6 Tips to Avoiding “the Crud” This Cold & Flu Season

6 Tips to Avoiding “the Crud” This Cold & Flu Season

Everyone around you at your office is coughing, hacking, their noses honking as they blow them into tissues, which are collecting in piles, growing into little white mountains on their desks. You go home and your child’s runny nose seems to never stop and your spouse breaks out in cold sweats next to you in bed. You settle in for a bad one; you know there’s no avoiding it.

Or is there?

No promises folks, but if you do these 6 things before you feel symptoms, knowing exposure is inevitable, you just MIGHT get through it unscathed. Hey, it’s worth a shot. But one thing is for certain, if you do all of these things before you get a cold, when it hits you, it won’t be nearly as bad.

1. Drink tons of water

This is always good advice, but doubly so when you’re trying to avoid getting sick. Water shuttles oxygen to your cells, which they need to (among other things) fight off invaders. Water also flushes toxins from your cells. Without enough water, toxins build up and weaken your immune system.

2. Take Zinc

Zinc is quite possibly the closest thing the world has to a cure for the common cold. Studies have found it can shorten cold symptoms by 300%. And if you take it before you even get any symptoms, that’s even better.

3. Get an adjustment

A chiropractic adjustment to the upper thoracic region of your spine releases an immune system cell called interleukin-2. The job of this guy is to signal to your white blood cells to be on the alert and ready for action–which is exactly what you need if you’re looking down the barrel of a cold. It won’t be able to use the element of surprise. The adjustment raises interleukin-2 for a 48-hour period, so getting one every 2 days would keep you on high alert–probably long enough to ride out the storm.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is so crucial to your immune system that a deficiency in Vitamin D is a contributing factor in the development of everything from arthritis to Parkinson’s disease to cancers of all kinds. You should ALWAYS be getting Vitamin D. And you can almost never have enough. If you’re trying to stay away from a cold, get a good Vitamin D3 supplement and take twice the amount it says on the bottle.

5. Probiotics

The relatively new study of the microbiome–our body’s intricate network of “helper bacteria”–has found, among other things, that these bacteria cultures are crucial to a healthy immune system. They play an important role in letting your body know if and when a harmful bug has entered your system. The bad news is that, through habitual use of antibiotics, factory-farmed meats raised with antibiotics and various toxins in our food and environment, most of us have a relatively weak microbiome. So we’ve got to bolster it by taking probiotic supplements. Or even better, by eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha.

6. Sleep

Now is not the time to stay up late and binge-watch the new season of Stranger Things. Just go to bed. The less sleep, the more exposed your immune system. Make yourself a nice cup of chamomile tea, turn off the TV and get a solid 8 hours for the next few nights, AT LEAST.

Let’s get through this cold & flu season together. No vaccines, no antibiotics, no mainlining OTC cold medications just to get through the day. We’re going to be smart about this, right? Ok.

 

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Dr. Aaron Ernst