What Are Tremors And Why Do They Occur?

A tremor is an involuntary, rhythmic muscle contraction that results in shaking movements in one or more parts of the body. They most commonly affect the hands but can also occur in the arms, head, vocal cords or legs. Tremors can come and go, but they can also be constant. They can take place without reason or occur as a result of another disorder.  While they are not life threatening, tremors can be debilitating, making it very difficult to perform many daily tasks.

tremor, Flushing Hospital, Parkinson's Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury

Tremors are usually caused by a problem in the parts of the brain that control movement. Tremors typically appear in middle aged to older adults. They affect men and women equally and can run in families.

Tremors can occur on their own or be a symptom associated with a number of neurological disorders, including:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Parkinson’s disease

Others reasons why someone may experience tremors include: a reaction to medications, alcohol abuse, anxiety disorders, mercury poisoning,  an overactive thyroid, or liver or kidney failure. Some tremors may be triggered by or worsen during times of stress or strong emotion, when an individual is physically exhausted, or when a person is in certain postures or makes certain movements.

Tremors are classified into two main categories, resting or action;  a resting tremor occurs when a person’s hands, arms, or legs shake when they are at rest. Often, the tremor only affects the hand or fingers and is often seen in people with Parkinson’s disease.  An action tremor occurs with the voluntary movement of a muscle. Most types of tremors are considered action tremors.

A neurologist can diagnose a tremor during an physical examination and medical history based on:

  • Whether tremors occur when the muscles are at rest or in action
  • The location of the tremor on the body
  • The frequency and severity of the tremor.

Your doctor will also check for other neurological abnormalities such as impaired balance or speech, or increased muscle stiffness. Blood or urine tests can rule out a thyroid malfunction, medication interaction or alcohol abuse as a cause. A CT Scan or MRI may be performed to determine if the tremor is the result of a brain injury and motor skill assessments can administered to determine functional limitations.

Although there is no cure for most forms of tremors, treatment options are available to help manage symptoms. In some cases, a person’s symptoms may be mild enough that they do not require treatment. In other cases, treating the underlying cause can reduce or eliminate the tremor. If no known cause is determined, medications, focused ultrasound, or surgery may be considered as treatment options.

To make an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital’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.

Flushing Hospital’s Division of Robotic Surgery Performs Minimally Invasive Colectomy Procedures

colectomy, Flushing Hospital, Robotic Surgery, Bowel Resection, Colon Cancer, Chron's Disease, Colitis, Colon, bowel obstruction

A colectomy, also known as a bowel resection, is a surgical procedure where a part of or the entire colon is removed.

The colon is part of the body’s digestive system, which removes and processes nutrients from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. A colectomy may be required when the colon fails to function as it should.

This may occur for a variety of issues or conditions including:

  • Bowel obstruction – A blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small or large intestine.
  • Bowel perforation – A hole in the wall of the small or large intestine. This is a serious and potentially fatal condition that may require immediate surgery.
  • Crohn’s disease – An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation of your digestive tract, leading to abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.
  • Ulcerative colitis – A condition that causes irritation and swelling of the small intestine that can lead to the development of sores called ulcers.
  • Colon cancer – A type of cancer where tiny growths called polyps develop in the colon or rectum over time and eventually become cancerous.

Depending on the issue and the severity, there are a number of different types of colectomy procedures, such as:

  • Total colectomy–The removal of the entire colon
  • Partial colectomy (or subtotal colectomy) – The removal of part of the colon
  • Hemicolectomy- The removal of the right or left portion of the colon
  • Proctocolectomy– The removal of both the colon and rectum

Traditionally, patients with any of these conditions needing a colectomy would have open surgery. These procedures require doctors to make a long incision in the wall of the abdomen so they can see the colon directly.

Thankfully, Flushing Hospital offers patients a much more minimally invasive option. Through the acquisition of the da Vinci surgical platform, patients can now have colectomy procedures performed robotically.

During robot-assisted procedures, Flushing Hospital’s expert team of surgeons can guide the state-of-the-art da Vinci robot to make the smallest of incisions, resulting in less pain, minimal scarring, and faster recovery time.

If you are experiencing any form of irritable bowel disease that may require surgical intervention, please call Flushing Hospital’s Division of Robotic Surgery at 718-670- 3135 to learn how we can help.

 

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 How to Properly Stored Your Insulin in the Summer

We would never waste our food or allow it to become spoiled by the heat, but what about medicines? Medicines should not be the exception, specifically insulin.

insulin, insulin storage, diabetes, Flushing Hospital, summer health

Insulin is a protein which is dissolved in water and is required to manage blood sugar levels in diabetics. As with any protein, bacteria can grow in insulin, making it susceptible to become spoiled. Bacteria can also break down the proteins in insulin and makes it less effective. Keeping insulin cool can help prevent it from spoiling and maintain its effectiveness. The recommended temperature for storage, once opened, should be anywhere from 59-68 degrees Fahrenheit. For insulin not in use, store between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit. For many diabetics, insulin is most comfortably administered at room temperature.

