Everybody’s doin’ it

admin/ September 30, 2015/ Dr. Danielle/

I do it. My kids do it. My parents do it. As do my in-laws. Heck, my patients even do it. What do we do?? We catch colds. And flus. I’m not one to jump on too many trendy bandwagons, but this is one I just can’t resist. The problem with everybody doing it though, is not all of us know how to do it properly. And by properly, I mean how to catch a cold/flu and not feel like death for 2 weeks. So this blog is going to help you, if you aren’t learned in this already, how to amp up your immune system and resiliency.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I recommend both personally and professionally getting sick about 2-3 times a year. This keeps our immune system on the cutting edge of sickness….or something like that. So do I set up protocols for my patients to ensure they never get sick?? No. I set them up so that their immune system is stronger and more resilient. This translates into getting sick only 2-3 times a year and each time, they cope well with it and get over it much quicker. The other thing of importance that I have blogged about in the past is the wet sock treatment. I promise not to mention it again. But know that it is highly, highly recommended 😉 .

So here are a few tips to help you out.

#1) I hate to be Captain Obvious but hygiene really is that important. And I don’t mean chasing your kids around the house and disinfecting every surface they touch. This is not doing their immune system any favour. I am just talking about washing hands, face, and ensuring that their mouth/teeth are brushed twice a day. My hands go raw, especially in the colder months, with washing because my job involves touching sick people. And if, for whatever reason, washing your hands is out of the question for that moment, then just be really conscious about not touching your face.

#2) Drink water. I mean it. Do it. At least 1 L for kids and 2 L for adults. And please don’t listen to anyone who tells you that they just need fluid. Because we North Americans take that for granted. We will count coffee, pop, and a shot of rum as fluid. I am talking straight water. If you don’t like the taste of spring water, try reverse osmosis. Has a different, harder, some say acquired, taste to it. Water is important because it keeps one of our primary defense systems working. Our mucous membranes. Inside of our mouth, nose, throat, all the way to the “down there’s”. Our mucous membranes are typically the first thing that comes into contact with invading pathogens and if they aren’t properly hydrated, you don’t have a chance.

#3) Adequate sleep. Inadequate sleep, as we know, and have likely experienced at some point, depresses our immune system. A very, very common complaint of my patients is difficulty sleeping (and pooping, but that’s for another blog). I can’t stress enough the importance of getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night. You may need to rearrange how you set your day up, or how often your house is cleaned, but do it. You will thank me. If you are on of the unlucky ones who isn’t getting enough sleep, and need assistance, then perhaps it’s time you visit a naturopath. Just sayin’.

#4) Exericise. I know. We all hate being told we need to exercise. We all know it is good for us. Yet it is the hardest thing for some of us to work into our already busy schedule. It’s one of those things you just need to start, cold turkey. There is no patch or medication or even laser therapy to help us with this one. Although I have heard hypnotherapy might work…..?!?! It doesn’t take long to make it a habit and you will start to feel so sensational that you will start to crave the workout! Simply put, exercise increases circulation and prevents and dissipates lymph congestion.

#5) Diet. Again, I know. I am so sorry. It is so painful to hear over and over again. If we all could just eat right and exercise, the world would be a different place. I know I am not telling you anything you don’t already know…I am just reminding you. During the flu season, the main culprits to watch out for are dairy and sugar. Dairy is mucous forming, adding to congestion. And sugar not only feeds invading pathogens, 1 tsp of refined sugar is enough to decrease our white blood cells for up to 6 hours!!!

#6) Supplementation. There is a whole list of things that are helpful here. The trick is individualizing the protocol for what each patient needs. My arsenal is extensive and to do it all is too overwhelming. This includes but not limited to: Vitamin D3, Zinc, Vitamin C, Probiotics, individual or combination homeopathics, botanicals (way too many to list), etc. There is a great protocol just waiting for you to discover, so go visit your naturopath to see what that is!

Before I finish, I will leave you with a little anecdote that happened between my kids this morning….just to lighten the mood from all of this flu business.

So I begrudgingly ask my kids this morning what they wanted to be for Halloween. (begrudgingly because I am not one to enjoy the event (ever) but wish I could). And my son answers with “a vampire”. At which my 4 yr. old daughter said “Oooohhhh yesssss, me too”. My son then asks my youngest (2 years old) what she would like to be. And in her ever-expanding vocabulary, and what I think was her attempt at saying vampire, she replies “A pump pirate”. This put my kids into hysterics. The reason is because on their father’s side of the family, passing gas is referred to as “pumping”. So she wants to be a farting pirate for Halloween. Perfect.

Trick or treat.

Dr. D.