What Does a Low Level of Testosterone Signify ?

Testosterone is a hormone that is produced by the testicles. It affects sexual development, appearance, muscle strength, and sperm production. As men age, the level of testosterone circulating in the blood tends to decrease. The decrease is usually gradual after the age of 30.

Besides age, there are also medical conditions that can lead to low testosterone levels. Examples of these conditions are Klinefelter syndrome, Noonan syndrome, damage to the testicles, Infection, or obesity. Cancer treatments including radiation or chemotherapy can also cause this effect. Some medications such as antidepressants and narcotics can also lower testosterone levels.

A low level of testosterone can cause:
• Diminished sex drive
• Erectile dysfunction
• Low semen count
• Hair loss • Fatigue
• Decrease in muscle mass
• Changes in memory
• Depression

A diagnosis for low testosterone can be made after evaluating the results of a blood test.

Treatment for low testosterone can be accomplished with Testosterone Therapy which can be administered in various ways:
• Transdermal
• Injection
• Oral
• Intranasal
• Pellets under the skin

There can be side effects of testosterone therapy such as redness at site of injection or where the patch is located, abnormal raising of blood hemoglobin levels, enlarged breasts, an enlarged prostate, or an altered sperm count.

Speak to your physician if you think you might be experiencing decreased testosterone levels. You can schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 718-670-5486.

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 Does it Mean to Have an Enlarged Heart ?

An enlarged heart, also known by its medical terminology as cardiomegaly, enlarges because of damage to the heart muscle. The main cause of an enlarged heart is when the walls of the ventricles become thin and stretched beyond their normal size. This is known as dilated cardiomyopathy. It can also be due to a thickening of the ventricles. This is known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

There are several factors that can lead to an enlarged heart.  These include:

  • Pregnancy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Fluid around the heart
  • Excessive iron in the body
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • HIV
  • Alcohol or cocaine use
  • Abnormal heart valve
  • Viral infection of the heart
  • Genetics
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Abnormal heart rhythm

If a person experiences shortness of breath, an abnormal heart rhythm or edema these could be signs of an enlarged heart and be a reason for your doctor to conduct further tests. The diagnosis of an enlarged heart can be made by x-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress test, CT scan or an MRI.

Treatment  for an enlarged heart may include taking medications that are prescribed once the cause of the condition has been determined.  It is also possible that treatment may require heart valve surgery, coronary bypass surgery, and a heart transplant. 

Lifestyle changes can also help people who have enlarged hearts. It is important to quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, limit salt intake, control diabetes, and get a moderate amount of exercise.

Having an enlarged heart isn’t something that a person would be able to diagnose on their own. Speak to your physician if you have reason to be concerned. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center is spreading awareness by sharing important facts about the disorder with our community.

Down syndrome, also called Trisomy 21, is the most common chromosomal condition in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in every 700 babies in the U.S.  is born with Down syndrome.  

Typically, at the time of conception, a fetus receives genetic information from both parents in the form of 46 chromosomes.  Down syndrome occurs when the fetus receives an extra copy of a chromosome; resulting in 47 chromosomes.  This extra chromosome affects the way a baby develops physically and mentally.   Some of the physical features and developmental problems associated with Down syndrome include:

  • Flattened face
  • Small head
  • Upward slanting eyelids
  • Unusually shaped or small ears
  • Protruding tongue
  • Short height
  • Language delay
  • Mild to moderate cognitive impairment

Every baby born with Down syndrome is different.  Each child will have physical or intellectual disabilities that are unique to their condition.  Parents of babies born with Down syndrome are advised to enroll their children into early- intervention services such as speech therapy or occupational therapy as soon as possible.  These services can help to encourage or accelerate the child’s development.

The most commonly known risk factor linked to Down syndrome is a mother’s age.  Women over the age of 35 have a significantly higher risk of having a child with this condition.  Those with an increased risk are encouraged to consult a genetic counselor to discuss screening options.

To speak with a doctor a Flushing Hospital about your risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, please call  718-670-5486

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 Fall Activities

autumn, fall, leaves, changingleaves, fallactivities

With temperatures dropping and crisp air abounding; the fall season is a great time to begin a fitness regime.

Some tips for how to start you fall fitness routine are:

Change it up – The fall season is a great season to spend time with family and friends while taking part in physical activities such as walking through apple and pumpkin patches, corn mazes or trails.

Participate in fun runs – The fall season is when organizations plan their fun runs.  You can participate in a 5K, or a turkey trot.  If you get a group together, it can further motivate you.

Appreciate fall foliage – The fall season brings with it lots of colored leaves.  Local parks usually have trails to walk, run or ride a bike on.

Go to a farmer’s market – Fall brings lots of root vegetables into season.  Take a bike ride and stop at local farmer’s markets to pick up some healthy, tasty fruits and veggies.

