Natural Methods for Managing the Cold & Flu Season
By Dr. Nick Barnes
The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. and that feeling immediately hits you. Your breathing is stuffy, you’re coughing, and your forehead feels warm. You’re coming down with a cold or possibly the flu. “I’ll drink a few cups of coffee and take some cough medicine along with ibuprofen to ease my symptoms,” you tell yourself. “Today will be tough, but I’ll get through it.”
That’s standard thinking when you feel an illness coming on. Unfortunately, suppressing cold and flu symptoms with over-the-counter cough and cold medicines often does more harm than good.
How to Get Rid of a Cold: Do Cold Medicines Work?
Visit any drug store and you’ll find countless formulas, all promising fast, effective relief. For more severe symptoms or a cold or flu that sticks around beyond a few days, your doctor might also prescribe medications. Unfortunately, many cold medicines can have adverse or minimal results:
• Antihistamines combined with decongestants, analgesics, or both: Have a small to moderate effect on the common cold in older children and adults.
• Cough suppressants: Research shows that cough medicines don’t benefit children. For adults, the benefit is unclear but likely small. Norman Edelman, MD, senior scientific advisor at the American Lung Association, says we lack evidence that suppressants and expectorants help with coughing.
• NSAIDs and Tylenol: While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can relieve pain and fever in people with upper respiratory tract infections, they do not relieve other symptoms and can have adverse effects including gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems.
• Antibiotics: Sometimes physicians prescribe antibiotics, yet they have no beneficial effect on the common cold. Antibiotics wipe out all your gut flora, which is bad news, considering about 70 percent of your immune system lies in the gut. Overall, inconsistent evidence exists for the efficacy of cold medications to prevent and treat the common cold. While they might help a little, they could have adverse repercussions. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, upset stomach, nausea, nervousness, and constipation.
10 Ways to Naturally Eliminate or Minimize Cold and Flu Symptoms
There’s a more natural, effective approach to the flu season than medications. Whether you want to avoid whatever bug is going around your office or minimize the impact of a cold or the flu, these 10 strategies can optimize your body’s natural immune defenses.
1. Consider home remedies for a cold. A Google search will yield many natural alternatives to relieve coughs, sneezing, and other cold and flu symptoms. Gargling with warm salt water, for instance, can ease cold symptoms like a sore throat.
2. Eliminate immune-sabotaging foods: Sugar weakens the immune system.
3. Find your ideal weight to lower inflammation: Obesity and inflammation also weaken the immune system.
4. Sleep well: Aim for seven or eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep to minimize the common cold or flu. If you’re sick, additional sleep can strengthen your immune system. You can also use a tryptophan supplement to help regulate your sleeping habits.
5. Exercise consistently: Make move more your mantra to support immune health.
6. Take Epsom salt baths: Add a cup of Epsom salt to your bath. Epsom salt is an excellent form of magnesium.
7. Minimize stress levels: Stress wreaks havoc on the immune system.
8. Optimize your antioxidant defense: Glutathione, your body’s master antioxidant! Eat more fruits and vegetables!
9. Visit your chiropractor. Get your spine adjusted!!!
10. Utilize the right nutrients: Vit D3, Zinc & probiotics.
A healthy immune system requires a healthy central nervous system. Ensuring the spine is free of subluxations, which interfere with the normal functioning of the nervous system, supports optimal immunity to minimize your risk for colds, the flu, and other viruses. Dr. Nick Barnes is on a mission to transform the way his patients view and manage their in health in order to prevent and reverse sickness and disease so that they can live to their God given potential without the use of drugs or surgery!
Health From Within Family Chiropractic
9586 Manchester Rd.
St. Louis, MO, 63119