What To Do If You Get Sick Over Christmas

Sick woman blowing her nose, she covered with blanket

By LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Kaura

Anshu Kaura

Anshu Kaura

Christmas is debatably the worst time of the year to get ill. With so much anticipation surrounding the festive season and lots of plans with friends and families booked in, there is often not the time to relax and look after yourself if you do get sick. LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Kaura is here to give us the down low on the types of illness you may experience over Christmas and how to deal with it.

 “The most common ailments that we see in pharmacy over the Christmas period tend to be colds and the flu, indigestion problems, heartburn and norovirus (also known as the “winter vomiting bug”). The best way to keep your immune system healthy is to make sure you have the correct vitamins and minerals in your diet. Vitamin D and vitamin C are the most important vitamins to keep your immune system healthy, as they help to support its functions. You can find vitamin D in foods like fish and vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. If you think your diet is lacking these vitamins, you should try and take these supplements. Try LloydsPharmacy Vitamin D, £4.49 and LloydsPharmacy Vitamin C, £1.99.

If you have flu…

Experts suggest that cold and flu germs thrive in the winter due to our antibodies being lower. This is caused by our bodies not getting enough vitamin D through sunlight. You could try out LloydsPharmacy Vitamin D, 90 Tablets for an extra boost of vitamin D in the winter months. Experts also suggest that the air is also drier which is the perfect condition for the virus to flourish,  so therefore cases of cold and flu tend to increase over the Christmas period.

If you do catch a cold or the flu over Christmas, make sure you keep warm, rest and drink lots of water so you don’t become dehydrated. You may also take LloydsPharmacy Max Strength Cold and Flu Capsules, £2.55 to relieve fatigue and drowsiness, aches and pains, nasal congestion (blocked nose), sore throat, headache and feverishness.

Cold & Flu Capsules

 If you have heartburn…

Christmas roast turkey dinner with traditional trimmings.

Pic: iStockphoto

“The food we eat over the festive period can also lead to many people experiencing indigestion and heartburn . These are often triggered by fatty foods, big meals and alcohol, and can be uncomfortable due to the stomach acid coming in contact with the lining of the digestive system. If you are experiencing heartburn or indigestion over the festive period you could try  LloydsPharmacy Heartburn Relief Tablets, £3.19 which treat indigestion and heartburn for up to 12 hours”. Please check with your pharmacist before taking as these are subject to suitability.

Heartburn & Indigestion Relief Tablets

 If you have norovirus…

“Norovirus can be spread extremely easily, especially in public places such as hospitals and schools. To reduce the risk of catching norovirus, make sure you are washing your hands thoroughly after you are out in public. The LloydsPharmacy Instant Hand Sanitiser, £1.00 is great to carry around with you when you’re out and about over the Christmas holidays in order to make sure you aren’t picking up any germs. There is no cure for norovirus, so the best thing you can do if you do think you have norovirus is let it run its course. However, if you have symptoms that are concerning you, you must seek further advice from your pharmacist, doctor or NHS 111 as required.

“You should try to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration and get plenty of rest. If you do feel like you can eat, you should only eat plain foods such as bread, rice, pasta and soup. If you think you are dehydrated from norovirus, try the LloydsPharmacy Rehydration Treatment, £2.99 which replaces fluids and body salts lost through diarrhoea and sickness. A LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist will be able to advise you further on the most suitable treatment options for you.”

 Will there be anywhere open to help me over Christmas?

“All pharmacies will have different opening hours over Christmas, and not all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so it is advised that you check with your local pharmacy regarding their opening hours. If you need urgent medication or medical advice, you can ring NHS 111, and you will be able to speak to someone who will be able to advise you based on your medical needs. If you need urgent medical assistance or treatment, please go to your nearest A&E or call 999.”


Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!