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I need help. I used to be so healthy pre-pregnancy. I ate well, I exercised and I rarely got ill. Now I am ill every 1 to 2 months with something and it's not always passed on from ds. I don't eat as well as I used to but I do get a lot of exercise with ds (I know it's not the same as being in a gym etc but we go on lots of long walks and I essentially run after him all day long - it feels like a physical day). DS is now sleeping well and I'm working on getting the rest I need at night (I still wake up habitually numerous times a night).<br><br>
I just feel as if my immune system has broken down. I say this because twice in the last 6 months I have had 2 common colds develop into nasty infections. Pneumonia and now I have a double ear infection and strep throat. I don't think I've ever had an ear infection in my life before. It's kind of scary.<br><br>
Recently I started taking high doses of vitamin D as it is meant to be good for the immune system. But what else can I do? I am into alternative therapies too but have only ever used acupuncture. Would love to hear about what alternative therapies are good for supporting overall immune health including herbal supplements etc. Please make it simple for me, I get scared off by complicated and long lists of herbal ingredients! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Vitamin D is good. What is your dose and form - D2 or D3?<br>
Vitamin C in sodium ascorbate form...or one of the other ascorbates. I like a product from Wholesale Nutrition called C-salts. Just add water and drink it.<br><br>
Herbs:<br>
-olive leaf is an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal<br>
-elderberry (as in the form of Sambucus/Sambucol) is an antiviral (if you're not allergic to berries)<br>
-echinacea can help (if you're not allergic to ragweed or plants in the aster family) and use it only short term, up to 7 days, during the infection, not as a preventative - but it does help keep strep from colonizing the throat - and echinacea may interfere w/ the release of eggs into the fallopian tubes, so don't use it while trying to get pregnant<br>
-goldenseal can help (it stimulates a different but complementary part of the immune system than echinacea) and only use it short term as well - and goldenseal interes with the absorption of tetracycline antibiotics - and don't use it if pregnant or nursing<br><br>
You can get most of the herbs in liquid tincture form and add from 10-30 drops in a little water and drink it down.<br><br>
Echinacea angustifolia and goldenseal taken together helps speed healing of ear infections. (Remember no goldenseal if you are preg. or nursing)<br><br>
For earaches, you can use garlic-mullein drops in the ear canal. That should help with pain and inflammation.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KimPM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15385247"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Vitamin D is good. What is your dose and form - D2 or D3?<br>
Vitamin C in sodium ascorbate form...or one of the other ascorbates. I like a product from Wholesale Nutrition called C-salts. Just add water and drink it.<br><br>
Herbs:<br>
-olive leaf is an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal<br>
-elderberry (as in the form of Sambucus/Sambucol) is an antiviral (if you're not allergic to berries)<br>
-echinacea can help (if you're not allergic to ragweed or plants in the aster family) and use it only short term, up to 7 days, during the infection, not as a preventative - but it does help keep strep from colonizing the throat - and echinacea may interfere w/ the release of eggs into the fallopian tubes, so don't use it while trying to get pregnant<br>
-goldenseal can help (it stimulates a different but complementary part of the immune system than echinacea) and only use it short term as well - and goldenseal interes with the absorption of tetracycline antibiotics - and don't use it if pregnant or nursing<br><br>
You can get most of the herbs in liquid tincture form and add from 10-30 drops in a little water and drink it down.<br><br>
Echinacea angustifolia and goldenseal taken together helps speed healing of ear infections. (Remember no goldenseal if you are preg. or nursing)<br><br>
For earaches, you can use garlic-mullein drops in the ear canal. That should help with pain and inflammation.</div>
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Thanks, besides vit c and d, would I take the olive leaf and elderberry on a continuous basis, or just when sick?<br><br>
Just ds 1 right now. I take 1000mg of vit per day. I keep forgetting to give ds his, but I think the pedi recommended quite a high dose - need to look it up. What's your rec?
 

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Probiotics:<br><br><a href="http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics.html" target="_blank">http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics.html</a><br><br>
Taken daily, this really helps me not get colds.
 

