How to Prevent Dehydration During the Summer Heat

With the summer and warmer weather upon us causing more and more people to begin to participate in outdoor activities. Before you begin, make sure you drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated:

  • The rule that you need to drink eight glasses of water per day is a myth. The Institute of Medicine recommends women should receive 2.2 liters of fluid intake per day and men should get three liters. Keep in mind that fluid intake can come from beverages other than water.
  • While thirst is your body’s way of preventing dehydration, being thirsty doesn’t mean that you are dehydrated. Thirst is our brain’s way of telling us to drink more to avoid dehydration.
  • The color of your urine is a good, real-time indicator of dehydration, but the misconception is that urine should be clear. In truth, urine should be a pale-yellow color.
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea will not dehydrate you if consumed in moderate amounts. Caffeine is considered a mild diuretic, the amount of water in it offsets the amount of fluid it will cause you to lose through increased urination.
  • Drinking isn’t the only way of increasing your water intake. It is estimated that we get up to 20% of our daily water intake from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables contain the most, with cucumbers, celery, and watermelon having the highest concentration of water.
  • There is also such a thing as drinking too much water and becoming overhydrated. This can be very dangerous and can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue. To avoid this problem, do not drink to the point that you are full from water alone.

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 Benefits Of Using A Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician (or PCP) is typically your first point of contact when you needed non-emergency medical treatment. They are trained to treat most conditions and if they can’t provide care, they can help you find a specialist best suited to help you.

Unfortunately, fewer people today are utilizing the services of a PCP.  Studies have determined that the rate of American adults with a primary care doctor has steadily declined over the last decade. The most recent data suggests that one quarter of Americans currently do not have a primary care physician.

jamaica hospital primary care physician

There are multiple factors that can account for this trend. One reason is our ability to research and self-diagnose illness on the internet. Another factor is the recent proliferation of ‘urgent care centers” where individuals can seek convenient care. While both of these advents do have their benefits, neither should take the place of a primary care physician.

There are many benefits to having a primary care physician, including:

  • Familiarity – Simply put, your PCP knows you best. Through regular appointments, they will get to know you, understand the intricacies of your health, and develop a trust that will foster communication and allow them to provide more personalized care.
  • Comprehensive care– Your PCP is usually your first point of contact for care. They are familiar with your medical history and know what questions to ask to ensure that you receive appropriate care.
  • Prevention and management – Your PCP is not only responsible for treating you when you are sick. By conducting routine screenings, they can monitor for the existence of any potential chronic conditions or diseases and help you manage and treat them once detected.
  • Coordination – While a PCP is trained to manage most physical and mental health conditions, they also understand when specialty care is necessary.  They can provide referrals to experts and serve as a hub to ensure that information is appropriately shared between providers.

It has been found that those who have a PCP receive more preventative screenings and better management of chronic conditions. They also require fewer visits to the Emergency Department, are hospitalized less and generally live longer, healthier lives. 

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician at Jamaica Hospital’s Family Medicine Center, please call 718-206-6942.

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.

Tips on How to Prevent Getting Sick on a Plane

Tips to prevent getting sick on a plane

The chances of getting sick on a plane are high (especially during cold and flu season) because you are in close contact with fellow travelers and exposed to surfaces that may not be properly sanitized.  Additionally, air cabins tend to have low humidity levels which dry mucus from our noses and throats – creating an environment for germs and viruses to thrive.

Although these flying conditions are often beyond our control, there are measures that can be taken to lessen our exposure to germs and decrease our chances of getting sick.  Here are a few:

  • Get enough sleep before your flight- This will provide your immune system with a much-needed boost.
  • Stay hydrated- Keeping your body hydrated before and during your flight will prevent mucus from drying out.
  • Keep your hands clean by frequently washing them with soap and water or using a sanitizer- Doing so will limit exposure to germs (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that handwashing can prevent up to 21% of respiratory infections).
  • Use sanitizing wipes on surfaces you will touch- It is highly recommended that you wipe down tray tables, bathroom flush buttons, overhead air vents, seatbelt buckles and seat pockets. These areas are touched by millions of people and are perfect environments for germs to live.
  • Keep air vents on- HEPA filters used on planes are effective at removing bacteria and airborne viruses.
  • Wear a mask, especially if you are sitting next to someone who is constantly coughing or displaying other symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth – If you need to do so, make sure your hands are clean. Your eyes, nose and mouth serve as points of entry for germs.

It is important to remember germs and viruses can live for hours on certain surfaces. In fact, the flu virus can live up to 24 hours on any hard surface. Therefore, it is important that you follow the given precautions to protect your health and prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

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.

Laryngitis

laryngitis treatment

Many have experienced the two most common symptoms of laryngitis- hoarseness or voice loss.  

These symptoms occur as a result of an inflammation of the larynx which contains our vocal cords.  When our vocals cords are inflamed they become swollen, distorting the sounds made by the air passing through them.

Additional signs and symptoms of laryngitis can include a dry cough, sore throat, low-grade fever, itchy throat or swollen glands.

