My Throat Hurts! What Do I Do?

Ugh, we’ve all experienced that awful feeling when your throat is burning, and it’s so tough to get relief. Let’s check out some old and new symptom relievers to make the pain go away.

Go Away, Sore Throat!

Unfortunately, a sore throat is usually a symptomatic preview to an oncoming cold. Or the flu. Boosting your immune system may dull the onset of a viral germ attack. It may also quicken your healing time. In the meanwhile, here are some treatments you can try that should help relieve some discomfort.

Tried and True with a Twist

Warm water and honey are soothing and help coat your throat. There are several other ingredients you can separately or mix and match.

ADD INS:

  • turmeric– add a teaspoon as an anti-inflammatory
  • apple cider vinegar- add a teaspoon as an anti-bacterial
  • fresh lemon juice- add just a couple of drops for a boost of vitamin C. Too much acidity may burn, so keep the content minimal
  • ginger- grate a little from a ginger root to steep in the liquid. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Turmeric Curcumin

All Natural Alternative

ESSENTIAL OILS:

There are several essential oils that can help relieve your sore throat. The key is to use them properly and safely. Do not ingest them without the guidance of a naturopath and utilizing quality products. The best way to use them effectively, in this case, is:

  1. a) add drops to hot water and gargle. Do not swallow.
  2. b) add drops to boiling water and inhale the steam. Never put your face close to the water and always remove the pot from the stove before inhaling.

ADD INS:

  • peppermint oil- contains menthol, which helps soothe
  • eucalyptus oil- stimulates the immune system
  • juniper berry oil- contains powerful anti-oxidants
  • oregano oil- great for treating many types of infections
Top 6 Certified organic Essential Oils

Traditional Treatments and Thoughts

  • Get a ton of rest.
  • Eat soup. It’s soothing, and you can add all types of healing spices to your broth. Cloves and garlic are excellent suggestions and will add yummy flavor. Fresh veggies can help improve your immune responses too.
  • Drink tea. Stay away from caffeinated tea, actually all caffeinated beverages. You don’t need to rev up your system right now. Also, they dehydrate. The key is to stay as hydrated as possible. Chamomile is calming. Any teas with Echinacea and lemon will be perfect.
  • Use natural throat sprays and lozenges. It may be a slight challenge to find, but it will be worth it. Get a spray or drops you can suck on that have cooling effects. Anything with menthol will be nice. Try to avoid any product with sugar or even artificial sweeteners. Gelatin drops with lemon or honey are great.
  • Salt water is always a worthy go-to.

Good luck getting rid of your bug and your pain quickly! If it lasts for several days, you may want to check with your physician in case it’s bacterial (like strep.) Make sure to stay rested, eat well, and wash your hands with soap often. Hopefully, this will help prevent you from coming down with something you’d rather avoid in the future.

 

Are Flu Symptoms Worse for Men or Women?

When anyone catches the flu, man or woman, the first couple of days are plain awful. A new study, however, points out that cold and flu symptoms may actually be harsher (and last longer) for the females.

It’s the Most Germ-Filled Time of the Year…

The cold and flu season has begun, and contagious germs are making their rounds. Generally, when someone in the office gets sick, look out, it’s coming your way. If someone at home comes down with a cold or virus, you might as well stock up on the tissues and chicken soup now.

But according to recent research, it’s the women in the house who suffer the most and the longest.

Research Coughed This Up

Between 2009 and 2015, a study was conducted with over 700 participants at five specific military treatment centers. At the facilities, those serving in the military, along with their family members, were tested when they presented signs of a cold or flu.

The participants were swabbed so their illness could be identified. They each kept journals, rating the severity of the symptoms daily. After analyzing the results of all the journals, the researchers discovered that women suffered more.

Both men and women became infected at the same rate, but women’s symptoms lingered. For day one and two of the illness, both male and females reported similar aches, pains, fever, or discomfort. But by day three and beyond, the women’s symptoms tended to continue.

