Dr. Tips on Cold and Flu Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) flu season runs from October through May, with the most recorded cases usually identified during the month of February.

With cold and flu season upon us, Dr. Alexander Kintzoglou, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center would like to share some cold and flu prevention tips.

  1. Flu Shot – The best measure to take against getting the flu is to get a flu shot. The CDC states that, “Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.”
  1. Hand hygiene – No matter what your daily routine is, you will most likely come in contact with other people. By washing your hands frequently, with soap and water, you can prevent receiving germs that may cause the cold or flu. If you are unable to access soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer in a pinch.  Just make sure the product has an alcohol base.
  2. Sanitize – By keeping your surrounding area clean ( i.e. computer station, key board, door knobs, light switches, etc.) you will lessen your risk of catching a cold or the flu.
  3. Shaking hands – Be cautious when shaking hands, especially with people who are sick. Remember to wash your hands after an encounter.
  4. Keep a healthy lifestyle – There is no better immunity builder than good nutrition. By eating right, your body will have the natural antibodies to fight off the cold or flu.
  5. Smoking – By triggering your allergies, which can cause an upper respiratory infection that can weaken your immune system, smoking may make you more susceptible to getting a cold or the flu.

According to Dr. Kintzoglou, “Nobody gets the flu from the flu vaccine.”  He further states, “Receiving a flu shot protects not only yourself, but your friends and family.”  He urges everyone to get vaccinated.

If you would like to get a flu shot, call the Flushing Hospital Medical Center Ambulatory Care Center at 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.

Pregnancy and Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal issues are common during pregnancy.  This may be due in part to several factors such as an increase in hormones or the limited amount of abdominal space available for digestive organs to function normally.

As your baby grows, your organs will rearrange themselves to accommodate uterine growth.   The enlarged uterus displaces the stomach, esophagus and intestines which can contribute to reflux of gastric contents or other digestive problems.

Hormonal changes can also contribute to digestive problems.  Pregnant women produce high levels of the hormone progesterone. This hormone causes bowel muscles to relax and can affect their ability to work efficiently.

These changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy may cause the following symptoms to develop:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Acid Reflux
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing these symptoms, speak with your doctor right away.  Your doctor will determine if they are pregnancy-related and recommended the best treatment options for your health.

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.

Flushing Hospital’s Nurse of The Month

Our nurses are the pillars of our community. In addition to meeting the demands of being a caregiver, they wear several hats including that of an educator, nurturer,  and comforter.

Not only to do nurses care for patients; they provide support to families and loved ones during difficult times.

Our nurses pour their hearts into all aspects of their job, and this is one of the many reasons why we celebrate their accomplishments.

Join us in congratulating Johanna Pinzon RN for receiving Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Nurse of the Month,

Meet Johanna:

Q&A:
Q: How long have you been working for FHMC?
A: I have been working at Flushing Hospital for five years
Q: On which unit do you currently work?
A: 3 North 1
Q: Why did you want to become a nurse?
A:  I truly wanted to help people. Working at a job that allows me to help others brings me great satisfaction. You need to be happy with your work and helping others makes me happy.
QWhat is the best part of your job?
A: I love working with the geriatric population at our hospital. Often times, the geriatric patient has survived their relatives or their children are elderly and unable to come to see them as often as they’d like. That’s when I become their family. I check in with the patient, not only to meet their medical needs but to be sure that they know there is someone close by to talk to or bring them something from outside the hospital that will make them more comfortable such as a magazine or book. I like to think of myself as an extended family to all the patients I care for.

 

 

 

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.

Keeping Children Active During the Winter Months

Anyone who lives in the colder regions of the country knows that children have fewer opportunities to play outdoors during the winter months.  Every parent wants to keep their children from becoming bored, especially if they are being kept indoors on cold days. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that children between the ages of six to 17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Here are a few suggestions to help keep your child active during the winter:
• Playing outdoors is always an option as long as a child is dressed appropriately
• Find an indoor play space or gym
• Bowling
• Dance classes
• Visiting a museum
• Joining a sports league
• Ice skating
You can contact your local Community Center, YMCA or schools in your neighborhood to see if they have any after school programs that involve some sort of physical activity. The important thing to remember is that you want a child to be kept active and not sitting in front of a TV or computer screen for hours on end.

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.

Make Your Mental Health a Priority This New Year

Tis’ the season for New Year Resolutions!  We are all talking about shedding some holiday pounds, keeping ourselves more organized or just living our best lives in 2019.  While striving towards those goals, why not included your mental health in this years resolutions?

Did you know that mental illness affects millions of Americans, yet not surprisingly, many of those who need help do not receive it. There are many reasons why – it could be due to limited availability of services, or a strong distrust of others, or those who are mentally ill might have such a sense of hopelessness that they do not seek care.

While all of these are factors as to why someone doesn’t seek support, perhaps the biggest single reason is a sense of fear and shame associated with admitting help is needed. This sense of shame is very common and it is only reinforced by society, which has attached stigmas to mental illness. The beliefs the public has about mental illness leads those who need help to avoid it so they are not labeled as “crazy” and have their condition negatively affect their personal relationships and career goals.

Getting society to overcome the stigmas associated with mental illness is the key to having more individuals come forward, but unfortunately negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common. These stigmas can lead to obvious and direct discrimination, such as someone making a negative remark about mental illness or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding an individual because they assume they could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to mental illness.

