This time of year you can’t leave your house without hearing about the dreaded “flu season.” Every corner drug store is peddling flu vaccines like they’re going out of style and, odds are, you know someone who is currently battling the flu, just getting over the flu, or think they are getting the flu as they breathe on you just to tell you that. Why has this time of year become infamously known as “flu season?” Last time I checked (1 minute ago via quick Google search), there are only four (4) seasons. You may have heard of them: spring, summer, fall, winter. Where’s flu season??? Flu season is not listed among the other seasons because it is NOT a season! Let me explain.
The prevalence of the flu increases during the winter months for a myriad of reasons. After summer leaves us and fall comes and goes, we spend less time out in the sun. The sun is the best source of natural vitamin D and, once the weather gets cold, we spend less time out in the sun and, when we actually are outside, we wear long sleeves and pants that cover most of the skin which would absorb the solar rays.
You may be thinking to yourself “But Doc, what does Vitamin D have to do with any of this?” I’ll tell you. Studies have shown that Vitamin D is actually more effective at preventing the flu than the actual flu vaccine!
Yes, it’s true. Vitamin D is an excellent immune system booster and we do not get enough in the winter months. Now, I can hear you thinking to yourself “But Doc, what about Vitamin C? I thought that was the most important vitamin for preventing sickness.” That’s a great thought! Getting plenty of Vitamin C will definitely prevent you from getting scurvy (arrrrgh matey), but Vitamin D is even better for immune function!
Another reason people tend to get the flu this time of year is because we drink less water (think colder weather = less sweating = less perceived thirst). And, when the holidays roll around, we eat all of the delicious rich desserts. Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not starting a war on desserts, but rather pointing out the fact that we eat more sugar around this time of year. Sugar is notorious for depressing the immune system by putting your disease fighting white blood cells into a sleeper hold. When your immune system is taking a nap, the flu virus is more likely to jump out of a dark alley and hold your body hostage.
“So Doc, what can I do to prevent getting the flu during this imaginary ‘season’ that plagues us every year?”
I’m so glad you asked! One of the most important things you can do during this time of year that hasn’t been mentioned yet is getting adjusted by your chiropractor! Your friendly chiropractors at Modern Chiropractic will check your spine for subluxations (mis-alignments or fixations) and adjust your spine to help your nervous system function properly. When your nervous system works at its optimal levels, your immune system also works at its highest level. One thing that chiropractic can help with besides neck pain, back pain, and headaches is immune function!
Things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding the dreaded flu:
Now that you know more about what the “flu season” actually is, how it’s caused, and how it’s prevented, give us a call today to schedule your consultation! All of us at Modern Chiropractic would love to help you and your family avoid that nasty flu virus this year!