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Winter advice from our doctor

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Confined spaces spread bugs

Dr Nick's Winter Health Advice

From our archive, Dr Nick speaks to Expatsradio.com about dealing with winter ailments and hopefully avoiding them!
How do we protect ourselves? He feels that good food including fresh vegetables and fruit will help enormously. Lots of fluids and anti-inflammatory drugs can help but there is no specific magic drug to stop the virus. The steps to take are to allow your immune system itself to do the work.
Influenza is the most common. There is a big campaign in many countries to immunise. People over 65 or with some underlying serious condition can get this injection to minimise effects. There is also a one-off injection for over 65's in the UK for pneumonia which should protect you for life.
With the colder weather we gather together in places and the virus spreads easily. Plane flights are another culprit. Anyone at risk should be aware of this.
Avian flu has been a big worry recently. What is the advice? There are anti-viral drugs but there is currently no policy for mass immunisation.
Dr Nick talks about asthma and bronchitis and tells us to use our inhalers and get our flu jabs early to prevent rather than treat what can be a serious illness. The cold can increase the risk of an accute attack.
Nick echoes Heather Hurley's advice to keep up the fresh vegetables and not overdo the comfort foods. We don't need the extra fats as we mostly don't burn up the calories. Keep up the fluids! Alcohol in moderation seems to be fine but beware excess that can lead to problems.
Arthritis is the last question dealt with and some of his patients ask for a prescription for a sunshine break! The wear and tear caused to our joints can produce a lot of pain when it gets cold. Keeping moving is the key as too much sitting still can make it even worse when you have to move.
Holding you weight down also eases the problem.
Doctors generally treat patients with anti-inflammatory drugs but prevention is becoming a new area of interest. One such treatment mentioned is to take glucosamin. This is said to support the cartillage and is generally side-effect free. Aspirin can upset your stomach but it is more under discussion when looking at heart treatment.
Dr Nick will be back again soon with more health information.
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