Six Reasons Why You Keep Getting Sick
By Sarah Axtell, ND • August 25, 2016
It is normal for adults to get 1-2 colds per year. A baby 0-2 should get 6 colds a year, and a child 2-12 years old should have 4 colds a year. Any more than this can be a sign that something deeper is going on. Here are reasons why you keep getting sick:
1.You have a food sensitivity. Ideally, our immune system just fights infections, not foods. However, if you have a food sensitivity and you continue to eat that food, your immune system creates an inflammatory IgG response to food. This can lead to overwhelm for the body and an inability to fight infections adequately. The most common food sensitivities I see are dairy, eggs, gluten, and yeast. Dairy in particular is very mucus-producing so if you are prone toward upper respiratory infections, consider eliminating dairy from your diet. Here is more information on food sensitivities. Talk with your ND about testing you or your child for food sensitivities.
2.You have taken repeated rounds of antibiotics. Antibiotics wipe out the good flora in your gut, thus leaving you susceptible. After all, 80% of your immune system is located in the gut. Take a probiotic with at least 10 billion organisms per capsule as a maintenance dose, and if you do take antibiotics, take a probiotic with up to 100 billion organisms per capsule to replenish your good gut flora.
3.You have adrenal fatigue. Cortisol, our stress hormone, plays an important regulatory role in the immune response. When you are in a state of adrenal fatigue, you may have decreased immune function due to lack of adrenal hormones. You can have your cortisol and other adrenal hormones, such as DHEA and 17 OH-Progesterone, tested via a salivary hormone test. This can give us good information to support adrenal function, thus boosting immune function.
4.You do not exercise regularly. Research shows that consistent exercise supports a healthy immune system. Cardio exercise promotes circulation and white blood cell production. Working up a light sweat 4-5 days a week is also a great way to detoxify heavy metals, which can be an obstacle to you fighting an infection adequately. Aim for 45 minutes 4 days a week. This can be walking, jogging, biking, dancing or yoga.
5.You’re eating too much sugar. Sugar suppresses our infection-fighting cells, white blood cells. Cut out white refined sugar, which is not only in cookies, ice cream and soda, but also in many condiments, salad dressings, marinara sauce, etc. Check labels! Moderate amounts of unrefined natural sugar, such as honey, maple syrup or stevia, is ok. Sugar is toxic!
6.You vitamin D level is too low. Vitamin D is the most important immune supportive nutrient. You may have been tested and been told your vitamin D level is normal. However, the range for vitamin D is huge- 30-100! Optimal range for cancer prevention and good immune status is at the higher end of the range, between 60-80. Have your vitamin D tested and supplement with the active form of vitamin D, D3.
When you do get sick, try not to suppress the illness with fever-reducing medications and cough suppressants. This does not allow the immune system to be challenged. As stated in the beginning, it is ok to get sick a couple times a year. This is a time to rest, drink a lot of fluids and have faith in your body that it can fight the infection. Think of an annual sickness as a reset button. With that said, if it repeatedly happens and the illness lingers beyond 24-48 hours, there is likely a deeper issue.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.