8 Commonest illnesses this festive season and how to treat them at home

The last thing you want on Christmas Day is to be sick and miss out on all the fun.


Back pain

Cold sore

Dry skin





Seasonal depression

Christmas Tree Syndrome

These are the commonest Christmas sicknesses. What can you do?

1. Cold/Catarrh:

Thankfully this nasty illness is caused by a virus mostly and tends to go on its own. It may just stress you with headaches, running nose, sneezing and blocked nose. Get some paracetamol. Use two tablets every six hours for two to three days. That really helps.

Try to rest as much as you can.

Take lots of water and juices.

Not soft drinks o.

Natural fruit juice, tea and coffee is fine.

Aim for at least 3litres of water every day. Colds and catarrh causes dehydration and headaches- which drinking water helps with.

Take vitamin C too.

2. Back Pain is quite common in the holiday period.

Especially in women.

All those shopping, carrying heavy load, cooking, bending, pounding, grinding of food items all cause back pain.

Try to delegate when you can.

Don’t die because you think you have to do everything alone.

Simple tips to avoid backpain are:

Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting heavy things;

Use a stepladder and call for help to decorate so you’re not stretching your body at funny angles;

Take a trolley when you go shopping; and sit down whilst preparing food.

3. Cold Sores

Cold Sores tend to happen when we are stressed, or ill, or if there are sudden weather changes. It’s caused by a virus which can be gotten through sharing cups, cutlery, kissing etc You can get antiviral creams from a pharmacy, eat well, rest well and it tends to go on its own.

Commonest illnesses this festive season
Stress ulcers, one of the commonest illnesses this festive season

4. Dry Skin

Sometimes in harmattan or in winter depending on the country you are in – you may have dry skin. Try to drink more water. Use moisturising lotions or emollients and apply up to 3times a day. Avoid dry skin- because it can worsen eczema and can cause skin injuries.

5. Hangover

Most people will have a hangover this period. The advice is simple: Don’t drink on empty stomach. Eat well before the alcohol. Preferably carb/fatty food. Drink water between the drinks. Take paracetamol for the headache. Take a sugary drink when the hangover hits.

6. Indigestion, constipation, bloating and tummy aches will be commoner because of excess alcohol drinking, excess eating of sugar and fatty foods. Try some peppermint tea or Andrew liver salts. It’s very helpful. If constipated, drink more water, more veggies and use laxatives.

7. Stress

There will be a lot of stress in the festive season. Shopping, cooking, travelling, planning parties and all that causes stress.

Avoid arguments. Don’t overwork yourself.

Delegate work to other people.

Rest. Drink lots of water.

Take daily vitamin B – it helps too.

Seasons Greetings,

Dr Olufunmilayo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here