Treating Common Health Issues

Treating yourself

And we don't mean with chocolates, flowers, or a trip to the mall. You are likely to experience common health issues on campus, and we want to make sure you are prepared to treat these issues.

As always, if you cannot manage symptoms yourself, please make an appointment at one of our two Campus Health clinics, and we'll help.

You can treat a runny nose with Dayquil, Nyquil, or nasal sprays like Flonase or Nasacort. If it's severe, use oxymetazoline (a generic version of Afrin) for three days or try Sudafed. Drink extra water or non-caffeinated beverages.

See runny nose. All the same over-the-counter medications can be used to treat head congestion.

Use ibuprofen, Tylenol, and benzocaine throat lozenges. Most sore throats will go away within the week with this regiment.

Contrary to what you may think, cough syrups aren't much help in eliminating your dreaded cough. A teaspoon of local honey several times a day will help. If you have a runny nose with your cough, try Flonase or Nasacort. You can also try Mucinex, which is intended to help get mucous out of your lungs. Be aware that if you are taking an anti-depressant or SSRIs, you should not take Mucinex.

Avoid chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and greasy, fried, or spicy foods. We recommend not eating within two hours of your bedtime. You can also avoid tight clothing around your waist, elevate the head of your bed on four-inch blocks or sleep sitting up, carry Tums for quick relief, or try some over-the-counter medicines, such as Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet, or Prilosec daily for two weeks. If heartburn starts again, begin medication again and take it daily. Sometimes, heartburn increases if you are overweight.

If you experience this, you may have a hemorrhoid. These are normal and can go away by paying attention to what you eat and drink. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to three servings per day. Carrots, apples, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables that don't require cooking are great snack options. Lay off the potatoes until you see some positive changes. Cut back on alcohol intake, get more exercise, and increase how much water you drink throughout the day. You can also try over-the-counter cortisone ointment or cream, and use it a couple times a day on the hemorrhoid. Avoid straining when having a bowel movement, and clean your bottom with soap and water after a bowel movement until the bleeding stops.

You can try all that's listed above, and you can also try a stool softener, such as Colace 50 mg. Take two per day for two weeks and see if there are improvements.

Your intestines may just need a rest. Try eating a bland diet and lower fiber foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and white toast. Avoid things like milk, ice cream, greasy foods, spicy foods, and foods high in fiber. If you ever needed an excuse to eat macaroni, this is it. Foods that generally constipate you are great to try until your diarrhea resolves. Imodium AD and Pepto-Bismol will help slow down the number of bowel movements you experience.

Managing time as a college student isn't easy, and fatigue is a common complaint. If you experience this, make sure you are eating nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and reduce alcohol and caffeine intake. If you make changes and still find yourself struggling, make an appointment at one of our clinics.

This is often caused by poor posture, inadequate chairs, improper lifting, or personal stress. Reducing the amount of items in your purse or backpack can help alleviate pressure on your back. Massage, a heating pad, ibuprofen, and stretching can also help. Take a yoga class at Jaguar Campus Recreation. If you need low back support when sitting in a chair, try placing a pillow or towel behind your low back.

To stop bleeding, use a towel, washcloth, paper towel, t-shirt, handkerchief, or other cloth/gauze and place it over the wound. Firmly hold pressure for about 10 minutes without lifting up to see if the bleeding has stopped. You can also try an ice pack over a thin cloth to help stop bleeding and also decrease any swelling that may occur. If the bleeding continues, visit an urgent care or emergency room. If the bleeding stops, wash it gently with water and mild soap, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with gauze or a bandage. Change your gauze or bandage once a day. If the area becomes red or warm or pus appears, make an appointment to see a healthcare provider.

Follow the instructions under "Bleeding cuts and other injuries.