Know The Facts About Osteoporosis

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month and  Flushing Hospital wants to help raise awareness about this condition.

Woman in her 40s undergoing scan at bone densitometer machine

Osteoporosis, meaning “porous bones,” is defined as a condition, in which bones become weak and brittle, making individuals more susceptible to fractures. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone tissue doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone tissue.

Osteoporosis affects men and women, but older women who are past menopause are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Your chances of developing osteoporosis partly depends on how much bone mass you accumulate in your youth, when you are at you peak bone building mass age. During this period in your life, you can build-up a bone mass reserve that can be used later in life when you are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis include:
• Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
• Loss of height over time
• A stooped posture
• A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop osteoporosis – some are controllable, but others are not. Some of the factors are:

• Gender – Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
• Age – The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
• Race – You’re at the greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent.
• Family history – Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk.
• Body frame size – Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
• Hormone levels – Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies.
• Dietary factors – Those with a lower calcium intake or have a history of eating disorders are at an increased risk
• Medications – Long term use of oral or injectable steroids can interfere with the bone rebuilding process
• Lifestyle – Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can contribute to the weakening of bones.

A bone density test can be performed to measure the proportion of mineral in your bones. During this painless test, you lie on a padded table as a scanner passes over your body. In most cases, only a few bones are checked — usually in the hip, wrist and spine.

Hormone therapy or medications can be administered to treat osteoporosis, but there are side effects. Please consult your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Flushing Hospital has qualified physicians at our Ambulatory Care Center. To make 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.

Flushing Hospital and NYSS Offer Patients a New, Groundbreaking Weight Loss Treatment

Flushing Hospital Medical Center in conjunction with the New York Surgical Specialists (NYSS) group are proud to announce that they now offer a safe and effective, non-surgical alternative for individuals who struggle with obesity and have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight through conventional diet and exercise.

Weight loss specialists, Sanjeev Rajpal MD, Darshak Shah MD and Noman Khan MD are all excited that Flushing is one of the only hospitals in the area to offer our patients the revolutionary, Obalon weight loss system. Obalon is the first and only non-surgical, and completely non-invasive weight loss treatment option approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Patients who participate in the Obalon treatment swallow a small, coated capsule connected to a thin tube. Once the capsule is digested, it naturally dissolves and a small, lightweight gastric balloon unfolds. This balloon is then filled with medical gases via the tube before it is removed. This process is repeated two more times over a six month period. Each procedure only takes 10 minutes, requires no sedation and can be performed in the doctor’s office.

Once expanded, each to the size of a small orange, the three balloons work to facilitate weight loss by taking up space within the stomach, enabling patients to become fuller while eating less.

After six months the balloons are removed endoscopically while the patient is under light, conscious sedation.

Throughout the entire three-stage, six-month process, patients will receive nutritional and exercise support from Flushing Hospital’s weight loss team.

The Obalon Weight Loss System offers many benefits to those patients, who do not qualify for or are seeking an alternative to bariatric surgery, including:

 

  • Obalon is clinically proven to be twice as effective as diet and exercise alone
  • There are minimal risks or side effects
  • No sedation is required and the entire procedure only takes 10 minutes
  • Obalon is affordable as compared to other surgical weight loss options, but it is not currently covered by most insurance providers
  • Patients can resume their normal daily lifestyle immediately
  • The procedure is completely reversible

Not everyone is a candidate for the Obalon weight loss system. To qualify, patients must be:

  • At least 22 years old
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-40
  • Have not had any form of weight loss surgery
  • Are actively attempting to lose weight through diet and exercise
  • Are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during and after treatment

To learn more information about the Obalon weight loss system, or to make an appointment with one of our highly qualified physicians, please call 718-408-6977 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.

Flushing Hospital Recognized As a Bariatric Center of Excellence

Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions now have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care, close to home.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) announced its Bariatric Surgical Center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).  There are only 16 centers that have achieved this accreditation in New York City.

According to Sanjeev Rajpal MD, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at Flushing Hospital, “To earn the prestigious designation, the hospital met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity.”  As part of its commitment to quality assurance, Flushing Hospital participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

The Flushing Hospital Bariatric Surgical Center opened in 2014 and has performed over 200 bariatric [weight loss surgery] procedures with outstanding outcomes.   The center upholds the MBSAQIP standards by offering patients a high quality, multidisciplinary program that includes surgical and non- surgical interventions aimed to improve long-term, weight loss success.

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health.  Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.

Flushing Hospital offers a variety of weight-loss surgery procedures, based on the specific needs of their patients.  Surgical options including Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Revisions are performed by a highly trained team of surgeons, led by Rajpal, using minimally invasive techniques and in some cases, the aid of the highly advanced da Vinci Robotic Surgical Platform.

The multidisciplinary team at Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center also provides many compassionately delivered services to help patients succeed in every step of their weight loss surgery. The Center offers close physician monitoring, pre and post-surgical psychological evaluations, personalized diet and nutritional counseling as well as ongoing education and support groups.

For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908

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.

