Five Easy Ways to Fight Seasonal Fatigue

If it seems like it’s just harder to roll out of bed every morning when the temperature drops and sunrise comes later, you’re not imagining things – and you’re not alone. Whether they have chronic fatigue, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or an old-fashioned case of the seasonal blues, many people experience fatigue when seasons change and the weather cools.

Fatigue is common, with up to 50 percent of adults reporting feeling chronically tired according to several recent surveys. In fact, at least 20 percent of doctor visits are made by people looking for relief from fatigue, one study reports. The season’s effect on fatigue and depression is well-known, with the American Academy of Family Physicians reporting six out of every 100 Americans suffer from winter depression or SAD.

“Shorter days, darker skies, colder weather, poor sleep habits, and the stresses that come with the busy holidays and months at the end of the year can leave many people feeling fatigued and depressed at this time of year,” says Dr. Elin Ritchie, a specialist in family alternative medicine.

Even if your case of the seasonal blues is mild, it still makes sense to take steps to help yourself feel better – prolonged fatigue and depression can affect your overall health. Here are some tips for fighting fatigue:

  1. Get as much (safe) sun exposure as possible. Open drapes and blinds as soon as you get up to allow sunlight into your home. If you can, take a morning walk. Get as much time outdoors as your schedule and the weather permit. Sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D in your body and also benefits your mental health. Remember, though, to use sunscreen, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays can still damage your skin, even in winter.
  2. Stick to a reliable sleep schedule as much as possible. Go to bed and rise at the same time every day. And make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep – declutter, choose comfortable and comforting linens, and turn off the TV.
  3. Choose foods that are high in protein. Fruits and vegetables provide many healthful benefits and definitely belong in your diet. But for long-lasting energy, you’ll get more benefit from lean protein (like chicken and fish) and complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain bread or beans. Avoid too much sugar, no matter how tempting those holiday treats appear – sugar’s energy rush is usually followed by an energy drop that can leave you feeling more fatigued.
  4. Find ways to relax. The cooler seasons can be a very stressful time and stress can keep you awake at night. To combat natural levels of stress, find activities that relax you, whether it’s container gardening indoors, meditation or aromatherapy. Relieving stress can help improve sleep patterns.
  5. It’s also important that you support your immune system, especially during cold and flu season. Fatigue can lead to illness. “New studies show that sleep deprivation has detrimental effects on the immune system,” says Ritchie. “Researchers believe that sleep should be considered a vital part of immune function, as it is clear that sleep and immunity are directly related.”

Deficiency in anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 is a key factor in the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, according to an article recently published in the Journal of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. Consider a nutritional supplement, like Del-Immune V, that increases the activity of interleukins in the body. Supporting your immune system may help lessen the symptoms of fatigue. Patients who take a regular dose of Del-Immune V to support their immune systems report a significant increase in energy levels.

“This time of year can be exhausting for many reasons,” Ritchie notes. “But a few simple lifestyle changes, healthful diet and immune system support can help you feel more energized throughout the season.”

To learn more about Del-Immune V, click here.

Article from ARA Content

How to Cure a Lingering Cough After You’ve Had a Cold

Elin Ritchie, M.D. is a medical doctor trained in Canada at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. She graduated from medical school in 1992, and from a family practice residency program in 1994. She is a Board Certified member of the American College of Family Practice (ACFP). Dr. Ritchie currently practices integrative medicine in Taos, New Mexico.

If you’re in an office building, school or other crowded place, you probably hear someone coughing right now—it might even be you! Do you wonder what causes lingering coughs? Some people seem to have a lingering, dry cough following a cold or flu that persists for weeks, if not months. But why?

Lingering Cough After Bronchitis

When I started my practice 15 years ago, my patient, John, baffled me. He had a genuine case of bronchitis with a mild fever, yellow phlegm, chest congestion and cough. I treated him with the usual medications and he recovered. However, he continued to have a dry, irritated cough for weeks afterward. I’ve seen this a lot since then and I have a few suggestions for getting better sooner.

First, make sure you drink plenty of water. Water moistens the throat and helps the tissues heal quickly. Do you put a band-aid on a healing sore? Drinking water is like a band-aid on the dry, cracked and healing skin of the throat. Think of a dry cough as scratching a healing sore. It itches because it’s healing, but scratching makes it worse. Anything that helps you cough less will help the healing process. Water is easy and effective in this.

