Auto Immune Conditions, Cold & Flu Season: Be Prepared!

In Blog by Alyssa Reid0 Comments

Yep.  We Know It All TOO Well…

For those of us with auto immune conditions, such as Lupus, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and CFS/ME (to name a few), we know all too well how easy it is to catch everything that is making the rounds. From colds and flu, to sore throats and norovirus…And if you have children in your life, many of us have ‘the never ending bug’ that circulates around the house for weeks…and months. It is imperative to be prepared!

Obviously, being unwell sucks big time.  But when you are in chronic pain and have auto immune conditions, where you are most likely exhausted already, things like coughing, sneezing, throwing up (you get the picture) just makes everything worse…not to mention the fact that the illnesses tend to last much longer, turn into nasty chest, ear and throat infections – and for many of us we go into a flare up.  (I am typing this as the 3yr old that is in our life has a bad chest cold and has just patted (and sneezed) on the cat that is currently on my chest giving me lots of love (and probably the cold).  That is, unless I fight it – which is always the plan!

Here are my personal Top Tips for getting through it!


Make your body as healthy as possible …

Firstly, by ensuring that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals you are doing what you can in regards (This means the ‘good stuff’ not your grocery store variety multi-vitamins).  Bone up on your vitamins C and D3, magnesium and potassium for a start. (Find out more about the importance of magnesium by clicking here – it can help with insomnia, restless legs and many other symptoms you might think are fibromyalgia/CFS/ME related, but are actually magnesium deficiency symptoms!) Eat fresh fruit and veg, proteins and foods with lots of garlic, ginger, onions, turmeric and cinnamon. This way you have a fighting chance by boosting your immune system.

Wash Your Hands! 

Keep antibacterial gel in your handbag as well as antibacterial wipes and use for:

  • Wiping down shopping trolleys and baskets
  • The moment you finish a transaction with an ATM, use card machines, hand over money…basically, whatever anyone else has touched ensure you don’t take their germs with you!
  • Fuel pumps are notorious for being unhygienic – use wipes or gel right after  – whether it is you or anyone else you are in close contact with – ask them to use this for their wellbeing – and yours!
  • Have some antibacterial gel inside your front door or ensure the moment you are someone else enters your home to USE IT

Get a flu jab!  Although there is controversy regarding vaccines,  in the UK and other countries, they are free to those at risk.  It is important to do your research and weigh the odds in regards to having a flu shot and the potential risks involved down the road, or not having a flu shot and becoming ill (very ill…). Here are 4 flu shot myths:

Myth No. 1

The flu shot does not protect me from the virus.

Truth: The flu vaccine is intended to create a stronger immune system to help keep you from catching the bug, and lessen your chances of spreading the flu virus to others.

Myth No. 2

I never get the flu so I don’t need a flu shot.

Truth: No one is immune from getting the flu. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over 6 months should receive a flu shot. The flu shot helps protect yourself and others from getting the flu.

Myth No. 3

You can get the flu from getting the flu shot.

Truth: No. The flu shot cannot cause the flu because the vaccine does not contain any of the live virus.

Myth No. 4

My decision to get the flu shot only affects me.

Truth: False. If you are sick with the flu, there is a chance that you may infect your family, friends – and even co-workers. You should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.



Being prepared is half the battle, as the saying goes…and let’s face it, when you are feeling cr*p the last thing you want to be doing is shlepping around the pharmacy getting supplies, or wandering aimlessly, in the grocery store as all you want is a bowl of hot soup…therefore, it is really important to be prepared.  Check out our Ultimate Cold & Flu Kit in regards to some good things to have to hand when the winter beasts strike this year!

As heating costs spiral out of control, if you stay in one room most of the day (and night), consider using some of these products to ensure that you are warm without having to crank up the heating!

Heating Pad

I have to admit, I am shocked at the number of people who have never owned, let alone tried one of these babies!  I couldn’t live without mine (and in fact, it travels with me pretty much anywhere I can plug it in!).  I have tried (and gone through) TONS of heating pads and find that my Beurer heating pad that I have had for several years now has been the best one to date.

Make sure that you get one that automatically turns off after a set amount of time.  (I have had one that almost caught on fire…like we are talking burning smell and smoke).  You are never supposed to fall asleep when using one.  (Ya, right, I am realistic, but had to put that ‘safety warning’ in here just in case!).

The Most AWESOME Canadian Fleece Sheets

Ok.  These aren’t the cheapest…but OMG!  They are amazing….my husband admits to feeling ‘trapped’ and unable to get out of bed because it is SOOOOO cosy.

Luckily, my Mom is in Canada and she has sent us several sets over the years.  Can’t imagine winter without them!  Check these sheets out…you won’t regret it!

As North Americans tend to have a top sheet and a fitted bottom sheet (and in Europe, we just use the duvet without a top sheet), I use the top sheet, on top of the duvet.  (Wow, I sure used the word ‘top’ a lot there! 🙂 )

So cosy inside – and out!

And last but not least, our cat’s most favourite warming device – a  Heated Underblanket.  (Yep, I have one and the cats also have one – otherwise, they refused to give me my spot in bed back the moment I vacated it!)

I hope that this has helped you with some good ideas, tips and products that keeps you healthier, warmer and feeling as good as possible during these upcoming months.

Alyssa x


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