‘Australians are in the midst of the worst flu outbreak on record in 2017!’
But listen to any news outlet or read any newspaper and you will know that 2019 has surpassed 2017 and is the “horror year for flu” in Australia (Sunday Age July 7,2019).
The peak flu period is typically September and October, but already it has been reported that more 25,000 have caught the virus in Victoria alone (Herald Sun July 7, 2019). Compare this to the 12,000 that were reported in the whole of 2018 and you will realise that as a community we do have a problem.
Viruses are essentially strands of genetic material enclosed in a protein coat that penetrate, and literally hijack, susceptible living cells within 10 to 15 minutes of exposure. By exploiting cellular machinery, viruses such as rhinovirus, and influenza rapidly replicate and multiply, and then depart the cell to infect surrounding cells. Symptoms do not occur until the infection reaches a critical threshold; however, it is the inflammatory immune response to viral invasion, as well as the virus itself, that causes the familiar symptoms of sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, cough and fatigue of colds and ‘flu. Even the healthiest among us may experience occasional viral infections, as viral strains are constantly mutating and easily evade immune memory and recognition.
The interesting thing about flu epidemics is that not everybody in our community will actually ‘comes down’ with the flu, even in epidemics.
And different people experience differing degrees of symptoms and differing recovery times. Some will bounce back with renewed vitality, whereas others will struggle to fully resolve the virus and experience post viral symptoms that can drag on for months.
And others, usually the most vulnerable people in our community or who have underlying health issues, will die from the flu. And so it is certainly a virus we need to take and treat seriously.
Taking steps to Live with Optimal Health this Winter
I see many simplistic opinions about how to treat and/or prevent the flu. But realistically we are living very complex lives. And the many facets of our lives including the level of daily stress we are under, the food we eat, how much sleep we get, the state of our microbiome, how much exercise we do and whether we have adequate levels of vitamins and minerals to cope with our lifestyle will all have a part to play on how well our immune system will function when it is exposed to the flu virus.
In short, the thing to remember is that our immune system is influenced by the above lifestyle factors.
Now is the time to take pause and take ‘stock’ of how well you are living your daily life
By taking 5 minutes out now to assess and reflect on how you are living your daily life, can empower you to make choices and take steps to optimise your health and wellbeing this Winter by taking every measure to help combat the flu virus that is present in our community.
Take Stock 1: How stressed are you on a daily basis?
(On a Scale of 1 to 10; 1=minimal daily stress; 10=maximum daily stress)
If you experience stress in your daily life, do you incorporate daily stress-relieving measures such as exercise, yoga, mindfulness/meditation, hobbies, fun stuff etc?
If you experience moderate to extreme stress in your daily life, do you take extra Vitamin B Complex, magnesium, nervine herbs or adrenal tonics?
Take Stock 2: How much exercise do you do daily?
Take Stock 3: How much plant food do you include in your daily diet?
How many highly processed foods do you eat on a daily basis?
Take Stock 4: Do you regularly get 7-8 hours quality sleep per night?
Take Stock 5: How is the state of your gut?
Do you experience symptoms of anxiety and/or lowered mood?
Do you experience symptoms of bloating, dyspepsia, gut pain, constipation and/or diarrhoea?
Do you experience symptoms after eating certain foods?
Take Stock 6: Do you have adequate nutrient levels?
How recently have you had your Vitamin D levels checked?
How recently have you had your Iron and B12 levels checked?
Do you suffer from muscle cramps?
Do you have unexplained low energy?
Do you suffer from frequent colds and/or have poor taste?
If you found that your answers weren’t as ideal as you would like them to be then we are here to help. Come in-store and speak to our qualified team and take the first step to optimising your health for Winter.
Next week I will talk about the best herbal medicines, nutrients and lifestyle factors we use in response to a viral attack.
Get the Best Advice from Qualified Practitioners
Or, if you need some Professional help optimising your sleep, nutrient status, gut health, diet, or energy and stress response this Winter season, now is the time to book a professional consultation with the Mammoth Health Naturopaths. By working on your individual health needs, symptoms and health history as well as your health aim and goals, our Naturopathic team experience great success in addressing underlying causes and achieving optimal health and vitality for our patients.
Consultations are available daily at our In-store Clinics. Book your Consultation Now
“Because it’s Not a Rehearsal”
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