When you live with some form of chronic illness or pain, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from infections, viruses, and anything else that could put your already delicate health at risk. While the seasonal flu may be an uncomfortable hassle for most people, when you already struggle with chronic illness, be it CFS/ME, fibromyalgia, lupus, or any other condition, coming down with something as simple as a cold can be hugely uncomfortable and put you in a flare-up that’s difficult to shake off.
Use given tips to protect your health
Consider preventing flu in advance.
Once flu season rolls around it can be difficult to avoid infection, particularly if you work in an office or have children who bring home an exotic variety of illnesses from school. If your body is already under stress then the last thing it needs is to tackle a flu virus. You can speak to your doctor about receiving an afluria quad flu vaccine to immunize your body against some of the common strains of flu that may be circulating around this season.
Make sure your nutrient needs are covered
What you eat has an important role to play in how well your immune system functions. If you’re not getting a varied, nutrient-dense diet with immune-boosting vitamins like zinc and vitamin C, then your immune system may not be able to function as well as a healthy person. While this may sound sensible and simple in theory, it can be difficult in practice, particularly if you have a chronic illness that affects your gastrointestinal function or causes reduced appetite or nausea. In this case, incorporating nutritional shakes or high-quality multivitamin supplements can help.
Reduce stress as much as possible
While the link between stress and immune function may be mysterious, it’s something that scientists and doctors are increasingly recognizing as valid and significant. High levels or stress can also make you more vulnerable to contracting viruses and infections, so maintaining a peaceful mindset is key. You’ve probably noticed that stress can often cause your usual chronic illness symptoms to flare up, so that’s a great reason to start tackling it, too. Use techniques like meditation, yoga, creative expression, and light exercise (depending on your mobility levels) to combat stress and improve your state of mind.
Focus on hygiene.
One of the simplest ways to avoid picking up a virus while others around you are ill is simple hygiene practices. Washing your hands fairly frequently and every time you use the bathroom is an easy way to avoid catching illnesses from colleagues, friends, or family members. You can also carry around anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer if you want to go that extra mile to make sure your work space and body stays free from bacteria that could make you iller.
Don’t forget sleep hygiene
Getting a good night’s sleep can be tough when you’re chronically ill, especially if you’re in pain, but lack of sufficient rest puts your immune system under stress, so getting at least 8 hours is crucial. Put sleep hygiene techniques into practice if this is an issue, and talk to your doctor if you need more help getting a restful and refreshing sleep.