Cold and Flu are used almost interchangeably but they mean different things. One can get the common cold so easily, hence its name. It is characterized by a sore throat, a runny nose, sneezing and sometimes teary eyes.
The flu, on the other hand is characterized by all of the above as well as high-grade fever and joint pain. Both the common cold and flu are caused by viruses and usually resolve on their own without any drugs by a week or two.
When you have a productive cough and fever in addition to the above -mentioned symptoms then you may have a bacterial infection. Now you need an antibiotic to clear the infection. It is important to go to the hospital for the appropriate tests to be done to arrive at a diagnosis for subsequent treatment. It is dangerous to take just any antibiotic without a proper diagnosis. The bacteria can become resistant and hence very difficult to treat.
Studies have shown a link between the nervous system and the immune system, and chiropractic should be a part of your health routine—but there are some other natural methods you can employ to boost your immune system to hopefully starve off a cold or the flu.
5 Natural Ways to Naturally Prevent Colds and Flu
- Enjoy Quality Sleep
Your body’s cells get replenished during sleep so it is critical that you get at least seven hours of good sleep every night. Good sleep means uninterrupted sleep with little to no external stimuli like light or music. Your mobile phone should be on silent and away from your bed when you sleep so that you are not tempted to use your phone during bedtime. In fact, studies have revealed that three nights of low quality sleep can drop your immune system function by 60 per cent. Then you become susceptible to a cold or flu.
- Get a hobby
Sing, dance, play cards, knit, play a musical instrument like the piano or watch a good movie to de-stress. Chronic stress is just plain bad for your body—and that includes your immune system. The Mayo Clinic states that the stress hormone, cortisol, which increases with stress, changes your immune system responses. You can get sick easily if your immune system is not functioning optimally. So matter what you may be going through find some time for stress relief otherwise you will be spending your money on medications whiles you ponder about your health on the couch. If you cannot deal with the stress then talk to an expert.
- Move your body
They say motion is life so whatever you do you cannot stop moving. Exercise is another excellent way to boost your immune system. A brisk walk three-four times a week will strengthen your heart and increase you’re the oxygen capacity of your lungs. If walking is boring then try hitting the gym or get some exercise videos for home. Whatever you do, just keep moving that body.
- Dose of Vitamin D
These days most people spend less than five minutes in the sun because they are cooked up in their offices all day long. Vitamin D is essential for a robust immune response but because we are not getting enough sunlight many people are Vitamin D deficient. You can also get some Vitamin D from egg yolk and some fish like salmon. If you are diagnosed with low Vitamin D then you might have to depend on supplements.
- Ditch the sugar
Sugar has been catching a lot of flak lately, but there’s good cause for concern and one of them is immune suppression—and this isn’t new. Four decades ago, a study was published by researchers from Loma Linda University, which demonstrated a change in the white blood cells’ ability to kill germs after participants consumed a large amount of sugar. In addition, further research links sugar to inflammation, and this includes white bread and rice which quickly break down into sugar in the body.
As we await the harmattan this year please prepare yourself and that of your family against any infections.
By: Dr. Naa Asheley Dordor, Nova Wellness Center