How to Prepare for a Cough, Cold or Flu if You Have Diabetes

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Story Updated: Nov 21, 2012

(NewsUSA) - Each year, an average of 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of flu complications, but people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to face complications that may be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best step is prevention, and anyone with diabetes should seriously consider getting a flu shot in the fall.

But for those who do get sick, it's important that people with diabetes be prepared. The following sick-day plan is designed to help diabetic patients suffering from a cough, a cold or the flu.

* Get plenty of sleep, and even when awake, do resting activities (reading, watching TV, online shopping) as long as you don't find it stressful.

* "Feed a cold, starve a fever" is not advice you should follow. Eat plenty of healthy items that are also easy to digest, like soups, sugar-free Jell-O and fruit juice mixed with water and yogurt. Dehydration will cause your blood sugar to drop, so drink one cup of sugar-free, caffeine-free liquid per hour.

* Medicine cabinets must go beyond a glucose meter and thermometer. You should also have ketone-testing supplies and appropriate medications for cold and flu symptoms.

"When suffering from a cough, cold or flu, it's important for people with diabetes to treat their symptoms with medicine that doesn't have a negative effect on their diabetes," says Debra Spector, registered dietitian and certified nutritionist.

"Most people don't realize that cough syrups can contain up to 50 percent sugar, and cold and flu medicines may contain alcohol, both of which can raise one's glucose, possibly to dangerous levels. Diabetic Tussin has been trusted by the medical community for years because it is sugar and alcohol-free, so it's 100 percent safe for diabetics. It's even recommended for those on a sodium or gluten-free diet," says Spector.

* Take your insulin and diabetes medicine on schedule, even if you experience nausea or haven't eaten. Check your blood glucose at least four times a day.

* If your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor. Learn more about medicine for people with diabetes along with additional sick-day advice and nutritional recipes at www.diabeticproducts.com.

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NYS Veterans' Home at Oxford

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a 242 bed facility located in Chenango County about thirty miles north of Binghamton NY. Situated on a sixty acre site, the Home has spectacular scenic views of rural countryland. We provide state of the art medical, nursing, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services to our residents. We also have several academic affiliations including the Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine/Clinical Campus at Binghamton.

About Us
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a long term care skilled nursing facility. We are located in Oxford NY, and we serve the Central New York Region. We provide care for veterans and their dependents. Our current building has 242 beds in seven different units, including our rehabilitation unit and our dementia unit. Our facility is clean and pleasant, and our staff is friendly and professional. We welcome you to a guided tour upon request!

Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Dr. Dzwonczyk Receives Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Philip J. Dzwonczyk, MD has been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dzwonczyk joins more than nineteen hundred fellow physicians to have achieved such certification.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical discipline of the broad therapeutic model known as hospice and palliative care. The discipline and model of care are devoted to achieving the best possible quality of life for the patient and family throughout the course of a life-threatening illness through the relief of suffering and the control of symptoms. Hospice and palliative medicine helps the patient and family face the prospect of death assured that comfort will be a priority, values and decisions will be respected, spiritual and psychosocial needs will be addressed, practical support will be available and opportunities will exist for growth and development. Hospice in the United States is an organized program that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients and supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others.

Dr. Dzwonczyk is the medical director of the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford. He recently completed the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and has worked for many years as an internist and geriatrician practicing in central New York. Dr. Dzwonczyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds specialty certificates in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He has achieved Certified Medical Director status from the American Medical Directors Association and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Dzwonczyk has directed the medical care of patients at the New York State Veterans Home since 1993 and has been active as a medical educator. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Upstate Medical University and is active as a member of the faculty of the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship of the Clinical Campus in Binghamton. In addition to his interest in palliative care, Dr. Dzwonczyk has an interest in the evaluation and management of cognitive and mood disorders of the elderly.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was formed in 1995 to establish and measure the level of knowledge, attitudes and skills required for certification of physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine. Eligibility requirements for certification are significant. In order to be eligible to sit for the certifying examination, applicants must have received prior major specialty certification, practiced at least two years following residency, worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team for at least two years and have directly participated in the active care of at least fifty terminally ill patients in the preceding three years. Alternatively, applicants must have completed specialty fellowship training in palliative medicine. The fellowship training program must be at least one year in length and must meet the established voluntary standards for such a program.

ABHPM conducts its Certification Examination in Hospice and Palliative Medicine annually at multiple sites through the United States. Currently, 1908 physicians have been certified by virtue of meeting certification requirements, including successful completion of this examination. A listing of currently certified physicians may be viewed on the Boards website at www.ABHPM.org.

Information on the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine may be obtained from the website at www.ABHPM.org or by call (301) 439-8001.

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford