Receiving the influenza (flu) shot is always important, but with COVID-19 spreading rapidly, it is even more important this season. Even “healthy” patients are at risk of becoming severely ill or even dying from the influenza or COVID-19 virus. This is because YOU CAN GET BOTH THE FLU AND COVID-19 AT THE SAME TIME!
But wait, how is that possible?
Both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious illnesses caused by a virus. Your body can contract both viruses at the same time. While this may not seem like a big deal to young, healthy adults or children, it can in fact be life threatening. Many Americans have had the flu in the past and remember being ill for about a week before they returned to their normal routine. Therefore, they may take thing that the flu is nothing to be feared. While you may have been able to return to your normal routine, your body’s immune system had to work extremely hard to keep you out of the hospital and back to your life.
Now…imagine that you get the flu this season and your immune system is working overtime for a week or so. During this time, you contract COVID-19, adding this monster into the fight against your immune system. Your immune system will have an awfully hard time fighting off both influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. This could put your health at great risk. Why risk this when you can prevent it?
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY…ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET VACCINATED THIS SEASON
Preparing you and your family from flu season is simple. See below for a list of simple steps you can take to make sure that your immune system is strong this fall!
GET THE FLU SHOT!
There are different strains of the flu shot, depending on your age and allergies. Our office stocks both the standard (ages 4+) and high-dose (ages 65+), preservative-free vaccines. Call our staff at any time for any questions or concerns related to the flu vaccine.
Our body is made up of 60% water. Keeping your body well hydrated is vital to regulating normal body temperatures, especially when sick. Other benefits include preventing constipation, lubricating the joints, keeping the skin soft and moist. Being dehydrated will put you at great disadvantage when fighting off illness. Therefore, be sure to include sugar-free liquids throughout the day.
High stress can negatively impact our body and make us more vulnerable to illness and disease. When we are stressed, it impacts the hormones in our body. Elevations in certain hormones can lead to increased blood pressure, immune suppression, and disturbances to our digestive system. Having a healthy immune system is important in fighting off illness, including the common cold, flu or COVID-19.
Reducing your stress may not seem like a tangible goal. However, there are many small lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your stress. This includes increasing exercise, reducing sugar in your diet, and sleeping at least 8 hours each night. Other useful ways to decrease stress include music therapy, massage, aromatherapy, and meditation.
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY
Research has shown that sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to viruses, such as the common cold, flu, or COVID-19. Sleep helps our immune system stay strong and ready to fight off illness. It is not only important to get enough hours of sleep, but also just as important to get quality sleep. You should set a goal of getting at least 8 hours of sound sleep every night. You should wake up feeling rested. Many chronic illnesses can impact our quality sleep, so if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, contact your provider for help.
There are natural remedies that you can add to you daily regimen to help boost your immune system. While none of these natural solutions are intended to treat active infection, they can be useful tools to help prevent infection. Always speak with your provider first, to make sure that any new remedies are safe to take with your medications or conditions.
Below is a list of these remedies and how they help our body fight off infection.
- LEMON: Adding lemon to your favorite drink can help to boost your immune system. Lemon contains a high amount of vitamin C, serves as an antioxidant, and has electrolytes such as potassium and
magnesium, which are critical for the functioning of our body.
- GREEN TEA: Also an antioxidant, green tea has properties that make it a great fighter against viruses, bacterial infections, and fungal infections. 8 ounces each day is enough to provide this immune support.
- GARLIC: Garlic boosts our immune system and has been shown to have antiviral properties. In addition, garlic has been shown to help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol in patients with heart disease.
- LOCAL, RAW HONEY: Honey has been used for hundreds of years as a natural immune booster and cough suppressor. Local honey has even greater benefits to patients suffering from seasonal allergies. Local honey contains pollen from the allergens in the air and helps to slowly desensitize patients to these allergens.
Allergies can be bothersome, but also create potential health risks during the warmer than usual winter months in Arizona. A person with allergies may have a more difficult time fending off a viral infection because their immune system is already in overdrive trying to control their allergies. This also makes the patient more susceptible to developing a secondary bacterial infection. Therefore, keeping your allergies in control is especially important to preventing illness.
***Do not give honey to any children under the age of 1 years old***
So next time you see local honey at the farmer’s market, pick some up! A great local source for raw honey is the MADE WITH LOVE MARKET held every Saturday at San Tan Village Mall in Gilbert, Arizona. For more information, visit their website at https://www.madewithloveaz.com/.