March 06, 2013

Pretending You're Not Sick

It's that season again--for colds and flu.  

While there are a lot of myths (you won't get a cold from going outside with wet hair, or by sleeping in a drafty room), there are some common mistakes that can make your cold symptoms worse, or you from getting better when you're sick, your body needs extra energy to fight an infection, so trying to push through it instead of taking care of yourself can make it worse.

Not sleeping enough? 

Getting enough sleep is a key for a healthy immune system.  One study found that less than 7 hours of sleep a night almost triples your risk of getting a cold in the first place. Your body needs extra rest to get healthy.
Getting stressed
High levels of stress hormones disrupt the immune system, so taking it easy and lowering stress levels makes for faster recovery. Drinking too little Fluids help thin mucous, increasing drainage.  Just about any liquid--water, juice, hot tea, soup, and even milk are all good.

Don't Drink

Drinking too much (alcohol) too much alcohol causes dehydration and can worsen congestion.  It also suppresses the immune system and can potentially interact with cold medications.
Overusing decongestant sprays
if used more than three days, a stuffy nose will get worse when you stop. get more colds, worse colds and lung damage causes colds to last longer.  So, if you smoke, at least don't when you have a cold.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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