A Cold or the Flu. Everyone has had to experience it and it is never fun. I always find myself in my same ritual of trying to prevent sickness anytime my loved ones are starting to get run down and thankfully it is rare that we end up getting sick. Now instead of commenting the same tips on every “Oh no my kids are sick” status and expressing my love for elderberry and ALL the other things you are about to read I can just share this post! This blog is exciting for me because it is written by my first official Guest blogger! Eileen is a chiropractor in the LA area who specializes in pediatric and prenatal care. I was so excited when Eileen reached out to be a quest blogger for me and even more thrilled when she told me she thought she would pick the topic of cold and Flu. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you!
Cold and Flu. How to fight it off and maintain a strong immune system. Written by: Dr. Eileen Abrahamian
Cold and flu season is every mom’s worst nightmare! It’s the same story, your little one wakes up with a runny nose, a nagging cough, or even worse a dreaded sore throat. Of course this is also accompanied by a low-grade fever, so you naturally find yourself frantically checking their temperature every 30 minutes, until the number on that thermometer is back down to 98.6!!! It’s heart wrenching to watch your little one go through this, but I’m here to help!
Many still believe that you can “catch” a cold if you are out running around in the cold weather, but this is an old wives tale that needs to be put to rest! Colds are actually a common infection of the upper respiratory tract, and are caused by viruses known as the rhinovirus, coronavirus, and many more. If your immune system is compromised or too weak to fight off the germs you get sick. So in short, the real culprit causing a common cold is not the cold weather, it is one of more than 200 viruses out in the world.
The treatment of a cold or flu has quickly become a controversial topic, but there are some awesomely natural things you can do to help your little one build a strong immune system and recover faster!
- Taking whole food Vitamins
Taking vitamins is not a shocking suggestion to help build a stronger immune system, but taking a whole food supplement is! Most of us want to believe that the Flintstone vitamins or generic gummy vitamins are just as beneficial as the natural whole food vitamins, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Most of these vitamins have synthetic additives completely altering the vitamins bioavailability and effecting the absorption in the gut. Not to mention, they have artificial sweeteners and food coloring added to them which can be far more detrimental than beneficial for your kids! Whole food vitamins are higher quality, and best of all you know exactly what you are putting in your body. I personally utilize Standard Process vitamins for my family and all the practice members in our office that need a little extra help when preventing or fighting a cold.
- Essential Oils
Essential oils have quickly become one of my favorite methods when fighting a cold. There are a few really great companies out there with very pure and potent oils that are great homeopathic remedies. Thieves essential oil from YoungLiving is my go to oil for nearly all my patients. I have found Thieves to be the most powerful and effective essential oil for fighting off colds and flus. The smell is fortunately not overwhelming, and has an astoundingly soothing scent. Thieves is a therapeutic blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary. This oil has antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. Yup, it’s basically magic in a bottle. It works well in a diffuser to purify the air, and can also be used as a spray to soothe a sore throat. It is a very powerful and a very concentrated essential oil, so if you choose to use it in a diffuser or topically (especially on kids) I always recommend diluting it with coconut oil or any other carrier oil that is readily available to you. Once you have mixed Thieves with the carrier oil apply it to the bottom of the feet, the spine, as well as the chest to help soothe and aid the healing process .
- For babies 0-6 months old, dilute 1-2 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
- For babies 6+ months, dilute 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
- Increase water intake
This is a common one that everyone preaches, but I cannot emphasize how important it is to keep your little one hydrated, especially if they are fighting a cold! Drinking water helps replace the fluids that are lost when a child spikes a fever, and it also helps loosen up the mucus in the respiratory tract. Drinking an adequate amount of water prevents your respiratory secretions from becoming too thick, so you are able to clear your airways more easily and prevent difficulty breathing when trying to sleep at nights. When we get sick we do not feel like eating or drinking much of anything, but our bodies require a minimum amount of water to prevent dehydration and worsening your child’s current situation if they have a fever. Staying hydrated will increase urinary frequency allowing the body to filter through and rid the body of any toxins.
- Avoid certain foods
You always hear about certain foods you should be consuming when you are sick, such as strawberries or oranges, foods high in Vitamin C. But there are also foods you should be avoiding! DAIRY is the number one food group you should avoid, especially if you are fighting a cold. Dairy products are extremely inflammatory and can be the cause of irritable bowel syndrome, digestive issues such as gas, constipation, and diarrhea. Our bodies like to maintain a neutral pH balance. Unfortunately, milk and other animal products are acid forming foods. I always recommend patients to avoid dairy at all costs- whether or not they are fighting a cold!
- Get Adjusted
Most importantly, as a chiropractor I always encourage my patients to come in and make sure they are getting checked and adjusted to help speed up the recovery process. Kids are extremely resilient and have remarkable results. Getting checked by a chiropractor is also a preventative measure since it enhances immune system function. Chiropractors specialize in working with the nervous system, and the nervous system runs and controls everything throughout our bodies from the largest organ to the tiniest cell. The nervous system and immune system are hardwired and work together to help the body function optimally and heal properly. Researchers have found that people under chiropractic care for five years or more demonstrated 200% greater immune function than those who were not under chiropractic care (1). With such awesome side effects, why wouldn’t you want to take your little one to get checked by a pediatric chiropractor?!
Eileen Abrahamian, D.C.
- Pero R. Medical Researcher Excited By CBSRF Project Results.The Chiropractic Journal. 1989; 32.