This is the season of the drippy nose, the cough that won’t subside and the dreaded fever. Your kids come home covered in who knows what germs and it seems inevitable that you will get sick right? I used to think getting sick several times a year was normal, but it’s just not true. Getting sick multiple times-a-year is a sign that your immune system is not functioning properly and luckily there is quite a lot you can do about it. This is not a comprehensive list but hopefully this will get your mind working on the problem of illness and spark some good questions on your next appointment.
1. Fuel it correctly. The food we eat means something to the health of our bodies. That pizza you ate while feeling lazy or that extra beer put stress on the body, making it more likely you will succumb to illness. If you are like most you have not put much thought into what foods YOUR body likes, tolerates or thrives on. There are fantastic tests like IgG food sensitivity testing through USBiotek or the MRT test through Oxford Labs that can help you define the optimal diet that will keep you healthy. Make an appointment to talk with Dr. Beamer about it!
In general, when you are feeling sick move more towards protein and veggies leaving the carbs and especially sugar for another time
2. Exercise: Seriously, move your body. Exercise that makes you sweat stimulates the immune response in the brain, organs and flushes tissues. It is the ultimate reset for the body and comes with a lovely rush of feel good endorphins. Exercise should be dependent on your severity of illness and if you are unsure of what to do or how hard to go please consult a licensed health care professional. That being said, the evidence for so many conditions is clear, bed rest is only somewhat helpful, movement is key.
3. Water: You should be drinking ½ your body weight in ounces daily. Period. When you are sick pump it up to 2/3 and help your body get rid of the microbes. Tea is good but should not have caffeine.
4. Supplements: With so many “immune formulas” and “boosts” out there it can seem like an easy thing to grab a tablet and let it dissolve in water. The problem with a lot of readily available cold remedies though is that they contain quite a bit of sugar (an immune depressant). Stick with the basics like Vitamins A, C, E and herbal anti-virals and remember that taking them once you are already sick can help but getting a good regimen for prevention is just as useful. We are always available to help you navigate the confusing world of supplements to get the most out of your health and money.
When it comes to the common cold, recognize that your immune system is limited by how fast it can work. It takes a standard amount of time for your immune soldiers to find and transport microbes through the lymph system so that the body can mount a defense. This means that once you are sick all you can do is support the body in its work. If you are getting sick multiple times a year, make an appointment to talk about how to boost your immune system so you can have the life you deserve.