No one likes getting sick. Being knocked down by a nasty cold, flu, or virus definitely takes a toll on mental and physical health. But it also sets you up for a perfect window of opportunity to support and restore your health to an even greater level as you bounce back!
It’s Okay to Get Sick
While none of us enjoy being sick and dealing with the accompanying discomfort of symptoms, there are actually benefits to getting sick. Yes, you read that right!
We are always being exposed to germs and viruses. Exposure is important for a healthy immune response and building cells that can fight illness. A strong immune response will keep you healthy. It’s normal to get sick sometimes. It’s even normal and healthy to get a fever from time to time. That’s the sign of a healthy immune response in action.
But once you’ve gotten sick, how do you bounce back, restore your health, and come out with an even stronger immune system than before? Let’s take a look at some supportive strategies.
Restore Your Health After Being Sick
Remember when you were sick as a kid and your mom would send you straight to bed to rest? It turns out Mom had the right idea!
Rest is vitally important for the healing process. But how many people do you know who wear their lack of sleep like a badge of honor? Are you one of them? We have to change this. It’s unhealthy for all of us to live in a way that glorifies lack of sleep. Your body needs rest. During sleep your body heals itself and, for women especially, that’s when it restores its hormone reserves.
When your body is fighting a virus or infection, your need for sleep increases. Even in the days after you’re “over” an illness, your body will appreciate the extra rest as you ease back into your normal routine. If you fail to get enough rest during and after an illness, you will be more likely to get sick again in a short time, as your immune system will be run down and never fully recovered.
2. Replenish Lost Nutrients
When your body is sick, it is physiologically in a state of stress—and stress depletes stores of vitamins and minerals. Stress is defined as the nonspecific response of the body to any demand for change. When your body adapts to fight off a bug or virus of some kind, that is a form of stress. Evidence suggests that stress can affect micronutrient concentrations, often leading to micronutrient depletion.¹ Replenishing these nutrients is a key step to take to restore your health after sickness.
Focus on refueling with nutrient-dense foods like organic fruits and vegetables, healing broths that are rich in minerals, grass-fed meats, and healthy fats like organic avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil. Stay clear of refined sugar and grains, which will only contribute to mineral depletion in your body and suppress your immune system further.
Adding sea salt to your food and water is also a highly effective step in replacing trace minerals and supporting electrolyte balance.
3. Support Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a key part of the immune system. It plays a vital role in protecting the body from illness and inflammation. In short, the lymphatic system is the body’s “drainage system.” It is a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes that carry fluid between the blood and the body’s tissues. The primary role of the lymphatic system is to protect the body from outside threats (like bacteria and infections), while also balancing fluid levels.
You may have experienced swollen, sore lymph nodes near your throat when dealing with a bad cold or flu. Lymph nodes often swell during illness because they are under stress as they work to increase fluid production to flush out the foreign agent.
One of the most effective ways to support your body’s lymphatic system all the time, not just when you’re sick, is to exercise. Lymphatic drainage works best when you move your body, as this helps to circulate fluids and flush toxins. Being sedentary not only causes you to be become more stiff and achy, but it also makes you more prone to becoming sick as your lymph system is stagnant. Walking, rebounding, yoga, and dynamic stretching are excellent, gentle ways to support your lymphatic system and restore your health.
4. Get Your Immune System Tested
Do you want to know how your immune system is functioning overall? Get it tested. This is especially important if you feel like you get sick all the time, as that could be a sign that you’re immune deficient and more vulnerable to disease. Testing will help reveal those deficiencies. At The Wellness Way, we conduct thorough immune panels using state-of-the-art testing that measures many markers for immune health.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if your body was able to successfully recover from every infection it comes into contact with using its robust innate immune response? We help our patients move toward this reality!
Testing is the first step in that process. Once we know how your unique immune system is functioning, we can support you as you endeavor to restore your health, prevent illness, and build a strong body from the inside out.
If you have concerns about your immune response or would like to know more about how we help support each of our patients on their health journey, reach out to a Wellness Way clinic. We’re here to help you every step of the way!