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Fight the Cold & Flu Season, Naturally

By November 2, 2013September 23rd, 2015Immune Boosting

Fight the Cold & Flu Season, Naturally

It’s officially the kick-off of flu season. Be prepared so you don’t go down for the count at a very busy time of year.

Have you ever wondered why the flu season is from October to March? I have three theories that I believe lead to the perfect storm of sickness.

1)    Changing weather temperatures combined with the dramatic temperature flux of heated buildings and cold ambient temperatures.
2)    Holiday stress, lots of responsibility, guests, expectations, and lack of sleep.
3)    Sugar consumption between October and March is more then any other time of year. Sugar lowers your immune system. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease for up to 6 hours each time we eat it.

How does this happen? 

Eating or drinking eight tablespoons of sugar can:

*Reduce the ability of your white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent.
*Lower your germ-killing ability for up to 6 hours.
*Interfere with the transport of Vitamin C, which plays a key role in immunity.
*Neutralize the action of essential fatty acids making cells more permeable to the invasion of infections and viruses.

Let’s look at a few scenarios:

Scenario #1: You’re traveling to see your family over the holidays, your schedule was crazy for a week before travel, your co-workers were sick, and you are sleep deprived. Now you’re sitting on a plane with a guy coughing his lungs out behind you. You try not to think about catching his germs but there he is coughing away for the entire 3-hour flight. By the time the flight lands you are sure that you are about to get sick.

In this scenario you are already weakened, you are breathing re-circulated air on the plane which contains everyone’s germs, you are dehydrated from the altitude and travel and your mucus membranes are ripe for allowing germs to invade.

Scenario #2: You’re on your lunch break, in a rush you go into Nordstrom’s to return an item and the woman behind the counter is sneezing and blowing her nose. She looks up and apologizes, takes your receipt, and your item, and then gives you your return receipt or a gift card back. Not only did you enter her breathing space but also you exchanged items with her that could be infected with whatever bacteria or virus that she is fighting. Then you go back to the office to have a cup of coffee with biscotti for lunch.

In this scenario you came into contact with an infected person, you were not able to wash your hands, and then because you were rushed didn’t eat a proper lunch and reached for some caffeine and sugar instead. This is a double whammy to the immune system.

There are countless scenarios like this that happen to us every day. In life there are circumstances outside of our control that can lower our immune systems. Luckily, Natural Medicine has some ways to offset them.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense Most colds and flus are viral in origin. Whether we catch a virus or not depends on the strength of our immune system. If our immune system is strong, our body will clear the virus quickly with little to no symptoms. When we are weakened or run down, we get sick. Symptoms develop 3-5 days after exposure, and you are contagious for 3-4 days after the last symptom has passed. Things to look out for are Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, Sudden Onset, Sore Throats, and a dry non-productive Cough.

Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Notes for success from Dr. P

Keep these things in mind to help protect you from the flu:

*Get good sleep
*Eat Fresh whole food (Feed Your Cells, 7 Ways to Make Health Food Fast, Easy, and Gluten Free!)
*Don’t touch your face without washing your hands.
*Wash your hands periodically throughout the day.
*Drink plenty of water to keep mucus membranes hydrated especially when traveling by air.
*Boost your immune system by taking supplements that can reduce the duration and severity of a cold or flu. (Contact us to hear about our Immune Boost Shot and Immune Boost Supplement Kits)

Dr. Andrea Purcell

A trusted and well-respected Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Purcell has been in private practice for over twenty years. Dr. Purcell is a published author and has a women’s specialty practice for hormone balancing, weight loss, mystery illness, and gastro-intestinal concerns. Dr. Purcell assists her patients by identifying the underlying cause of disease and removing obstacles that impede the body's natural ability to heal. Drugs and surgery are used as a last resort. She believes that increasing health on the inside shines through to the outside.

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