In case you didn’t notice, the seasons are changing and the nights are drawing in. And for reasons only understood by the influenza virus itself, it’s time for the flu season to kick off. Thousands of us will soon be laid low by a bug we can’t even see. And worse still, we know that we’ll get sick just in time for party season. So what can health professionals do to help their patients avoid this party-pooping illness?
Take a look at some of these tips.
TELL THE PATIENTS TO QUIT THE BOOZING
Booze is one of the biggest things that can help bring on the flu, and it’s all to do with sleep. Most people think that booze is a sleeping aid. They’ll have a glass of wine before bed to help themselves nod off. But while drink might induce sleep, it doesn’t guarantee that that sleep with be of high quality. In fact, it has been shown that booze reduces the amount of rapid eye movement sleep that people get. That means that it stops people from going into the type of deep sleep that’s really good for them.
So what’s the link with the flu?
The more sleep-deprived you are, the lower will be your immune defenses. And the lower your immune defenses, the more likely you are to get the flu. It’s that simple.
TELL THE PATIENTS TO DRINK TEA THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Murray Grossman is an MD from Los Angeles. He works in the ear, nose and throat department. So he’s used to seeing people battle against colds and flu. His advice is to sip tea throughout the day. The warm steam from the tea helps to activate the tiny hair-like structures that line the gullet and trachea. The more active these structures are, the more they will be able to remove germs and other gunk.
Grossman also suggests people include a small amount of lemon and honey if they are drinking green tea. Lemon helps activate some of the life-extending compounds in green tea. And it also helps to thin mucus. Honey has antibacterial properties that help destroy pathogens before they can do any damage.
GET TRAINED ON THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
It’s not all about the patients, of course. It’s about what the doctors themselves can do to prepare for the next flu season. Influenza training is an important part of any physician’s arsenal against the disease. Doctors need to understand how the different vaccines work, which are the most effective, and which demographics are at risk. They also need to be able to tell how the flu differs from other common, but similar conditions.
TELL THE PATIENTS TO PAMPER THEIR NOSES
Jeffrey Demain is a medical doctor from Alaska. He says that he does a nasal rub daily. He uses a bulb syringe to flush out nasal secretions and viruses from his nasal canal. He says that patients who are concerned about picking up the flu virus can go to their local pharmacy. There, they can pick up a saline solution to irrigate their nostrils.
The recipe for the solution is simple meaning you can make your own. Demain suggests mixing three teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Then add a teaspoon of the powder mixture to 250 ml of pure water. Rinse.
GET PATIENTS JUICING
Kristina Economou is a paramedic from California. As a paramedic, she’s constantly exposed to new bacteria and viruses. As a result, she insists on boosting her immune defenses with vegan smoothies and juices. She includes immune-boosting foods like oranges, kale, spinach, ginger, parsley, cucumber, chard and mint. She says that it helps her get closer to her recommended intake of fruits and vegetables.
DOCTORS SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Doctors should lead their patients by example. They should wash their hands after they have spent time examining a patient. And they should get a flu jab themselves if they are eligible.
TELL THEM TO KEEP THE WORLD AT PEN’S LENGTH
Kim Okochi is a mother from Maryland. She has a child with a compromised immune system. As a result, it’s important that she does everything she can to avoid bringing bugs back to the house. She’s decided to adopt the pen strategy. Now when she goes out, she doesn’t touch ATMs at the supermarket or the bank. Instead, she uses her pen to punch in her PIN codes. This helps her to avoid bringing germs back to the house that could affect her child. She even takes her pen with her when she visits the doctor’s office.