Employee Spotlight Shines on Joy Batoon

This month we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Joy Batoon, a medical technologist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Joy has been employed at Flushing Hospital for 13 years and prior to that worked at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center from 1992 until 2008.

She was born in Cebu, Philippines where she attended elementary through high school at Saint Catherine’s. Joy then attended Southwestern University where she obtained a bachelors of science degree in medical technology. Prior to moving to New York in 1992, Joy lived for a few years beginning in 1977 in Honolulu.  She has a daughter Jowin and a 16-year-old cat named JoJo that she has had since it was a kitten.

Joy has a third degree blackbelt in Taekwondo and in her free time volunteers as a teacher of Taekwondo. She also enjoys horseback riding, rock climbing, indoor skydiving  and attending rock concerts.  Her favorite place to travel to is Hawaii, and she has also enjoyed vacations to Aruba, Austin Texas, and Los Angeles.  Joy enjoys many different types of food, especially Filipino. She also enjoys Indian, Jamaican, Italian and Ukrainian food.

Joy states her colleagues have become like family to her. They are all very supportive of one another. We look forward to her continuing to work at Flushing Hospital for many more years.

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 in Couples Counseling

One or both people involved in an intimate relationship may feel as though communication is lacking, their emotional or physical needs are not being met or may feel that there is no longer a real connection with their partner.

Typically, one of the people in a couple will feel the need to get help for their relationship and will act on it first.  However, bringing up this topic with the other person is often very difficult, it can provoke feelings of anxiety, and be met with hesitation or even resistance at first.   Here are a few tips to help with having that conversation:

  • Gently approach the topic of going to therapy
  • Speak with love, understanding, and compassion
  • Inform them that therapy is not to place blame or pick sides
  • Focus on the benefits of therapy
  • Give your partner time to consider all options

What should you expect to happen in couples counseling? The purpose of couples counseling is to help partners communicate issues, express their emotions, resolve conflicts, or improve intimacy with the guidance of a licensed therapist. Couples therapy typically includes individual sessions to learn about each person, and meetings together as a couple.

The focus of couples counseling includes improving:

  • Communication skills
  • Stress management
  • Selflessness
  • Honesty and Trust
  • Forgiveness and Patience

Couples therapy often involves giving homework to partners to work on between sessions. This may involve keeping a log of what they are feeling.

To make couples therapy successful both partners should go in with an open mind, agree to disagree about certain issues, and both should be active participants in the therapy process.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers outpatient counseling. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-5316.

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.

Exercises To Improve Balance in Seniors

According to the National Institute on Aging, more than one in three people, aged 65 and older fall each year.

Serious falls can lead to hip fractures, broken bones, and life-threatening injuries. Therefore, it is important to identify risk factors and take the right steps to prevent an accident.

As we age, our risk of falling increases. This is due to several reasons; one of which is that our sense of balance deteriorates with time. While this may be concerning, we can lower the risk of falling and improve balance by engaging in certain exercises.  Here are a few recommended by the National Institute on Aging:

  • Tai Chi
  • Standing on one foot.
  • The heel-to-toe walk.
  • The balance walk

Balance exercises can help improve stability, coordination, and posture. They are also helpful for building strength.

Be sure to modify these exercises to match your level of comfort. You can also use the aid of a chair or wall for support. Most importantly, always consult your doctor before adding any exercises to your routine.

To learn more about balance exercise recommendations from the National Insititute on Aging, please visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/four-types-exercise-can-improve-your-health-and-physical-ability.  To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, contact 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 Happens to Men When Testosterone Levels are Low ?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is produced in the testicles. It stimulates sperm production, has an effect on sex drive, and helps to build bone and muscle mass. Testosterone levels typically decrease with age. A low testosterone level in the blood is classified as having less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl).

What are some of the reasons for low testosterone levels ?  Other than aging, the level of testosterone in the body may be reduced due to chemotherapy, congenital diseases that cause the testicles to not develop properly, use of narcotics, high blood pressure, diabetes, injury or removal of the testicles, radiation, or infection.

The symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Reduced sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of body hair
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Reduced bone mass
  • Obesity
  • Reduced physical strength

Treating low testosterone levels should begin with tests to determine the cause of it. This will include a physical examination and blood tests. It is possible to take testosterone supplements which can be given as an injection, gels, patches and tablets. None of these supplements should be taken without consulting with a physician first as they may have side effects that outweigh the benefits. Some of these supplements are also not advised for men who have certain conditions such as heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension, prostate or breast cancer and clotting disorders.

Speak with your physician if you have reason to believe that you have low testosterone levels. You can schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

STI (STD) Awareness Month

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are spread by sexual contact. April marks National STI Awareness Month, a campaign sparked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an effort to counter the nation’s high rates of sexually transmitted infections. The United States currently has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases among all countries in the developed world.

The best way to prevent STIs is to not have sexual intercourse but that isn’t realistic for most. However, knowledge of prevention is the second-best option. To prevent the transmission of STIs, people need to be taught how to effectively use condoms.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outlines the steps on their website https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/male-condom-use.html

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.

Ectopic Pregnancy

There are a few steps that normally occur for a woman to become pregnant.  The first is a single sperm fertilizing an egg.  The next steps involve the fertilized egg traveling down the fallopian tube and descending to the uterus where it attaches itself to the lining and begins to grow.

