What Does Having Low Pressure Mean ?

Blood pressure is considered low when the top blood pressure reading is lower than 90 mm Hg (systolic) and the bottom number is lower than 60 mm Hg (diastolic).  Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80. The systolic pressure is the amount of pressure the heart is exerting when it is pumping blood and the diastolic pressure is the amount of pressure on the arteries when the heart is between beats.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is often classified into categories based on causes and factors. These include:

Postural hypotension- a sudden drop in blood pressure that occurs when a person moves rapidly from a sitting or lying down position to a standing position.  It is often seen in people who are dehydrated, pregnant or on prolonged bed rest or who have large varicose veins, heart problems or certain neurologic disorders. Certain medications can lead to postural hypotension as well. These include diuretics (water pills), alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, medications for Parkinson’s disease, antidepressants and erectile dysfunction.

Postprandial hypotension -occurs after a person eats a large meal and affects mainly older people. Normally after a meal a person’s heart rate will increase and the blood vessels will constrict. In postprandial hypotension this doesn’t occur and a person may feel dizzy or feel faint.

Low blood pressure may also be due to faulty brain signals to the heart. Other causes of low blood pressure can occur when there is sepsis, during a heart attack, being anemic, having a slow heart rate, when there is heart failure, and in conditions such as parathyroid disease, hypoglycemia, and adrenal insufficiency.

Symptoms of low pressure can be indicative of underlying medical conditions and can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness

Diagnosing low blood pressure can be accomplished by taking a blood test to determine if there are metabolic causes, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, a stress test, or a tilt table test.

Treatment of low pressure is determined when the cause has been identified. It may include a change in diet, consuming more water, wearing compression stockings, or taking medication.

If you are experiencing symptoms of low pressure you should consult with your physician to make a diagnosis and find the cause. 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.

November is Bladder Health Month

The American Urological Association (AUA) has designated November as Bladder Health Month.

flushing hospital, bladder health month

So often we take bladder health for granted until a problem starts to develop, therefore the AUA is committed to increasing the public’s awareness  about bladder health conditions.

Some symptoms of an infected bladder are:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Pain with urination
  • Blood in the urine

The good news is by taking an active role in your bladder health you can avoid infections and reduce the risk of developing several medical problems. Here are some ways you can help improve your bladder’s health and help it to function properly.

  1. Don’t wait long to use the bathroom. Holding in urine can add pressure to the bladder and increase the risk of developing infections.
  2. Do not rush when emptying your bladder. Rushing may result in your bladder not emptying completely- this can lead to bladder infections.
  3. Avoid food or drinks that contain irritants. Certain food or drinks that contain ingredients such as caffeine, artificial sweeteners, acid, spices, excessive amounts of salt and alcohol can worsen bladder problems.
  4. Drink enough water throughout the day. Drinking your daily recommended amount of water can help flush out bacteria in the urinary tract.
  5. Avoid constipation by adding fiber to your diet. Constipation often results in a full rectum which adds pressure to the bladder.
  6. Urinate after having intercourse. Men and women should try to urinate after sexual intercourse. This helps to flush away bacteria that may have entered during sex.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection and have questions about maintaining bladder health, please call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment with a urologist.

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.

Hoarding Disorder

Living area of someone with Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding disorder (HD) is a mental health condition characterized by the inability to part with or throw away items due to a perceived need to save them.

People diagnosed with HD accumulate an excessive amount of possessions regardless of value. Unlike collectors who collect specific types of items such as model cars, those who hoard acquire random items that are often useless or of little value to most people such as paper bags. This acquisition often results in disorganized piles of objects overcrowding living spaces. Some people who hoard may also begin to acquire living things such as animals, resulting in unsanitary living conditions.

Common reasons why people who hoard accumulate these possessions include:

  • Not wanting to be wasteful and believing  items will be needed in the future
  • Feeling safe when surrounded by items
  • Holding on to items perceived to have emotional significance
  • Believing  their items are unique

Symptoms of hoarding typically begin to present during an individual’s early teenage years, the average onset is 13 years old.  As a person ages, symptoms often become more severe. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, symptoms can include:

  • Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
  • Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
  • Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
  • Suspicion of other people touching items
  • Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
  • Functional impairments, including loss of living space, social isolation, family or marital discord, financial difficulties, health hazards

Although the cause of hoarding disorder is unknown,   there are several factors that put some at risk of developing this condition more than others.  The risk factors include having a family history of HD, encountering stressful or traumatic life events, having an indecisive personality, receiving brain injuries or experiencing material deprivation such as childhood poverty.

Those living with hoarding disorder are often likely to have other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit /hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or alcohol use disorder.

People with hoarding disorder typically do not recognize hoarding as a problem; therefore, many do not seek the help they need.  Hoarding disorder is often identified when individuals seek treatment for other mental health conditions or when loved ones or local health departments intervene.   

