Colds and Flus: The Naturopathic Immune Support Program
Cold and Flu season is upon us subjecting us all to the increased circulation of viruses in our home, work and school environments. Becoming sick is not fun and puts a wrench into our family life and work obligations. However, we all have a choice – wait and react when we become sick, or proactively build up our immune systems and our resilience to avoid illness. We may not fend off every virus, but we can certainly reduce the number of times we fall ill, the duration of illness, and severity of our symptoms so we can get back to our lives.
Prevention of Colds and Flus
There are a few key things that go a long way in helping prevent a cold or flu. These are important year-round, but even more so when viruses can easily take advantage of a weakened immune system.
– Food – we all know to avoid the “stressors” to health such as sugar and processed foods but focusing on nutrient dense and immune-supportive foods can really provide the basic foundation for a healthy functioning immune system. Colourful fruits and veggies, garlic, onions, mushrooms and even fermented foods all provide a variety of vitamins and minerals that support immune health. To read more, see Eating Well for Immune Health.
– Sleep – sleep is the time when our immune systems are most active and working hard to clear viruses and waste products from our bodies. Getting sufficient hours and quality of sleep are both incredibly important at supporting a healthy immune system.
– Movement – being and staying active has enormous value for many areas of health, including optimal immune function. It’s also a great way to manage stress as stress can impair our immune response and increase our vulnerability to becoming sick.
Treatment of Colds and Flus
Despite our best efforts, there is no escaping viruses. So when we do come down with a cold or flu, our objective is to reduce the duration and severity of illness and to help you function as best as possible while your immune system works to clear your virus away.
Naturopathic Medicine offers a number of unique, individualized options to help recover from these infections quickly – we do not have to wait it out!
Here are some things we often discuss and recommend to patients:
– At-Home Hydrotherapy – we love recommending things that can be done at-home. They may seem simple but have a history of use to clear fevers, to stimulate the immune system, and to flush the lymphatic system and clear sinuses and congestion. These may include steam inhalations, warming socks, and Epsom salt baths.
– Nutrients – Vitamins C, D, A, Zinc, and Selenium are all well-known basic nutrients to help support the immune system. Dosages can vary, so it is best to discuss with your Doctor what would work best for you and your family.
– Herbs – herbal medicine has a fantastic track record at supporting the immune system. Echinacea, Astragalus, and Andrographis are just a few herbs that are commonly used. Your Doctor at Vive Health would be great at customizing a formula that best address your symptoms and can help with your immune function.
– Intravenous Nutritional Therapies – intravenous nutrient therapies are one of the best ways to provide quick, absorbable nutrients to support the immune system. High Dose Vitamin C IVs are incredibly powerful in aiding recovery from viruses. Often times these IVs will stop a virus cold in its track allowing for an immediate turn around. Even more importantly, they give you a mental and physical boost to help you past the fatigue and lethargy that come along with viruses like these. If you need to perform at a high level, these are essential to getting back on your feet.
– Intravenous Ozone Therapy – Ozone IVs specifically are anti-microbial, immune-modulating and regenerative for our bodies. Often ozone and vitamin C IVs are administered together, one after the other. Speak with one of our Doctors to see if these treatments are suitable for your case.
– Rest! – Finally, always remember to get more sleep, rest, and take a day or two off work when you need to. Your body is telling you to slow down! And while resting, drink lots of water and soothing hot teas.
Taking action at the first sign of illness give us a much better chance at quickly overcoming a virus on our way to recovery. The first signs may be the beginning of a sore throat, or even just a tickle; a runny nose; or even just feeling more fatigued than you normally should. The key takeaway: take action right away!
Our Naturopathic Immune Support Program
Vive Health’s unique Immune Support program offers individuals and families everything they need to keep healthy through the cold and flu season. We provide proactive treatments to support the immune system in prevention of illness as well as detailed information regarding treatment approaches we can quickly turn to if symptoms do arise.
The program begins with a 15 minute visit with a Naturopathic Doctor to go through your past immune history and to provide tips and remedies suitable to support your natural immune response. The program has been running for more than 10 years and has a good track record with helping families survive the cold and flu season in the best way possible!