At SBFC we get this question often because many of our patients have learned that medications even over the counter are usually great for masking pain and symptoms but do nothing to make us healthier. In fact, drugs often ignore the bigger issue of why you got sick in the first place.
Germs are opportunists like a sunflower seed or acorn, just waiting for the right environment to express their potential. For an acorn that environment is healthy soil, sunshine, water…etc which produces a mighty oak tree over time. For a bacteria or virus to thrive into a cold, flu or other disease they need an environment of an immune-compromised human, someone who is doing one or more of the following: dealing with more stress than usual, not active enough, eating or drinking processed/fast food/alcohol/sugary substances (sugar is probably the worst), not getting enough sunshine and is subluxated.
Fever, coughing, sneezing and even the wretched puking are all part of the body’s amazing defense mechanisms for fighting a cold or flu naturally. Fever serves as a catalyst speeding up the immune systems fighting actions, while not always pleasant if left alone to do its thing, it usually speeds up the sick process. If a fever is treated with drugs like Tylenol that suppresses the fever, often the immune system is suppressed and while you may feel better, it can take weeks longer to beat a nagging cold. Plus getting sick is a great way to examine what lifestyle activities you may have engaged in to leave your immune system suppressed and your body open for invasion.
Now life happens to us all, and especially around the holidays there is ample opportunity for indulging in immune suppressing behavior (is that why the cold and flu season follows the holidays…..hmm?), so what to do if you’ve come down with something or feel a cold coming on, but don’t want to suppress your body’s fighting mechanism with drugs. IS there anything natural you can take or do to support your immune system?
YES! Here goes the list of “what to do when you are feeling sick.”
1. Get an extra adjustment = lowers stress hormone cortisol, stopping it’s interference of your immune system .
2. Sunshine 20-30 min each day = provides 20-30,000 IUs of Vitamin D a potent stimulator of your immune system and it feels great and lowers stress.
Or (if you are in Mass sorry peeps)
2a. Vit D3 supplement – 20-30,000 IU each day (if you don’t get sun on the regular, 5,000IUs daily is a must).
3. Vit C 1000mg 3xdaily (ester C is best) = potent stimulator of your immune system (you know you’ve taken too much when you get the runs – much better side effect than the horrible side effects list on the Tylenol bottle).
4. Omega 3 supplements 3-5g daily = will help balance any inflammation, which feeds microforms.
5. Oil of Oreganol extract = natural extract from plan that acts as an antiviral antimicrobial (follow directions on bottle or ask natural foods supplement shop clerk).
6. Garlic = natural antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial…get cooking or cut a small piece and swallow. I believe they have garlic pills you can take too, but it’s probably best to eat.
7. Probiotics = healthy bacteria that provide support to our immune system. Extra capsule during a sickness especially if you are taking any antibiotics.
5-6-7…Some of the above can be combined into a tonic…for example check out Melanie’s Master Tonic (natural antibiotic).
8. Lastly, avoid Sugar like the plague – potent immune suppressant in fact the black plague that wiped out ½ of Europe in the middle ages began at around the exact time sugar was introduced in Europe…hmmm.
Really folks, keep sugar and processed foods to a minimum (last resort, but probably better to skip a meal than eat toast and jam while sick for what it does to your immune function.
Remember the best treatment is a consistent healthy lifestyle that includes, regular chiropractic care, nutritious foods from the earth, plenty of exercise and a positive mindset!
Boost your immune system for health!
-Dr. Nick Araza DC CCWP