Monday, December 01, 2014

FLU SEASON 2014-2015 - Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control the Influenza Season has Hit early this year – Time to Get Ready with the Top Natural Flu Products of 2014.

The BC Centre for Disease Control’s Dr. Danuta Skowronski recently reported that this year's flu virus, called H3, showed early signs of an appearance over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. So National Nutrition is getting a jump start on giving you information on all the best flu approaches and products to protect you and your family this Flu Season!

But before we begin – the Flu Virus is not the only virus in the news this Autumn. Enterovirus and Ebola virus are also making headlines. Recently the Washington Post reported the concern of an early flu season is that flu symptoms mimic symptoms of those infected with the Ebola and Enterovirus Viruses.

Ebola Virus Symptoms – 101 degree fever or higher, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, cough, and sore throat

Influenza Virus Symptoms – 101 degree fever or higher, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, sore throat, and runny stuffy nose

Enterovirus D68 Symptoms – usually affects children, teens, and infants – fever, body and muscle aches, cough, sore throat, and running nose

As you can see all three viruses have similar symptoms. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) is therefore recommending that if you come down with these symptoms to see a medical doctor for a diagnosis. And refraining from exposing others to the virus is key to keeping viral spread to a minimum.

There are numerous ways the CDC recommends reducing your risk of getting the Influenza virus.

Drinking plenty of water, getting sufficient exercise, washing your hands often and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough is suggested. The CDC recommends people protect themselves with an annual flu vaccine. They also report that even if you get vaccinated you can still get the flu. That's why it's important to support your immune system throughout the whole flu season and be stocked up on natural health products for viruses so you're ready in case Influenza strikes your home.

Here are some health tips for this year's flu season and products to keep stocked in your medicine cabinet.

You want to start by having a multiple faceted approach – diet, lifestyle, immune support, Homeopathics for prevention and treatment, and natural products which are known to kill viruses.

Let's Start with Diet:

1. Sugar is demonstrated in studies to lower your white blood cells for up to five hours. So once Halloween passes it's best to dispose of the candy and boost your immune system

2. Think fruits and veggies – as many colours as you can imagine – especially reds and oranges for Beta CaroteneBeta Carotene, Bioflavanoids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C – these nutrients boost your immune system

3. Garlic - studies show Garlic can kill bacteria, parasites, yeast and viruses. Raw garlic is best. Crush in hot water with lemon for a great tonic for your immune system.

4. Healthy fats from raw nuts, seeds, avocados, and Omega Essential Fatty Acids – strengthen your cell membranes and immune system

5. Real homemade chicken soup – great with shitake mushrooms, onion, garlic, and carrots for added immune boosting effects

6. Fresh ginger – grate on food or add to hot tea – warming and strengthens mucus membranes

7. Spice up your meals – with sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme – their essential oils kill bacteria and viruses and boost your immune system

8. Citrus, Pomegranate, Cranberry, Elderberry – high in Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids - boost immune function

9. Black and Green Tea – high in L-Theonine which boosts immune function

10. Avoid flours – they break down to sugars which negatively affect your immune function – instead eat cooked whole gluten free grains

Full Season Winter Immune Support:

Echinacea will stimulate your immune system so it's advised by health care practitioners not to take for longer than 2 weeks. There are vitamins, herbs and nutraceuticals which support your immune system without over stimulating and are safe to take all winter. These are a few of our favourites. Visit us online or in store to discover specific great combos of these immune supportive products.

1. Astragalus senticosus – modulates you immune system, meaning it increases your immune system if it is low and calms it down if it's over reacting with allergies and autoimmune disorders – increases T Cells and Natural Killer Cells – reduces stress response

2. Vitamin C – always in the top 10 best buys to support your immune system

3. Vitamin A – sublingual – supports and strengthens mucus membranes which is your first line of immune defense – thin, dry or phlegmy mucus membranes means your immune system can't work as well

4. Vitamin D – no surprise here – directly supports immune system

5. Medicinal MushroomsReishi, Cordyceps, Agaricus, Maitaki, Poria, and Coriolus – support immune function; elevates Natural Killer cells

6. Ginseng – there are many Ginsengs available – Panax Ginseng is a balanced Ginseng which supports your immune system and helps reduce stress

7. Plant Sterols/Sterolins – specifically Beta-Sitosterol – modulates and supports immune function while also reducing cholesterol and stress

8. Cat's Claw – immune modulator and an antiviral herb

9. Colostrum – has immune system cells in it which increase your immune response

10. Lactoferrin - stimulates the production of cytokines and immune cells, increases IL-18 levels, activates natural killer cells and enhances the cytotoxicity of neutrophils and macrophages.

Acute Care if the Flu Hits:

1. Homeopathic Flu Remedy – there are numerous kinds available from different companies – trials show taking a Flu Remedy at the first sign of symptoms can reduce symptoms by up to 75% in 48 hours – this is one of the most important natural products to always have on hand at home – great to take even if it's just a cold

2. Increase Vitamin A, Garlic and Vitamin C

3. Zinc – it's antiviral – make sure you take this with food, it can cause nausea on an empty stomach

4. Andrographis – kills viruses – reduces intensity and duration of flu – one of the strongest antiviral herbs

5. Oregano oil – kills viruses and bacteria – boosts immune system

6. Echinacea – boosts white blood cells to fight infection

7. Sage – a natural expectorant for mucus and a wet cough

8. Elderberry – helps reduce cough and mucus

9. Ginger – warming herb and clears mucus

10. Traditional Naturopathic Wet Sock Treatment – this age old therapeutic practice has been used by Naturopathic Doctors for hundreds of years. It's called the Wet Sock Treatment. It can be done on either your feet or neck. Applied to the feet this treatment boosts your whole immune system. Applied to the neck it's more specific for a sore throat, swollen glands or chest infections. You can do both at the same time. First take a wet cotton sock and pin it around your neck placing the bobby pin at the back of your neck for safety. Or put a pair of wet cotton socks on your feet. Cover the wet cotton sock(s) with a dry 100% wool sock(s) and pin at the back of your neck. The effect of this is the wool sock(s) warms and cools the wet sock(s) all through the night. This draws and shunts fresh blood to and from the area. Fresh blood is high in immune cells to fight infection. It also stimulates the immune system to increase production of immune cells. Repeat nightly until infection is resolved.

We at National Nutrition wish you and yours a safe and healthy season! Be sure to visit us in store or online for products to suit your needs.

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