You could also use a humidifier. Similar to water you drink, humidity in the air can reduce the itchy irritation of the throat and reduce the amount of coughing allowing healing to occur quickly.

Lingering Cough After a Cold or Due to Allergies

Do you have allergies? My patient, Mary had a lingering cough every winter (does cold weather weaken your immune system? find out). She would have a simple cold in the fall and would cough until Spring. When she moved from an older house to a newer one, we discovered she had been allergic to the dust and wood smoke from her older house. Her coughing subsided once she removed herself from that allergen-rich environment.

The most effective way to reduce your exposure to allergens is to start with your bedroom. Some people go so far as to replace wall-to-wall carpet with tile floor and area rugs that are easily cleaned. If you live in a damp place, make sure there is no mold or mildew behind the head of the bed or in the wall of the bedroom. If you have pets, keep them in another part of your house away from where you sleep. These efforts reduce your exposure for eight to 10 hours a day, and that makes a big difference!

My Own Experience with a Lingering, Dry Cough

I’ve suffered through terribly dry coughs, too. A few years ago, I was struggling with a dry tickle cough. I would have coughing fits in front of my patients, coughing uncontrollably, turning purple, even gagging at times. Now I carry strong peppermint oil with me. Just a dab of it on my tongue will stop a coughing fit immediately. It’s not very pleasant, but it works.

Get Rid of the Cigarettes!

It goes without saying that if you are still smoking, it’s time to quit! Coughs are aggravated by cigarette smoke. There is no “safe” cigarette that is OK to smoke.

Best Way to Try and Cure that Lingering Cough: A Stronger Immune System

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Del-Immune V® will help strengthen your immune system to lessen your chances of picking up respiratory bugs in the first place. A healthy immune system is also better equipped to deal with allergies and post-viral cough. I recommend Del-Immune V® immune supplements to all my patients seeking relief from those annoying, lingering coughs.


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Vacation Days are Here, but it’s Always Flu Season at 30,000 Feet

While most of us have made it through the worst of the seasonal bugs, it’s important to remember that aircraft cabins are year-round virus incubators.

A 2006 study at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. confirmed that, like us, a microbe’s favored mode of travel is airplanes. Likewise, trains, buses, taxis and rental cars can be breeding grounds for traveling germs—not to mention airport terminals, restaurants and public restrooms.

Many are making their summer travel plans, but that doesn’t mean the immune system can go on vacation, too. Independent Traveler magazine says travelers “may be more than 100 times as likely to catch a cold on a plane as in your normal daily rounds.”

Travel often means additional stress as well. We put ourselves under pressure by getting ready to go, preparing our homes, businesses and pets to be cared for in our absence, and making it to our gate, connection, etc. on time.

According to the Center for Disease Control, three glands “go into gear” and work together to help you cope with a stressful situation. Two are in your brain: the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. The third, the adrenal glands, are on top of your kidneys. The hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland that it’s time to tell your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones called epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. These chemicals increase your heart rate and breathing and provide a burst of energy, but prolonged stimulation wears on the immune system, making us more vulnerable to environmental pathogens.

In addition to frequent hand-washing and ample hydration, taking Del-Immune V® prior to, during and after travel can help your body adjust to the sudden fluctuation in stress levels. Several customers have written to us about their experience traveling with Del-Immune V®:

“My husband travels almost every week and his trips are always overseas lasting four to five days at a time,” wrote Jan W. of Boulder, Colo. “In the past, the weekends have been a time for him to recover from travel and jet lag. Since taking Del-Immune V® on a daily basis, I have noticed my husband has not had any infections caused by air travel. I believe his jet lag has diminished and I know for a fact that he has more energy on the weekends.”

Another Boulder customer , Mark S. wrote, “I recently attended an international conference in Mexico. During the course of the week, most of the Americans became sick, but I was taking Del-Immune V® and never missed a beat. Even though I ate in local restaurants, worked late and got up early, I felt great throughout the conference and even after I returned.”

To learn more about how Del-Immune V® can supplement your immune health during travel, click here.

Del-Immune V® and Kids

Elin Ritchie, M.D. is a medical doctor trained in Canada at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. She graduated from medical school in 1992, and from a family practice residency program in 1994. She is a Board Certified member of the American College of Family Practice (ACFP). Dr. Ritchie currently practices integrative medicine in Taos, New Mexico.

