Expert Opinion:

Start the New Year right with pharmacist and natural health expert, Jean-Yves Dionne

As we start a new year, Canadians of all ages are excited to jump into new goals and resolutions for 2018. Full of energy and optimism, we don’t want anything to slow us down or stand in our way, especially not a cold or flu. This can be a bit tricky considering January is right in the middle of cold and flu season. Our best defence is a strong immune system.

Our immune systems usually take a hit over the holidays. The festive season is great, but tiring. We tend to socialize more (all those pinched cheeks, hugs and handshakes can spread germs), sleep less, and overindulge in heavy foods and alcohol. These indulgences, combined with a lack of vitamin D from sunlight, create a perfect storm for colds and flu to break through.

This year, we seem to be off to a roaring start. Just before the holidays, The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that the number of flu cases and hospitalizations were soaring much earlier than usual. In its weekly FluWatch report, the agency reported “there was a notable increase in the number of outbreaks and hospitalizations” due to flu in the weeks prior to the holidays. Also, the number of cases were considerably higher compared to the same period in the previous two seasons.

With not a moment to lose, we need to boost our immune system and keep it healthy for the weeks and months to come. Below are some facts, tips and myth busters that may help. You can also check out my Facebook Live.

Definition of immune health

Basically, immune health is the capacity of NOT GETTING SICK when everybody does. Our immune system is our body’s natural defence system against invaders such as cold and flu viruses.

Viruses
abound

With more than 200 different viruses that can cause colds, the immune system has a lot of work to do to protect us from these invaders. Still, the average Canadian adult will get two to four colds each year and for children, that number doubles.

Immune health compromisers

Alcohol, lack of quality sleep, or simply a change in sleeping patterns, lack of sunlight, poor nutrition, stress, and exposure to germs can all compromise the immune system.

Your body won’t be happy

When you get a cold or flu, you will likely feel tired, exhausted and low in energy. If you are lucky you’ll simply feel sluggish. However, if you are like many of us, you’ll succumb to the virus, with symptoms ranging from body aches, sore throat, a sneezing, runny nose, and more.

Take charge and stay “immune healthy”

Embrace the following to stay strong in the new year:

  • Eat nutritious foods
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol
  • Get some well-deserved quality rest
  • Take vitamin D
  • Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes
  • De-stress by taking time to breathe, meditate, or anything that will help you relax
  • Take COLD-FX (Daily Support, Extra Strength or Orange or Grape Chewables) to proactively arm yourself against cold and flu
  • Wash your hands more frequently and cough into your elbow (ask others to do same)

Three Cold and Flu Myth Busters

    Myth 1
  • Dressing warmly will protect you from catching a cold. False (sorry Mom). Your immune system has to “open the door” to the virus and this happens when it is weakened by stress, fatigue, lack of vitamin D, poor nutrition, etc.
  • Myth 2
  • A cold lasts a week. False. While cold and flu symptoms typically last between five to seven days, there are strategies you can use to reduce both the length and intensity of a cold. You can shorten the duration and symptom severity of cold and flu symptoms by taking COLD-FX products.
  • Myth 3
  • All products sold for colds and flu only relieve symptoms. False. While that may be true for medications such as cough syrups and pain relievers, it is not necessarily true for natural products, such as COLD-FX’s Daily Defence, Chewables and Extra Strength. These products help reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by boosting the immune system. To be sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label. Learn more.

I hope this information will help prepare you for the fight against colds and flu this season, and give your immune system a much-needed boost.

COLD-FX would love to hear from you about your own experiences and strategies you have used to help prevent or shorten the duration of colds and flu. Leave a comment on the COLD-FX Facebook page.