Cold vs. Flu–Their Symptoms and How They Spread

A sick couple sitting on the couch in sweaters blowing their noses and coughing

Every year we hear the admonishments to get out and get a flu shot, and to watch out for the common cold, but how many of us really know the difference between the two?  The answer is, sadly, not many and that means that its possible that we’re treating a cold like the flu, which can be counterproductive at worst, and ineffective at best.  So how do you tell the difference between these two conditions and what can you do to treat them? We’ve put together this handy guide to help you find your way through this cold and flu season a little better informed, and hopefully a little healthier.

What Is The Flu?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the flu.  Every year we know people who faithfully get their flu-shot and yet wind up coming down with it anyway, perhaps leaving you wondering why they bother.  To understand this phenomenon it’s important to understand that the flu is not one disease, but a family of diseases and the flu shot only immunizes you against four or five of the ones that the CDC suspects will be the biggest problem in any given year.  However, all of these cases of flu share one thing in common, they’re caused by a virus and can be classified as either a Type A or a Type B Flu strain.

  • Type A – This type of flu is either exclusive to the animal kingdom, or can be found crossing the boundary to both humans and animals alike.  You may remember the Avian flu scare from some time ago, this was the example of a Type A flu that infected birds, but could be contracted by humans.
  • Type B – This type of flu is significantly rarer than Type A cases of flu and exclusively appear in humans.


So why doesn’t the flu vaccine work on all flu if there are only two types?  Within these types, there are countless varieties, and the flu is known for its remarkable ability to adapt and become immune to vaccines and medication.

So What About The Common Cold?
Just like we experience with  “The Flu”, the “Common Cold” isn’t so common, nor is it a single strain of a virus.  In fact, there are over 200 virus strains that bear the blame for the ‘common cold’, and that’s one of the reasons there’s no magic bullet to prevent it from setting in.  The cold affects sinuses, larynx, throat, and is mostly centered on the nose. In those patients who have a weak immune system or are already sick the cold can become pneumonia.

Don’t let the cold or flu ruin your day, pick up the phone and give the professionals at Conroe Family Doctor a call today.  When you make an appointment with Dr. Trang Nguyen or one of their associates you’ll be seeing a respected family doctor in the Conroe, Texas area.  They take pride in helping their patients through life’s little illnesses and are there to help your family survive the cold and flu season without a sniffle.

What You Need to Know About Diabetes

Diabetes diet

 

There’s a lot of misinformation out there surrounding diabetes, which is absolutely no help at all when you’re living with it or know someone who is. Confusion over Type 1, Type 2, what it means to be diagnosed as pre-diabetic or to be hypoglycemic, and if they have anything to do with diabetes at all has served to muddle what information there is. For those who are living with diabetes or have family members who are, we’ve put together this document to help clarify some common misconceptions.

What Is Diabetes?
First off, it will help to explain exactly what diabetes is, to begin with. Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body has malfunctions pertaining to the processing and utilization of glucose. The core of this issue is insulin, a substance the body produces naturally to aid glucose’s journey into your cells. Without insulin, your body isn’t capable of getting sufficient levels of glucose into your cells, and that can cause significant problems, including high blood sugar. Elevated levels of blood sugar can lead to a host of complications related to diabetes, including:

  • Damage to Eyes, Kidneys, Skin, and the Heart
  • Nerve Damage
  • Wounds not healing properly
  • Blurry Vision
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Breathing problems
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Falling Unconscious
  • Death


These conditions are caused either when the body has insufficient blood sugar (Hypoglycemia) or experiences ketoacidosis, which happens when your body isn’t able to properly utilize sugar.

Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 – What are they?
These terms are used to specify precisely what your body’s insulin issue is. In those who are suffering from Type 1 Diabetes, the body is incapable of producing insulin, making it extremely difficult for your body to get sufficient fuel to the cells to keep them running. Type 2 diabetes speaks of a failure of your body to produce appropriate levels of insulin, or that it doesn’t react to insulin like it should. Both of these conditions can be extremely dangerous if left untreated, and type 2 diabetes has the potential to become type 1 over a long enough time span in some patients.

What Causes Diabetes?
There’s a lot of rumors out there surrounding what can cause diabetes, and parents, in particular, like to warn against the consumption of too much sugar as a leading cause. While there is some truth to that in that being overweight can increase your likelihood of getting diabetes, sugar itself and the consumption thereof are not directly causal factors. What does cause diabetes isn’t well understood, but in Type 1 the body destroys the cells that produce insulin as an autoimmune response. Type 2 diabetes has no direct known cause, though inactivity and weight gain are thought to contribute heavily.

If you have more questions about diabetes then you should pick up the phone and make an appointment to speak to Dr. Trang D Nguyen at Conroe Family Doctor.

Natural Remedies for Insomnia in Addiction Recovery

Woman with insomnia lying awake in bed

When recovering from addiction one of the most challenging things those in recovery can face is ongoing insomnia.  While fighting to keep cravings at bay is certainly one of the foremost challenges, it’s only aggravated by living in the half-life that can be the result of constant exhaustion when sleep is a fleeting memory.  Thankfully there are ways to help mitigate insomnia and allow those in recovery to achieve a good night’s sleep that will support them on their path to ongoing sobriety.


Natural Ways To Conquer Insomnia
Below you’ll find a selection of ways that insomnia can be conquered using natural methods, as opposed to chemically-based sleep aids.  Trading one addiction for a dependence on sleep aids isn’t something anyone in recovery wants, so these techniques can be used to help conquer it without chemical assistance.

  • Routine Is Key – The body can become accustomed to heading to bed at a certain hour, and this is one of the ways you can help combat insomnia.  Going through a nighttime routine that includes heading to bed at the same time may not conquer your insomnia immediately, but as you become accustomed to being in bed at a certain hour your mind will start to settle in for sleep naturally at that time.
  • Unplug From The World – Electronics tend to rule our lives these days, and evidence has shown that it takes time for the mind to disconnect and unwind after we stop staring at the screens on our TVs, computers, and phones.  An hour before you’re thinking of going to sleep, turn off all your electronics and let your mind settle.
  • Eat Right – Proper diet can be essential to helping you sleep well, and it’s most important that you remove sugars, caffeine, and other stimulants from your nighttime routine to ensure you can get a proper night’s sleep. It is also important to regulate how much you are eating to be sure you are eating enough to be full while not eating so much that you upset your stomach.
  • Get Active – Getting out into the world and being active is a great way to exhaust your body and burn off the latent energy that can keep you tossing and turning into the night. Getting out to the gym, going on a walk, even working in the garden or doing some other kind of physical activity, such as dancing to music, can help you sleep through the night.
  • Just Breathe – This technique is a little esoteric for some people, but it has been proven scientifically to have a soothing and calming effect on the mind.  There are breathing techniques that will help you achieve a restful state, and if practiced every evening at the same time you will find yourself naturally settling into a good night’s sleep. 

Contact Conroe Family Doctor For More Help
Conroe Family Doctor has been helping people in recovery for most of their career.  Make an appointment with them for a consultation to help get you on the path to a good night’s sleep while recovering from an addiction.  Don’t let another restless night go by when you can get the help of a trained professional at Conroe Family Doctor.

Call For Complimentary Consultation Today