How “Annual” Is Your Annual Physical?

HypertesionThinkstockPhotos-477722758A.  Yearly

B. Bi-Yearly

C. When I don’t feel good

D. I don’t do doctors

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

November is COPD Awareness Month – Know Your COPD Facts

November is National COPD Awareness Month. This observance is an opportunity for everyone across the country to increase their overall awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

ThinkstockPhotos-522695539COPD is a form of lung disease that makes breathing difficult. It is caused by damage to the lungs over a prolonged period of time and is usually attributed to smoking. COPD can result in serious, long term disability and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It kills more than 120,000 Americans each year – that’s one death every four seconds and that number is increasing every year.

The most common symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, chronic cough, and difficulty performing simple daily tasks, such as climbing stairs.

Those most at risk of developing COPD are individuals who:
• Are over age 40 and currently smoke or smoked at some point
• Worked or lived around chemicals or fumes
• Have certain genetic conditions

If you think you have COPD, you should:
• Talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms
• Request a breathing test, known as a spirometry
• Quit smoking! If you need help, ask your doctor
• Avoid pollutants or fumes that can irritate your lungs

While you can’t undo the damage COPD has caused to your lungs, there are steps you can take to prevent the condition from getting worse, such as:
• Taking medications as directed by your doctor
• Enrolling in a pulmonary rehabilitation program
• Avoiding factors that can irritate your lungs
• Receiving annual flu and pneumonia vaccines

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.

Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain

One of the reasons that people don’t want to stop smoking is because they are worried about gaining weight. Smoking increases the rate of metabolism so when a person quits, their metabolism slows and they tend to eat a little bit more than they did when they were still smoking. As a result, people will typically gain four to 10 pounds when they quit. When you snack between meals, over the course of time, you can slowly be adding on the pounds. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so it reduces these cravings. Smoking also makes people feel good, so that is another reason that people will eat sweet  foods such as cookies and cake to replace cigarettes.
If you find yourself craving something sweet to eat, there are healthy alternatives:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Fat free or low fat snacks
• Sugar free candies
Drinking plenty of water and brushing your teeth frequently throughout the day will keep your breath fresh and will take away the urge to smoke.
Try finding alternate activities that will keep you busy so that you won’t have the desire to reach for a cigarette. It might be helpful to go to a movie theater, take a long walk, use the stairs instead of an elevator when possible, read a book and spend time with people who are supportive and who don’t smoke.
Smoking is a leading factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke, and many other illnesses. Speak to your physician to learn about ways to quit and how to manage the changes your body will experience. If you would like to speak with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment.Weight Gain

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 Smoking Cigars Any Safer Than Smoking Cigarettes?

cigars 76755542Cigarette sales are beginning to see a decline while cigar consumption has been rising steadily.  This is partly attributed to the growing belief that cigars are a safer alternative to cigarettes.  Many smokers perceive cigars as having fewer health risks because the smoke is not inhaled into the lungs but is instead sucked and kept in the mouth for the taste. However, the most concerning misconception among smokers is the belief that cigars are safer because they do not have a Surgeon General’s health warning as cigarettes do.

Research has proven all of these beliefs to be untrue. Cigars do not require health labels because they are not as regulated as cigarettes. Furthermore, they contain some of the same hazardous chemicals such as arsenic and can have the same negative health effects.

Cigars contain high levels of the addictive substance nicotine. Nicotine can enter the body by being inhaled into the lungs and can also be absorbed through the lining in the mouth. Cigars are also known to contain more tar than cigarettes. Tar contains the carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) benzo(a)pyrene. Cigar smokers are at a high risk for developing cancers of the mouth, larynx and esophagus.

Cigar smoke has been linked to other health conditions such as oral, lung and cardiovascular disease. Chronic cigar smokers may be twice as likely to be at risk for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). They may also face a higher risk of premature death caused by aortic aneurysms and damage to the heart.  Cigars can also wreak havoc on dental health by causing tooth loss, bad breath and stained teeth.

The National Cancer Institute has determined that cigars are no safer than cigarettes and there are no safe tobacco products. There is also no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure. For this reason and others previously discussed, the best option for smokers to improve their health and prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases is to stop smoking.

If you or someone you know needs help in quitting smoking please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Freedom From Smoking program at 718 206 8494 or visit www.smokefree.gov for more information.

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.

I Am So Stressed! Where Are My Cigarette’s?

quit smoking -480601895Is smoking a cigarette when you are stressed, depressed or irritable a proven way to relieve those emotions or improve your mood?

The answer is, no. The relief you get from smoking comes from the act of taking the “time out” necessary to smoke a cigarette. It does not have to do with the chemical actions of nicotine in your brain.

If you finish your cigarette and return to your stressful situation, the feeling of tension will come back. Therefore, the act of smoking is only a temporary solution for handling stress.

A proven way to control stress, tension or depression in your life is to identify what brings on those emotions and learning how to change the way you react to the events and situations in your life.

If you have been using smoking as a way to reduce stress, a great time to
“kick the habit” is to participate in The Great American Smoke out, Wednesday, November 18th, 2015.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center can help. Enroll, today, for our smoking cessation classes. For more information or to register, call: 718-206-8494.

 

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.

Asthma v. COPD

chest xray 159291254Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term that describes progressive respiratory diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is characterized by decreased airflow over time and increased inflammation of the lungs.

Asthma, on the other hand, is considered a separate respiratory disease, but is occasionally mistaken for COPD because of its similar symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Chronic coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

The majority of COPD sufferers also have asthma, which is considered a risk factor for developing the disease. As you age, the likelihood of this duel-diagnosis increases.

COPD and asthma respond well to treatments such as smoking cessation and airway-opening medications like bronchodilators. At times, inhaled steroids are also needed. However, lung function is only fully reversible in asthma patients. A diagnosis of asthma, along with COPD, often means a significant decline in lung function as the COPD progresses.  This progression is true even in patients with mild forms of the disease.

By nature of the similarity of the symptoms of COPD and asthma, many patients can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Early detection of COPD, especially in current or past smokers, is critical to preserving lung function “Undiagnosed or poorly controlled asthma and COPD can lead to a decreased quality of life by limiting a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Teaching patients to take their medicine as prescribed, to never run out of their medications, and to keep their doctors’ appointments is essential to improving their outcomes.”  Dr. Kamica Lewis.

If you think you may have symptoms of asthma or COPD, please contact Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to make an appointment with a doctor for an evaluation.

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.