How to Get Through Cold and Flu Season Without Getting Sick

How to get through cold and flu season without getting sick every winter my friends and I find ourselves in a lonely world of coughs sneezes and sniffles whenever we try to make plans someone’s kid is sick and we have to choose between being the overly protective parent who cancels to avoid germs or the cool family who meets up with typhoid Mary and then ends up with a permit cold or worse this cold and flu season I am determined to help my family stay healthy any way possible so I reached out to top preventive medicine doctors for tips and strategies this five step plan can help all of us take fewer sick days one of get a flu shot while it’s true that the flu shot isn’t 100% effective recent study showed that getting one can slash a person’s risk of contracting the potentially debilitating illness by about 50 to 60% plus if you do catch this year’s flu having had a flu shot can make your symptoms milder just a quick warning for parents of needle phones the nasal spray once a welcome alternative for children ages two and older is no longer a viable option recent data from the centers for disease control and prevention CDC found that it was only 3% affective against the most common viruses that circulated last season as a result the American academy of pediatrics it says in should not be used to wash everyone’s hands a lot a study conducted on school kids in gruss Point Park Michigan found that scheduling at least four hand washing breaks and a reduced the average students number of sick days it worked a specially well for stomach bugs cutting the risk of absence is due to illness is like diarrhea by more than half a lathering up with soap and water any temperature is find research suggests warm doesn’t work any better than cold and then scrubbing for at least 20 seconds is the best way to get rid of germs according to the CDC second best applying a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol three stick to bedtimes you to sleep is a cornerstone of a healthy immune system says well every one I interviewed for this story and the best way for you and your kids to get the sleep you need is to set a bedtime and stick to it consistently says parents adviser Judith Owens ND director of the center for pediatric sleep disorders at Boston children’s hospital there’s a fair amount of evidence to suggest that the key is not just getting the right amount of sleep but also keeping your schedule consistent she sat it’s fine to stay up and sleep in by 1/2 hour on the weekends but if bedtime or wake time shift more than about an hour that can interfere with circadian rhythms says Dr. A lines just how important this sleep in one seminal study published in 2009 researchers administered nasal drops that contained a cold virus to more than 150 adults those who had averaged less than 7 hours of sleep nightly for the prior two weeks were almost three times more likely to get sick as those who had slapped 8 hours or more children need even more rest anywhere from 8 to 14 hours a night depending on the kids age for tweak your diet obesity goes hand in hand with chronic inflammation in which certain immune chemicals are constantly increased in the body instead of only when needed to fight off infection this state of constant low grade alert can make the immune system less effective overall says Molina jam Phyllis ND a Physician nutrition specialist and author of the Dr. on demand diet but him more fiber found in fresh fruit veggies and grains can help reduce inflammation in the body and that in turn allows your immune system to function better she sat cutting back on sugar may help to sugar causes insulin levels to spike and high insulin increases inflammation says john’s tracks N.D. assistant clinical professor of family and community medicine at the Feinberg school of medicine at northwestern university sticking to a healthy diet bite even make your flu shot work better research in the international journal of obesity suggests that obese people have a decreased immune response to the flu vaccine compared with those who aren’t obese five take the right supplements take the right supplements all you need to give kids is vitamin D found in many children’s multi vitamins the item and see the best sources are certain fruits and vegetables including oranges grapefruit bell peppers and peel and a pro bionic says Dr. Jagt the less evidence is growing for the importance of vitamin D infighting colds and flu since it’s difficult to get enough from food and sunlight can cause skin cancer the American academy of pediatrics recommends all kids take at least 402 of vitamin Dia De beginning in infancy the official recommended dose for adults is 600 to 802 per day that many experts recommend taking even more vitamin C has long been touted as a cold and flu fighter especially if you are deficient in it as 7% of kids ages 6 to 19 and 8% of adults are or the rest of us vitamins see isn’t a magic bullet but it doesn’t cost much and cold prevention trials seem to suggest some benefit says integrative medicine specialist Tara on a low dog ND fellowship director for the academy of integrated health and medicine in La Jolla California if you can’t get it from your diet she recommends 200 mg of vitamin see twice a day for adults during cold and flu season ask your pediatrician for the right dose for your kids kids who are deficient may be prescribed 100 to 300 mg daily for two weeks all other children need much less typically between 15 and 75 mg daily pro bionics also show a lot of promise the beneficial bacteria keep the peace throughout the gastrointestinal tract decreasing inflammation and in turn helping your immune system respond properly to viruses like the common cold I highly recommend pro bionics to favorably balance the intestinal micro flora after all more of the immune system is located in your gut than anywhere else in your body says Donald Beall of a ND assistant professor of medicine at Harvard medical school and director of the Asha Ra clinical center for integrative medicine at Brigham and women’s hospital in Boston a review of research published in 2015 found that adults and children who consumed pro bionics experienced about 47% fewer a queued up are spread Tory tract infections than those who took placebos I’ll take those odds

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