Each winter we are exposed to rhinoviruses— those annoying germs that cause a sore throat, runny nose and cough. The winter months present plenty of opportunities for viruses to spread. Chilly weather keeps more of us indoors at the same time, and the holiday season brings together family members of all ages. Colds and flu (influenza) can occur anytime but appear mostly in the fall and winter. It is estimated that most adults and children in the US get two to six colds per year. But even though coming down with a cold may be inevitable Jeff Barton, R.Ph. with Custom Dosing Pharmacy suggests five simple ways to combat them.
Both colds and flu can be passed through coughing, sneezing, and touching surfaces such as doorknobs and telephones. So it’s wise to make a habit of washing your hands and to teach children to do the same. This helps you prevent spreading respiratory infections and picking them up from someone else. Jeff Barton, R.Ph. recommends regular scrubbing of your hands with warm, soapy water for about 15 seconds, especially after coughing and sneezing, and washing your face more than twice a day.
Eating a balanced diet and exercising can help the immune system better fight off the germs that cause illness. Get as much value as you can from good foods— especially raw fruits and vegetables. Don’t smoke because smoking interferes with the mechanisms that keep bacteria and debris out of the lungs, those who use tobacco or are exposed to second-hand smoke are more prone to respiratory illnesses and more severe complications than nonsmokers.
Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day. It will help keep your body hydrated. Get enough sleep. A certain number of hours each night are standard for your body and regimen. If you short-change yourself against the standard for several consecutive nights, then you probably need to catch up. Some people say you can not make up for lost sleep. However, an extra hour of sleep now and then helps your body enhance its resistance.
Jeff Barton, R.Ph. also suggests a high potency multivitamin with antioxidants and B vitamins taken twice a day, so that the antioxidants are replenished as they are excreted after 6 hours. Otherwise, you go to battle against those nasty cold germs with only 1/2 day ammunition.
If and when a cold catches up with you, Jeff Barton, R.Ph. says “Your best line of defense is to begin by taking a high dosage of a good quality vitamin C with bioflavonoids.” Vitamin C reduces the duration of episodes and the severity of the symptoms of the common cold. Be sure to ask your pharmacist for the right dosage of vitamin C with bioflavonoids.
For more information contact Jeff Barton, R.Ph. with Custom Dosing Pharmacy, 1000 Breuckman Drive, Crown Point at (219) 662-5602.
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