Preparing Your Immune System for Cold and Flu Season

The colder it gets outside, the greater the chance you’ll be spending more time inside — and in contact with over 200 viruses and bacteria that cause the common cold. Colds are the number one reason we take time away from work and school, and chances are we’ll have more colds each year than any other type of illness. Sneezing, coughing and nasal congestion, while not life threatening, can make for a week or more of misery. And while over-the-counter medications offer temporary relief from our symptoms, they do nothing to cure or shorten the duration of our cold.

At Ajax-Pickering Village Chiropractic, we believe that a healthy immune system is the key to cold and flu prevention.

What is your terrain?
When we speak of your body’s terrain, we mean your soil…the combination of lifestyle choices and health issues that make up YOU. How healthy is your own soil? Determining the answer to this complex question begins with examining the most obvious factors, such as:

  • how much rest and relaxation you get
  • the amount of stress you are under
  • what you eat and drink
  • how much exercise you get every day
  • how healthy your immune system really is
We use the term “bugs” to describe all the pathogens that can make us sick, and this includes — but is not limited to — bacteria and viruses. But bugs don’t make us sick. While it’s commonplace to say “I caught a cold,” that’s not what really happens. We are in CONSTANT contact with bugs on a daily basis. When we get sick, however, it’s our faltering immune system that’s to blame and ultimately responsible for our ensuing symptoms…not a bug. If you happen to be exposed to a bug during a time when you’re run down, stressed out or not eating properly, chances are you will get sick.

The Best Kept Secret to a Healthy Immune System
Your nervous system is the master controller of all that you do. Your spine houses and controls your nervous system. When your spine is misaligned, it affects the health and viability of your spine and ultimately, your immune system. Spinal misalignments are so common that many people have them without even realizing it. Just like a having a cavity in your tooth, a misalignment remains unnoticed until it begins producing symptoms — and usually by that time, it’s too late. Just like your dentist recommends regular dental checkups, we recommend to all our patients that they visit a chiropractor for their “spinal” checkup and have an adjustment on a regular basis. Empirically, those patients under regular chiropractic care have less bouts of illness through cold and flu season.

  • As a base to your nutritional pyramid, we recommend a daily multi-antioxidant and multi-vitamin like Immuno-Pro Formula* from CanPrev. It helps prevent cellular damage and enhances the immune system while promoting all-round good health.
  • With daylight saving time coming to an end, a liquid vitamin D supplement like D-Mulsion 1000* from Seroyal will help your body adjust to its limited exposure to daylight. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones because it helps your body in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. One drop of Seroyal’s D-Mulsion 1000 provides 1,000 IU.
  • Acting as a natural antihistamine, vitamin C has been proven to reduce the severity of cold symptoms, as well as provide a boost to your immune system. Not only does vitamin C increase the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, but it also increases the levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces and keeps viruses out. Ask Dr. Noble or Dr. Fera for the dosage that’s right for you.
  • Acidophilus, also known as the good bacteria your body needs to thrive, is available in pill or powder form and can be found in a variety of commercially made yogurts. It is often recommended for patients finishing oral antibiotic treatment in order to recolonize the gastrointestinal tract and prevent further infection. Ask Dr. Noble or Dr. Fera for their individual recommendation.
  • Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are also an important part of your family’s daily supplement regimen. In addition to increasing your energy and stamina by building muscle and preventing muscle breakdown, EFAs strengthen the immune system by making hormone-like molecules (eicosanoids) that regulate immune and inflammatory responses. Ask a health professional for the dose that meets your specific needs.

You Are What You Eat
In addition to taking daily supplements and getting plenty of rest and exercise, you can boost your immune system by eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Make sure to include fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, prunes, raisins, oranges in your diet, as well as such vegetables as kale, spinach, beets, red bell peppers, onions, broccoli flowers and eggplant.

If I do get a cold, should I have chiropractic treatment?
Absolutely! Not only will spinal adjustments help relieve such symptoms as head and back pain, they will also help kick-start your immune system and have you feeling better faster. In fact, for many of our patients, an adjustment is their first line of defense when they feel a cold coming on.

Should I get a flu shot?
While each case is different, flu shots are generally recommended for the elderly and those individuals whose immune systems are already compromised by a chronic disease or ailment. As an alternate to the flu shot, try a five-week homeopathic treatment (one dose per week) for you and your family, available at most health food stores. Ideally, treatment should begin in late October.

Please consult your health care professional before taking any new supplements.

*D-Immulsion 1000 and Immuno-Pro Formula are available at Ajax-Pickering Village Chiropractic.