Staying Healthy in 'Flu Season

Dr. Brenda Gill
By Dr. Brenda Gill
October 28th, 2015

Natural Flu Protection – For more than just 1 Bug

Now that fall is upon us, it is time to bolster the system for the winter. I’ve already seen the start of viral flus, so, this will help prevent and minimize the typical viral and bacterial illnesses common at this time of year.

I try to remind folks that having a cold or flu once a year is a good thing. It helps to re-train and remind the immune system what it needs to look out for, what it needs to destroy and keeps it vigilant.  It is like any other system in our body;  if we don’t require it to practice, it will start to be less effective when we really need it.  Many of you can relate to the first day skiing.  If you have not done exercises that require the muscles to contract and relax and re-learn what they need to do, many find themselves sore the next day.  It is exactly the same concept. 

If we keep on top of the system as we move into a different activity, or in this case, new challenges,  the response is much smoother.  A good cold or flu response is mounting a fever that breaks after 1 night, with the duration of the cold or flu only 3-4 days.  It is important to keep hydrated during that period, rest and replace electrolyes if necessary with miso broth, and not to worry about food.   

The important steps to bolster the system are:

1.    If you weigh 140 pounds,  drink at least 70 ounces of water per day to flush toxins;  I tell people to drink half as many ounces per day as the number of pounds you weigh, within reason.   This minimizes the load the immune system needs to deal with, so it will be more able to destroy those bad bacteria and viruses.  

2.    Eat a well-balanced diet as we discussed in the past for adequate nutrients.  Lots of green, leafy veggies, other veggies, dark-fleshed fruit, whole grains, herbs, spices, natural sweeteners balanced with your source of good quality protein, such as fish, lamb, buffalo, wild meat, chicken, turkey, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes.  This will be a neutral meal, and if you have slightly more veggies and whole grains than protein, it will be alkaline.  When the body is alkaline, it can detoxify efficiently. 

3.    Minimize foods that compromise the immune system — you know,  the stuff that comes in boxes or cans with few real ingredients, but lots of artificial and chemical materials!  Remember, 1 teaspoon of sugar decreases immune function by 50% for at least 4 hours and is acidifying. 

4.    Minimize fried foods with hydrogenated, oxidized, saturated fats that create a toxic load on the system.

5.    Consider maximizing a non-citrus Vitamin C at this time of year as a powder or capsule. Remember, no chewables or ascorbic acid/calcium ascorbate- this just wears the enamel off your teeth and makes you acidic  so you can’t detoxify,  and contributes to the sugar load.

6.    Consider a Multi Vitamin & Mineral in capsule form to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you should, unless you eat mostly organic foods.

7.    Keep to a routine, so you are eating each meal at about the same time and keep to 3 meals per day. This keeps the blood sugar regulated properly to minimize cortisol, which minimizes any stress on the adrenal gland, liver and pancreas, therefore maximizing immune function. 

8.    Get 8 hours of sleep per night — remember every hour before midnight is worth 2 after midnight to restore adrenal balance and repair your body. 

9.    Minimize alcohol and acidic and stimulant drinks, including coffee/tea/green white tea/yerba mate/honey bush/rooibos & pop  to 2-3/week to minimize adrenal stress and acidification. 

10. Resolve any conflictsat work or at home as quickly as possible to restore adrenal balance.

11. Maintain some type of activity routine with a component of increased heart rate- walking/running/cycling/dancing/rebounding/dancing etc with components of strength and flexibility such as yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates. 

12.  If you wish to bolster your system even further, consider using the flu kit. These are available at this time of year. One vial is formulated according to the most common, virulent strains of bacteria/viruses that year.

The other vial optimizes the ability of the immune system to identify, locate, destroy & be more vigilant  for  foreign bugs.  You take them 2 per week for 4-5 weeks to protect you forthe season.

I have many patients who have chosen this approach and have had little trouble with the colds or flus of the season.

If you tend to catch many colds or flus, which is the result of a compromised immune system,  or have other complications such as cancer or an auto-immune condition, consider an appointment with Dr. Brenda Gill at 250-362-5035

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