Join Dr. Sarah Brill-Morgan, ND., as she talks about the 5 ways to not get sick (again) this winter season.
Hey, everyone, I'm Dr. Sarah Brill-Morgan. And today, I am talking going all about good old immunity. So, with a lot of my patients this year, specifically, the flu season has been… cold and flu season has been actually horrible. So, a lot more people getting sick, a lot more people that don't normally get sick getting sick. And it's actually a longer duration and people are actually getting sick multiple times through the season. And I know that a lot of my patients have been sick note 3 or 4 times, and some of those times lasting anywhere from like 2 to 4 weeks, right? So, this is really impacting people's lives really, right, their livelihood, their family life, all of those sort of things are impacted.
So, how can we kind of nip that in the bud now, right? There's a lot of talk about these different viruses, the coronavirus for example. How can we kind of maintain our immune health for the rest of the season? Because we're not quite there yet. We can see the glimmer of spring, but it isn't quite there yet. We have a little bit more… more to come. And on this beautiful day in Ottawa, we have quite the snowstorm happening. So, we know that winter is still here, we still have a while to go. So, what can we do to kind of get through the season without getting sick at all if you're a lucky one or without getting sick again?
So, one of the biggest things that actually makes a huge difference for people, and I think people in Ottawa are actually really great at doing this, but it's getting outside, right? So, a lot of the time, especially on a day like today where it is very Blizzardy, we would just want to come and curl up by the fire and we don't want to do much, right? So, get all cozy at home. I mean, we don't need to do it on days like today, but just getting outside, even if it's once a week, you know?
Getting outside and really doing something physically active outside can be a great way to get in some fresh air to allow your body to not always be breathing in kind of the stale infected air. If that's happening sometimes too, that's going to make a huge difference, right? So, just getting outside, it's super easy, it's free. But it's a really great way to kind of make sure that we are, you know, keeping up our mood, but also kind of getting that immune system to a good spot. So, that… that one’s easy, okay, number 1.
Number 2, is also going to be easy for most people, and it's just kind of changing up the diet a little bit. So, just making sure that there's more of those greens, more vegetables and fruit, and staying away as much as you can from more of that processed foods. I know this is drilled into people over and over and over again. And I know throughout the winter, especially when it's cold and dark, it's something that we want, we want more comforting food, we want, you know, heartier your food; and I totally get that. But if you are kind of feeling like you're coming down with something or you're around people and everyone's sick and things are going on, then you know, staying away from those things can make a huge difference in terms of your immune health.
As well, one of the biggest things I tell patients is, if you do feel like you're getting sick, or you know, have a little tickle in your throat, or whatever's happening, or you're around people, a lot of people that are sick, (I know what happens here quite a bit in terms of patients coming in and that sort of thing), cut sugar. And it doesn't need to be for a long time, but at least for a few days so that you're not actually feeding those. If there is a virus, if your body is fighting something off, if you're able to cut that sugar out, even for a few days, it doesn't make actually a fairly drastic difference, especially for sore throats, especially for viral things that are happening, right?
Going more into supplements and that sort of thing, how can we actually boost our immune system in that way? So, this is the time where all of my patients are extremely vitamin D deficient, okay? So, that vitamin D is going to be the lowest that it possibly will be the whole year, right? We've had a long win… longer winter, we're at the kind of in the deep winter, and that's when we're actually having our lowest vitamin D levels.
So, lately, we just had a clinicians meeting, we were chatting about how, you know, we're seeing levels super, super low in the 20s and 30s, which is, you know, it should be above 25, at least. And so, when we're seeing those levels, that's going to significantly impact how your immune system is functioning and how you're actually able to fight off things that you're in contact with, okay? So, the vitamin D is going to be the biggest one, especially at this point in time, in the winter, that's when it's going to be kind of the lowest.
And the cool thing is we actually just added in vitamin D injections. So, actually being able to inject really high doses of vitamin D that are being able to maintain your levels throughout the winter; which is a really cool thing. So, you don't actually have to take vitamin D every day, because I do find that it's something that a lot of patients actually kind of forget, or they'll take it once in a while, and we're not really getting to those adequate levels, right? So, that's pretty cool.
The fourth kind of guy is vitamin C. And I know that this is kind of been beat over the head in terms of for immune health, but it does impact things fairly significantly, and it is one of those things that you can take, you know, over a longer period of time, or just if you're like feeling sick and you want a good boost, okay. So, vitamin C in terms of even vitamin C rich foods, so like citrus or leafy greens, and all of those sort of things are going to be great to kind of incorporate a little bit more into your diet, but also adding in vitamin C supplementation when that's necessary, right? So, that's going to be a big… a big thing as well. And even some people that are getting, you know, sick all the time, they've been sick a few times this year, and they're just like, “I don't want this anymore,” we are doing quite high dose vitamin C IVs for them and they tend to work super well. So, that's something else that can be really, really helpful.
Last but not least, if you are feeling sick, or if you, you know, are feeling like a tickle in your throat or there's stuff going on in terms of how can we prevent it from getting worse, right? What can we do? I have this question all the time. And what do I do? Because I am around patients all the time, a lot of them, you know, have pneumonia or have this or have that, and I am exposed to those things. So, personally, my favorite thing, and I have no affiliation to them or anything like that, but it's a St. Francis product called EchinaSeal. And it works super, super well. It tastes disgusting. I always tell people, it's like Buckley's, but it works really, really well to actually kind of nip any kind of sickness in the bud. I keep that always at home, always on hand. And if I do get a little bit of a tickle in my throat, or that sort of thing, it works the best if it's before you get sick, but it also can work and kind of decrease duration as well. In my experience in my clinical practice, I see that.
It is just a bunch of herbs. So, there's Echinacea, there's Goldenseal, there's Myrrh, there's bee propolis, there's a lot of really, really good stuff that's actually going to help to kill off anything that's there. So, I always tell patients, “When you take it, it's nasty. But the best way to do it is actually did gurgle it,” okay… or gargle. So, if you're allowing that to actually hit the throat, especially if you have a sore throat or that thing… that sort of thing going on, it's super helpful, okay?
So, overall, hopefully everyone's having a good winter and that we can kind of prevent our sickness or for you getting sick again, right? And so, the big things, right, get outside, at least once a week, if you can. Once a day is going to be amazing, but if you can get outside and just get some of that fresh air, it's going to make a huge, huge difference, right? Changing up your diet a little bit, especially if you feel like you're around a lot of people that are sick or if you're, you know, feeling like you're getting a little bit sick yourself. Vitamin D, that's going to be our big, big, big guy, right, for prevention; huge. If you don't know your levels, get your levels tested, okay? Vitamin C as well can be a great kind of prevention, but also, if you do feel like something is happening, it's a great way to do that. And if you do feel like you're someone that gets sick a lot, then IV therapy might be a really good option for you, okay? The last one is if you do feel like you're getting sick, the EchinaSeal product by St. Francis, I swear by, it is amazing. Again, I have no affiliation towards it, but I just find that it works super, super well for myself and for patients, okay? So, have a good rest of your day, and hopefully we have no more sickness happening and we go into the spring healthy as can be.
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