As I’m writing this, I am fighting an infection of some kind. It started with right Eustachian tube drainage when waking up one morning. Many people may freak out about getting a cold, but I know that I have been eating clean, hydrating appropriately, engaging in moderate exercise, and paying close attention to my sleep. My supplementation has changed to adapt to this cold and to give my immune system the best chance to overcome this as fast as possible. Taking proactive steps towards my health before I got this absolutely benefits me right now.
It terrifies us to get sick, to have a common cold, to be inconvenienced with the possibility of slowing down. Most people do not understand that getting sick is a reset on the immune system. Your immune system is meant to fight off infection of all types, so when you are getting “sick” this is an expression of a properly functioning immune system and body. The common response is to squash these symptoms with unnatural means, but this tells your body that the symptoms/signs are not important and disrupts the mechanism of healthy immune regulation.
Most people reach for three things when they show signs of a cold: antibiotics, steroids, and OTC meds. These reduce symptoms but don’t increase the health of your body. Research shows that taking antibiotics or steroids doesn’t necessarily shorten the time of sickness, and can make it longer. A saying I heard growing up was “the long way is the real shortcut”. When people reach for these medications, they are being reactive instead of proactive in immune support. If you want to fight off most health ailments naturally you have to be proactive. Here are some tips to do this and beat the nasty cold that sticks around for weeks:
Vitamin D supports every cell in your body. It turns on your DNA to reproduce a healthy functioning cell. It also “turns off” the DNA to stop cell reproduction. Research shows if you have 56 nanograms/mL of Vit D in your blood, your immune system can not only fight a cold more effectively, but you also reduce the possibility of heart attack, stroke, several types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, flu, and brain degeneration with levels higher than 56 ng/mL. Being proactive with Vit D is one of the fastest ways to making it through a cold quickly. Get your Vitamin D checked twice in the first year, then once a year if you are continually taking Vitamin D. Optimally, your levels need to fall between 80-100ng/mL. When I'm not well, I usually take 20,000 IU per day, when I feel well I take 5,000 IU per day.
When you begin showing symptoms of a cold, don't hunker down inside—get out and move, get your heart rate up. The reason for changing blood flow is to increase the ease of delivery of everything in your bloodstream. By moving, you help your immune system battle whatever is attacking you. Your brain thrives off movement and can help coordinate normal function better with movement. I tend to go on a brisk walk. You want to keep this at an intensity level of 5/10—you’re looking to have an increase of heart and respiration rhythm.
Most people think this is just drinking water, but it’s more than that. You also have to take in electrolytes for proper hydration. A great judge of this is looking at your pee. If your pee is dark, you need water—your body is trying to flush out something dysfunctional. If your pee is clear, you need electrolytes. Most people think this is a good thing, but it’s not (Why Your Pee Matters and Clear Pee is NOT Good).
Proper electrolytes always come from fruits and veggies but a great alternative for supplementation is Trace Mineral Research Power Paks. These packs have 1.2 grams of Vitamin C and 72+ electrolytes from trace minerals. Not only does this help your absorption of water, but you also get supportive supplementation of Vitamin C which helps decrease inflammation. I usually take 2 packets two times a day while I’m not feeling well. When I’m feeling well, I take 1 packet a day.
You need to get rest when you go to sleep; you need 7+ hours of sleep for your body to recover appropriately.
Correlate thinking about increasing your supplementation during a cold to training for a race. All that is happening is an adaptation to a physiological situation. A runner would need their regular runs as a baseline to complete a race. To improve, the individual would need to increase intensity on certain training days, run longer at a slower pace, and perform different physical activities other than running to help the body perform the best it can during the race.
The reason significantly increasing my electrolytes, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and fish oil and works is because I took all of these before I had a cold. Without the presence of symptoms, I will randomly increase all of my vitamins to give my body a boost and make it aware of how to use a high influx of these micronutrients.
The human body has the amazing ability to adapt in many situations if it has been given the correct resources. Preparing your body to function at the highest level is the only way you will naturally fight off whatever attacks your body.
By naturally supporting your body, you are giving it the tools to fight the current infection, and giving the immune system the tools to fight similar infections later on. My goal is to educate people to use our health system as effectively as possible. Use it in the form of non-invasive to invasive—give your body a chance to operate naturally. We need to get back to using medicine just in critical, emergency situations. We need to be more proactive daily in our health so we’ll have the ability to adapt in the short term.
I can promise if you practice these foundations of health you will not become a statistic of the American sick care system. Choose LIFE. Choose now, as you have control of your health only ONCE. You get one chance, don’t f it up :)
If you are looking for a partner in improving or maintaining your health in a better way, please schedule an appointment with Friends and Family Health Centers. Our services include chiropractic care, car accident injury care, nutritional consultation, and muscle manipulation.