Benefits of Oat Milk

Moooove over cow and goat’s milk, oat milk is the latest lactose-free, protein enriched, low in fat, flavorful choice for the vegan and lactose intolerant lifestyle.

Oat milk is a dairy-free milk alternative that is made from oats. It has a ratio of 1 cup of oats to ¾ cup of water.  The mixture is then strained to create a liquid.

According to, oat milk is a healthy alternative to whole milk and skim milk.  It is rich in vitamin D, iron, calcium, potassium and fiber.  One cup of store bought oat milk may have up to 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber.

Comparatively, cow’s milk contains 3.5% fat, 146 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat and skim mild has 83 calories, 122 grams of carbohydrate, 0.2 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein. Even though the numbers for skim milk seem better than oat milk, skim milk still contains lactose.

Consumers are turning to oat milk because it can be a healthier choice for those who are allergic to the lactose in milk, as well as nuts and gluten. Oat milk can be purchased or homemade.  Some opt for the homemade version so there is less risk of cross contamination with wheat, rye, barley and nuts at the manufacturing plant.  This is of great importance for those with allergies or celiac disease.

Oat milk tastes good, comes in flavors and can be used for coffee, cereal or in any way you would use cow’s milk or a milk alternative.

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.

Are You REALLY Allergic to Antibiotics?

If taken correctly and not used to inappropriately combat viruses, antibiotics can  be extremely effective in preventing the spread of infection.  While there is a great deal of information circulating about the misuse or overuse of antibiotics, there is relatively very little shared about the underuse of antibiotics due to suspected allergies.

Many Americans are under the impression that they are allergic to antibiotics, but according to a recent New York Times article, it is estimated that up to 90 percent of antibiotic allergy claims are not legitimate. So why do so many people believe they are allergic when they are not? Most often it is not the individual’s fault; they were either falsely told by their parents that they were allergic to antibiotics when they were a child or they do not understand what constitutes an allergic reaction.

In reality, many individuals experience some type of reaction after taking antibiotics, such as an upset stomach, headache or diarrhea. These bodily responses are considered side effects, and should not be classified as an allergic reaction. A true allergic reaction is when your body treats the medication entering your system as an invader and releases chemicals called histamines to attack it.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include the development of a rash, swelling of the face, or some difficulty breathing. For most mild reactions, medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids can be taken to treat symptoms.

In rare case however, some experience a more severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of an anaphylactic allergic reaction include:

  • Difficult or noisy breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling or tightness in the throat
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Pale complexion

Signs of an anaphylactic allergic reaction usually present within an hour of taking an antibiotic. If this type of reaction occurs, medical attention is necessary and 911 should be called immediately.  Treatment for a severe allergic reaction often requires an epinephrine injection to alleviate the symptoms.

While many antibiotic allergy claims are false, there are some people who are truly allergic. For those who truly are allergic, the antibiotic that they are most frequently allergic to is penicillin, or other antibiotics that are closely associated with it. Those who suspect that they are allergic to penicillin can confirm it with a simple skin test.

With the rise of so many “super-bugs,” proper treatment of infections using the correct course of antibiotics has never been more important.  Limiting the number of medications you can receive because you think you are allergic can prove to be very dangerous or even fatal.

If you believe you are allergic to antibiotics, but are not certain, speak to your doctor. Together you can discuss the pros and cons and arrive at an appropriate course of treatment.

Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center has many qualified doctors who can advise you on the correct use of antibiotics. 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.

Proper Air Conditioner Maintenance is Important For Your Health

As the weather gets warmer, we look for relief from the heat. One of the best ways to cool down is by turning on our air conditioning units, but can our air conditioners be harmful to our health?

Air conditioners contain filters that are intended to block these particles from entering the air we breathe. This is why it is important to change your filters regularly.

If not properly maintained air conditioners can lead to or worsen existing health issues, such as several types of respiratory conditions. AC units can spread dust, mold spores, pollen, and other airborne particles throughout your home. This can have a detrimental effect on your respiratory system, which can result in discomfort and hay-fever -like symptoms, such as sneezing or a runny nose.

