Information About Obesity

One of the most prevalent health conditions in the United States today is obesity. Both children and adults are often classified as being obese and this can have very serious health consequences.

There are numerous reasons that a person may be obese. While lack of exercise and poor eating habits are more commonly given as reasons for being obese, genetics and socio-economic factors may also be involved. Typically obesity is related to consuming more calories every day than are being expended.

Obesity is defined as a condition where a person has excess body fat. One of the ways that obesity is measured is by taking a person’s body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by their body weight in kilograms and dividing it by their height in meters squared. If the result is 30 or greater, that person is considered to be obese.

Being obese can have very serious effects on a person’s overall health. Some of the health conditions associated with obesity are:

• Diabetes
• Hypertension
• High Cholesterol
• Stroke
• Osteoarthritis
• Respiratory difficulty
• Sleep apnea
• Heart disease

There are a few ways that a person can prevent themselves from becoming obese.  Since poor eating habits and behavior may be the cause of the problem, modifying these factors will be helpful. A conservative approach to treating obesity involves:

• Change eating habits
• Improve and increase physical activity
• consult with your physician for recommendations
• consult with a certified dietician

If you would like to speak with a physician at Jamaica Hospital to help you better manage your weight, pleas 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.

Understanding How Diabetes Can Affect Your Digestion

Nausea and vomiting are two unpleasant feelings that most everyone has encountered at some point in their life, but for many diabetics, these are symptoms that they live with every day as a result of a condition known as diabetic gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a known complication of both the type 1 and type 2 forms of diabetes.  It occurs because high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes often leads to nerve damage throughout the body.  One such nerve is the vagus nerve. It controls the movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine. When it is damaged, food cannot move as quickly through the digestive system because the stomach muscles aren’t working well or stop working completely.  When undigested food remains in the stomach for too long it can lead to a variety of problems such as bacterial overgrowth and the build-up of hardened, solid masses.

It is estimated at as many as 50% of all people living with diabetes develop some level of gastroparesis during their lifetime, but symptoms can vary greatly from person to person.

The most common symptoms associated with diabetic gastroparesis include:

  • Nausea after eating
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Fullness after eating small amount of food
  • Bloating
  • Pain in the upper section of your stomach
  • Lack of appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diabetic gastroparesis can affect lead to many complications including dehydration and malnutrition. It can also make it hard for someone with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels as well as maintain a healthy weight.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for gastroparesis, but there are some medications that have shown temporary relief. There are also some alternative food delivery methods available, such as feeding tubes and IV nutritional therapy for those with severe symptoms.

The best way to reduce the symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis involves adjusting your lifestyle through:

  • Maintaining a low fat / low fiber diet
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol and carbonated beverages
  • Eating small meals and chewing your food slowly
  • Taking walks after meals

It is also recommended that you talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking as they can also worsen gastroparesis symptoms.

If you would like to make an appointment with a diabetes specialist at Jamaica Hospital’s 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.

Meet Dr. Bijal Patel

Endocrinologist Jamaica New York

Jamaica Hospital would like to introduce you to our new Endocrinologist, Dr. Bijal Patel

Dr. Patel completed her residency within the MediSys Health Network, at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. She enjoyed the network’s dedication and working with the staff so much that she decided to join Jamaica Hospital as a full-time attending physician earlier this year.

As an endocrinologist, Dr. Patel provides a wide variety of services for patients in need of help with:

  • Osteoporosis and other bone disorders
  • Thyroid cancer and related conditions
  • Transgender hormone therapy
  • Adrenal and pituitary disease
  • Diabetes

While she is well qualified to help her patients with any of the above, Dr. Patel is most passionate about is treating individuals living with diabetes. Dr. Patel states “There is a very strong need in the community for treatment of the disease. The disease is extremely prevalent in the areas Jamaica Hospital serves. In addition, many others are living with undiagnosed and untreated diabetes.”

One of the ways Dr. Patel has helped her patients is utilizing the latest technology to help them better manage their diabetes. She is aware of many new advances and has incorporated them into her patient’s treatment plan.

She is extremely happy to join the Division of Endocrinology at Jamaica Hospital and work with such a strong team of doctors. She feels that together they are building a much-needed service that can greatly benefit the community.

Dr. Patel treats patients at the following locations:

TJH Medical Services
134-20 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11418
718-206-6742

Jamaica Hospital Ambulatory Care Center
8900 Van Wyck Expressway
Jamaica, NY 11418
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.

Oh My Aching Feet!

Corns and calluses are caused by pressure or friction on skin, which leads to the formation of thickened skin on the top or side of a toe. Complications from corns and calluses are rarely serious; however, if you are a diabetic they can lead to more serious issues.

