Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Morning sickness is a common occurrence in pregnant women. It can cause mild nausea, a hyper sensitivity to smells, as well as weight loss during the first trimester.

While these are common symptoms of morning sickness, they should not be ignored especially, if they are persistent. Intense and consistent vomiting, weight loss and dehydration often present as symptoms of a more serious condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Symptoms typically develop around the 4th week of pregnancy and can last until the 20th week; in some cases longer.

It is very important for expecting mothers to pay attention to the symptoms associated with hyperemesis gravidarum as delayed or a lack of treatment can lead to complications for women and their unborn children.

Some complications are:

  • Kidney failure
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Malnutrition
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth

The treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum varies. At first, your doctor may suggest managing the symptoms with home remedies such as eating smaller and more frequent meals, drinking nutritional supplements to manage your electrolyte levels, vitamin replacement therapy or taking an antacid.

If these methods do not provide relief, your doctor may suggest a more aggressive treatment in a hospital setting.

If you are pregnant and experiencing symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum, you should seek the advice of a doctor. For more information or to make an appointment with an obstetrician or gynecologist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 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.

How Harmful is Occasional or Social Smoking?

social smoking-79071856 “I am not really a smoker because I only smoke on occasion or socially.” These words are frequently spoken by those who consider themselves light or social smokers.  It is quite common to find that people within this group are usually in denial of the frequency of their use of cigarettes and believe that they are not at risk of developing tobacco-related illnesses.

The truth is contrary as research has found that one-third of people who classify themselves as social smokers actually smoke more than six times per day.  Additionally, whether someone smokes a lot or a little, they are at risk for developing diseases caused by tobacco.  The damage that one puff of nicotine causes is instant.  It takes 10 seconds for nicotine to be transported throughout the body and to the brain. Nicotine also slows down circulation and increases blood pressure and heart rate.

Furthermore, in a study conducted by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, it was found that light smoking may result in several health complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • COPD
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Weakened immune systems

Smoking occasionally or socially does not exclude you from developing the health complications associated with tobacco use. Over time smoking will take its toll on your body. The best thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking.

If you or someone you know needs help in quitting smoking please contact Flushing Hospital’s Freedom From Smoking program at 718 206 8494 for more information.

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.

Tips For Managing Children With Type 1 Diabetes

Managing Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses to occur in children.  Having a child that has been diagnosed with this disease can present several challenges. Younger children may not fully understand how diabetes affects their health; they may become frustrated with dietary restrictions or have anxieties about receiving treatment.  Older children can often feel different or isolated from their peers and may neglect their self-care routines in order to fit in.

Creating a management plan can help families cope with some of these challenges.  Here are some of the components that should be included in a plan:

  • Education- Education is one of the most important components of a diabetes management plan. Teaching children about the disease should start as early as possible and continue into their teenage years. Encourage them to ask questions and provide an environment in which they can speak openly.   It is important to remember to provide answers that are appropriate and understandable for their age.
  • Meal plans- Meals should be planned based on a child’s age and level of physical activity. Diets should be well-balanced and exclude foods that can cause blood sugar levels to spike.  Teens are more independent in choosing the foods they eat each day.  Therefore, they should be reminded to stick to a schedule (To avoid missing meals) and be mindful of the foods they consume.
  • Medication adherence tools or approaches- Glucose testing and insulin injections can be scary for smaller children. However, parents can make receiving treatments easier by allowing children to choose the location for injections or their preferred finger for blood checks. These options provide children with a sense of control and can help to reduce their anxieties. Parents are also encouraged to perform diabetes care gently and quickly to ease discomfort.   Medication adherence in older children can be achieved through the use of technology.   Parents and children can utilize tools that help them to track diabetes care such as shareable digital calendars, reminder apps or auto-subscribing delivery services.  As older children take on more responsibility for managing their medications, they should be reminded of the consequences of not sticking to their routine.
  • Support- It is important for parents to establish a network of support because having diabetes can take a toll on children’s emotional health. Children need to feel safe in sharing their challenges in managing the disease. This network can include parents, family, friends or a mental health counselor.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers numerous services that can help you to manage your child’s diabetes. Our physicians are highly trained in all aspects of pediatric health. To schedule an appointment, 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 Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month – Hemophilia

March is recognized as Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month. This observance raises awareness for bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

Hemophilia is a genetic disorder which slows the blood clotting process. It is estimated that hemophilia occurs in 1 in every 5,000 male births in the United States.  The disorder very rarely develops in girls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hemophilia is caused by a mutation or change, in one of the genes, that provides instructions for making the clotting factor proteins needed to form a blood clot. This change or mutation can prevent the clotting protein from working properly or to be missing altogether.”

Because people with hemophilia lack sufficient blood clotting proteins, this causes them to bleed longer than they normally should.  Bleeding can occur spontaneously or following an injury. Other common signs and symptoms that they may experience include:

  • Bleeding into the joints which can lead to swelling, tightness or pain (This most commonly affects the ankles, knees and elbows)
  • Bleeding from the mouth and gums
  • Bleeding after receiving vaccinations or injections
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Frequent and hard to stop nosebleeds
  • Bleeding into the skin (bruises)
  • Bleeding into soft tissue and muscle (hematomas)

A diagnosis of hemophilia is determined after blood has been tested to reveal a clotting-factor deficiency.  If it is found that the blood is not clotting as it should, tests known as factor assays are required to explore the cause.  In severe cases, the disorder can be diagnosed within the first year of a child’s life. People with a family history of hemophilia are encouraged to have their baby boys tested soon after birth.

One of the most common approaches for treating hemophilia is to replace the missing blood clotting factor. This treatment is administered through a tube placed in the vein. Other forms of treatment can include taking clot preserving medications, injecting the hormone Desmopressin (DDAVP), applying fibrin sealants and participating in physical therapy.

There are several measures that a person living with hemophilia can take to reduce the chances of injury or excessive bleeding.  The following are recommended: avoid taking blood-thinning medications, exercise regularly (contact sports should be avoided), practice good dental hygiene and avoid certain pain medications that can aggravate bleeding such as aspirin.

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.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

ThinkstockPhotos-499259104Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a chronic illness that is of unknown origin. It typically leaves the patient feeling extremely tired, it may get worse with mental or physical activity, and usually does not improve with rest.

There are a few theories as to what causes the condition but none have been proven. Some physicians believe it may be caused by a viral infection or possibly caused by stress.

There are eight signs and symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
• Fatigue
• Loss of memory or concentration
• Sore throat
• Muscle pain that is unexplained
• Enlarged lymph nodes in neck or armpits
• Joint pain without swelling or redness
• Headaches
• Sleep that does not refresh the body
• Extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24 hours

Some factors that may contribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are:
• Age – Usually affects people in their 40’s and 50’s
• Gender – Affects women more often than men
• Stress – People under a lot of stress may develop the condition more frequently
• Depression
• Lifestyle restrictions – owing to physical disability or being homebound.

It is important to have a thorough check-up to make certain that there are no other chronic health issues that may be causing symptoms similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. There is no cure for the condition and treatment options are geared towards the improvement of the symptoms. In some cases, antidepressants may be used and sleeping pills which may aid in getting some rest.

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.