November 2, 2021 at 7:21 pm #30340Charlene MarshallKeymaster
As a patient living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), it is important to avoid colds, flus and other viruses in an effort to protect our lung function. If the eighteen months of the pandemic has taught us anything; it’s the importance of hand hygiene and mask-wearing! Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that we will fall ill, especially during the cold winter months, despite our best efforts. This is especially true for those of you in Canada right now where the temperature is fluctuating from one extreme to the other.
As an immune-compromised patient, the hair stands up on the back of my neck when I hear some of the coughing taking place around me during cold and flu season, and I’m fearful that I’ll catch their cold. It’s no one’s fault that they’re sick, it is my issue and I feel guilty for actively avoiding others (including friends and family) who might have a cold. I’ve listed my strategies below to avoid getting sick, but wonder if anyone else has additional strategies that they use to avoid catching a cold or flu? I have heard of some preventative efforts, like taking oregano oil as an example, that others use but I’d love to hear yours, as a fellow PF/IPF patient.
To avoid catching a cold of flu, I regularly:
- Take a 500mg supplement of vitamin C (once in the morning and once before bed
- I keep hand sanitizer in all the locations I frequent: my car, desk, by the front door of my home and in my purse as well.
- I carry my Vogmask with me in my purse and will put it on if I am in large crowds of people
- I try to always ensure I get a full nights’ sleep: this is in theory as my sleep is terrible these days.
- I will avoid attending social events or gatherings when I know some attendees are unwell.
Do you have any other proactive routines or strategies to prevent getting sick as a PF/IPF patient? Particularly I’d be interested in learning of any preventative supplements you take, or even ones that seem to stop a cold in it’s tracks if one does start.
Thank you in advance for sharing!
November 2, 2021 at 11:28 pm #30345Christie PatientModerator
Hi Charlene, I think vitamin D and Zinc are good supplements to help boost the immune system. I take D year-round, and zinc whenever I have been exposed to someone who’s sick. My mom’s transplant team has her on a hearty regimen of D as well. I also take magnesium, not primarily for immune support, but I have recently switched to a drink mix that is magnesium and ashwagandha (ayurvedic medicine) that boasts “immune support” on the label. Not sure if that’s legit, but mostly I use it for stress/insomnia, and digestive support (the magnesium) anyway. And, as you say, a good night’s sleep is important, so anything I can do to relieve my insomnia is beneficial. Might be worth a try if you can find it, and your doctor approves of it. I found it at Costco.
November 3, 2021 at 8:44 am #30348john stylesParticipant
Hello, I take allacin, a form of garlic and a multi vitimin, so far so good, 5 years into this terrible disease.
March 20, 2022 at 2:13 pm #31432Kris manianParticipant
Thanks Charlene for that excellent article. I was blissfully ignorant and did not do any of it. Thankfully I am ok so far. I will start doing all you said.
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