Friday, April 20, 2012
How to respond to immune response
Whenever I come down with flu-like symptoms, I wonder, is this the flu I'm fighting or one of the several dozen maladies that begin with ILS (influenza like symptoms)? I used to call every 7 to 10 day bout of sickness that involves fever, coughing, sneezing, muscle aches, sore throat, earache, nausea and/or diarrhea "the flu." But anything could be happening. You'd be surprised how rarely influenza is the infecting agent. There's no way to know for sure unless, somewhat after the onset, other symptoms appear.
Knowing how mighty the immune system can be, when your nose starts to run or you feel rundown, queasy, congested and/or achey, please do what you can to support your health. The common wisdom for immune support while suffering from "the flu" includes warm, soupy food, plenty of clear liquids and lots of bed rest. Eschew liquor and caffeine for a few days, get lots of sleep. This is the best way to win the battle between your immune system and the invading microbe, virus or bacteria.
I feel sad when I see people walking around sick as dogs, jacked up on some decongestant, going about their day (as much as possible) as if they felt fine. I've long held that this sort of disrespect for the integrity of the immune system can not be good for us. Now as I'm learning more about how powerful human immunity can be in the fight against allegedly incurable diseases like cancer, well, I feel even sadder for those who don't get in bed for a couple of days, drink tea, watch movies, play on the ipad. Go ahead and blow your nose a million times - get the detritus leftover from the internal battle out of your system! Let your fever spike (not too high, but let it get up there for at least 24 hours). Fevers kill any number of unwanted bodily invaders. Drink a lot of water, lots of hot tea. Every time you make space for your body to heal itself, the immune system is strengthened. It may not be pleasant while it's going on, but the self care is well worth your time and attention.
When I come down with ILS I wonder if my body is fighting meningitis or leukemia. It could be - you never know. I want my body to win that battle! It can, if I support it. Hell yeah.
Be well, y'all. Be kind to your immune system, will you please? You will not regret it. Shalom.