IllnessWe all get sick at some point. It’s simply a fact of life. Some 200 kinds of cold viruses lurk on everyday objects, and when someone comes down with an illness, it’s only a matter of time until more catch it—a lot more. Fortunately, you don’t have to take a cold lying down.

Here are some helpful points on how to treat colds, flu, sinus infections and other illnesses at home:

Get plenty of naps and lots of nourishment. The best way to battle the common cold is with one’s own innate defenses. The fatigue you feel is your body’s way of signaling the need for more rest. Similarly, a well-rounded diet revs up the immune system, giving it the upper hand over a nasty infection.

Skimp on sugar. Most of us are already aware that Americans get an awful lot of sugar in our everyday diets, but did you know that sweet stuff can keep you sick longer? The University of Wisconsin-Madison hospital system has stated that as little as 100 grams of sugar will slow white blood cell activity, hampering immune activity. The real kicker, though? Most of us get 200 grams or more daily. 

Keep the liquids flowing. Hydration matters, particularly when dealing with a fever. Drinking enough water should help loosen mucus and replace liquids lost to sweating. 

Pop zinc lozenges. Though the plethora of common-cold viruses out there makes it difficult to treat symptoms with prescription medications, one simple element can make a big difference: zinc. A study by The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal showed that zinc tablets or lozenges could reduce a cold’s duration by up to 40 percent.

Of course, you can’t handle every sickness at home. Some require prompt medical attention. If you don’t start to recover after a few days, experience extreme fatigue, have a high fever, or suffer from asthma, diabetes, or some similar health concern, see your family doctor or go to urgent care.

Our team at Washington Health Institute is here for you if you need us! Schedule an appointment today online or call 202-525-5175.