Posted by on January 26, 2013 - 11:03am

If you're suffering from a cold, the flu, or another virus, there are things you can do to help relieve the symptoms, but taking antibiotics will not help. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat.  Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem that is primarily being caused by the repeated and improper use of antibiotics.

You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking these actions:

Don't take antibiotics for viral infections, such as colds or the flu.
If you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, take the full course of treatment even if you begin to feel better after a few days.
If you need to stop taking a course of antibiotics for some reason, discard leftover medication--do not save it for a future illness.
Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else.
If your healthcare provider determines that you do not have a bacterial infection, ask about ways to relieve your symptoms.  Don't pressure your provider to prescribe antibiotics.

Posted by on August 17, 2012 - 6:56am

According to a recent study, exercising or practicing meditation may be effective in reducing acute respiratory infections. Acute respiratory infections, which are caused by influenza and other viruses, are very common illnesses and account for millions of doctor visits and lost school and work days each year. Previous research has suggested that enhancing general physical and mental health may offer protection against these illnesses. Findings from this NCCAM-funded study were published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison randomly assigned 154 people, aged 50 and older, to one of three groups: a mindfulness meditation group, an exercise group, or a wait-list control group. Participants in the meditation group received training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (a type of meditation based on the idea that an increased awareness of physical, emotional, and cognitive manifestations of stress may lead to a healthier mind-body response to stress). Participants in the exercise group received instruction and practiced moderately intensive exercise (using stationary bicycles, treadmills, and other equipment) during group sessions, and walked briskly or jogged for home exercise. Both interventions lasted 8 weeks, consisting of 2.5-hour group sessions each week and 45 minutes of daily at-home practice.

The researchers observed substantial reductions in acute respiratory illness among those in the exercise group, and even greater benefits among those in the meditation group. While not all of the observed benefits were statistically significant, the researchers noted that the magnitude of the observed reductions in illness was clinically significant. They also found that compared to the control group, there were 48 percent fewer days of work missed due to acute respiratory infections in the exercise group, and 76 percent fewer in the meditation group. Researchers stated that these findings are especially noteworthy because apart from hand-washing, no acute respiratory infection prevention strategies have previously been proven. The researchers concluded that future studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Posted by on December 5, 2010 - 1:48am

We've all heard lots of reports about the flu and flu vaccine but are you game to check your knowledge?   Click HERE to learn what you really know about the flu!

No doubt about it.   The flu season is here---especially in the Northern Hemisphere.   With global travel, all you readers in the warmer climates could easily be at risk as snow birds head to your fair lands.    The general consensus among health professionals and public health agencies is to get a flu shot....every year.  If you have a chronic condition it's even more important.  December 5-11, 2010 is National Influenza Vaccination Week and there will be a lot of agencies offering flu vaccinations in your community. Please take advantage of the opportunity.

If you want to learn more about the risks, symptoms, and treatment of the flu, click HERE for guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).