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Avoiding the Flu

Short Red Hair Woman Blowing Her Nose

It’s Flu season and everybody wants to avoid the Flu. Reach Health and Wellness wants to help you do that by recommending the best ways to avoid the virus and boost your immunity.  Influenza is most common in North America during the Winter and Spring. It is an opportunistic virus so it’s a good time to review the ways you can stay healthy this season.

The Flu is spread by breathing in air droplets containing the virus as well as coming into direct contact or sharing drinks and utensils with an infected person. When somebody becomes infected by the virus, it spreads through the upper and lower respiratory tracts. From there, you would experience high fevers, chills, headaches, fatigue, a stuffy nose, and congestion.

It’s common to come into contact with an infected person when you are in locations of close proximity such as daycares, churches, or work environments. To protect yourself, you can get the Flu vaccine, practice good sanitation, and improve your immunity. The vaccine is produced on a prediction of what type of Flu strand will spread each year. Unfortunately, this is a hit and miss type of prevention.

A more comprehensive prevention plan includes proper sanitation that often times gets overlooked. Make sure to wash your hands periodically and cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Additionally, clean and disinfect common surfaces – even at home.

Along with washing your hands, the best way to fight the Flu is to improve your immunity. Your immune system is what kills foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites before they can cause an infection. When your immunity is strong, this is easy for your body. When your immunity is compromised, you will inevitably catch any contagious illness.

To fortify your immune system, there are several things you can do! First, make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D. It is synthesized in the body from direct sunlight. The angle of the sun during the Winter decreases how much sun exposure is available. Because of this, spend as much time as you can getting an extra dose of sunshine. Do this by taking advantage of lunch breaks outside or even take a short trip to a warmer state for a few days. Second, decrease your sugar intake. High levels of sugar can impair your immune response. Eighty percent of our immune response comes from our gut. Sugar is a source of nutrition for bad bacteria in the intestines which leads to illness. Add leafy vegetables to your diet to feed the good gut flora. Third, you need to get enough sleep. Ideally, you should be getting eight hours of sleep each night. If you get less than this, you increase your risk of catching the flu or another bug. Along with sleep, you should be getting regular exercise. Exercise keeps your immunity strong. However, avoid working out to exhaustion. Exercise is a physical stressor and too much exercise can trigger an infection.

Last but certainly not least on the prevention scale, getting a spinal adjustment can help you stay healthy. Chiropractic care is a major player in immune health. This is because chiropractic care addresses the nervous system. The immune system, endocrine system and the nervous system are all intricately linked. Chiropractic care has positively shown to improve the immune system by increasing Interleukin-2 production and CD4-T cells. Interleukin-2, IL-2, cells are tiny messenger cells that relay messages in between the nervous system and the immune system. CD4-T cells or better known as T-Helper cells, form the adaptive immunity for the body which helps combat foreign invaders.

It’s important to focus on the nervous system because it consists of the brain, spinal cord, and every nerve within the body. Your brain is the master controller for your entire body. It tells your heart to pump, your pancreas to secrete insulin, and your liver to store glucose. It does it all. The brain achieves all of those actions by communicating to the organs, muscles and tissues through the nerves. The spine is the area of the body that most people relate chiropractors to, and that’s with good reason. The spine houses the spinal cord, the giant accumulation of nerves. The spine is made up of 24 movable bony vertebrae and a sacrum at the bottom. When one of the vertebra get kinked or moved out of place they can put stress on the muscles and nerves that attach to the spine. When pressure is put on nerves they lose their ability to transmit and receive signals to and from the brain. This can cause a myriad of health problems if left untreated, including vulnerability to the Flu virus. Locate a local chiropractor for preventative care this Winter and Spring to achieve your optimum health and reinforce your immune system!

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