National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes abnormal brain activity, resulting in symptoms such as seizures, loss of awareness, and unusual behaviors. Generally, a diagnosis of epilepsy is given to people who have experienced two unprovoked seizures (meaning that they have no clear identifiable cause) within a 24-hour period.

There are several different types of seizures, each of which can cause different symptoms to occur. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode. Some of these types (and the symptoms associated with them) include:

  • Absence seizures (staring into space with potential loss of awareness)
  • Tonic seizures (muscle stiffening in the back, arms, and legs with potential loss of consciousness)
  • Atonic seizures (loss of muscle control, typically results in falls)
  • Clonic seizures (repeated jerking muscle movements in the face, neck, and arms)
  • Myoclonic seizures (sudden jerking or twitching in the upper body, arms, and legs)
  • Tonic-clonic seizures (sudden loss of consciousness with body stiffening, twitching, and shaking)
  • Focal seizures (affects a specific part of the brain, causing altered or impaired awareness and perception of your environment and senses)

While epilepsy often has no identifiable cause, approximately half of all cases can be traced to a variety of different factors, including:

  • Family history
  • Head trauma
  • Stroke
  • Infectious diseases such as meningitis, encephalitis, or AIDS
  • Developmental disorders such as autism

Medications or surgery can control seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy. Some people require lifelong treatment to control seizures, but for others, the seizures may eventually go away. Some children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition with age.

You can receive specialized neurological treatment for epilepsy at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery. To get more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6713.

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.

National ADHD Awareness Month

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States among children, affecting nearly 10% of all children between the ages of 3 and 17. It can also occur in adults, affecting up to about 5% of all adults in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors must determine if a patient’s symptoms demonstrate a clear pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity to diagnose ADHD. For children, six or more of these symptoms must remain consistent for at least six months; for adults, only five symptoms need to present in this manner to provide a diagnosis.

Some common symptoms of inattention that doctors may take into consideration when diagnosing ADHD include:

  • Failure to pay close attention to tasks during school, work, or other activities
  • Difficulty holding attention on tasks or play activities
  • Failure to listen when spoken to directly
  • Failure to follow through on instructions for schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • Frequent trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoidance, dislike, or reluctance to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework)
  • Frequently losing things necessary for tasks and activities
  • Often easily distracted
  • Often forgetful in daily activities

Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, on the other hand, often display persistent, excessively high energy levels in a variety of settings and activities. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Frequent fidgeting with or tapping hands or feet, or squirming in seat
  • Frequently leaving seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  • Often running about or climbing in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may just feel restless)
  • Inability to play or take part in leisure activities quietly
  • Excessive talking
  • Blurting out an answer before a question has been completed
  • Impatience
  • Often interrupting or intruding on others

Several symptoms from either of these categories need to have been present before the age of 12 and in two or more settings (such as at work, school, or home). There also needs to be clear evidence that these symptoms are disrupting the individual’s normal functions in school, work, or social settings, and that the symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder.

Whether you’re an adult with symptoms of ADHD or the parent of a child presenting these symptoms, it’s essential to begin working with a doctor to get the medical care needed to manage these symptoms and reduce their disruptions to daily life as much as possible. You can schedule an appointment for diagnosis and treatment 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.

Yoga Awareness Month

Yoga can be beneficial for many people in terms of improving physical capabilities and mental well-being. It is accessible to a wider range of people than many other types of exercise because yoga movements are often not strenuous on the body or can be easy to perform for people from a variety of age groups and health circumstances.

Some of the benefits of yoga are especially helpful for improving the health of certain groups of people. A few of these benefits include:

Back pain relief: According to the American College of Physicians, yoga is recommended as a first-line treatment for people who experience chronic low back pain. Specifically, it can help with improving mobility and reducing the pain itself. Examples of simple movements that can help with this include:

  • Cat-cow pose
  • Locust pose
  • Cobra pose

Stress reduction: Yoga is also known for its benefits in terms of stress relief and relaxation. It incorporates meditation and breathing exercises that calm down the body and mind, making it easier to let go of stress, anxiety, and tension, as well as improving overall mental clarity, awareness, and concentration.  Some exercises that can help in this way include:

  • Child’s pose
  • Legs-up-the-wall pose
  • Corpse pose

Chronic condition management: The combined physical and mental benefits of yoga can make it easier to manage symptoms of chronic conditions, such as arthritis, as well as improve the underlying health of different parts of your body, such as your heart and circulatory system, to prevent future disease.

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, treatments offered by our integrative health specialists can incorporate elements of yoga and other techniques that benefit the physical, mental, and emotional needs of our patients. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6914.

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.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cancer-related cause of death among people assigned male at birth. The specific causes of prostate cancer are unknown, but certain factors can increase your risk of developing it, such as:

  • Age (prostate cancer is most common over the age of 50)
  • Race (prostate cancer is more common and more likely to be aggressive among Black men)
  • Family history (having a father, brother, or child with prostate cancer may increase your risk)
  • Obesity (prostate cancer is more likely to be aggressive and to return after treatment among people who are obese)

Prostate cancer may not present any symptoms, particularly in its early stages. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Difficult, painful, and/or more frequent urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, and upper thighs
  • Unintended weight loss

There are two screening tests available for prostate cancer: a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam, your doctor inserts a gloved finger a few inches into your rectum to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that checks for elevated levels of PSA in your blood; aside from prostate cancer, this test can also indicate less serious issues such as prostate enlargement or infection.

Your doctor may recommend additional tests to diagnose cancer, such as an ultrasound and/or biopsy of the prostate.  A prostate ultrasound involves a small probing device, approximately the size of a finger, being placed into your rectum; this device creates sound waves that bounce off of your organs and create an image that allows your doctor to view the size, shape, and location of your prostate gland. A prostate biopsy involves removing a small piece of the prostate to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends factors such as your age, your overall health, and the growth and spread of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regularly checking for new signs or symptoms), radiation therapy (high-energy x-rays used to kill cancer cells), chemotherapy, surgery (having the prostate gland removed), and hormone therapy.

You can schedule an appointment with a urologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for a prostate cancer screening or to discuss treatment options. To schedule an appointment, 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.

Psoriasis Awareness Month

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes the formation of thick, scaly patches of discolored skin, also known as plaques. These rashes occur due to inflammation and can appear anywhere on the body, but typically develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, fingernails, toenails, palms, feet, lower back, genitals, face, and mouth. Over 3% of Americans have been diagnosed with psoriasis.

There are many types of psoriasis, including:

  • Plaque psoriasis (the most common form of psoriasis)
  • Inverse psoriasis (which causes plaques to form without a scaly texture)
  • Guttate psoriasis (which can appear after a case of strep throat)
  • Pustular psoriasis (characterized by pus-filled bumps that appear on plaques)
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis (covering over 90% of your skin)
  • Sebopsoriasis (appearing on your face and scalp with a yellow coloration and scaly texture)
  • Nail psoriasis (which causes discoloration and pitting in your fingernails and toenails)

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, meaning that it is caused by your immune system functioning abnormally and attacking healthy cells; this results in inflammation that causes plaques on the skin. Psoriasis also significantly speeds up the production of new skin cells, causing scales and frequent shedding. Approximately one in three people diagnosed with this disorder may also be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune condition that causes swelling and pain in your joints.

Symptoms of psoriasis are not necessarily constant. They typically occur during periodic flare-ups, which may develop in response to certain factors or elements of the environment. Some common triggers for psoriasis include stress, infections such as strep throat, skin injuries, medications such as lithium and beta-blockers, and body temperature shifts in response to weather conditions.

Many cases of psoriasis may respond well to treatment options such as steroid creams, moisturizers, medical lotions or shampoos, vitamin D3 ointment, vitamin A or retinoid creams, and medications such as anthralin which slow down the production of new skin cells. If these options do not treat your symptoms effectively, your doctor may recommend light therapy, immunosuppressant drugs, and other, stronger medications.

If you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis, you can receive specialized treatment from a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.  To schedule an appointment, 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.

Men’s Health Awareness Month

Men face a heightened risk of certain medical problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, making certain medical screenings particularly important for identifying these conditions early and treating them effectively.

The types of screenings you require may change or become broader as you age and your health changes. Some of the most important screenings include:

Blood pressure screening: Even if you have no medical history of (or risk factors for) high or low blood pressure, you should receive a screening once every three to five years. However, if you do have a history of abnormal blood pressure, have an immediate family member with high blood pressure, or are Black, you should receive a screening once per year. Other risk factors that warrant an annual blood pressure screening include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney problems
  • Obesity

Cholesterol screening: If you have no known risk factors for coronary heart disease, men should receive a cholesterol screening every five years starting at the age of 45. Men who do have risk factors for coronary heart disease should receive them starting at the age of 20. If you have abnormally high cholesterol levels, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney problems, you should be screened more frequently.

Diabetes screening: Men without any risk factors for diabetes should receive screenings every three years starting at the age of 35. However, these screenings should begin earlier or be conducted more frequently if you:

  • Have an immediate relative with diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have high blood pressure, prediabetes, or a medical history of heart disease

Cancer screenings: According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers accounted for approximately 43% of cancer diagnoses in men; additionally, the mortality rate of cancer is higher among men than women. Some of the most important cancer screenings men should receive include:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Melanoma

Physical exam: Regular general check-ups with your doctor are important, even for men who seem to be in perfect health. These visits can help you identify signs of underlying medical problems or risk factors for future issues.

You can receive all of these medical screenings at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, 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.

National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Millions of Americans experience headaches and migraines each year, both of which can result in a wide variety of symptoms. For many people, however, it may not be easy to tell the difference between these two medical problems.

While both headaches and migraines commonly lead to pressure or pain in your head, headaches are only one potential symptom of migraines. A migraine can cause many other symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells

There are two common types of migraine. A migraine with aura causes visual disturbances and other neurological symptoms that may precede a headache by up to an hour, as well as temporary vision loss, trouble speaking, confusion, loss of appetite, numbness, or muscle weakness on one side of the body. A migraine without aura causes a headache that affects one side of the head without warning, as well as confusion, blurred vision, and mood changes.

There are also multiple different types of headaches, all of which may lead to varying forms of head pressure or pain. Some of these include:

Sinus headaches: This type of headache causes pressure and pain in and around your sinus cavities, which are located around your eyebrows, cheek bones, and nose. Sinus headaches are often caused by the common cold, seasonal allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or any other factor that increases mucus buildup. Migraines are commonly mistaken for sinus headaches.

Tension headaches: A tension headache, often caused by factors such as eye strain, stress, or hunger, results in feelings of pressure that can affect one or both sides of your head.

Cluster headaches: This uncommon type of headache typically affects one side of the head and occurs in clusters, meaning that they may occur almost daily for a period of weeks or months and cause attacks lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. It is unknown what exactly causes cluster headaches.

If you commonly experience migraines or headaches, you can receive specialized treatment from a neurologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, 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.

Lupus Awareness Month

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation in many different parts of the body, including (but not limited to) your joints, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs, as well as other organs.

Lupus is often distinguished by a facial rash that spreads across both cheeks. However, it can still be difficult to diagnose, as it may present a wide variety of symptoms in different people that may resemble other conditions.

Most people with lupus experience mild symptoms broken up by periodic flare-ups, during which their symptoms temporarily worsen. Aside from inflammation, these symptoms may include fever, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, shortness of breath, and fingers and toes that turn white or blue in response to cold or stress.

People with lupus can also experience several complications. The leading cause of death among people with this condition is kidney failure due to damage caused by the disease. However, inflammation of the heart and lungs also increases the risk of additional medical problems, such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, seizures, and strokes.

The cause of lupus is unknown, but it is most common for women and people of Black, Hispanic, or Asian backgrounds. Although lupus is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 45, it can affect people of any age. Lupus (as well as flare-ups of symptoms) can be triggered by sunlight, infections, and certain medications, such as antibiotics, blood pressure medication, and seizure medication.

Lupus is a life-long disease with no cure, but it can be managed with the help of a doctor. Several different types of drugs, including steroids, monoclonal antibodies, and chemotherapy drugs, may be used to help you cope with your symptoms, depending on your specific symptoms. You may also need to avoid certain vaccines, particularly those with live viruses such as the chickenpox or shingles vaccine, as well as make certain adjustments to your diet.

You can receive specialized medical treatment for lupus at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, 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.

National Minority Health Month

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health celebrates National Minority Health Month every year, in April.

The observation was established to highlight the importance of improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities by reducing health disparities.

Health disparities are preventable differences in the quality of healthcare and health outcomes experienced by groups of people due to social inequities.

Communities of color or those of lower socioeconomic status are often disproportionately exposed to factors that lead to health disparities.  Common disparities that occur among these groups are:

  • A lack of access to healthcare
  • Being uninsured or underinsured
  • Higher rates of premature death, infant mortality, cancer, and chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • Lower rates of life expectancy

Disparities in underserved populations develop as a result of the unequal distribution of resources needed to achieve optimal health or live a healthy life.  However, they can be reduced by addressing social determinants of health such as food insecurity, access to health services, the conditions in which people live, and language and literacy skills.

Many of these challenges exist in urban areas such as Queens, New York – the most ethnically and racially diverse county in the United States.  The richness in diversity of the borough gives much to celebrate such as the most languages spoken in one region; however, health disparities continue to prevail in some neighborhoods due to social inequities. Some of the health disparities that persist include:

  • Higher rates of tobacco addiction
  • Higher rates of breast, colorectal, cervical, and prostate cancers
  • Higher infant mortality rates
  • Prevalence in chronic diseases such as diabetes
  • Prevalence in mental health disorders
  • Prevalence in unintentional injuries, such as those incurred by falling

Jamaica Hospital aims to reduce or eliminate health disparities that affect its community by increasing access to high-quality, patient-centered healthcare.  The hospital has launched several initiatives and offers various programs and services to meet the unique needs of its patient population. This includes:

  • Food assistance programs such as WIC
  • A smoking cessation program
  • A diabetes prevention program
  • A care management program
  • A CenteringPregnancy program
  • Inpatient and outpatient mental health services
  • The promotion of culturally and linguistically competent care, supported by a diverse group of bilingual patient navigators and language assistance
  • The promotion of health literacy through social media campaigns
  • The provision of world-class cancer care and services
  • The provision of integrated healthcare
  • Community outreach and education provided by the Trauma Department

To learn more about Jamaica Hospital’s initiatives to increase access to quality healthcare and the wide range of services provided by the hospital, please visit www.JamaicaHospital.org

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.

IBS Awareness Month

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects approximately 15% of the United States population, causing abdominal pain and changes to the frequency or appearance of your bowel movements. It also commonly causes cramping, bloating, and gas buildup. Although these symptoms can occur in anyone with this condition, they occur more commonly in people with the following forms of IBS:

IBS-C, also known as IBS with constipation, is mainly characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, infrequent bowel movements, and difficulty passing stool. IBS-C is not life-threatening, but it can be painful and disruptive to your daily activities. It also has no cure and is generally treated through dietary and lifestyle adjustments.

IBS-D, also known as IBS with diarrhea, can also lead to constipation, abdominal pain, gas buildup, and bloating. However, certain other symptoms, such as diarrhea, watery stools, and some degree of loss of bowel control occur approximately 25% of the time in people with this form of IBS, with constipation occurring less than 25% of the time. IBS-D triggers can include stress or certain food products, such as milk, wheat, red wine, or caffeine.

IBS-M, also known as IBS with mixed bowel habits, presents symptoms associated with both IBS-C and IBS-D, as well as common IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain. Bouts of constipation and diarrhea alternate between one another in people with this condition.

Post-infectious IBS generally occurs after an infection in the intestines. The most common culprit is gastroenteritis, which can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting due to inflammation in the intestines. Post-infectious IBS most often occurs as IBS-D or IBS-M, with a smaller number of cases presenting symptoms of IBS-C.

No matter what form of IBS you experience, working with a gastroenterologist can help you manage your symptoms effectively. You can schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist 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.