Tag Archives: cold

Lifestyle

How To Escape A Pesky Summer Cold

escape a pesky summer coldThe summer season is finally here, and the weather will be warming up. Your schedule is probably already filled with activities to enjoy that ample Vitamin D boost from the sun. What you’re not planning for is a pesky summer cold.

Enteroviruses spread more during warm weather, as opposed to their cold weather loving counterparts. You’ll still get the fever, sore throat and cough, but these viruses can also cause skin rashes and diarrhea. They seem to last longer as well.

They spread the same way common colds do through respiratory secretions through coughing, sneezing and contact with contaminated surfaces. So practicing good hand washing techniques is key. You should always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, making sure to get underneath your nails and in between your fingers.

For some healthy adults, you may experience no symptoms, but can still pass on the cold virus!

Staying on track with your diet will also help to maintain a good working immune system. Summer time can be laden with high fat BBQ’s and sugary treats, which keeps the digestive system sluggish. Keep up with your fiber and stay hydrated! A happy gut is essential for good immune function. If you’re not already taking a high quality probiotic, now is the time to start. Probiotics help to maintain healthy intestinal flora.

Drinking ginger tea is great for the digestive system, but did you know that it is also anti-viral? A cup of warm ginger tea throughout the day will keep the fire in your belly going, but helps to keep you cool.

If you’ve got plans, like a trip you just can’t miss – try Vitamin IV therapy. It gives your immune system a big boost of vitamins to support its natural function. If you end up with a pesky summer cold, Vitamin IV therapy may also help shorten the length and severity of the symptoms.

In BC, the summer months are so amazing, but it doesn’t last very long! If you’d like to optimize your health this summer, and throughout the year, talk to one of our Surrey Naturopaths.

 

Latest Research Lifestyle Nutrition

Cold and Flu Prevention, Naturally

Are you getting the flu vaccine? It’s a common topic of conversation this time of year. Some of us may be forced to get it because of work. Others are concerned about the side effects? Many of us question its effectiveness.

A recent review of all the available studies (69 studies involving over 70,000 people) that compared the flu vaccine against placebo or no vaccine showed a very small effect on preventing the flu – about 70 people need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of the flu. These studies also showed no positive benefit in reducing work absences or hospitalizations. Similar reviews with children and the elderly revealed no benefit in preventing the flu. So why are we rushing to get the flu vaccine? I’m not sure. There are isolated smaller studies that do show small benefits in populations at risk, such as infants, the elderly, and those with health conditions, plus the small benefit mentioned above. Overall though, the evidence for the flu vaccine is not very good. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not against vaccines at all. Vaccination is an important tool for the prevention of illness – just maybe not this one.

What about the side effects? For the most part the side effects of the flu vaccine are minimal, harmless but common: mostly local soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site and flu like symptoms (fever and muscle aches). Considering the small benefit and common side effects, I am resistant to recommend this vaccine.

Fortunately, we have many proven and safe alternatives available that, in additional to flu prevention, prevent and treat the common cold. Nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and probiotics have been shown by numerous studies to reduce the likelihood, length and severity of flu and cold symptoms. These nutrients do this with minimal or no side effects at all – they are extremely safe supplements. There are also lifestyle and dietary factors that reduce the likelihood of cold and flu symptoms. And for added and more immediate protection, when you are feeling vulnerable or just noticing a lot of illness around you, we offer an injectable version of these nutrients along with an injectable homeopathic alternative to the flu vaccine. To learn more about preventing the cold and flu naturally, schedule and appointment with your Village Health Clinic physician.

 

Jefferson T, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C, Demicheli V, Ferroni E (2012) Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 8:CD004879. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004879.pub4

Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C (2014) Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 3:CD001269. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub5

Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Thorning S, Thomas RE (2010) Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2:CD004876

Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD001364. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub4

Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000980. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4

Hao Q, Lu Z, Dong BR, Huang CQ, Wu T. Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD006895. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006895.pub2