Stress And The Common Cold

Stress, colds, chiropractors

Stress And the Common Cold

Stress has a major influence on the function of your immune system. For instance, have you noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold when under a lot of stress? This is true both for acute stress, such as preparing a big project for work, and chronic stress, such as relationship troubles or grief. Both can deteriorate immune systems and leave us less able to fight off infection.

Researchers have now revealed that the hormone ‘cortisol’ may play an intricate role in stress and sickness. Concluding that high levels of stress can have such a detrimental impact on our immune systems.

The Perfect “Recipe” for Avoiding Colds

Chronic stress and vitamin D deficiency can be described as the perfect ‘storm’ for developing colds. If you’re facing these two scenarios and are exposed to a cold virus, then you guessed it! There’s a good chance you’re going to get sick.

Cold viruses can live almost anywhere. On pens, computer keyboards, coffee mugs, handbags.. so it’s easy to come into contact with such viruses in daily life. The important key to remember is that just by being exposed to a cold virus doesn’t have to mean that we catch a cold. If our immune system is operating at it’s peak, it should be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick.

If you want to join the ranks of people who rarely get sick, start with strategies listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does give you a general idea of how to live healthy and avoid getting frequent colds and other infections. Other factors, like getting high-quality sleep and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins, are important too. Here are a few simple starters to boost your immunity straight away:

  • Reduce and Eliminate Stress in Your Life.
  • Optimise Your Vitamin D Levels.
  • Optimise Your Insulin and Leptin Levels by Avoiding Sugar, Fructose.

Eating sugar, fructose and grains will increase your insulin levels. This is one of the fastest ways to get sick and experience premature ageing. Leptin is another key hormone associated with disease and the ageing process. Similar to insulin levels, leptin levels can also become consistently elevated. If they do, our bodies can develop resistance to this hormone, which may wreak havoc in your body.

Exercise

If you are exercising regularly, the likelihood of acquiring a cold or other viral illness is significantly reduced. In one study, staying active cut the risk of contracting a cold by 50%, and cut the severity of symptoms by 31% among those who did catch a cold. The researchers noted that each round of exercise lead to a boost in circulating immune system cells that could help ward off a virus.

Did you know that exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood? The job of these cells is to neutralise pathogens throughout your body. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and other pathogens that may opportunistically overrun the body.

Eat Plenty of Raw Food

One of the most important aspects of a healthy diet that is frequently overlooked is the issue of eating uncooked, natural raw food.

Unfortunately, over 90% of the food purchased by most New Zealanders is processed. When we consume these kinds of denatured and chemically altered foods, it’s no surprise we have an epidemic of chronic and degenerative diseases. Not to mention way too many cases of colds and flu. Ideally you’ll want to eat as many foods as possible in their unprocessed state. Typically organic, biodynamic foods that have been grown locally, and are in season. Even when you choose the best foods available we can destroy much of the nutrition if you cook them. Try to eat RAW as much as possible!

When to visit your Chiropractor?

A common question that chiropractors often hear: Should I get adjusted when I’m sick? My answer is almost always YES! The body’s ability to heal quickly and efficiently, are made up of many moments of positive choices. Healthy alignment of the spine is an extremely important factor to strengthening immunity.

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Don’t Get Sick This Winter

It’s coming into winter, often called flu season, and if you don’t want to get sick then follow this advice…

Okay, so there isn’t really a cure for getting the common cold but there a few things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick and to improve your recovery time if you do fall ill. Improving your body’s ability to fight sickness is how we look at things at Revolution, not just medicating symptoms.

Keep your nutrition high

This is important year-round but keeping your diet full of vitamins and minerals will help your body put up the good fight. Stay topped up with fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal.

Vitamin C heavily associates with immunity so up your intake to 5000-10000 milligrams a day. CAUTION: increase to this amount over a few days as high vitamin C doses can increase the frequency that you’ll need to sit on the porcelain throne if you catch my drift. Start with 1000-2000 milligrams and up it from there.

Vitamin D is another key player for your immune system and since we tend to spend a lot less time out in the sun in winter it’s harder for our body to make enough of it so you should look into supplementing it. The Vitamin D council recommends 5,000-10,000 IU per day.  Check out their website for more great information on vitamin D.

Avoid sugar: Sugar has been shown to reduce the ability of your neutrophils to attack invading pathogens. Neutrophils are white blood cells that essentially chase down and eat invading bacteria and other bad guys that can make you sick. We know sugar has many other negative effects on your health to so it’s definitely best to avoid. Yes, fruit has sugar but fruit also has vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body requires whereas a can of fizzy drink or a piece of cake has nothing to offer you except momentary pleasure.

