Is Strength Training Safe For Your Child?

For better or worse, children today play sports at a much different level than in previous generations. They start much younger and the level of competition is much higher. This has led some parents and coaches to incorporate strength training programs for children, however many wonder at what age or if this is appropriate or safe.

The answer is, if done properly, strength training can be safe and offer many benefits for young athletes. Strength training is even a good idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. In fact, strength training might put your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.

There is a distinction between strength training and lifting weights, and experts don’t want parents to be confused. According to the Mayo Clinic , “Weightlifting can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and areas of cartilage that haven’t yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.” This type of training should not begin until bones are fully-matured, which is after the onset of puberty.

Instead, children should focus on strength training that incorporates using their own body weight to get stronger, by doing push-ups, chin-ups, or planks. Another type of training that can increase not only strength, but also coordination is the use of resistance bands and tubes. Children can begin this type of training when they become interested in sports, usually between ages six and eight.

Strength training can offer children many benefits, including:

  • Increasing muscle strength and endurance
  • Protecting muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
  • Improving performance
  • Developing proper techniques that can continue into adulthood

Even if your child isn’t an athlete, strength training can help promote a healthy lifestyle and bolster self-esteem.

Before having your child begin a strength program, make sure it is under the supervision of a trained professional experienced in youth training.  A good program should not be too intense, include a proper warm-up and cool-down periods, and emphasize technique over results. Lastly, because they are kids, your child’s program should incorporate an element of fun.

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.

Men’s Health – Learn About Testicular Cancer

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. This month-long observance spotlights the disease and emphasizes the importance of understanding the risks and warning signs of it.

Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15-34, with an estimated 10,000 cases diagnosed in the United States every year.  Testicular cancer, which can develop in one or both testicles, occurs when sexual reproductive cells called germ cells experience abnormal growth. If germ cells become cancerous, they multiply, forming a mass of cells called tumors that begin to invade normal tissue. If not treated, they can spread rapidly to other parts of the body including to the abdomen, liver, lungs, bones and brain.

Regular testing by your physician and conducting monthly self-examinations of the testes is important for early detection. Since testicular cancer is usually isolated to a single testicle, comparing your testicles with one another for abnormalities can be helpful. It is important to know that it is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other so your focus during a self-exam should be on other differences between the testes as well as changes from the previous month. In addition to self-exams, all men should have their primary care physician check their testicles as part of their annual physical.

The warning signs of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump of any size on the testicle
  • Enlargement of the testicle, change in shape, size or any irregularities
  • Pain or discomfort in the scrotum or testicle
  • A dull ache or sense of pressure in the lower abdomen or back
  • A feeling of heaviness or fullness in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts due to elevated hormone levels

In most cases early stages of testicular cancer present themselves in a completely painless manner. If any of these symptoms are present, you need to see your doctor for further testing immediately.

By raising awareness during the month of April, we can empower individuals to learn more about testicular cancer and educate men about the importance of early detection.

To make 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.

How Fluoride In Drinking Water Benefits Our Teeth

One way to prevent tooth decay is to drink plenty of water. Most public water systems in the United States (approximately 75%) have added fluoride to their supply.

Drinking fluorinated water has been proven to be a key contributor in the prevention of tooth decay. It keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities in adults and children by about 25%. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money for families and for the U.S. health care system.

Fluoride exists naturally in most water supplies, but usually not enough to prevent cavities. Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water to an optimal level for the prevention of tooth decay. It is recommended that community water systems adjust the amount of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.

While some have questioned adding fluoride to our water supply, for more than 70 years, the best available scientific evidence consistently has indicated that community water fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General, and more than 100 health organizations recognize the health benefits of water fluoridation for preventing dental decay, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association

Thanks in part to adding fluoride to our drinking water, the oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago; however, drinking water alone will not prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that everyone still brush (with fluorinated toothpaste) and floss daily and see their dentist regularly.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Department, please 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.

