How Do You Keep Your Immune System Strong?

Our immune system protects our bodies from illness and infection. While having a strong immune system is important all year long, there are times of the year that its effectiveness is tested more than other.

body defense

With cold a flu season upon us, Flushing Hospital wants to offer some day-to-day lifestyle tips to avoid weakening your immune system and keep you healthy.

STRESS
Prolonged periods of intense stress can affect the immune system. Stress causes the brain to boost the production of hormones that weaken the function of the infection-fighting T cells. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, try to adopt stress-relieving activities to boost your immune system.

POOR SLEEP
Poor sleep is strongly associated with a weak immune system as it reduces the number of killer cells needed to fight germs. Recent research has suggested that the amount of flu-fighting antibodies produced was cut in half in those who were sleep deprived.

ALCOHOL
Excessive intake of alcohol may reduce the immune system’s response to invading pathogens because alcohol contains ingredients that impair lung functionality, making us more prone to viral or bacterial infections.

POOR DIET
Excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed food containing pesticides, chemical additives and preservatives can weaken the immune system. In addition, obesity can lead to a weakened immune system as it affects the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies and prevent inflammation.

By adopting some healthy lifestyle practices and avoiding certain others, we can give our bodies the best chance of staving of illness this cold and flu season.

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.

World Heart Day

September 29th has been designated as “World Heart Day”. This observance serves to bring international attention to the dangers of cardiovascular disease. According to the World Heart Federation, over 17.3 million deaths occur each year due to cardiovascular disease. By the year 2030 it is expected that this number will rise to 23 million. This makes it the leading cause of death in the world. The most common cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease (heart attack) and cerebrovascular disease (stroke).
Ways to control heart disease and protect the heart:
• Keep active – a minimum of 30 minutes a day of physical activity or exercise
• Do not smoke – if you do smoke, quit and if you don’t smoke, don’t start
• Healthy eating – A healthy diet includes fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish
• Maintain a healthy weight – keep away from food that is high in sodium and sugar or contains unsaturated fat
• Keep blood pressure under control
• Take medication as prescribed to control cholesterol, pressure, and diabetes if present
It is very important to know the warning signs of heart disease.  For instance, a person who is experiencing a heart attack will often experience chest pain (fullness, squeezing, pressure), discomfort in areas of the upper body ( neck, jaw, arms, back), shortness of breath, and may also experience nausea, lightheadedness, and cold sweats. A person who is experiencing a stroke may have sudden trouble seeing, sudden confusion, a severe headache, loss of balance, trouble speaking, and sudden numbness and weakness of the face, arms and legs that is often just one sided.
It is very important to receive a medical check – up at least once a year to ensure that your heart is healthy. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital please call 718-670-5486

Stethoscope and heart shape mascot.

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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.

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

September 22nd is designated as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This observance serves to increase awareness and to educate the public about the risks of falls and how to prevent them from happening. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans.
A fall, with or without serious injury, can impact a person’s quality of life. Older people have a significant fear of falling and will often limit their activities because of it. This can lead to physical decline, depression, social isolation and feeling helpless. However, if they exercise caution and follow these steps, they can reduce the risk of an accident and continue on with routine activities:
• Speak to a doctor about performing a risk of falling assessment
• Build up balance, strength and flexibility
• Have vision and hearing checked
• Remove tripping hazards in the home and make sure that there is adequate lighting
• Install grab bars in the bathroom
• Make sure that there are secure rails on all stairs
• Review  medications to make sure they don’t affect  balance
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center to discuss fall risk prevention, please call 718-670-5486.
Senior man fell down the stairs

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.

BACKPACK = BACKPAIN

backpack-safety

With school in full swing, you may have noticed that your children are carrying, in some cases, more than their body weight in books and supplies affiliated with their school work.  Below is a link with some tips on how to save your childs back from their heavy backpack-

http://www.activebeat.com/your-health/children/back-to-school-backpack-safety-tips/

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 Cleaning: What are the Dangers?

