Northwest Community Hospital

WIN 2015

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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2 9 SHUTTERSTOCK w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 015 S P I R I T O F W O M E N S H A R I N G H E A L T H S E C R E T S S h a r i n g Secrets HEALTH To send a health question to "Sharing Health Secrets," please e-mail or write to Sharing Health Secrets, Spirit of Women, 2424 North Federal Highway, Suite 100, Boca Raton, FL 33431. There's no magic pill to stop a cold, says Dr. Steven Windley, a family practitioner at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Ind., but if you strengthen your immune system naturally it's more likely you'll ward off those viruses. "There are several things we recommend to help prevent colds," he says. "Some fall under the guidelines of common sense, but many people don't take time for them in our hectic schedules." This includes getting enough sleep, cutting down on sugar and reducing stress. If you are very stressed, look into meditation or deep breath- ing. Also, try eating garlic—lots of it. It has antimi- crobial properties, it's cheap and easy to obtain, and you can't have too much, says Dr. Windley. Beth Roellgen, a licensed acupuncturist at The Women's Hospital, Newburgh, Ind., advises tak- ing vitamin D to help prevent colds: "Most people are vitamin D defcient, and it has numerous health benefts," she says. Dr. David Patchett, a family medicine specialist affliated with Banner Health Center in Phoenix, says everyone should get some moderate physical activity, but there's such a thing as too much dur- ing cold season. "Cortisol levels rise if you work out too vigorously," he says. "It's well-known that triathletes and marathoners tend to get sick more often than those who get moderate exercise of about 30 minutes per day." A: The real truth about cold remedies I'm dreading winter–I had three colds last year! Is there anything I can do to prevent them? A: Q: What can I do if I'm around other sick people at work or school? The best way to treat a cold is to not get one in the frst place. If you can't avoid colleagues who insist on working when they're sick, be sure to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. Q: A: Q: If I catch a cold anyway, how can I shorten the duration? There is some evidence that zinc can help inhibit the replication of the cold virus if taken within 24 hours, says Dr. Juan Rodriguez, a family medicine physician with North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, Colo. "You have to take it consistently, a 75-milliliter- per-day dose every day," he says. "And it needs to be lozenges, not syrup or nasal sprays." In addition, Dr. Rodriguez says some studies show that taking 800 milligrams of vitamin C per day will decrease the length of a cold. A: Q: I'm wary of over-the-counter medications. Are there any other ways to relieve my symptoms more naturally if I do get a cold? You're right to be concerned, says Dr. Patchett, because the heavily advertised "multi-symptom" cold medications often have ingredients you may not need, which can also cause unwanted side effects. Instead, says Dr. Rodriguez, try easing your symptoms naturally: • Drink plenty of water, which will help break up mucus. • Eat chicken soup to help with congestion and also to get some good, nourishing protein. • Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat, warm water with honey for a cough. • Breathe in steam to break up mucus and help clear up nasal congestion.

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