What To Do When You Are Sick
For some of you this will be basic information you already know but I’ve talked to a few adolescents and young adults who need a little help with what to do when they are under the weather. Not everyone has a mom or granny they can call when they feel bad.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I'm a mom.
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea-
This can be caused from drinking too much alcohol the night before, eating foods that are too rich or foreign to your digestive system, a stomach bug, or food poisoning.
Drink lots of water.
If you have an upset stomach or throwing up you want to go easy on your food choices and amounts.
No citric acid, like orange juice, pineapple juice, or tomato based products. Since orange juice is good for a cold or flu some think it is a cure all anytime they feel sick. If your stomach is upset you should avoid them. The citric acid can make your symptoms worse.
Start out eating dry toast, crackers or broth. College kids always seem to have ramen noodles around; this one is safe especially the chicken flavor.
Coke (regular coke, not diet) will settle a nauseous stomach; however, if you are vomiting skip this one and only drink water until you can keep fluids down.
If it lasts more than 24 hours it may be food poisoning and you should see a doctor. If left untreated you can dehydrate and become sicker.
Ginger or peppermint tea will help sooth your stomach and the warmth will sooth your throat.
Headache or body aches-
Most of the time an ice pack or cold soft drink can, will work to relieve a tension headache or other aches.
Menstrual cramps can be relieved with a heating pad.
Kids under the age of nineteen should not take aspirin.
Read your pain reliever labels. Do not take more than directed unless a doctor has told you to. Don’t assume you take two pills; some are concentrated and only require one tablet.
I read a newspaper article that said Tylenol is changing their dosage due to people taking too much and getting sick. I can't stress enough: Read your labels.
You can’t take ibuprofen with aspirin; they are both NSAID’s and can cause an overdose.
You can take acetaminophen with ibuprofen and you can take acetaminophen with aspirin if after an hour you are still experiencing pain but don’t take more than either bottle recommends.
It is very important you take these medications correctly or you could damage your kidneys or have internal bleeding. In this case more is not necessarily better.
Cold or Allergy-
We can’t always tell which one we have but the remedies are similar either way.
If you get a sniffly nose or itchy watery eyes every spring and/or fall you probably have allergies. Watch the weather and the meteorologist will tell you when the weed, tree or grass pollen is up. If you notice you’re having symptoms every time this happens it’s highly likely that you have allergies.
Eating local honey will help with pollen allergies. That means honey made by bees in or near your town.
Drink plenty of fluids like water and orange juice.
Eat chicken soup. Putting fresh, diced garlic in it, will help keep you from getting a worse condition like bronchitis or tonsillitis. Allergies and a cold can get worse if it goes too long.
You can take over-the-counter remedies but read the symptoms they cover.
Some medicines like Benadryl cause drowsiness and best taken at night or if you are at home and going to bed anyway.
Other cold medicines like pseudoephedrine can cause you to be wide awake so if you need rest this might not be a good one to take in the evening.
Get plenty of rest. Sleep will help heal your body and you’ll recover more quickly.
Hot drinks like tea or coffee will help as well as eating cough drops. If you can find the kind with zinc in them this will help.
Drainage from allergies or cold contributes to an irritated throat so if you can take over the counter medications to relieve the drippy nose your throat will get better.
Call a doctor if:
Body or muscle aches- these can be symptoms of a more serious ailment like Mononucleosis or the flu.
Fever of 104° Fahrenheit or above is too high and can be serious. If you don’t have a thermometer or way to take your temperature most campuses have a nurse or at least the office usually has a way of checking your temperature.
Normal temperature is anywhere from 97.6° to 99.7°. You should take your temperature when you are feeling well to see what is normal for you.
Ways to stay healthy:
Eat healthy- I know going to college, long hours studying and not always having enough money makes it tough but eating an apple or banana is much better than that bag of chips and often cheaper in price. When you can choose a food that has nutritional value over empty calories; your body will thank you.
Get proper sleep- this is easier said than done especially if you are working and going to school, but getting as much sleep as you can will help your body fight off infections and bugs.
Don’t share food and drinks- Teens and college kids are very into sharing and this is why this age is more prone to spreading Mono than any other age group. Tell them you have OCD or something but don’t share drinks or food, that’s just asking for trouble. People carrying an illness don’t always look or act sick.
Wash your hands- your mama told you to do this for a good reason. Germs are everywhere and using antibacterial soap will help keep those bugs away.
Get exercise- when your body is stronger it can fight off illness better.
Minimize partying- this is hard on your metabolism and will eventually catch up with you.
Don’t smoke- you’ve seen the ads; you know the dangers.
DON'T DO IT
People who smoke are more prone to upper respiratory infections and illnesses. Not to mention getting hooked and having long-term issues you should be fully aware of.
A run down, overweight, under fed, or poorly fed body is more prone to illness. Just because you are young doesn’t mean you are invincible. We only get one body and we must take care of it.
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