Are the Superbugs coming…?
I don’t know about you but I feel quite nervous as to what this Autumn and Winter is going to deliver in terms of flu strains and viruses. Each year seems to bring us a more complex mutated antibiotic-resistant strain(s) of flu that flattens people for weeks at a time, or hospitalises them, or worse.
Every Autumn I seem to write a blog or eNews post about preparing for the upcoming winter, by boosting immunity and getting healthy to ward off the ‘flu-ey’ evils. Over this summer I have been thinking about this and have come to the realisation that we really can’t afford to only concentrate on this aspect of our health in the lead up to Winter. It has now become imperative that this is a year-round focus for us all.
Relying on the yearly flu vaccine isn’t a guaranteed solution. Many of the cases of flu seen are in those who have been vaccinated. The vaccines also only cover certain strains and certainly don’t protect you from new, mutated strains that have developed.
There are many basic suggestions I can and do make every year, and I will list them here again. However, essentially we really need to take a ‘back to basics’ approach to our, and our kids health.
- Clean & fresh food – lots of vegetables in a variety of colours, a maximum of 2 pieces of fruit a day,plenty of whole-grains in the forms of grainy breads, nuts and seeds; lean proteins such as grass fed organic meats, fish and eggs; small amounts of good quality dairy in the form of yoghurt and cheese. Of course if you have allergies to any of the above then do avoid!
- Stay hydrated! Room temperature or warm water is best as it is easier on the digestive system and the body can absorb and hydrate. Aim for around 2L per day.
- Avoid processed and refined foods…..when eating something ask yourself “Does this grow on a tree or in the ground?” Question the manufacturing process for the food you are about to consume, and if it is something that would have undergone a lot of changes to take the form you are about to ingest it in….then reduce or avoid!!
- Reduce your sugar intake! Sugar seems to be everywhere and in everything. Even fruit has sugar in it! So follow the above guidelines when it comes to sugar and try and avoid it in other places. Sugar is one of the substances that can increase inflammation in gut which weakens the immune system and can leave us vulnerable to illness.
- Fresh air and sunshine! Didn’t our grandparents tell us this all the time?!? They were right! With the amount of time spent in front of screens of all kinds nowadays we are becoming quite a sedentary society. Time spent outdoors breathing fresh air and having the sun shining down on us (in moderation of course!) is vital to our wellbeing.
I get asked a lot about supplements and vitamins. My approach is really an individual one. It depends on the patient. If someone’s diet is severely lacking in certain nutrients due to allergies or fussiness, then a good multi-vitamin can be very useful. If someone is frequently falling ill, or suffering low energy or other signs of ill-health, then once again intervention may be needed (see a natural healthcare provider). However, if someone is generally in good health, eats a wide range of healthy whole-foods and vegetables, then there really shouldn’t be any need to take a daily supplement.
My one exception with this is probiotics. I do believe that the majority of us would benefit from taking a probiotic supplement. We live in an environment with toxicity all around us – pollution in the air we breathe, pesticides in our food, chemicals in our homes and an incredible amount of electro-magnetic stress everywhere from mobile phones, wi-fi devices, computers etc. The stress all of these things place on our gut health is enormous and it here that the seat of our overall health lies – our immune system, brain function (mood, behaviour, cognition) and of course, digestion. Our intestines house a plethora of bacteria that is needed to keep us healthy and functioning – anything detrimental to our bodies will deplete this bacteria, and a probiotic can be an effective way to replace and replenish our ‘army’. (I will add here that there are many different strains of probiotics, and to find the right one for you a consult with a natural healthcare provider is recommended).
There will be a lot of hype in the media again this autumn/winter about ‘Superbugs’ – these are the new bugs that infiltrate that are resistant to the antibiotics we have available to us. Unfortunately it seems that the development and spread of these ‘bugs’ is moving faster than scientists can develop new drugs. This is why the above information is so important to implement for you and your families.
On top of this is also my very strong recommendation to keep yourself well with frequent treatments such as Acupuncture which can prime the immune system by balancing and harmonising all systems of your body. I have many clients who come in purely for a monthly ‘tune-up’ and this is a perfectly effective way to keep yourself healthy.
There is also a fabulous herbal product that I always have in stock in the clinic (and also on hand in my medicine cabinet!) called Antibiobotanical by a company called Panaxea International, headed by the phenomenal Daniel Weber. Daniel is a TCM practitioner among many other things and devotes his life and his work to studying, researching and developing effective natural formulas that can act as alternatives or complements to pharmaceutical drugs. Antibiobotanical is a great alternative to antibiotics, or can be taken alongside to enhance it’s effects. It is also helpful to eradicate those bugs that lie dormant in the body and re-trigger when the person is run down or catches something else.
Protect yourself. Protect your family. Be prepared for what may come. Have a plan ready should you or someone close to you start to show signs of illness. We need to start thinking outside of just ‘going to the doctor’ once we get sick. Prevention is certainly the key, and swift action once signs develop is just as important.
For more information please don’t hesitate to get in contact via the Contacts page, on email (Jacqui@wayofwellbeing.com.au) or 0402 139 790.