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How to Get Well Fast 2022

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When you're not feeling well, all you can think about is how to feel better fast. It's helpful to already have a strategy and supplies on hand, so when sickness strikes you'll know what to do. You'll need nourishing food, plenty of hydrating fluids, some medications or herbal remedies, and distractions to keep boredom at bay. Whether you're injured or ill, knowing how to take care of yourself can help put you on the road to a fast recovery.

Steps

Method 1 of 3:Treating an IllnessDownload Article

1Stay hydrated. When you're sick, it's important to drink a lot of fluids. Water is the best beverage for staying hydrated, but juice and hot tea will also help.

Staying hydrated can help loosen mucus in your sinuses.

Hot beverages like tea can help relieve a sore throat and sinus problems, including runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Adding honey may help further soothe a sore throat.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Diluted sports drinks (mix one part water with one part sports drink) and electrolyte solutions can replenish essential minerals that may be lost through vomiting, sweating, or diarrhea.

Avoid alcohol, coffee, and soda.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

2Use steam therapy. Steam can help soothe sore throats and nasal congestion.Trustworthy SourceUS Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. government agency responsible for promoting public healthGo to source You can use cool mist from a humidifier, or hot steam from a warm shower.Trustworthy SourceUS Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. government agency responsible for promoting public healthGo to source You can also pour a bowl full of hot water and drape a towel over your head while breathing the steam from the bowl.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

3Gargle with saltwater. Rinsing your throat with saltwater can help soothe a sore or scratchy throat.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source To make an effective saltwater rinse, mix about half a teaspoon of salt in an eight ounce glass of warm water. Gargle, rinse, and repeat as necessary.

This method is not as effective for children younger than five. Often they are too young to know how to properly gargle.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

4Flush out your sinuses. Mucus buildup caused by colds and allergies can be painful, and may lead to infections.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source Blowing your nose offers temporary relief, but nasal irrigation can help remove pollen, dust, and dander, and may help reduce the chances of a sinus infection.Trustworthy SourceUS Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. government agency responsible for promoting public healthGo to source

Irrigating the sinuses can help relieve some cold symptoms, offering quick relief from a stuffy or runny nose.

When flushing your sinuses, you must use sterilized or distilled water. You can buy a sterile solution at the drugstore. If this is not available, you can sterilize water by boiling it for five minutes, then allowing it to cool.Trustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source

There are many different types of sinus irrigation products available. Do not flush your sinuses if you are experiencing a fever, nosebleed, or severe headaches.Trustworthy SourceUS Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. government agency responsible for promoting public healthGo to source Consult your physician to determine whether sinus irrigation can help you with your ailment.

If you're not comfortable flushing your sinuses, you can also try using over-the-counter saline sprays. These products are simply squirted into the nostrils to soothe irritation and relieve stuffiness.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

5Take medicine. Over-the-counter medications can help relieve the symptoms of a cold or flu, and may help you get to sleep at night to ensure a restful sleep; however, children under six years of age should not be given any over-the-counter cold or cough medicine unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician.

Antihistamines help reduce the body's response to allergens and can reduce runny noses and sinus congestion. Common antihistamines include cetirizine (Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Claritin).

Cough medicine is available as both an antitussive, which suppresses the body's need to cough, and cough expectorants, which increase the production and secretion of mucus. A common antitussive is dextromethorphan (Triaminic Cold and Cough, Robitussin Cough), and the most common expectorant is guaifenesin (Mucinex, Robitussin Chest Congestion).Trustworthy SourceFamilyDoctor.orgFamily-focused medical advice site run by the American Academy of Family DoctorsGo to source

Decongestants can help reduce congestion and open up nasal passages. This type of medication is often combined with antihistamines, cough suppressants, or pain relievers, and can be found in brands like Afrin and Sudafed.

Pain relievers and fever reducers can help treat body aches, headaches, and fevers. Common pain relievers include aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.Trustworthy SourceFamilyDoctor.orgFamily-focused medical advice site run by the American Academy of Family DoctorsGo to source Note that aspirin should never be given to children or teenagers, as it has been linked to a serious and potentially-fatal condition called Reye's syndrome.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

6Try taking supplements. Studies have shown conflicting results on how effective vitamin supplements are in treating colds and illness. Some experts recommend vitamin C and zinc to help strengthen the immune system, but studies suggest that vitamin C must be taken consistently (not just at the beginning of an illness) to effectively strengthen the immune system. Care must be taken when using zinc supplements, as taking more than 50 mg per day over an extended period of time may cause health problems.

7Experiment with herbs. Some studies suggest that certain herbs may help reduce the symptoms of colds and illness, though these products are not tested by regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, some herbs can cause side effects, especially when taken with other medications or supplements (this is known as the drug-herb interaction). As such, anyone wishing to experiment with herbal remedies should first consult a physician about what to try and how much to use. Common herbal remedies include:

Elderberry — Used to reduce congestion and promote sweating.

Eucalyptus — Helps relieve coughs and cold symptoms. Commonly found in over-the-counter lozenges and cough syrups.

Peppermint — Reduces congestion and soothes upset stomach. Peppermint should not be used with infants.