Those with mental illness should never be ashamed of their condition and here are some reasons why:

  • According to the World Health Organization, one out of four people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives.
  • Shame is pretty much guaranteed to make things worse. Feelings of shame are proven to have detrimental effects on our mental and physical health
  • Mental illness is no one’s fault. No one asks to have a mental illness and it is definitely not a choice we make.
  • We’re not ashamed when our bodies get sick, so why should we be ashamed when our minds aren’t in top form.
  • There is no normal – our minds are complex things and no single brain is the same
  • Our mental health doesn’t define us. Don’t let your mental illness become who you are, it is just one aspect of you.

It’s time to speak out against the stigmas associated with mental illness and reframe the way we see it. Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.

Flushing Hospital advises anyone who feels they need help to get it.  Don’t let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief and help you in life.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Outpatient Mental Health Center, please call 718-670-5522.

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.

When Eating Healthy, This Desert Takes the Cake!

Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ingredients

CRUST:

  • 30 chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

FILLING:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white rum
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 10 tablespoon fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add 3 ounces melted chocolate and oil; process until blended. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes or until set.
  2. To prepare the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan; stir with a whisk. Add half of milk and 2 yolks; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in rum. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours or until set. Serve with raspberries and whipped topping.

For this and more healthy deserts, check out – MyRecipes.com

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.

Blood Pressure – Keeping it Under Control in the New Year

Soon it will be the beginning of the New Year and many of us will make resolutions to do things better than the previous year. For many people this means living healthy, losing weight, and keeping our blood pressure under control.

High blood pressure affects one in three Americans. If not controlled well it can lead to kidney problems, damaged blood vessels, stroke, and heart attacks. There are many factors that can cause blood pressure to be elevated including obesity, stress, smoking, high sodium diets and elevated cholesterol. Ideally, managing some of these factors can help to maintain a blood pressure that is as close to normal range (120/80mmHg) as possible.

There are many ways that doctors can help us to control our blood pressure, Your doctor can prescribe medication that will help. Additionally other methods include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Stress reduction
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat less salty food
  • Eliminate beverages that contain caffeine
  • Eat dark chocolate
  • Cut back on sugar
  • Drink less alcohol

Keeping your blood pressure under control is probably one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy. Speak to your doctor about methods that would work best for you.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital to discuss how you can lower your blood pressure in 2018, 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.

Department of Finance and Food Services Bring Holiday Cheer to Children!

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Department Spotlight shines on two departments who brought holiday cheer to the children in our Pediatric Unit and children living in shelters.

The Department of Finance held their Annual Holiday Gathering and collected toys from each participant at the event.  The donated toys will be distributed to the children are spending the holiday season in the hospital.

Maria Smilios, RN, Director of Nursing who oversees Pediatrics stated, “There were so many toys collected they will given to for the children long after the holidays are over.”

Another department who was committed to bringing cheer to the less fortunate was Food Services and Nutrition.  They collected over 100 toys for Toys For Tots.  The donation was made to the NYPD for distribution to family shelters in Queens.

Tracy Tompkins, Director of Food and Nutrition was elated by the participation of her department as well as the staff at FHMC.

The departments involved in the toy collection would like to thank the employees and administrators at FHMC , as well as Health First for their generous donation of toys.

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.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a fairly common disorder, estimated to affect 75% of the world’s population. It is caused by a lack of an enzyme produced in the small intestine called lactase. This enzyme helps the body to break down the sugar (lactose) found in milk and milk products so that it can be properly absorbed into the blood.

There are three types of lactose intolerance:

Primary lactose intolerance – this is the most common form of the condition. In this type of intolerance the body starts off life with the full ability to digest lactose found in milk but as the  body ages, this capability diminishes.

Secondary lactose intolerance – this occurs when the body’s ability to digest lactose is altered either due to surgery or as a side effect of an illness (Celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, and Crohn’s Disease).

Congenital lactose intolerance – is the condition where babies are born with a diminished capacity to digest lactose.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be very uncomfortable. They include:
• Gas
• Bloating
• Diarrhea
• Abdominal cramps
• Nausea

Diagnosing lactose intolerance can be performed a few different ways. There is a Lactose intolerance test that involves drinking a liquid with a high level of lactose in it. After two hours blood samples are taken to see if there is an increase in the level of sugar in the blood. If there isn’t a significant change, this indicates that the body didn’t digest the lactose sufficiently. A hydrogen breath test can be performed ro monitor the level of hydrogen produced if lactose is digested properly. The more hydrogen produced indicates the less digestion that took place. The third test is a stool acidity test which is primarily used in patients who are unable to undergo the first two tests and it measures the amount of acid in the stool.

There are several types of foods that people who are lactose intolerant should avoid:
• Milk
• Ice Cream
• Yogurt
• Butter

Additionally, some other types of food that may contain dairy are: bread, cake, custard, chocolate, candy, instant soups and some sauces.

One of the ways to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance is to remove dairy and dairy containing products from the diet. There are lactase containing supplements that can be taken that may help with the digestion of lactose and also taking probiotics may be beneficial.

If you experience any of the symptoms of lactose intolerance and would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.