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Get rid of that Cold sooner!!

The past winter has been one of never ending colds.  Everyone I talk to has had a cold for weeks and weeks, that just won’t go away, and the worst part is that the recent change in seasons also tends to trigger outbreaks in sickness..  This can be tiring, exhausting and preventing you from participating fully in all the activities you would like.

A common cold is caused by the Rhinovirus  (think virus of the nose).  This means that it cannot be treated with medication, and must ‘run its course’.  Your doctor will say that a cold will last from 10-14 days, but why do some last longer than others and how can I get rid of it sooner?

The virus is attacked by your natural innate immune system, but it just takes time for that system to kick in and deal with the problem.    Knowing what boosts and lowers your immune system allows you to let your body deal with this cold more effectively.

 3 factors that lower our immune system:

They are many different factors that will lower your immune system, and this is not intended to be an extensive list.  However, if you are an otherwise healthy adult  some of the basic things that we don’t think about that can lower our immune system are: stress, lack of sleep and sugar.

Colds tend to be low-grade (unless you’re a man), that don’t completely wipe us out, and just let us go about business as usual but in a miserable way.  This means that simple things like high levels of stress can impede your ability to recover from that lingering cold.   This means that meditation is not just for the hippies anymore.  It can used as a tool to reduce stress levels, thus allowing your body to naturally boost your immune system.  Light exercise (when the problem is not in your lungs) can be used to decrease stress as well, thus boosting your immune system.  Chiropractic adjustments have also been shown to decrease your body’s stress response and boost your immune response by up to 137%, giving you an immune boost.

 3 ways to kill a cold:

Sleep is simple.  Sleep is when the body heals itself, but too many people don’t make time for it.  Get extra sleep when you have a cold, you will reduce the number of days you have it and it will be totally worth it.  This may require upwards of 10 hours of sleep for a couple of days.  Listen to what your body wants.

Vitamin C does wonders if you take enough.   Vitamin C is not great at preventing colds, but it can reduce the length of time you have it.  It is becoming more popular to hyperdose with Vitamin C when you are down and out (see The Vitamin Movie).  Your body can only absorb so much vitamin C at a time, so space your Vitamin C intake out throughout the day but some people take upwards of a 1000 iu a day.  Be careful as too much can upset your stomach, but this strategy works great for me.

 Starve a cold.  Fasting has been shown to reset and improve your immune system naturally.  Taking a day or two to limit calories below 500 will help to boost the immune system and allow it to fight off the foreign invaders.  Just one more reason that fasting and intermittent fasting is extremely good for you.

 The good news is that summer finally here!!

– Dr. Rob Green

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