Diabetics often have impaired sensitivity and may not be aware of the friction or presence of a corn or callous. Since they are unaware, the corn or callous can progress into ulcers or secondary infections without the person knowing.

In addition, diabetics don’t, usually, heal as quickly as non-diabetics and their infections can become life-threatening.

Indications that you may have a corn or callous:

  • Skin is thick and hardened.
  • Skin may be flaky and dry.
  • Hardened, thick skin areas are found feet or other areas that may be rubbed or pressed.
  • The affected areas can be painful and may bleed.

According to the National Institutes of Health, preventing friction by wearing proper fitting shoes and avoiding walking barefoot are often the only preventative measures you can take.

Regular examination of you feet can help you to identify any problems and, if you receive a foot injury, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing corns/calluses that are painful, red, warm, or there is drainage in the area, you should call your healthcare provider immediately to determine the cause.

To make an appointment with a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine at Jamaica Hospital Medical Centers Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-206-7005 to schedule 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.

Neuropathy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes. Typically, 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some sort of nerve problems, know as neuropathy.

Neuropathy is a shorter term for peripheral neuropathy, meaning nerve damage in the peripheral nervous system. Neuropathy from diabetes can damage the nerves in your hands, arms, feet and legs. This condition can cause pain, numbness and weakness. Depending on the degree of neuropathy, and how long you have been a diabetic, nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart and reproductive organs.

The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathy also appears to be more common in people who have issues with controlling their blood glucose, have high blood pressure and are overweight.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy vary depending on the nerves affected and develop gradually over the years. Symptoms may include:

  • Trouble with balance
  • Numbness and tingling of extremities
  • Abnormal sensation to a body part (Dysesthesia)
  • Diarrhea
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vision changes
  • Burning or electric pain in extremities

When treating diabetic neuropathy, a nutritionist may recommend healthier food choices and exercise to help lower your glucose and glycohemoglobin levels. Additionally, analgesics and low doses of antidepressants can be prescribed for pain relief, burning and tingling.

If you are a diabetic and have been experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center and Department of Nutrition can help. Call 718-206-7001 to get the process started.

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.

Healthy eating for people with diabetes

For people with diabetes, maintaining a healthy diet is crucial.  Although eating well-balanced meals is strongly encouraged, it is important to pay close attention to the carbohydrate portion of foods consumed as they become glucose when digested.

Glucose is a sugar needed to help our cells and organs function properly. In healthy individuals, the level of glucose within the blood is controlled so that it does not become too high or too low.  However, in people with diabetes, the body is unable to keep the glucose levels within the normal range. Frequent high levels of glucose within the blood is responsible for the complications that go along with diabetes including an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney damage, and many other problems.

To avoid the development of these complications and to help maintain normal glucose levels, people with diabetes should include foods that have low glycemic levels such as whole wheat bread, barley, carrots or lentils in their diets. Food such as white rice, white bread, pretzels or potatoes rank highly on the glycemic index and should be kept to a minimum or eliminated.

The glycemic index is a scale from 0-100 that gives us an idea of blood sugar response from a particular food. In general, foods that rank 55 or less are considered to have low glycemic levels and foods that rank 70 or more are high.  Anything in between these numbers is moderate.

While having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to follow a specific diet, it does mean you should remain mindful of what you eat.  Here are some recommended tips you can follow to help you along the way:

– Try to avoid or cut down on sweet drinks. Sugary drinks such as juice, soda, and energy drinks are very high in sugar and easily absorbed by the body so they will cause your blood sugar to go high quickly.

– Protein and fat in foods can lower the glycemic index (making it better for your blood sugar), but be careful you’re not eating too much because they are also rich in calories and can cause weight gain.

-Foods with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats such as lean meat, avocados, fish, and whole grain wheat are much better for you than food that contains saturated or transfats such as doughnuts, fried foods, and salami.

To schedule an appointment to speak with a doctor about managing your diabetes, please call the Jamaica Hospital Department of Family Medicine  at 718-206-6942.

Wesley Cheng D.O. Family Medicine

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 There a Benefit to Wearing a Fitness Tracker?

Generally speaking, if you are inactive your risk of  experiencing obesity, low energy, diabetes and hypertension is higher.  To combat these health issues, you can incorporate a brisk walk or run into your weekly activity.  The addition of this type of movement to your day may prevent or, in some cases, reverse health issues.

One of the ways some are finding it beneficial to keep track of their activity level is by wearing a “fitness tracker.”  Surprisingly, one of the first reports you may receive from your tracker is that you are not as active as you thought you were.

Most fitness trackers are a good way of monitoring your steps, calories, distance travelled, caloric intake, as well as your heart rate and sleep patterns.  They can be viewed as your “conscience” for personal accountability and motivation for a relatively low cost.

