When That Holiday Bug Needs Medical Attention: Tips For You

During the holiday season, you and your extended family will likely be gathering together to spend time with one another and celebrate. While this can be a fun and enjoyable time for you and your loved ones, it also often carries an additional consequence. That consequence is the sharing of holiday germs. Many times, after or even during a holiday gathering one or more of you will end up feeling under the weather. And while most holiday bugs that you can get are minor, you should get to know some of the signs that your illness requires a trip to your family physician so you can better care for yourself this holiday season.

You Have A Fever That Lasts

Many times when you get sick over the holiday season, the bug you catch will cause you to develop a fever. Oftentimes, people misinterpret a fever as an immediate sign they need to go to the doctor, but this is not always the case.

A low grade fever that only lasts a day or two is just a sign that your body is working hard to fight off the infection in your body. In these cases, it is often best to just wait it out, get plenty of rest, and allow your body to do what it is naturally designed to do.

However, if you have a fever that lasts several days (four or more, generally) or your fever is persistently high, you should call your family physician and make an appointment or go to an urgent care clinic. A high fever is 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Keep in mind that if your fever continues to increase over the course of a few days without signs of reducing, this would also be cause for concern and reason to contact your doctor.

You Become Dehydrated Due To Illness

Stomach bugs are among the more commonly shared illnesses on the holidays. Most of the time, these are unpleasant, but can be dealt with at home with rest and fluids, but there are always exceptions.

If your stomach bug has you vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, you need to watch out for signs of dehydration. Keeping clear fluids down is vital to avoiding dehydration. So, if you cannot even drink water or clear broth without vomiting or running to the restroom, you can find yourself in a dangerously dehydrated state.

Excessive thirst, disorientation and mental confusion, headaches, and physical weakness or fainting can all be signs you are dehydrated. If your vomiting is persistent for more than a day or your diarrhea does not begin to subside after 2 days, head to your doctor's office immediately. You may need IV fluids along with treatments for the cause of your symptoms.

Now that you know a few of the times where a holiday bug should send you to the doctor (like those at Gulf Shores Family Medicine), you can take better care of yourself over the holiday season and be sure that you and your family have the best holidays possible.