It can be a nightmare trying to avoid bugs and colds in winter. And it can be even trickier when you or your child has a low immune system. In the most recent issue of our Metabolic Matters magazine, we shared some tips on staying well this winter, which we also want to share with you on our blog!
Get a Good Bedtime Routine Going
Getting to bed on time can be a constant struggle , whether it’s because it’s a challenge getting your kids into bed or because of your busy schedule! However, getting a good night’s sleep can be essential to staying well and being able to fight off any potential bugs!
To get a good night’s sleep, consider setting an alarm an hour before you need to be in bed, to prompt you to get ready for bed and unwind for a good night’s sleep!
There are also several sleep apps, which can give you suggestions on how you can improve your sleep. Some apps can even track when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep, and when is best to wake you up in relation to your alarm clock. So, you never have to wake up all groggy again! You can find some suggestions for sleep apps on the following link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317816.php
Eat Well this Winter!
When the days are cold and dark, you just want to snuggle in front of the fire with a blanket and a hot chocolate; and eating healthily can be the last thing on your mind. However, eating healthily can help our immune system fight off colds and illnesses. If you’re looking for advice on how to eat healthily, check out the NHS Eat Well website, which has lots of tips for eating well: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
If you have an Inherited Metabolic Disorder, you may need to follow a specific diet. In that case, make sure you follow the diet advised by your doctor, as these diets will help keep you at your healthiest. For low-protein diets, we have compiled a list of sites, on which you can find recipes for low-protein meals. You can find this information here: https://www.metabolicsupportuk.org/national-baking-week-ready-steady-bake/
Promote Good Hand Hygiene
80% of diseases are transferred by touch, making good hand hygiene essential to keeping well. If you or your child has a low immune system, make sure you wash your hands before eating food and after visiting the bathroom. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to wash their hands before shaking hands with you, or touching you. After all, you don’t want to risk becoming unwell by something that could be avoided. Plus, people should understand, if you explain your condition.
Another idea is to print off leaflets and posters about good hand hygiene, to distribute in your workplace or school, to remind people that this can save a life. You can find posters on good hand hygiene on the following link: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/5moments-posters/en/
Equally, encourage people, who develop a cold or illness, to stay off work or school, to avoid them passing bugs onto those with a low immune system. You can download our “Save a life by staying at home” infographic here:
Flu is a very dangerous virus and can be deadly to those with a low immune system. The flu vaccine is free on the NHS to vulnerable patients and their Carers. Having the flu vaccine can be wise, to ensure you don’t pick up this deadly virus. However, please speak to your GP and Metabolic team before having the flu jab, as it can have adverse side effects on some people, although this is rare.
Have a Good Relationship with your School or Workplace
Having a good relationship with your school or workplace can be essential to keeping well. Make sure they tell you when there has been a viral outbreak. So, you can take extra precautions when bugs are going around. Also, make sure everyone at your school or workplace knows your emergency regimen. So, that if you fall ill, they know what to do.
Monitor How You or Your Child is Feeling
If you or your child feel feverish or lethargic, don’t ignore it. Call your Metabolic team and organise an appointment, to make sure you’re okay and that your ill health doesn’t turn into a longer hospital admission.
We hope these tips help and that you’re able to avoid winter illnesses and colds this year! For further support with avoiding illnesses this winter, please contact our Core Services team on 0845 241 2173 or firstname.lastname@example.org If you are feeling unwell, please contact your Metabolic team as soon as possible.