Did You Know… with Mike Furci: The Flu and Cold Edition

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A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…you should exercise with a cold? Dr. Kaminsky and other researchers at Ball State encourage people to exercise when they have colds as long as the symptoms are above the neck. It’s the types of colds that produce symptoms below the neck like chest congestion and muscle aches that they’re more cautious with.

Two studies were performed over a decade ago in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports Medicine and showed surprising results. The researchers found no difference in symptoms between those who exercised and those who didn’t; there was no difference between maximum exercise performance between the groups, and there was no difference in recovery time from colds. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997, Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998)

…that a fever is a natural beneficial function of your body to fight off invading organisms when the primary lines of defense, your immune system, fail? So many people misunderstand fever, and believe it to be dangerous. This is primarily due to our “take a pill for everything society” created by physicians and big pharma. Your body raises its temperature because most infectious organisms cannot survive this environment; the ideal temperature for fighting infections is between 102 and 103 degrees F. The problem is, just as our bodies are doing what’s needed to eradicate the infection, we self medicate with, or worse yet, give our children, anti-pyretic drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin by themselves or in combination.

It’s very important to think of a fever as a healing response. And contrary to popular belief, the best action is almost always little or no action. Rather than trying to lower a fever through medication, try to work through it and allow it to run its course. To support a fever, Colleen Huber and other naturopathic physicians recommend consuming liquids such as broths and water until the fever breaks. The body slows down the movement of food in the gut (peristalsis), so avoid solid food. Another and perhaps most important recommendation to support a fever is rest. Activity uses the body’s essential energy needed to fight invading organisms, and hinders the immune function.

The benefits of a fever:

• Directly kills invading organisms through heat.
• Stimulates antibody production more specific to the infection than any antibiotic.
• More interferon is produced to block the spread of viruses to healthy cells.
• Stimulates production white blood cells which mobilize and attack invaders.

When to seek medical attention for a fever:

• Anyone with a temperature above 104.5 degrees F.
• Infants 100.4 degrees F. Seek care right away.
• Infants from 1 month to 3 months old, with a temperature >100.4 degrees F, if they appear ill.
• Children between 3 months and 36 months, with a temperature above 102.2 degrees F, if they appear ill

For anyone not in the above categories, employ rest and fluids to support the fever and allow it to do its job. (Naturopathyworks.com, Mercola.com)

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