Winter is Here! and so is cold and flu season…

WINTER IS HERE! To help you prepare, we’ve gathered some of our best information and tricks from our providers to keep you and your family healthy and safe this winter.

 

There is never a good time to catch the cold or the flu, however, if you find yourself feeling some of the common symptoms, here is a great guide to follow so you understand what is going on with your body! First things first, let’s talk prevention.

Get in the habit of washing your hands frequently. Be mindful of what you are touching, commonly used objects like door handles, the water fountain, the handle on the coffee pot at work, etc. will spread germs fast. During this time of year, taking an extra 30 seconds to stop at the sink and wash with soap and warm water could make all the difference.

Second, be aware of sick family members and co-workers; living and working in the same area will increase your chances of catching their illness. Traveling? Grab a mask from our office; avoid catching a cold while you’re on a business trip or vacation!

Third, keep a balanced diet and don’t forget to exercise. Too often, patients are afraid to go to the gym in fear of catching a cold or other virus from dirty surfaces and crowded spaces. Although this is always a possibility, exercise can aid in fending off viruses and infections, it can also boost your mood in the process! Don’t have a gym membership? Find some workouts you can do at home or get outside for a walk or run on a sunny day (your body will thank you for the fresh air and vitamin D).

Finally, give yourself the attention your mind and body deserves. It is not uncommon to feel stressed or down in the dumps during the winter season. However, stress will leave your body in an inflamed state making it work harder to fight off a cold or the flu. Incorporate healthy activities that make you happy; this could be meditation, starting a new book, going to a class, meeting up with friends, etc.

 

A cold is a virus, this means it acts differently than an infection and an antibiotic is the wrong form of treatment (one of most common misconceptions we hear at our office). This kind of virus often takes its time after it is introduced. Maybe you begin to have a stuffy nose, sore throat or a cough but the full effect usually doesn’t come on all at once. This is the time to act! We suggest drinking plenty of water and warm liquids, getting at least eight hours of sleep at night, and eating immunity boosting foods such as those rich in iron (like spinach and black beans) and vitamin C (like tomatoes and oranges).

If the cold progresses, try your favorite over the counter cold medication like Tylenol Cold and Flu, use nasal spray, and continue to drink water and rest. If the cold worsens, a more serious illness like Sinusitis, Influenza, or Pneumonia may be the culprit.

Our “Lifespan of a Cold” infographic is a helpful guide to follow if you are unsure what you may have or what actions need to be taken.

No matter what, DO NOT be afraid to see your primary care provider! Especially if your symptoms are similar to those of the flu or someone at your work or in your family is ill with the flu.

The symptoms of the flu come on much quicker than the common cold. In fact, they come on pretty much immediately and you may experience achy muscles and joints, a fever, fatigue, chills, and weakness.

Our “Cold vs Flu: Similarities and Differences infographic is a great resource to use if you are not sure what your illness may be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximate that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses and between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations annually since 2010. If you are concerned COME IN AND SEE US! We are here to help. If you test positive for influenza or if you are exposed to the flu at work or at home, we can give you Tamiflu, an antiviral. If confirmed that you do have influenza, we suggest that you stay out of work for about 14 days or until you feel the virus has been fought off. 

Feel free to contact our office with any questions. Thanks for reading and stay warm!

 

If you wish you get your flu shot, please contact our front desk to set up an appointment: office@doctorkate.net

 

This post was written by Anna Gelotte