Practical Measures for Staying Healthy

  • 24 March, 2020

Historically, winter is a time of colds, flus, and health challenges. It’s been speculated that this is because we are inside much more, and so are less exposed to Vitamin D-producing sunlight. Spring brings rains and an increase in molds and pollen in the air, which also present health challenges for many with seasonal allergies and sensitivities.

How can we prevent getting sick? The usual precautionary sanitary procedures all apply, but the name of the game is to keep the immune system strong. In fact, most infectious diseases are only able to get a foothold in our bodies if our immune status is compromised, such as when we’re have other health issues, are systemically inflamed, or nutrient deficient in some way.

What we know about germs is that they cause disease WHEN THE CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT. Pathogens are like seeds of a plant, which can only produce a new plant if they land on a soil with the proper conditions. Or like mold spores, which are ever-present in the air but can only produce new mold colonies when the conditions are right for growth. A pathogen needs fertile ground – a susceptible host – to successfully infect that host. Individuals with good health and strong immune systems are poor candidates for the successful invasion of flu viruses. We see examples of immune control of viruses all the time – herpes viruses that are successfully held in dormancy and can only create symptoms when the host is run down or stressed, and even AIDS patients that manage to survive the disease. What we understand today is that the severity and duration of an infection is perhaps due MOST to the host’s immune and health status.

So if the key to not “catching” or beating a pathogen is to have a strong immune system, what are some things we can do to quickly to boost it? The common-sense things still apply: getting enough sleep, hydrating well, eating nutrient-rich foods, avoiding processed foods that inflame us (white sugar, for many wheat flours and dairy products, and any foods that you have a known sensitivity or allergy to), and being calm and positive versus stressed and anxious. In today’s world, stress is nearly guaranteed. We can get extra immune support, however, from vitamins and some herbals, and there are good “natural” treatments for bacteria and viruses. In my last article I talked about the power of higher-dose Vitamin C (3,000mg/day in divided doses) as an immune booster and well-established treatment for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI). There are others. Vitamin C, D3, magnesium, zinc, and selenium have been shown to strengthen the immune system. Dr. Andrew Saul, Editor of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, recommends the following daily amounts: Vitamin D3 (which most of us are deficient in) at 2,000 IU daily (start with 5,000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2,000/day). Magnesium (another common deficiency) is recommended at 400mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form). Zinc is recommended at 20 mg daily. Selenium at 100mcg (micrograms) daily.

This is by no means a complete list, but these are nutrients shown to have a immune-enhancing properties and a protective or dampening effect on viral infections. Taking a good multi-vitamin containing these nutrients would be a good idea for prevention.

A quick history of chiropractic and a flu pandemic. In the 1917-18 flu season, when the Spanish flu pandemic swept the globe, little was known about flu transmission, prevention, or treatment. The medical profession was nearly powerless to help flu victims, but chiropractors, knowing no more than their medical colleagues about the disease, seemed to have nearly miraculous results. “In Iowa, MDs treated 93,590 cases, with 6,116 deaths – a loss of one out of every 15. In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases – a loss of one patient out of every 789.” Similar dramatic results for chiropractic were reported in New York City, and in Oklahoma. The Spanish flu is now estimated by some to have killed nearly 100 million around the globe, …”but most chiropractors and their patients were miraculously spared.” The power of removing nerve interference (especially at the brainstem) and allowing the nerve system – which is intimately connected to the immune system – to operate at its highest and best capacity, cannot be overstated. Volumes have been written and studies continue to document the power of the adjustment to restore health by normalizing nervous system function.

This precedent of a natural health approach to a pandemic can give us all hope in this time of uncertainty. We can take comfort in knowing that we have not one, but an arsenal of natural remedies. The ones I’ve mentioned above are perhaps some of the best but hardly a complete list. Take heart to note, we are not powerless today over infectious pathogens, bacterial or viral. There ARE some things one can do at home to stay protected and strengthened. And don’t miss your chiropractic adjustment!

Dr. Paula Rhodes
Blue Ridge Wellness and Massage

Categories: Article, Local Health

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