Hoarding Disorder

Living area of someone with Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding disorder (HD) is a mental health condition characterized by the inability to part with or throw away items due to a perceived need to save them.

People diagnosed with HD accumulate an excessive amount of possessions regardless of value. Unlike collectors who collect specific types of items such as model cars, those who hoard acquire random items that are often useless or of little value to most people such as paper bags. This acquisition often results in disorganized piles of objects overcrowding living spaces. Some people who hoard may also begin to acquire living things such as animals, resulting in unsanitary living conditions.

Common reasons why people who hoard accumulate these possessions include:

  • Not wanting to be wasteful and believing  items will be needed in the future
  • Feeling safe when surrounded by items
  • Holding on to items perceived to have emotional significance
  • Believing  their items are unique

Symptoms of hoarding typically begin to present during an individual’s early teenage years, the average onset is 13 years old.  As a person ages, symptoms often become more severe. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, symptoms can include:

  • Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
  • Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
  • Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
  • Suspicion of other people touching items
  • Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
  • Functional impairments, including loss of living space, social isolation, family or marital discord, financial difficulties, health hazards

Although the cause of hoarding disorder is unknown,   there are several factors that put some at risk of developing this condition more than others.  The risk factors include having a family history of HD, encountering stressful or traumatic life events, having an indecisive personality, receiving brain injuries or experiencing material deprivation such as childhood poverty.

Those living with hoarding disorder are often likely to have other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit /hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or alcohol use disorder.

People with hoarding disorder typically do not recognize hoarding as a problem; therefore, many do not seek the help they need.  Hoarding disorder is often identified when individuals seek treatment for other mental health conditions or when loved ones or local health departments intervene.   

Hoarding disorder is diagnosed by performing a psychological examination. The most common form of therapy used to treat hoarding disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy.  This kind of therapy helps individuals to become aware of harmful thought and behavioral patterns, and develop new strategies to engage in healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Treatment of HD may also involve learning organizational and decision making skills, as well as medication therapy.

If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of hoarding disorder and would like to receive assistance from a mental health professional at 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.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center is spreading awareness by sharing important facts about the disorder with our community.

Down syndrome, also called Trisomy 21, is the most common chromosomal condition in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in every 700 babies in the U.S.  is born with Down syndrome.  

Typically, at the time of conception, a fetus receives genetic information from both parents in the form of 46 chromosomes.  Down syndrome occurs when the fetus receives an extra copy of a chromosome; resulting in 47 chromosomes.  This extra chromosome affects the way a baby develops physically and mentally.   Some of the physical features and developmental problems associated with Down syndrome include:

  • Flattened face
  • Small head
  • Upward slanting eyelids
  • Unusually shaped or small ears
  • Protruding tongue
  • Short height
  • Language delay
  • Mild to moderate cognitive impairment

Every baby born with Down syndrome is different.  Each child will have physical or intellectual disabilities that are unique to their condition.  Parents of babies born with Down syndrome are advised to enroll their children into early- intervention services such as speech therapy or occupational therapy as soon as possible.  These services can help to encourage or accelerate the child’s development.

The most commonly known risk factor linked to Down syndrome is a mother’s age.  Women over the age of 35 have a significantly higher risk of having a child with this condition.  Those with an increased risk are encouraged to consult a genetic counselor to discuss screening options.

To speak with a doctor a Flushing Hospital about your risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, 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.

Folliculitis

folliculitis Folliculitis is a common skin condition that occurs when our hair follicles become inflamed.   This inflammation is often caused by:

  • Bacteria
  • A fungus
  • Blockages from skin products
  • Hair removal (shaving, waxing, plucking)
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Friction ( tight clothing rubbing against areas of the skin where hair is present)

The most common symptom of folliculitis is an outbreak of tiny, white-headed or red bumps on the skin. Other symptoms may include:

  • Tender, painful skin
  • Itchy skin
  • A large, swollen mass
  • Pus-filled blisters

Folliculitis can affect anyone; however, the risk increases if you have acne or dermatitis, regularly wear tight clothing, are taking certain medications, are a person who shaves often or soaks in hot tubs that are poorly maintained.

Treatment of folliculitis may vary based on severity.  If symptoms are mild, it is recommended that you keep the area clean and apply a warm compress. If you are itchy, topical solutions such as oatmeal lotion or hydrocortisone cream might help.  In severe cases or instances where symptoms last more than a few days, it is strongly advised that you see a doctor.  Your doctor may prescribe antifungal shampoos, antibiotics or antifungal creams or pills to help control symptoms.  In the event that a large, pus-filled boil has formed your doctor may perform minor surgery to drain the pus and relieve the pain.

