Safety Tips For Shoveling Snow This Winter

Winter and snow go hand in hand and we are never more likely to get a heavy snowfall than in February, which is typically the snowiest month,. Anticipating the potential for a snowstorm this month, Flushing Hospital would like to provide you with some heart health tips before you go out to shovel snow.

By now, we have all heard about the risk of shoveling snow and suffering a heart attack, but is this true? The fact is shoveling snow (or to a less extent, even pushing a heavy snow blower) is considered a more strenuous activity than running full speed on a treadmill.  But why should pushing around some white flakes be more dangerous than any other form of exercise?

The biggest reason why heart attacks are so common while snow shoveling has as much to do with the weather as it does with the activity.  The cold temperature is a key contributor to the onset of a heart attack. Frozen temperatures can boost blood pressure, interrupt blood flow to the heart, and make blood more likely to clot.

Another factor to consider is who is doing the shoveling.  If you are a healthy and physically fit individual there is much less of a risk to suffer a heart attack, but unfortunately not everyone who attempts to shovel snow fits into that category. For those who do not exercise as frequently, (especially during the winter when we tend to be less active) or have a history of hypertension or heart disease need to follow the following tips before going out to shovel:

  • Avoid shoveling as soon as you wake up as this is when most heart attacks occur
  • Do not drink coffee, eat a heavy meal or smoke cigarettes immediately before or while shoveling
  • Warm up your muscles before you begin
  • Shovel many light loads instead of fewer heavy ones
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Know the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack. If you experience a squeezing pain in your chest, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, pain radiating from your left shoulder and down your left arm, cold sweats, accompanied by fatigue and nausea, stop shoveling, go inside and call 911 immediately.
If you are at a high risk of suffering a heart attack, avoid shoveling snow completely. Try asking a family member, friend or neighborhood teen to help you out.

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 Can Your Job Negatively Affect Your Health?

Many of our life can affect our health in. What food we eat, how often we exercise and how much sleep we get are all things we pay attention to when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, one aspect of our daily lives that can affect our physical and mental health more than we think might not get the attention it deserves.

We spend most of our waking hours at one place more than any other – work. Many studies have linked our work environment to our overall level of health and the results are very telling. Research has indicated that there are many factors shown to affect the relationship between our chosen profession and our overall well-being, including:

  • Work Overload – Statistics indicate that Americans work longer hours, retire later and take fewer vacations than most other counties. These traits can lead to a variety of physical and mental health problems including heart disease and depression.
  • Lack of Physical Activity – For those who work in an office setting, lack of physical activity can also lead to many health issues. Those who have sedentary jobs experience a greater incidence of diabetes, muscle-related pain and fatigue. Those who stare at a computer all day also report higher rates of issues with their eyes.
  • Lack of Break Time – Whether it’s due to being overworked or guilt over momentarily stepping away from our responsibilities, the formal “break time” has become a thing of the past. Failure to take time-out from our work can lead to increased level of stress and decreased personal happiness.
  • Staying at a Job You Hate – Consider yourself blessed if you love what you do for a living. The fact is many people work to pay the bills, but hate what they do. Research has indicated that those who continue to continue to work in an environment where they are unhappy are more likely to suffer from exhaustion and stress.
  • Long Commute – Our workday doesn’t begin and end when we punch in and out. Hours of frustration can be added to our day during our commute. Studies have indicated that those living in large cities, where the commute is typically longer, are less happy in the workplace and burnout quicker.
  • Interpersonal Relationships at Work – While there is no rule that states you have to love your co-workers, having a solid relationship with them is generally considered better for your health. Those who hate who they work with tend to have higher rates of physical and mental health issues.

Finding a healthy work environment can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s important to recognize the negative impact a bad workplace atmosphere can have on your health. If you are experiencing any physical or mental health conditions that you feel are related to your current profession, you should carefully consider choosing another career option that is more suitable for you.

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.

Heart Disease and Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve and sustain an erection firm enough for intercourse) may serve as an early warning sign of the development of more serious health issues, such as heart disease.   According to Harvard Health Publications, ‘erections “serve as a barometer for overall health,” and that erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of trouble in the heart or elsewhere.’

Studies have shown that if a man has erectile dysfunction (ED), he is at a greater risk of having heart disease.  Some experts suggest that men with ED who have no obvious cause such as trauma and no symptoms of heart problems should be proactive and receive an assessment to determine their risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease and erectile dysfunction share many risk factors including:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol intake
  • Diabetes
  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Low testosterone
  • Obesity

If you are believed to be at risk for heart disease and have ED, your doctor may recommend applying lifestyle changes that may include drinking alcohol in moderation or none at all, quitting smoking, exercising and eating a balanced diet.  For those diagnosed with ED and heart disease your doctor may explore treatment options that include medication management to help regulate both health issues

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.

American Heart Month

Heart Disease

This month, many candy hearts will be exchanged in honor of Valentine’s Day, but Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants the community to give some thoughts to hearts that are not made of chocolate. That’s because February is also American Heart Month, a special designation intended to remind everyone the importance of heart health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States and the numbers are increasing. The good news is, by working with your doctor to monitor your condition and by making changes to your lifestyle, heart disease is preventable for most.

Here are some tips to improve your heart health

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor, who can conduct a physical evaluation and test your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe certain medications to control both.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and control your weight. Obesity is one of the leading contributors to heart disease.
  • Increase your physical activity. By joining a gym or taking up walking, make exercise part of your daily routine
  • Monitor your alcohol intake and if you smoke, quit immediately. Cigarette smoke and alcohol are two factors that put individuals at an increased risk of heart disease.

Please make an appointment to see your doctor to have your heart checked immediately. If you do not have a doctor, you can make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486. If a heart condition is suspected, a referral can be to our Cardiology Department, where we can perform a variety of tests to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Join Flushing Hospital as we recognize American Heart Month. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and your regularly scheduled appointments, you can enjoy this Valentine’s Day with a clean bill of heart health.

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.

Top 5 Women’s Health Issues

hypertension-87650188Do you know which health conditions pose the biggest threat to American women? The good news is that many of the leading threats to women’s health, which can vary based on a woman’s age and background, are preventable. Find out which conditions to be aware of to maximize your health today.

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Luckily, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to ward off heart disease, such as not smoking, following a heart-smart diet, and being physically active.

 

  1. Stroke poses a significant risk to women’s health in the United States. Almost 55,000 women suffer from stroke each year, and about 60 percent of overall stroke deaths occur among women.

 

  1. Two of the most common cancers affecting women are breast and cervical cancers. Early detection is the key to keeping women alive and healthy. The most recent figures show that around half a million women die from cervical cancer and half a million from breast cancer each year.

 

  1. Sexually transmitted diseases are responsible for one third of health issues for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. Unsafe sex is a major risk factor – particularly among women and girls in developing countries.

 

  1. Depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. Evidence suggests that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically.

 

The first step to staying healthy is educating yourself, and then taking the necessary precautions to reduce your risk. While you can’t eliminate risk factors such as family history, you can control many other risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer. Also be sure to consult your doctor about when you should have mammograms and other cancer screenings. The Outpatient Mental Health Division at Flushing Hospital Medical Center has an experienced and friendly staff readily available to assist you. To make an appointment please call, 718-670-5562. If you are experiencing stroke or heart disease symptoms please refer to the Ambulatory Care Center at Flushing Hospital. 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.