Northwest Center for Optimal Health: Natural Medicine Specialists





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Natural Medicine Q&A
Ask Dr. P
by Kasra Pournadeali, ND
Natural Medicine Specialist

Now that the holidays are long past, and we’re well into the start of a new year, it’s time to begin taking better care of yourself. Maximizing your health, vitality, and quality of life are all attainable goals. Are you ready? I’ve made it even easier for you to get started with our new Bastyr University-sponsored clinic. It’s a very exciting project, (over a year in the making,) designed to provide you the high quality of service you’d expect from Dr. P & Bastyr. I’ve also made it affordable, so everyone who wants professional advice when using natural medicine has access. For more information about our new clinic or to schedule an appointment, call our office ASAP, as appointment times are going fast! This month’s Ask Dr. P focuses on the seasonal topic: colds & flu. Enjoy!

Q: Dr. P., I’ve been miserable for 3 days with a cold, what can I do? Thanks, Mary

Dear Mary, We have all experienced a cold or flu, and doesn’t it seem like it’s usually at the most inopportune time? Cough, runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains, feeling cold, then hot, and just being plain miserable. Most people take a week or longer to recover, but with natural medicine, you can do better.

When you have a cold or flu, short-term & long-term priorities are necessary. First, “boosting” your immune system to help you fight off the infection, and prevent it from progressing is the priority. This can be accomplished by using plant medicines such as Echinacea, Glycyrrhiza (licorice), Allium (garlic), Thymus (thyme), Sambucus (elder), or Mentha (mint). Less commonly known natural medicines, which are helpful in stimulating a person’s immune system are Lomatium, Berberis, and Astragalus. Therapeutic nutrition, or optimal dose nutrient therapy, also falls under the short-term category of what might be right for you. Several studies show that vitamin C can the severity and duration of the common cold; while others show vitamin A and Zinc either activate the immune system, or are critical for its healthy function. Getting over a cold or flu can be quick, and easy with the right plan. Expect about 24 hours of recovery time with proper use of natural medicine, vs. 5-7 days of recovery without it. Don’t have 24 hours, you say? I know what you mean, but too bad! It’s nature’s way of suggesting we slow down-- just a little!

So now you’ve recovered from your infection, and want to prevent from getting sick again. Enter the long-term priority: to strengthen your immune system and improve your overall health. By doing this, you get sick less often, with less severity, and recover faster if you do get sick. “How is this done?” you ask. By working with you to identify what (in your lifestyle) is placing your body, (and mind,) under stress. This is important because stress doesn’t just cause heart attacks, ulcers, headaches, anxiety, insomnia or depression, but also increased susceptibility to infection, by suppressing your immune system. Before you say “Dr. P, I have no stress,” keep in mind that stressors can include: nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, relationship problems at work, home or school, alcohol/ tobacco use, excess use of caffeine, high carbohydrate intake, heart, kidney, or liver disease, prescription or over-the-counter medication use, exposure to sick people, chemical toxins, or allergies just to name a few! Chances are, you have some stressors you haven’t identified. Doing so can make the difference between having average health vs. optimal health. By maximizing your health, avoiding stress, and improving your overall vitality, in ways you never imagined, you end up at a level where it becomes difficult for you to get sick, even when you try to. Have a great month!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Northwest Center for Optimal Health at (360) 651-9355.

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