June 27th, 2019

To Your Health: Got a cold? Give it a rest

By Medicine Hat News on March 4, 2019.

Our busy lives do not easily accommodate the need for plenty of rest when we are ill and that could be to our own detriment.

When you come down with a cold, medical advice is often about ensuring you drink lots of liquids and get lots of rest. Sometimes it is called bedrest to perhaps emphasize that “rest” does not just mean taking it a little easier than usual.

Most of us make an effort to drink more but without anyone else to fulfill your obligations and give you a break, many of us soldier on without the rest. Some of that may also be because it is hard to immediately see the payoff for the “rest.”

I had a conversation on this topic with a registered nurse last week. She felt it is time to heed the advice about rest and reap the benefits.

Allowing your body time to recover can speed up the healing process and you will feel better sooner.

Giving your body a rest allows it to focus attention on the areas of your body that need to recover instead of just helping you to keep going even if it is at diminished capacity.

Getting plenty of rest does not mean you have to stay home from work for an extended period necessarily, although keeping a distance while you are infectious is a good idea. Even one day of lying on the bed, in bed, or on the couch, can make a difference. If you are not able to do that, try getting to bed immediately after supper or as soon as the kids are in bed. Two or three additional hours in bed is a good start.

There are a lot of people struggling with colds and influenza in our area at the moment. Earlier in the flu season the dominant strain was Influenza “A” H1N1 which affects younger people more than seniors and this year’s vaccine was a good match for it.

For weeks it looked as though our area was going to get off lightly this year.

That was not to be and the strain being identified now with lab tests is Influenza “A” H3N2 and this is affecting more seniors.

It is even possible to have had H1N1 earlier this season and then get H3N2. Sorry that is not very good news and hopefully this will apply to very few individuals.

Here’s hoping you are getting off lightly, that you take some bed-rest if you are ill and here’s To Your Health.

To Your Health is a weekly column by Gillian Slade, health reporter for the News, bringing you news on health issues and research from around the world. You can reach her at gslade@medicinehatnews.com or 403-528-8635.

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