Most cases of laryngitis are temporary or acute and are caused by overusing our voices, viral infections such as the cold or bacterial infections such as diphtheria. Symptoms typically last for a few days.

The best treatments for acute laryngitis involve self-care.  It is recommended that you rest your voice, drink plenty of fluids, use humidifiers or menthol inhalers and gargle with warm, salt water. You should avoid whispering, dry or smoky rooms, decongestants, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages and caffeine.

Laryngitis can be also become chronic or long-term.  Symptoms lasts more than three weeks and can be brought on by bulimia, smoking, alcohol abuse, GERD (acid reflux), constant exposure to polluted air or second-hand smoke, excessive coughing, sinus disease, injury to the throat or cancer.

Treatments for chronic laryngitis are aimed at treating underlying issues. For instance, doctors may recommend a change in diet in cases in which chronic laryngitis is caused by GERD. If caused by exposure to polluted air, doctors may recommend wearing protective gear.  Medications such as antihistamines, antibiotics, pain relievers or glucocorticosteroids may also be prescribed based on the cause of symptoms.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of laryngitis for more than three weeks, you should see a doctor. Medical attention must be sought immediately if you are having difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, have increased pain or a fever that will not subside. 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.

Fever Facts

Fever symptoms

Winter is the most common time of year for someone to develop a fever. With that in mind, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center wants to provide you with the following fever facts.

A fever is a temporary increase in your body’s normal temperature range, (36–37° Centigrade or 98–100° Fahrenheit).

Symptoms associated with a fever may include:

  • Sweating
  • Chills and shivering
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Increased sensitivity to pain

While the reason most often associated with developing a fever is an infection
(viral or bacterial), there are other potential causes, including:

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Side effect resulting from certain medications
  • Reaction to certain immunizations
  • Alcohol or drug withdrawal
  • A malignant tumor
  • Sunburn

There are many different types of thermometers that can be used to determine if a fever is present, including an oral (mouth), tympanic (ear) or temporal artery (forehead) type of thermometer. However, when taking an infant’s temperature, it is best to use a rectal thermometer.

It is important to take your temperature when you are at rest as physical activity can raise your temperature.

Taking fever-reducing over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen is one of the simplest and most effective ways to bring down a fever. Other things you can do to reduce fever include drinking more fluids and taking a bath in comfortable-temperature water.  Applying cool compresses can also relieve fever symptoms.

Fevers by themselves may not be a cause for alar or a reason to call a doctor. Yet there are some circumstances when you should seek medical advice.

  • Infants – Contact your doctor if your baby is under three months and has a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher if your baby is between three-six months old and has a temperature of over 102 F (38.9 C) and seems unusually irritable or lethargic.
  • Children – Call your doctor if your child is listless, unresponsive or irritable, vomits repeatedly, has a severe headache or stomachache, or has any other symptoms causing significant discomfort or has a fever lasting longer than three days
  • Adults – contact your doctor if your temperature is 103 F (39.4 C) or higher or if your fever is accompanied by a severe headache, stiff neck, skin rash, sensitivity to light, mental confusion, excessive vomiting, convulsions or seizures, or difficulty breathing.

If you are experiencing symptoms of fever and would like to see 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.

Alternative Ways to Treat Chronic Pain

We all experience physical pain at some point in our lives. In many instances pain will subside after a few hours or days. However, when pain lasts for weeks or longer, it is considered chronic and may require some form of pain management therapy.

Chronic pain could be caused by many things, such as a medical condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia.  It could also be the result of ongoing medical treatments, such as cancer therapy or it could be caused by nerve damage sustained by an injury. Whatever the cause of your pain, it is important to know that there are many options available to treat it.

For many years opioids were prescribed to treat pain, but they can be very addictive and therefore not always the best option. It is important to understand the potential benefits and risks before you begin taking these types of medications and explore alternative forms of pain management.

Other, non-addictive types of medication available to treat symptoms of pain include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
  • Acetaminophen – Tylenol

  • Antidepressants – can improve sleep and alleviate pain
  • Anti-seizure medications – effective in treating pain related to nerve damage or injury

  • Steroids – used to alleviate inflammation and pain

Medications however are not the only form of therapy to manage pain. Physical therapy and exercise, if done correctly and under the supervision of a professional can build tolerance and reduce pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy (TENS) is another type of therapy that uses electrical stimulation to diminish pain.  Other types of pain therapy can include acupuncture, massage, heat and cold therapy, meditation, as well as dietary modifications and nutritional supplements.

A doctor who specializes in pain management can help. They can identify the source of your pain and determine the best approach to manage it, both physically and emotionally.

If you are experiencing chronic pain and would like to see a pain management specialist, please call Jamaica Anesthesia Associates at 718-06-7246 or 718-206-PAIN.

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.

Jamaica Hospital Offers Facts About Cold Sores

Cold sores are small fluid filled blisters, also known as fever blisters, that are develop on or near the mouth and the lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Cold sores are highly contagious and are spread by coming in close contact with secretions from the blisters or sharing utensils or other personal hygiene items with an infected person. It is important to keep in mind that the virus can spread even when an infected person does not have a cold sore.

