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Flu medicine overdose; blood donations; don't ditch foods

People looking for relief are buying a lot of over the counter medications to help alleviate their symptoms. Now might be a good time to donate blood because donations are lagging in many places. When many people start a diet they typically run down a list of foods they need to eliminate.
The cold and flu season is hitting especially hard this year, meaning people looking for relief are buying a lot of over the counter medications to help alleviate their symptoms.

Health experts say overmedicating can easily happen when you buy several medications to treat different ailments.

What many don't realize is they all have a similar ingredient -- acetaminophen -- also known as Tylenol -- and overdosing can happen if you're not careful.

Kapil Sharma, M.D with North Texas Poison Control says, "Although Tylenol is one of the safest medications you can take in appropriate doses, in overdose it can lead to liver damage or liver failure"

Some signs of overdose include racing heart, the jitters or vomiting.

Blood donations

Have you ever given blood? Now might be a good time to give it a try because donations are lagging in many places.

January is National Blood Donor Month and the Red Cross is encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and give a pint.

Bad weather often makes winter the slow season for blood donations and this year is no exception.

Also, many people are battling colds or the flu and nationwide lower-than-expected turnouts are being seen at some blood drives.

The agency is low on B Negative and O Negative blood at this time, but would welcome donations from people with any blood type.

To be a donor, most states request that you be healthy,17 years old or older and weigh at least 110 pounds.

You can still donate if you've had the flu or a flu shot as long as you're not now sick.

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. It may be an accident victim, cancer patient, someone needing surgery, children with blood disorders or others.

The Red Cross says a single blood donation can save more than one life.

If you decide to donate, eat a healthy meal beforehand, drink about 16 ounces of water, and avoid vigorous exercise for the rest of the day.

Don't ditch foods

Don't ditch foods
When many people start a diet they typically run down a list of foods they need to eliminate. But some of those foods you really should keep.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic is a registered dietitian. Two things she recommends keeping in your diet are peanut butter and cheese.

“Peanut butter is actually a great source of vitamins and minerals, as well as those mono-unsaturated fats that really tend to help us feel fuller longer,” she says. “What cheese is going to give us is vitamins, minerals, protein, and calcium- that's going to give us what we need. And notoriously women tend to be low in calcium."

Jamieson-Petonic says a piece of mozzarella string cheese or one square of American cheese per day is all you need.

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