In addition, continued exposure to an improperly maintained air conditioning unit can irritate very sensitive mucous membranes and exacerbate pre-existing conditions, such as asthma.  Studies have even concluded that young children exposed to high amounts of mold in the air are more likely to develop asthma. One major source of mold exposure is through a poorly maintained air conditioning unit.

Every air conditioner is different so it’s important to read your manufacturer’s recommendations to determine how frequently you need to change your filters.

Another option is to not rely on your air conditioner so much. Open the windows and use fans to circulate the air in your home on cool evenings and on days that aren’t so hot.

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.

Cold or Spring Allergies?

The transition from winter to spring can be challenging to your health. The change in seasons often results in an overlap of symptoms that could be either the remnants of a winter cold or the first signs of spring allergies.

While many of the symptoms of colds and allergies are similar, the causes of each are very different.

Colds are contagious and they are contracted when a person is exposed to an individual infected with a cold virus.  Our body’s immune system will launch a counter attack against the virus. This response usually brings on the classic symptoms, such as a runny nose or cough.

An allergic reaction is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakes harmless things, such as pollen, and attacks them. To combat what it thinks are germs, your body releases chemicals called histamines as a defense. The release of these histamines can cause a swelling of the nasal passages and result in coughing and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious.

While many of the symptoms are similar, the easiest way to determine if you have a cold or are suffering from allergies is the duration of your condition. While most colds last from three to 14 days, allergies can last for months as long as the person is in contact with the allergen. Other differences are:

  • An allergic reaction will begin immediately after exposure to an allergen while cold symptoms usually take approximately three days to appear after exposure
  • Colds can sometimes cause fever and body aches while allergies never do
  • An allergic reaction can often result in itchy, watery eyes, which a cold rarely produces this type of reaction

Once a determination between cold or allergy is made, the appropriate treatment can be applied.

There is no cure for a cold, but there are medications that can help alleviate the symptoms. Cough syrups, pain relievers, decongestant sprays, or multi-symptom cold relief medicines can all be used to help, but should only be taken after consulting your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications or if you have other underlying health conditions. Drinking plenty of liquids also speeds up the recovery process.

To treat allergies, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine to block the reaction to the allergens. There are many forms of antihistamines and some may cause drowsiness so be sure to look for the non-drowsy formula or only take them at night. Decongestants may also be suggested to relieve nasal congestion and avoid an infection.

If you are not sure if you have a cold or allergies, please speak with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center can help. To make an appointment, please call 718-670-8939.

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.

Allergic to the Cold Temperatures? It’s Real For Some

Everyone is aware of seasonal allergies. They are very common beginning in the spring and lasting through fall – and many are affected by them. While these types of seasonal allergies are not prevalent in the winter months, there is another, much less common form of allergic reaction that affects some when the thermometer dips.

Urticaria

Cold urtcaria is an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. The skin of those with this condition will break-out into welts or hives when exposed to cold temperatures. No one knows exactly what causes cold urticaria. Certain people appear to have very sensitive skin cells, due to an inherited trait, a virus or an illness. In the most common forms of this condition, exposure to cold triggers the release of histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream. Cold urtcaria is most common in young adults and it usually clears up within a couple of years.

Cold urticaria signs and symptoms include:

• Temporary reddish, itchy welts (hives) on the area of skin that was exposed to cold
• A worsening of the reaction as the skin warms
• Swelling of hands when holding cold objects
• Swelling of the lips and throat when consuming cold food or drink

In rare cases, a reaction could be more severe and may result fainting, a racing heart, swelling of the limbs or torso, and even shock.

There is no cure for cold urticaria, but treatment can help. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter antihistamines to treat the condition. If they do not help, talk with your doctor about finding a prescription drug or combination of drugs that works best for you.
It is recommended that you see a doctor if you have skin reactions after cold exposure, even if the reactions are mild. Your doctor will want to rule out underlying conditions that may be causing the problem.

