Are we doing what we can to support our immune system, or are we inhibiting it with cough and cold medicine?
I remember waking up a few days ago not feeling too well. I felt run down, congested, and achy. Most people would go and grab the Dayquil or Tylenol to get through the day. I stopped doing that a few years ago when I really learned what the immune system does.
When you have a cough, what is your body trying to do? Get whatever is in the lungs causing a problem out of the body. When you have an infection, your body does everything it can to externalize the virus or bad bacteria. Our symptoms are there for a reason. When you take cough medicine, you shut down your body’s natural ability to externalize the virus. I have seen patients come in complaining of being sick for a month. If the immune system is working properly, it should never last more than a few days. When we take cough and cold medication, it does make the symptoms subside, but be aware of what you’re doing to the immune system.
When I start to feel sick, I’d do everything I can to support the immune system and help my body externalize. I have a regimen of immune-boosting supplements (Phyto Shield, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Bromelain, Quercetin, Elderberry) to help my body externalize the infection. This does sometimes mean that the symptoms get pretty severe, but they only last a day or so. It usually takes me 3-4 days to get over an infection. For one or two days it can get pretty bad. Friends that I see that load up on the cough and cold medicine tend to have the infection linger on for 2 - 3 weeks in most cases. If you have a big presentation for work, and you need to feel better that day then the medication is there, but if you can, stay in bed stay hydrated, and support the immune system, don’t inhibit it.