 

As I’m writing, I’m listening to my little baby sleep. As a nursing mom, I want the best for him. I dream about his life and I want him to have happiness is all areas of his life when he grows up. Isn’t that what you want for your baby? This is a normal human desire.

I recommend Del-Immune V® to moms and kids in my practice. It’s become a natural part of my professional and home life. When children come in for immunizations, I suggest a week or two of Del-Immune V® before they get their shots. Evidence suggests that Del-Immune V® increases our body’s positive response to immunizations. When we decide to immunize kids, we do it  so they develop antibodies to diseases like polio, measles and so forth. These illnesses are so rare now that we aren’t very afraid of them, but if you’ve ever seen a serious case, you know why we immunize. Using Del-Immune V® along with the shots is a safe way to further decrease the chances of our children getting these diseases.

Many people ask me if Del-Immune V® is safe for children. In my experience in family practice and my knowledge of the supplement as a medical doctor, I’ve found Del-Immune V® to be very safe for children. When we have a cold or other illness going around our community, my kids have their Del-Immune V® every day to brace their immune systems to fight off the infectious illnesses. We have a busy house with three kids and all their activities. We really don’t want to interrupt their school or recreational activities for sick time.

Now the disclaimer: I do use Del-Immune V® for myself and for all my kids, however the FDA hasn’t reviewed the supplement to confirm its safety. You should choose yourself whether it’s right for you and your family. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Del-Immune V®.

Dr. Elin Ritchie may be contacted by email at ElinMD@ElinRitchie.com. Include the word “Del-Immune” in the subject line of your email.

To learn more about how Del-Immune V® works, click here.

Feed the Immune System During Cold and Flu Season

Our immune systems are smart. When exposed to new viruses, our immune system learns to recognize and react to many different strains of the invaders. The system also remembers bugs it has seen before. But, we’re in a mobile society. Each year world travel brings new strains of germs and viruses home, forcing the immune system to deal with new invaders it has never seen.

This is why the Center for Disease Control makes yearly changes to the flu vaccine, hoping to predict which bugs will arrive in the U.S. on a seasonal basis.

A flu vaccine may help during cold and flu season, but there’s no guarantee for full protection. Extra efforts are needed to avoid seasonal germs, including a healthy diet, exercise and nutritional supplements. Here are some suggestions for building up immune system support against seasonal infections and avoid the seasonal flu:

Diet can make a difference. Prevention Magazine recently published a list of immunity-boosting foods, including lean beef (in moderation) for its zinc content, orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots for vitamins A and D, mushrooms such as shitakes which may help white blood cells act more aggressively against foreign invaders and a daily cup of black or green tea to provide powerful antioxidant activity.

According to ABC News, turmeric, a rich and flavorful spice, has been used for centuries as part of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines in addition to being used for cooking. Turmeric is found in every yellow curry, and its golden color is the result of curcumin, a polyphenol with strong cold and flu-fighting properties. Although the mechanism is unclear, a study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications found that curcumin prevents some immune cells from responding to stimulantsand has some anti-inflammatory effects. Other studies have also shown the immune-boosting properties of curcumin in turmeric, however these results have not been confirmed in humans.

Turmeric is found naturally as the rhizome part of the turmeric plant and looks very similar to ginger. The powdered spice is made by boiling, drying and grinding the root. The power has antiseptic qualities when applied to to cuts, burns and bruises. The spice is available as an encapsulated supplement at health food stores.

In addition to a healthy diet, Del-Immune V® may provide significant support to avoid seasonal bugs. The muramyl peptides in Del-Immune V® act as switches in the immune system and are responsible for dramatically elevating immune activity in our bodies. This increased activity is critical for fighting many of the germs that infect our bodies—especially seasonal infections caused by immune depression. The addition of Del-Immune V® to a daily immune-support regimen can help users achieve year-round health.

To learn more about how to improve immune system readiness with Del-Immune V®, click here.

Cold, flu and cough: Persistent symptoms and Del-Immune V®

Elin Ritchie, M.D. is a medical doctor trained in Canada at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. She graduated from medical school in 1992, and from a family practice residency program in 1994. She is a Board Certified member of the American College of Family Practice (ACFP). Dr. Ritchie currently practices integrative medicine in Taos, New Mexico.

 

Practicing integrative medicine in this small town of 10,000 people provides an opportunity to see patients of many different ages, walks of life and with multiple different types of medical problems. I began offering Del-Immune V® to patients in my practice that presented with cold or flu symptoms and with any type of illness that they would catch from another person. I have now used Del-Immune V® for four flu seasons, and have seen a positive response in over 75 percent of patients who are treated with the product.

