By: Dr Alex Robber
Winter bugs are hard for anyone to deal with, but they are particularly hard for someone with a long-term illness such as fibromyalgia syndrome that causes pain and pain and long-term fatigue. Winter bugs include a highly infectious virus that causes nausea and diarrhea, colds, pneumonia and the winter vomiting virus.
Avoiding the Bugs
It is a good idea for anyone (whether they have fibromyalgia syndrome or not) to get into the habit of washing their hands regularly during the outbreak of flu and other winter bugs, even those suffering from the winter bugs. If water is not available, they are widely available from chemists and supermarkets and are not costly to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If possible, avoid people who clearly have flu or other winter bugs -although this is not always practical, particularly when near family members are sick and need care. Wash towels periodically (or ask someone else to), and get the sufferer from cold or flu to throw away used tissues instead of leaving them around.
A flu vaccination
A flu vaccination may be a good idea, especially for people with other health problems in addition to the condition of fibromyalgia such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart disease. Many people might find that a flu vaccination causes a fibromyalgia syndrome flare, so the balance between the value of preventing flu and the possibility of a symptom flare should be addressed with a doctor.
Boost your immune system
Strengthen the immune system by ensuring you get enough rest. December is a busy month with lots to do, but make sure you take some time out to rest and sometimes put your feet up. Perhaps plan and create a manageable schedule for crossing things off your list of ‘to do.’
Enlist some support, wherever possible. If you can delegate tasks to others, that is fine! Just remember trying to avoid taking any long naps during the afternoon, as this could affect your nighttime sleep schedule. Good eating helps boost the immune system. During the festive season it’s easy to indulge in fatty, sweet foods, but remember to ensure that you get your share of immune-boosting nutrients. Recall having your five a day and eating plenty of new fruits and vegetables.
Maintain Normal Routines and Practice Self-Care
Now that you have ready your severe winter weather supplies, listen to the news that you need to stay informed and check in on loved ones… try to do what you usually would do! Using the harsh weather as a reason to be as healthy as possible-Indoor exercise, consuming well-balanced meals, etc.
It’s also important for kids in the home to maintain normal routines to relieve any anxiety they may have. If you can, use the winter weather as an excuse to do things that you may not normally make time to do on your own or with your loved ones-cook a long, slow meal; watch a fun movie; take up the knitting project that you haven’t seen in years; play a game together; go sledding during the day when the kids are out of school.
If the power goes out, always try to make the most of that by reading a book by flashlight, telling stories-make it an adventure to help entertain younger children and keep older children from getting bored.
Antibiotics will not help with infections such as colds, pneumonia or the vomiting virus in winter unless there is a secondary infection such as a chest infection. However, for flu bouts, antiviral drugs are available on prescription and go to the doctor at the first signs of flu to see if these might be beneficial.
Coping with bugs is basically the same for people with and without fibromyalgia syndrome rest, get plenty of fluids and stay warm. It is important to replace any fluids lost from failure to eat or after diarrhea or illness. Especially when suffering from winter bugs it is important to eat well even if the disease reduces the appetite to try simple, nutrient-filled foods such as chicken soup, made with plenty of fresh vegetables.
Over the counter medications
Upon counter medicines such as cold remedies, or simply ibuprofen or paracetamol, it will help with symptoms of cold and flu, but it will make sure that they do not interfere with current prescription medicines. Unless someone with diarrhea and vomiting runs the risk of becoming seriously dehydrated, it’s probably better not to use medications to avoid the infection and any contaminants produced by the virus. Hold the fluids clear.
Limit Exposure to Media
Turn on, turn in or sign in to get the news you need to keep an eye on and get ready for the storm, but try to restrict your exposure and that of any kids in your home. Often too much news can lead to higher stress rates due to repeated exposure to potentially distressing images or words such as ‘century storm,’ etc. Commit to looking for updates on the hourly news only every hour if there is important information you need to read, that will then be included.
Sugar puts immense pressure on the immune system and depletes the absorption and removal of vitamins and minerals from the body. In yoghurts, cereals, cereal bars, fruit juice snacks such as fruit bars and even raisins, be vigilant of secret sugars. Ideally the only sugar the baby / toddler eats every day should be the whole fruit cones.
- Tips For Coping With Fibromyalgia & Winter Bugs via Brain Barr