Everybody’s Sick! What Do You Do?

Two of my favorite people in the world welcomed twins into their family back in July. They are amazing parents — at least in my humble opinion. It certainly doesn’t seem easy to have twins, but they make it look good. This month, they both got sick. Some sort of upper respiratory crud — not the flu, hopefully, because everybody had their flu shots — that lingered on and on, sapping energy on top of making them feel miserable. I was talking to mom as they were starting to get better… and she commented that she practically hadn’t seen dad … Continue reading

Staying Warm (and Why It’s Important!)

Winter “officially” starts on December 21st for the Northern Hemisphere… but it’s cold right now here in the Pacific Northwest. With the economy the way it is at the moment, it might be tempting to try to keep energy bills lower by keeping the house cooler than you might normally like it. Here are some tips to help you keep warm if you’ve got the thermostat set low. Number one: Check doors for drafts. If you can see daylight around your door, then the cold air can get in. Think about weather stripping or a draft stopper to help keep … Continue reading

FDA Warns Against Certain Zicam Products

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to the makers of Zicam concerning two products: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs. (A third, discontinued product was also mentioned.) In response, the makers of Zicam withdrew the two products from the market, pending review with the FDA. It’s important to note that other products in the Zicam line are not included in this warning, and have not been recalled. What’s the problem? The FDA has received more than 100 reports of people using the Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Cold Remedy … Continue reading

Health: Should You Exercise When Feeling Under The Weather?

Many health experts feel that the answer to this question is a big NO. However, sports enthusiast experts claim otherwise. When facing this exercising dilemma you need to establish just how ill you are and what areas of the body are affected. If you are afflicted with your basic, run of the mill type cold, you can and should do some light to moderate exercising to help prevent the loss of muscle. It will not hurt you to do this, but do so with caution and with a less than normal routine. If you find that you cannot handle it … Continue reading

Holidays and Health

I made it through Thanksgiving without my usual holiday problem. But the winter holidays are upon us and my body is showing signs of impending doom. Ever since I started college, I’ve experienced a weird phenomenon: I tend to fall ill around the holidays. I figure it’s partly due to stress (final exams, racing around to do shopping, preparing for family gatherings) and partly due to the fact that my subconscious KNOWS that it’s got a few days off coming. The perfect time to give in to whatever bug is going around, right? Right. Because the sore throat, cough, and … Continue reading

Where Coughing Comes From

Coughing is a common ailment that sends plenty of people running to the doctor’s office. Occasional coughing can be good for you — it can clear out particles in the lungs that can lead to infection. Persistent coughing isn’t quite so helpful. Most of the time, a cough is a symptom of something else. Maybe you’ve got allergies or post-nasal drip. Maybe a medication (like a nasal spray) is making your throat irritated. Maybe something more serious — like a heart condition, serious sinus infection, the flu, or gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) — is hiding behind that cough. Your doc will … Continue reading

Why Being a Hermit was Good for My Health

Okay… I’m partly joking with that title. I’m also partly serious. I’m also feeling grumpy because I caught a cold from my coworkers at the cats only boarding facility — two of my coworkers were sick this week, but came to work anyway because we had a full house. Now I’m home sniffling, sneezing, and building a mountain of used tissues next to the bed! Definitely not how I wanted to spend my Saturday. Since March 2006, I’ve been doing the freelance writing thing as a full time job. It’s great in so many ways — I set my own … Continue reading

Beat Colds and Flu Faster

Do you ever feel like your body WANTS to be sick? Over the last week or so, I’ve been feeling the first hints that there may be a cold on the horizon: a scratchy throat, a drippy nose, and a general feeling of fatigue. Here are some tips to help you beat colds and flu faster this winter! Work on your resistance. When I start to feel crummy, I reach for my Echinacea and goldenseal supplements — but there are lots of different options out there! Check your local health food store or the vitamin section of your favorite pharmacy … Continue reading

Eight Great Ways To Beat A Winter Cold

Gargle with warm water — or better yet, warm salt water. Why? Because gargling can help flush out mucus that drains from the sinuses down your throat. And the water will help hydrate the cells at the back of your throat. If the cells there are dry, they will be less effective at keeping germs out of your respiratory tract. Drink hot tea. Researchers from Harvard University found that tea drinkers have immune system responses that are FIVE TIMES faster than coffee drinkers’. Why? Tea contains catechins, which may help your immune system spring into action against viruses. Another study … Continue reading

The Most Frugal Moisturizer That Really Works

The dry winter season has arrived, and with it comes dry, cracked skin. From dry patches to flaky skin, and faces that appear sunburned but are windburned, it becomes harder to keep skin feeling moisturized. There are several quite frugal ways to help keep your skin looking its best this season. And there are two products most people already have that I swear by, especially for those with severely dry skin. Vaseline Often overlooked for what it was intended for, a moisturizer, Vaseline is an amazing addition to your nightly routine. By morning skin should feel healthier and after a … Continue reading