If you've been hit with a winter illness, do as the experts do—an approach made easier by the Wall Street Journal and HuffPost, which spoke with asked ear, nose, and throat specialists; pediatricians; and family doctors about what they turn to when they get sick. Among their advice:
- If you're congested, skip antihistamines that have diphenhydramine as an ingredient, as it can thicken mucus, making it tougher to cough up.
- Only take over-the-counter medicines for a few days in order to reduce your chance of experiencing side effects. One doctor notes that pseudoephedrine, which is in Sudafed, can up blood pressure over time.
- Consider using a squirt bottle containing distilled or boiled water and the salt solution packets sold at the drugstore to flush out your nasal passages. Don't use tap water, or plain water alone.
- Others take elderberry as a potential immune system booster, as well as extra vitamin C.
- Up your TLC: rest (naps are good), eat soup, stay hydrated.
- Up your nutrition, too. Avoid caffeine, eat good carbs for energy, and consume high-protein foods like chicken and peanut butter. Steer clear of alcohol.
(Read the full WSJ article
or the HuffPost one
for more tips, including one on making a bin of supplies each November.)