Are Your Sick Habits Making You Sick?
By Sara Butler
This time of year can be rough because it’s the time of year when cold and flu season rears its ugly head. You see cold and flu remedies everywhere you turn, with a cornucopia of products that claim to make you feel better fast. As the good chiropractic patient you are, you know by now that these medications merely cover up your symptoms without actually addressing the underlying problem.
The real problem this time of year might be your bad habits – habits that could turn your first sign of illness into something worse. Here is what you should do when you start to feel sick, and how your chiropractor can help.
What Causes Symptoms to Begin With?
Those pesky symptoms you’re experiencing such as a sore throat, fever, congestion, or a cough? Those are your immune system getting to work and are the direct result of your body fighting off invaders. The medications you can buy over the counter simply suppress the immune response so that your symptoms are suppressed. The problem is that suppressing your symptoms suppresses your immune response too.
Proceed with Caution
The things you must be careful of when you’re starting to feel crummy include:
- Antibiotics – These should only be used when absolutely necessary. Overuse of antibiotics leads to much larger health problems for the entire community, and they kill off the healthy bacteria that live in your gut right along with the bad bacteria too. This can leave you more susceptible to illness in the future because the good bacteria in your gut help your immune system to function properly. So, there are times when people need antibiotics, but they shouldn’t be the first line of defense!
- Fever reducers – Medications such as acetaminophen may help to reduce fevers, but you should remember that fevers are doing a job to help you get better. Fevers make the environment in your body inhospitable to the virus and bacteria that may be attacking it. Sure, they make you feel crummy, but they're not helping your immune system fight off what is ailing you.
- Ice cream and popsicles – Many people reach for a popsicle when their throat is sore, but the sugar will work against your immune system and make it less effective. Dairy products also increase your mucous production, so your congestion will be worse with dairy. Try some honey to soothe a sore throat.
When you feel like you’re getting sick, go see your chiropractor. They will make sure you aren’t experiencing any joint dysfunctions or restrictions that are keeping your body from functioning optimally.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.