The Best Telehealth Companies to Look Into

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores earlier this year it’s been difficult for some people to visit their doctors. Luckily technology is easily accessible to most people nowadays and can be extremely useful in situations like these, allowing many people to visit their doctors without having to physically be there with them.

Telehealth is a technology that allows health care professionals to serve their patients from virtually anywhere. Several telehealth companies exist, giving patients plenty of options. But which company is best for you? Here are a few of the telehealth companies worth looking into.

iCliniq

If you’re looking for quick medical service from the comfort of your home, a good option would be iCliniq. This website allows you to submit written questions as well as ask for phone and video consultations. Over 3000 doctors answer the questions on the website and many previously asked questions have been archived, meaning you may be able to find the answer to your question without actually having to ask it. 

Doctor on Demand

One of the perks of Doctor on Demand over many other telehealth services is that if you have a consultation with a doctor and enjoy working with them, you can add that doctor to your “favorites” list, meaning you can easily request an appointment with them again. The service can be a little pricey, as a 15-minute consultation costs about $75 and mental health services are around $300 for a 45-minute consultation.

LiveHelath Online

If you sign up to LiveHealth Online you can easily look at all of the doctors available in your state and request an appointment with them. They typically connect you to your doctor within a few minutes, and many doctors are available 24/7. What’s great about LiveHealth is that it’s commonly accepted by many major insurance companies, especially since appointments without insurance cost $59.

HealthTap

If you’re willing to pay $10 a month to be a HealthTap member you’ll have access to over 90,000 United States licensed physicians. Many of these doctors are available for video chatting and some will even allow you to send them text messages. Even if you don’t want to pay the $10 you can still be a free member and access their automated symptom checker as well as get personalized answers to your various health questions.

Foods to Help Boost Immunity

 

Although no amount of the right kinds of food can prevent or cure illness, healthy nutrition can help boost your immunity. A trip to the grocery store is a great way to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections. Many of our favorite foods have the nutrients we need to boost our immune system:

Citrus Fruits

One of the best foods to boost your immune system are citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These white blood cells fight off infections in our body. Thankfully, there are many citrus fruits that are high in vitamin C. These include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines, and clementines. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to add some of these to your cart.

Red Bell Peppers

Another kitchen staple that is great for building up immunity is red bell peppers. Red bell peppers are easy to add to some of your favorite dishes and are rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body for healthy eyes and skin. Red bell pepper also has three times as much vitamin C as an orange. You can easily add this nutritious vegetable to your next stir-fry, lasagna, pizza, or even on taco night. 

Garlic

One of the best ways to add supreme flavor and nutrients to your next meal is by adding in garlic. Garlic is great for fighting infections and can slow down the hardening of the arteries. There is also some evidence that it may help lower blood pressure. The heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, is what makes garlic a powerful immune booster. 

Yogurt

A tasty treat with immune-boosting nutrients is yogurt. Yogurts with the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label are exactly what you need. These yogurts have disease-fighting cultures that are able to stimulate your immune system. It is also a fantastic source of vitamin D, which can help regulate your body’s immune system. Be sure sure to go with plain yogurt to avoid sugar and dress it up with fruits, granola, and honey to make it sweeter. 

First new Drug to Fight the Flu in 20 Years

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Those suffering from the flu have a new option to relieve symptoms after 20 years. Xofluza, is a single dose oral drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat the sickness, this comes after 20 years of prescribing the same prescription to patients. The flu affects thousands of people each year, and having another safe and effective treatment is critical to keep the illness under control. The pill is offered to those who are 12 years and older and have had flu symptoms for no longer than 48 hours. Treating a respiratory illness in this time frame with antiviral drugs can help reduce symptoms and the duration of the illness in someone.

 

After two clinical trials with 1800 patients, doctors were able to prove that taking the drug in the 48-hour time frame eased the symptoms of the the flu in a shorter amount of time than the placebo patients. Although Xofluza eased the symptoms in patients, there were no distinct differences in those who took another flu drug instead. Like many other drugs, there are side effects, the two most common for Xofluza are diarrhea and bronchitis.

 

Xofluza is now available across the U.S for $150 without insurance and as low as $30 with. Although a new drug is in place to help with the treatment of the Flu, Dr. Scott Gottlieb who was in charge of the study urges everyone who has not done so, to get the flu shot, since no treatment is a replacement to the vaccine.

 

It is recommended to receive the vaccine by the end of October of each year. Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices, local pharmacies, and some workplaces. Although imperfect, those who still get the flu after the vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized or die from the illness.

 

Although the new drug has only been present in the health care system for a short period of time, it now has opened doors for other pharmaceutical companies to look into creating another form of Xofluza at a cheaper price, that can be easily distributed to those suffering from the illness.  

Do I have a Cold or is it the Flu?

Do I Have a Cold or is it the Flu_

Fall is here and with the change in weather comes the start of cold and flu season. The common cold and the flu both share some of the same symptoms that make it hard to tell which one you’re coming down with.

Both the flu and a cold are viral infections spread through coming in contact with germs from someone already infected. A cold and the flu both develop in stages where certain symptoms start to emerge as the infection develops in your body.

Common cold symptoms

The cold usually starts off with a sore throat which goes away within a day or two. A runny nose, congestion, a cough, and nasal symptoms appear by the fourth or fifth day of feeling under the weather. A runny nose will also start within the first few days and as the cold progresses, the mucus will become thicker and darker. While a fever isn’t common with a cold in adults, children will sometimes run a low to mild fever for a day or two.

Flu symptoms

Symptoms for the flu are much more severe than the symptoms of a cold. You can come down with the flu within a couple days of coming into contact with the virus. The symptoms usually come on quickly and are much more severe than the symptoms of a common cold. Within the first couple days of coming into contact with the virus, you will start to develop a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and a cough.

Most flu symptoms start to improve over the course of 2 – 5 days, but it is not uncommon for the flu to leave someone feeling run down for longer periods of time.

Is it a cold or the flu?

One of the best ways to determine if it’s a cold or the flu is to check your temperature. While the flu mimics a cold, the flu will also come with a fever above 100 degrees. You will also feel completely miserable and have body and muscle aches as well. The common cold rarely comes with a fever above 100 degrees and while you will be tired and a little run down, you will still have enough energy to go about your day.

Remember, a cold or the flu are spread through direct contact with surfaces where cold or flu germs have been spread. This happens through sneezing or coughing. Person-to-person transmission can also happen when someone touches their nose or mouth and then touches someone or something else.

Cold and flu germs can live up to 24 hours on any hard surface. Make sure you are washing your hands and not touching your mouth, eyes, and nose during cold and flu season. Not only will this keep germs from spreading, but it will help keep you healthy too!