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.

The Medicinal Benefits of Cinnamon

Most people think of cinnamon as a spice that adds flavor to food and beverages. What many people don’t know however is that for thousands of years people have been using cinnamon for medicinal purposes.

Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. The bark is then crushed into a powder which we can use as a flavoring or for medicinal purposes.

Some of the known medicinal benefits of cinnamon are:
• Acts as an anti-inflammatory
• Lowers blood sugar
• Acts as an anti-oxidant
• Acts as an anti-microbial
• Helps manage symptoms of Alzheimer’s
• Helps manage symptoms of Parkinson’s
• Thought to have anti-carcinogenic properties
• Helps manage polycystic ovarian syndrome
• Help manage dry eye and conjunctivitis
• Can be used as an insect repellant

Though cinnamon usually has no side effects, too much can irritate the mouth and the lips. Some people may also be allergic to it. As with anything, speak to you your physician before using cinnamon to treat any medical condition.

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.

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.

Wound Care and Nutrition

 

Please, help me fasterThe nutritional status of a patient plays a large role in their body’s ability undergo wound healing.  It requires a higher than normal level of energy and nutrients if it is going to be successful. The body requires an additional 35 calories per kilogram of body weight to help a chronic wound to heal.  This will include eating a well-balanced diet that includes protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

For proper wound healing, a well-balanced diet should include 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. Keeping hydrated is also very important, eight glasses of water per day should be the minimum and more if the person sweats profusely, has a wound that is draining, or if vomiting and or diarrhea are present.  Meals should include meats, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, yogurt and dried beans. In some people who have difficulty obtaining proper caloric intake from their daily meals, high protein and high calorie shakes can be used as supplements. Two amino acids, found in foods having protein and that have been identified as having potential to help wound healing are arginine and glutamine.

People with diabetes often have difficulty with wound healing, and this is due to poor circulation, nerve damage which leads to the constant breakdown of healthy tissue components needed to heal,  and a higher than normal level of sugar in the blood which can lead to higher rates of infection and causes fluids to be drained from the body. It is therefore very important for a person with diabetes to keep tight control of their disease.
Wound healing also requires additional levels of vitamins and minerals, however care must be taken too not take in more that the daily recommended amounts because this can have a negative effect on the body.

It is important to consult with a physician about how to eat successfully when trying to heal a wound and also a nutritionist who specializes in wound care.

If you have a chronic or non-healing wound, you may be a candidate for Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s  outpatient Wound Care Center.  To schedule an appointment or speak with a clinician, please call 718-670-4542

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.

Employee Spotlight – Carmen DeSuza-Tobitt

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) February Employee Spotlight shines on Carmen DeSuza-Tobitt, ER, RN, Case Manager.  Carmen has been an employee at FHMC for 30 years serving as a Case Manager, Registered Nurse and Pediatrics ICU Nurse.

Denise James, Director of the Case Management and Social Work Department, describes Carmen as a “Dedicated, hardworking individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty.  She is trustworthy, knowledgeable and shares her knowledge with her fellow case managers. To say that Carmen DeSuza-Tobitt exceeds the expectations of employees at FHMC’s Case Management and Social Work Department would be an understatement.”

Since Carmen is assigned to the Emergency Room, as part of her duties, she provides guidance to the healthcare team on meeting criteria for inpatient hospital stays and coordinating safe discharge plans.  She also assists with post hospital-care in addition to providing social support to the patients and families.

As a Case Manager, it is difficult for Carmen to see patients that require further aftercare and cannot afford it or are uninsured.  It is during those times that Carmen rises to the occasion and addresses any challenge she is dealing with.  Her main concern is making the appropriate decision for anyone entrusted in her care.  She is committed to making the best out of any situation.

When not at work Carmen enjoys spending time with her husband of 32 years and her 2 children.  She is very active in her church, loves meeting and talking with people and watching TV, especially romantic movies.

“I don’t believe in complaining as my dad always taught and reminded me how blessed I am.”  These are words that Carmen lives by.

Congratulations Carmen DeSuza-Tobitt on being February’s Employee Spotlight!

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 Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is a disease that affects a person’s ability to manage their drinking habits (consumption of alcoholic beverages). It is estimated that over 15 million people living in the United States have an alcohol use disorder- which means their drinking causes distress or harm.

Alcohol abuse can lead to several medical complications including an increased risk of certain cancers, liver disease, digestive problems, diabetes, bone damage, heart disease and neurological disorders. It can also lead to dangerous and destructive behaviors which can negatively impact relationships, one’s personal safety as well as the safety of others.

