There are a lot of problems that may plague us after the SHTF. We talk all the time about preparedness and stockpiling, but there are things for which we cannot always adequately plan until they happen. One such example is illness. With so many things that can go wrong, it is hard to take everything into consideration. From headaches to foot fungus, we are often plagued by a plethora of unpleasant things. When you start to think about your medical needs, think also about what is most likely to affect you in the changing world you may face.
If you require prescriptions, do your best to stock those, although it can be difficult with certain controlled substances as pharmacies grow less willing to disperse more than one month\'s supply only at or very near to the date it is due. When it comes to over-the-counter stuff, get what seems most logical rather than wasting money and space on things that are less important. For example, you will probably be less bothered by the common cold or flu post TEOTWAWKI because you will be coming into contact with fewer people to enable the spread of germs. That does not mean you will be less likely to fall ill overall; it is merely the types of illness befalling you that could change.
The top five potential illnesses to prepare for are:
1. Diarrhea can come about as a result of dramatic changes in diet. As you go from a normal, balanced diet to survival eating, your body might protest rather strongly. You could be forced to consume food that is past its prime as a means of pushing on when there is nothing else, or some of the water you may come into contact with could be contaminated. Your body will move these items out quickly, possibly by vomiting, but probably through Diarrhea, which can then cause a host of other problems for you, such as...
2. Dehydration is something that comes about as a result of Diarrhea or due to inability to access or consume a proper amount of liquid to stay healthy. It is important to maintain a fluid balance in your body, and to do this you must remember than what goes in directly correlates with what goes out. You expel fluid from your body through urinating, perspiring, etc. The more active you are, the more you will sweat. It is recommended that you consume at least two quarts (or 64 ounces-the same as the trusty old standby of 8 glasses per day) of liquid per day and up that amount as needed based on your activity level. If possible, drink other liquids as well, such as juices or soup broth. Avoid diuretics such as coffee and tea as they cause more fluid to be lost.
3. Food Poisoning comes about through the consumption of tainted or undercooked food. Today it may seem obvious that you should not eat the meat in the back of your fridge with a questionable smell and coloration. However, when society collapses and there is nothing to eat but that meat, your hunger pains may tempt you to risk it. Food poisoning can present in the form of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or even all three if you\'re especially unlucky. The best way to get through this is through rest and drinking lots of clean water, but food poisoning can be pretty relentless and may kick you several times while you\'re down.
4. Parasites are not something you expect to encounter but don\'t count them out. While parasite infestation is rare in human beings, that is because of the way we live currently. Should the conditions of our living and eating change, parasites will be given a green light to invade our bodies. You can get internal parasites through eating contaminated meats or vegetables that have come into contact with fecal matter. Some reside naturally in soil. Also possible is acquiring them through eating wild game. Parasites and tapeworms are common in wild game as is E. coli. Cook all wild game thoroughly (160 degree internal temperature) and if you plan to make jerky, freeze the meant beforehand (preferably down to -4 degrees). If you are unable to freeze it, then perhaps avoid making jerky as parasites, tapeworms, and E. coli can survive in jerky.
5. Skin Issues, such as rashes and fungal infections, are more of an inconvenience than anything, but they are still not something you want to endure. You may experience anything from athlete\'s foot to poison ivy. Wearing clean, dry socks will go a long way towards prevention of athlete\'s foot and brushing up on poisonous plants will help you know what to avoid. However, sometimes you are going to have to grin and bear it by letting the affected area breathe and absorb some direct sunlight.
There are many things that which can plague us in the world that remains when society collapses or even after a natural disaster. The best thing you can do is try to think about what is most likely to ail you and purchase some items to help you through. No one knows your body better than you do, so you are the best person to prepare to tackle your own bodily challenges. Adding items such as Pepto Bismol, Immodium, Cortizone 10, Tinactin, or VapoRub to your first aid kit will help you through when things get sickly and itchy.