Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stop a Cold Before it Starts

You've been there. Adults average 2-4 colds a year that last about 7 days. So don't let your sniffle or slight cough turn into something big that lasts a week. My favorite things to take when starting to feel under the weather are Immuplex and Antronex by Standard Process. Every medicine cabinet should have one. If your medicine cabinet doesn't have them start with these steps until your next appointment:

1. Pop zinc. Research shows taking zinc within a day of your first symptoms can reduce both their severity and duration. Taking a zinc supplement regularly can help, too.

2. Then destress. When you’re under stress, your immune system ends up under-reacting to viral and bacterial infections. Stress goes up, immune system goes down. Use lavender essential oil. Rub on wrists or tension headache, bottom of feet when going to bed or even a few drops in your bubble bath.

3. Increase your water intake. Water helps flush out whatever little thing you are fighting so it doesn't become a big thing.

4. Swish. Evidence shows oil pulling helps clean the lymphatic system which helps boost the immune system.

5. Pop a probiotic. In a recent study, probiotic supplements shortened the duration of a cold from 6 days to 4, made symptoms a third less severe, and halved the number of days subjects stayed home.

6. Try an herbal remedy. It wasn't until recently I started using echinacea in the office. I had written it off as most of us had as being ineffective but when I understood that there were different types of echinacea and which one to use I couldn't believe the results patients were getting.

7. Hop on the D train. It seems like no coincidence that colds hit hardest when the sun is lowest. Add vitamin D during cold season to reduce risk and speed recovery.

8. Pause your workout. Regular moderate exercise is best for warding off bugs, research shows. But once you’ve caught a cold, take a rest. You just need to listen to your body. Don’t try to push through it.

9. Get garlic breath. Used as a home remedy for its supposed antimicrobial and antiviral superpowers, garlic hasn’t been formally studied much. However, some evidence shows it may ward off colds. Eat it raw if you can otherwise rush a clove with dinner.

10. Head to bed. Since sleep boosts immune function, that “pre-cold” may be a good indicator that you haven’t been getting enough lately. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept less than 7 hours a night were three times more susceptible to colds than those who slept 8 or more hours per night.

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