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Have you ever wondered why medicine has been able to achieve such feats as successful organ transplants and laser vision correction, but they still haven’t been able to cure the common cold?
- Why do most people get colds and flus in the winter? It’s not because it’s colder. In India, the cold and flu season hits during the monsoons and it is anything but cold outside. But the one thing in common with winter in the US and the monsoons in India is that there is no UVB from the sun reaching the surface to make vitamin D in people’s skin. Vitamin D is needed in high amounts in order for the immune system to work properly. During the summer months, most people have enough vitamin D from the sun that they don’t get colds.
- Solution: Take enough vitamin D to get your blood levels of vitamin D up to 60-80 ng/ml. (My office can order your vitamin D blood test at a cash discount; be sure to check your levels every spring and fall.) To reach optimal levels, supplements can range from 2,000 to 20,000 iu of D3 per day. On average it takes about 8,000 iu daily. It depends on your weight and body fat percentage. The more you weigh and the more fat you have, the more vitamin D you will need to take. But the only way to know for sure is to test your blood. Studies clearly show that ALL Americans who do not supplement with D are low in it during the winter. The other option besides taking a D supplement is to regularly receive light therapy like we have at my clinic. (Call our office and talk to Erin to schedule a free introductory light therapy session: 559-930-1034)
- The immune system heavily depends on its front line defense: mucus. Most cold and flu viruses are transmitted through the membranes in our lungs, throats, sinuses, eyes, and nose. These tissues secrete a thin mucus that coats them as a protective barrier against microbes. The microbes get stuck in the mucus and are either expelled along with the mucus or are immediately killed by natural antimicrobial agents in the mucus. One of these antimicrobial agents is iodine. Iodine insufficiency weakens your front line defense because you can’t produce effective mucus without enough iodine.
- Solution 1: Take extra iodine during cold and flu season. Take between 1.5 and 12 mg of iodine daily. Note: 1 mg = 1000 mcg (Contrary to allopathic belief, iodine is very safe since we just pee out any excess. But, if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition such as Hoshimoto’s or Graves disease, then you should be supervised by a health care professional while taking iodine.) Unless you eat seafood three meals a day, 7 days a week, then you need to supplement with iodine. We need so much extra iodine in modern times because our exposure to bromide, chlorine, and fluoride is off the charts and interferes with iodine in the body. The cure for these toxins is to take lots of iodine. Have you noticed that chlorine dries out your skin, eyes, and burns your nose? Dry skin and membranes means there are millions of microscopic cracks for air-born viruses to get into your body. Iodine helps heal these chlorine caused cracks.
- Solution 2: Is there chlorine in your shower water? Get a shower head filter from the hardware store. They take out 95% of the chlorine, cost less than $50, and last about 6 months. Refill filter cartridges can be less than $20.
- Have you ever caught a cold or flu but you weren’t even around anyone who was sick? This is a case of a virus allergy. You were exposed to a small number of a virus that was left in the air several minutes after someone who is now gone had sneezed. Normally such a small amount of a virus would not cause you to get sick, but in your case, your immune system freaked out. Your immune system ramped up its huge armies to fight, even though the enemy was the equivalent of a group of rowdy junior high kids. Too late, you have to go through the entire cold or flu cycle until your immune system is satisfied that the coast is clear. The reason for a virus allergy is an over-active immune system, which is the same reason for any allergy.
Solution 1: Omega 3 oil supplement. Omega 3, generally from fish oil, is needed for overall total health. One of its jobs is to keep the immune system from getting out of control. This is why omega 3 supplements can help people with autoimmune and allergy problems so much, because these are conditions of an over-active immune system. Take 600 to 1200 mg of omega 3 daily during the summer and take 1200 to 1800 mg daily during the winter or up to 2400 mg if you think you coming down with a cold.
- Solution 2: Stay away from fried foods (like french fries), margarine, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are full of something called trans-fats which counter-act omega 3 oils. Trans-fats actually contribute to allergies (including virus allergies) and autoimmune issues.
- Don’t shoot your immune system in the foot! Eating sugar, (meaning desserts, candy, soda, fruit juice, and almost all beverages you find at a mini-mart) can lower your immune system dramatically for several hours or even days after consuming it. 99% of the time when a patient of mine gets a cold or flu, when I ask them if they had a lot of dessert or candy within 5 days of getting sick, they say yes. Desserts taste really good, but colds and flus are just not worth it to me. The only time I eat desserts in the winter is to be polite to the host of a party, and I take a small piece and eat just a few bites if possible. Then I rave about how good it is and then when no one is looking I put the rest in the trash. When asked to have seconds I say that I’d love to but I’m really full! And I never eat candy. I’ll take the candy and say I’m saving it for later, then throw it out later.
- Solution: Just say no to sugar. Colds and flus are not worth it. Eat fresh fruit instead. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n watch this 60 minutes video called “Is sugar toxic?” (Ignore the drug commercials.)
- A slow bowel is a toxic bowel. Toxins lower the immune system worse than sugar does. Do whatever it takes to have at least two bowel movements daily, optimally three.
- Solution: Have regular bowel movements: Drink plenty of water (45-75 ounces daily). Go easy on the starches: bread, rice, pasta, and white potato can turn to a sticky glue in the intestine, feeding yeast, and slowing the bowels. When in a pinch, take magnesium mineral tablets for a natural laxative. George Goodhart, the father of Applied Kinesiology and muscle testing in general, once said that colds and flus are caused by a toxic bowel and that the cure is an enema!
- Lack of sleep lowers the immune system and allows viruses to take hold and cause illness much more readily.
- Solution: Get extra sleep. If you know you’ve been exposed to a virus, sleep an extra 90 minutes each night for the next three to five nights. This gives your body the extra rest it needs to re-cooperate from the stress of having to deal with the virus quickly before it has a chance to multiply, causing illness.
- Stress lowers the immune system. Even just hearing bad news can lower your immune system.
- Solution: Keep a positive attitude and stay away from negative news and negative people. There is good and bad to everything. Make sure that at least half your thoughts during the day are about how good things are in your life. If more than 75% of your thoughts are about how bad things are right now, then you are less likely to fight off a virus without getting ill during the process. I no longer watch the news or read the paper. If something big happens, someone else is sure to tell me. I also don’t watch rated R movies. The extra violence is very stressful for the little kid brain inside us that controls our immune system. It’s not worth it. Movies without excessive violence and with happy endings that make you feel good can actually strengthen the immune system.