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.

Is It Spring Allergies Or COVID19?

With Spring now upon us, more and more people are taking advantage of the nicer weather and spending significant time outdoors, but this change in season can also bring the return of allergies for many. For some, these allergic reactions could be confused with symptoms of Covid-19. Flushing Hospital wants to offer our community with tips on how to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and Covid.

While the symptoms of allergies and Covid-19 can be similar, there are some definitive ways to tell which you are experiencing so you can treat it appropriately.

Typically, a virus such as Covid-19 causes a system-wide response, while an allergy, which is an overreaction of the immune system in response to exposure to a trigger, is usually more localized. For instance, someone with Covid-19 may have a fever, body aches, chills, a sore throat, weakness, and respiratory symptoms. On the other hand, someone with allergies will be more likely to have the symptoms centered on the nose, eyes, and throat, and they usually will not have a fever.

In addition, allergies cause itchiness: itchy eyes, itchy nose and sneezing, and a tickle in the throat, while itchiness is usually not a symptom of illness. COVID-19 also does not seem to cause much in the way of nasal symptoms, which means if your child is sneezing a lot, it is more likely allergies and isn’t related to COVID-19.

To treat allergies, your doctor may recommend using allergy medications to prevent or manage the symptoms. This can include antihistamines (a medication that blocks histamine, a chemical your body releases when exposed to a trigger), nasal corticosteroids (prescription medications that relieve symptoms by reducing inflammation in your nasal passages), and if you also have asthma, a rescue asthma inhaler (this contains a medication that opens airway passages) and inhaled corticosteroids (this reduces the inflammation in your airways).

In addition, there are some things you can do to limit your chances of experiencing allergy symptoms, including:

  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting in your eyes.
  • Remove your clothes as soon as you come home and wash them remove allergens.
  • Wash your child’s hands and face as soon as they come in from the outdoors.

It is important to note that you can have seasonal allergies and still contract Covid, so it is important to not dismiss the possibility of one just because you have the other.  If you have any suspicions, it is important to consult with your physicians.  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.

#WorkoutWednesday How Much Water To Drink While Working Out

Staying hydrated while exercising is very important, especially during the hotter months when we tend to lose more water by sweating. The best way to hydrate our bodies is to drink water, as it helps to prevent dehydration.

While drinking water greatly benefits our bodies, consuming too much can have adverse effects, one of which is hyponatremia.  This condition occurs when the blood becomes excessively diluted from drinking too much water, dangerously reducing sodium levels in our bodies.  Hyponatremia can result in symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, and in severe but rare cases, death.  It is important to follow proper hydration guidelines to avoid these symptoms.

According to Harvard Health, four to six cups of fluid daily is generally recommended for most people to consume. While exercising, The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking:

  • Seventeen to 20 ounces of fluid, 2 to 3 hours before  working out
  • Another 8 ounces, 20 to 30 minutes before starting your workout
  • Seven to 10 ounces, every 10 to 20 minutes while exercising
  • Eight ounces post workout

General recommendations are based on weight and gender. They may vary with each individual. It is  also important to keep in mind, that individuals with certain health conditions such as kidney or liver disease may retain too much fluid and should consult their physician

If you are uncertain about how much water you should drink per day or while exercising, speak with your doctor.  He or she will be able to provide more specific guidelines.

To speak with a doctor 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.