Monday, December 3, 2012

Is it Cold and Flu Season for You

Well here in central-Indiana we have already been hit with January temperatures which came as an unwelcome reminder that cold and flu season is among us. It is with the following that I present the strategies that should keep the cold and flu viruses around you and not among you. Likely you have already see the flu shot advertisements. For December I want to give you some tips on ways to first avoid and then treat the common cold and flu.

I am not a fan of the modern western medicine intervention methods which seek to treat symptoms rather than ailments. So, before doing anything else I would like for you to start with a stress evaluation since stress reduces immune function. Just make a list of what factors or events in your life are stressful, give a rating as to your level of control and then what you can do to mitigate the stress.

A cold is basically an acute, highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract which is medically referred to as acute rhinitis. Symptoms are generally mild and may include runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, mild headache, sore throat, cough, achy body and less often a low grade fever. Influenza is a more severe viral infection whose symptoms suddenly appear after a brief incubation period. These generally include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough, aches and pains, and GI disturbances. For some people in particular risk categories an influenza attack can be deadly.

I suggest these proactive steps to avoid the colds and flu this season. Wear gloves and wash your hands using traditional bar soap like Ivory regularly. Do not use antibacterial soaps ever [unless you are preparing to perform surgery] as they are more likely to kill the beneficial flora that your body depends on to live. Remove your gloves to pick at your teeth, nose or eyes. Carry disposable tissues with you. Guys can tuck one or two in a wallet.

After the fact traditional treatments include increased fluid consumption, OTC medications – pain relievers, decongestants and antihistamines – and bed rest. Diets and herbal treatments are becoming much more accepted now also. You have likely heard of boosting Vitamin C, Zinc and taking Echinacea in some form. Research conducted in Germany and England showed that participants who took low doses of Echinacea everyday for two to three years had significantly fewer cold and flu infections than a control group.

This banana smoothie concoction of mine may be a new one for you but can be a tasty treat. Freeze some spotted organic bananas. In a blender place a thawed banana with the peel intact [cut off the stem and a half inch of the tail] and add a cup of goat's milk [homogenized cow's milk produces cancer causing free radicals] or soy milk then blend. Spice to taste with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg and then warm, don't boil, and serve as a soothing beverage. It is comforting to the throat, provides some warmth, a good blend of nutrients and the mood elevating hormone serotonin from the ripe banana peel. Alternatively you can add a serving of dark chocolate to the mix then refreeze and eat as an ice cream.

Dietary considerations are the best way to avoid illnesses. On a daily basis I consume onion, garlic and a high amount of Vitamin C and beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted to Vitamin A by the body. High doses of Vitamin A can be toxic. Cooking garlic destroys some of its benefits. If you don't like to eat raw garlic then I suggest that you shred or crush it to make a garlic oil. Take a cup of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and add an ounce of garlic. Cook over low heat [>200F] for about a half hour. Use as a salad topping, bread dip or mix in with a cold spread such as humus. If you are a sushi eater like me then you likely get plenty of ginger root already. If not don't despair. Ginger root can be used to make a tea along with Echinacea and Mint. Add citrus peel to taste. Alternatively all herbs mentioned should be available in health food stores or easily purchased on-line in pill form.

If you are not doing so already let prevention of colds and flu be another reason to do daily stretching and meditation as well as cutting out the non-foods [those products containing artificial colours and flavours, HFCS and hydrogenated oils] which empirical studies have demonstrated all boost immunological functioning. In a child custody case it is most important that you not neglect or harm your child by subjecting them to the affects of these substances.

With the upcoming holiday season approaching I would like for you to be full of energy and vigor while enjoying time with your children. Even more important is to avoid being the one to give them an illness.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.

Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn

Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

No comments: