World No Tobacco Day

Since 1987 the World Health Organization has recognized May 31st as a day to bring awareness around the world of the harmful effects of tobacco.

The risks of using tobacco are well documented, however many people around the world are not fully aware of the dangers.  There is a very strong link between tobacco use and heart disease, circulatory problems, and stroke.

Coronary vascular diseases are one of the world’s leading causes of death.  Tobacco use is the second leading cause of these types of diseases, hypertension being the leading cause.

With all of the knowledge we have about the harmful effects of tobacco use, there are still some who have not received the message and as a result, more than 7 million people die each year from the effects of tobacco.

A few of the initiatives that the World Health Organization is trying to implement to inform people about tobacco’s harmful effects are:
• Increase public knowledge of the risks of smoking and secondhand smoke
• Encourage healthcare providers to speak to their patients about the hazards of tobacco
• Encourage governmental  support for educational programs
• Seek ways to promote smoke-free zones in buildings and public spaces
• Increase taxes on tobacco products
• Make it more difficult to purchase tobacco products
• Ban tobacco advertising

If you use tobacco products and would like to quit, speak to your provider. Jamaica Hospital offers a tobacco cessation program to help you. Please call 718-206-8494 to learn more.

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.

Sleep Awareness Week

The keys to a healthy lifestyle are eating right, exercise, and what’s the third thing?  Oh yes, sleep. While we give a great deal of attention to the first two, the importance of a good night’s sleep is often overlooked.

Serene woman sleeping at night

March 13th through the 19th  has been designated Sleep Awareness Week and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) want to raise awareness and educate the community about how important sleep is to each and every one of us. While most of us understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, we often do not make sleep a priority.

There are many health benefits that sleep can provide. Sleep aids our heart, brain, lungs, and muscles to function properly.  Additional benefits include:

  • Improved immunity
  • Decreased pain
  • Increased alertness
  • Lower risk of injury
  • Improved memory
  • Better mood

The NSF recommends that adults receive seven to nine hours of sleep each night. They also provide the following tips to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual Try to separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety; a lot of which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Napping may help you during the daybut it can interfere with your ability to sleep at night
  • Avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages at least five to six hours before bed.
  • Exercise dailyVigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity.
  • Evaluate your sleep environmentRemove any noisy distractions, eliminate bright lights and set a comfortable temperature to optimize your sleep.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and  Make sure your mattress is supportive.

If you still have trouble falling asleep or getting a restful night’s sleep, you should speak with your doctor as there may be an underlining medical issue. Jamaica Hospital operates a state-of-the-art sleep center that can help diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders. For more information, or to make an appointment, please call 718-206-5916.

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 Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis Awareness takes the spotlight during the month of March with a mission to raise awareness about the disease which currently affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus- grows outside the uterus. This abnormal growth of tissue can commonly be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, as well as areas between the rectum and vagina.  Areas where endometriosis is less commonly found are the lungs, thighs, arms and other areas beyond the reproductive organs or lower abdomen.

Endometrial tissue develops into growths or clumps called implants.  These clusters of tissue respond to the menstrual cycle the same as they would inside the uterus.  Meaning, each month the tissue builds up, breaks down then sheds.  Unlike the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus; endometrial tissue cannot be discharged from the body through vaginal bleeding.  This results in inflammation, swelling, the formation of scar tissue or internal bleeding.

The symptoms of endometriosis typically present themselves during reproductive years- on average between the ages of 12 to 60 years old.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Pain during pelvic examinations
  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility

The cause of endometriosis is unknown but several factors such as genetics, retrograde period flow, immune system disorders and hormones are being researched.

Most cases are diagnosed in women between the ages of 25 to 35 years of age; however, some women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed because they do not have symptoms and the disorder is sometimes mistaken for other conditions.

Women who do experience symptoms should speak with their doctor about receiving tests such as pelvic examinations, laparoscopy and imaging tests, to find out if they  have endometriosis.

Although there is no cure for endometriosis, effective treatments including medication, surgery and alternative therapies are available.

If you are experiencing the symptoms it is recommended that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. If you would like to make an appointment with a gynecologist, please call 718-291-3276

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.

GERD Awareness Week

Perhaps there is no other day of the year associated with eating more than Thanksgiving. With so much attention being paid to food consumption, it is fitting that this week we also raise awareness about a health condition that affects the digestive system.

