Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Many of my patients are concerned about the flu this season, especially the Swine Flu. Most provinces in Canada are looking at halting flu shots due to a study that shows patients are more susceptible to Swine Flu after Seasonal Flu vaccination. How can we fight the Flu without a flu shot?
Keeping the immune system as strong as possible is the BEST line of defense! What are some of easy ways to help prevent sickness?
Sleep/Rest. Busy lifestyles are hindering our immune systems, leaving us more susceptible to colds and flu. Adults should aim for a healthy 8 hours of sleep per night.
Wash those hands thoroughly. We have heard this since childhood! Most health professionals recommend reciting the alphabet while washing hands to ensure a thorough wash. Antibacterial soaps tend to eradicate the good, beneficial bacteria as well as the bad, so try to avoid those. Warm water and soap is certianly enough in most cases.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Diet is so beneficial in boosting the immune system. At a bare minumum, the 5 a day rule should be applied. Try to avoid processed foods, white flour, and sugar as harmful bacteria LOVE these items commonly found in the standard American diet.
Many patients are looking at natural supplements to help boost their immune systems naturally. There is growing research that Vitamin D supplementation might be the key! The following is an article written by Dr. Donald Miller, MD, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Washington Medical School. This is a well written article, with many links, for those concerned about the Flu and how to avoid it.
Please take a moment to read this article, and stay well this season!