CONSTIPATION

According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic constipation is defined as, “Infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools that persists for several weeks or longer.”

To most, occasional constipation is quite common. However, chronic constipation is a condition that may interfere with a person’s capacity to go about their day to day routine.  Many chronic constipation sufferers have less than three bowel movements per week, hard, lumpy stools and difficulty passing their stool.

There are many health conditions that can lead to chronic constipation such as:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon cancer
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Eating disorders

Additional causes for chronic constipation are:

  • Changes to your diet
  • Lack of water or fiber in your diet
  • Consuming an overload of dairy products
  • Not exercising enough
  • Ignoring an urge to move your bowels
  • Stress
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Medication (i.e. iron supplements)

There are several measures you can take to help with constipation such as, increasing the fiber and fluids in your diet. If you have prolonged constipation or experience unexplained and persistent changes in your bowel movements please make an appointment with a doctor.  If you’d like to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center 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.

Compulsive Disorders

Compulsive disorders are characterized by behaviors that are performed repeatedly and of which there is a lack in the ability to control them.

A person who exhibits signs of compulsive behaviors has often undergone some kind of stressful event, abuse or trauma. Some experts believe there may be a genetic component associated with why people are compulsive.

Some of the more common compulsions that people exhibit are eating, hoarding, symmetry, shopping, gambling, exercising and talking. Compulsions very often have themes that include: • Counting • Orderliness • Demanding reassurances • Following a strict routine • Checking and rechecking • Washing and cleaning

The repetitive behaviors are thought to be performed as a way of relieving stress or anxiety. When these behaviors become extreme, they can rule a person’s life. Trying to ignore the obsessions can increase distress and anxiety.

The treatment for compulsive disorders is based on severity and can include cognitive behavioral therapy, the administration of selective serotonin reuptake therapy, or a combination of both. There are rating scales that will help determine the severity of the disorder, one being the “Brief Obsessive-Compulsive Scale” and the other being “Evidence-Based Brief Obsessive Scale”.

If you would like to discuss your condition with a mental health professional 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.

Employee Spotlight – Nancy DeLano-Tomczyk

This month the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Employee Spotlight shines on Nancy DeLano-Tomczyk.

Nancy has been a Flushing Hospital Medical Center employee since 1988, and has held many titles including Out Patient Billing Clerk, Payroll Clerk, Payroll Supervisor and currently, Payroll Manager.

Nancy is tasked with keeping updated payroll records by reviewing and approving changes in exemptions, insurance coverage, savings deductions, as well as job titles and department transfers. She is directly responsible for overseeing the hospitals payroll, in other words, she’s the person who makes sure FHMC employees are paid!

Outside of her regular job duties, Nancy, is active in a number of hospital events.  She is a Fit Bit Challenge team member and Co-Chair of the FHMC Celebration committee.  On any given day, you will see Nancy collecting donations for Making Strides Pacesetter and fundraising  for Breast Cancer Awareness, as well as volunteering at the MediSys Annual Golf Outing and participating in the FHMC Halloween Costume Contest; a contest that she has won several times.

Nancy’s greatest loves are her two sons Joseph, 27 and Kevin 24, as well as her beautiful granddaughter, Julianna who she refers to as her “Partner in Crime.”  She spends her free time listening to music, journaling and traveling.  She loves to try new restaurants, go to the movies, Broadway plays, and sifting through garage sales.

Although her job is rewarding, there are challenges.  One challenge is coordinating all the departments to make the deadline when submitting their payroll.

In closing, Nancy shared, “I can honestly say that I never wake up thinking I don’t want to go to work.  I truly enjoy my job and the amazing people I work with.  I consider everyone at Flushing Hospital Medical Center my family.”

 

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.

Stuttering

Stuttering, sometimes called stammering or dysfluency is a disruption in the normal patterns of speech. It can take many forms, such as:

Message on chalkboard

• Repeating a sound or a syllable, especially at the beginning of the word, such as “li- li- like.”
• Prolongation of a sound such as “ssssss”
• Complete stoppage of speech or the omission of a sound.
• Repeated interruption of speech with sounds such as “uh” or “um.”

Stuttering can begin at any age, but it’s most common among children who are learning to form words into sentences. Boys are more likely than girls to stutter.

Approximately one out of every 20 children will develop stuttering that lasts for more than six months, but this does not necessarily mean that stuttering is going to be a lifelong problem. Knowing what to look for and responding appropriately to your child’s stuttering will go a long way toward preventing it from becoming a more long-term or even permanent condition.

