Diverticulitis

If you are experiencing prolonged abdominal pain, it is probably a good idea to be checked out to see what is causing it. This type of pain could be something serious. Diverticulitis is a disease affecting the intestinal tract, usually the colon. When tiny pouches are formed in the lining of the intestine they are called diverticula and when they become inflamed it is called diverticulitis.
There are several risk factors that can cause diverticulitis to occur. Age and a diet that is high in fat and low in fiber factor since it affects people more frequently who are over the age of 40. Other risk factors include obesity, a history of smoking and not exercising.
Symptoms of diverticulitis include:
• Loss of appetite
• Fever
• Abdominal cramps
• Upset stomach
• Bloating
Diverticulitis can be diagnosed through a CT scan testing the blood and urine and examining the stool for blood.
Treating diverticulitis is dependent on its severity. In mild cases it may suffice to adopt a bland diet, drink lots of fluids, and to take an antibiotic. Once the condition has healed, adding fiber to the diet will be beneficial to keeping the intestines functioning properly. In more severe cases, surgery may have to be performed.
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of diverticulitis and would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, 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 Warns That Getting Help for Mental Health Issues is Nothing to be Ashamed About

Mental illness affects millions of Americans, yet not surprisingly, many of those who need help do not receive it. There are many reasons why – it could be due to limited availability of services, or a strong distrust of others, or those who are mentally ill might have such a sense of hopelessness that they do not seek care.

While all of these are factors as to why someone doesn’t seek support, perhaps the biggest single reason is a sense of fear and shame associated with admitting help is needed. This sense of shame is very common and it is only reinforced by society, which has attached stigmas to mental illness. The beliefs the public has about mental illness leads those who need help to avoid it so they are not labeled as “crazy” and have their condition negatively affect their personal relationships and career goals.

Getting society to overcome the stigmas associated with mental illness is the key to having more individuals come forward, but unfortunately negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common. These stigmas can lead to obvious and direct discrimination, such as someone making a negative remark about mental illness or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding an individual because they assume they could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to mental illness.

Those with mental illness should never be ashamed of their condition and here are some reasons why:

  • According to the World Health Organization, one out of four people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives.
  • Shame is pretty much guaranteed to make things worse. Feelings of shame are proven to have detrimental effects on our mental and physical health
  • Mental illness is no one’s fault. No one asks to have a mental illness and it is definitely not a choice we make.
  • We’re not ashamed when our bodies get sick, so why should we be ashamed when our minds aren’t in top form.
  • There is no normal – our minds are complex things and no single brain is the same
  • Our mental health doesn’t define us. Don’t let your mental illness become who you are, it is just one aspect of you.

It’s time to speak out against the stigmas associated with mental illness and reframe the way we see it. Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.

Flushing Hospital advises anyone who feels they need help to get it.  Don’t let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief and help you in life.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Outpatient Mental Health Center, please call 718-670-5522.

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 – Robert Arbitello

This month we shine our Employee Spotlight on Robert (Rob) Arbitello, Manager of Material Management at Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC).

Rob has been an employee at FHMC for the past 21 years.  He began his career in the Transportation Department, became a Materials Handler, Inventory Clerk and Assistant Manager in the department he now manages.

In his free time, Rob enjoys gardening, playing cards, and spending time with his wife, Shina, of 25 years and children Robert, Briana, and Joseph.

On any given day, you will find Rob visiting most departments within the hospital.  He is responsible for ordering all of the hospitals inventory items and runs the day to day operations of the Store Room and Receiving Departments.

When asked what the most rewarding part of his job is, Rob was quick to say, “The most rewarding part of my  job is knowing that our department contributes to helping patients get better quickly by providing the supplies and materials needed in a timely manner.”

Some of the challenges Rob faces when ordering large quantities of supplies is  finding out they are back-ordered or have been discontinued, delivery trucks that may have broken down, having weather conditions prohibit delivery or receiving the wrong shipments.

“No matter what, it is my responsibility to get the items to the end users timely and efficiently.”

For these and so many more reasons, Robert Arbitello is a valued employee and the subject of our April 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.

