The flu season is upon us.
To guard you and your family it is important to understand the dynamics behind the flu virus and ultimately, catching the flu.
Most important to understand is that the medical industry encourages everyone to get the flu vaccine which guards against last year's flu. But flu season is unpredictable, and not only are flu vaccines formulated using last year's virus but all the added products (adjuvants) may make viruses in general a challenge for the immune system, especially those who may already have a compromised immune system. A positive from getting the flu shot is a placebo effect by feeling you are more protected, so this decision should be made with you and your doctor.
Why the Flu Flourishes in Winter
What actually is the reason why influenza outbreaks occur this time of the year? First, it is important to know that viruses spread more in the warmer months than during the colder seasons so viral outbreaks (flu season) are caused by other reasons than these viruses becoming more virulent.
There are 4 huge reasons why the flu virus flourishes in people during the winter and early spring months and why so many contract influenza:
1. With low light, less exposure to sunshine, and shorter days our vitamin D levels can be extremely low. As such, the immune system stimulation by vitamin D and thus our resistance to viral infections is low and makes us more susceptible to flu infections.
2. The holiday season is one characterized by massive sugar consumption. Every bit of sugar lowers your virus fighting immune system. Sugar compromises your virus fighting “troops” which are attempting to resist infections.
3. The holidays and post holiday months are higher stress months. Stress also compromises your immune system to lower its ability to resist the flu virus.
4. Finally, the cold of the winter months generally lowers our water consumption and for some, raises the consumption of dehydrating alcohol as opposed to the summer months. Dehydrated respiratory passages (from nose to lungs) are breeding grounds for the flu virus.
Combining a fertile environment for viral growth with an compromised immune system is a flu infection waiting to explode.
Steps to Avoid the Flu
If you want to minimize your chances of getting the flu you should:
1. Lower your sugar consumption. It stresses our system.
2. Manage your stress levels. Try massage, meditation phone apps, say no, take care of yourself
3. Drink significantly more water. We tend to be dehydrated in winter, and water helps flush the bad stuff out of our system.
4. Lower your alcohol intake. Alcohol further dehydrates us and disrupts sleep.
5. Maintain regular exercise. Take a walk and try to get in 30 minutes a day.
6. Get more sleep. Go to bed early for "nerve repair." When we sleep, we heal.
7. Get your Vitamin D3 level checked and follow doctor's orders to optimize your level.
8. Up your intake of VItamin C. Supplement 1000-2000 mg./day
9. Wash your hands! Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water, not anti-bacterial soaps.
10. Avoid those who are sick, and if you feel sick stay home and rest.