There are warning signs and symptoms that are indicative of alcohol abuse; they include:

  • Drinking more or longer than intended
  • Having a high tolerance for alcohol
  • Drinking that leads to memory loss
  • Drinking daily
  • Consuming alcohol in places where drinking is inappropriate
  • Losing interest in appearance
  • Engaging in risky or unsafe behaviors
  • Losing interest in activities that were once of importance
  • Becoming defensive about drinking habits
  • Feeling depressed when not drinking
  • Experiencing mood swings
  • Denying alcohol abuse

Paying attention to these signs is important, as some are subtle and may go unnoticed. The sooner professional help is received, the better the chance of recovery.  A trained addiction specialist or mental health professional can provide the support or assistance needed to treat alcohol dependence. Treatment may include a combination of medication and counseling.

To schedule an appointment with a professional that is highly trained in the treatment of addiction, please call 718-670-5078.

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.

Valentine’s Day at Flushing Hospital Medical Center

For Valentine’s Day this year the Food and Nutrition Department handed out Valentine’s Day Teddy Bears to patients throughout the hospital.  The patient’s were delighted by their Valentine’s Day surprise.   The Food and Nutrition Department set out to prove that you can share some Valentines’ Day sweetness without the chocolate!   We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday!

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  Elizabeth Sun, RN for receiving Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Nurse of the Month,

Meet Elizabeth:

Q&A:

Q: How long have you been working for FHMC?
A: I have been working at Flushing Hospital for seven years since 2011.
Q: On which unit do you currently work?
A: Perinatal
Q: Why did you want to become a nurse?
A: After working in the family business for a while, I wanted a career for myself. I enjoy working with people and helping them so the obvious choice was to become a nurse. Nursing also appealed to me due to the diverse fields it encompassed.
QWhat is the best part of your job?
A:  Caring for my patients,  and I really enjoy meeting and conversing with different people. Every day I encounter different folks with different backgrounds and opinions. I have learned a lot at FHMC, not only about nursing but also about people.

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.

Can Someone Become Addicted to Food?

An addict is someone who repeatedly uses a substance or partakes in an activity despite the potential harm that can come from it because they derive so much pleasure from it. The substances or activities that are most commonly associated with addiction include drugs, alcohol, tobacco or even gambling, but there is growing awareness that a person can have a food addiction.

Recent studies of the brain have concluded that compulsive overeating has the same effect on the pleasure centers of the brain as addictive drugs, such as cocaine or heroin.  This is especially true of foods that are rich in sugar, fat, or salt.

These highly palatable foods trigger chemicals in the brain such as dopamine. Once a person experiences the pleasure associated with an increase in these chemicals in the brain, it will spark a reward signal to eat again. In some, these signals can override the feelings of fullness or satisfaction. As a result, a person with a food addiction will compulsively eat even when they are not hungry because of the intense pleasure they get from it.

People who show signs of a food addiction may develop a kind of tolerance to food. They will eat more and more, only to find that food satisfies them less and less. They will also continue to eat despite the negative consequences, and, similar to those who are addicted to drugs or gambling, people who are addicted to food will have trouble stopping their behavior.

Experts have created a survey tool to help professionals identify people who may have an addiction to food. This questionnaire includes questions, that ask the person if they:

  • End up eating more than planned when eating certain foods.
  • Keep eating certain foods even if  no longer hungry.
  • Eat to the point of feeling ill.
  • Go out of the way to obtain certain foods when they are not available.
  • Avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
  • Have problems functioning effectively at their job or school because of food and eating.
  • Feel emotions such as guilt, anxiety, self-loathing or depression after eating.

Many believe that compulsive overeating and food addiction is more difficult to treat than other forms of addiction due to the fact that food is all around us. Alcoholics, for example, can remove themselves from situations where alcohol is present to help them abstain, but we all need to eat to survive and therefore we will always be exposed to situations where food is around.

There are a growing number of programs that can help people who are addicted to food. Many programs use a similar 12 step program that other addiction programs follow. Some food addiction programs also adopt a strict diet regimen that includes abstaining from problem ingredients, like sugar, refined flour, and wheat.

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.

How Much You Can Save by Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking enriches your life in several ways. One of the major benefits of quitting is improving your health; another great benefit is saving money.

On average, a pack of cigarettes in New York costs $13. While this may not seem like a lot, it does add up and can become expensive.  Quitting can help you to save and apply your money towards other items or goals.  Here is an example of how much you can potentially save over time and a few ideas of how you could spend the extra money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The journey to quit smoking can be difficult but you do not have to do it alone. Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s smoking cessation team wants to help you to develop a plan leading to your “quit day”. The hospital has partnered with the American Lung Association to bring you Freedom from Smoking, a comprehensive and successful group-based smoking cessation program. Learn how to overcome your addiction to tobacco and enjoy the benefits of better health in a fun and interactive environment. Receive personalized attention as well as the support from group members who are experiencing this journey with you. For more information, please call 718 206 8494.

 

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.