Winter Skin

Winter can be a particularly harsh season for our skin. During this time of year, temperatures are cold and we spend more time indoors where heating systems tend to deplete the water content in the air.  Low humidity in our environment contributes to dry skin.

Dry skin commonly appears as being rough and flaky patches, which can show up anywhere on the body but mostly on the arms and legs. In severe cases, your skin can develop creases and cracks when it is extremely dry.

Drying of the skin typically occurs when the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, becomes compromised. The stratum corneum which is composed of dead skin cells and natural oils; acts as a protective layer that prevents water from evaporating from the surface. When water evaporates, outer skin cells become flaky and will cause cracks and fissures.

There are steps you can take to retain moisture and prevent dry skin. Here are a few:
• Bathe in warm water, never hot
• Use mild soaps that contain moisturizing creams
• Pat the skin dry with soft towels
• Use a moisturizer several times a day on exposed areas of the body.
• Drink a lot of water
• Apply sunscreen to prevent drying out from the sun’s rays
• Wear gloves
• Avoid wearing wet articles of clothes outdoors.
• Have a humidifier in the home

If you would like to speak with a doctor about your winter skin care, please call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

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 Navigate the Holiday Season And Keeping Your Waistline Intact

Getting through the holidays without putting on extra pounds can be a real challenge. There are many opportunities to go overboard. However, just because the temptations are greater, doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to the traps of holiday weight gain

Here are some tips to help you navigate the holiday season while keeping your waistline intact:

  • Control portions.Research has shown that the more food we’re served, the more we will eat even if we don’t particularly like what we’re eating. Try to minimize the size of your portions, especially with calorie-heavy foods like gravy, eggnog, and desserts.
  • Keep moving. Exercise has proven to be important for weight loss.  Exercise is also essential in helping you cope with stress and increases your level of energy, giving you a boost when trying to tackle that long holiday “to-do” list. Even if you don’t have time to get to the gym, try to squeeze in 10-minute intervals of activity throughout the day.
  • Weigh in regularly.Checking the scale at least once a week is a true test for maintenance. Remember to do this first thing in the morning, in your nightclothes, and after emptying your bladder.
  • Have a healthy breakfast.Numerous studies confirm that those who have breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day. Eating breakfast also powers up the brain and boosts metabolism.
  • Put it on a plate.It’s hard to keep track of how much food you’re eating when you nibble without using a plate. Serving meals and snacks on a plate will help you avoid munching and consuming extra calories.
  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Trying new foods is always exciting but why waste calories if you don’t love what you are eating? One bite is usually enough to tell whether you love it or not. If something is not for you, just leave it on your plate and use the extra calories for something you love.
  • Take a few bites. A piece of pecan pie or glass of eggnog can set you back by more than 400 calories. To avoid gaining weight, enjoy just a few bites or sips of these rich treats.
  • Savor every bite.Sit down, relax, and take your time to experience the flavors, textures, and aroma of each food. Eating slowly will help you enjoy the meal and will give your brain time to signal to your stomach that you’re

By following these tips you can enjoy all the delicious joys that are associated with the holiday seasons and not suffer the usual consequences.

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.

Can Some Bacteria be Good for You?

Bacteria. The word alone makes us think of infection, disease, and illness. We hate all bacteria, right?

ThinkstockPhotos-482096272Actually, there is such a thing as GOOD bacteria. They are called probiotics and they help you maintain a healthy digestive system. They do this by lowering “bad” bacteria that can cause infections and other problems. Sometimes we don’t have enough good bacteria in our systems (for instance, like when we are on antibiotics). A lack of good bacteria can cause a variety of digestive issues. By taking probiotics, we are replacing those good bacteria which are sometimes lost.

Probiotics are most commonly taken to help prevent or improve common digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Others have suggested that they are also beneficial in treating skin conditions, such as eczema, improving urinary and vaginal health, and preventing colds and allergies.

Your body naturally generates probiotics, but if you want to increase your good bacteria levels, you can take probiotics in supplement form or get them by eating certain foods, most notably yogurt and other fermented products.

Probiotics are natural so they are generally considered safe to take, even in supplement form. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor about the best way of incorporating probiotics into your diet.

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.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Childhood obesity affects approximately one in five children in the United States. Obesity is measured by taking a child’s body-mass index (BMI) and evaluating where this number falls on a BMI age-growth chart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a table to make it possible to compare the BMI with those of other children of the same age and height. Other factors that need to be considered are the type of body frame, musculature, and the child’s development pattern.

There are many reasons why a child may become obese. Often obese children come from families where there are poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity. Other contributing factors can include stress, boredom, and depression as well as living in a community with limited accessibility to healthy food choices.

Obesity in children puts them at risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis, and heart disease. It also makes children more prone to depression, low self-esteem and susceptible to bullying.

