The 3 downsides to using cough and cold medicines and what to do instead

Happy New Year my dear readers!

To kick off the year holistically, I'd like to begin challenging the hard stuff. 

Using easily available medications might seem innocuous and harmless once in a while, but think again.  What are we really doing here?  Are we working with or against your body?

As a holistically minded physician, I'm a believer in working with, not against the body.

Here's my take on such drugs whose main purpose is merely to suppress symptoms that are too troublesome for us to accept.

Photo by FotografiaBasica/iStock / Getty Images


The problem lies with our lifestyle expectations, and life on the fast pace.  We no longer have the community's patience towards our own needs.  We also treat ourselves harshly, as a result of others' (and our own) expectations of our bodies and minds.  

Lets get down to the three downsides.

Suppressing symptoms jeopardises recovery

Stopping mucus, and sneezing with antihistamines and decongestants, we impede the body’s natural mechanism to physically wash out germs.  While this is convenient and we can get through the day not even realising we have a cold when we actually have one, this brings in the risk of chronic infection.

Drugs that stop us from washing germs out with mucus fights against the body’s own mechanisms for self cleaning.  The body has to work harder and in more imaginative ways to clear infections.  

In the case of infants and young children, cough medicines can impair their ability to clear phlegm and lead to a worse congestion

The body requires a fever to fight infection

Yes, a certain level of fever is actually good for you.  It has been shown that an important type of immune calls, the T-cells that fight viruses and cancer, require a higher temperature to be effective.  

It is only dangerously high temperatures that need controlling, with a health professional.  

Drugs are foreign substances that may not be removed efficiently from the body.

Yes, this is a reminder that nothing about drugs are natural, and while there is a role for them in a spectrum of care that is offered to the patient, we must know its limitations.  

Drugs invariable tax the liver to metabolise and clear them out of the body.  Many a time, metabolites do not clear out completely.  This is in the case of synthetic hormones, and certainly for paracetamol (acetaminophen).

There have been cases of fatal liver failure associated with ingesting as little as 10 paracetamol pills.

There you have it!

The three reasons why we should think twice before reaching to drugs in order not to face the consequences of being ill.

Being ill is a part of life, especially for children, where it is normal to catch a virus or cold once a month, in order to build up their immune system towards better resistance.  Lack of this natural immune stimulation leads to a skew of the immune cells towards autoimmunity, which is another topic altogether.

The holistic approach to illnesses

While a balanced viewpoint must be kept, and drugs may need to be used in certain situations, having a holistic approach has the long term effect of working with your body not against it, in the long run. 

Herbs or nutrients may be used, complimentary therapies that address the Qi and energy systems, and healing touch, sound, art, and access to the spirit and soul.

What is the meaning of this illness for you? 

Simply waving it off with over the counter medications and "Keeping calm and carrying on" may miss an opportunity to investigate a nutrient deficiency, or even a lifestyle habit which may be causing the low immunity. 

If there is an immunity issue, we must address the reasons underlying that.  

This generation is so used to numbing and carrying on, and it is to the detriment of our spirits that we approach life this way.

To discuss your needs in greater depth do book a consult today!

Heal Eczema Naturally in 5 Easy Steps

Struggling with eczema? Have you tried just about everything to clear your skin, but had no results? Before popping pills or trying a new cream, seek healthier alternatives. Most times, eczema is caused by underlying conditions. Thus, you need to identify and treat its root cause, not just its symptoms. 

Remember that health starts from the inside out. Nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle habits have the biggest impact on your skin. Follow these simple steps to heal eczema naturally:

 

Balance Your Gut

Eczema is one of the primary signs of candida overgrowth. When your gut flora is out of whack, pathogens kill healthy bacteria and spread throughout the body. This causes inflammation, recurring infections, and skin disorders. You may also feel hungrier than usual and crave sugar. 

The first step to healing eczema is to address its root cause, such as candida infection. Eliminate gluten, lactose, and other allergens that affect digestive health. Drink bone broth to reduce intestinal permeability and balance gut flora. L-glutamine, marshmallow root, and amino acid formulas can help too. 

Add More Nutrients to Your Diet

Certain nutrients support gut health, which reflects positively on your skin. Zinc piccolinate, for instance, helps maintain the mucous lining of the stomach, throat, and mouth. This keeps pathogens at bay and improves nutrient absorption. Take a multivitamin or 15-40 milligrams of zinc piccolinate to heal your gut. 

Load Up on Healthy Fats

Your skin needs vitamins A, D, E, and K to maintain its elasticity and stay young. However, your body can not absorb these nutrients without dietary fat. Omega-3s are particularly beneficial. These essential fatty acids improve vitamin absorption and fight inflammation, which helps heal eczema. 

To get more fats in your diet, consume avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish. Your skin will look younger, your energy will go up, and your cholesterol levels will drop. 

Take Probiotics

Stress, poor nutrition, candida, and other factors affect gut health. When your microbiome is unbalanced, pathogens take over your gut and destroy good bacteria. This is where probiotics come in handy. 

These supplements contain live microorganisms that colonize your gut, killing fungi, microbes, and harmful bacteria. As a result, your skin becomes clearer and your immunity increases. 

Ideally, choose a probiotic with at least 10 billion active cells, such as L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium lactis. If you’re struggling with eczema, take higher doses. 

Limit Stress

Chronic stress affects the amount of diversity of healthy gut bacteria. It's also a major contributing factor to inflammation, which in turn, triggers eczema. 

If you're constantly stressed, squeeze more "me" time into your schedule. Practice deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques. Get more rest and make health a priority.

As you see, eczema can have a variety of causes. Prescription drugs and ointments are pretty much useless when you’re dealing with an underlying condition. Figure out the real cause of eczema and then take the steps needed to heal yourself.