What is AFib?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib for short) is a condition where the heart beats in an irregular or quivering manner. Some people who have AFib describe the condition as feeling as if their heart skips a beat or is banging up against their chest wall, while others claim to experience no symptoms at all. According to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that over 2.7 million Americans live with AFib.

Cardiogram and heart

Under normal conditions, your heart pumps blood from the top chambers, (atria) to the bottom chambers, (ventricles) in a coordinated rhythm. But for those with AFib, the electrical signals that control this system are off-kilter. Instead of working together, the atria are out of sync. The result is a fast, fluttering heartbeat.

If left untreated, AFib can lead to blood clots, stroke, or other heart-related complications, including heart failure.

In addition to feeling as if your heart is fluttering, other signs of AFib include:

  • General fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Faintness or confusion
  • Fatigue when exercising
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain or pressure

Anyone can have AFib, but it’s more common in people who are 60 or older or those with other heart problems or past heart surgeries. Family history as well as other underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, thyroid disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, obesity or sleep apnea may also contribute to the onset of AFib. Taking certain medication, smoking, and alcohol consumption can also raise the risk of AFib.

Treating AFib begins with proper diagnosis through a thorough examination which includes providing a comprehensive medical history and participating in a variety of tests, including an EKG, ECG or possibly an electrophysiology study.

If AFib is diagnosed, the goal for you and your doctor is to restore your heart to a normal rhythm and manage your risk factors of developing a stroke or other cardiac issues. This can be achieved through a variety of treatment options, including medications, as well as both surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Together you and your doctor can determine the best course of treatment.

If you are experiencing a fluttering heart, speak to your doctor immediately. If you do not have a doctor, yo make make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Cardiology at 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.

The Importance of an Annual Exam

Note of doctor appointment on calendar

A.  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.

What Are Your Chances of Developing Heart Disease and Ways to Reduce Risks

Heart disease Doctors Queens The term heart disease is used to describe a range of conditions that affect heart function. Some of the most common types of heart disease are coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  It is the cause of approximately one in every four deaths. These numbers are alarming and may affect you if you are at risk of developing certain heart conditions.

Your chances of developing heart disease are determined by risk factors you may or may not be able to control.  Risk factors that you can control (modifiable) are:

  • Obesity
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Risk factors that you cannot control (non-modifiable) are:

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Gender

Whether your risks are modifiable or non-modifiable, the good news is, there are many things you can do to lower the chances or prevent heart disease from developing.

  • Eating a healthy diet- Eating a moderate and well- balanced diet can help with obesity. Additionally, it can reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension which have been linked to heart disease.
  • Quit smoking – Smoking damages the lining of the arteries and compromises the function of the heart. Quitting smoking will not only benefit your heart but other organs that can also be affected by tobacco smoke.
  • Exercising- Exercising as recommended can help regulate blood pressure, keep arteries and blood vessels flexible and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Moderating alcohol consumption- Excessive alcohol consumption can harm your heart and lead to heart failure, high blood pressure as well as cardiac arrhythmia.

In addition to applying healthy lifestyle changes to your daily routine, it is also helpful to schedule annual physical exams to ensure that your body is functioning normally. To schedule an appointment with a doctor 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.

World Heart Day

September 29th has been designated as “World Heart Day”. This observance serves to bring international attention to the dangers of cardiovascular disease. According to the World Heart Federation, over 17.3 million deaths occur each year due to cardiovascular disease. By the year 2030 it is expected that this number will rise to 23 million. This makes it the leading cause of death in the world. The most common cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease (heart attack) and cerebrovascular disease (stroke).
Ways to control heart disease and protect the heart:
• Keep active – a minimum of 30 minutes a day of physical activity or exercise
• Do not smoke – if you do smoke, quit and if you don’t smoke, don’t start
• Healthy eating – A healthy diet includes fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish
• Maintain a healthy weight – keep away from food that is high in sodium and sugar or contains unsaturated fat
• Keep blood pressure under control
• Take medication as prescribed to control cholesterol, pressure, and diabetes if present
It is very important to know the warning signs of heart disease.  For instance, a person who is experiencing a heart attack will often experience chest pain (fullness, squeezing, pressure), discomfort in areas of the upper body ( neck, jaw, arms, back), shortness of breath, and may also experience nausea, lightheadedness, and cold sweats. A person who is experiencing a stroke may have sudden trouble seeing, sudden confusion, a severe headache, loss of balance, trouble speaking, and sudden numbness and weakness of the face, arms and legs that is often just one sided.
It is very important to receive a medical check – up at least once a year to ensure that your heart is healthy. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

Heat Waves and Heart Health

thermometer. 3dAs the temperature increases so does the risk of having complications linked to heart disease.   Extreme summer heat can be dangerous for people who suffer from cardiovascular issues.  Studies show that cardiovascular deaths are more frequent during heat waves and complications are usually triggered by dehydration.

