3 Important Healthcare Tips For Flu Season

Health & Medical Blog

When it comes to the flu, there's no such thing as being too prepared. While some lucky people never seem to get sick, most people are susceptible to illnesses like the flu, and being cooped up indoors during the cold winter months makes it easier to spread a contagious illness than it is at other times of the year. Take a look at some tips to help you can your family get through the upcoming flu season. 

Take Preventative Measures

The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is make sure that you all get a flu shot, unless your doctor advises against it. However, the flu shot is not necessarily total protection against coming down with the flu, so it doesn't hurt to be extra cautious, even if you've had a flu shot.

Make sure that you and your kids are practicing good handwashing routines – you should always wash your hands after touching pets or people, or using public facilities. Eating nutritious meals and exercising regularly can help keep your immune system at peak performance levels. Taking vitamin C supplements is a common way to build up the immune system and avoid illnesses, but be careful not to overdo it – taking too much vitamin C can cause genetic damage. A healthier option is to make sure that you're eating foods that naturally contain vitamin C, like citrus fruits, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli.

If You Get Sick

Sometimes, all the preventative measures you can think of just aren't enough. If you start feeling cold or flu symptoms, it's important to take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated by drinking water, tea, and clear liquids – dehydration can lead to even more severe symptoms.

Though you may not feel much like it, mild exercise can get your blood moving faster and give your immune system a boost. Don't tire yourself out with high-energy activities like running or weightlifting, though. Give gentle exercises like yoga or a slow bike ride a try instead.

When to Get Help

In some cases, home remedies may not be enough. Respiratory distress, chest pains, confusion, or dizziness are emergency symptoms that should send you to the nearest emergency room. Moderate symptoms, like fever, chills, nausea, and headaches should be evaluated by a doctor if they persist despite over the counter remedies. If you don't have a doctor or can't get an appointment for a few days, you should go to an urgent care center (such as Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home). Urgent care centers handle illnesses that are not severe enough to need the emergency room, but can't wait days for a doctor's appointment either.

People in high risk groups should also be seen by their regular doctor or go to an urgent care center if they begin to show flu symptoms. High risk groups for flu include babies, pregnant women, senior citizens, and people with chronic illnesses – especially if the affect the immune system. People in these groups can become seriously ill quickly, so they should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as they begin showing flu symptoms, even if the symptoms don't appear to be severe.

Although the flu can usually be treated successfully, it's still a serious and potentially very dangerous illness. Knowing how to prevent and treat the flu and when to seek help can be lifesaving. 


10 November 2015

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