For this and other easy, delicious recipes you may want to visit www.allrecipies.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.

Arthritis and Exercise

Man Exercising On Stationary Cycle

 

Did you know that if you have arthritis, exercise may benefit your bones, muscles and joints?

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or swim with the intensity of an Olympic competitor.  Low impact exercise can help improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. These exercises may include raising your arms over head or rolling your shoulders.

In conjunction with a treatment plan, exercise can:

  • Strengthen the muscles around your joints
  • Help you maintain bone strength
  • Give you more energy to get through the day
  • Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Help you control your weight
  • Improve your balance
  • Enhance your quality of life

Exercises can relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion.  It is always good to speak with your doctor about fitting exercise into your treatment plan.  The types of exercises that are best for you will depend on your type of arthritis and which joints are affected.

If you have arthritis and would like to explore adding exercise to your treatment plan, you can speak with one of the dozens of trained physicians at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center.  To make an appointment with a physician, 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.

What is Pre-Diabetes?

docpicAre you one of the estimated 54 million people in this country who have pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a silent health condition that has no symptoms and is almost always present before you develop type 2 diabetes.

It is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. If you haven’t visited your doctor, a good way to see if you are at increased risk for pre-diabetes is to take the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Diabetes risk test by visiting www.diabetes.org/risk.

Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older or those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Habitually physically inactive
  • Have previously been identified as having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are members of certain ethnic groups (including Asian, African-American, Hispanic or Native American)
  • Have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Have elevated blood pressure
  • Have elevated cholesterol
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have a history of vascular disease

That said, if you have pre-diabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by a sustained modest weight loss and increased moderate-physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day.

Through weight loss and increased physical activity, a dietitian may direct you on how to make food choices that cut down on the amount of fat and carbohydrates by:

  • Eating more foods that are broiled and fewer foods that are fried
  • Decrease the amount of butter you use in cooking
  • Eat more fish and chicken
  • Eat more meatless meals
  • Re-Orient your meals to reflect more vegetables and fruit

If you have symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision, you may have crossed from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes.

It’s best to consult a physician if you’re concerned about pre-diabetes or if you notice any type 2 diabetes signs or symptoms. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  To make an appointment, call 718-206-7001.

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

The Winter Itch

ItchyskinpicSeasonal itchiness is common when the cold, dry winter air takes moisture away from your skin.  The top layer of skin is made up of dead skin cells embedded in a mix of natural oils.  The oils in this skin layer help keep water inside the body and prevent irritants and germs from entering.  The dead cells and skin oils lock some water into the top layer, which keeps the skin soft and smooth. Cold, dry air can damage the top skin layer, allowing water in the skin to escape and cause small cracks that expose underlying cells to irritants and germs. This irritation may cause nerves in the skin to send “itch” signals to the brain.

Weather-related itching may be accompanied by other dry skin symptoms, such as dullness, flakiness, roughness and more visible fine lines. Fortunately, weather-related dry skin isn’t usually serious and is easily treated.

Some products from your local stores can help, such as:

  • Moisturizers: In the winter, the best types of moisturizers to use are the ones that are oil-based rather than water-based. These are thicker and create a protective layer on the skin that will retain moisture in your skin for longer periods of time.
  • Sunscreen: Despite the cold temperatures, you can still get sunburned during the winter, which will make your skin even drier. When you plan to be outside, apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 about 30 minutes before going out.  If you are out for longer periods of time reapply the sunscreen every couple of hours.
  • Gloves: Your hands are one part of your body that is exposed to the cold more often, so protect them whenever you can by wearing warm gloves.
  • Humidifier: Using a humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help counteract the effects of using heat in your home or office. Place the humidifier in rooms where you spend most of your time to get the best results.
  • Oatmeal: Take an oatmeal bath to soothe the itching. In addition to taking these soothing baths, refrain from taking very hot baths and showers in the winter. Instead use warm water and try not to stay in the bath or the shower for too long.

If the itchiness you are experiencing becomes severe or the skin begins to peel or crack significantly, you may have a skin disorder in addition to the typical dryness that occurs during colder months and should consult your physician.

If you itchy skin has become red and cracked, you may want to make an appointment with the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center.  It is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 718-670-XXXXfor 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.

How “Annual” Is Your Annual Physical?

HypertesionThinkstockPhotos-477722758A.  Yearly

B. Bi-Yearly

C. When I don’t feel good

D. I don’t do doctors

 

An annual exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship betweenyou and your doctor

If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 718-206-7001 for 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.

World Psoriasis Day – October 29 2015

October 29th has been designated  World Psoriasis Day by the International Federation of Psoriasis Association to raise awareness about this disease. It is estimated that worldwide there are 125 million people worldwide who have psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, reoccurring, immune related inflammatory disorder of the skin. It is believed to have a genetic component  which means it can run in families. The disease usually starts to appear in the younger years and continues into adulthood, and it affects men and women equally. There is no known cause other than it is triggered by a malfunctioning of the immune system.  Psoriasis is unsightly but is not contagious.

Psoriasis presents as reddish plaques on the skin with silvery scales. These lesions can be very painful and itchy. It can also affect the joints (psoriatic arthritis) which can cause physical and functional deformity. There is no cure for the disease, but treatments do exist that make the skin lesions less painful and less visible.
To make an appointment a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital’s ambulatory care center  please call    718-206-7001.Psoriasis

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.

VEGAN CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUPN (GLUTEN FREE)

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For a creamy and vegan pumpkin soup recipe sprinkled with almonds and fresh rosemary, try the recipe below.

Serves: 3

Prep time – 5 minutes

Cook time – 25 minutes

Total time – 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, diced
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½-1 cup coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add pumpkin and garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes.
  2. Add rosemary and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until pumpkin is soft and cooked through. Add salt to taste.
  3. Puree soup in a blender (in batches) and return to the pot.
  4. Add coconut milk and simmer for another minute or two.

Give this recipe a try. It is simply delicious and healthy too.

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

September 13th – National Celiac Disease Awareness Day

ThinkstockPhotos-538179807Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine, preventing the absorption of nutrients from food. It is triggered by the consumption of a protein called gluten, which can be found in wheat, barley, and rye. Approximately one percent of the population suffers from celiac disease and it affects men and women across all ages and races.

Symptoms vary depending on the age of onset, but in general, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance as it is also known, generally results in: abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, lethargy, irritability and depression.

Children with celiac disease fail to gain weight and have a late onset of puberty. Adults with the disease also can develop anemia, joint and bone pain, arthritis, itchy rash, and mouth sores.

Accurately diagnosing celiac disease is difficult because the symptoms are similar to other diseases, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious health risks including infertility, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other auto-immune diseases.

Currently, there is no medication to cure celiac disease. The only way to treat the disease is through a strict, life-long gluten free diet, which means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley. Despite these restrictions, many people with celiac disease can still enjoy a well-balanced diet, with a variety of foods including bread and pasta. Due to increased awareness of celiac disease, there are many gluten-free alternatives now available; in fact sales of gluten-free products are expected to exceed $5 billion in 2015.

September 13th is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. If you think you or a loved one has celiac disease, make an appointment with your doctor. A series of blood tests can help determine if you have it. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, together, you, your doctor, and your family can map out a plan to help you live a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle.

If you do not have a doctor, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Family Medicine Center to schedule an appointment at 718-657-7093.

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.