November 21-27, 2021 has been designated Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD) Awareness Week. GERD, is a very common disorder that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining.

After it is swallowed, food travels down the esophagus where it stimulates cells in the stomach to produce acid and pepsin (an enzyme), which aid the digestion process. A band of muscle at the lower part of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), acts as a barrier to prevent the back-flow. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.

Chronic heartburn is the most frequently reported symptom of GERD. Acid regurgitation (refluxed acid into the mouth) is another common symptom. Other symptoms can include belching, difficulty or pain when swallowing, or waterbrash (sudden excess of saliva). GERD may also lead to chronic sore throat, laryngitis, throat clearing, chronic cough, and other oral complaints such as inflammation of the gums and erosion of the enamel of the teeth.

Dietary and lifestyle choices can contribute to GERD. Certain foods and beverages, including chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee, or alcohol may trigger reflux. Studies show that smoking can relax the LES and contribute to this condition. People who are obese are more prone to developing GERD symptoms.

Doctors recommend lifestyle and dietary changes for most people needing treatment for GERD. Along with lifestyle and diet changes, your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter remedies, or, in serious cases, prescribe medications designed to reduce acid in the stomach.

To speak to a doctor about treating your GERD, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

Autism Acceptance Month

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a range of conditions that can significantly impair behavioral, communication and social skills.

Autism -624530410There are three different types of autism spectrum disorders; they include Classic Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Each condition differs by the severity of symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) children or adults with ASD may display the following symptoms:

  • Having delays in speech and language skills
  • Not responding to their name by 12 months
  • Avoiding eye contact or wanting to be alone
  • Having difficulty understanding the feelings of others
  • Displaying unusual reactions to the way things look, feel, sound or smell
  • Repeating actions over and over
  • Not looking at objects when other people point to them
  • Repeating words or phrases in place of normal language
  • Preferring not to be cuddled or cuddling only when desired
  • Having trouble adapting to changes in daily activities
  • Displaying behaviors such as flapping hands, spinning in circles or rocking the body

The most obvious symptoms of ASD typically emerge between two to three years of age. However, in some cases, they can be identified earlier.

There are no definitive causes of ASD but it has been discovered that there are several factors that can make a child more likely to have the disorder.  The CDC asserts the following findings:

  • Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.
  • Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD.
  • ASD tends to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis.
  • There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth.
  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD.

Diagnosing ASD can be difficult as assessments are primarily based on behavior and development. There are two stages of diagnosis, the developmental screening and the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation.

Currently, there is no cure for ASD but research shows that early intervention services and treatment can improve development in children.

April is National Autism Acceptance Month, during this time, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center hopes to promote autism awareness and acceptance through education.  The hospital proudly supports the nationwide goal of building a greater understanding and acceptance of ASD.

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.

Birth Defects

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Birth defects are defined as conditions that are present when a baby is born and can affect nearly every part of the body.  Conditions such as cleft lip can be easily diagnosed.  Other conditions such as deafness or heart defects may only be discovered after diagnostic testing.

The largest number of birth defects occurs during the first three months of gestation. In the U.S. approximately 120,000 babies are born with birth defects each year.

The 10 most common birth defects in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:

  • Down syndrome
  • Cleft lip (with or without cleft palate)
  • Atrioventricular septal defect (hole in the heart)
  • Absence or malformation of the rectum and/or large intestine
  • Gastroschisis (hole in the abdominal wall)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (a combination of heart defects)
  • Spina bifida without anencephaly
  • Reduction deformity, upper limbs
  • Reversal of the heart’s two main arteries

Although birth defects can’t always be prevented, there are plenty of steps pregnant women can take to help reduce the risk.

The womenshealth.gov website offers these suggestions:

  • Make regular visits to your doctor throughout pregnancy
  • Get 400mcg of folic acid each day through diet or supplements
  • Don’t smoke, use illegal drugs or drink alcohol while you are pregnant
  • Always check with your doctor before taking any medication
  • Get all vaccinations recommended by your doctor
  • If you have diabetes, keep it under control
  • Stick to a healthy weight

You may also request a pre-pregnancy or early pregnancy screening test in order to spot potential or real birth defects.  The types of tests include a carrier test to see if you or your partner carries potentially harmful genes, as well as screening and diagnostic tests that can determine risks for and detect genetic disorders.

If you are pregnant, or planning to be, and want to discuss your options with one of our doctors, the Women’s Health Center at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is centrally located and has convenient hours; to make an appointment call 718-291-3276.