Many expecting moms develop a nesting instinct; and uncontrollable urge to clean their home in preparation of their new baby’s arrival. Flushing Hospital wants moms to know that while tackling most chores is totally safe, there are some tasks that may pose a risk to your health and the health of your baby.

cleaning products, household chores and pregnancy

• Moving heavy furniture when you’re pregnant can be dangerous. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your connective tissue and ligaments looser, which increases the risk of muscle strains and injury. In addition, your center of gravity can shift as your pregnancy progresses which can throw off your balance. These changes make lifting more challenging, further raising your chance of injury. Your best bet is to let someone else do the moving.

• Changing your cat’s litter box can lead to a condition known as toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be transmitted through infected cat poop. If you’ve never had toxoplasmosis before, you could possibly become infected while pregnant and pass the illness on to your baby. Toxoplasmosis can cause flu-like symptoms in adults, but in a baby during the early stages of pregnancy it can cause serious birth defects such as eye and brain damage.

• While there is still a debate about the effects paint can have on pregnant women and their babies, it’s generally considered a good idea to limit your exposure to paint and paint fumes while pregnant. Most paint contains solvents that can cause health problems when inhaled too much. Having a room in your home painted is probably not a high risk for you or your baby, but if painting needs to be done, have someone else do it and make sure there is good ventilation to avoid inhaling paint fumes.

• It’s not ideal to use ant and roach spray during pregnancy. The low exposure of occasional use is unlikely to pose a risk, but some studies have indicated there may be a link between exposure to these products and child development problems. While these studies are inconclusive, it’s probably best to play it safe and minimize use. Instead of using sprays, it is recommended to use baits or other products that are not likely to be inhaled.

With all other cleaning products, it is best to practice safe use. Wear gloves and other protective clothing to protect your skin from exposure and use a mask to prevent inhaling unnecessary chemicals. Attempt to open windows or use a fan to ventilate the area you are cleaning and always read manufacturer’s labels before using a cleaning product. If you are unsure about a household cleaning product, speak with your doctor first before using.

Flushing Hospital’s Women’s Health Center has an expert team of doctors and nurses to guide you through every step of your pregnancy. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-8992.

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.

What to Expect After Your Celiac Disease Diagnosis

gluten-free-476393521If you have received a diagnosis from your doctor that confirms you have celiac disease; it is natural to wonder what comes next.  Many doctors will offer guidelines which may include tips to live gluten-free. While these guidelines are essential, it is also very important that you truly understand your medical condition.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac disease is defined as, “a genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.” It is estimated that the disease affects one in every one hundred people worldwide.  If left untreated, celiac disease can cause long-term health conditions such as gall bladder malfunction, infertility or miscarriage, pancreatic insufficiency, early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

In addition to having a better understanding of celiac disease, educating yourself about the changes to expect in your lifestyle, will prove helpful. Some of the changes include:

  • Discarding of any food that contains gluten. This means sticking to a strict diet that excludes wheat, barley, farina, oats, rye and other items that are known to have gluten.
  • Excluding certain items from your diet may deprive you of some nutrients; it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about which vitamins and dietary supplements you should take.
  • Evaluating the ingredients in medications; some may have small amounts of gluten.
  • Taking care of your body by exercising and implementing more fruits and fresh vegetables into your diet.
  • Following up with your physician or dietitian as recommended. This is important as it will help them to monitor your nutritional intake and check for deficiencies.

Finding resources that can help you transition or stick to new your lifestyle, such as your doctor, support groups, organizations such as the Celiac Disease Foundation or a local hospital can help make life after your celiac diagnosis a little easier.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center supports National Celiac Awareness Day. This observance falls on September 13 of each year and was created to help people learn more about celiac disease and how it impacts lives.

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.

#WELLNESSWEDNESDAY QUOTE OF THE DAY

Healthy concept, Spirit, Body and Mind

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. -John F. Kennedy

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 Health Benefits of Yoga

halasana

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years to promote flexibility and breathing exercises through simple meditation while holding simple to complex body poses. One of the most common reasons people practice yoga is for relaxation, but recently researchers have been discovering health benefits associated with yoga.

