Strengthening the immune system - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-04-2014, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a terrible immune system.  If one person in our household of 7 gets sick, it is me.  I currently take GSE daily, garlic daily, 600IU of vitamin D daily, at least 240 mg vitamin C daily, echinacae as needed.  I try not to eat too sugary...especially if I feel something coming on...then it is complete stop on sugar till further notice.  Does anyone have advice that might help me? I am still currently nursing my 2 year old and 4 year old so any suggestions would have to be compatible with BF.  I am open to any ideas.


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Old 02-04-2014, 07:26 PM
 
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I would consider removing the GSE and including tumeric and astralagus roots in your diet. Astralagus root is fantastic in stock, either veg or meat stocks.


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Old 02-05-2014, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What is your reasoning for removing the GSE?  I am familiar with astralagus root...have used before, but turmeric.  How does one take that?  Are we talking about my spice jar, turmeric?  


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Old 02-05-2014, 11:41 AM
 
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One non-drug idea is a neti pot. Since most colds/flus usually begin in the sinuses so it may be helpful. I personally use a colloidal silver nasal spray when I feel like I might get sick but you might not be open to that with BFing.

 

I also use vitamin D3 but you need to make sure you are eating it with fat and with K2 for it to absorb properly if taken orally. I

 

've also re-started raw milk lately at about a cup per day and the last thing that went around work and the kid's school and I only got a slight sore throat rather than a full blown sickness like I normally do. I've been taking the vitamins for a while but only recently added the raw milk.

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Old 02-05-2014, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been trying to secure a supply of raw milk for years....unfortunately, it seems to be next to impossible in our area:(  I have been contemplating getting our own dairy goat to produce our own.  I can't seem to make the commitment though.  I hate giving the chickens water and collecting eggs when the temperatures dip below zero.  I would be in hell milking a goat twice a day in this weather.  I digress...

 

As far as the neti pot..... I have heard great things about those.  I guess I never thought about that.  My reasoning was that I almost never have a stuffed head/sinus pressure/headache etc.  I have violent sneezing, sore throat usually followed by a junky cough that seems to linger too long.  Those are my most common symptoms.  It seems to be you are saying, it doesn't matter what the symptoms are, most colds start in the sinus area.  Is that correct?

 

I can use help treating my colds.  My real question is more about prevention.  How can I boost my immune system so I don't catch every stinkin' thing?  


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Old 02-05-2014, 09:14 PM
 
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I would bump the vitamin d to 2000 IU per day. Gargle with salt water in the morning and at night. Elderberry syrup is safe for adults and children alike and has antiviral properties. Probiotics are also very good for the immune system. 


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Old 02-06-2014, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh!  Probiotics!  I do take these but usually once or twice a week.  Would you recommend daily?  Never tried elderberry syrup, I can do that. What is a good brand to try? For the salt water solution...how much water to what measure of salt would you recommend?  2000IU's? I have been a little hesitant to take too much knowing that it is a fat soluble vitamin and can accumulate in the body.  I admit, I haven't researched to know what a safe dosage is.  I know "daily amounts" are too low.


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Old 02-06-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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I take 5,000iu vitD3 daily between Oct and May. 10,000 daily for 5 days when I start feeling sick.( My MD suggested 400iu for my infant. )If you get sick frequently it is a strong indication that your d3 levels are low. If you are concerned you could get them tested. I totally understand the hesitation. The only contraindications I know about for high doses is if you have a condition where your body up takes high amounts of calcium and deposits it along your blood vessels. I forget the name of the condition but I remember it being relatively rare.
I also second astragalus in everything that gets cooked for at least 10 min in water: soups, rice, etc. Turmeric can be put into food or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the powder slogged down in a swallow of water.
Shiitake mushrooms in food 3 times a week is another good immune support.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campbellsoup View Post
 

Oh!  Probiotics!  I do take these but usually once or twice a week.  Would you recommend daily?  Never tried elderberry syrup, I can do that. What is a good brand to try? For the salt water solution...how much water to what measure of salt would you recommend?  2000IU's? I have been a little hesitant to take too much knowing that it is a fat soluble vitamin and can accumulate in the body.  I admit, I haven't researched to know what a safe dosage is.  I know "daily amounts" are too low.

2000 IU is the upper limit in Canada. I take that every winter all winter and my levels are perfect. Sambucol is a good brand of elderberry syrup. Natures Way is also a good brand. I would take probiotics every day. Enteric coated capsules are best because they bypass the stomach acid and more active cultures can make it to the colon where they are needed. 


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Old 02-06-2014, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I currently take some refrigerated chewable wafers (probiotics)......that way I can give them to my kids but I could see about getting my own stash:)


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Old 02-06-2014, 01:07 PM
 
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I have read you don't see vit d toxicity until you reach about 500,000 units a day! I often take 10,000 units a day.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:22 PM
 
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The only toxicity issue I am careful about is if I am getting my Vit D in a cod liver oil. In order to get those higher doses of Vit D with cod liver oil, you can get to a toxic dose of Vit A palmitate.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow!  I guess I am a lightweight with my current dosage:)  Sounds like I don't have to worry about too much, though.  We take our vitamin D in drops... such an easy way to get it into my little ones.  Say!  I have been dosing them at 400IU a day up to 600IU if they are exhibiting signs of sickness.  I suppose I should up their dosage too?  I give the drops to my 4, 6 , 9 and 11.  What do you think?   I haven't been giving any to the 2 year old since he is still nursing and I don't want to mess with the balance of vitamins/nutrients/antibodes in my milk.


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Old 02-14-2014, 10:47 AM
 
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Are you taking the garlic and GSE all the time or just when you feel something coming on? I would think that, since they are antimicrobial that they are going to also clear out some of the beneficial bacteria, and if you aren't replenishing with probiotics, then your flora might be "off" and that will affect your immune system.  (i would recommend making your own fermented foods like sauerkraut, salsa, yogurt, kefir, etc, whatever you like to eat), since the amount of probiotic bacteria are a lot higher than an over the counter brand of pills.....and way way cheaper.  I would definitely be trying to keep your probiotic intake up (if you are taking the kids chewables, the amount you are getting is only a fraction of what you would need to make a difference).  Along with the other suggestions.Also, make sure that not only that you avoid sugar/processed carbs, but that you *do* include a lot of nutrient dense foods...the vitamins and minerals tend to work symbiotically and will be most beneficial if you get the whole package.  (not to say that supplementing some key things like D, C, zinc, etc won't help, but there are things in foods that help your body absorb things, complexes that need to work together, etc. and you would probably spend a fortune on buying all of the supplements separately, especially if you have access to good foods).  And sleep.  Make sure that you get good sleep and some decompression time - that will definitely boost your immune system too.  


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Old 02-14-2014, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am taking some garlic all the time. Usually I capsule a day.  If I feel something I might take 5 capsules 3X a day until I feel normal.  I think I am going to stop the GSE.  I did some reading after one of the posters suggested I drop it.  I think I will replace the GSE with the elderberry syrup.....it's being shipped right now!  I used to make my own kraut.  I should start again.  How big of a factor do you think water is?    


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