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Keep Colds and Flu at Bay This Winter

natural_cold_remediesNo one wants to get a cold or the flu this winter.

As the season comes upon us, many people want to prevent these annoying illnesses from taking hold.

While there is no magic formula to prevent all illness, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of contracting colds and flu.

Here are some tips...

Vitamin D

According to some sources, Vitamin D3 is the form best suited to stave off colds and flu. This vitamin does occur naturally in some foods, such as mushrooms, tuna, salmon, eggs, beef, and liver. Fish oils are also high in Vitamin D3, and some food products have it added.

Getting sunlight is also an important and viable way of obtaining Vitamin D3. See if you can soak up a little winter sun here and there, even if it's just your face that gets the sunlight. It's interesting to note that people who live in extreme northern climates where there is little to no sunlight during the winter do not tend to be deficient in Vitamin D - this is probably because their diets include a lot of high-fat seafood.

Garlic

Use lots of garlic in your cooking! Garlic has been shown to boost the immune system, and studies confirm its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Garlic is fairly inexpensive and can be added to a lot of dishes, or made a central part of the meal (as in pasta with garlic sauce). You can also take garlic supplements.

Vitamin C

It's an oldie but a goodie - Vitamin C is helpful in preventing colds and flu. While citrus fruits are considered a good source of Vitamin C, fruits are often shipped long distances during the winter and vitamin loss can occur through citrus fruit's porous skin. Other foods that are usually high in Vitamin C may be short on this vitamin in the winter. For these reasons, you might want to take a daily supplement.

Keep Medications on Hand

It's generally considered most effective if you start treatment at the first sign of illness, particularly if you choose natural or homeopathic treatments. Stock up on treatments like zinc lozenges, extra Vitamin C, antihistamines, herbs, and other treatments so you can get to them quickly. You may be able to keep the cold or flu from taking hold if you start treatment early.

Get Plenty of Rest

This is probably one of the most important but most overlooked aspects of staying healthy. A worn-out body just doesn't fight off illness like a well-rested one, experts warn. Try to get at least eight hours of quality sleep every night, preferably turning in before midnight.

Drink Herbal Teas

While many herbal teas can be used to treat colds and flu, they may also prevent them. Herbs like lemon balm taste good and also have anti-viral properties. Some health food retailers sell special blends of herbs that make good-tasting, healthful teas that you can drink regularly to help keep colds and flu away.

Keep Medications on Hand

It's generally considered most effective if you start treatment at the first sign of illness, particularly if you choose natural or homeopathic treatments. Stock up on treatments like zinc lozenges, extra Vitamin C, antihistamines, herbs, and other treatments so you can get to them quickly. You may be able to keep the cold or flu from taking hold if you start treatment early. As always, it's best to visit your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of the flu. Natural remedies together with your doctor's knowledge and skill can help speed your recovery from a cold or flu.

Flu Shots

Get one yearly.  Dr. Van Reken has had at least 1 flu shot yearly for 37 years and is rarely ill.  About 36,000 people yearly die of flu in the US.  The young, the obese, pregnant women, chronically ill and older people are more likely to be hospitalized or die from flu.

Hand Washing


Flu viruses are often transmitted by unwashed hands.  Use hand washing or alcohol wipes to kill the virus before it starts.

Specific Antiviral Medication

Tamiflu (generic name oseltamivir) is not new, but it usually still works.  75 mg twice daily with food for 5 days is the typical dosing recommendation.  In general, most flu viral multiplication is done within 2-3 days after symptoms begin.  This means this medication should usually be given within 2-3 days of symptoms beginning for best effect.
 
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Reno Sparks MedSpa serves clients Washoe County, Storey County and Lake Tahoe Nevada including Carson City, Virginia City, Sun Valley, Pleasant Valley, Vista, Mustang, Verdi, Mount Rose, Washoe City, Franktown, Huffaker and the Tahoe ski resort towns in the Sierra Nevada.

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