Cold and Flu Season with IBD
While cold and flu season may not raise any sort of concern for many people, those with IBD have to be extra cautious during this time. Here are some tips to help you prepare and get through cold and flu season.
Get Your Flu Shot!
IBD causes faulty cell autophagy which is the cleaning up of damaged cells as well as bacteria and viruses. This makes it much harder for the body to fight off infections.
Doctors may sound like a broken record after so many years, but getting a flu shot really is one of the best measures you take to help your body fight the infection. The flu shot not only decreases your risk of contracting the flu, but if you do get the flu, it decreases the severity and helps you heal faster. It may also be beneficial to get a pneumonia shot. IBD patients are more likely to suffer from complications due to the flu such as pneumonia. Talk to your doctor about this option to see if it may be right for you.
Hydrate, Take Your Vitamins, and Eat Healthy
Vitamins and probiotics help boost your immune system and stop the growth of harmful bacteria. It is important to hydrate with more than just water. You need to boost your electrolytes as well as potassium and sodium. You also need to properly nourish your body with good food. Not eating right won't give your body the necessary nutrients to heal and could also cause a flare.
Have Open Conversations with Your Employer
It can be difficult to call in sick to work. We live in a society that forces you to push through, but for IBD patients, ignoring cold and flu symptoms can only make things worse. Don't be afraid to talk to your boss about how the cold and flu viruses affect your differently and how it can take you longer to heal. Depending on your job, you may be able to organize an at-home working situation for when you are not feeling well.