Colds & Flu
Signs and Symptoms
Acute coryza, also known as the common cold, affects the nose, throat, larynx, and sinuses, causing symptoms like a stuffed and runny nose, scratchy throat, watery eyes, congestion, and sinus pressure, but NO fever.
Flu symptoms include fever, backache, headache, muscle and joint pain, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, and cough. The flu can be particularly serious for those with a compromised immune system, like the elderly. In some cases, a person suffering from the flu can develop pneumonia if their immune system is very weak. But for most of us, the flu is little more than an annoying illness.
Our bodies encounter cold and flu viruses regularly; however, only about 12% of people actually "catch" the cold or flu. Most viruses are opportunistic and will only take hold when immune resistance is low. A compromised immune system can be caused by stress - structural, chemical, and emotional stress.
The "father" of medicine, Hippocrates wrote: "Diseases are crises for purification, of toxic elimination. Symptoms are the natural defenses of the body. We call them diseases, but in fact they are the cure of diseases." An example of this is the fever. While fever can be uncomfortable, it is the body's natural defense mechanism to help destroy infection. An increased body temperature burns off and eliminates toxins and other waste products to clean and rebalance the system. When a fever is reduced, the defense against the infection is also reduced.
Besides fighting the acute condition, colds and flu may serve an even greater purpose. In one study, it was discovered that individuals who had febrile (symptoms of fever) infectious childhood diseases, like measles, mumps, and chicken pox, had less cancer as adults. Another study revealed that a person who has a history of colds or flus had a decreased risk of stomach, colon, rectum, and ovarian cancer.
The Medical Approach
The standard medical approach suggests bed rest and plenty of fluids, but in some cases antiviral medication, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) may be prescribed. Taking antibiotics for viruses are ineffective because antibiotics work only on bacteria.
The Non-Medical Approach
People with nutrient deficiencies tend to have depressed immune systems and may be more prone to catching the flu or a cold. Home remedies for the flu include vitamins C and D, increasing water intake, and herbal supplements, like echinacea, elderberry, and oregano oil. They also may include essential oils, probiotics, and consuming healthy, easy to digest foods, like bone broth.
The Chiropractic Approach
Our immune system is directly connected to our nervous system, and when the body is not in proper alignment we become susceptible to diseases. Numerous studies show that regular chiropractic care boosts the immune system, increasing resistance to a variety of diseases. One particular study found that chiropractic patients had 200% greater immune competence than those people who had not received chiropractic care, and they had 400% greater immune competence than those people with cancer and other serious diseases. The immune system is affected by the nervous system through the connections with the endocrine and the autonomic nervous system. Neurologically-based chiropractic care can keep your immune resistance high by taking stress off the nervous system.