Soon winter will be over, the days will get longer and warmer, and the cold and flu season will come to an end. Generally, the flu season runs from October through May with its peak in February. The question is, “where does the seasonal flu go in the summer”?
One reason for the frequency of flu infections in the colder months is that the flu virus is able to survive longer in the cold dry air than it can in the warm moist air of the summer. However, the cold air does not weaken the immune response. That being said, there are some environmental factors that coincide with the colder weather that affect the physiology of the human body and the immune system. The biggest factor is the difference in the amount of sunlight we are exposed to. In the colder months, our sunlight exposure is much less than the summer months, and this causes a decrease in Vitamin D production. Vitamin D is a key component of a healthy immune response.
In order to make Vitamin D, we need exposure to ultraviolet B sunlight. The intensity of UVB diminishes in the winter months in the temperate regions, and therefore our ability to make Vitamin D is diminished. In this scenario, we have an environment that favors the flu virus and weakens the immune system. Other factors such as the increased stress and sugar consumption around the holidays contribute to a compromised immune response as well.
So what are we to do? Get back to basics. Eat a healthy diet to give your body the nutrients it needs to function at a high level. Depending on your eating habits, it may be helpful to supplement your diet with some high quality vitamins. Minimize your stress and engage in activities that help you deal with your stress. Engage in activities that get you moving in healthy ways. Exercise is great for your physical and mental health and strengthens the immune system. Finally, get your spine checked regularly by your chiropractor and get adjusted as needed. A well-balanced nervous system brings ease and improved function to all aspects of the body, an essential element of a high functioning immune system! Read More Here: Immune Responses to Spinal Manipulation
For other health and wellness related questions feel free to contact Dr. Carmelo F. Caratozzolo, 703-491-9355, www.actwellness.com. Dr. “C” is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP). His office address: ACT Wellness Center, 2894 Garber Way, Woodbridge, VA.