Five Tips to Prevent the Common Cold

Cold season is just around the corner.  “Typically during this time of year, we start seeing more patients complaining of congestion, tiredness, a runny nose and sneezing” says Victoria Chiropractor Dr. Stephanie Louie.  The common cold is one of the leading causes of missed days of work and school.    Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics but they have no effect on viral infections.  This means that as common as catching a cold is, we still do not have a cure for it due to the fact that the cold is caused by a virus and not by bacteria. Typically the way viral infections spread is by touching  surfaces that have the virus on it or through drops of mucus in the air. When you encounter the cold virus, it can enter the body through open passages such as the nose and mouth.  The spread of the cold virus is impossible to entirely prevent, however by following the five tips below you can lower your chance of becoming infected this cold season.

  1. Sleep – A lack of sleep has been associated with many symptoms and problems with your body. Sleep is has a direct effect on your immune system because when you get quality sleep, your body produces the necessary agents required for your body to fight a virus or infection.  Make sure that you are getting about eight hours of sleep per night and if you are sick you will also need to get rest during the day.
  2. Decrease Stress ­– Stress has a huge impact on the function of the body. An increase in stress can have a negative impact on the immune system and has also been linked to obesity, Alzheimers disease, Type II diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease and depression.  There are many activities such as meditation, exercise, and breathing techniques that can help decrease your stress.
  3. Washing Your Hands – Washing your hands can help stop the spread of viruses that can live on surfaces from getting inside your body. It can also help prevent the spread of germs especially when you are sick.  Make sure that you are using soap and rub your hand vigorously for 20- 30 seconds.  Don’t forget to get between the fingers and under your nails.
  4. Exercise – Exercising regularly can maintain a healthy immune system. If you are sick and all your symptoms are above your neck such as nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose then exercising is generally considered safe, however it will not shorten the length of your cold.  If you are exercising during a cold it is important to note that your body will spend energy recovering from your workout and may therefore have less energy spent into fighting off the virus.
  5. pH – It is important to have the proper alkaline pH in the body. Sugars will increase the acidity in your body and can increase your chances of catching a cold.  Cold viruses also tend to increase the acidity in the body.  A couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily can help reduce your body’s acidity, which can help prevent the growth of viruses.

DISCLAIMER

The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a chiropractic professional assessment.