Monday, September 19, 2011

Are You Prepared for Flu Season?

If you want to protect yourself and your family from influenza, you can take some precautions to lessen the risk.   You can do what I did today and start with a flu shot.

Children more than six months of age, pregnant women, anyone with chronic illnesses, and people over 65 are especially vulnerable to influenza.  Nonetheless, every adult can benefit from this simple vaccine.

Though my left arm is aching as I type this post, I prefer this temporary discomfort over developing worse symptoms associated with typical influenza.  I had the flu once and never again do I want to go through that dreadful experience if I can possibly avoid it.  

To this day, I can still not eat pork roast which I happened to cook during the time I became ill.  The mere thought of pork roast and I can get chills as it conjures up ugly pictures of my many trips to the bathroom throwing up.

Of course, a flu shot does not guarantee that will you be safe.  However, if you're immunized, your symptoms will probably be less severe than if you went without one.   Getting immunized also will reduce your risk of complications from pneumonia that often comes hand in hand with the flu.

Besides getting a flu shot, you should make an appointment to see your dentist or dental hygienist to have teeth cleaned.  You can have a low-grade infection from chronic gum disease that would make you more prone to catching the flu. 

Another helpful way to safeguard yourself is to start taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C with a full glass of water four times a day during this time of year.   The dosage should be spread out throughout the day to help build your defenses against the flu.

Vitamin D is something else that you need to have much more of.  One doctor suggests 5,000 IU of vitamin D every day from early fall to late spring is the best route for strengthening your immunity.

It is also recommended to eat at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day, taking a multivitamin, getting eight hours of sleep each night and exercising for a half hour a few times a week.

Though getting a flu shot is another expense, it is definitely cheaper than buying all the medicines you might need if you do come down with the flu.  Check out the drug stores for the best price and where your vaccine is allowed, if you have insurance coverage, first. 

After all, if you take these small steps now, it could save you, your family, and all the others that come in contact with you from sharing the flu.

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