Some other storage tips include:
• Do not freeze or use thawed insulin. The freezing temperature will break down the proteins and will not work to lower blood sugar levels.
• Do not leave in sunlight. This can break down the proteins in insulin as well.
• Inspect insulin prior to each use. Ensure that there are no clumps, crystals or particles in the bottle or pen. Insulin should be clear.
• Write the ‘start use’ date on the insulin vial and discard after 28 days or if it’s been opened.
• Never use expired insulin.
• Be wary of any unusual smells. Insulin should never have an odor or bad smell.

Insulin is administered in many forms including injections, pens or cartridges. Each may have different recommended storage times based on their manufacturer. It is important to check with a pharmacist, package insert, or the manufacturers’ website to ensure proper storage temperature of insulin.

 

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 Make Sure the Ice in Your Freezer is Clean

There is nothing more refreshing on a warm summer day than an ice-filled cold beverage, but before you host your next summer gathering, make sure that the ice you serve is clean and free of harmful bacteria.

While ice is rarely considered to be the source of trouble, there are good reasons to take a second look at how ice is dispensed in your own home.  You may think most bacteria wouldn’t survive the icy conditions of a freezer. But they can. Bacteria and viruses such as listeria, E-coli and salmonella can live in freezing temperatures, meaning they may be alive in your ice cubes. With proper precautions however, you can eliminate the risk of these contaminants existing in the ice you serve.

Here are some tips:

  • Change Your Filter – Most ice makers in freezers use a secondary water filter to stop particles from contaminating the ice. To keep your ice clean, change the freezer’s water filter as frequently as the manufacturer recommends, about every six months.
  • Regular Cleaning – Don’t forget to defrost and deep clean your freezer at least once a year. As a rule of thumb, if the ice buildup in your freezer is a quarter-inch or thicker, then it’s time to defrost and clean it.
  • Use Ice Regularly – The slight melting and refreezing of cubes can allow pathogens to take hold. To avoid this, remove the ice storage bin from the freezer and dump any clumps into the sink. Since inactivity causes ice clumps to form, the easiest solution is to use the ice maker more frequently.
  • Organize Your Freezer – Make sure frozen foods are properly sealed or double-wrapped and avoid having them come into direct contact with ice in trays or bins. Also label all food with a use-by date and remove all expired foods from your freezer.
  • Don’t Use Your Hands – While all of the above tips are useful, the fact is that the most common way to spread germs is by placing unwashed hands in an ice container. Instead of using your hands, use a designated scooper or other tool to handle ice.

It is important to note that while the existence of contaminants in your ice might be disturbing to learn, the health risks associated with it is fairly minimal to the average immune system and the transmission of viruses are rare. Those more at risk are pregnant women, children, and people with a compromised immune system.

Regardless, it is always a good idea to take the proper precautions to reduce your chances of getting yourself or your guests sick.

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 Symptoms of Painful Bladder Syndrome

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure and pain, with occasional pain extending into the pelvis. The condition is a part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome.

patient with bladder pain,, which is a urology issue

Interstitial cystitis occurs when your bladder, which is a hollow, muscular organ that stores urine, sends premature signals to your brain that you need to urinate. Normally these signals are sent once the bladder is full, but those with interstitial cystitis feel the sensation to urinate more often and produce smaller amounts of urine when they go.

Interstitial cystitis most often affects women and can have a long-lasting impact on quality of life. The symptoms may vary from person to person and they may change over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers, such as menstruation, sitting for a long time, stress, exercise and sexual activity. In many cases symptoms of interstitial cystitis resemble those of a urinary tract infection.

Interstitial cystitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in your pelvis or between the vagina and anus in women, the scrotum and anus in men
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • A persistent, urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night (up to 60 times a day)
  • Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

The exact cause of interstitial cystitis isn’t known, but it’s likely that many factors contribute. One possible factor is a defect in the protective lining of the bladder which could result in toxic substances in urine to irritate the bladder wall.  Other possible but unproven contributing factors include an autoimmune reaction, genetics, infection or allergy.

Interstitial cystitis can result in a number of complications, including reduced bladder capacity, lower quality of life, sexual intimacy problems, and emotional troubles.

There is no current cure for interstitial cystitis, but there are medications and other therapies available that may offer relief. If you’re experiencing chronic bladder pain or urinary urgency and frequency, contact your doctor.

If you are experiencing symptoms of interstitial cystitis and would like to schedule an appointment with a urologist 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.

Try Gardening to Reduce Your Stress Levels

With spring weather finally upon us, there is an opportunity to get outside and relieve some stress. One particular springtime activity that is highly recommended to reduce tension and anxiety is gardening.