Rake the lawn – In the fall season, even chores can be a really good workout. Activities such as raking the leaves can provide great cardio exercise.

As you can see, fall offers several opportunities to stay active and create good habits that will last with you throughout the upcoming holiday season and winter months.

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.

Folliculitis

folliculitis Folliculitis is a common skin condition that occurs when our hair follicles become inflamed.   This inflammation is often caused by:

  • Bacteria
  • A fungus
  • Blockages from skin products
  • Hair removal (shaving, waxing, plucking)
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Friction ( tight clothing rubbing against areas of the skin where hair is present)

The most common symptom of folliculitis is an outbreak of tiny, white-headed or red bumps on the skin. Other symptoms may include:

  • Tender, painful skin
  • Itchy skin
  • A large, swollen mass
  • Pus-filled blisters

Folliculitis can affect anyone; however, the risk increases if you have acne or dermatitis, regularly wear tight clothing, are taking certain medications, are a person who shaves often or soaks in hot tubs that are poorly maintained.

Treatment of folliculitis may vary based on severity.  If symptoms are mild, it is recommended that you keep the area clean and apply a warm compress. If you are itchy, topical solutions such as oatmeal lotion or hydrocortisone cream might help.  In severe cases or instances where symptoms last more than a few days, it is strongly advised that you see a doctor.  Your doctor may prescribe antifungal shampoos, antibiotics or antifungal creams or pills to help control symptoms.  In the event that a large, pus-filled boil has formed your doctor may perform minor surgery to drain the pus and relieve the 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.

Flushing Hospital’s Dr. Chad P. Gehani Elected President of The American Dental Association

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Chad Gehani

Founded in 1859, the American Dental Association (ADA) is our nation’s oldest and largest dental association.  For more than 150 years the organization has been known nationally and internationally as the leading resource on all things related to oral health. Many of the oral care guidelines we are familiar with today were established by the American Dental Association and hundreds of dental care products that we use boast the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance as a symbol of quality assurance.

Recently chosen to lead this globally recognized and influential American institution is Queen’s own Dr. Chad P. Gehani, Chair of Endodontics at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Gehani was elected as the 156th President of the American Dental Association in September.

Becoming President of the ADA once seemed like a dream that Dr. Gehani was uncertain would come true.  In an interview in ADA News, he recalled a conversation he had with his father many years ago, “I called my father and said, ‘I’m now an American citizen and now a member of the ADA.’ He was very proud and actually said to me, ‘I want to see you as president of that association.’ And of course, in my mind, that was not doable for me so I just laughed at him. That was not in my cards.”   His father’s unwavering faith in his son’s abilities provided the motivation needed to help Dr. Gehani realize this dream could become a reality.

As President, Dr. Gehani often describes his role as a servant-leader.   He will lead the close to 200,000 members of the ADA while advocating for patients’ rights to access quality oral healthcare- especially those living in communities that are underserved.   Dr. Gehani aims to improve patient outcomes and provide the guidance needed to help them make informed decisions about their treatment options.

In addition to his role as President of the ADA, Dr. Gehani continues to serve as a mentor to dental residents at Flushing Hospital where he has worked for over two decades.  As Chair of Endodontics, he focuses on offering high-quality dental services to patients and providing resources to benefit the community.   His devotion to bettering the communities he serves has earned him the Ellis Island Medal of Honor- presented to individuals who exemplify a life dedicated to community service.

“We are proud to have Dr. Gehani as Chair of Endodontics at Flushing Hospital and just as proud that he has been elected President of the American Dental Association.  Dr.  Gehani abides by a strict code of ethics which is reflected in the work that he does.  He is very community-oriented which is the culture promoted here at our hospital,” said Mr. Robert Levine, Executive Vice President and COO of Flushing Hospital.

Each year, Flushing Hospital collaborates with the American Dental Association to promote the Give Kids a Smile Program, providing a day of free preventative dental care to children in the community.   The hospital’s dental department also offers free dental screenings, oral cancer screenings, and oral health education in schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and several local organizations.

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.

October is SIDS Awareness Month

The month of October is designated as National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. The purpose of this observation is to bring attention to this leading cause of death in children under the age of one.

SIDS is the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby that occurs during sleep. The cause is not completely known, however, it is thought to be related to a defect in the part of the brain that controls breathing.

Some of the risk factors for SIDS include:

  • A low birth weight
  • Having a recent respiratory infection
  • Having a brain defect that controls breathing
  • Gender ( boys are at higher risk than girls)
  • Living in an environment with second hand smoke
  • Having a family history of SIDS
  • Having a mother who smokes or drinks alcohol during pregnancy

How a baby sleeps can also be a factor. The risk of SIDS may increase if a baby sleeps in a bed with another person, if a baby sleeps on their stomach, or if a baby sleeps on a mattress that is too soft.