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How high dose vitamin D and what form? I'd do 9,000 IU per day of D3 (safe indefinitely and you're very likely low).<br><br>
I'd figure out what's going on with your sleep--with a sleep study if you can do that. It might not be habit. Post-pregnancy is a prime time to develop a sleep disorder in my experience.<br><br>
I'd do probiotics. Particularly do florastor (if dairy is ok) or Klaire labs s. boulardi is allergies are a concern. Florastor is proven to raise sIga levels (gut immune system) which affect immune system throughout. Epicore is also proven to raise the immune system. My son does both and also does colostrum to help with the immune system.<br><br>
Those would be my priorities (in order of importance).<br><br>
I would not routinely do supplements with anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties as you want good bacteria in your gut! Just like regular antibiotics herbal antibiotics affect the probiotic balance in the body. I use those things to treat illness only. That said, xylitol has some pretty good evidence for infection prevention in kids. I did use it in my son when he had chronic infections. Read up.
 

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I am going through the same thing right now. I was sick practically the entire winter. Now I"m sick again.<br><br>
I saw a new MD recently and he noticed that my lymphocyte count was down and recommended that I get it checked out as it may relate to why I'm getting sick all the time.<br><br>
No idea what I do about a low lymphocyte count. But have you had any abnormal blood work recently?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbgrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15387096"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd do probiotics. Particularly do florastor (if dairy is ok) or Klaire labs s. boulardi is allergies are a concern. Florastor is proven to raise sIga levels (gut immune system) which affect immune system throughout. Epicore is also proven to raise the immune system. My son does both and also does colostrum to help with the immune system.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"> I forgot the probiotics...do those too.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Louisep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386305"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks, besides vit c and d, would I take the olive leaf and elderberry on a continuous basis, or just when sick?<br><br>
Just ds 1 right now. I take 1000mg of vit per day. I keep forgetting to give ds his, but I think the pedi recommended quite a high dose - need to look it up. What's your rec?</div>
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I typically only take herbs if sick or feeling especially vulnerable to sickness, short-term only. The exception to this could be elderberry, a low dose of that could be taken during the winter, as a preventative.<br><br>
Do you mean you are taking 1000 mg of vitamin C per day? Is it ascorbic acid? You might consider an ascorbate form instead. Also, make sure it's split up over the day. Your body can't process it all at once, and ends up dumping what you don't use.<br><br>
For vitamin D, I've found that I personally need 1000 IU a day just to maintain my D levels (as indicated by blood tests). I recently finished an extra course of 2000 IU a day to try and up my levels even more. So I was taking 3000 IU a day, until just recently. Now I'm back to 1000 IU a day. I'm also taking some pantothenic acid (B5) with that, because it's a cofactor for D.<br><br>
Have you ever had your D level tested?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">How high dose vitamin D and what form? I'd do 9,000 IU per day of D3 (safe indefinitely and you're very likely low).</td>
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This is exactly what I was going to suggest!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbgrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15387096"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How high dose vitamin D and what form? I'd do 9,000 IU per day of D3 (safe indefinitely and you're very likely low).<br><br>
I'd figure out what's going on with your sleep--with a sleep study if you can do that. It might not be habit. Post-pregnancy is a prime time to develop a sleep disorder in my experience.<br><br>
I'd do probiotics. Particularly do florastor (if dairy is ok) or Klaire labs s. boulardi is allergies are a concern. Florastor is proven to raise sIga levels (gut immune system) which affect immune system throughout. Epicore is also proven to raise the immune system. My son does both and also does colostrum to help with the immune system.<br><br>
Those would be my priorities (in order of importance).<br><br>
I would not routinely do supplements with anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties as you want good bacteria in your gut! Just like regular antibiotics herbal antibiotics affect the probiotic balance in the body. I use those things to treat illness only. That said, xylitol has some pretty good evidence for infection prevention in kids. I did use it in my son when he had chronic infections. Read up.</div>
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Thanks, yeah I really need to give the probiotics a try. I started and then got lazy, but I'm ready to get serious about this now.<br><br>
Re the sleep, sigh, I've just been through ten months of my son waking every 1 to 2 hours and it just disrupted my sleep completely. I couldn't really sleep nursing and well, long story short, I don't think my body knows how to sleep anymore. It's another thread really but before I get into a sleep study, I'm trying to a) see if time fixes it b) then I'll try something like melatonin and c) I'm having acupuncture for it which has helped in the past (slightly different sleep problem and not anywhere as severe).
 

