We’ve come into one of the deadliest flu seasons yet! Here’s what you need to know:
The flu is highly contagious disease. It is caused by an influenza virus which is spread through the air from person to person or through contaminated devices (remote control, doorknob, etc.). It won’t be fixed by antibiotics because these medications treat bacterial infections not viral.
Signs and Symptoms
Fever – Cough – Sore Throat – Runny Nose – Muscle and Body Aches – Fatigue – Chills – Headaches – Vomiting – Diarrhea
GET YOUR SLEEP– studies have found sleep deprivation to impair immune response and leaves us susceptible to influenza infections even after getting the flu shot.
Exercise – One of best ways to prevent cold and flu is to exercise. A research study done by Purdue University found just 30 minutes of exercise three to four times a week can boost your immunity. However, when you are sick with a fever and muscle fatigue, DO NOT EXERCISE as it can increase the spread of the infection. You must rest up! Read more about it.
Wash your hands OFTEN – decreases spread of germs – scrub for 20 seconds and remember to clean between fingers and fingernails!
Toothbrush care – when one person catches the flu, it is best to set their toothbrush away from the rest to prevent germ contamination. Replace brush once the person gets better.
If you are sharing a room with a sick person, wash your bedding frequently in hot water. The same goes for towels. You can use paper towels instead of normal towels to prevent spread of cold and flu.
Paper/plastic plates, cups, and utensils – best way to prevent spread of cold and flu from contamination.
Humidifier – help open sinuses and nasal passages and decrease cough and chest congestion. Empty and refill the tank once a day. An essential oil like Eucalyptus can be added for extra effectiveness. Remember to clean your humidifier every week using one part vinegar and four parts water. You can also incorporate plants into your house as they are great humidifiers
Stay hydrated – not only drink lots of water, but also herbal teas, chicken and beef broths, and soups to keep you hydrated and decongested throughout the winter months.
Hydrotherapy – Sock Treatment is one of the best ways to enhance one’s immunity and decrease stress. Try it out!
- Avoid – dairy as it can increase mucus and congestion, sugary and processed foods as they increase inflammation and feed bacterial infections.
- As mentioned above, adding broths to your winter regimen is not only great to keep you hydrated but also to gives you nutritive support.
- Eating chicken soup – chicken has a constituent called NAC which is a great decongestant.
- Eating a clean cooked diet.
Herbal Consideration – there are many herbs and spices which enhance your immune system including black pepper, cinnamon, Echinacea, and Elderberry etc. Did you know Eachinacea helps to fight off the flu, but it is best to taken at the first sign of illness? A study done in 2012 found that the echinacea effectively treated respiratory tract infections in the short- and long-term, and didn’t cause the same resistance as a popular flu medication often causes when treating this illness. Oregano Oil also has powerful antiviral effects but should only be taken when you have flu. Consult your Naturopathic Doctor for proper dosing. Make an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor now
Supplementation – these include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and many more. Zinc supports immune function and has an antiviral effect. Recent research shows that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of cold, flu and respiratory infections. Like the herbs, it is best to seek medical advice from a Naturopathic Doctor who can give you the proper dosage. Make an appointment now