Is It a Cold or Flu?
With flu season peaking in January or February in the United States (but starting as early as October), it is not surprising to hear coughing, sneezing and doctors saying they have, “no more appointments available until a few weeks out.” It seems that the media reports a “worse than last year” flu epidemic every year, yet the masses are still conflicted about the best ways to protect the body from getting such sicknesses. Vaccination or not? Antibiotics or homeopathic route to wellness? While the education on all sides of the sickness issue may cause mountains of confusion, this article will highlight the facts of exactly what cold and flu symptoms are, so you can better identify what “get better quick” prescriptions and methods to take.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes common cold symptoms as follows:
➢ The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, can be caused by more than 200 viruses
➢ Begins with a sore throat
➢ Usually goes away after a day or two
➢ Nasal symptoms (a runny nose and congestion follows)
➢ Developed cough by fourth/fifth days
➢ Fevers are uncommon in adults, however, slight fevers are possible, especially in children
➢ The nose will secrete watery liquids which will progress to a thicker and darker mucus (*Dark mucus is natural and does not usually mean you have developed a bacterial infection, such as a sinus infection)
➢ Cold symptoms last for about a week
➢ 1st three days of cold symptoms = contagious. Stay home and rest
Common flu symptoms:
➢ The seasonal flu is caused by either influenza A or B viruses
➢ Flu symptoms are more severe than colds
➢ A sore throat, fever, headaches, muscle aches, and muscle soreness, congestion, cough, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea
➢ Coughs can last for weeks
➢ Feeling deflated, tired, lack of energy
➢ Symptoms slowly improve over two to five days
➢ Shortness of breath and recurring fevers may equate to pneumonia
Here is a short list is taken from my immunity boosting habits and foods workshop, about my immunity suggestions to prevent any cold or flu symptoms from wreaking havoc on you or your family’s health. Though this is an excerpt, more healthy habits will be posted in the following weeks!
Immunity boosting habits:
➢ My first suggestion is to let your body be exposed, naturally, to any types of foreign germs.
➢ Practice self-balancing by going about your days with a positive attitude.
➢ Move your body, decrease chronic stress and continue forward into the world and stop worrying about exposing yourself to the flu. People naturally expose themselves to foreign substances that will challenge the immune system, and if you have trained your immune system well, and it is functioning at high levels, especially of vitamin D (that’s the vitamin that “activates” your immune response to flu infections), your body will build its own antibodies, and you won’t even know it! You will have what’s called a “symptomless infection” and won’t even know your body successfully fought off the viral invader.
➢ Better yet, because you were exposed to the real viral strain in the wild (and not some weakened strain in a flu vaccine shot), your body will maintain lifetime immunity to that viral strain. The true term, “immunization.”
➢ Boost your vitamin D intake, spend more time outdoors with your body exposed to the sun (10-15 minutes a day is fine) and encounter the flu naturally, this will allow you to build your own lifetime of “live” antibodies against the infection.
➢ Our bodies have many internal clocks—in our brain, lungs, liver, heart and even our skeletal muscles—and they all work to keep your body running smoothly by controlling temperature and the release of hormones. The normal 24-hour cycle of the human internal clock is known as the circadian rhythm.
➢ Lack of sleep, especially chronically, worsens stress-related immune response and increases the risk of:
❍ Heart disease
➢ Stress is also known to interfere with immune system function and has been found to increase susceptibility to the common cold and slow wound healing.
➢ Melatonin is another chemical closely tied to a person’s circadian rhythm. It’s a pineal hormone and a very potent antioxidant, created in your brain during sleep.
➢ Mental awareness needs care too! Allow for mental clarity and nurturing each day for optimal whole body immunity.
➢ Stress relief by practicing Transcendental meditation or Vedic meditation
➢ Learn the art of forgiveness. Let go of thoughts that do not serve you or lift you up.
➢ Avoid negative thinking, doubt, self-criticism worry, envy, sarcasm, cynicism, and cursing.
➢ Practice the art of being in the present. The Here and Now.
➢ Hang up the phone. Unplug from the computers, the news on the televisions, the ads on the radios and billboards, and mind your mind. Quiet the noise and listen to your inner voice. Nowhere to be but where you are. You are exactly where you should be.
➢ Mind your mind.
➢ Most importantly, the foods we eat directly and largely affect our immunity. The typical western diet which consists of high fat, sugar, and processed foods brew high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, chronic diseases, and cancer. Not surprisingly, this is all due to nutritional ignorance and can be avoided, prevented and even reversed.
➢ If people take in calories without the antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibers, that would have been obtained in the whole food (absent in processed foods, white foods, sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, (bread, pastas, similar to eating sugar cubes), they are rapidly broken down into the body into simple sugars. This causes insulin to spike, which sabotages weight loss and links to higher levels of disease, free radicals production, and fuels the appetite (for the wrong type of foods). These are all hurtful for our overall wellness and immune system.
Stay tuned for top immunity boosting foods and other healthy immunity boosting habits.