Large bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, etc

Barrett’s Esophagus

Large bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, etc

What’s Beyond Heartburn?

Reflux, or heartburn, is a bitter taste and burning pain in the back of your mouth and throat. Maybe you overdid it at the all-you-can-eat buffet or you sampled something from every booth at the street fair. If this happens occasionally but not regularly, and if an antacid tablet takes away the symptoms, you probably don’t have Barrett’s Esophagus.

Barrett’s Esophagus is much more serious and involves changes in the lining of the esophagus such as bleeding and scarring. You’ll have symptoms of heartburn but also probably have trouble swallowing, a dry cough, and even weight loss. You must get regular medical exams because if Barrett’s Esophagus goes untreated, it can lead to cancer of the esophagus.

If your heartburn occurs more than 2-3 times a week, you might have more than heartburn – it could be gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s time to see a gastroenterologist before significant damage occurs to your esophagus. Our skilled, board-certified gastroenterologists can help you put out the fire in your throat. Call for an appointment: 201-666-3900.

Young woman drinking from bottle of water with bike in background

Osteoarthritis

Young woman drinking from bottle of water with bike in background

Don’t Let Arthritis Stop You

What’s keeping you from getting in shape or enjoying an active lifestyle this spring? If you answered: osteoarthritis, you’re one of about 27 million Americans who suffer from this joint condition. Osteoarthritis is more than simple wear and tear in your hands, knees, hips, and other joints. It’s a complex condition that affects the entire joint: bone, cartilage, ligaments, and the lining of the joint itself.

Being overweight is a strong risk factor for osteoarthritis and have osteoarthritis tends to lead to inactivity, which leads to weight gain. This vicious circle can be broken with a serious program of good nutrition and effective exercise. According to the American Academy of Rheumatology, every 10 pounds of weight you lose and keep off for 10 years, can reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis by 50%. Exercise can also reduce the stiffness and pain of arthritis and build muscle strength to help keep joints strong and flexible. An added bonus of muscle strength is a reduction in fall risk as you age.

While arthritis can’t be cured, effective treatments are available that range from pain-relieving medications to joint injections with hyaluronic acid. If you are already suffering from osteoarthritis, get help from our board-certified rheumatologist, Dr. Steven Rosner at 201-666-3900.

Man, woman and 2 children hiking in a field

Lyme Disease

Man, woman and 2 children hiking in a field

You and the Great Outdoors

As the weather warms, many of us will be heading out to hike the area’s trails or just enjoy the sunshine. Lyme disease is common throughout the country but the Northeast has the heaviest concentration of black-legged ticks. These pin-head sized critters, which used to be known as deer ticks, are the carrier for the bacteria which causes Lyme Disease. Many of our furry friends including squirrels, chipmunks and white-tailed deer are victims of these ticks and help them spread.

Here are some tips for recognizing early signs of Lyme Disease:

  • A bulls-eye rash which starts as a small, red mark and enlarges to 2 or more inches across over a few days
  • Fever and headache
  • Joint and muscle pain

Early treatment is the most effective since late-stage Lyme Disease infections can reach deep into the joints or even infect the spinal cord and brain. Don’t ignore early symptoms, particularly if you’ve been enjoying the outdoors. Check children carefully for ticks as well. If you’re going to be hiking, stay on the trains and keep pants tucked into socks. Wear light colored clothing to better spot ticks before they reach the skin. Insect repellant with DEET is usually effective in keeping ticks away.

Check with your OHM healthcare provider if you believe you’ve been exposed to Lyme Disease.

mature woman sitting on park bench in pain

Fibromyalgia

mature woman sitting on park bench in pain

When You Hurt All Over

Almost five million Americans, about 80% of whom are women, have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Thousands more suffer with the symptoms but have not yet seen a healthcare provider for their pain. Fibromyalgia is characterized by long lasting and widespread muscle pain with 18 particular “tender points” throughout the body. Fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances, headaches, and irritable bowel problems are some of the other common symptoms of fibromyalgia.

The cause of fibromyalgia has not het been pinpointed. And, since symptoms often resemble other diseases or conditions, people can go undiagnosed for months. People with fibromyalgia sometimes see between three and five healthcare providers before getting an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Steven Rosner, board-certified in Rheumatology, has expertise in diagnosing fibromyalgia and distinguishing it from other conditions.

While fibromyalgia has no cure, it can be successfully managed with treatments that include pain relief medications, antidepressants, heat/cold treatments, and massage, as well as prescription medications specifically approved for treating the condition. To speak with or make an appointment with Dr. Steven Rosner, call: 201.666.3900.

Woman using touch screen to choose healthy food

March Is National Nutrition Month

Woman using touch screen to choose healthy food

Make Smart Food Choices

March feels like the start of something new. By the end of the month, the air seems warm and fresh; spring is arriving. It’s a great month to change the way you’ve been eating. Winter is a time of holiday calorie extravagance, comfort foods, and generally eating more than we need.

Making smart food choices can help get you back on track to your best state of health. You can enjoy a wide range of foods with both great taste and high nutritional value. Choose a small bunch of dark red grapes instead of chips. For “crunch”, try a handful of almonds or walnuts (without salt, please). For something smooth, a container of honey yogurt is as sweet as any over-processed fast-food shake.

The goal is to think before you eat. Don’t simply grab what’s familiar. Start by changing just one snack or meal per day. For example, dump the donut in favor of oatmeal on Monday. On Tuesday, eat a banana mid-afternoon instead of a candy bar from the vending machine. There are daily opportunities for smart food choices. Take advantage of them. To get help with your overall diet, weight loss goals, or nutrition needs, consult your Old Hook Medical primary care provider. www.oldhookmedical.com/our-doctors.

