Available for Interviews: Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an internal medicine physician, a work-life integration researcher, and an international expert on mind-body-spirit connection. She is also an international speaker and bestselling author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity.
What Dr. Dalton-Smith Can Say in an Interview on:
Treating the flu:
On top of the Coronavirus pandemic, the flu season is here too. Beginning in early fall to mid-spring, the number of diagnosed cases of the influenza virus begins to rise. In any given year 10-20 percent of the population will become infected with the flu. Characteristically the symptoms of the flu are very similar to the common cold; however, these two diseases are the result of different viruses. The flu often presents with fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, sneezing, and cough. The common cold, however, tends to have more sinus involvement with a stuffy or a runny nose and is much milder than the flu. The flu is more likely to result in progression to pneumonia or bronchitis which increases the mortality rate of this virus. The elderly and the young are most at risk.
The best defense against the flu is a healthy immune system. However, if you do contract the flu, the following are 6 helpful tips you may want to consider to help alleviate the symptoms.
Sometimes no matter what you do, you get exposed. A co-worker comes in sick, or a sick child spreads it to your kids at school. Regardless of how it happens, now the goal is to limit the spread of the virus and help heal the infected person. Below are a few tips to consider. REMEMBER: these are NOT to replace discussing your specific health care needs with your primary doctor and are no way meant to be my prescription for you. This information is for educational purposes only and should be used to aid your discussion with your healthcare provider.
- Ask if Tamiflu Is Right for You. Tamiflu is an FDA-approved anti-viral treatment for the flu. It is approved for individuals two weeks of age and older. It is reported to be most effective if taken within the first 48 hours of catching the flu and can reduce the amount of time you are sick. Tamiflu can also be used as a preventative medication for those who have been exposed to the flu but don’t have any symptoms yet. As with all prescription drugs, there are some potential side effect and you should discuss if Tamiflu is a good option for your specific situation.
- Discover Essential Oils. In the past few years, I have become more open to looking into natural alternative options to treat common illnesses. Below is a list of a few essential oils I personally use myself and with my family. I use these in a diffuser or combine with a carrier oil to apply to the affected body area. One book I recommend on essential oils is Healing Oils of the Bible.
- Peppermint for its ability to loosen up chest congestion and reduce coughing.
- Lavender for its calming effect and ability to decrease stress and fatigue as well as decrease headaches.
- Eucalyptus for fever reduction and for achy muscles.
- Thieves for its ability to support immune health and its antibacterial properties.
- Isolate the Infected Person. Flu is spread by droplets, meaning every time you cough or sneeze you are exposing others to it. It’s crucial to limit exposure to other. When visiting your doctor’s office or ER, ask for a mask to decrease the spread of germs. You should send a well family member if you need to get prescriptions or fever reduction medications from the pharmacy. Keep the flu-positive individual away from other healthy people. At home, you can try to isolate them to their bedroom since they will need the extra rest anyway. If that is not an option, you will need to be diligent in wiping down surfaces they share with other family members. Encourage the ill individual to practice good hygiene like coughing into their arm instead of their hand and washing their hands after blowing their nose or sneezing.
- Permissive Low-Grade Fever. This is a bit of a controversial topic, but one that my local infectious disease specialist has convinced me is a good thing. Often we jump to treat every little elevation in our temperature, but there are studies which suggest having a low-grade fever may not be such a bad thing. Allowing a permissive fever up to 100.5 degrees may help you heal faster as your body does what it was designed to do to protect you. As with all of these tips, use this information to open up the lines of communication with your doctor. Healthcare is a team effort between you and your provider, so don’t be afraid to bring additional questions and inject new information into the discussion. (See article below for more on this topic)
- Use Sick Days to Get the Rest You Need. I realize not everyone has sick days, but for those who do you should use them appropriately. Don’t hoard them up to use sometime in the future. Give your body the time it needs to heal. The body is designed to fight on your behalf against invading viruses and diseases. It can’t do its job effectively when you continue to push it to its max. That’s what those sick days are for, opportunities for you to rest and know the bills can still get paid this month. For those of us who do not have sick days (yep, I don’t have any either), it’s important to plan ahead and set aside some funds for those times when you will need to miss work. Explain to your employer you don’t want to come to work ill and infect everyone there. Then give yourself the chance to heal faster but resting, staying hydrated, and taking whatever medications you and our health provider deem necessary.
- Pray. Prayer has been shown to be an effective part of the healing process. I recommend my patients pray the healing promises found in the scriptures for themselves and their family members. In my 20 years of practicing medicine, I have seen everything from cancer to infections heal faster than medically expected with the only difference being fervent prayer. Check out my resource page for a list of healing affirmations you can use during your prayer time.
Interview: Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith runs a consulting and coaching business in Birmingham, AL that helps leaders and high-achievers reshape their view on change, communication, and self-care to optimize their personal and professional effectiveness. She is an international wellness expert and has been featured in numerous media outlets including Fast Company, FOX, MSNBC, Prevention, Psychology Today, Redbook, and Women’s Day. Dalton-Smith is also an international speaker, a CDC Wellness Series speaker, and hosts a podcast I Choose My Best Life. She is the author of numerous books including her newest bestselling Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, which includes ground-breaking insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness, overcome burnout, and live your best life. Over 100,000 people have discovered their personal rest deficits using her free assessment at RestQuiz.com. Learn more about her at: DrDaltonSmith.com.
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