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Shorter Winter, Longer Spring?

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Spring is officially here, and the world around you is transitioning from winter to warmer weather. But, scientists say this transition appears to be lengthening. And, this could have significant environmental and economic consequences. "Historically, the transition into spring is comparatively shorter than other seasons," said Alexandra Contosta, a research assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire's Earth Systems Research Center. "You have snow melting and lots of water moving through aquatic systems, nutrients flushing through that water, soils warming up, and buds breaking on trees," she said in a university news release. "Something striking happens after a very cold winter or when there's been a lot of snow. Things seem to wake up all together, which is why spring seems to happen so quickly and can feel so dramatic," Contosta explained. But, ... Read more

Related support groups: Allergies, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

Parents Don't Always Head to Child's Doctor When Illness Strikes

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Many American parents don't count on getting a same-day appointment with their child's doctor and turn to other health care options when their kids are suddenly sick, a new survey finds. More than 2,000 parents of youngsters up to age 18 were surveyed in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. The parents were asked about trying to make a health provider appointment or to get health advice if their child woke up with a sore throat and fever. Forty-two percent of parents said they would take their child to an urgent care, retail clinic or emergency department. But another 42 percent said they would call their child's doctor for advice. More parents believed they could get same-day phone advice (60 percent) than get a same-day appointment with their child's doctor (53 percent). Only 10 percent of parents said they would use email to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Cough and Nasal Congestion

Health Tip: Identifying Signs of the Common Cold

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Feeling under the weather? It's important to know whether you the common cold or something more serious. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says common-cold symptoms may include: Sore throat. Cough. Sneezing and runny nose. Body aches. Headache. The common cold is most likely during winter and spring, though you can get a cold at any time. Symptoms usually subside in seven-to-10 days. Some people with a compromised immune system or respiratory problems may develop pneumonia as a complication. Read more

Related support groups: Headache, Migraine, Cough, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Cough and Nasal Congestion

Don't Skip Veggies in Winter

Posted 21 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can't eat fresh, healthy foods. There are five types of foods you should try to consume during the winter months, according to health experts at the Cleveland Clinic who offer these suggestions: While it can be hard to find local produce during the winter, root vegetables such as beets, carrots and turnips can withstand the cold and are available. Roast carrots to get a dose of beta-carotene, or boil turnips for vitamins A and C. Oatmeal provides nutrients that are essential during winter. It's high in zinc (important for your immune system) and soluble fiber, which is associated with heart health. Instant oatmeal is more convenient but also more expensive. If you're on a budget, choose old-fashioned oats. Soup is another good food choice in winter, but hold the cream, salt and beef. Try soup recipes that call for ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Sore Throat, A-25, Zostavax, Swine Influenza, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Gardasil, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Rabies Vaccine, Human Diploid Cell, Vitamin A, FluLaval, Hepatitis B Adult Vaccine, Immunodeficiency, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Twinrix, Measles Virus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Vitamin D Linked to Lower Risk of Respiratory Infections

Posted 16 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 – There's preliminary evidence that adequate amounts of vitamin D might help lower rates of respiratory infections. These infections include colds, bronchitis and pneumonia, the researchers said. In a review of past trials of people taking vitamin D supplements, researchers from Queen Mary University in London found that supplementation was linked to a 12 percent reduction in the proportion of people having an "acute respiratory infection." The researchers said their findings "support the introduction of public health measures such as food fortification to improve vitamin D status in settings where profound vitamin D deficiency is common." But not everyone agrees with the authors of the review, which was published Feb. 15 in the BMJ. The results are inconclusive and need to be confirmed in carefully controlled clinical trials, said Mark Bolland from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Cold Symptoms, Vitamin D Deficiency, Sore Throat, Caltrate 600 with D, Citracal + D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Citracal Petites, Oysco 500 with D, Rickets, Oyster Shell Calcium, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet, Calcium 600 D, Calcarb with D, Sedecal D, Os-Cal Calcium+D3, Calcio Del Mar, Calvite P

