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Winter season, flu and herbal supplements

With the onset of the winter season and the cooling of the weather, there is an increase in the incidence of upper respiratory tract diseases. A large number of diseases, especially influenza, which affect the throat, tonsils and lungs, especially viral and some of them bacterial, threaten public health and lead to job loss.

Influenza is caused by viruses, and the fact that people prefer to be indoors more with the winter has an important place among the ways of transmission. The disease spreads quickly, especially in schools and working places. Although those in good general health can quickly get rid of the disease by resting and drinking plenty of fluids without the need for medical treatment. Medical treatment may be required for those with immune system weakness. The disease usually begins suddenly, with chills, fever, muscle aches and sneezing. After a short time, sore throat, dry cough, skin tenderness, pain in the eyes, weakness and headache can be seen. It is probably experienced in loss of appetite. Fever can also be seen with the flu and can generally last 3 to 5 days. Then, the disease subsides, but weakness and appetite disorder may continue for a while. Especially in people with weak immune systems; It can lead to serious consequences that can lead to death in children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases such as heart, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes. The flu, which leads to such serious consequences, is often compared with the common cold among the people.

There is no single "best" treatment for the flu, but there are many that can reduce symptoms. Today, there are also anti-viral drugs that are effective against the flu, but they should only be used after being prescribed by a doctor. When these drugs are used when flu symptoms first appear, they can reduce the duration of the disease and prevent the progression of the disease. However, in general, medications are prescribed to reduce uncomfortable symptoms such as fever, pain, nasal congestion, and cough in patients. In addition, saline nasal sprays can provide comfortable breathing through the nose and reduce secretions.

It is important to increase the body's resistance in order to prevent the disease. With this in mind;

· Eating healthy

· Doing light exercise every day

· If necessary, supplementing vitamins and minerals in consultation with a doctor or pharmacist

· Staying away from stress

· Not preferring indoor spaces when there is a flu epidemic, helps to protect against the flu.

In addition, in order not to spread the disease to others when you get sick, it may be useful to rest at home, wash hands frequently, sneeze into a tissue or inside your arm when sneezing, wear a simple mask, if necessary, drink plenty of fluids, and drink warm drinks. If fever occurs, it may be necessary to go to the doctor and take an antipyretic drug. If the cough develops and persists even though the flu has passed, an appropriate medicated treatment may be required depending on the type of cough.

One of the frequently discussed topics with the winter months is the flu vaccine. We cannot say that the vaccine will definitely prevent us from getting the flu. The flu vaccine is generally developed from viruses that have caused frequent epidemics in previous years. Therefore, it may not be able to protect against a new influenza virus that has changed its structure. However, it often provides protection and can reduce the duration and complications of the flu. Flu lover in general;

· Over 65 years old

· Those who have diseases such as heart, lung, kidney, diabetes, anaemia for a long time

· Those who use corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs

· It is recommended for those who work in shopping malls, hospitals and multi-communal living centres.

When we need medical care;

· If the symptoms of the disease become severe

· If you don't start to feel better within 1 week

· If all the symptoms of the disease do not completely disappear in four to five weeks or if it recurs

· Cough with phlegm or blood in the cough

· Pain in the chest or shortness of breath

· In cases of severe headache, sensitivity to light, skin rash, severe muscle pain, confusion, etc., a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Influenza during pregnancy;

Pregnancy can lead to a weakening of the immune system. This is especially important in terms of protection from infectious diseases. Influenza during pregnancy is a condition that should be considered for both the patient and her baby. Having the flu during pregnancy can quickly worsen and become more complicated by causing infections such as pneumonia. Especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, the pressure of the growing abdomen on the lungs increases and the capacity of the lungs decreases and the need for oxygen increases. Shortness of breath may develop, and the heart can beat more to pump the blood it needs to the tissues. In addition, influenza can lead to premature birth or miscarriage in pregnant women. In addition, influenza viruses have the potential to harm the foetus. For this reason, protection from the flu is more important for pregnant women. Staying away from the environment where the disease is present, drinking plenty of fluids, washing hands frequently, staying away from sick people are among the situations that pregnant women should pay attention to.

With the arrival of the winter months, various herbal remedies are also used in upper respiratory tract diseases such as flu, colds, etc., which are common diseases. In winter, garlic extract can provide protection against the flu by increasing the body's resistance. In addition to being used as a spice among the people, garlic is a plant whose effects have been shown as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulator. Sulphur compounds in its content inhibit the activation of NF-kB, which is responsible for immune and inflammatory reactions in T cells. Phagocytosis increases the activity of natural killer cells, the number of antibodies, the number of lymphocytes, which causes support to the immune system. However, it should not be forgotten that all kinds of treatments, whether herbal or medical, should be started under the expertise of a doctor and pharmacist and a doctor should be consulted in case of any changes or problems.

Although herbal medicines are expressed as natural and miracles of nature, it should not be forgotten that they contain many chemical active substances. These drugs should not be used without consulting a doctor or pharmacist. Because the person who uses it may be allergic to the plant or various substances in it, may interact with the drugs he is using, may worsen the patient's existing disease, may cause disruption in his treatment, may damage organs such as liver, kidney, heart, etc. For this reason, herbal medicines and teas should not be used randomly, with information obtained over the internet, recommendations of various people, advertisements of television or other media organs. It is more accurate to prefer herbal medicines sold in pharmacies that have sufficient information on them, whose effect has been defined and proven, and whose dose, usage method and duration are known.


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