Most of us feel like we’re more likely to get ill during the winter but on National Sickie Day – the day British workers are most likely to call in sick – it’s worth taking a closer look at the illnesses that leave our offices deserted during the winter months.
A survey by Buscopan IBS Relief has discovered the top five ailments that cause UK workers to call in sick. Here are their five most common winter woes, and how to combat them.
1. Sickness & Diarrhoea
Sickness bugs and diarrhoea are common all year round, although cases tend to peak during the winter months.
In particular, the winter vomiting bug Norovirus is so contagious that if you have it, you should try not to come into contact with other people.
If you do have sickness or diarrhoea you should not go into work for at least 24-48 hours, and remember to keep yourself topped up with fluids.
“It is dehydration rather than the virus itself that can be particularly dangerous, as this can cause loss of both water and essential minerals,” GP Dr Roger Henderson explains.
It’s important to replace the fluids you have lost. Dioralyte provides fast and effective replacement of electrolytes with ingredients scientifically balanced to promote absorption of fluids.
2. Anxiety & Depression
In January, some of us are affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is a form of depression that comes as a result of a lack of sunlight and will leave you with a persistent low mood, feeling lethargic and craving bad foods which lead to weight gain.
Holland & Barrett nutritionist Elizabeth Wall says that regular doses of vitamin D can help keep SAD at bay.
“A recent government commissioned report says that everyone over the age of one should have a daily vitamin D intake of 10 micrograms per day.
“The easiest way to do this is by taking a tablet, preferably with meals.”
However if symptoms do persist it is recommended that you see your GP.
Flu – or influenza - is a common viral infection that can be extremely contagious, and the prime flu season is between October and April each year.
There is a lot of confusion around whether you have the flu or a common cold, as Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat explains.
“A lot of people think they've got flu when actually they have a heavy cold,” she explains.
“Colds and flu are both caused by viruses, but with flu your lungs are affected to a greater extent. A cold tends to cause more nasal congestion and is over in a few days, whereas with flu, it can take you weeks to recover.”
Fast-acting treatments for flu like LloydsPharmacy Flu Max All in One Tablets are available to relieve symptoms like aches and pains, headache, blocked nose, sore throat, chills and chesty coughs.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects around 1 in 5 of the population. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating of the abdomen.
The cramping pain of IBS is caused by spasms of the bowel.
“IBS is a painful long-term condition which can have a big impact on day-to-day life,” says GP Dr Roger Henderson.
“It’s important to understand your triggers and how to deal with a flare-up so you can manage symptoms effectively. Antispasmodics can be taken at the first sign of a flare up and quickly work to ease spasms in the intestines at the root cause of pain.’
Buscopan IBS Relief is good to keep handy in case of spasms, working in 15 minutes to target the root cause of abdominal pain and to quickly return the bowel to normal by relieving the pain and discomfort.
More than 10 million people in the UK suffer from regular headaches.
“The majority of people want effective pain relief medication that enables them to carry on with their day with as few side effects as possible,” says doctor and Embarrassing Bodies presenter Dr Dawn Harper.
“Paracetamol and ibuprofen are two tried and tested pain relief ingredients that are reliable and safe to use together.”
Studies have shown that the combination of the two painkillers, found in Combogesic, delivers 30% more pain relief than taking either ingredient alone.
What are your tips for staying healthy in winter? Let us know in the Comments section below.