Some of the benefits of a fitness tracker include:

  • Encouraging physical activity – If you check your tracker and see that you are behind in your steps for the day, you may “step” up your game a bit and take a walk.
  • Measuring your heart rate – This feature can give you hard data on the effort you exert while doing a particular workout and/or task. It can give you a hint on the condition of your cardiovascular system by allowing you to see just how quickly your heart rate increases.
  • Providing insights on your sleep patterns – Sleep has a definite influence on your overall health. Fitness trackers that log sleep activity can help you address whatever is lacking in your sleep cycles.
  • Encouraging healthy eating – Fitness trackers can come equipped with apps that help you track your food and may help with weight loss.
  • Promoting interaction – Some fitness trackers allow the user to interact with other users, create group challenges and receive rewards for meeting goals.

There really isn’t a downside to tracking your activity, unless you take your fitness tracker off and it remains lost at the bottom of a drawer.

 

 

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.

Learn the Facts About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening condition for those living with diabetes. It occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough sugar (glucose) due to a lack of insulin.

Under normal conditions, insulin serves to help glucose enter the cells that make up our muscles and tissues and provide them with the energy they need.  However, when the body can’t produce enough insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream and fatty acids called ketones begin to build-up. These ketones can eventually spill over into the urine, leading to DKA.

If you have diabetes or you’re at risk of developing diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. DKA signs and symptoms can develop quickly and can include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Flushed, hot, or dry skin
  • Loss of appetite or abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to many health complications including low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) levels, low potassium (hypokalemia) levels, and swelling in the brain (cerebral edema). If left untreated, the risks can become much greater. Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to loss of consciousness and even fatality.

There are many different reasons for DKA to occur. One of the most common causes is the existence of a severe infection or other illness, such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection. These types of infections can cause the body to produce high levels of hormones that counter the effects of insulin.

Another common cause of DKA for people who are insulin dependent is either missed or inappropriate insulin therapy, which can leave the body with not enough insulin. Other contributing factors for the onset of DKA include extreme dehydration, trauma, heart attack, or alcohol or drug abuse.

The best way to prevent DKA is to commit yourself to managing your diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle and regularly monitoring your blood glucose and ketone levels.  If you find that your levels are not what they should be, act quickly and consult with your doctor about adjusting your dosage or seek emergency care.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7001.

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

Visiting the Mall Can Improve Your Health!

We all know that regular physical activity is important to our overall health, especially for seniors.

Did you know walking is a great way for older adults to remain active?

Seniors who commit to taking a brisk walk each day may be at a lower risk of:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast and colon cancers
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

With the onset of colder months upon us, how can older adults continue their walking routine and remain active?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that in the colder months, you can utilize indoor malls for your brisk walk.  Malls can be pedestrian friendly, they are climate-controlled, are well lit, have benches for resting, fountains for hydrating, restrooms, as well as security guards and cameras for safety.

For more information on mall walking programs and for other walking resources visit the CDC’s Mall Walking: A program Resource Guide at – https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/mallwalking-guide.pdf

So get yourself a comfortable pair of walking shoes, hit the mall and improve your health!

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.

Diabetes Prevention

Are you one of the estimated one in three adults in this country who have pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a silent health condition that has no symptoms and is almost always present before you develop type 2 diabetes.

It is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. If you haven’t visited your doctor, a good way to see if you are at increased risk for pre-diabetes is to take the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Diabetes risk test by visiting www.diabetes.org/risk.

Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older or those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Habitually physically inactive
  • Have previously been identified as having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are members of certain ethnic groups (including Asian, African-American, Hispanic or Native American)
  • Have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Have elevated blood pressure
  • Have elevated cholesterol
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have a history of vascular disease

That said, if you have pre-diabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by a sustained modest weight loss and increased moderate-physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day.

Through weight loss and increased physical activity, a dietitian may direct you on how to make food choices that cut down on the amount of fat and carbohydrates by:

  • Eating more foods that are broiled and fewer foods that are fried
  • Decrease the amount of butter you use in cooking
  • Eat more fish and chicken
  • Eat more meatless meals
  • Re-Orient your meals to reflect more vegetables and fruit

If you have symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision, you may have crossed from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center now offers a free and innovative approach to treat patients who are at risk for developing diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was developed by the National Institute of Health and is aimed at managing the health of individuals with either prediabetes or borderline diabetes.

These meetings are facilitated by “Lifestyle Coaches” who are specially trained and certified Jamaica Hospital Patient Navigators with strong interpersonal and group facilitation skills.For more information about eligibility or to sign up for the Diabetes Prevention Program, please call 718-206-7088.

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.