The uterus is the only place in the body where the egg can survive and successfully develop into an embryo. Unfortunately, there are instances where the egg does not make it to the uterine lining but instead attaches to the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix.  This is called an ectopic or extrauterine pregnancy.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), ectopic pregnancies occur in an estimated 1 out of every 50 pregnancies.   Any woman can be at risk for this problem; however, the risks are higher if you:

  • Are older than 35 years of age
  • Had a previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Have a history of endometriosis
  • Have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Have a history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia or gonorrhea (STIs can also lead to PID)
  • Are a smoker
  • Conceived with the aid of fertility drugs
  • Have scarring as a result of pelvic, abdominal, or fallopian surgeries
  • Have had tubal ligation or tubal ligation reversal surgeries
  • Birth defects that change the shape of the fallopian tubes

An ectopic pregnancy typically occurs within the first weeks of pregnancy. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the neck or shoulder
  • Pain on one side of the body
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum
  • The urge to have a bowel movement
  • Dizziness or weakness

Pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding are among the first warning signs of ectopic pregnancy; therefore, if you are experiencing this along with lightheadedness, shoulder pain or any other symptoms seek immediate medical care.  An ectopic pregnancy can potentially lead to the rupturing of the fallopian tube and heavy bleeding, which can be life-threatening.

Early diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy can reduce the risk of complications.  Treatment includes medication to stop the embryo from growing or surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy.

If you believe you are at risk for ectopic pregnancy and would like to schedule an appointment with an OB/Gyn at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-8992.

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.

Signs of a Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it is present in foods containing fats and is stored in the body’s fat tissue and liver.

Vitamin A is essential in helping the body fight infection and maintaining healthy eyes and skin. Vitamin A also helps organs such as the lung, kidney, and heart to work properly.

A lack or deficiency of vitamin A in the body can lead to several health problems including decreased immunity, dry eyes, night blindness, dry skin, infertility, and growth problems in children. Some people are more at risk than others for vitamin A deficiency; this includes pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, and those who are living with celiac disease or cystic fibrosis.

The human body doesn’t produce vitamin A on its own; therefore, it must be acquired by eating certain foods or taking supplements.

Here is a list of foods that are rich in vitamin A:

  • Dairy products such as milk and cheese
  • Organ meats such as beef liver
  • Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli
  • Oily fish such as salmon
  • Fruits such as mango, cantaloupe melon, apricots, and papaya

If you are experiencing symptoms of vitamin A deficiency or are concerned about your intake of nutrients, please contact your doctor for an evaluation.

To schedule an appointment 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.

Tips To Survive Spring Allergy Season

In some parts of the country, spring allergy season starts as early as February and can last through the summer months. Tree pollen is the first sign of allergy season’s arrival and continues to cause allergy symptoms throughout March and April. Tree pollen and grass pollen are one and the same, beginning in late spring and continuing into early summer.

Allergies are the result of an over-reactive immune system. When allergies occur, the immune system mistakenly identifies an allergen such as pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mites as an “invader.” As a reaction, the body mounts an inappropriate immune response. To get rid of the “invader,” the immune response triggers a response that results in you experiencing typical allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

People are affected by all kinds of allergens. Some people need to avoid pollen and dust; others can’t be around dogs or cats. Regardless of what sets your allergies off, symptoms can interfere with daily activities and reduce your quality of life. Here are a few suggestions to lessen the severity of your allergies:

  1. Leave your shoes at the door- When you come home from the outside, taking your shoes off at the door lessens the amount of pollen you track into the house. Wipe down your dog’s coat before he comes into the house, too, because pollen clings to fur.
  1. Change your clothes when you get home- You can bring pollen into your home on your clothes and shoes even if you can’t see it. Toss soiled clothes in the hamper immediately; even better, take a shower.
  1. Clean or change the filters in your air conditioner- Change them at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer, or more frequently if it seems to help.
  1. Keep open windows closed- Open windows can be refreshing, but they let in pollen. Close windows and outside doors, especially on high-pollen days, and turn on the heat or the air-conditioning.
  1. Take allergy medicine at night.- If your doctor suggests or prescribes allergy medicine try taking them at night. Typically, allergy symptoms tend to be at their worst in the morning.

 

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.

The Benefits (And Some Warnings) About Using The Internet To Manage Your Health

The internet is a wonderful tool for us to gather information. One of the subjects that many use the internet for is to learn more about their health. Using online searches to increase your understanding of a potential or existing medical condition can be beneficial, but doctors do have warnings about how and when to utilize this technology.

There is no doubt that the internet has changed the physician-patient dynamic. It is estimated that over 90 percent of adults in the United States have access to the internet and approximately 75 percent of them have used it to conduct a search about a health condition within the last year.

For the most part, online searches are being done by patients before they see their doctor to determine if a visit is even necessary.  Some patients are armed with a plethora of knowledge when they arrive for their appointment, and they are asking their physician to confirm rather than diagnose a condition.  In other instances, many patients are using the internet to discuss medication and treatment options with their doctors as well as referrals for specialists.

But how are these internet searches affecting the doctor-patient relationship? If used correctly, doctors usually welcome and embrace their patient’s increased knowledge about their condition. They believe that an educated and engaged patient is better equipped to better manage their condition and make the correct lifestyle choices to improve their health. Most physicians also believe that if their patients come to them having already picked up some information online, they will get more out of the visit based on their increased knowledge of their condition. Lastly, many doctors use the internet as a valuable tool to reinforce what they are advising to those patients who may be otherwise skeptical of a diagnosis or treatment option.

Even with all of its advantages, doctors do warn that using the internet as a medical resource does have its pitfalls. Physicians want patients to understand that health information on the internet is endless and not all of it is accurate.  Relying on incorrect information can cause patients to either worry needlessly over a false self-diagnosis or worse, fail to seek treatment after incorrectly believing that they do not need medical attention.

The information found on the internet is intended to be supplemental, and not replace seeing your physician. The best recommendation to incorporate information obtained online is to bring it with you to your appointment and review it with your doctor. By collaborating with your provider you can build a better relationship that can ultimately lead to better health outcomes.

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.