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.

Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that keep your arm in the shoulder socket.  Damage or injury caused to the rotator cuff can result in limited mobility or permanent loss of motion of the shoulder joint.

Rotator cuff injuries are very common; in fact, it is estimated that close to 2 million people living in the United States seek treatment for rotator cuff problems every year.

Injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their daily activities.  However, an injury can also be sustained due to an accident or the degeneration of tendons. These factors put some at risk of injury more than others.  Those who have an increased risk of injury include:

  • Individuals who play certain sports that involve the use of repetitive arm motions such as baseball or tennis
  • Individuals employed in occupations that require the use of constant overhead motion such as a house painting
  • Individuals over the age of 40

Injury to the rotator cuff can range from microscopic tears to large irreparable tears.  According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, symptoms can vary depending on the severity of these tears and may include:

  • Pain at rest and at night, particularly if lying on the affected shoulder
  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with specific movements
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm
  • Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible.  Prolonging a doctor’s visit can result in more damage.

Your doctor may conduct a physical examination and (or) imaging tests such as x-rays or an MRI to determine if you have received an injury. Treatment for a rotator cuff injury may include rest, physical therapy or surgery.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical, please call 718-206-6923

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.

Dental Implants

Dentist in Flushing QueensAccording to the American College of Prosthodontists, “it is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.” Tooth loss in adults is often the result of tooth decay, injury or periodontal disease.

There are several devices utilized by dentists to replace missing teeth; however, one of the most natural feeling and looking is a dental implant. Dental implants are metal frames or posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone. They serve as roots for missing teeth and support permanent tooth prosthetics such as crowns that are custom made to match your teeth.  Dental implants are often a safe and permanent solution.

Although dental implants are a favorable choice for many, implant surgery may not be for everyone.   Depending on the status of their health, patients with certain conditions such as diabetes, cardiac problems, unhealthy gums or those with significant bone loss of the jaw may not be suitable candidates for this procedure.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with dental implant surgery.  Risks are rare but may include:

  • Infection at the implant site
  • Dental implants protruding into sinus cavities causing sinus problems
  • Damage to other teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage at the implant site

The procedure is typically performed in an outpatient setting by a highly trained dental specialist. Your dentist will most likely prescribe medications or antibiotics to help relieve pain and reduce the risk of infection post-surgery.  After the procedure, it is highly recommended that you practice excellent oral hygiene, avoid habits that may damage teeth such as chewing on ice and keep up with routine checkups.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, 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.

Tips for Traveling With Medication

Tips for traveling with medication Preparing for a flight often requires careful planning and packing. When traveling with medication, knowing airport rules ahead of time can help you to pack correctly and minimize setbacks on your trip.

It is important that you follow these tips provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to avoid delays in your travel time or confiscation of your medication:

  • Confirm that your prescription is legal at your destination; some medications that are allowed in the United States are prohibited in other countries.
  • Learn state requirements for the labeling of prescription medication. States have individual laws of which travelers must comply.
  • You can bring unlimited amounts of your medication in pill or solid form, as long as it is screened. Medications are typically screened by X-ray; however, if you do want them X-rayed you may ask to have them inspected instead. This request must be made before your medication enters the X-ray tunnel.
  • You are allowed to bring liquid medication in carry-on bags in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities.
  • If traveling with liquid medication, you must inform the inspecting officer at the start of the screening checkpoint process. Additional screening will be required and you may be asked to open the container.
  • Supplies associated with medication such as syringes, pumps, IV bags or needles must undergo screening.

Packing appropriately for your trip can make traveling with medication less complicated. It is highly recommended that you check the TSA’s website, www.tsa.gov, for updates as the current rules can change.

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 Much Water Should You Drink During Exercise

Physical medicine and rehabilitation in Flushing NYStaying hydrated while exercising is very important, especially during the hotter months when we tend to lose more water by sweating. The best way to hydrate our bodies is to drink water, as it helps to prevent dehydration.

While drinking water greatly benefits our bodies, consuming too much can have adverse effects, one of which is hyponatremia.  This condition occurs when the blood becomes excessively diluted from drinking too much water, dangerously reducing sodium levels in our bodies.  Hyponatremia can result in symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, and in severe but rare cases, death.  It is important to follow proper hydration guidelines to avoid these symptoms.