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.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
In February 2000, President Clinton dedicated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States today. It is estimated that 140,000 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year and about 50,000 die from the disease.

The good news is that the disease is highly preventable by getting a regular screening. The reason that the screenings are so important is because if precancerous polyps are found early, they can be removed and treatment can be started early.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
• Family history
• Precancerous polyps
• Smoking
• People over the age of 50
•  People who have diets high in red meat and processed meat.

It is important to be checked regularly as people get older. For many people who don’t have a family history of colorectal cancer or experience symptoms of the disease, screenings can be started at age 50. If however there is a family history or symptoms exist, screenings should start by age 40 without symptoms or earlier if there are.
Screening for colorectal cancer can be done in several ways.  Some of the more common methods include:
• Checking the stool for occult blood by either a high sensitivity guaiac fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test
• CT colonoscopy
• Colonoscopy
• Sigmoidoscopy

If there is blood present in the stool, or you are experiencing unexplained abdominal pain or weight loss you should consult with your physician immediately.

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 Toothache Day

National Toothache Day occurs each year on February 9th. In honor of this observation, we are sharing a few remedies to get temporary relief from a minor toothache.

Here are a few:

  • Saltwater rinse- Saltwater is a natural antibacterial agent.  Mix 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt into a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash-do not swallow. This may help to reduce inflammation.
  • Hydrogen peroxide rinse- Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and use it as a mouthwash- do not swallow.  This can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. A hydrogen peroxide rinse is not suitable for children because there is a risk that may swallow the solution.
  • Peppermint tea bags- According to WebMD, “A cooled peppermint tea bag may soothe your aching tooth and gums.”

Please keep in mind that these are short-term solutions. It is recommended that you see a dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause of your toothache and get the proper treatment.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6980.

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.

Cervical Health Awareness Month- The Importance of Regular Cervical Screenings

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January has been designated as Cervical Health Awareness Month by the National Cervical Cancer Coalition and the American Social Health Association.  This initiative helps raise awareness and encourages women to receive regular screenings for cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer which is one of the most common cancers found in women.  However early detection can lessen the severity of both diseases and prevent the development of abnormal or cancerous cells.

It is recommended that women receive regular screenings to check the health of their cervixes. The frequency of screenings varies by age. The following guideline is as recommended by The American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/health-care-professionals/american-cancer-society-prevention-early-detection-guidelines/cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines.html

In addition to receiving screenings, it is strongly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that women and men receive HPV vaccinations to stop the spread of the virus.

Please speak with your doctor as soon as possible about steps you can take to maintain your cervical health and remember, prevention is better than cure.

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.

Information About Breast Cancer

All cancers gets their name from the part of the body where the abnormal cells begin to develop. Breast cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and divide without order in the breast tissue of women, and in rare cases, men.

While it is not known what causes breast cancer, certain risk factors have been linked to the disease. A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a particular type of cancer. Some risk factors can be controlled (e.g., smoking) and others (e.g.,age, family history) cannot be changed. Being a woman is the main risk factor for breast cancer however, other factors such as environmental exposure and diet can also play a part.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump in the breast that is painless, hard, and has irregular edges.

Some other signs or symptoms of breast cancer include:

•              swelling of a part of the breast

•              skin irritation or dimpling of the skin on the breast

•              nipple pain or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin

•              a nipple discharge that is other than breast milk

•              a lump in the underarm area

At this time, there is no known way to prevent breast cancer. However, some preventative measures such as reducing controllable risk factors and implementing early detection methods can increase your survival rate in the event of a cancer diagnoses. Reducing your incidence of risk where possible and following guidelines for self-examination and early detection are the best course of preventative action. Early detection improves the likelihood of successful treatment and saves thousands of lives each year. Each month, it is advised that women perform breast self-exams. Early detection screening exams often find cancers before they start to cause symptoms, while they are small and still confined to the breast. Between the ages of 20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast exam every year if they are in a high-risk group or every three years if they are not. From the age of 40, women should have a mammogram screening every year.

If breast cancer is suspected in a patient, a biopsy of the cells from the breast is performed, removing cells so that they can be examined. Cancer treatment includes surgical procedures such as lumpectomy, mastectomy, and non-surgical therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy. If you have been given a cancer diagnosis, don’t be afraid to seek the second opinion of a breast cancer specialist for more information and treatment options.

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.