Strep vs. Sore Throat

We all develop a sore throat from time to time. There are many reasons for this. It might be due to a viral infection, an allergic reaction, or hoarseness from overuse.  In some cases, however, a sore throat can be a symptom of strep throat, which is a bacteria that if left untreated can lead to serious complications.

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils. You can get the infection from someone who is sick with it or is a carrier of it. Like other infections, it spreads from person to person or by touching objects that are contaminated and then touching your own eyes, mouth or nose. Strep throat is most common in children, but anyone can get it.

In addition to a sore throat some other symptoms of strep throat include:

  • A fever of 101 F or higher
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White patches in the throat
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Rash

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and can administer a test to confirm if you have strep. There are two ways to test:

  • A rapid strep test can identify a case in just a few minutes. The doctor will gently hold down your tongue with a depressor. Then, use a cotton swab to take a little bit of mucous from the back of the throat.
  • A throat culture is performed by rubbing the sample from the throat swab onto a special dish. If you have strep throat, the streptococci bacteria will grow in it. It usually takes about two days to get results from a throat culture.

If you have strep, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that caused the infection. Most treatments last for about ten days. The medicine can make your symptoms go away faster and help prevent complications. It is important to take the full the dose of antibiotics. Stopping the medicine too early can leave some bacteria alive, which can make you sick again.

Other things you can take to treat the symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to bring down a fever and ease pain.
  • Throat lozenges or piece of hard candy to soothe a sore throat.
  • Liquids such as tea and broth or something cold such as an ice pop.

The best way to prevent getting strep is to practice good hygiene. Don’t share cups, dishes, forks, or other personal items with someone who’s sick and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer many times daily.

If untreated, strep can lead to scarlet fever, inflammation of the kidney, and rheumatic fever; a serious inflammatory condition that can affect the heart, joints, nervous system and skin.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that you or your child has strep throat. If you do not have a doctor, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 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.

Learn The Facts About Kleptomania

Kleptomania is a rare but serious mental health disorder characterized by the recurrent inability to resist urges to steal items. If left untreated, kleptomania can result in severe emotional, family, work, legal and financial problems.

Kleptomania is a type of impulse control disorder. Those with impulse control disorders have difficulty resisting the temptation to perform an act that is excessive or harmful to themselves or others. In fact, unlike typical shoplifters, people with kleptomania don’t compulsively steal for personal gain. They steal simply because the urge is so powerful that they cannot resist it.

In addition to the inability to resist the urge to steal, those with kleptomania may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of increased tension, anxiety or arousal leading up to the theft
  • Feeling pleasure, relief or gratification while stealing
  • Feeling terrible guilt, remorse, self-loathing, shame or fear of arrest after the theft
  • Return of the urges and a repetition of the cycle

Episodes of kleptomania generally occur spontaneously, usually without planning and without help or collaboration from another person. Most people with kleptomania steal from public places, such as stores and supermarkets. Often, the stolen items have no value to the person with kleptomania and the person can afford to buy them. Urges to steal may come and go or may occur with greater or lesser intensity over the course of time.

While the cause of kleptomania is not known, there are several theories suggest that changes in the brain may be at the root of kleptomania, including:

  • Low serotonin levels.Serotonin is a naturally occurring brain chemical that helps regulate moods and emotions. Low levels of serotonin are common in people prone to impulsive behaviors.
  • Addictive disorders.Stealing may cause the release of dopamine (another neurotransmitter). Dopamine causes pleasurable feelings, and some people seek this rewarding feeling again and again.
  • The brain’s opioid system.Urges are regulated by the brain’s opioid system. An imbalance in this system could make it harder to resist urges.

Treatments are available that may help to minimize the urge kleptomaniacs have to steal and live without addiction and shame.  This typically involves medications and psychotherapy, or both, sometimes along with self-help groups. However, there is no standard kleptomania treatment, and researchers are still trying to understand what may work best.

If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms consistent with kleptomania, xx Hospital’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services can help. To make an appointment 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.

What Not to do After Receiving the Covid-19 Vaccine

People who are fully vaccinated sometimes assume that they no longer have to be as vigilant about taking safety precautions because they are “protected”.

While the vaccine does provide protection from COVID-19. Medical experts advise that you follow these recommendations to avoid complications and reduce risks:

  • Do not get any other vaccines within 14 days of getting the Covid vaccine.
  • Do not leave the vaccine site prior to the 15 minute waiting period is up.
  • Do not assume that you cannot get the virus even if you have been fully vaccinated.
  • Do not stop taking precautions when going out just because you have been vaccinated.

Until more information about the vaccine becomes available it is always wise to speak to your medical doctor about what you can and cannot do once you are fully vaccinated. 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.

National Poison Prevention Week- First Steps In a Poison Emergency

This week is Poison Prevention Week. Did you know that every year more than 2 million poison-related injuries and deaths are reported in the United States and more than 90 percent of these cases occur in the home?

The majority of poison-related accidents occur among children but can be prevented by taking the proper precautions to store, dispose or conceal items that contribute to these incidents.