Seek emergency care if after sudden exposure to cold you:

• Feel dizzy
• Have trouble breathing
• Feel your tongue or throat swelling

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.

Should Food Allergies Make You Stop Breastfeeding?

If you have been told that your breastfed infant has food allergies, you may be wondering what to do next. Even a baby who has never been formula fed, and has never had any food besides breast milk may show symptoms of having a food allergy including: diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, eczema, constipation and poor growth. Babies can develop allergies to foods that you are eating while you are breastfeeding. Will you still be able to breastfeed? You may be surprised to learn that in most cases, the answer is yes.

 

 

Any food could potentially cause an allergy. The most commonly known foods to cause allergies are:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat

It is not easy to discover which foods are causing an allergic reaction in your baby and allergy testing in young infants is not the most reliable. One way to determine which foods are a problem for your baby is to keep a food diary of what you eat along with a record of your baby’s symptoms.

In most cases where breastfed babies experience food allergies it is usually recommended to remove dairy from your diet. Read all ingredient labels carefully to eliminate any foods that contain dairy. It takes about a month or more for your child’s symptoms to improve. If there is little to no progress after a dairy-free diet, speak to a lactation consultant about eliminating other common allergens from your diet that may be the cause of your baby’s reactions.

Sometimes babies are allergic to more than one food. You may need to stay on this restricted diet the entire time you are breastfeeding, or until your infant is one year old. Many babies outgrow their food allergies by their first birthday.

Breast milk provides important health benefits for your baby including protection from infections and a reduction in chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby and many babies enjoy breastfeeding into the second year of life. There is no reason to wean your baby from the breast if your baby develops signs of food allergies. If you change your diet, you and your baby should be able to enjoy breastfeeding until you are both ready to stop.

If you have further questions about breastfeeding your baby and what to do when he or she has a food allergy, Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Lactation Consultant is available to help. For further information, please call 718-206-5933.

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.

Are Allergies Controlling Your Life?

In some parts of the country, spring allergy season starts as early as February and can last through the summer months. Tree pollen is the first sign of allergy season’s arrival and continues to cause allergy symptoms throughout March and April. Tree pollen and grass pollen are one in the same, beginning in late spring and continuing into early summer.

Allergies are the result of an over-reactive immune system. When allergies occur, the immune system mistakenly identifies an allergen such as pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mites as an “invader.” As a reaction, the body mounts an inappropriate immune response. To get rid of the “invader,” the immune response triggers a response that results in you experiencing typical allergy symptoms like, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

People are affected by all kinds of allergens. Some people need to avoid pollen and dust; others can’t be around dogs or cats. Regardless of what sets your allergies off, symptoms can interfere with daily activities and reduce your quality of life. Here are a few suggestions to lessen the severity of your allergies:

  1. Leave your shoes at the door

When you come home from the outside, taking your shoes off at the door lessens the amount of pollen you track into the house. Wipe down your dog’s coat before he comes into the house, too, because pollen clings to fur.

  1. Change your clothes when you get home

You can bring pollen into your home on your clothes and shoes even if you can’t see it. Toss soiled clothes in the hamper immediately; even better, take a shower.

  1. Clean or change the filters in your air conditioner

Change them at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer, or more frequently if it seems to help.

  1. Keep open windows closed

Open windows can be refreshing, but they let in pollen. Close windows and outside doors, especially on high-pollen days, and turn on the heat or the air-conditioning.

  1. Take allergy medicine at night.

If your doctor suggests or prescribes allergy medicine try taking them at night. Typically, allergy symptoms tend to be at their worst in the morning.

There are many popular methods of treatment. They work in different ways, but some are more effective than others. Before making any changes in your allergy treatment options speak with your doctor first. Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center has qualified doctors available to diagnose and treat your allergy symptoms. To make an appointment, please call 718 670-8994.

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.