Why does stuttering begin? At one time many people thought that stuttering was the result of either physical or emotional trauma. While there are rare instances of stuttering following traumatic events, this is not the typical factor when determining why stuttering begins. Instead, experts point to other factors that contribute to stuttering:

• Family History – According to research, 60% of all stutterers have someone in the family who also stutters.
• Child Development. – Children who have other language and speech problems are more likely to stutter than children who don’t.
• Neurophysiology – Which part of the brain processes language can contribute in identifying why some children stutter
• Family Dynamics – Some children’s stuttering has been attributed to high family expectations and a fast-paced lifestyle.

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your child’s stuttering. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who can evaluate your child and determine whether or not there is a risk of a long-term problem. In most cases, treatment primarily focuses on training and working with the parents to develop techniques to help the child cope with and get beyond his or her stuttering.

Parents of children who stutter can also help by creating a relaxing atmosphere at home that encourages speech, even if a stutter is present. Some tips include:

• Create opportunities for talking that are relaxed, fun, and enjoyable.
• When conversing with your child, try to create an environment with limiting distractions, such as the presence of television.
• Don’t be critical of your child’s speech or insist on precise or correct speech. Don’t correct his speech, or complete his sentences.
• Don’t put pressure on your child to verbally interact with others when stuttering becomes a problem.
• Listen attentively to what your child is saying, maintaining normal eye contact without displaying signs of impatience or frustration.
• Model a slow, relaxed way of speaking to help your child slow down his own speech.
• Don’t be afraid to talk with your child about stuttering and answer questions. Explain that disruptions in speech are common.

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 Addison’s Disease

Just above each of our kidneys lie our adrenal glands. These glands are part of our endocrine system and are responsible for producing the hormones Cortisol and Aldosterone which help us to convert food into energy, maintain our immune system, and regulate our potassium and blood pressure levels.

When the adrenal glands become damaged they can affect our ability to generate a sufficient amount of these hormones, which could lead to a rare auto-immune disorder called Addison’s disease. This condition affects one in 100,000 people and can occur in all age groups and  both sexes.

While damage to your adrenal glands is the cause of over 70% of the diagnosed cases of Addison’s disease, long lasting infections, such as tuberculosis, HIV, or fungal infections can also lead to its onset. Addison’s disease may also develop after cancer cells spread from other parts of the body to the adrenal glands.

Addison’s disease symptoms usually develop slowly, often over several months, and may include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weight loss and decreased appetite
  • Darkening of your skin (hyperpigmentation)
  • Low blood pressure, even fainting
  • Salt craving
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle or joint pains
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Body hair loss or sexual dysfunction in women

Because symptoms of Addison’s disease progress slowly, they may go unrecognized until a physically stressful event, such as another illness, surgery, or an accident, worsens symptoms quickly. When this happens, it’s called an Addisonian crisis. For one in four people with Addison’s disease, this is the first time they realize they are ill. An Addisonian crisis is considered a medical emergency because it can be fatal.

While damage to your adrenal glands is the cause of over 70% of the diagnosed cases of Addison’s disease, long lasting infections, such as tuberculosis, HIV, or fungal infections can also lead to its onset. Addison’s disease may also develop after cancer cells spread from other parts of the body to the adrenal glands.

While Addison’s disease can be life threatening if not treated, those with it can live normal lives if they comply with a treatment plan that includes strict medication management.

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.

When Is The Best Time To Get The Flu Vaccine ?

Flu season can start in September and run until May. Even before the summer is over, pharmacies start advertising that the flu vaccine is available. While many people believe that the best time to get a flu vaccine is as soon as possible, getting it in October probably is the best option. Some research has shown that the effects of the vaccine start to wear off after six months so we want to make sure we are well protected when the height of the flu season is upon us.

Every year the flu vaccine is different, manufactured with the hope that it will be effective against the prevalent strain expected for that year. It is estimated that it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, so being covered early is important. Everyone who is going to be vaccinated wants to be prepared before the peak of the flu season which runs from December to late March. If you would to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccine in the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care 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.

Benefits of Grandparents Who Help Raise Grandchildren

Studies have shown that raising grandchildren can be mutually beneficial.  Grandparents provide a stable, safe, loving and fun environment for their grandchildren and the closeness between grandchildren and grandparents may keep older adults sharp, ward off depression, boost social connections, and solidify an important family relationship.