There are a few ways to prevent SIDS from occurring. These include having the baby sleep on its back, keeping the room where a baby sleeps from getting too hot, keeping the crib as empty as possible, and having the baby sleep in the same room as an adult if possible. It is also thought that breast feeding for the first six months may help to prevent SIDS.

If you are pregnant, it is important to receive good prenatal care. Speak to your doctor about classes that you can take to learn how to properly care for your infant. You can also call Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5000 and ask to speak to a maternity specialist.

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.

Can A Glycemic Index Help Diabetics Control Their Blood Sugar

If you have diabetes, you probably already know that eating certain carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar levels dramatically and quickly.

That’s because carbohydrates such as refined sugars and breads are easier for your body to convert into glucose, (the sugar your body uses for energy) than more slowly digested carbohydrates like those in vegetables and whole grains.

glycemic index, diabetes, flushing Hospital, blood sugar

If you are diabetic and consume too much of the wrong type of carbohydrates you may have a difficult time controlling your blood sugar. To help diabetics make better choices a guide known as the glycemic index (GI) has been developed. This index assigns numbers to carbohydrate-containing foods based on how much and how quickly they can increase your blood sugar. The glycemic index provides diabetics with a way to distinguish slower-acting “good carbs” from the faster “bad carbs.” Many utilize this tool to refine their carbohydrate intake and to help them maintain steady blood sugar levels.

According to the glycemic index, carbohydrates with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized, resulting in a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. GI values are divided into three categories:

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

Research has indicated that for most diabetics, the best tool for managing blood glucose is carbohydrate counting. Some clinical studies also suggest that a low GI diet can help people with diabetes control blood glucose levels, but there are warnings.

While the glycemic index can be a helpful tool to assist diabetics, most healthcare professionals agree that it shouldn’t be the only guide used to determine what to eat. One of the reasons for this is that the glycemic index only takes the carbohydrate value into account and doesn’t consider other nutritional values. The glycemic index also does not take into consideration the portion size of the carbohydrates being eaten, how they are being prepared, and what other foods are being consumed at the same time.

The glycemic index is also used by individuals who are trying to lose weight as well as those trying to adopt a healthier diet. Regardless of the reason however, doctors maintain that even though it can be helpful, the glycemic index should not be used in isolation as other nutritional factors, such as calories, fat, fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients should be considered.

If you have diabetes and are considering adopting the glycemic index into your diet, it is important to speak to your doctor first. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a diabetes specialist at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-5486.

 

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 Dental Health Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) would like to bring awareness to a dental hygiene condition that affects most people, gum disease or gingivitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately half of the American population has gum disease or symptoms of it. Affecting women and men alike, no one is excluded from this possible diagnosis- even child are susceptible.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the gum tissues and bone that supports the teeth.  Many factors can increase the chances of developing gum disease, such as tobacco use, stress, poor diet, or even genetics.  Hardened plaque, called tartar or calculus, that builds up by the gum line can bring about gingivitis and spread into the underlying bone.  It can start slowly without any pain and may go unnoticed until there is pain.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease can include:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Metallic taste
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Deep pockets (the space between gums and the teeth)

While practicing good dental hygiene, such as regular flossing and brushing after meals, can help slow the progression of such a disease, it is important to schedule regular dental check-ups to prevent gum disease or its progression.

Unfortunately, many people go to the dentist only when they experience some sort of pain or symptom. Don’t let this happen to you.  Keep on top of your oral health and make an appointment with your dentist every six months for a dental check- up and deep cleaning.  If you would like to make an appointment with a Board Certified Dentist at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Center, call 718-670-5221 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.

Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that keep your arm in the shoulder socket.  Damage or injury caused to the rotator cuff can result in limited mobility or permanent loss of motion of the shoulder joint.

Rotator cuff injuries are very common; in fact, it is estimated that close to 2 million people living in the United States seek treatment for rotator cuff problems every year.

Injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their daily activities.  However, an injury can also be sustained due to an accident or the degeneration of tendons. These factors put some at risk of injury more than others.  Those who have an increased risk of injury include:

  • Individuals who play certain sports that involve the use of repetitive arm motions such as baseball or tennis
  • Individuals employed in occupations that require the use of constant overhead motion such as a house painting
  • Individuals over the age of 40

Injury to the rotator cuff can range from microscopic tears to large irreparable tears.  According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, symptoms can vary depending on the severity of these tears and may include:

  • Pain at rest and at night, particularly if lying on the affected shoulder
  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with specific movements
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
  • Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible.  Prolonging a doctor’s visit can result in more damage.

Your doctor may conduct a physical examination and (or) imaging tests such as x-rays or an MRI to determine if you have received an injury. Treatment for a rotator cuff injury may include rest, physical therapy or surgery.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical, please call 718-206-6923

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.