It is officially Autumn, and with this shift in seasons and weather, comes an increase in susceptibility to the common cold and flu viruses. The doctors at Amber Wellness Group are here to help you survive and thrive through this cold and flu season. If you have already suffered with a bug this season, we can help you rebuild and prevent additional loss of work and /or productivity days.
Of course, there are many old wives tales about ways to fight off a cold. We want to help reframe that for you. First off, getting a cold every once in awhile is a good thing. It actually helps give your immune system a chance to build and get stronger. The flu is definitely not fun for anyone. But again, getting it once or twice in your lifetime can help protect you from future flu infections because of the part of your immune system that is developed by exposure and memory.
There are also a lot of reasons that we are more susceptible to infections during this time of year. We are often not moving our bodies as much because of the colder temperatures and shorter days. Less sunlight also means many of us are not getting outside during the sunlit hours and synthesizing vitamin D. There are often many holiday celebrations where we usually eat more indulgent foods that are higher in sugar which feeds bacteria and viruses and suppresses your immune system. There’s also often so much to do in shorter days, stress increases impacting the overall hours of sleep. Any or all of which lowers your immunity exponentially. So prevention is a great goal!
- Continue doing exercise as tolerated. This helps move your lymphatic fluid and boosts immunity.
- Visit a doctor who can test your vitamin D status (spoiler-Naturopaths can!)
- Limit your indulgent food choices to rare occasions, or better yet make your own healthier version so you don’t feel guilty or left out.
- We will be posting many of our favorite healthy holiday recipes over the next two months!
- Eat plenty of vegetables!!! Sometimes eat cold raw vegetables this time of year can be difficult on your digestion due to difficulty warming the food up for proper digestion with the external environment being much colder. So this is a good time of year to roast, sauté and steam vegetables. Aim for half of your plate to be vegetables and go for that 5-7 servings/day. If that feels overwhelming, start with one at each meal and then keep trying to incorporate a few more each day /week.
- Broths can be a great way to get in immune supportive minerals and gut healing properties like glutamine and collagen. You can make your own at home in a crock pot with leftover vegetable ends and saved bones from chicken, lamb, or beef. We have a recipe for that too!
- Washing your hands frequently and after contact with kids or anyone with a known infection. Using soap and warm water is all you need.
- Keep your fingers out of your eyes. This is so important because there are no enzymes in your eyes to fight bacteria and viruses. If you rub your eyes after touching an infected surface or person, you are bound to get that infection.
- Finding ways to reduce stress. This time of year can be very stressful financially, emotionally, and physically. Make sure to keep up on your mind-body connection by doing a simple guided meditation, deep breathing, going for a walk in the park, or any other spiritual practice that resonates with you. Even just taking 30 seconds to picture yourself in a relaxing environment boosts your immune system! This is a great tool for those long busy days spent indoors.
- Getting adequate rest is really important. If you struggle with insomnia, frequent night wakings, or just aren’t getting enough restful sleep; Dr. Meghan and Dr. Lisa at Amber Wellness Group have many tools to help. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Try turning off electronics 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Whenever possible, get at least one hour of sleep in before midnight.
As always, the above information is meant to educate and not intended to treat. You are an individual and seeking face to face care when you are in need is irreplaceable. If you do feel like stress is getting unmanageable and it is difficult to do the self care you need and /or you feel like a cold is coming on, please give us a call and schedule an appointment. We can support you with nutritional therapies, IV therapy, B injections, anti-microbial herbs and in some cases you may require a medication.
Here’s to a healthy fall and winter with lots of fun and enjoyable activity!
Dr. Lisa and Dr. Meghan