Facts About Dietary Supplements

Did you know that more than two-third of adults in the United States are overweight or obese?

According to the National Institute of health (NIH), many ameri9cans are using dietary supplements for weight loss as a solution.  The trend towards dietary supplements could be attributed to the belief that these products may help you lose weight more quickly.  However, according to the NIH, “There’s little scientific evidence that weight-loss supplements work.  Many are expensive and some can interact or interfere with medications, and a few might be harmful.”

There are many kinds of dietary supplements.  They come in a variety of forms, such as capsules, tablets, liquids, powders, and bars.

Some of the more common ingredients in dietary supplements that are mostly save include:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Caffeine
  • Minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium)

Certain ingredients included in supplements that might be harmful are:

  • Bitter orange
  • Hoodia
  • Yohimbe

Keep in mind, before choosing to take dietary supplements, it would be a good idea to consult with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist.  They may be able to assist you in preventing supplement-drug interactions and other risks.

The proven and healthy way to lose weight is by eating a balanced diet and exercising.  If you would like to speak with a nutritionist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center about how to get started on a healthier lifestyle, call 718-670-5486 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.

Importance of Getting Fully Vaccinated

More and more Americans are receiving their COVID-19 vaccination every day, which is cause for optimism. But those who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines need to get both doses to be fully protected. Unfortunately, recent data has revealed that as many as 8% of people are not getting their second dose.

Research during the trial phase for each of the two-dose vaccines showed that, after a certain time, the rate of immunity to COVID-19 plateaued with just one dose but that the second dose helped boost the immunity to higher rates. Typically, these vaccines are only between 60% and 70% effective after the first dose, but approximately 90% effective after the second.

Trying to determine why up to 5 million Americans have skipped their second dose vary. In some instances, it could be due to a scheduling mishap or canceled appointments, but other reasons cited include the belief that one dose is enough or fear over side effects after a second dose.

There are multiple reasons why the second dose is so important.

  • Protecting Yourself – Probably the biggest reason for getting both doses is easy and obvious: better protection against COVID-19. With such high rates of effectiveness, getting both doses better protect you against not just getting COVID-19, but from serious illness and hospitalization.
  • Protecting Your Community – Just as important, the more protected you are against COVID-19, the more your family and friends are protected as well.
  • Achieving Herd Immunity – The more people get both shots, the closer we get to herd immunity. (Herd immunity, or population/community immunity, is when a large part of the population has gotten vaccinated or has enough antibodies to resist the infection).

It is also important to not get discouraged if you miss your scheduled second dose.  While it is recommended that you get your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine 3 weeks after the initial dose, and four weeks after for the Moderna vaccine, the CDC has stated that you can still get your second dose up to six weeks after the first shot for both vaccines. If you hesitated and think you missed your window, you may not have. You should check with your health care provider for guidance.

 

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.

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month

The month of May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. The significance of this observation is to bring attention to a condition that currently affects over 53 million Americans and is expected to grow to over 67 million people by the year 2030.  Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and has an economic impact of over $156 million in medical expenses and lost wages.

There are three major forms of arthritis. These are:

  • Osteoarthritis – This is the most common form of arthritis which results in the wearing down of the cartilage at the ends of bones. Osteoarthritis leads to bone rubbing against bone, causing pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease that causes an inflammatory reaction to occur in the synovium or lining of the joints. Eventually this will cause the joints to deteriorate.
  • Psoriatic arthritis – occurs in people who have psoriasis. It affects the joints as well as the ligaments and tendons that attach to the bones.

There is a lot of misinformation about arthritis and available treatment options. Some common misconceptions are:

  • Arthritis only affects the elderly – this is not true. Arthritis can occur at any age.
  • Exercise may make arthritis worse – this is not true. Exercise improves muscle strength which can take some of the pressure away from the joints.
  • All joint pain is related to arthritis – this is not true. Other causes of joint pain include gout, bursitis, lupus and tendonitis.
  • There is no treatment for arthritis – this isn’t true. Often treatment will involve relieving the symptoms with medications and physical therapy. Surgery may be needed if the condition is causing limitations in one’s ability to perform functions of daily living.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your joints, it is advisable to speak with a rheumatologist or orthopedist who specializes in treating arthritic conditions. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center you may 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.

World Hand Hygiene Day

Since 2005, the World Health Organization has been  leading a global effort to improve hand hygiene in order to reduce infections among healthcare workers and the patients that they care for. This initiative is recognized on May 5th every year throughout the world.
Proper hand hygiene is very important in keeping germs from spreading from person to person. Hands should be washed:
• Before, during and after preparing food
• Before eating
• Before and after taking care of a person who is ill
• Before treating a wound
• After using the bathroom
• After sneezing, coughing or wiping a runny nose
• After taking out the garbage
• Before coming in to contact with a baby
• After touching pets
Usually warm water and soap are sufficient to clean your hands. If the cleanliness of the water is questionable, a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol can be used, keeping in mind that it may not remove all chemicals from the skin and doesn’t kill all types of germs.
There is no exact amount of time that hand washing should take but a good rule of thumb is about 20 seconds or about the same amount of time that it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song.

