The weather is changing and cold and flu season is upon us. While it may be impossible to avoid exposure, it is possible to minimize your chances of letting those nasty bugs take hold.
People ask me all the time what suggestions I can offer to help them fight colds and flu. One thing I always emphasize is frequent handwashing; this is your first line of defense. Bacteria can be transferred through people coughing, sneezing, talking and touching surfaces with contaminated hands. Washing with warm, soapy water for 15-20 seconds is the best defense against catching or transferring bacteria.
I also cannot over emphasize the importance of Chiropractic Care. Studies show Chiropractic patients are found to have a 200% greater immune-competence than those not getting adjusted regularly (-Pero, R. PhD, Chief of Cancer Prevention Research at NY’s Prevention Medicine Institute). In another study of 4,600 cases of upper respiratory tract infections, only 5% of cases treated with Chiropractic Care developed secondary complications. These results are superior to those obtained by antimicrobial therapy or symptom therapy alone (-Purse FM J AM Osteopath Assoc). These studies clearly show Chiropractic Care will help keep you healthy, so be sure to get adjusted regularly to help minimize your risk of illness this season.
Other important suggestions I give to my patients:
- Stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of fluids is necessary for maintaining good health and keeping your nasal and respiratory passage moist and best equipped to reject viruses. Good hydration will also keep everything moving through your body including toxins.
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep inhibits your body’s ability to fight colds.
- Boost your immune system with supplements.
- Vitamin C helps support your immune system health and acts as a powerful antioxidant and natural antihistamine. I recommend taking 1000 mg/day.
- We now carry Zinc and Vitamin C in a great tasting lozenge formula. These two key ingredients can help to fight off infections and boost immunity. Controlled studies show that when zinc gluconate is slowly dissolved in the mouth, the duration time of seasonal symptoms may be significantly reduced. Zinc is intimately involved in immune system function and has been shown to inhibit replication of viruses. I would always recommend these lozenges for sore throats and colds over store bought brands. I typically suggest patients take four lozenges throughout the day.
- Increasing your Vitamin D levels helps your body’s immune response fight off the common cold virus. Living in the Midwest in the winter time, we have less than preferred Vitamin D levels due to inadequate sun exposure. Make sure you increase your Vitamin D intake to at least 1000 to 5000 IUs of Vitamin D per day.
- Omega 3 is a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing cellular and immune system stress. Reducing inflammation is the best defense for your total health and wellness. I recommend 3000 mg/day.
- Finally, make sure you are taking a Probiotic. Probiotic bacteria help your body’s immune fighting ability by absorbing the necessary nutrients from the foods you eat. It’s best to take 5000-20000 CFUs of a probiotic per day.
Protecting yourself this season with a few easy suggestions will make for a healthier you!