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.

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.

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.

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.

The Health Benefits of Parsley

If you are like most Americans, you probably think of parsley as just something decorative that gets put on a plate to make a meal look pretty. However, parsley is now known to have many health benefits that many of us don’t know about. Before it became popular as a food, parsley was originally used for medicinal purposes by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Parsley contains many nutrients. It has vitamins A, K and C, minerals that include magnesium, potassium, folate, iron and calcium. It is also relatively low in calories.

The health benefits of parsley include:

  • Helps treat fatigue, hormone imbalances, liver problems, and menstrual pain,
  • Possesses antioxidant power
  • Promotes kidney cleansing
  • Reduces edema
  • Helps weight loss
  • Helps metabolism
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Helps heal scars
  • Reduces toxins in the body
  • Aids digestion
  • Slows tumor growth
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduces acid formation
  • Has antibacterial and antifungal properties

Consult with a physician before adding parsley in large amounts to the diet. People who are pregnant, have a tendency to form kidney stones, or susceptible to a rash should be cautious when eating it. You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5486 to discuss if parsley is good 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.

Flu Season Can Last Until May

Although we are approaching spring, it is important to keep in mind that flu season is not yet behind us and the flu virus remains a threat to our health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “While flu season begins in the fall and continues through the winter, peak flu season comes between December and February, and can continue on into March.”  The agency also adds that flu season can last until May. The CDC is urging individuals to continue exercising steps to prevent the flu and protect their health throughout this period of time.

Here are a few measures you can take to prevent the flu:

  • Sanitize your hands
  • Cover your  nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Limit your contact with others
  • Do not share utensils or sanitize before sharing
  • Frequently disinfect areas that may be contaminated

The most important preventative measure you can take to reduce the risk of getting the flu is vaccination.  The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get vaccinated. “Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations,” states the agency.

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 About What Causes Motion Sickness and Tips to Avoid it

Motion sickness is a common condition that many of us experience at some point in our lives. It is the feeling of nausea, dizziness or uneasiness that can develop during a bumpy or rocky ride. For some, this sensation may occur while traveling in a car, boat, train, plane or other modes of transportation.

Motion sickness also referred to as seasickness, carsickness or airsickness is caused when the brain receives mixed signals from our balance-sensing system which consists of our eyes, inner ear (semicircular canals) and sensory nerves.    Mixed signals are received by the brain because your eyes cannot see the motion your body is feeling, or conversely, your body cannot feel the motion your eyes are seeing. Motion sickness can start suddenly, typically with a feeling of uneasiness then progressing to other symptoms such as dizziness, a cold sweat, headaches or vomiting.

Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to motion sickness. However, anyone who is traveling can be at risk. Factors that can increase the chances for symptoms to appear include poor ventilation in a vehicle, the type of vehicle, fears or anxieties about traveling or the orientation in which a person is sitting or standing.

Treatment for motion sickness may include medication, home remedies or applying simple changes to your environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends the following interventions for treatment or prevention:

  • Being aware of and avoiding situations that tend to trigger symptoms.
  • Optimizing position to reduce motion or motion perception—for example, driving a vehicle instead of riding in it, sitting in the front seat of a car or bus, sitting over the wing of an aircraft, holding the head firmly against the back of the seat, and choosing a window seat on flights and trains.
  • Reducing sensory input—lying prone, shutting eyes, sleeping, or looking at the horizon.
  • Maintaining hydration by drinking water, eating small meals frequently, and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoiding smoking—even short-term cessation reduces susceptibility to motion sickness.
  • Adding distractions—controlling breathing, listening to music, or using aromatherapy scents such as mint or lavender. Flavored lozenges may also help.
  • Using acupressure or magnets is advocated by some to prevent or treat nausea, although scientific data on efficacy of these interventions for preventing motion sickness are lacking.
  • Gradually exposing oneself to continuous or repeated motion sickness triggers. Most people, in time, notice a reduction in motion sickness symptoms.

Most cases of motion sickness are mild. Symptoms are typically self-treatable or go away when a person is no longer in motion.  However, medical professionals recommend that you see a doctor if you experience motion sickness repeatedly or if symptoms persist after your journey.

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.

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix; a small organ attached to the large intestine.   Anyone can develop appendicitis but it most commonly occurs in people between the ages of 10 and 30.

There are early signs that warn of an inflammation of the appendix. Warning signs include pain by the belly button or upper abdomen that becomes sharper as it moves toward the lower-right side of the abdomen and a mild fever.  Additional signs and symptoms that may present are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal bloating

If you are experiencing symptoms it is recommended that you see your doctor immediately, because if left untreated complications can develop.  The appendix can become swollen and filled with pus.  This can result in peritonitis, a condition that occurs when the appendix ruptures and allows infectious materials to spread throughout the abdomen.  Peritonitis can lead to death.

In order to diagnose appendicitis, your doctor will take a history of your symptoms and run a series of tests and examinations to rule out other possible causes. If it is determined that you have appendicitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and will most likely recommend an appendectomy (surgery to remove the inflamed appendix).

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.

Fainting

Whether watching a scene in a movie or on a television show or witnessing it happen in person, we have all seen someone faint, but do we really know what it is or what causes someone to do it?

Fainting, also called syncope (pronounced SIN-ko-pee), is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain.

There are many different conditions that can cause someone to faint, including having an irregular heartbeat or low blood sugar. It can also be due to a condition called anemia, which is a deficiency in healthy oxygen-carrying cells or problems with the nervous system.  Anxiety, stress, hunger, dehydration or the use of alcohol or drugs can all lead to a fainting spell. In some cases, fainting runs in families.

While fainting may indicate a particular medical condition, sometimes it may occur in an otherwise healthy individual. In fact, most people who faint have no underlying heart or neurological problem. A simple fainting episode also called a vasovagal attack, is the most common type of fainting spell and is most common in children and young adults.

Typically, before someone faints, they will begin to feel a rush of warmth through their body, followed by a sensation of weakness or lightheadedness before going limp and passing out. The person may also break out in a cold sweat or experience nausea. In most cases, the individual who has fainted regains complete consciousness within just a few minutes.

Management of fainting is simple: Allow the person to recover while lying flat and elevate their legs to allow blood to flow to the brain. Drinking fruit juice after regaining consciousness can also be helpful, especially if the episode was due to low blood sugar.  If the patient doesn’t regain consciousness quickly, dial 911.

See a health care provider immediately if a person fainted hit their head, if they have fainted more than once in a month; if they are experiencing unusual symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, blurred vision or difficulty speaking; or if they are pregnant or have another serious condition. A doctor can help determine the cause and possibly address the underlying issue.

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.

Benefits of an Annual Physical

An annual exam is a good way of tracking your health progress.  How would you categorize your commitment to getting an annual physical?

  1. Yearly
  2. Bi-Yearly
  3. When I don’t feel good
  4. I don’t do doctors

Some of the benefits are:

  • Primary prevention
  • To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
  • To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
  • A way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
  • To update clinical data since your last check-up
  • To enhance the relationship between you and your doctor
  • If you are interested in scheduling an exam, Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  Call 718-670-5486 to schedule 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.