Winter is here, accompanied by various ailments which are making life difficult for people. Body ache and pain while folding the arms and knees in the morning are among the common complaints raised.
The temperatures have fallen below normal levels in Kerala this cold season. Even healthy folk need to take precautions, including taking proper food, to combat the cold.
Another peculiarity of winter is that the night hours are longer. Moreover, as the metabolic rate of the body increases during the cold season, hunger will be felt more acutely. Meanwhile, with reduced sweating, people will be less thirsty.
With the cold setting in, diseases, especially those related to the respiratory system, is expected to worsen. Controlling diseases will also prove to be difficult and hospitals witness more number of patients complaining about their condition becoming bad. Elderly people are likely to be affected by viral fever and other contagious diseases. If proper care is not taken, even diseases like pneumonia can develop.
Children are more prone to viral, respiratory and allergic diseases during winter. Skin diseases, dry skin, etc. are other common conditions.
The elderly need to warm clothes like sweaters that protect them from cold. Doctors should be consulted even while suffering from common diseases like fever. People having skin diseases should keep their skin moist by applying creams. Those affected by respiratory illnesses should try not to get exposed to the cold. Children sent to school early in the morning, should be wearing warm clothes. Everyone can benefit by taking bath in warm water during this season.
To retain water content in the body, intake of water has to be more than usual. Try to include more fruits, vegetables and leaves in the diet. Avoid water kept in the refrigerator and go for water that has been boiled and cooled. Tender coconut water is a good option too.
Shut windows, switch off fan / AC
Many people have the habit of sleeping with the windows open at night. But during winter, the temperature falls drastically as the night advances, which affects the body adversely. So keep the windows closed. In addition, set the fan at a lower speed and switch off the air-conditioner.
Cracks on skin
This is a common problem during winter. To check it, keep the feet immersed in warm water at night and use suitable creams. Butter will help prevent cracks on lips while bathing with oily soaps is good for the skin.
Homoeopathy also offers medicines and suggests preventive measures for winter diseases.
Incidence of respiratory diseases goes up during winter. There are two types of ailments; those which develop suddenly and other which become worse during cold weather. The first category can be treated easily if the patient has sufficient immunity. However, if that is not the case, conditions like pneumonia may develop and persisting diseases could turn grave. Elderly people will be prone to ailments and skin diseases become widespread during winter.
Homoeopaths advise people not to go in for self-treatment. Everyone has to consult a doctor for any disease.
Sick students should never be sent to school to prevent spread of the ailment.
While preparing food, ensure that only the necessary amount is cooked and that it is fully finished. Boil water and cool it before drinking. Don’t keep that also for more than a day. Traditional food is ideal for preventing diseases, according to homeopathy.
It has been noticed that several diseases are spreading in various parts of Ernakulam district during winter. The ‘Reach team’ of homoeo department will distribute medicines free of cost in these areas. To avail the service, contact District Homoeo Office, Kaloor. Phone number 0484 – 2345687.
Ayurveda also suggests remedies for cold-related ailments.
Ensure that the body receives enough water during winter, for which drinking pure water, juice, milk etc. helps. Intake of boiled and cooled water regularly is another beneficial habit. Adding a little ghee or coconut oil to dishes is a good option. Skin diseases can be prevented by taking an oil bath every alternate day.
Diseases like cough, cold, fever, throat infection, breathing trouble and asthma intensify during winter. Infection and asthma are the reasons for this, according to Ayurveda. Drinking dried ginger coffee and inhaling steam will give a relief from respiratory diseases. Immunity will get a boost with the intake of honey and gooseberries. Take medicines only under medical supervision.
Regurgitation, gastric distension, burning sensation in the stomach and indigestion are common conditions during winter. To prevent them, consume warm food at regular intervals. Avoid junk food, ice-cream and cool drinks. Wheat, rice, black gram, milk, milk products, meat, jaggery and sesame oil can be included in the diet.
Body ache and joint pains worsen during winter. Bathing in warm water and massaging the body while bathing helps matters. Make some sort of exercise a regular affair. Before applying medicinal oils, take the advice of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.
There is a tendency to drink less water during winter which may cause urinary infection. Drink water at regular intervals and use the wash room to avoid this disease.
Itching in the eyes, burning sensation, redness and watery eyes are commonly noticed in winter. Never rub your eyes or buy medicine on your own. Wash eyes with pure water. Intake of soup with carrot and drumstick leaves along with butter is good for healthy eyes.
Use thick cotton clothes and avoid cold breeze, fog and the sun at noon. Shun irregular food habits, spicy dishes, daytime nap and fasting. Take special care to protect feet.
Winter is not the season when contagious diseases play havoc, but the Ayurveda department is offering necessary treatment. For arranging medical camps, contact 0484-2335592.
Dr B Padmakumar, Professor of Medicine, Govt. Medical College, Alappuzha; Dr Muhammed Rafeeq, Govt. Homoeo Medical officer, Kunnukara Govt. Homoeo Dispensary; Dr K Nisha, Govt. Ayurveda dispensary, Ezhikkara.