Now that winter is well and truly upon us, you may find yourself wondering how to stay healthy at this time of year. Cold weather makes us want to bundle up and avoid sicknesses like the cold and flu. Our desire to preserve our health makes us think of advice we have heard from well-meaning friends or family members, or may have read somewhere.
Can you tell the difference between what is true and which pieces of advice are really winter health myths? Find out what the experts have to say on these important cold weather matters.
Six Winter Health Myths
1. Cold Weather Makes You Catch A Cold
If you have ever been told to come inside before you catch cold by a parent or grandparent, that person was sharing a common cold-weather myth. The only way you can catch a cold is by picking up the virus that causes the illness. More people get sick during the winter because they stay indoors. Closer contact means the virus can spread more easily.
2. Flu Shots Make You Sick
Some people have a reaction after getting a flu shot, but it doesn’t mean they have caught the flu. The vaccine is made from dead viruses, which can trigger an immune response. In some people the side effects include soreness, aches and a mild fever, which are “flu-like” symptoms.
3. Most Of Your Body Heat Is Lost Through Your Head
Researchers at the Centre for Health Policy (at Indiana University) argue that if this myth were a fact, people who go outside in cold weather would be just as cold if they didn’t have a hat as if they were not wearing a pair of pants, and we all know that is not the case. It is important to make sure that the fingers, toes, ears and nose are properly covered when the temperature is extremely cold to protect against frostbite however.
4. The Temperature Of Fluids You Drink When You Have A Cold Affects Healing
Once you swallow liquid, it warms up to your internal body temperature. Whichever temperature is easier to swallow and makes you feel better drinking when you have a sore throat or a cold, then go ahead.
5. You Should Feed A Fever And Starve A Cold
It’s important to keep the body well hydrated when not feeling well. Eating food as you can tolerate it will give you the energy you need to fight off the infection. Choose healthy foods like broths, vegetables and fruits. If you cannot tolerate large meals, eat small amounts throughout the day, but never try to “starve” when you are sick.
6. Antibiotics Will Cure A Cold
Colds are caused by viruses, and antibiotics are not an effective treatment against them. The body’s own defenses will fight off the infection in most instances. The best way to recover from a cold is to get extra rest, drink plenty of fluids and treat symptoms as required to stay comfortable.
Customized Compounded Medicines
If cold symptoms seem to linger longer than normal, consult a physician to rule out a more serious condition. Our compounding pharmacy can work with your doctor and provide alternative, customized formulations for prescriptions; including capsules, suspension liquids, topical pain gels and much more. We can create unique dosages and formulations for your medicines based on your individual needs.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your prescription medication needs!
Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.