8Know when to see a physician. Most colds and viruses will run their course within a few days, and typically do not require medical attention; however, some ailments are more serious and require a physician's diagnosis and treatment. Common illnesses that may require medical attention include:

Bronchitis — Marked by heavy coughing and mucus, often appearing yellow or green in consistency. These symptoms may also be accompanied by a persistent fever, pain in the chest, or trouble breathing. An x-ray will usually determine if you are suffering from bronchitis.

Pneumonia — Also marked by heavy coughing, mucus, and difficulty breathing. Pneumonia typically results from a bacterial infection that develops during the flu. Like bronchitis, an x-ray is usually required to diagnose pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia also include chest pain and shortness of breath.

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Method 1 Quiz

Which medicine's primary purpose is to reduce congestion and open nasal passages?

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Method 2 of 3:Recovering from an InjuryDownload Article

1Take NSAIDs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. NSAIDs are available in both over-the-counter and prescription-strength forms. Be sure to let your physician know if you are taking NSAIDs. NSAID use has been linked to increased risk of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Trustworthy SourceUS Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. government agency responsible for promoting public healthGo to sourceCommon NSAIDs include:

Aspirin (should not be given to children or teenagers)

Ibuprofen

Celecoxib

Diclofenac

Naproxen

2Ice the injury. Ice therapy is a common treatment for injuries, as the cold helps reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin. Instead, you can wrap ice cubes in a clean dish towel, or use a frozen cold compress.

Apply a cold compress or ice pack for no more than 20 minutes, then remove the cold for 20 minutes before reapplying.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Repeat as needed throughout the day. Discontinue use if the area becomes numb or if the ice causes pain.

Ice therapy is most effective during the first 48 hours after an injury; however, you can continue to ice an injury for as long as the swelling and inflammation persist.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

3Apply heat therapy. Ice therapy is most effective for the first two days after an injury, as it helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Once swelling is down, experts recommend switching to heat therapy. Applying heat to an injury increases blood flow, which helps the injury heal. Heat can also help relax tight or aching muscles and joints.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Much like ice therapy, most experts recommend applying heat therapy for 20 minutes on, followed by 20 minutes off before reapplying.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Take a warm shower or bath to help soak an injury.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Use a heat wrap or heating pad to treat the injury with"dry"heat. These are available at most pharmacies and drug stores.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Do not lie down or fall asleep with heating pads or heating wraps. These can cause serious burns if left on for prolonged periods of time. Remove the source of heat if you become uncomfortably warm, and do not use heat therapy on unsupervised children.Trustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Never use health therapy if you have an open wound or poor circulation.

4Use compression therapy. Compression can help reduce or limit swelling following an injury. It can also provide some support, if the injury is in a part of the body that requires a range of motion. Common methods of compression therapy include elastic bandages and trainer's tape.

Do not wrap/tie a compress on too tightly. This may reduce blood flow, which can be dangerous.

5Elevate the injury. Slightly elevating an injured appendage can help reduce swelling by limiting blood flow to the injury. Elevation can be used in conjunction with compression and ice therapies.

Do not raise the injured appendage too high. Ideally the injured appendage should be raised slightly above the level of the heart. If this is not possible, try to keep the injured body part parallel to the ground, rather than at a downward angle.

Elevation is the last step of RICE therapy, which is recommended for many injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

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Method 2 Quiz

What does RICE stand for?

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Method 3 of 3:Resting the Body to Get WellDownload Article

1Allow injuries to heal. If you've suffered an injury, getting rest is one of the best things you can do. Try to avoid any activities that require using the injured body part or putting weight on that appendage.

The duration of rest will vary, but generally speaking it's best to allow the injury to rest for at least one to two days before trying to use or put weight on the injured appendage.

2Allow bed rest for illnesses. Bed rest is one of the best ways to recover from a cold or flu. It helps the body heal at both the molecular and system-wide levels, and should be considered an important part of getting well after an illness.Trustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source

3Ensure that you get enough sleep. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, but if you're recovering from an illness or injury you may need even more sleep. How much sleep you need is also affected by your age.

Newborns who are under four months old require 14 to 17 hours of sleep each night.

Infants (between four and 11 months old) require 12 to 15 hours of sleep each night.

Toddlers (one to two years old) require 11 and 14 hours of sleep each night.

Preschoolers (between three and five years old) require 10 to 13 hours of sleep each night.

Children ages six to 13 require between nine and 11 hours of sleep each night.

Teenagers ages 14 to 17 require eight to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Adults (ages 18 to 64) require seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

Older adults (age 65 and older) require seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

4Get a good night's sleep. If you're feeling sick, injured, or just generally worn out with fatigue, you may need to get a better night's sleep.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source In addition to getting enough sleep each night, it's important to get quality sleep. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to ensure a good night's sleep.

Stay on schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and if you can't sleep after 15 minutes, try getting up and doing something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Staying on a regular sleep schedule can help ensure that you get a good night's sleep every night.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that can take hours to completely wear off. And while alcohol may make you feel sleepy at first, it tends to disrupt sleep patterns throughout the night.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Keep your room cool, dark, and quiet. Use blinds or thick curtains to block outside light from your windows, and try earplugs or white noise to help you sleep through outside noise.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

Manage stress. Don't dwell on what you'll need to do in the morning. Just write it down and allow yourself to disengage for the night.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source You can also try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi, to help manage stress and keep you calm before bed.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source

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Method 3 Quiz

How can you ensure a good night's sleep?

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