Health Tip: Protect Kids in Cold Weather

Posted 13 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Playing in the snow is one of the joys of winter, especially for children. But parents should take precautions to make sure little ones stay warm. Here are suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Establish limits on how long children can spend outdoors when it's very cold. When temperatures are particularly bitter, have children come inside at set times to warm up. Make sure children wear appropriate clothing, coats, mittens and hats to keep warm. Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

Skimp on Sleep and You Just May Wind Up Sick

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2017 – Ever noticed that when you try to "do it all," the one thing you can count on is getting sick? Now, a new study suggests why: if you don't get enough sleep, your immune system seems to suffer. The finding comes from a study of 11 pairs of twin adults. Each pair of twins had significantly different sleeping routines. The researchers found that the twin who regularly slept less also turned out to be the one with the less potent immune system. "This is the first study to show suppressed immune gene expression in chronic sleep deprivation," said study lead author Dr. Nathaniel Watson. He's a professor of neurology at the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle. That, added Watson, could explain why prior research has shown that "if you expose a sleep-deprived person to a rhinovirus they are more likely to get the common cold than a person who has ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Sleep Disorders, Klonopin, Insomnia, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Fatigue, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Diazepam, Temazepam, Cold Symptoms, Librium, Restoril, Xanax XR, Sleep Apnea, Sore Throat, Oxazepam, Immunosuppression

Dressing Baby for a Safe Winter Drive

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Feb. 5, 2017 – Winter can present challenges for parents trying to dress their children properly for the weather. This is especially true when the outing involves placing kids in child car seats, so a pediatricians' group offers some advice. Children should not wear bulky clothing underneath the harness of a car seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says. The force of a crash would flatten out the fluffy padding in winter coats or other such clothing. That would leave extra space under the harness, putting the child at risk of slipping through the straps and being thrown from the seat. Instead, dress your child in thin layers, the academy says. Start with close-fitting layers, such as long underwear, tights, leggings and long-sleeved bodysuits. Then add pants and a warm top, such as a sweater or thermal-knit shirt. A thin fleece jacket can then be put on top. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

Health Tip: Keep Kids Healthy During Winter

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- The winter months often mean more time indoors and more frequent illness. You may not be able to prevent all colds or the flu, but there are steps you can take to improve your family's chances of a healthier season. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises: Run a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room to help prevent nosebleeds from dry air. Saline nasal spray and petroleum jelly in the nostrils also may help. Make bath time less frequent, especially for infants. Don't bathe your baby more than three times a week. Make sure your child washes hands frequently with soap and water, and that the child coughs and sneezes into the elbow. Make sure all children aged 6 months and older get the annual flu shot. Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

Health Tip: Wash Hands Often

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Washing hands regularly is a great way to help keep you and your family well. The Environmental Working Group offers these hand-washing tips: Wash children's hands often, always before eating and after playing. Wash kids' hands more often if they tend to put their hands in their mouths. Antibacterial soap does not offer medically proven benefits over plain soap and warm water, an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found. Read ingredient labels on soaps, avoiding those containing triclosan or triclocarban. If washing with soap and water isn't possible, opt for a fragrance-free, alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Bacterial Skin Infection, Sore Throat

Health Tip: Feeling Under the Weather?