The following safety tips are recommended by The American Association of Poison Control Centers and can help you reduce the risk of an accident in your home:

  1. Place the Poison Help number in a place that is easily accessible or in eyesight. That number is 1 (800) 222-1222. Calls are free, confidential, and answered by experts at all times.
  2. Safely store these substances in cabinets with childproof locks or in child-resistant containers:
  • Medications
  • Vitamins
  • Tobacco products, especially liquid nicotine
  • Laundry and cleaning supplies
  • Alcohol
  • Pesticides or insect repellants
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Small batteries
  1. Read medication labels properly before administering.
  2. Never call medication “candy” to encourage children to take it.
  3. Avoid taking medications in front of young children.
  4. Do not use food storage containers to store harmful products such as detergents or pesticides.

While practicing these guidelines should be routine, we invite you to use Poison Prevention Awareness Week as a reminder to ensure that your home is poison safe.

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.

COVID-19 Myth or Fact

A very common myth is that Covid-19 affects older people more severely than younger people. The fact is that while older people tend to have more risk factors, people of any age can and do get the virus. A younger person may have a more robust immune system but it will not prevent them from getting the virus. Younger people can be affected just as severely as an older adult. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, you may do so 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.

Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Education and Awareness Month. In an effort to raise awareness to this disease, Flushing Hospital Medical Center would like to share the following facts about MS.

Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that effects the body’s muscles and spinal cord. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the cause of MS is still unknown. Scientists believe that a combination of environmental and genetic factors contribute to the risk of developing MS.

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease.

Some symptoms of MS are:

  • vision problems.
  • numbness and tingling.
  • muscle spasms, stiffness and weakness.
  • mobility problems.
  • problems with thinking, learning and planning.
  • depression and anxiety.

Treatment for MS varies depending on the degree of severity.  Some more widely used treatments are oral medications, medical infusions, muscle relaxants and physical therapy.

Often times, a complete neurological exam and medical history are needed to diagnose MS . There is not a specific test that diagnoses MS, instead, a diagnosis of MS may rely on ruling out other conditions that might produce similar signs and symptoms, this is known as a differential diagnosis.

If you are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and would like to see a doctor, you can call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment.

If you’d like to find out more about Multiple Sclerosis, you can visit: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350269  and nationalmssociety.org

 

 

 

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 – Exercises That Work The Entire Body

It is recommended by the U.S. Department of Health that adults get 75 to 150 minutes of exercise each week; however, many do not have the luxury of time to work out frequently and some are confined to the office for eight hours or more each day.   Despite the limitations of a busy schedule, there are ways to fit exercise into your daily routine. Keep in mind that some exercise is better than none and that squeezing in a few minutes each day can be beneficial to your health.

Practical steps you can take in fitting daily exercise are to:

  • Wake up fifteen minutes earlier each day to work out.
  • Take 10 to 15 minutes away from time spent on the internet, connecting on social media or texting.
  • Work out while watching TV- you can simply jog or run in place.
  • Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
  • Sit up straight at your desk then contract and release your stomach muscles. This will give you a quick abdominal work out.
  • You can work your legs muscles by squeezing your thighs together or extending each leg in front of you for a few seconds on each side.
  • Go for a walk during your lunch break
  • Have fun. Dance to your favorite songs or play a fitness video game.

Exercise is essential to your health. Although your schedule may be hectic, try to find the time for a few minutes of physical activity into your daily routine.

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.

Should I Let My Child Play Sports During the COVID Pandemic?

As we slowly attempt to return to some degree of normalcy during the COVID pandemic, many activities are beginning to resume, this includes youth sports to be played. Depending on the state or region you live in, your children may now be able to participate in many of the activities that were placed on hold nearly a year ago.

As a parent, it is important to understand the potential risks before deciding to allow your children to play sports.  To help you make an informed decision, Flushing Hospital is providing the following tips for your consideration:

  • Understand the current COVID-19 positivity rates in your community. Families who live in areas where there is a high or growing number of COVID cases will have an increased risk of contracting the virus. Parents can track positivity rates on their local department of health website.
  • Consider the sport that your child wants to play.  Certain sports, such as wrestling or basketball require players to be in closer proximity to one another. These sports pose an increased risk of exposure as do other sports where there is a high level of physical exertion and those that are played indoors.
  • Assess how much equipment or gear is shared among players.  Even though we know the primary way the virus is spread is from person to person, through droplets in the air, it is still possible to contract COVID by touching a contaminated surface.  For this reason, it is important to limit the use of shared equipment and make sure all gear is sanitized between uses. Never share water bottles.
  • Determine if your child’s team has the ability to socially distance while the players are not actively engaged.  Can the players be placed at the minimum required distance from one another while on the sideline or bench? Are there efforts to have them wear masks when not competing?

Other determining factors that can increase or reduce the risk of spreading the virus include the age of the athlete (older children tend to understand and comply better), the size of the team, the amount of travel required to play the sport and the number of spectators in attendance. By being knowledgeable of the situation you can reduce your child’s exposure and allow them to once again enjoy the sports they love to play.

If your child has any underlying health issues, it is important to speak to your doctor before allowing your child to play.

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.

March is National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9thleading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 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.