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 to Expect After Your Celiac Disease Diagnosis

celiac disease -485705368If you have received a diagnosis from your doctor that confirms you have celiac disease; it is natural to wonder what comes next.  Many doctors will offer guidelines that may include tips to live gluten-free. While these guidelines are essential, it is also very important that you truly understand your medical condition.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac disease is defined as, “a genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.” It is estimated that the disease affects one in every one hundred people worldwide.  If left untreated, celiac disease can cause long-term health conditions such as gall bladder malfunction, infertility or miscarriage, pancreatic insufficiency, early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

In addition to having a better understanding of celiac disease, educating yourself about the changes to expect in your lifestyle, will prove helpful. Some of the changes include:

  • Discarding any food that contains gluten. This means sticking to a strict diet that excludes wheat, barley, farina, oats, rye and other items that are known to have gluten.
  • Excluding certain items from your diet may deprive you of some nutrients; it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about which vitamins and dietary supplements you should take.
  • Evaluating the ingredients in medications; some may have small amounts of gluten.
  • Taking care of your body by exercising and implementing more fruits and fresh vegetables into your diet.
  • Following up with your physician or dietitian as recommended. This is important as it will help them to monitor your nutritional intake and check for deficiencies.

Finding resources that can help you transition or stick to new your lifestyle such as your doctor, support groups, organizations such as the Celiac Disease Foundation, or a local hospital can help make life after your celiac diagnosis a little easier.

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.

Recommendations For People Planning To Travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for travel to destinations within the United States and internationally. Currently, the CDC recommends delaying travel unless you are fully vaccinated. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you are advised not to travel. This lessens the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated  can travel safely to destinations within the United States.  Fully vaccinated people do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival at their destination and they do not have to be tested before or after their trip unless it is required by their destination.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
  • Two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine

The CDC still recommends that travelers within the United States:

  • Wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth
    • Masks are required on planes, trains, buses, boats and other forms of public transportation.
    • Masks are required in airports, train stations and all other public places
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Wash their hands and use sanitizers often
  • Remain six feet away from others

People who are not fully vaccinated must be COVID-19 tested 1 – 3 days prior to traveling and again get tested 3 – 5 days after their trip. Travelers must self-quarantine for 7 days after they arrive at their destination. They should also avoid coming in contact with anyone at risk of contracting the virus.

People traveling to the United States from other countries must have an approved Covid test performed 1 -3 days prior to travel and the result must be negative. Documentation of test results must be shown upon request. If the test result is positive, they will not be allowed to enter the United States and will be banned from traveling. International travelers must also follow the safety precautions listed above once they arrive to their destinations.

There is some progress being made in terms of safe travel but there are still many places where the risk of contracting the Covid virus is still high. Therefore, following safety recommendations is always in your best interest.

The CDC will update their recommendations as more people get vaccinated and as the rates of infection diminish. You may get more information about travel by going to the CDC website www.cdc.gov/covid19travel

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.

Employee Spotlight – Leonel Torres

April’s Employee Spotlight shines on Leonel Torres.  “Leo” as he’s referred to, has been an employee at Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) for the past three years as the Information Systems Supervisor and before that, Leo worked at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for 4 years.

In his capacity, he provides technical support related to network issues, computer systems and hardware and software issues to insure all departments, hospital wide, are able to provide the necessary quality of care to patients or meet departmental performance goals.

Leo finds his job very rewarding because he is ensuring patients get the best quality of care by helping the healthcare providers have the resources available to provide such care.

He admits that it can sometimes his job can be challenging especially when he is trying to understand an issue and resolve it in a timely fashion, especially when the user isn’t a technical person themselves, but Leo notes, “The silver lining is the ability to both resolve the issues for them and help them better understand what presents the issue in the future.”

When he isn’t at work, Leo spends a great deal of his downtime spending quality time with his family and working on continuing to enhance his skills in his field by keeping up with certifications and programming computers and network switches.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center congratulates Leonel Torres as April’s Employee Spotlight!

 

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.

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

The month of April has been designated as Testicular Cancer Awareness Month.  This is a disease where cancer cells form in one or both testicles. The average age of detection is 33 years old.. The American Cancer Society estimates that 8,430 new cases are diagnosed each year and more than 380 men will die from the disease. It is considered to be a highly treatable disease, with an average of one death per 5,000 men.

There are a few risk factors of testicular cancer:

  • Family history
  • History of HIV positivity
  • Races – Caucasian American males are at highest risk followed by African American males then Asian American males
  • Body size – tall slender males are at higher risk
  • History of an undescended testicle

The signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump or swollen testicles
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Back pain
  • Breast growth or tenderness
  • Pre puberty growth of hair on face and body
  • Aches in the belly or testicles

Diagnosing testicular cancer is done by performing a physical exam as well as an ultrasound to detect whether a mass is solid ( more likely to be cancerous ) or fluid filled, a blood test to detect certain proteins, a biopsy to see if there are cancerous cells present, and an MRI or Cat Scan to see if the cancer has spread.

Treatment of testicular cancer is determined based upon what is found at the time of diagnostic testing. Typically surgery to remove the affected testicle(s) as well as radiation and chemotherapy are needed.

Testicular cancer is highly treatable if caught early. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a urologist 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.

Pregnant Women And The COVID-19 Vaccination

One of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine is, “Should pregnant women receive the vaccine?”

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that results in intensive care admission, mechanical ventilation, or death. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.

The best answer is, getting vaccinated is a personal choice and, although not required, should be made with the advice of your Ob/Gyn.

If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant and would like to learn more information about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you can make an appointment at the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology by calling 718-670-5239.

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.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Foods To Avoid

An estimated 1.3 million people living in the United States have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an autoimmune inflammatory disease that attacks the tissues around the joints.

There are many treatments available to help those diagnosed lead a healthy life. Additionally, eating a balanced diet void of certain inflammatory foods prove beneficial in helping to control RA.

Here is a list of foods that individuals living with RA are advised to avoid or limit:

  • Grilled, broiled, or fried meats
  • Organ meat, such as liver
  • Fried food
  • Foods that include preservatives or flavor enhancers
  • Sugars and refined carbohydrates
  • Fatty foods that are full of omega-6 fatty acids
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy

If you or a loved one either has or is at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, please speak to your doctor immediately about treatment options. To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’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.