When you are lying in bed or sitting on the sofa at home wishing you weren’t ill. You just want to go to bed and sleep to forget everything for that little moment of time. From time to time we all feel sorry for ourselves, especially with chronic or long-term sickness.
Here are a few ideas on how to cheer up your loved ones and bring a little smile:
Keep Your Distance. Why not send an uplifting bouquet of flowers or leave a care package at her doorstep? Send a quick text message or post on socials. Just remember – while it may feel odd and callous to you not to visit her face-to-face, most likely she would rather stay in bed than try to have a conversation.
Take on the to-do list. Help by offering to take on a task or two – maybe walk the dog, shop for food, or pick up kids from school. Every little task you can take off will be a huge blessing; you can believe it!
Be Warm. Think about your friend and what seems to comfort them in tough situations. Maybe a long soak in a warm tub with a great book? Or a nice cupp a tea? Personalised gifts will not only comfort her aching body, but will also warm her heart.
At this time of year as the nights draw in common colds and flu associated with the cold weather start to appear. This doesn’t help anyone with respiratory illnesses. Christmas also brings on added stress and also excitement that may trigger asthma attacks.One of the best things you can do to make sure you have a symptom-free Christmas is to plan ahead.
Make sure you stock up on much needed medicines. Take extra care when you purchase your all important Christmas tree which can trigger attached even in artificial trees whereas real trees carry mould that breathes in warm areas so if you can place your tree in a cool area this would be better.
If you’re planning to travel this Christmas – whether it’s to visit friends or family, or go on holiday – planning ahead can help prevent problems and help you make the most of your festive time away. Small things such as dust can trigger asthma when staying at friends and family houses. Carrying anitihistamines can help or explaining to family to dust down and vacuum before you stay could help.
If you are travelling abroad then be sure to plan in advance as many places are not open all the time. Our team of experts will help plan your medical oxygen needs leaving you to enjoy and relax your special memories with your friends and family.
A new study shows that when women exercise, their body processes oxygen a lot faster than men’s. This indicates superior aerobic fitness, explain the researchers. In other words, women may be naturally fitter than men.
But new research challenges the traditional belief that men are athletically superior to women. In fact, by measuring women’s response to aerobic training, a new study suggests that the opposite may be true.
The new study examined sex differences in the body’s response to aerobic fitness; more specifically, it focused on how sex affects the body’s ability to process oxygen once it starts to exercise.
Thomas Beltrame, from the University of Waterloo in Canada, led the research, and the findings were published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Oxygen uptake is a standard measure of aerobic fitness, and it describes the amount of oxygen that the body can take in and use per minute.
As the American College of Sports Medicine explain, our oxygen consumption rate “provides a measure of the maximal ability to perform high-intensity aerobic work, [and] is strongly associated with performance and health.”
Therefore, a higher rate of oxygen processing means that women may be less prone to muscle fatigue and more likely to perform better athletically. They may also be more resilient, as higher oxygen processing also indicates a lower perception of physical effort.
“The findings are contrary to the popular assumption that men’s bodies are more naturally athletic,” Beltrame says.
Breathing oxygen at a higher-than-normal air pressure might ease some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, if recent research done in mice has the same results in humans.
Mice genetically engineered to develop some human features of Alzheimer’s disease showed significant reductions in physical and behavioral symptoms after 2 weeks of daily treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
This was the result that a team hailing from the University of Tel Aviv (TAU) in Israel reported in a paper that was published recently in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.
HBOT is a type of treatment during which the person breathes oxygen at a pressure that is greater than normal air pressure. The treatment, which is delivered inside a pressurized chamber, can cause the lungs to absorb up to three times more oxygen than usual.
The researchers note in their study paper that, while HBOT “has been used successfully to treat several neurological conditions,” its effects on Alzheimer’s disease “have never been thoroughly examined.”
In a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that they custom-built for the small animals, the researchers gave the transgenic mice 1 hour of HBOT every day for 14 days. They also gave another group of normal mice (the controls) the same treatment.
After this, the team observed the mice as they completed a number of behavioral tests. They also examined their brain tissue for effects of the treatment on the physical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. They compared the results with the control mice.
The researchers’ analysis showed various biological and biochemical signs that HBOT had reduced inflammation in the brain.
The team suggests that the findings show that HBOT shows promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, especially given that it “is used in the clinic to treat various indications, including neurological conditions.”
The festive fir in the corner of your living room harbours mould, which can aggravate the lungs.
Leading charity Asthma UK has urged people to be vigilant over the Christmas period.
Their data shows around 300 people are admitted to hospital on Christmas Day each year, suffering severe attacks, that could be linked to the festive favourite.
Mould that naturally grows on your tree can multiply in the warm temperatures of your living room.
And fake trees aren’t the safe alternative they may seem to be, gathering dust and mould in the loft, that can aggravate the lungs.
But, those with allergies as well as asthma sufferers should be alert to the dangers, Asthma UK urged. The moulds are naturally occurring on the trees, but flourish when they are inside our toasty warm homes in the winter.