A cold sore usually develops in several stages during an outbreak. The stages of a cold sore are:

1 Tingling and itching near the mouth
2 Formation of a fluid filled blister
3 The blister breaks
4 Scab forms
5 Scab falls off and sore heals

Additional symptoms a person may experience during an outbreak include:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

There are several factors that can cause a cold sore to develop or reoccur if a person has already had an outbreak in the past: These include:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Eating certain foods
  • Having a cold
  • Allergic reaction

The diagnosis of a cold sore can usually be made by visual inspection. It is also possible to do a blood test to see if the virus is present.

There are no cures for a cold sore but there are ways to treat the symptoms.  Antiviral medications are often prescribed and there re over the counter medications treatment available to purchase.

Speak to your physician if you think you have a cold sore and it doesn’t start to heal in two weeks. You can also schedule an appointmrnt with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling 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.

Jamaica Hospital Provides Patient Safety Tips For Your Next Hospital Visit

Dealing with illness or injury can be a stressful situation for anyone. When faced with challenges concerning your health or that of a loved one, you place your trust in the hands of healthcare professionals to provide you with solutions to those problems.

jamaica Hospita, hospital safety tips

The last thing that you need to think about during a medical emergency is the possibility of an error occurring during treatment, but by taking an active role in your care plan and working with your doctors and nurses, you can drastically reduce these chances and greatly enhance the probability of a positive outcome.

Jamaica Hospital has created a person-centered care model that focuses on patient communication and empowerment. We encourage all patients to take an active role in their treatment plan.  To that end, we have provided the following tips to help you during your next hospital visit:

  • Provide your healthcare providers with a detailed medical history, including a list of all existing conditions, prior hospitalizations as well as prescription and over the counter medications you are currently taking.
  • Be sure to notify your medical team of any known food or medication allergies
  • Check that you were issued a hospital identification wristband that contains accurate personal information
  • Ensure that all doctors, nurses, and the rest of your healthcare team positively identify you before providing treatment. Ask that all providers address you by name and confirm your date of birth.
  • Visually inspect your environment for cleanliness as healthcare facilities are likely environments to spread germs if they are not properly maintained
  • Closely monitor that all healthcare providers wash their hands before and after they provide treatment
  • Be an active participant with your healthcare provider. Provide details about how you are feeling, ask questions about all treatment plans and prescribed medication, including potential side effects.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare team to repeat information if you do not understand something initially

Jamaica Hospital understands the stress associated with a hospital visit. By providing the tips listed above, we hope to eliminate some of your concerns so you can concentrate on a fast and complete recovery.

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 Your Child’s Rash Due To Fifth Disease?

Fifth disease, also known as erythema infectiosum, is a contagious viral infection that is most common in school-age children.  The disease produces a rash on the face and body of those who have it.

Jamaica Hospital shares that a child with a red rash on their cheeks may have fifth disease

The feature that sets fifth disease apart from other types of rashes, such as rubella or scarlet fever is the distinctive, sudden appearance of bright red cheeks, commonly referred to as a “slapped cheek” rash. This can followed by a second rash a few days later on the chest, back, buttocks, arms and legs. The rash may be itchy, especially on the soles of the feet. It can vary in intensity and usually goes away in seven to 10 days, but it can come and go for several weeks.

Other symptoms of fifth disease are usually mild and may include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Pain and swelling in the joints

Fifth disease is transmitted from person to person by respiratory secretions, such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The incubation period is usually four to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days. Those with fifth’s disease are most contagious when symptoms resemble that of a fever or a cold. By the time a rash appears they are no longer contagious.

There is no vaccine or medicine that can prevent fifth disease. You can reduce your chance of being infected or infecting others by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home when you are sick

Treatment for fifth disease typically involves taking over the counter medications to relieve symptoms, such as fever, itching, and joint pain.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care 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.

What Are the Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve?

Jamaica Hospital, Pinched Nerve

Our nerves are specialized cells that carry important messages throughout our bodies in the form of tiny electrical signals.  When too much pressure is applied to our nerves by surrounding tissues, ligaments or bones, it can result in a pinched – or compressed nerve.

A pinched nerve can occur in various parts of our bodies and they can cause radiating pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. Damage from a pinched nerve may be minor or severe. It may cause temporary or long-lasting problems.

Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:

  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
  • Tingling, pins and needles sensations
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

Symptoms may worsen when attempting certain movements, such as turning your head or straining your neck. Problems may also become worse while sleeping.

Certain medical conditions can contribute to the development of a pinched nerve. These include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pregnancy

A pinched nerve can also occur as the result of an injury or from repetitive activities. Conversely, long periods of inactivity or lying down can also cause the problem.

Maintaining a healthy weight, stretching regularly, avoiding repetitive motions and practicing good posture are some tips to avoid developing a pinched nerve.

With rest and other conservative treatments, such as taking over-the-counter medications, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks

See your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last longer or don’t respond to self-care measures.  Your doctor can provide treatment options to shrink swollen tissue around the nerve. Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery.

To make an appointment to see a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to treat a pinched nerve, 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.