Dr Know: Prepare in case you are unwell this Christmas

News Desk (08 December, 2016) Columnists

Here’s to a healthy 2017 for all

9292Dr Jonty Heaversedge

 

Christmas is just around the corner, so now is the time to make simple preparations to help you and your family should you become unwell over the festive season.

Before GP practices and pharmacists begin the period of limited opening hours, stock up on over-the-counter medicines to help relieve symptoms of common ailments such as colds, sore throats and indigestion.

If you have regular prescription medicine, make sure you have enough supplies to last. This is especially important for those at risk, for example people aged 65 and over, younger children and people living with long term health conditions.

If you need to see a health professional during the bank holidays, remember that an extended primary care service operates from two sites in Southwark, to provide access to a GP every day between 8am and 8pm. This can be accessed by contacting the GP out-of-hours service (SELDOC) – this is not a walk-in service and you will need to make an appointment.

Or you could always try the Health Help Now app. It offers up-to-date information on local health service locations as well as opening hours, visit www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net for more information.

It’s likely many people will over-indulge one way or another, as we are able to relax and spend quality time with family and friends away from the usual pressures of daily life.  Also, as routines are disrupted, it’s likely that our usual healthy living habits will be neglected.

While we are all enjoying ourselves, there are some little things you can do to help your holiday time go smoothly from a health point of view. Take opportunities to get fresh air and exercise when you can – a walk around the park is enough to brush off the cobwebs and make cheeks rosy!

If you are drinking alcohol, make sure you also drink water or soft drinks to reduce the hang-over. When socialising, alternate between alcoholic drink and soft drink or water to keep your fluid levels up and reduce the risk of dehydration.

And lastly, New Year resolutions are a great incentive to change your lifestyle and improve your health long term – losing weight or giving up smoking are common ones. Your GP can help with both and there’s plenty of support available if those are your goals.

Here’s to a healthy 2017 for all.

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