Kitchener Waterloo Naturopath talks about Cold and Flu Season

Fight Back this Season!

As we move indoors during the colder weather, our exposure to cold and flu viruses increases. Interestingly, a cold is not stimulated by cold weather.  Instead, the cold weather drives people indoors where they gather in enclosed environments, thus making it easier for the cold virus to be passed from one person to another.  Most often, colds are passed along by hands and often when our immune system is struggling to keep up with our busy lifestyle and the change in temperature.

Much can be done to prevent colds and flu.  And even when you fall victim to such winter illnesses, you can fast-track your recovery and experience quick relief of symptoms.

Common Symptoms of Cold and Flu

runny nose                            coughing                                           headache

sneezing                              feeling cold or chilled                            fatigue

Colds are viruses that enter our system and result in a set of common symptoms.  When these symptoms are accompanied by a fever, then it’s flu.  Hundreds of different viruses can cause our bodies to react and produce the symptoms of a cold, but generally colds are caused by a rhinovirus that is passed on by other people and begins its attack in the cells lining the nose.

The Body’s Response

Your body’s response to a viral invasion depends on the strength of your immune system, and the number and activity of white blood cells.  People with robust immune systems can usually bounce back from a viral attack within a few days and suffer only mild symptoms.  However, those with weakened immune systems may suffer with cold and flu symptoms for weeks.

Maintaining a healthy and strong immune system can be difficult, and lifestyle factors such as stress, too much or too little exercise, previous illness and poor diet all have an impact on the number and quality of white blood cells we produce for a healthy immune system.  We’re often at our weakest when a cold or flu virus attacks, and it’s important to quickly relieve symptoms as well as support the immune system for a fast recovery.

Over-the-counter drugs can help relieve pain and reduce symptoms temporarily, but they don’t offer the body any assistance in the fight against the virus.  Therefore, it is important to fuel the body and to help the immune system in its battle.

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