Hoarding disorder is diagnosed by performing a psychological examination. The most common form of therapy used to treat hoarding disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy.  This kind of therapy helps individuals to become aware of harmful thought and behavioral patterns, and develop new strategies to engage in healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Treatment of HD may also involve learning organizational and decision making skills, as well as medication therapy.

If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of hoarding disorder and would like to receive assistance from a mental health professional at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5562.

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 – Krizia Bodden

October’s Employee Spotlight shines on Krizia Bodden, Coordinator for the daily operations of the mother/baby units which include Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatrics, Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) as well as the OB/GYN Clinic at Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC).

Krizia has been an employee at FHMC for the past 12 years.  Before becoming a Coordinator, she worked as a Billing Clerk and a Registrar. 

Together with her husband and three sons, Krizia loves  shopping , going to movies and enjoying the great outdoors.  She is dedicated to her religious community and travels often.

As with anyone who works caring for patients, there are challenges. “Since I am a mom, it is extremely hard when a patient’s baby does not make it.  That will never get easier.”

The most rewarding part of her job is, “Patient satisfaction.  When I see the patients happy with the care given to them and their newborn child, the reward is great.”  Krizia credits her departments positive outcome to the staff she if proud to work with.

For these and so many other reasons, Krizia is our October Employee Spotlight.  Congratulations Krizia Bodden!

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.

Vaccinations For Older Adults

Vaccinations for Seniors

Most people understand the importance of getting their children vaccinated. A great deal of attention has been paid to protecting them from dangerous conditions that could affect their undeveloped immune systems. Although much attention has been paid to the youngest portion of our population, there is another at-risk group that needs to be aware of vaccines that can help keep them healthy – our senior citizens.

There are many vaccines recommended for older adults but unfortunately, many seniors do not receive them.  Failure to do so can lead to serious consequences because as we age our immune systems weaken and the likelihood of developing serious complications increases greatly.

There are four suggested vaccines that all adults over the age of 65 should receive. They are:

  • Influenza vaccine – It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of seniors do not receive their annual flu shot. This is alarming because according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 85 percent of all seasonal flu-related deaths are among people 65 and older. Getting a flu shot every year can drastically decrease the chances of getting the flu and the complications that accompany it.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine – Older adults are much more likely to develop complications from the pneumococcal bacteria, such as blood infections, meningitis and pneumonia itself. Pneumococcal disease is responsible for the deaths of about 18,000 individuals over the age of65 each year. To protect against pneumonia it is recommended that all adults over 65 receive a series of two vaccines administered one year apart.
  • Tdap booster – This vaccine provides protection against three conditions – tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. This is especially important for older adults who spend time around infants, such as grandchildren since pertussis, also known as the whopping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can be life-threatening to babies. Even if you received this vaccine as a child it’s important to get the booster as its effectiveness wanes over time.
  • Shingles vaccine – The infection herpes zoster develops when the chickenpox virus, which lies dormant in almost all adults who had chickenpox as a child, reactivates later in life.  When it returns it can cause a blistering painful rash. It is recommended that all adults over the age of 50 receive the shingles vaccine, even if they already had shingles. The latest and most effective shingles vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart.

All older adults should adhere to these vaccinations to protect not only themselves but their loved ones as well. If you are over 65, speak to your doctor to find out if you are up to date with all your recommended vaccines.  If you would like to make an appointment with a doctor 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.

Flushing Hospital’s Nurse Of The Month

Our nurses are the pillars of our community. In addition to meeting the demands of being a caregiver, they wear several hats including that of an educator, nurturer,  and comforter.

Not only do nurses care for patients; they provide support to families and loved ones during difficult times.

Our nurses pour their hearts into all aspects of their job, and this is one of the many reasons why we celebrate their accomplishments.

Join us in congratulating Vedautie “Veda” Seepersad, RN for receiving Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Nurse of the Month.

Meet Veda:

Q&A:

Q: How long have you been working for FHMC?
A:
I have been working at Flushing Hospital for fifteen years

Q: On which unit do you currently work?
A: 
 I work on the Telemetry/Stroke unit

Q: Why did you want to become a nurse?
A: 
I wanted to become a nurse because nursing is a compassionate, interesting, caring and rewarding profession. As a nurse, I can use my professional skills to work with people anywhere in the world. My humble approach and positive attitude towards patients and families make a difference in their lives. Having been a patient, I know how it feels to be lying in a bed so I treat all my patients with love and respect and do my best to take care of their needs.

QWhat is the best part of your job?
A:
 The best part of my job is working with my peers and teaching my new nurses. I feel rewarded when patients and families are satisfied and appreciative of the nursing care provided. Recently I had a patient who coded and expired. I had the opportunity to be with the patient knowing there was no family present. I was able to hold her hands while she passed. When the family arrived they were so appreciative and praised me for an awesome job well done knowing her mother did not die alone.

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 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.