Slippery Slope and a Runny Nose

Because so much of the research was based on self-reporting, the results could be a tad incongruous. Were women more apt to be honest about their condition, while men “braved it out” and underreported symptoms? Were women simply more keen and in-tune to their symptoms? Some medical experts suspect that hormonal differences can play a part in how the body fights infections.

Avoid Being Part of the Research

Sometimes the seasonal bug is going to catch us regardless of how well we take care of our health. Thrive posted suggestions a couple of months back to help you avoid falling ill from the latest cold or flu. The key is to boost your immune system. Here are some ways of doing so:

1) Sleep. When you get tired, take a nap, or just tuck yourself in for the night. If you absolutely cannot, muddle through, get done what you must, try to get to bed as soon as possible. Do not pump up on coffee or other caffeine. That will falsely revive you and weaken your immune system.

2) Stay calm. It’s the time of year when stress builds; it could be the foreboding holiday worries, finances, kids and school, etc. When you feel yourself stressing out, remind yourself to shake it off. Do you want to get sick? No? Good. Then breathe, smile, take a bath, hug someone you love—and rest your weary self.

3) Drink lots of water and other non-sugary beverages. Keep flushing out. Stay hydrated.

4) Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day. Germs are everywhere. You can seriously avoid getting infected if you wash them away before they get you.

5) Eat fresh foods high in vitamins A, B, and C and zinc. Take supplements if you’re feeling especially vulnerable.

Best of health to you and your family this season!

Polio-like Virus Spreading: How To Help Your Family

There is an unknown virus that causes the brain to swell and may cause limb paralysis. It is spreading within the States. Getting informed about the sickness and how to best prevent it can possibly help your family avoid contracting it.

Cold, Flu, Other Virus?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported on November 1st that there have been 89 confirmed cases (mostly children) of AFM this year so far within 33 states. The illness was first observed in 2014, where there were 120 cases in 34 states. In 2015, the number of patients hospitalized decreased to under 30 in 16 states. Horribly, it seems as if AFM is making a comeback.

AFM is a syndrome, which stands for Acute Flaccid Myelitis. AFM is linked to particular germs including: West Nile, enteroviruses, and the virus that cause the common cold. Unfortunately, an otherwise healthy 6-year old boy from the Seattle area just died from the virus.

If a person develops AFM, he/she can have an abnormal reaction to even something as ordinary as a chest cold. The specific trigger is currently unknown, but scientists and infectious disease doctors aren’t ruling out anything.

What Does AFM Do?

Medical experts are quick to point out AFM’s symptoms having a likeness to those associated with polio. Both illnesses target the nervous system. In many cases, the virus can cause the brain to swell. Additionally, the spinal cord becomes inflamed and symptoms of weakness in the limbs, paralysis, and respiratory distress may occur.

A Rare Occurrence

Judging by the small numbers of those afflicted with the virus as compared to the US population, the illness would still be considered “rare.” However, a professor at John Hopkins University, Dr. Michael Milstone, admits that AFM is “scary.” It’s a polio-like sickness that can show up in otherwise healthy children.

Milstone’s prevention advice is to keep your children’s immune system boosted with proper rest, diet, and exercise. Always wash hands with soap and water. And avoid contact with others who are sick.

Other Things to Know

A spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Health revealed some pertinent information this week. They have identified nine cases in Washington, and none of them share a common infection or a link to one another.

There is also no evidence of a link between any vaccinations and the virus. Whether vaccinated or not, it has no bearing on whether it increases or decreases your risk for contracting AFM.

What Can You Do?

Take Milstone’s advice and stay as healthy as possible. Also, keeping hands clean is the most significant way to avoid contracting germs. Continue to vaccinate your children for deadly or disabling diseases.

If your child starts to show signs of weakness in the limbs, keep an eye out. Chances are it’s just lethargy. But if your kid has a cold and appears to have unusual symptoms like a limp or trouble holding his arms up, have a visit with your pediatrician to be on the safe side.

For other updates on current health news, check out www.GetThrive.com