By Dr. Judith Ziol, Keystone Natural Family Medicine
According to a Dec. 04, 2012 press release from the Centers for Disease Control, “This year’s flu season is starting earlier and hitting harder than it has in almost a decade. This is at least a month earlier than they generally see an uptick in cases.”
Numerous confirmed cases of this year’s flue have already been reported in the state of Arizona. What can you do to minimize the risk of getting colds and flu away this season?
The doctors at Keystone Natural Family Medicine, who are medical experts in natural medicine, use a multi-system approach to minimize susceptibility to illness. There are healthier preventative steps you can take beside the flu vaccine. Here are the basics:
CLEAN HANDS: Wash your hands several times throughout the day, especially after returning from any public place: work, the gym, the store, school, church, etc. Disinfect surfaces like, counters, handrails, door handles, computer keyboards and phones. Use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not feasible. Along with keeping your hands clean, try not to touch your face, eyes, nose or lips unless your hands are washed.
NUTRITION: Let food help prevent as well as treat illness. Proper nutrition supports our immune system, keeping it fighting off those nasty seasonal “bugs.” Be sure to include a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy oils, nuts, seeds and pungent herbs such as garlic, ginger and turmeric.
HYDRATION: Be sure to drink plenty (6-8 large glasses) of pure water each day. Try warm water with lemon or green tea for a little variety.
SLEEP: Our bodies need about 8 hours of good, quality sleep each night for repair and recovery from the stresses we are exposed to each day and is necessary for the optimal functioning of our immune system.
EXERCISE: One hour of moderate exercise 3 to 4 times a week elevates mood, reduces stress, keeps weight in check and stimulates the immune system. Exercise also helps to regulate elimination, which is important to rid the body of cellular debris and toxins.
SUPPLEMENTS: There is no “magic pill” when it comes to prevention or treatment of illness. However, certain nutrients, homeopathic remedies, immune boosting IV infusions and botanicals help support our immune system to keep us well or get us well faster if we do happen to get sick.
Naturopathic physicians are passionate about the true intent and meaning of “health care” and will help individualize a plan to keep you and your family members well during this cold and flu season. Don’t wait until the flu bug bites you before you come in!