With the current pandemic raging, chances are you might not feel comfortable going to see your healthcare provider as frequently as you would normally. This means that, over the past few months, an increasing number of people are managing common ailments at home. While this is good practice in terms of staying safe from Coronavirus, it’s important to be safe when managing other health conditions, as well.
Sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to treat a health condition at home, however, should that health condition get worse, not go away, or concern you in any way, it’s important to seek the advice of your healthcare provider. In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at some common ailments and how you can take care of them at home.
Seasonal Colds and Flu
Colds are exceedingly common, while flu is a little rarer. However, both health conditions are highly contagious and tend to show up during the fall and winter months. You can limit the spread of viruses by washing your hands frequently, coughing/sneezing into your arm, wearing a mask, and not touching your face.
Though they are usually easy to treat at home, they can cause some concerning symptoms to watch out for. These include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, extreme mucous, sustained high fever, and dehydration- all of which could indicate a more serious infection. Use wisdom and seek healthcare should things get worse or your symptoms don’t respond to over-the-counter (OTC) medication.
When managing the symptoms of a cold or the flu at home, it’s important to consult your pharmacist about OTC medicines for yourself and your family. Some will have dosage restrictions for children and other interaction warnings with certain medications and conditions such as high blood pressure.
There are also plenty of natural cold and flu products and remedies available, such as vitamin C, elderberry, zinc, eucalyptus, nasal saline drainage, teas, and immune-boosting supplements. Check online reviews and do some research to see which of these would be the most effective in your situation. If you are currently taking any medications, consult your doctor before using herbs and nutritional supplements as they can interact. I also ask at my local health food store for recommendations on respiratory care products, as they usually know what works the best.
Minor Gastro Issues
Minor stomach aches and issues are common but can, nevertheless, knock you out of commission for a spell. That said, they usually don’t require medical attention and can be treated with over-the-counter gastro medicine combined with home remedies. However, if gastro issues go on for an extended period of time or get worse, consult your healthcare provider.
First, consider what you’ve eaten for the past couple of days. If your diet hasn’t been the best or you recently have eaten out, the culprit could be minor food poisoning or an ingredient/food that hasn’t agreed with you. Both of these cases can be uncomfortable but usually not serious. I like to use peppermint oil for mild nausea and tummy ache. Ginger and peppermint tea can also be of great help for minor digestive issues. Drink plenty of fluids and rest until the discomfort passes.
Mild Urinary Tract Infection
Though it isn’t always the case, a mild urinary tract infection can be treated safely at home. Do consult your physician if any urinary pain or disfunction does not clear or gets worse. Over-the-counter painkillers, herbal/food remedies, and drinking plenty of fluids can help clear mild irritations. Do understand, however, some UTIs require antibiotics to clear, so pay attention to the severity of symptoms.
As you learn more about natural and home remedies, keep needed items on hand so you are prepared for minor ailments before they strike. I also keep detailed information about remedies in a file on my computer that I can refer to when someone in my family gets sick.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.