Cold and flu season isn’t welcomed by anyone, but still it’s common to catch a virus at least once a year. The typical cold or flu can leave you sniffling, coughing, chilly and achy, fatigued, or feverish. Being ill is never a walk in the park, but when you have a chronic illness, catching a cold often makes it exponentially worse.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid is underactive. When thyroid hormone production drops, your body’s processes slow down and change, including your immune system.
Being predisposed to catching an illness can make cold and flu season daunting, however, there are some preventative measures you can take in order to try and remain healthy.
Vitamins may help to boost your immune system, especially if your levels are found to be deficient.
Vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system. Being deficient in vitamin A causes many of the same symptoms of hypothyroidism. Vitamin A is found naturally in foods such as sweet potato, carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
Zinc is also a germ-fighting supplement. It can be found in brand name lozenges or pills that may help reduce the length of your illness if you do come down with a cold.
Vitamins D, K, and E also boost your immune system. Vitamin D is usually produced when your body is exposed to sunlight, but this may be impossible during the winter months. Therefore, you may have to turn to a supplement. Vitamin K can be found in kale, spinach, and even prunes. Increase your vitamin E by ingesting nuts such as pine nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. How you nourish your body can have a big impact on your health.
Getting physical exercise can be difficult during the winter, and it can be compounded by the relentless fatigue of hypothyroidism. But getting in a little activity each day may help to keep your immune system strong.
Rest is an important component to getting well. Your body is using lots of energy not only to fight the effects of your chronic illness but also battle the cold or flu virus. If you can, take some time off work, hold off on your daily exercise routine, and get some help with the household chores and the kids.
Low thyroid hormone levels directly affect the skin. This can cause a variety of changes, including dryness, thickening, or scaling. The effects of hypothyroidism can also cause you to lose hair on your scalp, face, and body.
As such, it’s important to drink lots of water on a daily basis, and when you are ill, you’ll likely want to up your water intake (especially if you have a fever) to ward off dehydration.
Often hypothyroid patients struggle with cold intolerance. It is important to keep your temperature levels in check so that your metabolism functions properly and your body temperature is regulated.
When you are well, taking vitamins and supplements, as well as regularly getting physical exercise may help to prevent you from catching a cold or the flu.
If you’re sick, stay home if you’re able. Avoid spreading your germs and have mercy for those who are already up against chronic illness.
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