Does this sound familiar? “I thought it was allergies.” After a few days the runny nose is accompanied with head and sinus congestion. The mucus changes from clear to colored (greenish, yellowish, brownish.) This is followed by a fever, chills, lethargy and sometimes stomach pain.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist at this point to diagnose your SICK! The question is, what is the best way to handle these symptoms to expedite a recovery? Typically many people try over the counter symptom relievers including cough suppressants, expectorants, antihistamines, pain relievers, nasal decongestant, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) etc… If these medications are insufficient, the next line of attack (the prescription medications such as antibiotics) is utilized. Let’s face it, when you’re sick you feel rotten and want symptom relief.
Most people are unaware that this typical approach to illness potentially prolongs the condition and may compound other underlying problems a person may suffer from.
The runny nose may initially be addressed with antihistamines. Some can make you sleepy, dry up the nose as well as the mouth. If the antihistamine works too well, the result could be sinus inflammation. A decongestant is then introduced which reduces the blood vessels relieving inflammation, however, commonly this provides only short term relief. People with high blood pressure and cardiac conditions can have significant complications from decongestants. In addition, because repetitive use can negate the effectiveness (resulting in recurring congestion), people have a tendency to over medicate out of desperation. These medications often carry a warning label: Do not use this product for more than three days. “This problem will improve only when the use of the nasal drops or sprays are discontinued.” It’s Ironic that a warning label informs the user that healing will only occur when the body is given a chance to HEAL ITSELF.
When the body produces mucus, the purpose is to trap bacterial and viral elements from getting into the body. When medications are taken to reduce this mucus, primary and secondary infections can overwhelm the body. In addition medications that reduce mucus have side effects including: nausea and vomiting, itching, swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness and difficulty breathing. Sometimes one needs to question whether the temporary relief outweighs the possible adverse reactions.
Fever is typically one of the most misunderstood conditions we face. We have been instructed to take aspirin, motrin, advil, aleve or tylenol to help reduce the fever. Why does the body create fever and why does it elevate to different temperatures? Our immune system is truly amazing. The body’s core temperature elevates to a VERY SPECIFIC DEGREE. Once the foreign invader is damaged by the heat, the brain regulates and maintains the temperature to destroy all foreign elements. By reducing the temperature with over the counter medication, we create a “friendly environment” to the invading bacteria or virus thus prolonging the illness. Where is the logic in overriding our immune system and prolonging our disease? Unless our internal “thermostat” is unresponsive and allows our temperature to spike to dangerous levels, we are better off allowing our bodies to fight these invaders without aspirin, motrin, aleve, advil and tylenol accepting short term discomfort as a side effect.
Finally, stomach pains have a multitude of causes. Taking products like Pepto-Bismol seem harmless. Interestingly, the following list are side effects most of us are completely unaware of:
anxiety, loss of hearing, confusion, severe constipation, severe diarrhea, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, dizziness or lightheadedness, altered breathing patterns, severe headaches, mental depression, muscle weakness, severe or continued nausea or vomiting, STOMACH PAIN, uncontrollable hand or body movement and vision problems.
These symptoms have been reported to the FDA (food and drug administration) yet the consumer in most cases is completely unaware. You will also notice a common theme that many of these medications cause the symptoms we’re looking to alleviate (ex. stomach pain, sinus congestion, etc…).
If an antibiotic is prescribed for a bacterial infection, this medication kills off THE GOOD AND BAD BACTERIA. This can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the intestines causing (you guessed it) stomach/intestinal pain. Additional medication is typically then prescribed to address these symptoms.
Natural products such as echinacea. olive leaf, turmeric all assist the body in strengthening the immune system and its ability to combat disease WITHOUT THE DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS. They are easy to use and cost effective.
Preventing disease is the BEST way to combat disease. As I have mentioned in previous posts, lifestyle plays a vital role in supporting the immune system. Good nutrition, exercise, WATER, proper quantity and quality of sleep, stress reduction, mental and spiritual balance and maintaining your nervous system allowing proper nerve communication throughout the body are the key components for maximal well-being. Supplementing these key components with natural products that enhance your system are the next line of defense against disease. Finally, if the immune system is so severely compromised, pharmaceutical agents can be introduced along with natural products to rebalance the body’s state of health.
This approach to disease will likely reduce the frequency and intensity of illness as well as the severity in most cases. It will also strengthen your body’s ability to MAINTAIN GOOD HEALTH. After all, our focus is not on “killing germs”; our focus is on OPTIMAL LIVING which leads to a symbiotic (mutually beneficial or harmless) relationship with “germs.” They are NOT the enemy. In most cases and without intent WE BECOME OUR OWN ENEMY based on the decisions we make.
If you’re tired of following the typical approach to disease care
and its ineffective outcome,
you now have the option to follow a new path.
It will likely
- reduce medical expenses
- reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of an illness
- make you FEEL HEALTHIER and more productive
START USING THESE TOOLS TODAY AND NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE.
Disclaimer: Always seek the help and advice of a licensed health care practitioner before self diagnosing and self treating ANY symptoms or conditions. Natural and pharmaceutical substances can be dangerous if used improperly. The purpose of this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any health condition.