How is your immunity? Is your body coping with the seasonal changes? This Winter has seen an increase in the number of flu admissions to our hospitals. Gut bugs have also been rampant. As Winter gives way to Spring we are told to expect more flu cases. If its not flu then hay fever is next.
Air borne pollen should normally be harmless. Sometimes our immune systems mistakenly identified the pollen as dangerous, and this leads to an over-the-top immune reaction. This causes antibodies to respond, and our mast cells which form part of our immune system, release histamine which inflame and irritate the mucous membranes. This results in the itchy, sneezing, congestion and sore eyes so typical of hay fever.
Pollen is not the only irritant. Other common culprits are house dust, animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches and mould spores.
What can you do to help prepare for this onslaught?
- Reduce the inflammatory burden on your body by avoiding processed and junk foods like sugar and trans fatty acids
- Eat more fruit and vegetables, which are full of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Flavonoids
- Include more seafood in your diet. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, so increase fish consumption or take fish oil supplements.
- Reduce dairy products to three times per week. These that can increase mucus production.
- Cut back on alcohol and coffee as these deplete essential nutrients needed by the immune system.
- Drink two litres of water daily
Sustained high levels of Cortisol, which is produced by our bodies to handle stress, over time will have a negative effect on your immunity. To keep this in check:
- Make it a priority to take time out to do things you enjoy. This counters stress.
- Ensure you are getting adequate, good quality sleep. For most people this is 7 – 8 hours. If you find it difficult to get to sleep or if you wake frequently through the night, you need to fix this. Make an appointment now.
- Light to moderate exercise counters the effects of stress but you don’t have to be a gym junkie.
- We use both massage and SCENAR therapy in this clinic to fight the effects of stress in people’s lives. Which is most effective? The jury is still out!
Fortify your immune system …
Several herbs are well-recognised for having immune-building properties, whereas others can help reduce congestion and restore mucus membranes function. Our herbal dispensary is full of evidence based traditional medicines. See our herbal practitioner to find which ones are more suited for you.
Other supplements that can help boost your immune system are Vitamin C, Bromelain, Garlic, Quercetin and Zinc. Vitamin C and Quercetin also act as anti-histamines, and Bromelain and Garlic can help breakdown excess mucus.
We all know that health bodies will have health immune systems. If you are like most people (and especially if you are a mum) you’re the last one you look after. Its time to put yourself first. Why not avail yourself of our online booking system now.