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Oh and the vit D is 1000 IU per day. I can really take 9000 IU?! Wow. I'll have to check to see if they are D3.<br><br>
I have not had my levels tested nor have I had blood work done but I will as soon as I get home from vacation and talk to her about the sleep thing.<br><br>
Thanks for all the replies!
 

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I don't know that I would be too alarmed at your sickness. You know yourself better than we do. It sounds to me that you are just run down and need some basics.<br><br>
Bloodwork and drs visits can help, but I shy away from asking doctors thier opinions... they always look for the worst possible scenario or what they can fix... but that is another thread.<br><br>
I would consentrate on getting at least 6 to 7 hours of sleep in a row. If your not doing this yet it could be your whole problem.<br><br>
Are you nursing?<br><br>
You can take melatonin (maybe even if you are nursing) to help you sleep if YOU have a problem and it is not your DC waking you.<br><br>
Drink lots of water and take Vitamin C and a proibotic.<br><br>
Eat a lot of healthy food.<br><br>
The other things, echineacea, golden seal, elderberry... those are taken on the onset of symptoms (maybe not echinacea, that you can take anytime) but I wouldn't overload your system with a bunch of stuff.... just simplify your life.
 

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My gut feeling reading your OP (strengthened by reading your other post) is that sleep (and lack thereof!) is a major factor. From my experience mama with baby = run down mama = gets sick more often mama.<br><br>
And, like many other pps, I was going to suggest upping your supping <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> of D3 (or, even better, start taking fermented cod liver oil).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ravenlunatic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15391005"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would consentrate on getting at least 6 to 7 hours of sleep in a row. If your not doing this yet it could be your whole problem.<br><br>
Are you nursing?<br></div>
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No longer nursing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> but DS is sleeping much better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> He still wakes 1 to 3 times per night but DH and I take it in turns to sleep with him so I have the opportunity to sleep on my own every other night. However, I find myself waking every 2 hours still and often lie awake unable to get back to sleep - residual from the months of DS's night wakings. I do not get 6 hours of consecutive sleep but anywhere from 4 to 7 hours of broken sleep. Four clearly is unhealthy, that's just on the really bad nights.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pianojazzgirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15391074"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My gut feeling reading your OP (strengthened by reading your other post) is that sleep (and lack thereof!) is a major factor. From my experience mama with baby = run down mama = gets sick more often mama..</div>
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Yeah, it's my gut feeling too, I just hope I can change it!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Louisep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15392491"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah, it's my gut feeling too, I just hope I can change it!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Regarding your night-waking do a search here for help with insomnia. I've seen quite a few threads pop up recently with good tips and info.
 

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In addition to what the others have mentioned, could you tell us about your diet? Sugar in all forms should be your number one enemy right now and green veggies your best friends. lol
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>californiajenn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15392644"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In addition to what the others have mentioned, could you tell us about your diet? Sugar in all forms should be your number one enemy right now and green veggies your best friends. lol</div>
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I was just thinking about posting a new thread to ask for recommendations for a good cook book! I want to overhaul our diet. I eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies and only brown rice and pastas. However, the variety of our foods is dismal and I'm a terrible cook. I'd like to cut out meat altogether (I used to only eat fish). My pedi suggested cooking with grains like quinoa. I tried, DS hated it! The other problem is that DS is lactose intolerant, so I find it difficult to think of proteins that aren't meat (but again, my pedi said to stop thinking of meats as proteins).<br><br>
I need easy to prepare yet tasty and wholesome recipes! We love all types of flavors, spices etc and are adventurous except when it comes to actually preparing food. DH is better than I but he's lazy.<br><br>
Any suggestions?
 
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