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Personal Hygiene, Nutrition & Diet

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Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene helps keep your immune system from being overwhelmed by the on-slot of germs. Skin is an important part of the immune system for it acts as a barrier between germs and your body. Skin is tough and generally impermeable to bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, germs can enter our bodies through other areas that are susceptible to bacteria such as our nose, mouth, eyes, or a break in the skin. Common sense and following good personal hygiene will limit the possibility of these germs finding a way into your body.

Here are some common sense personal hygiene tips:

  • Wash Your Hands.  The single most important way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases is to wash your hands. Most infections, particularly the common cold and gastroenteritis, are contracted when our germ-infested hands come in contact with our mouths. In addition, infections are also contracted through contact with other individuals whose hands may come in contact with us.

  • Take a Daily Shower or Bath. A daily shower or bath aids in the cleansing of our bodies as well as eliminating any bodily odor or bacteria ridden skin. Personal bath towels are recommended. Cross infection is a risk that is unnecessary if possible.

  • Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day. Mouth care is very important. Clean intact oral mucous membranes assist in preventing infections. Mouth care includes brushing the teeth, flossing between them, and checking the inside of the mouth and gums, as well as cleaning dentures.


Nutrition & Diet

Eating healthy balanced meals is especially important to a person who is recovering from an illness. It is also important for someone who must be in bed or in a wheelchair for long periods of time.

A healthy diet focuses on:

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars

Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals. Protein is necessary for wound healing. Foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains make it easier to have a bowel movement. Certain vitamins may help prevent damage to the body's cells. They also may help repair damage to your body tissue caused by a chronic disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and may help decrease constipation and inflammation.

Depending on a person's medical condition, a special diet and supplements may be ordered. The recommended diet may change over time as health conditions change. Your healthcare provider will instruct you on your special diet and supplement needs.