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Patients Ask Me...“It’s flu season and I don’t want to get sick. What do I do?”


 

“It’s flu season and I don’t want to get sick. What do I do?”

No secret: people are sick more often with colds and flu during the winter. Possible reasons include loss of sunlight enriched vitamin D levels, exposure to cold and damp, indoor air quality, and greater indoor crowding. Most of these conditions are beyond individual control, but there are still things you can do for yourself to stay as healthy as possible during the winter. Some of the common wisdom prevails: get enough sleep and wash your hands frequently, using regular soap and water, not anti-bacterial wipes. Additional steps you can take:

1. Eat healthy! Winter routines of course include healthy meals, even if they are crowded out a bit by holiday celebrations. Keep in mind that a hefty dose of sugar disables parts of your immune system for about 24 hours, so better to keep your splurges infrequent rather than daily. Keep on hand: homemade chicken broth link is wonderful preventive medicine as well as first aid. Save those chicken bones and brew up a good pot for drinking on its own or with blended vegetables in soups.  

2. Keep moving. Whether you resort to the gym or head for the slopes, keeping up your activity level, well hydrated and adequately clothed, help keep you healthy, too. Check out Anna’s blog (link) on the subject for a little winter exercise inspiration.

3. Supplement wisely. I recommend a few winter basics to keep on hand with daily dosing suggestions, but recommend double doses for folks who get sick or who are exposed to illness.

  • I’ve realized recently that my favorite supplement was probably our first supplement as human beings: fermented cod liver oil (FCLO). (Interview with the manufacturer can be found at http://www.drdeborahmd.com/conversation-dave-wetzel-green-pasture-products .) I recommend almost everyone take FCLO on a regular basis, either the capsules or the oil, whichever is easiest, 2-4 capsules a day or ¼- ½  tsp daily.
  • Antioxidants refuel a working immune system. Vitamin C is a standard and useful anti-oxidant: take 1-2 of the Synergy Vitamin C daily and for a super support, take liquid OPC’s (oligoproanthocyanidins).
  • Mushrooms are being increasingly recognized for their potent immune support, in both infectious and malignant disease. Fungi Perfecti Host Defense is available in either capsules (2-4 daily) or liquid (1 dropper daily).
  • Probiotics boost immunity. Fermented foods are rich sources of probiotics, especially sauerkraut (link). For a supplement, choose Bio-Immersion’s Original Symbiotic (link), increasing from ¼ to ½ teaspoon daily.

And what to do if the best of preventive measures fail?

  • Select a homeopathic remedy from the list on the Flu Solutions page.
  • If you are a homeopathic patient and know your constitutional remedy, start with that remedy in a daily dose of that in a low potency (12C or 30C or LM).
  • You can really boost your vitamin D for 3 days, taking 25,000-50,000 i.u. of vitamin D3.
  • Stay home! You may be contagious for up to a week from the start of symptoms.

And finally, particularly if your illness is thankfully brief: continue your increased supplements for several days after you feel better to prevent relapses.

Case study: acute homeopathic treatment of the H1N1 flu:

I had the flu on Thursday. I'm pretty sure it was 'swine flu' as

that's the only  "flu" that's going around now. I had a fever of 103 and

horrible body aches, chills, sore throat, and cough. I was huddled in

bed, shivering, feeling like I had been run over by a truck. I had

spoken to friends who recently had the same symptoms and they weren't

able to get out of bed for a week.

 

I consulted with my homeopath on Friday. He listened carefully to my

symptoms and asked very specific questions, like, "Do you feel worse

if the covers move?". After getting the picture of my illness, he

recommended two remedies. He said to try nux vomica first, as my

symptoms fit that remedy. He suggested that after three doses, if I

didn't feel better, to stop the nux and switch to gelsenium. He remarked that he

believes gelsenium maybe the 'genus epidemicus,' which, even with my fever,

I found interesting. I tried the nux (three doses) and didn't

get any relief, so I took a dose of gelsenium. Within fifteen minutes,

I felt better. My fever dropped to 100 degrees and my body aches were

gone. The next morning, I bounded out of bed and called to my husband, "It's

a homeopathic miracle!"

~paula

 

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Of course, call for an appointment if you are worried about your illness!

You may need a higher constitutional or a different acute remedy.