Flushing Hospital Provides Information About Addiction to Valium

There are many highly –addictive substances that have caught the nation’s attention in recent years. Some of these drugs are illegal, but many are prescription medications that when taken inappropriately, can be very dangerous. Flushing Hospital’s Department of Addiction Services would like to educate the community about one of these drugs, Valium.

Valium is the trade name for diazepam, a popular tranquilizing medication or sedative prescribed by both medical doctors and psychiatrists to treat a variety of conditions.  It is most commonly used to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, but it can also be prescribed to help people sleep, prevent seizures, and sooth of muscle spasms.

Valium is intended to strengthen certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters work to slow down activity in the central nervous system, resulting in pleasurable feelings of relaxation and sedation for the user. While it can be effective when taken correctly, if taken in large doses, for an extended period of time or for reasons other than prescribed, Valium can become very addictive.  Even people who take Valium as prescribed can develop a dependence on the drug.

Valium addiction rarely develops overnight. In many cases, it can take a few weeks to several months for someone to display signs of Valium abuse.
Some of the symptoms of Valium abuse include:

  • Shaking
  • A change in appearance / hygiene
  • Slow movements and speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive sleepiness

If not treated, Valium addiction can lead to many serious physical and mental health issues, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of memory
  • Violent or aggressive tendencies
  • Poor motor function
  • Problems with digestion and urination
  • Slowed respiration
  • Low blood pressure

Taking excess amounts of Valium increases the risk of an accidental overdose. This could end in a coma or even death, especially if it is paired with other drugs like alcohol, which also produces depressant effects on the body.

It is important to seek treatment for a Valium addiction because attempting to quit on your own can be dangerous and in extreme cases, unsupervised withdrawal can lead to seizures and death. It is recommended that withdrawal be overseen by qualified specialists to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient.

To speak to someone at Flushing Hospital’s Addiction Services Department, please call 718=670-5078.

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 MediSys Health Network Recognizes The Accomplishments Dr. Sabiha Raoof During Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month.  In recognition of this special observance, the MediSys Health Network would like to honor a woman who is very important to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Sabiha Raoof.

Dr. Raoof began her career at MediSys as an attending physician in 1997 after completing her radiology fellowship training. According to Dr. Raoof, “I was young and full of energy, but I was also a mother of two young children, and that aspect of my life has always been very important to me. Working for MediSys allowed me to maintain a balance between my professional goals and my role as a mother.  I never had to compromise my priorities and that gave me the opportunity to grow and thrive professionally. “

After working for a few years as an attending physician, Dr. Raoof was appointed as the Chairperson of Radiology at Jamaica Hospital in 2000 and then at Flushing Hospital in 2001.  Dr. Raoof added “I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to build the department and I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve together.” Under her guidance, the Radiology Departments at both hospitals have earned the Diagnostic Centers of Excellence designation from the American College of Radiology.

Through the years, Dr. Raoof has taken on many additional roles in the healthcare industry that has brought a great deal of positive visibility to the network.  She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the American College of Radiology’s Quality Experience Committee and is a member of their Commission on Clinical Decision Support. She has also been working with CMS for the last four years, initially serving as a national faculty member for the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative and now serves as one of the Clinical Champions for the Quality Payment Program.

Providing the highest quality care to our patients has always been a major focus for Dr. Raoof, so when she was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer for MediSys in 2017, her main goal was to use the position to improve the quality of care throughout the organization and to do so in a patient and family centered approach to keep patient safety in focus. AS CMO, she has been the driving force behind many initiatives designed to improve the patient experience.

 While Dr. Raoof appreciates the opportunities she has been given in the MediSys Health Network, she realizes that many other women are not as fortunate. “Even today, we have under-representation of female physicians in leadership positions in the healthcare industry. I feel lucky to work for this organization and I commend our administration for being so forward thinking and allowing the most qualified people to progress to leadership roles throughout the organization without any bias against gender, culture, religion or ethnicity.”

