Cold & Flu With SCI

1.8.2020
Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Backbones
Source: 
Backbones
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

“Illnesses that can be an inconvenience for able-bodied people can quickly become serious and debilitating for those living with spinal cord injuries,” says Mike Franz, a C6 quadriplegic. He gives the following tips for staying healthy during the flu season.

man blowing nose

“For those living with paralysis, especially those with higher level injuries that affect breathing, it is important to take action to prevent getting sick.”

Flu Shot 

First and foremost, Mike advises everyone to get a flu shot.  He states the shot is a cheap and effective way to protect oneself. Caregivers and loved ones helping those with spinal cord injuries should also get a flu shot to ensure everyone stays protected. 

Eating Healthy Diet And Getting Enough Rest

Mike’s next piece of advice to stay as healthy as possible is to eat a healthy diet and make sure you get enough rest. “Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and taking supplements can boost immune function and help with general well-being. Getting enough sleep is important to prevent the body and its systems from getting worn down and prone to infection,” he says.

“Exercise is well-known to be beneficial for the immune system.”

Stay Active 

It is important to stay as active as possible as exercise is beneficial for the immune system. “By staying strong in general, individuals will be in a better position to prevent illness, and if they do get sick, they will be more able to fight off infection,” says Mike.

Sickness

Unfortunately, sometimes sickness is unavoidable. Mike advises that if you do get sick to see your doctor immediately to prevent the infection from getting worse. If you are given antibiotics make sure to take the full dose prescribed to clear out the infection. If you have a weakened respiratory system Mike gives an example of an assisted cough in the original article. 

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