Let me start off by saying, it's normal to get a cold or two every year (and up to 6 times a year for kids). While it's a pain, it keeps your immune system active and stops it from misbehaving. Being sick becomes a problem when it is happening frequently, intensely, and lasts a long time.
To be honest, I don't think it's just that germs are getting stronger (even though we know this to be true). The other important factor involved with these really bad infections is that people are just plain run down (kids too!). If you're not sleeping enough, eating well, staying hydrated, or managing your stress levels you have a higher likelihood of coming down with something because your body is telling you it needs you to slow down. You might do just fine powering through a busy work season, but then as soon as everything calms down.... BAM. (There's also the people who never get sick ... I'll save that for another day).
This exact same thing happened to me last fall. If you've been with me for awhile, you may remember that I was sick - like really bad - for a full month. I had bronchitis, which was weird for me. But the weirder part is that since then I've seen quite a few people have the exact same symptoms, who are also not regular chest infection sufferers. Regardless, it was bad for all of us: crazy mono-like fatigue, spasmodic cough, fever, aches and pains, sore throat, no appetite, but the constant tiredness was definitely the worst of it. (If this happens to you, come in right away - I have found the best way to treat it).
The reason it caught up with me (and similarly to others) was that I was run down. I didn't know it at the time, but I was depleted. I had enjoyed summer... stayed up too late, got up early to enjoy the sunrise, socialized, etc. It had been a great season, but I wasn't replenished going into the fall. That's when it hit me. For others, it came a little later with the holidays being a huge trigger.
Now with summer winding up, I don't want this to happen to you this year.
So, how do you prepare your immune system now?
- If you're like me, you've been going with the sun and staying up a little later and getting up a little earlier. Know how much sleep your body needs to be well and aim for that each night. It might mean going to bed a little bit sooner, but now is the time to get back into your routines.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies
- Fresh and local produce is ready, and it's delicious. As soon as it gets a little cooler out (the evenings haven't been as warm) you will want to transition to more cooked vegetables and soups
- Stay hydrated
- Keep your mucus membranes (nose, sinuses, throat) moist so that germs can be trapped before getting into your body. Also, fluids help flush out debris and keeps everything flowing out of the body. You can probably start tolerating herbal teas again now.
- If you're extra susceptible to getting sick, support your immune system now with:
1. Vitamin C - 1000-3000mg per day
2. Vitamin D - have this tested with your MD or ND to know your numbers
3. Deep Immune (St Francis) - herbal remedy to keep your immune system strong
5. Mushroom Formula - there are many different medicinal mushroom blends that help to balance the immune system
1. Vitamin C 500-1000mg per day
2. Vitamin D
3. Deep Immune Kids (St Francis)
- Support your gut, 80% of the immune system lives there
1. Probiotics - 10 billion CFU per capsule
2. Find out your food sensitivities (ask me about this one)
3. Eat pre/probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, sprouted grains
4. Ensure regular bowel movements - try adding 1-2 tbsp ground flax seeds to your diet
I've already started seeing a few colds around, which is what inspired me to share these tips with you. If you have the tendency to get sick often, it's a great idea to think about how you can get ahead of it and prevent as many illnesses in the future. Of course if you need specific advice, I'm always happy to meet with you.
I hope you're enjoying the last bits of summer,