Flushing Hospital Suggests You Try Gardening to Reduce Stress

Research has proven that gardening can be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress levels. In one particular study, subjects were asked to perform a stressful task and then asked to either garden or read for 30 minutes. While both groups experienced a decrease in stress, the gardeners experienced a significantly greater decline (as measured by stress hormone levels), as well as a full restoration of a positive mood while the readers actually experienced a further decline in mood.

The reasons why gardening is so helpful in reducing stress are numerous. Some include:

  • Being Outside – Sunlight is not only good for your physical health, but it can actually help improve your mood. Also, just being outdoors helps you feel more removed from the stressors of everyday life.
  • Getting Exercise – The manual labor associated with gardening, whether it is digging, raking, planting, pruning, or weeding provides a physical outlet to release the tension that is stored in our bodies.
  • Creating Beauty – The wonder of nature is a stress reliever in itself, but when you are responsible for creating and nurturing that beauty, it can be very uplifting. Gardening is an exercise in hope.
  • Meditative Qualities – The act of gardening is time consuming, quiet and repetitive. These attributes provide a peaceful atmosphere for contemplation and reflection.

So if you are feeling stressed, take advantage of this beautiful spring weather and try gardening. It doesn’t matter whether you are tending to a large backyard or a small patio garden – the benefits can be great.

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 Don’t Fry Fry Day

The Friday before Memorial Day is designated National Don’t Fry Day – a day to raise awareness about sun safety and encourage everyone to take the necessary steps to protect their skin from cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the nation, with almost 5.5 million cases diagnosed in Americans each year – more than breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers combined.  In fact, one out of every five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some time in their lives.

Flushing Hospital and the American Cancer Society would like to share the following tips to avoid frying in the sun this summer:

  • Seek shade during the peak time of day – the sun is at its strongest between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Dress properly – Wear sun-protective clothing as well as UV blocking sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats
  • Use sunscreen – It is recommended that you apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 every 2 hours
  • Avoid tanning devices – These give off UVA rays just like the sun.

By following these tips, you and your family can enjoy the sun, while protecting yourself from the harm that it can cause

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.

What is a Herniated Disk and What Are the Symptoms?

Our spine consists of a series of bones called vertebrae. Separating these vertebrae are cushions filled with a jellylike substance. These cushions allow the spine to bend. When one of these disks starts to slip out of place, it causes a condition called a slipped, ruptured, or herniated disk.

Most herniated discs occur in your lower back (lumbar spine), although they can also occur in your neck (cervical spine). You can suffer a herniated disk and not experience any symptoms, but most people do. The most common symptoms associated with a herniated disk are:

  • Arm or leg pain – If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you’ll typically feel the most intense pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. If your herniated disk is in your neck, the pain will typically be most intense in the shoulder and arm. This pain may be more intense when you cough, sneeze or move your spine into certain positions.
  • Numbness or tingling – People who have a herniated disk often experience numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.
  • Weakness – Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may cause you to stumble, or impair your ability to lift or hold items.

While suffering a herniated disk is most often the result of a natural aging process called disk degeneration, it can sometimes be the result of a traumatic event or improperly lifting heavy objects.

Risk factors for developing a herniated disk include:

  • Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back.
  • People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems.
  • Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disk.

Tips to avoid a herniated disk include exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, lifting heavy objects with your legs and not your back, and practicing good posture.

In many cases, the best treatment for a herniated disk is rest, but if your symptoms are persistent or worsening, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor who may prescribe medications or refer you for physical rehabilitation.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a herniated disk and would like to see a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-  5486 to make 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 Offers Tips To Manage Your Children’s Vaccinations During World Immunization Week

It is World Immunization Week; an observance led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise public awareness about how immunizations can save lives. During this week-long event, efforts are made to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against a variety of preventable diseases.

Immunizations prevent illness, disability and death from many diseases, including:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus diarrhea
  • Tetanus

Despite all their benefits, there is still an estimated 18.7 million infants worldwide still missing out on basic vaccines.

One of the best ways for parents to keep track of their children’s immunization history and make sure they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations is by setting up an electronic medical record (EMR), like MyChart, which is available for free to all Flushing Hospital patients.

In addition to allowing parents to access to their children’s records, including their immunization history, MyChart also gives patients the ability to:

  • Review test results online
  • Review health education topics
  • Access discharge instructions
  • Request prescription refills online
  • Interact with your provider via email
  • Request an appointment

To create an account is easy. All a patient needs to do is go to the Flushing Hospital’s website and click the link to MediSys MyChart: https://mychart.medisys.org and click on the “sign up now” tab.

World Immunization Week is an opportunity for Flushing Hospital to remind parents of the importance of maintaining their children’s vaccinations and how MyChart can help them do that. My making it easy to access their immunization history, parents can make sure their children are properly protected.

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 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.