Top Ten Ways To Fight The Flu
Cold and flu season is well underway, and one of the worst we’ve seen at our health care facility in many years. We receive lots of questions about how to avoid the flu and stay well this winter. This is an important question, as getting sick can stress your immune system, increasing your risk of a flare up in an autoimmune condition, thyroid dysfunction, or other chronic illness.
Here are some tips for staying healthy this flu season. Following these lifestyle, diet, and supplement practices will go a long way in decreasing your risk of getting the flu.
1. Wash Your Hands Frequently and Thoroughly
This is the number one way to prevent the flu and other respiratory infections. You must scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds in order to kill viruses. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing your hands. Hand sanitizers are an option in place of hand washing to prevent cold and flu viruses, but this can have damaging effects on the microbiome of the gut. So if possible, stick with hand washing.
2. Heal Your Gut
Your gut is your gateway to health as 70-80% of your immune system is located in your gut. Make sure your gut is functioning at its best by taking a high-quality, multi-strain probiotic with at least 25 billion units. This will keep your levels of good gut bacteria up to help fight off infections.
3. Reduce Alcohol and Sugar Consumption
Even moderate alcohol consumption suppresses the central nervous system, and therefore your immune system. Consuming too much sugar can suppress the immune system and make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections like the flu. It also leaves you open to gut infections such as Candida and SIBO, which suppress your immune system and cause leaky gut.
4. Reduce Your Stress
Stress is known to suppress our immune systems. Consider meditation or yoga to help you relax.
5. Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Every Night
Your body relies on sleep to recuperate and repair itself from daily exposure to toxins. Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly reduce immune function.
6. Supplement with Glutathione, Turmeric, and Vitamin C
Antioxidants are very important for your immune function. Glutathione is the chief antioxidant in your body, responsible for enhancing your immune system and helping your liver with detoxification. Curcumin is the orange pigment in turmeric and a potent antioxidant that improves joint health and cardiovascular function. Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, and supports optimal immune function
7. Take an Immune Booster
Give your immune system an added boost with some immunoglobulins, herbs, and botanicals. We carry immune boost capsules call Viracid in our office to take daily to prevent colds and flus. This can also be taken 5-6 times per day at the first onset of a virus to reduce the severity and symptoms. We also carry an immune boosting product with immunoglobulins call Igg Protect. This should be taken daily to prevent colds and flus, as well as to repair the gut.
8. Optimize Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a powerful immune system modulator, meaning it is key to fighting off infections and regulating autoimmunity. Optimal levels range from 50 to 70 ng/mL, so we recommend taking 5,000 IU per day and working with a physician to regularly monitor your levels.
9. Consider a Zinc Supplement
Zinc is another powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in immune health. Within the immune system, zinc is needed for gene regulation and the functioning of neutrophils, natural killer cells, and lymphocytes, which are all types of white blood cells.
10. Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise can boost your immune system by increasing your circulation and relieving stress. Increased circulation allows antibodies to travel throughout your bloodstream faster, making it easier for your immune system to fight off an illness. Exercise can also enhance your immune system by relieving stress and slowing the release of stress hormones in the body.