I’m sick. Now what?

You have tried all the preventive measures I wrote about in my last blog post but they didn’t work: You still got sick. Now what should you do?

1.REST!

Chances are you got sick because you’ve been under a lot of stress lately and it has finally caught up to you. Now that you’re sick, the best thing you can do is give your body a chance to rest. Sometimes getting sick is the only way the body has of telling us it has had enough and to please give it some much-needed rest.

So listen to your body. Take some time off, stay home, and allow your body to heal.

If you want to speed your recovery process a little, here are some things you can do to help the healing process along.

2.Rinse with salt and water.

If you feel a cold coming on, gargling with salt and water or rinsing your sinuses with saline solution using a Neti pot or spray bottle is a great way of

  • clearing mucus buildup
  • reducing inflammation
  • improving circulation
  • washing away infectious bacteria

Sometimes this step alone is enough to resolve your illness.

3.Raise your body temperature.

Cold and flu viruses thrive in cooler temperatures, which is why we get sick more often in winter. Your body’s natural response is to raise your body temperature, which is why we sometimes get a fever when we’re sick. A fever is your body’s way of creating an inhospitable environment for what’s making you sick.

Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies contain acetaminophen, which lowers fever and reduces pain. It may relieve your symptoms, but as you’ve probably realized, it does nothing to help combat the viruses that are making you sick.

Ways in which you can raise your body temperature to help your body get rid of viruses faster is to use

  • extra blankets
  • steam inhalations to combat viruses in your throat and sinuses
  • a dry (infrared) sauna, which helps raise your body temperature at a deeper level to help your lymphatic system combat the infection

Sweating is a sign that your body is releasing excess heat because it has resolved the infection and your body temperature can go back to normal.

4.Take supplements.

Here are the top supplements you can take to help you get over a cold of flu faster. Taking supplements can reduce the length and severity of colds.

  • Probiotics

Most of your immune system is located in your digestive tract, starting in your throat. Adding good bacteria to your gut is a good way of preventing illness.

If you don’t want to take a supplement, you can eat foods that contain natural probiotics, such as miso (made of fermented soybeans), kefir (unsweetened), or sauerkraut.

  • Vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin makes you more prone to infection, so make sure you’re getting enough.
  • Vitamin C. This vitamin is required by all cells of the immune system, especially monocytes. For a healthy, properly functioning immune system, make sure you’re taking lots of it. It’s also the best antioxidant.
  • Zinc. Zinc is need to activate the immune system (T cells). It also speeds up wound healing and shortens the duration of colds by 40%! If you have a sore throat, suck on zinc lozenges for faster relief.

5.Herbs

Many herbs are also good for the immune system. The best ones to use are Oregano oil, Echinacea, elderberry, and Ginseng. It’s best to talk to a naturopath to find out which ones would be best for you.