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Winter health tips quiz: are you ready for winter?
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Winter health and illnesses


Dr Christophe Bourgeois discusses winter illnesses
Dr Christophe Bourgeois discusses winter illnesses
Which are the main winter illnesses?
The three main illnesses that occur in winter are respiratory infections, gastroenteritis (sickness and diarrhea) and flu. But fortunately, it's possible to get through winter without getting ill!

A person between the ages of 20 and 50 who's active, has a balanced lifestyle and does exercise, shouldn't have any worries in theory.

Of course, some people are more sensitive than others. This can sometimes be down to genetic predispositions in part. And, in general, catching a virus at the very start of winter increases the risks of falling ill again several times over a few months because the immune system is weakened.

Who are the people that are most at risk?
Those who are most fragile are the elderly, children (especially newborns and babies), and people who are weak because of a health problem. For example, you should avoid taking an ill child to visit an elderly person because they could transmit their virus.

What precautions should be taken against respiratory infections?
In winter, you should protect yourself against cold, tiredness and stress because all of these factors favour respiratory infections. What you wear is important. For example, put on several layers that can be removed if necessary and that prevent heat loss.

Sleep is also very important. Don't forget that adults need 7 to 8 hours a night, while children and teenagers need a couple extra to that. If, despite getting enough sleep, you find yourself feeling tired, it's best not to ask too much of your body.

How can you avoid gastroenteritis as well as flu?
People who are prone to bouts of gastroenteritis can consume probiotic foods which help to rebalance the intestinal flora. Probiotics can be found in fermented dairy products such as yogourts and milk.

But the only prevention for flu is the vaccination! It's strongly recommended for people who are at risk. But people who move about a lot, who are in contact with lots of people might also be able to get vaccinated. On the other hand, an isolated person who doesn't leave the house, has no risk of catching flu.

Also in Health & Fitness:
> Winter supplements to boost your winter
> SAD and the secrets of Serotonin
> A nice brew will do you the world of good!


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