5 Common College Health Ailments and How to Fix Them

Photo Credit: LVHealth.com

Many students encounter illness while away at college, so I thought I’d provide some advice that may be helpful to those who may need it. When in doubt, seek professional medical help (we have the Holzer Health Center right here on campus). I’m not a doctor, just an Eagle Scout.

1. The Common Cold
When you are away from your home environment, and are put in close living quarters with many other people (sharing the same ventilation system), you will eventually get sick with the cold. It’s not a matter of IF, but more a matter of WHEN. Obviously, you can stave it off as long as possible through proper diet, hydration and exercise, but things happen.

a) Rest. Sleep. Nap. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
b) Drink Water (not soda or any other sugary drink).
c) Avoid sugary foods.
d) Make some chicken soup in your dorm room microwave.
e) Take warm showers—the humidity will help your nose.

2. Mild Dehydration
Sometimes you forget to drink water. You get caught up in the moment, and next thing you know you’re feeling woozy and about to pass out.

a) Remove yourself from physical activity.
b) Sit down in the shade.
c) Slowly sip on water.
d) Seek out medical attention if severe.

3. Mono (Mononucleosis)
It’s college. Mono spreads like wildfire throughout any university. Similar to the flu, you need a blood test to identify this condition. This can be done at the health center.

a) Get tested. If positive, continue down this list. If not, refer to 1) The Common Cold.
b) GET PLENTY OF REST! If you don’t, you’ll develop a condition called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which can stay with you the rest of your life. Some people even have to get doctor notes for missing class to rest up.
c) Treat the fever: cold showers, soup, etc.
d) Did I mention rest?
e) Stay hydrated with water.
f) Avoid other people as much as its possible.

4. Food Poisoning
Sometimes you eat something you should not have had. Much pain and quality time in the bathroom will ensue afterwards.

a) Keep drinking water/Gatorade.
b) Honestly, there’s not much else you can do than to let it run its course.

5. Sprained Ankle
This is something I have been dealing with after a recent game of basketball. It’s my first sprained ankle and it’s been a rather unpleasant situation.

a) If you need to move to another location, keep your shoe on to keep it from swelling too much.
b) Rest the ankle and do not walk on it.
c) Ice the ankle to lower swelling.
d) Compress the ankle to reduce swelling.
e) Elevate the ankle above the heart to reduce blood flow and swelling as well.

Here’s hoping for a healthy spring!

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