According to Harvard Health, four to six cups of fluid daily is generally recommended for most people to consume. While exercising, The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking:

  • Seventeen to 20 ounces of fluid, 2 to 3 hours before  working out
  • Another 8 ounces, 20 to 30 minutes before starting your workout
  • Seven to 10 ounces, every 10 to 20 minutes while exercising
  • Eight ounces post workout

General recommendations are based on weight and gender. They may vary with each individual. It is  also important to keep in mind, that individuals with certain health conditions such as kidney or liver disease may retain too much fluid and should consult their physician

If you are uncertain about how much water you should drink per day or while exercising, speak with your doctor.  He or she will be able to provide more specific guidelines.

To speak with a doctor at  Flushing Hospital Medical 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.

Ringworm

Ringworm- skin doctor queens new yorkRingworm is a common infection that results in circular-shaped rashes on the skin.  Contrary to what its name suggests ringworm is not caused by a worm but rather a fungus that thrives on multiple surfaces.

Ringworm can appear on just about any part of the body.  However, based on the location of the rash, it may be categorized by a different name.  For example, ringworm on the feet is known as athlete’s foot and ringworm on the groin is known as jock itch.

Symptoms of ringworm vary based on location. They can include:

  • Patches of hair loss
  • Scaling of the scalp
  • A small pimple on the scalp that becomes larger in size over time
  • Thickened, discolored or brittle nails
  • Flat-ring shaped rashes
  • Itching
  • Red, peeling, itchy skin between the toes
  • Red spots on the inner sides of the thigh

Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread by:

  • Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person
  • Contact with an infected animal
  • Contact with objects or surfaces touched by an infected person
  • Prolonged contact with soil that is infected

Some people are more at risk for transmission than others.  Your chances of contracting an infection increases if you:

  • Are in close contact with animals or people who are infected
  • Share linens or clothing with someone who is infected
  • Live in a warm climate
  • Wear tight or restrictive clothing
  • Have a weakened immune system

You can reduce your risk of getting ringworm by:

  • Keeping your skin clean and dry
  • Avoid sharing linens and clothing with an infected person
  • Washing your hands after playing with pets with ringworm

Your doctor can diagnose ringworm by examining the infected area.   You may receive a prescription for antifungal medications that may include lotions, creams or pills to treat the infection. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical 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.

Does Adding More Protein To Your Diet Really Build Muscle?

Nutritionist in Flushing QueensIt is common for people to increase their intake of protein when building muscle. This may be the result of a common misconception that adding more protein to your diet helps to increase muscle mass. The truth is, excessive amounts of protein can do your body more harm than good (Experts recommend that anywhere between 10 to 30% of your diet should include protein).

An excessive amount of protein in your diet can have the following harmful effects:

  • A buildup of toxic ketones
  • An increase in the risk of dehydration
  • An elevation in blood lipids
  • An increase in the risk of heart disease
  • Protein being converted to fat

Another misconception about diet and building muscle is that carbohydrates should be avoided.  In fact, adequate amounts of good carbohydrates, found in whole grain bread and cereals can provide the energy needed to exercise and help your body process protein (Dietary guidelines suggest around 55% of your calories each day should come from carbohydrates).

To achieve the best results when building muscle, you must combine strength training exercises along with a diet that includes the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, water, fruits and vegetables.

If you have questions about your diet and nutrition, please call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment with a dietitian at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

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.

Esophageal Cancer

esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer is a disease that develops when cancer forms in the esophagus- the long, hollow, muscular tube that runs from your throat to your stomach.   The esophagus helps to move food and liquids to your stomach after you swallow.

Cancer of the esophagus is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. It occurs more often in men than in women.

Although the cause for esophageal cancer is unclear, research indicates that the disease may develop as a result of damaged DNA in the cells that line the esophagus.  It is also believed that chronic irritation to the esophagus is a contributing factor.   Other factors that may increase the risk of developing the disease include:

  • Being obese
  • Having GERD
  • Having Barrett’s esophagus( A serious complication of GERD)
  • Having bile reflux
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Undergoing radiation treatments to the chest or upper abdomen

Esophageal cancer may not have symptoms in its early stages.  However, as the disease progresses the following symptoms may occur:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Chronic cough
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Indigestion and heartburn

Cancer of the esophagus can be diagnosed by performing a series of tests and procedures that include genomic testing, imaging scans, endoscopy or biopsy. If it is found that you have developed esophageal cancer, your doctor may request further testing to determine the stage of cancer.

Treatment for esophageal cancer is based on stage, overall health and your preferences for care. Immunotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or interventional radiology are some of the approaches that your doctor may discuss with you.

If you are experiencing symptoms of esophageal cancer, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 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.