Woman with skin lotion

Lotions and Your Skin

Woman with skin lotion

Is Your Favorite Lotion Causing a Reaction?

Skin products are part of our everyday preparation to meet the world. Sometimes, even though you’ve been using a favorite product for years, you might become hypersensitive to one or more of the ingredients. The manufacturer may have changed ingredients or you may have developed a sensitivity recently. Fragrances and preservatives are often the causes of skin reactions.

An allergy to an ingredient can appear anywhere on the body touched by the product. However, rashes are more likely to appear where skin is thin including the eyelids, or where skin is cracked or dry. The reaction can begin right after use, or take days or weeks of continuous exposure to appear.

Products labeled “hypoallergenic” are not a guarantee that you will not have a reaction to the ingredients. It simply means that the manufacturer believes the product is less likely than other products to cause a reaction. Products labeled “organic” are not less like to cause a problem.

Dr. Alexis Young is board-certified in dermatology. She can help you find out what’s causing your skin rash or breakout. She can also perform a full-body skin exam to look for suspicious moles and spots. http://oldhookmedical.com/our-doctors/alexis-l-young-m-d/

Teenage Girl With The Mirror

Acne: Curse of the Teen Years

Teenage Girl With The Mirror

The Effect of Diet on Acne

Most teens and young adults resign themselves to acne breakouts. The worst flareups always seem to happen right before a big date or school events. Everything from home remedies to pricey creams and lotions has been tried to make the blemishes disappear quickly.

Researchers have never been able to agree about the effect of diet on acne flareups. Does chocolate cause breakouts? Does ice cream? Recently, researchers in Chicago and New York City studied 248 volunteers who kept careful food diaries and assessed their acne breakouts. Those who ate a high sugar and high fat diet reported worse acne than those who ate a more balanced diet. The researchers are calling for larger, controlled studies to be able to draw more firm conclusions about the connection between diet and acne.

Medical professionals agree that acne is a complex skin problem that is fueled by factors including diet and hormones. Dr. Alexis Young is board-certified in Dermatology and Dermatopathology. She has the experience and expertise needed to treat teen or adult acne. To learn more about Dr. Young, visit us at:: http://oldhookmedical.com/our-doctors/alexis-l-young-m-d/

spoon holding many different pills, tablets and capsules of vitamins and medications

Medication Safety

spoon holding many different pills, tablets and capsules of vitamins and medications

Multiple Medications Require Monitoring

If someone in your family takes one medication three times a day, another two times a day, and has a third that must be taken with food, medication safety should be on your mind. The average U.S. senior citizen takes multiple medications so the potential for under or overdosage looms large. Memory loss and poor eyesight can lead to mistakes in taking daily drugs, or vitamin supplements. Seniors are at even greater risk if living alone, get prescriptions from more than one healthcare provider, or fill prescriptions at more than one pharmacy.

Here, in our Patient-Centered Medical Home, we work to ensure that patients understand what their medications are for and how to take them properly. At each appointment, we ask questions and listen carefully to discover any medication-related issues including side effects or problems with the timing of each dose. Our healthcare providers are linked by a sophisticated electronic health records system that displays medications, supplements, allergies, and medical history to all healthcare providers on the team. To make an appointment with one of our excellent OHM team members, call: 201-666-3900 or visit: www.oldhookmedical.com/our-doctors.

cartoon of woman blowing nose with tissue

Send Your Cold Packing

cartoon of woman blowing nose with tissue

Fight That Cold Virus

The cold viruses are out in force this season, waiting to pounce on us. U.S. adults catch 2-4 colds a year with varying degrees of severity, If one of them has caught you, here are some tips:

  1. Your runny nose and pounding head are wearing you out! Don’t try to power through. Get the rest you need so your immune system can re-group and defeat the viruses flooding your body.
  2. Blow your nose as often as needed, but do it gently. Blowing too hard can push mucus and viruses up into your sinuses. You don’t need a secondary sinus infection.
  3. Exercise gently. This will also have a positive effect on your immune system.
  4. Avoid stress. OK, if you can’t avoid it, learn meditation or practice yoga to de-stress.
  5. Stay hydrated. Water is helpful in naturally reducing fever and flushing away waste products from the infection.

If you’re getting more than your share of colds, or they are lasting too long, something else could be going on in your body. See you Old Hook Medical healthcare provider for a full checkup. www.oldhookmedical.com/our-doctors

blood pressure

How’s Your Blood Pressure?

blood pressure

Knowledge is Power

High blood pressure generally has no symptoms. That is, until this silent killer contributes to a heart attack or stroke. Whether you are young, middle aged, or old, knowing your normal resting blood pressure and comparing it to the recommended standards can give you insight into your overall state of health.

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood moving through your circulatory system. The top number is when your heart is contracting and working to push blood to every cell in the body. The bottom number is the moment of rest between heart beats. Ideally, the top number should be less than 120 and the bottom number should be less than 80.

High blood pressure strains your heart and circulatory system and can literally take years off your life. At Old Hook Medical, our healthcare providers will check your blood pressure and other overall measurements of health at your annual exam. Once you know your numbers, we’ll help you make a plan to keep your blood pressure under control. In addition to eating nutritiously and exercising smartly, there are many effective medications to keep blood pressure in a healthy range. http://oldhookmedical.com/services/medical-specialties/cardiology/