The Flu

The Flu

The Flu

Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND


Flu season, the dreaded time of the year when it seems like everyone has the flu. Flu season or the time of the year when the flus is at its peak usually occurs from October – May in the United States. But what really is the flu? The official name of the everyday common flu is Influenza and it is caused by a virus. (1)

Let’s do a quick review of the common symptoms of the flu. At first the flu may just feel like a cold with symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat. However the symptoms are usually worse with the flu than you would expect. The flu often involves a fever and chills as well as the sweats. There is often muscle aches as well. There may also be eye pain, headache as well as fatigue. In addition to a cough you may have shortness of breath.  Children are more likely to experience vomiting and diarrhea than adults.

While anyone can get the flu there are certain risk factors that increase your chance of getting sick. The first risk for more severe illness is age. In children under 12 months or in adults over 65 there is a higher risk of severe illness. Those who work or live in locations with residents such as nursing homes or hospitals are at an increased risk of getting the flu. Those with chronic illness and a weakened immune system are also at risk of the flu.  Pregnant people are also at a higher risk of developing the flu. Those who have a BMI of 40 or more are at risk for more severe illness and even complications from the flu. While most people recover quickly from the flu there are some possible complications that can occur.  What are these possible complications you ask? In those under 20 years old who use long term aspirin therapy there is a risk of developing Reyes syndrome if they contract the flu. Other complications can include pneumonia, bronchitis, ARDS as well as asthma flare ups. The flu can increase the risk of ear infections. Lastly the flu can affect our hear t and trigger heart problems. (2)

How is the flu transmitted? Well it’s a virus so it travels on airborne droplets just like any other viral infection. Just like with the other viral infections we have covered if Bob coughs either on you or on a surface that you then touch and then you touch your eyes, mouth or nose you can catch the flu. As you may have noticed touching a contaminated surface and then touching our eyes, mouth or nose is a very common way to get sick. So don’t touch your face and wash your hands folks! (3) Just a heads up when you have the flu you are contagious from 1 day before your symptoms start and up to 7 days after you start to feel sick. (1)

What can you do to slow the spread of the flu? Well as I’ve said before wash your hands, clean frequently touched surfaces and don’t touch your face! Be considerate and cover your coughs and sneezes. Lastly talk to your doctor to determine if the flu vaccine is right for you. In addition it’s important to support your immune system. How can we do that? Well there’s plenty of ways to help our overall immune health.

  • Life style – Make sure you have a healthy diet full of fruit, vegetables and healthy proteins! Work to reduce stress and get enough restful sleep. If you smoke quit smoking. Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. All of these life style hacks if you will can help to boost our immune system. (4)
  • Olive Leaf has been found in studies to help reduce the symptoms of viral infections and to even help reduce the length of hospitalization for those with. Using Olive Leaf extract has also been found to reduce the overall length of a virus. (5) Overall when it comes to Olive Leaf studies agree that Olive Leaf extract is a powerful antiviral nutrient. (6). Please see Invite’s Olive Leaf extract and Renalaid.
  • NAC is another great choice! As I have said in my prior blogs one of the benefits of NAC is that it can help to thin the mucus that often is associated with viral infections such as the flu and even a cold. (7) As I talked about in my bronchitis blog NAC has been found to be very helpful in reducing a cough such as when you have bronchitis or the flu. (8 )Please see Invite’s NAC, Daily Detox and Detox Hx
  • Black Seed has been found to help with symptoms such as runny nose, itchy nose and rhinitis. (9) Please see Invite’s Black Seed formula. Also for more information on Black Seed see my blog on this exciting supplement!
  • Probiotics have been found in studies to help reduce the symptoms of viral infection. In fact we all know the saying “our immune system starts in the gut” and that’s where a good probiotic comes into play. (10) Please see Invite’s Core Probiotic, Probiotic Maintain, Probiotic Hx, Women’s Probiotic and Probiotic Weight. In addition we have our chewable Prozyme digest.
  • For more information on Invite Health’s Immunity Hx and Beta Immunity please see my blogs on these amazing nutrients!


Our next topic will be the confusing world of probiotics!



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