Del-Immune V® has been a very effective immune treatment for upper respiratory tract infections, chronic cough (persistent over more than eight weeks), colds, bronchitis and fighting the influenza virus. Many of my patients return to see me and routinely give rave reviews, stating that they no longer miss days from work or school because they are using Del-immune V on a regular basis.

Most of my patients were able to avoid having antibiotics prescribed because they used Del-Immune V® in the early stages of their illness. As an example, I have been amazed by the effect of Del-Immune V® on chronic coughs, and even as a lingering cough after a cold treatment during recovery from other illnesses. I recently saw a patient who started Del-immune V. Previously I had treated her with inhalers and antibiotics but with no response.

Chronic cough is difficult to treat. Many of the common therapies are only effective about 40 to 50 percent of the time. Adding Del-immune V to any other cough therapy is effective and safe. I did not make an either/or decision about Del-immune V— it complements every other therapy I use for coughs.

To find out more about how Del-Immune V® works, click here.

Innate and Adaptive Immunity: Essential for survival and good health

We know that frequent hand washing, containing a sneeze in a tissue, drinking plenty of water, getting adequate sleep and proper nutrition are all great ways to reduce our risk of contracting an illness. We can also reduce that risk by understanding a bit more about the human immune response. Within our immune systems, there are two branches that provide defense against infections: Innate immunity and adaptive immunity.

A simple example of the innate immune response is demonstrated when we get a splinter under the skin. Within seconds, swelling, pain and redness appear, indicating an immune response. Swelling occurs when white blood cells arrive at the site and attack the foreign substance, in this case the wooden splinter and the bacteria it carries. Fluid collects at the site of the splinter causing pain and signaling that something has breached the body’s defenses. Redness demonstrates that immune reactions to initiate healing have begun.

The second immune response is known as adaptive immunity. Vaccinations teach our immune systems to produce antibodies to certain diseases without actually getting the disease. This is adaptive immunity. However, viruses often mutate. Our bodies may develop antibodies to one form of a virus, but those antibodies would be useless against a mutation of that virus. Some viruses, such as seasonal bugs, mutate constantly. This is why it is so challenging to the Centers for Disease Control in updating each year’s vaccines.

Del-Immune V® is made from a probiotic lysate (cell fragments) of bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus (DV strain). When it was originally discovered and researched, this strain demonstrated broad-spectrum immune support activity. When ingested, Del-Immune V® has been shown to quickly stimulate the immune response, making it more robust without side effects or potential complications that may occur with prescription medications.

To find out more about how Del-Immune V® works, click here.

Probiotics in Intestine are Critical to Effective Immune System Response

With all the opportunities there are to get sick, it’s important that we protect ourselves in every possible way. Any comprehensive health strategy should include the digestive system — a majority of human immune activity (some studies estimate as much as 70%!) occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

The first step in lysing lactobacillus rhamnosus.

l. rhamnosus (DV strain) undergoing lysing

The intestine is home to a list of good bacteria (over 1,000 species) each with specific functions that contribute to maintaining health. Some GI bacteria make vitamin B-1; others help make enzymes needed for digestion. These are known as friendly bacteria, or probiotics. Ongoing research of priobiotics’ role in immune function began in about 1960.

Priobiotic cells are like tiny factories. Within and surrounding each of the cells and their walls are microscopic biological substances.

The second step in lysing lactobacillus bacteria

Del-Immune V (DV strain)

Many of these biological functions are not available for use until the cell is broken and its contents are exposed to the intestine.

This breaking apart of cells is called “lysing,” and the resulting products are called “lysates.” This process occurs naturally in the lower end of our small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. Biochemical substances called muramyl peptides then become available to initiate an immune response. Extensive research has demonstrated that muramyl peptides — perform the following important tasks:

  • Stimulation of non-specific resistance to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections
  • Stimulation of antibodies when used with an antigen, like a vaccine
  • Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in viral infections
  • Believed to increase resistance of respiratory tract mucosa to bacterial and viral infections
  • Modulate the immune response, which means stimulating activity when needed and becoming inactive when not needed

When consumed, the Delpro probiotics for immune health deliver the active substances directly to the stomach and the immune response is quickly launched, triggered by muramyl peptides. To find out more about how Del-Immune V® works, click here.