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April 26, 2019

Preventing and Treating Common Sicknesses

Staying germ free

As winter wanes and people start to filter out and about, illness is going to be a fact of life. Germs are everywhere; bathrooms, kitchens, door handles, and even our phones. Knowing how to best avoid sickness and get over it quickly is an essential part of functioning in this germ-heavy period.

Avoiding people probably isn’t a reasonable method for sickness control, but you can change the way you behave when out in public to protect yourself. Some dietary changes, personal hygiene habits, and some supplementation can go a long way in keeping yourself healthy.

Preventing illness

It’s better to avoid being sick in the first place than having to take medicine to treat the symptoms of a disease. With a few changes in your various habits and a little knowledge, you can walk the path of avoiding germs entirely.

Avoid door handles

This seems easier said than done, but most germs are spread from surfaces. The easiest thing to do would be to avoid touching surfaces that everyone touches. This means opening doors with your sleeve or better yet, using accessibility buttons to automatically open doors for you.

Use hydrogen peroxide cleaner

There are plenty of spray and wipe cleaners like Lysol and while this is great for most germs, there are some hearty ones that will persist after application of these products. Some companies have taken to making hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners, which will kill anything for the most part, including the extremely difficult norovirus. Since norovirus causes most cases of gastritis (the stomach bug), this spray is very handy for stopping this virus in its tracks.

Don’t rely on hand sanitizer

The common practice of hand sanitizer being on every counter in every school and office is a bad one. It lulls you into a false sense of security, that your hands are clean and germ-free, but this isn’t always the case. In addition to not killing some of the germs mentioned in the above section, the ones that do survive can eventually become more resistant, which means they’re harder to kill.

Hand sanitizer dispensers in public are also a breeding ground for germs as they’re often touched hundreds of times a day by everyone who passes by. While the sanitizer isn’t the worst thing sometimes, nothing beats a good, thorough hand-washing to get all the germs off of you. With that said:

Wash your hands!

Washing your hands under as hot of water as you can stand with lots of soap is the best way to stop the spread of illness. Do not neglect your hand-washing; wash the outsides, insides, link your fingers together to get between them, and make sure you scrub your nails. As for duration, sing the birthday song two times in your head to know when you can stop.

Change your diet

Naturally any healthy food you eat will help bolster your immune system, but there are some foods which will go much further in the pursuit of a robust defense against germs.

  • Avoid sugar – sugar changes the biome in your gut, and 70% of your immune system is located in your gut.
  • Bolster your gut biome with prebiotic foods, particularly fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
  • Add in some whey protein powder which seems to have an immune-boosting effect
  • Eating raw garlic when you think you might be getting sick has noticeable effects on prevention and reducing the duration of colds and sinus infections

Treating an illness

There are thousands upon thousands of viruses and bacteria that cause a myriad of diseases in people. Common illnesses attack your respiratory tract, digestive tract, and sinuses, and each grouping of symptoms has many unique ways to treat. Once you’re sick, the only thing you want is to feel better, so employing these tricks can help immensely.

Stomach bugs

If you’ve ever been caught in the grip of a nasty stomach virus, how to stop feeling nauseous might be at the top of your list of important information. Nausea in general is an unpleasant feeling, but luckily there are a few remedies to help ease your suffering:

  • Sucking on mint candy helps reduce the sensation of nausea
  • Likewise, sipping ginger ale or ginger tea calms the stomach and digestive tract

Sinus problems, colds, and coughs

The common cold is a constellation of symptoms that can all be caused by a wide variety of different viruses. Luckily they all seem to react to zinc, shortening the severity and duration. Chicken noodle soup might be an old wife’s tale, but there is evidence that it does in fact help alleviate cold symptoms.

For coughs, regular old honey is just as effective as dextromethorphan in calming coughing fits and it tastes FAR better.

Prevention or treatment, it all starts with you

Taking into account a few simple changes in your lifestyle and habits, and adding a few healthy foods to your diet can go a long way in preventing common sicknesses.

Likewise, should you feel under the weather, you can actually find relief in your kitchen cabinets rather than your medicine cabinet, and that’s a relief in itself.

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