Most of us know the symptoms of a cold or flu well. The most frequently experienced symptoms include:
But do you know why these symptoms REALLY happen??
As annoying as these symptoms are, believe it or not, they don’t happen because you are actually “sick.”
These symptoms happen as a sign that your immune system is revving up to fight off a pathogen (like a virus, bacteria, parasite, environmental allergen, etc.). This means that even though we don’t feel good, our symptoms are actually happening for a good reason.
Our bodies actually have 2 different immune system responses, to fight off pathogens. One type of immune response helps us fight off viral and parasite infections. That response is usually when we would experience fever, body aches, and chills. The other response helps us fight off bacterial infections and environmental allergens, which often results sneezing, congestion, and skin irritation (ex: sensitvity, rashes, hives, etc.)
While we don’t want these symptoms to get out of hand, it’s actually a good thing to let these symptoms “run their course.” By covering up these symptoms with your over-the-counter cold and flu remedies, we’re actually disabling the immune system and preventing it from doing it’s job – fighting off pathogens.
“So how do I know if I'm really sick or not?”
Just remember, these symptoms (body aches, chills, fever, sneezing, congestion, skin irritation/sensitivity) are the way that your immune system works to try to prevent you from getting sick. When we actually DO get “sick,” this means that our immune system was unsucessful in ejecting the pathogen from our body and it has invaded and infected our body's cells.
If this happens, those common cold/flu symptoms might persist, but you’ll also start experiencing new, and oftentimes more intense symptoms, like fatigue, headaches, loss of taste/smell, digestive issues (cramping, bloating/gassiness, diarrhea, etc.), and dizziness, based on the cells that the pathogen has infected.
For example, If you’ve ever experienced bronchitis, a sinus infection, or another illness, you might have a good idea of what this feels like. You start out with those cold/flu symptoms mentioned above, which is the sign that your immune system is working hard to fight off a pathogen. However, after a couple of days, you might start developing a deep cough, or get really dizzy when standing up, or have a lingering headache that doesn’t seem to go away. This is the sign that your body has now become infected with a pathogen, causing you to be “sick.”
So, what can you do when you start noticing these cold/flu symptoms creeping up??
The best thing you can do is to help your immune system and give your body what it needs to fight off the pathogen. So in no particular order:
REST. Get plenty of sleep and take a short break from school or work if possible. Your body will be working very hard over the next few days to kick out that pathogen so you don’t get sick, so now is the time to lay low and rest.
HYDRATE. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and to help your body flush out the pathogen. Our body really is about two-thirds water, so you should work hard now more than ever to give your body clean water to easily absorb as you clear out the pathogen causing you to feel icky. We recommend our clients add a pinch of sea salt (or Himalayan pink salt) and a splash of either lemon or lime (you can use slices or squeeze the juice) to their water – this makes the water a little easier for our body to absorb.
BOOST NUTRITENTS. Take vitamins to keep your body nourished. If you don’t currently take a multivitamin, we recommend Smarty Pants Women’s Formula as a general vitamin supplement (we are not authorized distributors or affiliates, we just like the blend. And men can take them too, they're less sugary than the Adult blend)
EAT CLEAN. Try your best to eat as fresh and clean during this time as possible (fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.). Avoid processed sugars, carbs, and fatty foods as these are top food sources for pathogens.
POOP. Reduce constipation to help your body eliminate the pathogen. If you aren’t pooping every day, your body is not eliminating its toxins effectively, which is especially important when your body is trying to fight off and clear out a pathogen. If you aren’t sure if you’re constipated, or if you don’t know how to reduce your constipation naturally, feel free to reach out to us for basic tips, but you can start with drinking plenty of water.
GET HELP. If the cold symptoms get too intense over 36-48 hours (fever over 102 degrees, severe congestion, thick colored mucus, etc) this means that your immune system really needs help and we would recommending contacting our holistic health line (602-730-4159) or your general physician for further care.
Message us for a chat. If you want to learn more about how our immune system works, or if you are wanting to boost your immune system function naturally, contact us HERE. We can help.
As always, know that we can help and we are here for you.
Our mission is to help everyone who reaches out to us live their most amazing life.
But we can't help, if you don't let us know you need us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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