Most yoga practitioners have been noticing other benefits from yoga including boosting their immune system or just feeling more relaxed and at ease. Recently, Western science is beginning to provide some concrete facts on how yoga improves health, heals aches and pains, and keeps colds away. Once you understand them, you’ll have even more motivation to step onto your mat.

  1. Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent cartilage and joint breakdown that leads to arthritis.
  2. Yoga increases blood circulation especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which helps them function better.
  3. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin.
  4. Stimulation is good, but too much of it can be overwhelming. Yoga can provide relief from the energy demands of modern life.
  5. Yoga also includes cleansing practices that keep allergies and viruses at bay. This element of yoga entails cleaning the nasal passages with salt water to remove pollen and viruses from the nose.

Yes, yoga increases flexibility and reduces stress, but the practice can do more than help you twist your body into pretzel shapes and find inner peace. It has existed for thousands of years and has become increasingly popular as a gym alternative to maintain healthy cardiovascular and circulatory health. It is not encouraged to use yoga in place of other medicine, especially without consulting with your physician first.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on Facebook.com/FlushingHospital   and follow us on Twitter @FHMC_NYC

 

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 Supports World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide affects millions; over 800,000 people take their lives each year, and the number of people who attempt suicide is twenty five times that amount. In addition to the lives lost, suicide also affects the many friends and family members devastated by the loss of their loved one.

Suicide is largely preventable though. Through education and awareness, we can get those people who are contemplating suicide the help they need.

Educational and Creative composition with the message Stop Suicide

One of the best tools in preventing suicide is to know the risk factors. Over 90% of people who attempt suicide live with depression or another mental disorder. Alcohol or substance abuse is often a contributing factor. Adverse reactions to traumatic events or stress can also lead to someone wanting to take their own life.

Other risk factors for suicide include:
• Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
• Family history of suicide
• Family violence
• Physical or sexual abuse
• Keeping firearms in the home
• Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
• Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

Someone who is considering suicide usually displays certain behaviors. Loved ones should look for the following warning signs:

Always talking or thinking about death
Trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse over time
Displaying reckless behavior that could result in death, such as driving fast or running red lights
Losing interest in things one used to care about
Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

If someone you know appears to be contemplating suicide, take the issue seriously. Let the person know that you care and understand and are listening and attempt to get them immediate help from a health care professional.

If your loved one appears to be in imminent danger of committing suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Remove any weapons or drugs he or she could use. Accompany him or her to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

September 10 has been designated World Suicide Prevention Day. Many organizations from around the world have joined this cause. Flushing Hospital’s supports their efforts and the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry offers many inpatient and outpatient services to help those in need.

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.

Healthy Eating On-The-Go

Unhealthy vs healthy food

Juggling home and work is a struggle and maintaining healthy eating habits while we are on-the-go can add to its level of difficulty.  Or should it?

Here are some tips that may make your hectic lifestyle somewhat simpler by planning meals on-the-go:

Plan your menu – Planning meals well in advance will help make sure your meals are healthier and well-balanced.

Avoid fast food baked goods for breakfast – Instead of choosing a wholesome “looking” muffin, reach for a yogurt smoothie.  It will provide you with vitamin C and potassium, high fiber and keep you full from breakfast to lunch.

Prepare Coffee or Tea at home – While waiting in line at your local coffee shop, you may be more apt to choose an unhealthy breakfast choice.  Skip the impulse purchase and brew your coffee or tea at home.

Eat lunch – When you’re busy, it’s easy to lose track of time and skip lunch.  No matter how heavy your workload, make time to leave the office and eat your brown bagged lunch.  Starving through lunch will only lead to overeating later.

Dine-out – You are bound to grab a meal outside of home due to family activities and busy schedules.  That doesn’t mean you have to leave your healthy choices behind.  Eat moderately and divide your plate into two servings.  Ask for a bag to take your leftovers home.  Only eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.

Eating on the run is never ideal, but it will inevitably happen to most of us.  You need to prioritize time to eat healthy and although a home cooked meal isn’t always possible, that doesn’t mean you can’t make good choices on the go.

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.