Just the other day I woke up exhausted, my ritualistic morning coffee did absolutely nothing for me, in fact it drained my energy further. This was my first clue and as the day proceeded I developed pressure in my head and soreness around my neck. By 3:00 in the afternoon I was finally admitting to myself that I was coming down with something so I put my naturopathic preventative and supportive measures into high gear. Skipping to the end of the story, 24 hours later I no longer had symptoms and my energy was better than it had been in weeks. Here’s what I did, and what I tell my patients to do all the time:
1) Immune supportive diet. When the body is fighting off an infectious invader it needs all hands on deck. This means it can’t be distracted managing inflammation caused by foods in your diet. When I start to feel sick I immediately cut all sugar, dairy, gluten, and processed/packaged foods out of my diet. These foods are the top instigators of inflammation in the gut and dairy naturally stimulates mucous production and the goal is to limit both of those when you’re already getting sick. I focus on increasing vegetable-dense soups with warming spices like cinnamon, curry, garlic, and peppers.
2) Super Bio Vegetarian supplement. I normally don’t like to promote specific supplements but this one has saved me and my patients enough times to get some credit. These not-so-small tablets pack a punch of herbal and vitamin anti-microbial action. They include a hefty dose of vitamin C, which is a building block for the white blood cells of the immune system and essential in warding off infection. I start taking 3 every few hours as soon as I feel ill and continue until my symptoms resolve, which is usually within 24 hours if I catch it early enough.
3) Vitamin D. I double my normal dose of vitamin D to 10,000 IUs per day while I’m sick. vitamin D is essential to proper function of the immune system so it’s important to make sure you have enough when you’re sick. I only recommend doing this if you’ve had your vitamin D blood levels checked recently, and only under a physician’s watch as vitamin D toxicity is no joke and something to be avoided. Fun fact, vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so I take it with some butter or coconut oil to absorb more of my supplement into my system.
4) Sleep. The day I woke up feeling exhausted, I took a nap that afternoon and went to bed at 7:30 that evening. The body can only heal when it’s resting so taking a half day off of work to rest at the beginning of an infection will help your immune system beat the bug before it has you on the couch for a week.
5) Hydration. The immune system, and the entire body for that matter, works much better when it’s well hydrated. Herbal teas and water are best for keeping your cells hydrated and this time around I sipped on mugs of chamomile tea to help me relax and to support a healthy fever.
6) Homeopathic cold and flu support. Homeopathy is a form of natural medicine that works by gently stimulating the body’s innate ability to heal itself. I took a dose of a combination homeopathic remedy a couple times each day to stimulate my immune system into action to fight the bug.
These few steps were all it took to prevent what could have been the week-long cold that’s going around into a mere 24 hours of mild discomfort. The body really is quite amazing, it’s constantly trying to bring itself into balance and health, give it the right tools and support and it will keep you running optimally for years to come.
What to do next:
Interested in using my technique the next time you’re feeling ill? I’ve packaged up all of the supplements for you in my online dispensary. Just select the category “Dr. Jenna’s Immune Essentials” and they are all right there waiting for you.
Don’t know what your Vitamin D levels are? Schedule an appointment today with me or ask your doctor to check your 25-Hydroxyvitamin D levels to see if they are in my optimal range of 50-70.
Please don't be your own doctor, if you're feeling more than a mild sniffle, contact myself or your doctor!