Keep Sickness Away

19 Nov
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Hi everyone!

I’m the new Naturopath at Erin Mills Optimum Health, Dr. Michael Callachan. I’ll be filling in for Dr. Aisling Lanigan for the next few months while she is on maternity leave.

Cold and flu season is upon us once again so I thought I would offer some insight on how you can keep sickness away in order to be flu-free this winter.

Here are my 5 suggestions to keep sickness away:

1. Vitamin D:

The sunshine vitamin is typically lacking in the winter as the sun is less intense in the winter and many people do not get enough sun exposure as sun bathing in January in Canada is unpopular. There are few good food sources of vitamin D adding to the problem. Supplementing vitamin D, specifically D3, is the only way to prevent deficiency over the winter months. Why am I telling you this? Because vitamin D is important for immune function. Having adequate D3 levels tempers the inflammatory response of some white blood cells while boosting the production of antimicrobial proteins of others. Vitamin D is generally inexpensive and safe at dosages necessary to optimize levels in the body. It is a fat soluble vitamin so for proper absorption it needs to be in a fat emulsion so make sure you are taking a liquid or gel capsule version of D3.

2. Sleep:

Sleep is important to immune function. It ranks as one of the more important things you can do to prevent colds and flus. The National Sleep Foundation says that inadequate sleep has a negative impact on immune function, and chronic sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of contracting infectious disease. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep. If you are having issues getting the necessary amount of sleep seek out help and be well rested and free of infectious disease!

3. Stress:

Keep your stress levels as low as you can. Stress negatively impacts your immune system. High stress levels impair normal immune function making it work harder thereby lowering resistance to infection. While it is likely not possible to completely remove all stress, discharging stress and preventing build up of stress will pay off with less colds and flus. Reducing stress will have positive impacts in many different areas of your life.

4. Nutrition:

Eating a healthy balanced diet has been shown to boost immune function. Have lots of garlic! It has antimicrobial properties that may help prevent infection. Plus it tastes great. Keeping hydrated will also have positive effects on immunity. Drink lots of water and herbal teas to help keep your watery insides moist and happy.

5. Hygiene:

Frequent hand washing has been shown time and again to help prevent infection. Keep your hands clean. Even if you do get sick keep your hands clean to prevent spreading colds and flus to others. Flu virus particles can be spread up to 6 feet as aerosols from coughing and sneezing. Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing. Do not use your hands, as this will facilitate transmission via contamination of surfaces that you subsequently touch.

There you have it friends, 5 reasonable and effective ways to keep sickness away in order to prevent colds and flus this winter. If you do get sick, stay home. You need your rest and going out into the world will make you sicker or prolong your illness and risk spreading it to others. There are treatments that Naturopathic Doctors use that can help reduce the length of illness and the severity. If such treatment options are of interest to you please discuss them with a Naturopathic Doctor.

Thanks for reading everyone,

Dr. Michael Callachan

Read about the Chiropractic connection to the Immune System too!

 

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