7 Jan 2013

How to not get sick!

We all know when you have a chronic illness or just a generally poor immune system that it is super easy to catch an illness even when you're miles away from one, and a simple cold can knock you sideways more than it would for any other person and last double the time too!

I thought since everyone I know are getting some kind of flu, cold, virus and sickness bug going, I would write up a few tips to help you avoid catching something. These are things I will be definitely be doing as nearly all my family are ill with the flu, and that is something I don't need on top of my fibro pains and the bad weather.

  • Don't reach for Vitamin C - Studies have shown that we all tend to have enough vitamin C in our diets (unless you have a really poor diet) and if you're going to take any extra vitamins this flu season, it should be Vitamin D to support our immune system as our levels are much lower due to there being less sun light in the winter.
  • Wash those hands - Cold/flu bacteria and germs are spread by touching contaminated surfaces such as doors and handles - where the bugs can last for over 24 hours! The best way to avoid picking up these nasties is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day, but as this is not always possible I find using antibacterial hand gels are perfect for on the go. 
Perfect for on the go, and at the moment only £1 from Boots.com
  • Spice things up - Adding spice like Cayenne pepper to your meals can help fight away a cold by thinning mucus and helping you breathe easier. Also adding garlic to foods can zap the cold viruses that lead to infection. Though this may help fight viruses remember that spices can be harmful to those of us who suffer from IBS and sensitises that cause flare ups, try to avoid these spices if they are going to harm you.

  • Some Bacteria is good - Studies show that taking a daily dose of friendly bacteria (Probiotics) can help to reduce the duration of a cold by days. Probiotics can also reduce the chance of getting an infection especially for children, elderly and those with chronic conditions/ weaker immune systems. You can now get probiotic daily drinks, and yoghurt's that makes it so much easier to take.

  • Sleep it off-  With a Chronic condition, having insomnia is a common side effect, so when you have a cold/flu it will be a hundred times harder to get some sleep, but studies have shown that our bodies tend to fight off germs better when we are asleep so it is recommended to try and get eight to ten hours sleep a night.

  • Keep your distance - Although it may not be possible to avoid all human contact when people are sick, if possible try to keep away from people who are already sick, don't make contact unless it is unavoidable. 

  • Get the Jab-  I know with my local doctors people with chronic illnesses/ weaker immune systems are eligible to get the flu jab free on the NHS , but please check with your doctor if it is safe and a good idea to get the jab. It works for some, but affects each person differently.
So they are my tips to try and avoid getting sick on top of our chronic illnesses, I hope you all have a wonderful start to the new year.

Thank you for reading
Take care

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