Ask the Doctor: Reducing stress, sick students, healthy immune systems

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 1:45 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (from Michael): “I am working on reducing my stress. What kind of techniques would you recommend?”

DR. BOB: I think there are a couple of ways to look at this. Firstly, how do we reduce stress in our lives? Secondly, how do we handle the stress that we can’t get rid of?

For the first question, sometimes it means thinking about work or home life and understanding what you can do to reduce stress. This may mean a conversation with your boss or your family.

As everyone knows though, getting rid of stress is much easier said than done. Exercising regularly is a good way to deal with stress. Also, there is evidence that things like praying, meditating, or doing yoga can help reduce the impact of stress.

Question #2 (from Jennifer): “My brother is a teacher, and he says his students always get the sniffles when they come back to school. What can he do to keep his students from getting sick?”

DR. BOB: I don’t mean to sound defeatist, but this is almost impossible.

If you put a group of children in a room, trying to prevent the spread of highly contagious respiratory viruses is extremely difficult.

The only way to really prevent it is to not have them in school. We have all seen over the last few years that going in that direction brings its own harm to children.

So really, we just must do our best. Wash your hands frequently, cover your cough, and stay home if you have a fever.

Beyond that, don’t worry. Getting sick is part of growing up and developing a healthy immune system. Your students will be alright.

Question #3 (from Kate): “How can I make sure my immune system is strong heading into the fall?”

DR. BOB: This question follows up well from the last one. How can we reduce the chance of contracting an illness from someone who is contagious?

Again, it is very difficult to entirely prevent an illness, even with a healthy immune system. But hopefully, if you are in good health, the illness will have less of an impact on you.

I sound like a broken record, but a healthy immune system comes from a healthy lifestyle. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, get good sleep every night, exercise, and maintain healthy relationships.

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