This year’s cold and flu season has hit hard! Over the last two weeks there have been a large number of patients (as well as receptionists, coworkers, friends of coworkers, family members, neighboring business employees, window cleaner, snow removal guy, even the postman etc) coming in for cold/flu treatment advice. Here are a couple of things I discuss with the cold stricken and flu ridden:
Wash your hands!
You probably hate getting sick – so does everyone else! Be a good neighbor and wash your hands regularly to keep your family and friends from getting sick too. Better yet, when in the throws of the cold/flu stay home, and stay away from people!
Drink plenty of fluids, mostly water, and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. A bump in blood glucose will actually decrease your immune function!
It’s not flashy, it’s not fancy, but zinc is effective at shortening the duration of a cold. Zinc lozenges are a great way to prevent and treat the beginnings of a cold – especially if a sore throat is involved.
Eat, Sleep, Be Well
Eat well, sleep well be well! Make sure you are getting lots of rest, and are eating a balanced diet. Avoid simple sugars, and make sure you are getting adequate protein.
Depending on presentation, there are a number of botanical medicines that are helpful in the treatment of colds and flu. Some botanicals getting a lot of action in clinic this year include andrographis, echinaccea, ginseng, goldenseal, and elecampane.
For current patients who have had the appropriate lab work done in advance, we offer intravenous vitamin C treatments acutely for colds and flu. This can often have a dramatic impact early in the course of the illness, and patients have reported excellent results.
If you don’t have, or haven’t had a cold/flu this year – great! You can still use the above recommendations to prevent getting sick. In addition to the above, 120 minutes minimum of moderate exercise per week, as well as a good multi strain probiotic will go a long way to helping you avoid getting sick. For those patients looking for a little more kick in their anti-cold campaign or who may be at higher risk of contracting a cold/flu, I also regularly use intravenous Myer’s cocktails, as well as immune boosting botanicals.
Stay cold and flu free this year! Happy winter!