Dehydration can occur because of excess sweating. If the body is overheating, an increase in the production of sweat is needed to keep it cool.  In order to meet this demand, the heart has to work harder and faster to pump more blood to your skin. Dehydration also affects normal blood flow because a lack of fluid causes blood to thicken.  If the body cannot cool itself and strain is put on the heart, a person can suffer from heat stroke, heart attack or heart failure.

If the following symptoms of heat-related illness or exhaustion are present, it is recommended that medical attention is sought right away:

  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Weakness
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Confusion
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Unconsciousness

There are several steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart complications during extreme heat:

  • Keep hydrated- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. However, stay clear of beverages that may dehydrate you such as teas, alcohol or coffee.
  • Take cool baths or showers to help body keep cool.
  • Wear cool and loose fitting clothing.
  • Do not exercise or perform rigorous physical activity during extreme heat.
  • Stay in cooler environments

It is always important to remember to follow the suggested precautions to stay safe during the summer heat.

 

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 This Job Killing Me?

Nervous businesswoman pulling her hair out

Some workplace stress is normal, but excessive stress can interfere with productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, you can lose confidence, and become irritable or withdrawn.

Health issues that can be caused by excessive stress are:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal problems

How you manage your stress is one way of avoiding the negative health impacts of a stressful lifestyle. By realizing that not being able to control everything in your work environment does not mean you are powerless, you can find ways to manage your workplace stress without rethinking career ambitions.

Some quick, office stress relievers are:

  • Take a short walk
  • Drink water
  • Stretch
  • Make a plan or to-do list
  • Unplug from email and social media
  • Breathe
  • Act rather than react
  • Ask for help

One of the best ways of coping with stress is to identify what your stress triggers are. Once you have identified them, you can find ways to resolve them.

If using these steps to relieve your feelings of being stressed is not helping, you may want to consult a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry. Call 718-206-7160 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.

Lamb Kebabs and Lima Bean Salad

lamb-kebabs-lima-beans_300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Lima Bean Respect Day is observed on April 20.  Lima beans are a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  Lima beans can increase energy levels by helping to restore iron.  They are delicious in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, by themselves or mixed with other vegetables.

In honor of National Lima Bean Respect Day, try this easy and delicious Lamb Kebabs and Lima Bean Salad recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3/2 pound boneless lamb top round steak or shoulder chop, cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges (stem end left intact)
  • 1 pound frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 ounce Feta, crumbled (1/4cup)
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, make the vinaigrette: whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Transfer half the vinaigrette to another medium brown, add the lamb and toss to coat.
  3. Heat broiler. Thread the lamb, lemon and onion onto the skewers and place on a broiler-proof baking sheet.  Broil 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  4. Add the beans and 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water and cook until the beans are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water, drain well and add to the bowel with the remaining vinaigrette.  Add the Feta, olives and mint and toss to combine.  Serve with the kebabs

 

Serves:                 4

Total Time:         40 min

For this and other easy recipes visit –

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/lamb-kebabs-with-lima-bean-salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Zika

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.

What we DO know:

  • Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
  • Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
  • You can become infected by a male sex partner
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
  • Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

What we DO NOT know:

  • How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
  • How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
  • If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
  • If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission

If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel.  Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.

If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.

For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

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.

What do you rely on most for maintaining a healthy heart?

 

health-mind-map-jane-genovese

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.   Exercise

2.  Balanced diet

3. Getting plenty of sleep

4.  Reducing stress

5.  All of the above

Answer – 5- All of the above

Although the American Heart Association recommends for overall cardiovascular health – at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes with a moderate to high intensity muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional benefits, best results are gained when exercise is combined with a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest and reducing stress .

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.