Women’s History Month is very important to Dr. Raoof. It not only allows her to thank the many women in her personal and professional life who have supported and been an inspiration to her, but it also serves as an opportunity for her to encourage her female colleagues to step up and be willing to lead.  According to Dr. Raoof, “Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the tireless half of our population. Women are our future leaders, innovators, and peace-makers. This is a month to celebrate our progress in the face of historic challenge and to dream of our future. “

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 Celebrates Patient Safety Week

March 10th through the 16th has been designated National Patient Safety Awareness Week. In recognition of this observance, Flushing Hospital Medical Center has scheduled a full week of fun and educational activities.

To kick-off the week, the Patient Education Department is holding a special all-day event in the hospital lobby to test everyone’s safety knowledge by playing various games where participants have the opportunity to answer questions and win prizes.

Throughout the week, Flushing Hospital will ask everyone to take the ‘Hand Hygiene Pledge” and hospital staff will also demonstrate proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), which can eliminate the transmission of infectious disease.

The theme of this year’s Patient Safety Awareness week is  “See, Say, Do & Thank You”, which asks patients to not only notice and identify good safety practices, but also do something by thanking those individuals when these practices are witnessed.

One of the most important factors in improving patient safety is practicing proper hand hygiene and Flushing Hospital’s hand hygiene compliance rates are above national averages.

Congratulations to all involved in making Flushing Hospital a safe environment for our patients.

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 Recognizes National Kidney Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 for an appointment

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Someone Become Addicted to Food?

An addict is someone who repeatedly uses a substance or partakes in an activity despite the potential harm that can come from it because they derive so much pleasure from it. The substances or activities that are most commonly associated with addiction include drugs, alcohol, tobacco or even gambling, but there is growing awareness that a person can have a food addiction.

Recent studies of the brain have concluded that compulsive overeating has the same effect on the pleasure centers of the brain as addictive drugs, such as cocaine or heroin.  This is especially true of foods that are rich in sugar, fat, or salt.

These highly palatable foods trigger chemicals in the brain such as dopamine. Once a person experiences the pleasure associated with an increase in these chemicals in the brain, it will spark a reward signal to eat again. In some, these signals can override the feelings of fullness or satisfaction. As a result, a person with a food addiction will compulsively eat even when they are not hungry because of the intense pleasure they get from it.

People who show signs of a food addiction may develop a kind of tolerance to food. They will eat more and more, only to find that food satisfies them less and less. They will also continue to eat despite the negative consequences, and, similar to those who are addicted to drugs or gambling, people who are addicted to food will have trouble stopping their behavior.

Experts have created a survey tool to help professionals identify people who may have an addiction to food. This questionnaire includes questions, that ask the person if they:

  • End up eating more than planned when eating certain foods.
  • Keep eating certain foods even if  no longer hungry.
  • Eat to the point of feeling ill.
  • Go out of the way to obtain certain foods when they are not available.
  • Avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
  • Have problems functioning effectively at their job or school because of food and eating.
  • Feel emotions such as guilt, anxiety, self-loathing or depression after eating.

Many believe that compulsive overeating and food addiction is more difficult to treat than other forms of addiction due to the fact that food is all around us. Alcoholics, for example, can remove themselves from situations where alcohol is present to help them abstain, but we all need to eat to survive and therefore we will always be exposed to situations where food is around.

There are a growing number of programs that can help people who are addicted to food. Many programs use a similar 12 step program that other addiction programs follow. Some food addiction programs also adopt a strict diet regimen that includes abstaining from problem ingredients, like sugar, refined flour, and wheat.

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 How You Heat Your Home This Winter Affect Your Asthma?

New York winters are typically associated with very cold temperatures. When the thermometer dips during this time of year we are forced to heat our homes. For those with asthma, choosing how to heat their homes can have a serious impact on their condition.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects millions of Americans. It narrows the airways that deliver oxygen to the lungs, making breathing difficult. Symptoms are triggered by exposure to environmental contaminants and airborne particles. If not cleaned properly, home heating systems can blow dust and other particles that trigger asthma symptoms.

