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Flu and Cold Season: Tips and Resources  Nin
 Oct 16, 2007 09:34 PDT 

Flu and cold season is right around the
corner.
So, in this edition I am posting Flu and Cold resources, coupons for
medicine,
health freebies and more. Have a safe and wonderful week!

12 Important Tips to Prevent Cold and Flu Infection
(http://www.zinester.com/lr/1025275/18644696)

Since there are no known cures for colds or the flu, prevention should
be your
goal. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to make
your
whole life healthier. The most effective way to prevent flu, frankly,
is to get
a flu shot. It may not be natural, but it works better than anything
else. But
there are other strategies you can employ as well.


#1 Wash Your Hands

Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has
the flu
sneezes onto their hand, and then touches the telephone, the keyboard,
a
kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours -- in some cases weeks --
only to
be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash
your hands
often. If no sink is available, rub your hands together very hard for a
minute
or so. That also helps break up most of the cold germs.


#2 Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands

Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and
sneezes
with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. When you
feel a
sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately.
If you
don't have a tissue, turn your head away from people near you and cough
into
the air.

#3 Don't Touch Your Face

Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Touching
their faces is the major way people catch colds.

#4 Drink Plenty of Fluids

Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates
you. A
typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day.
How can
you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine
runs close
to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more
fluids.

#5 Take a Sauna

Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in
prevention, but
one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got
half as
many colds as those who didn't. One theory: When you take a sauna you
inhale
air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu
viruses to
survive.

#6 Get Fresh Air

A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather
when
central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to
cold and
flu viruses. Also, during cold weather more people stay indoors, which
means
more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms.

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#7 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly

Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of
blood, makes
you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your
blood, and
makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase
the
body's natural virus-killing cells.

#8 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals

"Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the
vitamins in
food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark
green,
red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.

#9 Eat Yogurt

Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can
reduce
your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. Researchers think the
beneficial
bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances
that
fight disease.

#10 Don't Smoke

Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more
frequent
ones.

Even being around smoke profoundly zaps the immune system. Smoke dries
out your
nasal passages and paralyzes cilia, the delicate hairs that line the
mucous
membranes in your nose and lungs that sweep cold and flu viruses out of
the
nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia
for as
long as 30 to 40 minutes.

#11 Cut Alcohol Consumption

Heavy alcohol use destroys the liver, the body's primary filtering
system,
which means that germs of all kinds won't leave your body as fast. The
result
is, heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as
secondary
complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body -- it actually takes
more
fluids from your system than it puts in.

#12 Relax

If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune system
on
demand. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into
action,
your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system response against cold
and flu
viruses -- increase in the bloodstream. Train yourself to picture an
image you
find pleasant or calming. Do this 30 minutes a day for several months.
Keep in
mind, relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing.
People who
try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood
chemicals.

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Soothe Your Sore Throat Naturally
Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable parts of having a cold or flu is
a the
dreaded sore throat or in medical term, pharyngitis which means a
painful
inflammation felt in the tonsils, pharynx, or the larynx.

A sore throat is a symptom of many illness but the major cause of sore
throat
is infection. These infections can be caused by viruses like the flu
and common
cold or by certain types of bacteria such as strep, mycoplasma, or
hemophilus
that cause the inflammation.

Viral sore throats typically accompany flu and colds and are highly
contagious
and spread quickly. Sore throats can also go along with other viral
infections
like measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, and croup.

Streptococcus is the most common bacterial cause for sore throat. This
is a
serious infection that can also damage not just the throat, but also
heart
valves and kidneys as well as cause tonsillitis, pneumonia, sinusitis,
and ear
infections.

Pollens and molds that irritate the nose when inhaled and cause
sneezing and
colds can bring on a sore throat as well. Cat and dog danders and house
dust
are common causes of sore throats to people with such allergies.

Pollutants and chemicals in the air irritate the throat and the nose
leading to
sore throat. The most common air pollutant is the smoke from tobacco.
Other
irritants are alcohol beverages, and spicy foods.

A person who strains his or her voice from yelling and shouting gets a
sore
throat not just because of muscle strain but also because of the rough
treatment of his or her throat membranes. Sometimes a sore throat also
occurs
due to regurgitation of the stomach acids up into the back of the
throat.

It is a good idea to go to your doctor whenever you have a sore throat.
You
need to determine the cause so as to rule out those that are serious.
In the
event that your sore throat is deemed to be a common cold or flu
variety, here
s some home remedies that you might find useful.

For mild sore throat associated with cold and flu symptoms, increase
fluid
intake if necessary. Warm tea with honey is good.

You may also use a streamer or humidifier in your bedroom.

Gargle with warm salt water several times daily.

Lemon juice squeezed into a glass of lukewarm water is good for a sore
throat.

The juice of fresh pomegranates is good to gargle with then to drink.

Add 1 dessert spoon of hydrogen peroxide to tumbler of warm water
and gargle.

Consulting a physician is necessary for sore throat infection.

The most effective way of combating sore throat infection is through
proper
personal hygiene. These are important things to keep in mind. Remember
that as
always, prevention is better than cure.

Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.zinester.com/lr/1025268/18644696
where you can find
out more about natural treatments and herbal remedies.
	
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