This is the time of year that many of us are sick with a cold or the flu. The difference between them – the flu comes on quicker and is more severe in it’s symptoms than the common cold. The good news is your immune system was built to take care of these outside invaders using specific immune cells to seek out and destroy the virus.
Most of the time your body is destroying those foreign invaders behind the scenes, however sometimes the immune system gets overwhelmed and has to launch a bigger attack, that’s when you experience cold or flu symptoms. For instance, high heat can inactivate a virus, so your immune system may increase your body temperature in the form of a fever to take care of the virus. Your runny nose is caused by a local inflammatory response to the virus. This was brought on by the your white cells activating the the complement system, which is a series of proteins designed to kill infections. Inflammation is the result which can cause symptoms like redness, warmth, swelling and pain. While we hate these symptoms and try to suppress them to get through our day, these are just a result of what our body needs to do to get rid of that virus, fast.
What determines whether you will get sick if you have been exposed to a virus? The main one is how well your immune system is performing before it encounters that virus. Addressing any underlying health issues is going to be key to providing a solid foundation to fight off any kind of infection. If your immune system is busy trying to heal other imbalances in your body, then it won’t be ready to wage war on that virus.
The first place to start, Heal your Gut. 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, so if it’s busy dealing with food allergies or a parasite, bacteria or yeast overgrowth in your gut then it’s going to miss that cold or flu virus when it comes in.
Do you keep getting colds, one right after the other? It might be time to start working on boosting your immune system. Give us a call at the Functional Health Alliance and our functional nutritionists can put together an individualized plan based on your wellness evaluation to start giving your immune system the help it needs to fend off those nasty viruses.