Every year, asthma symptoms prompt more than 15 million physician and hospital outpatient visits and two million emergency department visits. In addition, a recent study by the American Thoracic Society noted an increase in asthma-related emergency room visits, coinciding with the first seasonal uses of indoor heating in New York City and other urban areas. The reason for this is the contaminants found inside heating ductwork typically include dust and pollution particles along with mold, bacteria, pollen, dust mites and pet dander.  All of these can easily become airborne when the heating system is fired up, and all of them are asthma triggers.

To avoid your home heating system from contributing to your asthma, it is recommended that you clean or replace all air filters in your heating system and clean the air ducts prior to being turned on for the season to help reduce triggering asthma symptoms.

Home heating systems are not the only method of heating your home that can negatively impact your asthma.  Smoke and fumes can also trigger an asthma attack. These include fumes from gas, wood, or kerosene stoves as well as fireplaces and space heaters.  All fuel-burning appliances such as these can produce nitrogen dioxide. While you can’t smell or see this gas, it can irritate your nose and throat, and trigger an asthma attack.

To keep your household air free of fumes:

  • Make sure that all stoves are properly vented to the outside. For gas stoves, be sure to use an exhaust fan that vents outside while cooking.
  • If you use a wood stove, use it according to the manufacturer’s directions and be sure that the doors fit tightly.
  • When using an unvented kerosene or gas space heater, crack open a window or use an exhaust fan.
  • Before using your fireplace, be sure that the flue is open so that smoke can escape out the chimney.

Another common practice during the winter months is burning scented candles. While burning candles can create a warm and cozy atmosphere, they can also trigger an asthma attack because they can release certain chemicals into the air that are harmful to asthmatics.

By following certain cleaning and safety practices and avoid other triggers, those with asthma can avoid flare-ups in their homes this winter season.

If you have asthma, be sure to manage your condition by seeing your doctor regularly. If you do not have a doctor, you can make an appointment at Flushing Hospital 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.

Learning the Facts About Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a mental condition where an individual consistently displays no regard for right from wrong and is indifferent to the feelings of others.

In some cases, those with ASPD can appear witty, charming, and generally fun to be around, but they may also lie, antagonize, manipulate, or exploit others and not feel guilty about the consequences of their actions. They may also act destructively without regard for the law, or for their safety of the safety of others.

Modern diagnostic systems consider ASPD to include two related but not identical conditions:

A “psychopath” is someone whose hurtful actions toward others tend to reflect calculation, manipulation and cunning; they also tend not to feel emotion and mimic (rather than experience) empathy for others. They can be deceptively charismatic and charming.

By contrast, a “sociopath” has more of an ability to form attachments to others but still disregards social rules; they tend to be more impulsive, haphazard, and easily agitated than people with psychopathy.

People with ASPD may often do the following:

  • Lie, con, and exploit others
  • Act rashly
  • Be angry, vain, and aggressive
  • Fight or assault other people
  • Break the law
  • Not care about the safety of others or themselves
  • Not show signs of remorse after hurting someone else
  • Fail to meet money, work, or social duties
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol

ASPD is uncommon, affecting less than 1% of the population. It affects men more than women. While there is no direct cause of ASPD, genetics is considered a possible factor, as is exposure to a traumatic or abusive atmosphere as a child. Brain defects and injuries during developmental years may also be linked to ASPD.

 A diagnosis of ASPD cannot be made until age 18, though to be identified as having the disorder a person would have to have shown symptoms before age 15.  Symptoms of ASPD are usually at their worst during a person’s late teenage years and in their 20s, but may improve on their own over time.

Unfortunately, many people with ASPD don’t seek help for the condition because they don’t believe they need assistance, but for those seeking treatment for ASPD, participation in either individual or group therapy has proven to be beneficial. A mental health professional may also prescribe certain psychiatric medications like mood stabilizers or some atypical antipsychotics to treat symptoms like impulsive aggression.

If someone close to you has ASPD, consider seeking help for the disorder from a mental health professional. To make an appointment at the mental health clinic at xx Hospital, 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.