by Hannah Moore – naturopathWhen we get sick with a cold or flu it’s usually because we have been over doing it such as; pushing it too hard with sport or at the gym, too many late nights, starting a new job, moving house, working long hours without taking breaks, travel, stress in your primary relationships etc. Colds and flus tend to show up during stressful times or immediately afterwards. Note: it’s very common for people to get sick when they go on holiday if they have been stressed.
When we experience stress, our adrenal glands, which produce stress hormones, use a huge amount of vitamin C, B vitamins and Magnesium, all of these nutrients are required for immune health so it’s not really any surprise when we look at it from this angle that people get sick when or soon after being stressed. The best thing for a cold or flu is rest. Your body will naturally want to sleep more so allow yourself to indulge in sleep-ins, take the day off work, cancel your appointments and catch-up. The key here is as soon as you feel like you’re getting sick to STOP. The longer you try to push through, the longer it will take for you to get better.
For additional help get yourself on a good quality vitamin C, Vitamin B and Magnesium – these nutrients feed the adrenals and immune system. A good quality Zinc may also be helpful to boost your immune system. If you have white spots on your nails absolutely take some zinc as this is an indicator of low zinc reserves. Both Kate and I have these products available for purchase so feel free to phone us or pop in to pick some up.
Cut out refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods completely. These all suppress immune function.
Make sure you drink plenty of water. You can make lemon, honey and freshly grated ginger drinks too, these are great for speeding up recovery.
If you do all of the above-mentioned things you should be on the way to recovery pretty quickly or maybe, not even get sick. However, if not you may need some additional herbal help. This is where your naturopath comes in very handy as we can test your body for exactly what herbs your body needs. The herbs that we will give you will strengthen your immune system and help you to kill off the virus and bacteria without causing damage to your flora like antibiotics do.
Do you have a reoccurring cough or sinus congestion that seems to come and go for no apparent reason? If so you may have a biofilm in your lungs or sinuses. This is different to having a cold and needs a different approach. A Biofilm is a protective membrane that forms around colonies of bacteria in the lungs and sinuses. Just think of a biofilm as a tent where the bugs live free from the danger of the immune system, herbs, and antibiotics.
In practice, we often see people who say they get the same symptoms over and over again and that it seems to come out of no-where. This is a strong indicator of biofilms. Often people have taken courses of antibiotics trying to get rid of the infection and what they find is that it helps clear the initial symptoms but another time when they get run down, or stressed the same symptoms come back.
The key with biofilms is we have to break down the protective membrane, if we don’t do this the bacteria can hide away safely out of danger. When we break down the Biofilm the herbs, and immune system can finally get inside the colony and properly clear the infection once and for all. There are a few different ways to open up biofilms the simplest home remedy is to use raw garlic high does for a 2-3 week period. However, there are less stinky ways to do this and we can show you how at your next consult.