World Immunization Week

World Immunization Week is celebrated each year in the last week of April. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the objective of the observance is “to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Immunization is recognized globally as one of the most effective health interventions to prevent diseases.

Each year, immunization saves the lives of millions worldwide. This is why it is important for Flushing Hospital Medical Center and other health organizations to encourage the use of vaccines.

Although some may believe naturally acquired immunity (immunity achieved from having the disease itself) is better than the immunity provided by vaccines, the opposite is true.   Natural infections can result in severe health complications and can lead to death. Vaccines greatly reduce the risk of these infections by working with the body’s natural defenses and safely developing immunity.

Most vaccines are administered to babies and children; however, more are becoming available for adolescents, pregnant women and the elderly.

Vaccinations are generally safe.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccines are reviewed and approved by a panel of scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals. As with all medical interventions there may be minor side effects, however, the disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects.

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.

Air Quality Awareness Week

Air pollution is categorized as indoor or outdoor pollution.  Factors that contribute to outdoor pollution include tobacco smoke, noxious gases (carbon monoxide, chemical vapors, etc.) and ground-level ozone. Indoor air pollution contributors include tobacco smoke, mold, pollen, gases (radon and carbon monoxide) as well as household products and chemicals.

You can reduce your risk of exposure to indoor pollution by regularly cleaning dust and preventing the buildup of mold. Other steps you can take include: avoid smoking in your home, making sure that your home is properly ventilated and using air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters.

Checking the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) before participating in outdoor activities, avoiding secondhand tobacco smoke and avoiding heavy traffic when possible can reduce exposure to poor air quality.

 

There are several things you can do help minimize your contribution to poor air quality.  Conserving energy, purchasing energy efficient appliances, limiting driving and using environmentally friendly household cleaners are some of the ways you can help to improve our environment and air quality.

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.

Did You Know – One out of Every 200 People are Born with an Extra Rib?

Each adult has 206 bones, 24 of which are ribs (12 on each side), but approximately one out of every 200 people have an extra rib. This rib is referred to as the cervical rib.

A cervical rib is present at birth and it forms above the first rib, growing at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. You can have a cervical rib on the right, left, or both sides. It may be a fully-formed bony rib or a thin strand of tissue fibers that in some cases doesn’t even show up on an x-ray.

Thankfully, in most cases cervical ribs do not cause any problems for those born with them, but if it presses on nearby nerves and blood vessels it can cause neck pain, numbness in the arm and other symptoms, which collectively is known as thoracic outlet syndrome.

If you are the proud owner of a cervical rib and are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor about surgical options to treat the condition. If you do not have a doctor, Flushing Hospital’s Department of Surgery can help. To make an appointment, please call 718-670-3135.

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 Your Child Addicted to Video Games?

It’s often difficult for parents to know how much time their children spend online. Often children play video games, view videos and browse social networking sites. Spending too much time online can lead to the deterioration of your child’s school work and can cause problems with their relationships with family and friends.

Studies have shown that children ages 8 to 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming media for fun, including TV, music, video games and other content.  About two-thirds of 8 to 18 year olds had no rules on the amount of time spent watching TB, playing video games or using a computer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit their child’s screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day and children under 2 have no TV or internet exposure.

Research shows that academic failure correlates with addictive video game play, and to a higher incidence of attention problems. Conversely, academic achievers spend less time online.  Research has also revealed that child and adolescent video game addiction correlates with functional impairment, emotional problems, poor conduct, hyperactivity and peer problems, as well as with depression and social phobia. In addition, several studies have proven a relationship between excessive video game play and obesity and poor diet among children in grades 4 through 6.

Parents should discuss with their children their expectations for responsible online usage and set limits on how much time can be spent online.  Dr. Gonzalez suggests the following rules for internet use:

  • Regularly determine how much time your kids are online every day.
  • Don’t put a computer or game console in your child’s bedroom—rather put them in the living room.
  • Avoid online activity before bedtime.
  • Charge children’s cell or smart phone or other handheld devices overnight in your bedroom.
  • Be a role model. Set an example with your own internet usage.
  • Use an alarm clock or timer to limit your child’s time online.
  • Provide alternatives to online activity and video games: sports, reading, play dates, time with pets, etc.
  • Set a rule: no handheld devices at the table during meals.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child with a Flushing Hospital Medical Center Child Psychiatrist, 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.