But the charity also warns that both real and fake trees can also pose a threat.
Fake trees are a great alternative if the allergens that form on a real tree cause you too many breathing difficulties.
But artificial trees, and decorations, can gather dust and mould when they are kept in storage for the year which can cause a flare-up of symptoms when you put it up.
So it’s a good idea to wipe them down when you pull it out of storage and wrap them in plastic to keep the dust at bay when you put them away again.
As any commuter will tell you, the threat of catching a cold is everywhere – from your sniffling co-passenger to that handrail everyone’s been touching. And it’s not just paranoia; one study by the University of Nottingham in 2011 found those who use public buses or trams were up to six times more likely to catch the common cold.
In fact, up to 15% of the population will be struck down with a cold virus during the winter months, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Here are some top tips to help you avoid picking up a cough or cold on public transport this winter.
As sneezes and coughs can travel a large distance very quickly, standing sideways to them is safer than standing directly opposite. If they do sneeze or cough, try not to breathe in for a few seconds.
Surfaces like handles, buttons and handrails are key places for cold viruses to linger, but whether you pick them up depends on the length of time the virus has been on the surface, the amount of virus deposited by an infected person and, if you then transfer the bugs by touching your eyes and nose, the ‘optimal portal’ for entry.
If you see a sick person touching certain surfaces, avoid contact with the same ones but if you have to, definitely don’t touch your nose or eyes afterwards.
There is no particular ‘hotspot’ for colds and other viruses on public transport; it can be any place where people’s hands leave behind a reasonable amount of virus that will then be touched by another person. Be aware of escalator handrails, ticket machines, maps, etc too, not just the handrails on the bus or Tube.
When you’re on the go, use an alcohol-based antibacterial hand gel, known to kill viruses, after taking public transport. However, washing your hands with soap and water is best, so do that when you arrive at work or get home. If you’re really worried, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down any handrails with an antiseptic wipe.
Try to sit in emptier areas such as the back of the bus, or in train carriages which are less full than others – this minimises your risk of sitting near infected people.
If you are on a train with windows, try to open them to get as much ventilation as possible – this reduces your risk of breathing in airborne viruses.
And if you’re the one with the cold? Stay at home – as well as protecting your fellow commuters, your colleagues will thank you for not spreading those germs all around the office too.
The best supplements to take during cold winter months include vitamin D due to the lack of sunshine.
However, a new study has found that topping up on the essential vitamin could also protect against severe asthma attacks too.
Asthma attacks can be more prevalent during winter because cold air in the airways can cause them to go into spasm, according to Asthma UK.
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London discovered that people who took oral vitamin D supplements in addition to standard asthma medication could halve their risk of an asthma attack that required hospital attendance.
“On average, three people in the UK die from asthma attacks every day.
While getting vitamin D from sun exposure is the most efficient way to absorb it, people can struggle to get enough during the winter months and there is also the risk of skin cancer.
Exercise is a fanastic way to help strengthen muscles and improve heart function all at the same time. It will also give a person overall health benefits and motivation to feel good.
So how does this help you if you have a condition like asthma?
There are breathing exercises that, like aerobic exercises, can strengthen the lungs to relieve asthma symptoms or, in some cases, even prevent the recurrence of asthma attacks.
To make up for the lessened functionality of the lungs through asthma, the body uses other muscles for breathing – such as your neck, back and chest. This, however, doesn’t assist with breathing; it only adds more stress to your body, which is not good for people living with asthma.
With the following breathing exercises, asthma patients can strengthen their lungs and, thus, improve their breathing.
Pursed-Lip Breathing With a pursed lip, breathe into your nose and breathe out at least twice through your mouth.
Belly Breathing Breathe into your nose and breathe out through you mouth at least two times. Make sure that each exhale is as long as your inhale. This helps with training your diaphragm to do most of the work while breathing, which builds up the strength to fill and empty your lungs.
If you begin to feel dizzy while practicing any of these exercises, stop immediately.Once you feel better, try again. If the dizziness continues, you should contact your doctor for help.
Coughing and experiencing a lack of breath and slow breathing be just down to age. You may never have smoked but you could still develop or be at risk for COPD and other lung diseases.
“While about 80% of COPD cases are related to having smoked, 20% are not,” says Dr. Bartolome Celli, a pulmonologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
COPD includes emphysema and severe asthma causing inflammation, destruction, or abnormal repair of airways and lung tissue, which reduces airflow and ultimately makes it harder to take in enough oxygen to supply the body.
Symptoms include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, frequent respiratory infections, fatigue, excess phlegm, and even a blue tint to the lips or fingernails. But many of these are brushed aside.
“People may feel their symptoms are normal consequences of aging or having smoked. They don’t look for help until later in the course of the disease,” says Dr. Celli.
Early detection and prevention are key by quitting smoking; decreasing your exposure to air pollutants; getting vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia; and getting the medications necessary. References (www.health.harvard.edu/COPD).