The Flu and You

January 21st, 2016 | Posted by Kimberly Vanderpoel in Kim's Posts | Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

What sort of flu season is expected this year?

It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.

When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?

The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.

-How do I know if I have the flu?

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever*
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider.

Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions) and this is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor. Remind them about your high risk status for flu.

Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and treatment are needed. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.

Do I need to go the emergency room if I am only a little sick?

No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill.

If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.

mother checking temperature of sick daughter lying in bed

What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

 Are there medicines to treat the flu?

Yes. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating the flu called “antivirals.” These drugs can make you better faster and may also prevent serious complications.

How long should I stay home if I’m sick?

CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

What should I do while I’m sick?

Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.

Source: www.cdc.gov

 

THYROID

Ask the average American what they know about their thyroid and chances are they’ll tell you they’re pretty sure they have one. Beyond that, most people are unaware of the organ’s vital functions. It’s only when the thyroid goes awry that people become aware of its value. And that includes some 30 million Americans with a thyroid condition, half of whom either don’t know they have a thyroid problem or who have been misdiagnosed.

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the lower front of your neck that produces two thyroid hormones—thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) – that regulate all your body processes that use energy. When it produces too much or too little of the thyroid hormones, it can affect your entire body.

 

 

Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism or over active thyroid. hyperthyreosis

Who should be tested?
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor if you should be tested. People with symptoms or risk factors may need tests more often. Hypothyroidism more frequently affects women over age 60. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women. A family history raises your risk of either disorder. In most cases, medicine can help get your thyroid levels back on track.

Sources: www.thyroidawareness.com and www.webmd.com

Happy 2016!

It’s almost a given that with the start of the new year, we hear:
“This is the year I’m going to lose weight!”
“I’m going to start going to the gym!”
“I’m going to take better care of myself.”
“I’m going to get debt free.”
“I’m going to get organized.”
“I’m going to ……”

Tell yourself you can meet any challenge, reach any goal. Then face each day as a new beginning, radiant with possibilities.How about instead of just saying, “I’m going to…” Let’s make 2016 the year that we all take the steps to be a bit healthier!

Although there are 24 hours in a day, it is easy to make excuses why we don’t have enough time to reach our health goals. Until we take responsibility for our actions, we will struggle to improve our health. Prioritizing is the key factor to making changes towards leading a healthier lifestyle.

Healthy Lifestyle Plan:

Whether or not you need to lose weight, shift your thinking from “diet” to “lifestyle”.

A diet goal is self-limiting. When we get to our goal weight, we often stop the diet. Odds of keeping weight off permanently are less than one in twenty. A diet measures progress and success by numbers. Failure to lose weight as fast as desired can be dismal, and the process feels like a constant battle.

A lifestyle goal is open-ended. Weight management becomes part of our daily life. A lifestyle measures progress and success regarding satisfaction and quality of life. Weight loss and maintenance continue to be important but are put in perspective to move towards larger, more rewarding goals. Daily ups and downs become much less stressful.
Use the following tips to create a healthy eating lifestyle plan:
•Enjoy your favorite foods but in smaller portions.
•Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
•Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
•Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Follow the tips below are tips to help you overcome leading a sedentary lifestyle:
•Take your gym bag to work and exercise during lunch or to go straight to the gym after work.
•Exercise in smaller intervals of time. Three 15-minute “mini workouts” spread throughout the day can be just as effective as one 45-minute session.
•Do your workout first thing in the morning, when you are less likely to be distracted by other daily tasks.
•Find ways to squeeze extra activity into your normal routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stretch at work, or ride the stationary bike while watching TV. Do crunches and other strength exercises during commercial breaks.
•Instead of meeting your friends for lunch, meet them for a leisurely walk or nature hike.
•Spend time with your family and kids doing fun activities. Instead of going to dinner and a movie, try miniature golf, riding bikes, playing at a park, ice skating, playing in the snow, or practicing your child’s favorite sport with them.

Our BeWell team looks forward to walking the wellness journey with you in 2016!