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Even if you're sick with a cold or the flu, don't neglect your teeth, the American Dental Association reminds us. The group offers these suggestions: Don't ever share your toothbrush, especially if you've been sick. It's usually not necessary to get a new toothbrush after you've been sick, unless you have a weak immune system or it's time to toss your brush anyway. If you're using cough drops, opt for sugar free. If you vomit, don't brush your teeth immediately afterward. Instead, swish with water or diluted mouthwash. Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth, which could harm teeth. Read more

Related support groups: Nausea/Vomiting, Vomiting, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Pseudoephedrine, Flonase, Phenylephrine, Sore Throat, Nasonex, Afrin, Nasacort, Ephedrine, Veramyst, Oxymetazoline, Omnaris, Viral Infection, Astelin, Azelastine, Phenylpropanolamine, Nasacort AQ

Why Winter Weather Brings More Flu

Posted 17 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – Winter's first chill may bring an unwelcome guest: flu outbreaks, a new study says. Researchers looked at data on weather and flu cases in Gothenburg, Sweden, and found that flu outbreaks occurred about one week after the first stretch of cold weather and low humidity. "According to our calculations, a cold week with an average temperature below zero degree Celsius [32 degrees Fahrenheit] precedes the start of the flu epidemic," said study researcher Nicklas Sundell. He's an infectious diseases specialist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, which is affiliated with the University of Gothenburg. "We believe that this sudden drop in temperature contributes to 'kick-start' the epidemic. Once the epidemic has started, it continues even if temperatures rise. Once people are sick and contagious, many more may become infected," Sundell said in a university news ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flucelvax, Fluzone Preservative-Free, FluMist Quadrivalent, Agriflu, Flucelvax Quadrivalent, Fluzone WV, Fluzone High-Dose, Fluogen, Flublok Quadrivalent, Influenza with Pneumonia, Fluzone Quadrivalent

Should More Kids Have Their Tonsils Out?

Posted 17 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – Because of stringent tonsillectomy guidelines, some kids who could benefit from tonsil removal surgery aren't getting it, two new reviews suggest. To qualify for the surgery, a child must have many recurring throat infections within a short span of time or severe sleep disturbances, said Dr. Sivakumar Chinnadurai, a co-author of the reviews. An evaluation of current medical evidence suggests more kids would receive significant short-term improvement in their daily life if the guidelines were relaxed, said Chinnadurai, a pediatric otolaryngologist with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Children experienced nearly half as many sore throats when they underwent a tonsillectomy, even if they didn't meet the guidelines, Chinnadurai and his colleagues found. The kids also missed fewer days of school and were less likely to need medical care. However, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Sleep Apnea, Sore Throat, Head & Neck Surgery, Surgical Prophylaxis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome

Debunking Winter Weather Myths

Posted 16 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 16, 2017 – A hot toddy may seem like a good way to stay toasty on a freezing day because it makes blood rush to your skin's surface. But drinking alcohol actually speeds heat loss, according to experts. That's just one common myth about winter and cold weather. Separating fact from fiction is key to avoiding cold-related complications like hypothermia and frostbite, researchers at the University of Rochester in New York said. Here's what they say you need to know: Warm clothes don't prevent viral illnesses. More than 200 germs cause the common cold. Bundling up may not help you avoid exposure to one of them. Wearing a hat is a good idea when temperatures tumble, but heat escapes from any part of your body that is exposed – not just your head. Heat loss from the head also depends on how thick your hair is and how much energy you burn in the cold. But kids lose much more ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Alcohol Dependence, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Alcoholism, Hangover, Viral Infection, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Flu Tightens Its Hold on the Nation

Posted 13 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2017 – The pace of flu activity continues to quicken across the United States, and probably hasn't peaked yet. That's the assessment of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is urging the most vulnerable – the very young, the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women – to get their flu shots before it's too late. "Even though activity is elevated, we are probably not at peak yet," Lynnette Brammer, a CDC epidemiologist, said Friday. "Even if we were at peak, you've still got half the season to go," she added. Right now, the heaviest flu activity is occurring along the East and West Coasts, Brammer said. "The Northwest has been hit harder and earlier, and activity could have peaked there, but we won't know that for a couple of weeks," she said. Only the center of the country has been largely spared, but Brammer expects flu activity to ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Influenza Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flucelvax, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Flucelvax 2015-2016, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent, Fluvirin 2015-2016, Fluzone WV, FluMist Quadrivalent, Fluogen, Agriflu

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