Testicular Cancer

Although testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer, it is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 and 35.
There are a few risk factors to be considered for testicular cancer but they aren’t definitive reasons men will be diagnosed with it. Caucasian males are at greater risk as are men with a family history of testicular cancer and also men who have abnormalities of testicular development.
Symptoms of testicular cancer
• Dull ache in the abdomen
• Pain in the groin
• Enlarged scrotum
• Pain in one or both testicles
• Back pain
The diagnosis of testicular cancer is made through an ultrasound exam and a  blood test for cancer markers, or surgical intervention surgery if there is a lump. If the diagnosis is positive, it is important to identify the stage, which is determined through  a CT scan, MRI, chest x-ray and a blood test,  and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. If caught in its early stages it can be treated successfully. Treatment  may include total removal of the testicle and possibly the surrounding lymph nodes, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
If you notice any of the symptoms of the disease and would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, 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.

April is IBS Awareness Month – Learn More About This Condition

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition marked by recurring or alternating bouts of cramps, diarrhea or constipation. It affects an estimated 30 to 45 million people in the United States – or 10 to 15 percent of the population. Despite its prevalence, many people living with this disorder are unaware that they have it and do not receive the necessary treatment and support.

In an attempt to help others gain a better understanding about this condition, April has been designated IBS Awareness Month. During this time, those involved in this effort will look to focus attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.

There are many obstacles in raising awareness about IBS. One of the biggest hurdles is getting people to openly discuss their condition. Even though the disorder is very common, many with IBS are reluctant to openly talk about their symptoms or seek medical care. They may feel uncomfortable discussing their symptoms, even with their doctor, because of social taboos surrounding bowel symptoms.

In addition, IBS is often mischaracterized as a trivial condition, but it is actually one of the most prevalent and burdensome chronic issues reported by patients. IBS has been cited as one of the leading causes of work absenteeism (second only to the common cold) and its symptoms also have a profound impact on the personal and professional activities of those living with it.

Another obstacle that many that IBS encounter is that there is still so much that is unknown about the disease. IBS symptoms result in no damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) system, making it difficult to diagnose. In addition, even though there are many theories regarding what causes IBS, there is no known official cause for the condition.  There is also no official test to diagnose IBS and there is no cure.

In an effort to help those living with IBS, many health care professionals suggest patients learn all that they can about their condition, including identifying those things that seem to make their symptoms worse. Most importantly, people with IBS are encouraged to talk openly with their doctor about IBS so they can help them better manage their condition through improved lifestyle choices and medication therapy aimed to relieve symptoms.

Flushing Hospital is committed to joining the fight to raise awareness and addressing misconceptions about IBS to help those affected get diagnosed and receive appropriate care.

To schedule an appointment to speak with one of Flushing Hospital’s doctors, 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.

Shin Splints

A shin splint is a condition characterized by tenderness running along the tibial bone which is the large bone in the lower leg, also referred to as the shin bone. They are the result of an increased amount of repetitive activity, such as running, dancing, walking, or working out that causes the overworking of the tendons, muscles or bone tissue in the lower leg.
Contributing factors of shin splints:
• Poorly fitting shoes
• Weak ankles or hips
• Flat feet
• Failure to warm up prior to exercising
• Lack of support in shoes
Treatment of shin splints requires some time to heal. It is important to give the leg time to rest. In the acute phase, putting ice on the shin for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for the first few days will help. It may be helpful to take an anti-inflammatory medication to ease the swelling and to help with the discomfort. It is also sometimes helpful to use orthotics, either custom made or over the counter, to give the foot support. Physical therapy is also very helpful to build up muscle strength and also to help ease the discomfort.
Preventing shin splints is as important as treating them. Some of the things you can do to prevent them from occurring are stretching exercises, wearing good shoes, participating in activities that are low impact, add shock absorbing insoles to your footwear.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician at Flushing Hospital, 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.