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.

Is There a Sale on Your Health? Try Walking the Mall for Exercise

We all know that regular physical activity is important to our overall health, especially for seniors.

Did you know walking is a great way for older adults to remain active?

Seniors who commit to taking a brisk walk each day may be at a lower risk of:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast and colon cancers
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

With the onset of colder months upon us, how can older adults continue their walking routine and remain active?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that in the colder months, you can utilize indoor malls for your brisk walk.  Malls can be pedestrian friendly, they are climate-controlled, are well lit, have benches for resting, fountains for hydrating, restrooms, as well as security guards and cameras for safety.

For more information on mall walking programs and for other walking resources visit the CDC’s Mall Walking: A program Resource Guide at – https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/mallwalking-guide.pdf

So get yourself a comfortable pair of walking shoes, hit the mall and improve your health!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, You Might Have A Stroke

Man hiding under laptop

Stress is a well-recognized risk factor for heart attack, but a new discovery is linking stress to strokes as well. A recent study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggests that people who are impatient, aggressive, or naturally hostile may be more likely to have a stroke, compared to their more laid-back counterparts.

Can stress cause a stroke? The short answer is yes, chronic, long-term stress can eventually lead to a stroke. Do you live with chronic, long-term stress? If so, your risk of stroke increases four-fold, according to WebMD. Now there is more incentive to heed the advice, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Researchers who conducted a study on the effects of stress and stroke measured chronic stress in 5 major areas:

  • Personal health problems
  • Health problems in others close to the patient
  • Job or ability to work
  • Relationships
  • Finances

Use this list to assess where your chronic stress is coming from.

Knowing the signs of a stroke is important and could prevent long-term effects if caught in time. Warning signs of a stroke can be remembered by the acronym “FAST”.

Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.  Almost 800,000 people have a stroke in the United States each year and it is responsible for approximately 130,000 deaths.

Flushing Hospital was recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for its Gold Plus level of participation in the “Get With The Guidelines Stroke and Target Stroke Program.”

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

Top 5 Women’s Health Issues

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The first step to staying healthy is educating yourself, and then taking the necessary precautions to reduce your risk. While you can’t eliminate risk factors such as family history, you can control many other risk factors for heart disease, stroke and cancer. Also be sure to consult your doctor about when you should have mammograms and other cancer screenings. The Outpatient Mental Health Division at Flushing Hospital Medical Center has an experienced and friendly staff readily available to assist you. To make an appointment please call, 718-670-5562. If you are experiencing stroke or heart disease symptoms please refer to the Ambulatory Care Center at Flushing Hospital. To make an appointment, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Signs of a Stroke

stroke and symptoms V2 -493247760The easiest way to recognize the warning signs of a stroke is to think F.A.S.T.  If someone you know is suddenly exhibiting the following signs, call 9-1-1 for help immediately:

F- Face Drooping: If one side of the person’s face is drooping, ask them if their face feels numb and ask them to smile.   You should be concerned if they are unable to smile or their smile is uneven.

A- Arm weakness:  Does the individual’s arm feel numb or weak? Ask them to raise both arms and watch to see if one arm drifts downward.

S- Speech difficulty: If the person is trying to speak and they are difficult to understand or their speech is slurred, ask them to say a simple sentence, such as “my name is Jane,” repeatedly.

T- Time to call 9-1-1:  You should never wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 if someone is displaying these warning signs.

Additional symptoms of a stroke are:

  • Sudden confusion
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden loss of coordination

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability in the United States.  Eighty percent of strokes are preventable and by spotting these warning signs and acting quickly, the severity of a stroke can be reduced drastically.   during the month of May we are showing our support for stroke awareness and American Stroke Month through education.   To speak with a medical professional about stroke prevention and care please call our ambulatory care unit at

During the month of May, Flushing Hospital  is  showing its support for stroke awareness and American Stroke Month by providing education to the communities it serves.   To speak with a medical professional about stroke prevention and care please call our ambulatory care unit at 718-670-5486 or visit the National Stroke Association’s website at www.stroke.org.

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.