October 30, 2020
10 Tips to Prevent the Flu Naturally
There are a number of very simple and highly effective ways to prevent the flu from entering your household.
1 Wash your hands often – you can pick up and spread germs from door handles, magazines, debit machines, so please remember to wash your hands often with soap and water! Teach your children to effectively wash their hands.
2 Take vitamin D – liquid vitamin D not only helps our bones, it also strengthens our immune system
3 Avoid sugar when you are sick – 1 tsp of sugar can depress your immune system for 6 hours.
4 Exercise regularly – this increases your circulating white blood cells, giving our system an extra boost.
5 Dress appropriately – Make sure you dress for the weather! Chinese medicine shows us that being exposed to cold, wet and windy weather can increase our susceptibility to viruses.
6 Treat your Imbalances – if you are always fighting something such as allergies, a plantar wart, sleepless nights, your energy is diverted from strengthening your immune system. See a Naturaopthic Doctor to get balanced.
7 Use the Warming Socks the first sign of a cold or flu – put a pair or warm, damp cotton sports socks on your feet followed by a pair of dry wool socks and go straight to bed. This increases your immune system and fights off a cold, decreasing the length of your cold.
8 Eat your fruits and veggies – the more colourful your diet, the more antioxidants you will eat to fight off infection.
9 Rest - if you are feeling run down, it’s good to stop, rest, heal, and then get back to work. Pushing through will only depress your immune system and increase your susceptibility and time to recover.
10 Use natural remedies for prevention - herbs, vitamins and homeopathics are very effective to help keep your immune system healthy and prevent the flu. Book an appointment with Dr. Laura to find out what is safest for you and your family.
What is the Influenza Virus Anyway?
- Millions of people contract the flu each year and only experience mild symptoms.
- The incubation period lasts about two days before symptoms of fever, cough, chills, sore throat, body aches, fatigue or headaches appear.
- Transmission occurs through coughing, sneezing, direct contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, and unwashed hands. People are contagious from the day before symptoms begin until approximately 5 days after illness onset. Children can be infectious for a longer period, and very young children can shed the virus for <6 days before their illness onset. Severely immunocompromised persons can shed the virus for weeks.
- Symptoms usually subside after two to three days and disappear within a week. Infection complications (pneumonia, hospitalization, death) are very rare and may occur in individuals with an underlying medical condition, those greater than 65 years of age, and young children with a predisposition to respiratory infections
Facts about the Influenza Vaccination
The "flu shot" is against only specific strains of the virus
- Over 500 different viruses can cause flu-like symptoms. Flu vaccines are devised using the three most common strains seen the previous year
- The virus is constantly changing
The immune system takes time to respond
- Two weeks is required to develop sufficiently high levels of antibodies to protect against the influenza virus
- For the first 24 hours after receiving the flu shot the acute immune system is suppressed which puts individuals at greater risk for developing a cold from recent exposure to viruses
Research shows us efficacy
- Research suggests the flu vaccine that closely matches the infective strain each year temporarily prevents the flu in healthy persons less than 65 years old about 70% of the time, while in individuals over 65 years of age the efficacy rate is less than 30%
Flu shot is not without side effects
- Children are at the greatest risk of side effects from the vaccine including: fever, body aches, allergic reactions and potentially a severe paralytic illness