Rest

The immune system takes a lot of energy to run which is why you get tired when you are sick, your body is slowing you down so it can put maximum resources into fighting off invaders.  Last winter I had a sore throat coming on and I knew I should take it easy but I went to the gym instead. I ended up very sick for the next few days.  I spent my energy lifting heavy barbells and I didn’t have enough in reserve.

Lesson learned, take it easy if you feel something coming on, dose up on vitamins and vegetables, stay hydrated and you might lessen the impact of the storm.

Sanchez, A. Et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 1973, Pages 1180–1184, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/26.11.1180

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

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Cold and Influenza are NOT a Season!

Introduction

I was recently brushing up on the most recent scientific literature on “Colds and Influenza” and was saddened that some of the alternative treatments do not get the media attention that they deserve. It is unfortunate that many of them are not more commonly known.

Most of us realize that any Structural deficiency can lead to DECREASED function of your body, but I will not be covering anything about how this puts you at a disadvantage from the get go. If you want to discuss this, please call the office and schedule a consultation and I would be happy to go over your case with you. After all, I am a Structural Chiropractor.

Back to the paper that caught my eye. It was a systematic review of the literature on everything from vaccinating against the flu, antiviral agents, over the counter products to various natural treatments. It is a big deal when a systematic review shows efficacy. In other words, they carry a LOT of weight in the scientific and clinical community.

While I was intrigued by some of the traditional treatment results (and lack thereof), I wanted to focus on the natural treatments that are effective at keeping you, and your family feeling well. Also, NOTE that I did not say healthy.

 

Healthy vs. feeling well

These two terms are not the same thing.

Healthy is the ability to adapt to your environment while feeling well is just a subjective “feeling”. People with cancer often report “feeling good”. Individuals with heart disease “feel good”. People with cavities may “feel good”. As you can see, feeling good and healthy is not always the same thing. I want you all to be healthy AND feel good.

In this article, I want to cover some of the little known natural treatments and not necessarily the most effective for your individual case.

The top 3 “lesser known” ways to reduce symptoms, severity, and duration of the common cold and influenza.

 

Echinacea (Echinacea spp)

As with all of these, the product/ formulation and dosage matter. Do not go and buy just any echinacea. Ask your provider which brand/ product and dosage to take.

The results of studies are mixed on Echinacea, likely due to the different formulations as mentioned above. However, there are enough studies that suggest that it may reduce the duration as well as the severity of common cold symptoms. Even though there are “mixed” results, there are still enough good studies that suggest echinacea does reduce symptoms. It may be a viable supplement to your treatment.

Echinacea to help minimize the risk of flu and influenza

 

Elderberry Syrup (Sambucus Nigra)

I have PERSONALLY had great results with the syrup both myself and with my daughter. While I have only been ill twice in the past decade, but the last time being very recent, I can absolutely say that I had great results. It is recommended that you take this one within 48 hours of symptoms as the research suggests that it the most effective time to do so.

Research demonstrates elderberry syrup possesses immune-modulating and antioxidant properties. Most people do not realize that Elderberry syrup has antiviral properties that make it ideal for any viral infection. Mumcuoglu (an Israeli virologist) found that elderberry syrup effectively blocks viruses from being able to replicate, which is a really cool finding!

Eldeberry syrup and its antioxiant properties

 

Garlic (Allium sativa)

This one is a fun one. Who doesn’t love garlic? Okay, I know that everyone doesn’t love it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take it in a supplement form.

In one large study, they compared a group of 123 people who took a garlic supplement versus 123 who did not. In this study, the supplement group only had 24 colds, while the non-supplement group had 65. Also, the supplement group reported symptoms lasting 1-5 days on average versus 5 days in the non-supplement group.

You should never take the results of one study and consider it to be definitive. This is because it is very rare for researchers to study things that result in little to zero financial gain. In other words, unless the garlic supplement industry were to fund additional research, we aren’t likely to see many more studies completed. While many of us don’t agree with this practice, we must take it into account.

Garlic as a potential supplement

 

I hope you found this article applicable and helpful to you and your family. At the very least, I hope you continue to investigate on your own. As always, if you have any questions either about this article or structural chiropractic care, feel free to contact our office.

 

Looking for a Chiropractor in Auckland?

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Sports Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

You can also book online here!

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