Some positive results of grandparents caring for their grandchildren are:

  • Peace of mind – Parents know that their children are with those who love them and are giving them the time an attention their parents can’t while at work.
  • Financial – Childcare is expensive. Parents may be able to save in lieu of paying the high cost of childcare.
  • Flexibility – If the parents are called in to work on an off day, grandparents are generally ready, willing and able to take on whatever was planned for that day.
  • Health – Many grandparents feel that their grandchildren keep them fit and to a grandchild no one can fix a cut or scrape better than a grandparent.
  • Wisdom – Grandparents can impart great wisdom to your child in a way that is much more absorbable than if a parent tries to impart that same wisdom.

Having grandparents help raise your children is a mostly “pro” scenario, but no situation is a perfect one.  Always have a childcare plan “B” in place in case Grandma and Grandpa need a day off.

 

 

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.

Household Products and Asthma

Keeping your home clean can minimize your exposure to various asthma triggers such as dust and mold.  However, some household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can induce asthma symptoms.

Certain cleaning products are known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air while they are being used.  VOCs are dangerous gases that can cause adverse reactions, and contribute to chronic respiratory problems.   According to the American Lung Association (ALA), “Cleaning supplies and household products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include, but are not limited to: aerosol spray products, chlorine bleach, detergent and dishwashing liquid, rug and upholstery cleaners and oven cleaners.”

The ALA also warns people with asthma and other chronic respiratory health problems against the use of products that contain a mixture of bleach and ammonia.   This harmful combination is a known asthma trigger. In some cases, symptoms that result from the use of both products can lead to death.

One of the most effective ways to avoid using harmful household products is to carefully read their labels.  Purchase products that contain zero or reduced amounts of VOCs, irritants or fragrances.   The ALA recommends using milder products such as baking soda, vinegar, borax, or lemon juice to make alternative and safer cleaning solutions. If you must use a chemical product choose those that are certified green by reputable organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear protective masks and gloves.

It is also important to keep in mind that while you are cleaning to keep your area well ventilated. Do not use products in an enclosed area; open your windows and doors.  Proper ventilation reduces the effects that poor air quality can have on your health.

For additional information on safe ways to clean your home, visit the American Lung Association’s website at www.Lung.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.

Bone and Joint Action Week Begins Today Learn More About the Many Different Types of Bone and Joint Disorders

Beginning on October 12th and ending on October 20th, the world recognizes  Bone and Joint Action Week, a global, multidisciplinary initiative promoting the care of persons with bone and joint disorders.  This initiative focuses on improving quality of life and advancing the understanding and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions through research, prevention, and education.

Bone and joint conditions are the most common causes of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide, affecting hundreds of millions of people. Over half of Americans suffer from some form of a musculoskeletal condition, such as back pain, arthritis, traumatic injuries, osteoporosis, spinal deformity, and childhood conditions. One in three people require medical care for these conditions.

Musculoskeletal conditions can lead to significant disability plus diminished productivity and quality of life and the prevalence of these conditions is predicted to increase greatly due to increasing life expectancy and changes in risk factors.

To help raise awareness on the many different types of bone and joint disorders, this week-long event highlights five of the most common types of bone and joint disorders and provides a specific recognition day for each. The week includes the following recognition days:

  • October 12 – World Arthritis Day
  • October 16 – World Spine Day
  • October 17 – World Trauma Day
  • October 19 – World Pediatric Bone and Joint (PB&J) Day
  • October 20 – World Osteoporosis Day

Flushing Hospital supports this effort to raise awareness about bone and joint diseases. For more information about Bone and Joint Action Week, visit the US Bone and Joint Initiative at https://www.usbji.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.

National Depression Screening Day

 

Thursday October 11th has been designated as National Depression Screening Day, an annual event held during Mental Illness Awareness Week. This event was started 28 years ago as an effort to provide people with mental health education materials and resources for support services. National Depression Screening Day was also created with the hope of removing the stigma from mental illness.

This year the focus of the observation is to have people reach out to their friends, family, co-workers and neighbors who might benefit from information on this condition and to avail themselves to the many opportunities to receive a free screening, either in person or online. It is estimated that worldwide there are 350 million people that suffer from depression.

The World Health Organization states that early recognition and treatment of the disease offers the best opportunity for successful outcomes. If depression is left untreated it can lead to suicide.

Depression screenings help to distinguish between short term feelings of sadness and stress due to transient life episodes, and more severe symptoms that can go on for months and years. The tests usually last between two to five minutes and the scores will indicate whether a further evaluation by a mental health professional is needed. It is important for people to know that help is available.

To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Department of Flushing Hospital Medical Center, 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.