Why We Get Sick During Winter
We’ve all heard ‘an apple a day keeps the Doctor away’, but why does that seem to go out the window during the winter months? Why is it that we tend to have more colds and flu-like symptoms during the winter versus other times of the year? And once we know the answer to that question, what can we do to keep those colds away?
I want to talk to you today about the three main causes that allow us to catch colds each year.
#1 Less Sunshine
In the Fall and Winter months, we find ourselves spending much more time indoors, and the time we do spend outside usually forces us to bundle up. This is important to note because sunshine directly impacts how our body’s natural defense system, the immune system, functions. Normally, exposed skin absorbs sunlight and converts it into Vitamin D. It’s interesting to note that vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, rather a very powerful hormone. In fact, Vitamin D increases your immune function by a factor of 3 to 51.
Problem: The point is if our skin does not have an opportunity to absorb sunlight, our immune system functions less efficiently. Solution: Ask one of our doctors what type of supplement they recommend as the ones sold in the store are often of little to no value.
#2 Close proximity
During the Fall and Winter months, we spend much more time in close proximity to one another. Whether that is children stuck in a classroom because it is snowing outside or the hustle and bustle of the malls during the holidays, we find ourselves interacting with each other in a much more confined space. Now imagine you have a compromised immune system due to less vitamin D AND you are spending more time with people who may be sick, that’s a recipe for catching a cold.
Problem: During the holidays we find ourselves in close proximity to one another shopping for presents or holiday parties with an already compromised immune system. Solution: Remember that stress and worry cause our bodies to release hormones that actually suppress our immune system. Instead of panicking at the last minute to shop, plan ahead to minimize stress and as a result, decrease your chance of getting sick.
#3 Increased stress
Who here loves visits from the mother in law? Would you say that it can sometimes cause stress? Juggling work, family, AND the holidays can cause a tremendous amount of stress during this time of year. Like I mentioned above, stress actually suppresses the immune system. So if you do come in contact with a germ you’d be less likely to fight it off quickly and without symptoms.
Problem: Stress suppresses our immune system. Solution: Get your nervous system checked to ensure there is not an additional underlying factor causing stress within the body.
You see, there are many factors that play a role in maintaining health. I want to focus very briefly on the most important one. Our bodies are supposed to fight of viruses and bacteria that we encounter daily. If fact, our bodies fight off these germs on a daily basis! Did you know that we all create ‘cancerous cells’ in our bodies daily? And that our body finds these cells and gets rid of them without you ever even being aware of it, crazy right?! This is all controlled by our nervous system, meaning the brain and nerves throughout your body. If this system is responsible for maintaining our health, don’t you think it would be a good idea to make sure it is functioning properly? I do. If you have never had a test done of your nervous system, one of our doctors would be happy to sit down with you for a few minutes and perform the test free of charge. After all, what do you have to lose? Information is power, wouldn’t you want to know if there is a reason you are getting sick all the time?
Stay strong this cold/flu season by following these tips!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Rich Baez
The Specific Chiropractic Centers Boston