Ways to control a child’s weight include:

  • Limit fast food
  • Increase fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Limit sweet drinks
  • Limit desserts and unhealthy snacks
  • Eat together as a family when possible
  • Regulate portion sizes
  • Increase physical activity, not just exercise
  • Decrease the amount of time spent watching TV or on the computer

Flushing Hospital strives to help prevent childhood obesity by participating in workshops throughout the year at schools and at community health fairs by providing educational materials and guidance on proper nutrition. To speak with a pediatrician about childhood obesity, please call 718-670-5440 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.

Importance of a Back to School Dental Check Up

child at dentist -469174173

When planning your child’s return to school in the fall, as parents you have a list of supplies and purchases that need to me be made to make sure they have everything they need to have a great school year. While planning your child’s entrance back to school, make sure you schedule an appointment for your child’s dental check-up.

Healthy teeth are important to your child’s overall health. Did you know that a correlation between oral infections and diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity has been identified?  According to the National Institutes of Health, 20% to 30% of children and adolescents in the United States have chronic health conditions due to a lack of good oral hygiene.

Chronic illness may interfere with a child’s ability to succeed in school.  There has been statistical evidence that shows a direct link between chronic illness and missed school time that can lead to a decline in your child’s school performance.

Some ways to promote healthy teeth in your child are:

  • Brush teeth regularly – At the age of 3, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques by using a drop of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Avoid Sugar – Ingesting sweets brings about an acidity that causes decay-producing bacteria. A sugary snack can lead to a mouth full of cavities.
  • Regular dental treatments – Your child should see a dentist around the time of his/her first birthday and then regularly thereafter. It is important to establish a relationship of trust between your child and their dentist.

If you feel anxious about a visit to the dentist, try not to convey those feelings to your child.  Encourage your child to discuss any fears about visiting a dentist and be reassuring that the dental professional is there to help them.

If you are interested in making an appointment for your child to see a dentist, the Department of Dentistry at Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides valuable services to the community. For an appointment call, 718-670-5521.

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.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

When a person is recognized as having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, they demonstrate unreasonable thoughts and fears that make them perform repetitive and ritualized behaviors.  A person with OCD feels obliged to perform these actions as a way to reduce their stress and anxiety. They will feel that by not giving in to these impulses will cause something bad to happen, which can raise their stress and anxiety.
Traits of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders fall into themes:
• Washers  – have a fear of germs makes them wash their hands  over and over
• Checkers – will check to make sure a door is locked more than once
• Doubters and sinners – fearful that harm will occur to someone if everything isn’t done correctly
• Counters and arrangers – everything has to be in a certain order or something will go wrong
• Hoarders – hold on to everything so that nothing bad will occur
There are three main theories as to what causes obsessive compulsive disorder:
• Biology – caused by changes in the body’s chemical make-up or the way the brain functions.
• Environment – causes a person to respond to a triggering event that leads to the obsessive compulsive behavior.
• Genetics – may contribute to a person’s susceptibility to OCD and also a certain level of stress in a person’s life may be a factor.
What should a person do if they feel they may have obsessive compulsive disorder? The first step is to identify what traits they feel they are exhibiting that may be out of the ordinary. Consulting with a primary care physician about symptoms is a good place to begin. They may recommend seeing a mental health professional who can determine the degree of OCD and recommend psychotherapy and possibly medication to control the symptoms.  You can schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 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.

Summer Weight Loss Tips For Kids

Is your child at risk of gaining weight this summer?

We consider summer to be a time when kids run around, go swimming and generally remain active. With all this physical activity, it is a common belief that children keep weight off or maybe even lose a few pounds in the summer, but that is not the case. There are many reasons why parents are now noticing that their children are actually gaining weight during the summer.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in America in recent decades. Now, one out of three children in this country is considered overweight or obese. When are children gaining the most weight?  Recent studies have revealed that during the summer, the rate of weight gain in children is double that of the rest of the year. Why?

One of the biggest contributing factors is that children today live a more sedentary lifestyle. During the school year, children participate in fitness programs, both during recess and in physical education classes. Without a regimented exercise program, children opt to spend their free time playing video games or watching television.

Another factor in summer weight gain is the foods children have access to in their home. In an effort to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits, many schools provide healthy alternatives for lunches and snacks during the year. During the summer, however, kids have access to whatever snacks are in the home. Kids will often choose unhealthy snacks, such as cookies, chips, and soda if they are available to them.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Flushing Hospital offers the following summer healthy living tips for your kids:

• Stock your home with healthy food options like yogurt, carrots, or summer fruits like peaches, berries, or melons.

• Make water the beverage of choice. Juices and sodas are high in calories and low in nutrients. To make water more flavorful, consider adding fruit slices or berries.

• Limit TV and video game usage. It will force kids to become more physically active and prevent them from enticing junk food commercials.

• Walk more. Everyone can do it. Incorporate regular family walks to the park or around the neighborhood.

• Be inventive. Not every child is interested in formal team sports, but every kid loves to run around. Encourage activities like hopscotch, jump rope or a simple game of “tag.”

• Be a role model. Children often take cues from their parent’s eating habits so if you want your kids to eat healthier, you should eat healthier

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.