Thursday, October 11, 2012

Healthcare vs. Sickcare

Posted by Heather Shields On 9:05 PM | 3 comments
Credit: Prevention Matters
I feel a bit silly writing about this as I wound up in the ER on Monday afternoon because I was sick. I was under the weather for a few days, but Monday I grew progressively worse throughout the day. I had a horrible coughing fit that led my throat to swell and I was having difficulties breathing. After running the kids to the neighbors house {thank God for good neighbors!} the hubby took me to the ER. Two breathing treatments, 1 steroid shot, and a lung X-ray later they told me I had bronchitis and sent me on my way with 3 prescriptions.

Antibiotics, oral steroids, and a cough medicine.

I hate prescriptions. I know they're necessary at times, but I have really begun to rebel against the Rx. Especially when it comes to my personal health. In much the same way that I feel the difference in my body when I eat unhealthy foods, I feel the difference between the "health" that prescription drugs bring and nutritional holistic healthcare give. There is a sense of overall well-being, health, vibrance, vitality that proper nutrition gives me. Treating a specific sickness with specific drugs fixes the symptoms, but doesn't make me healthier overall. Generally if I'm getting sick, something is lacking.

So now that we're entrenched in cold & flu season, little ones noses are running and being slimed all over their sleeves, how do you beef up your immune system and stay healthy? After all, it's easier to focus on your healthcare now than to deal with sickcare later. Like me. *snort*


  • Increase your Vitamin C  We all know about the "recommended daily intake" of vitamins and minerals that are suggested. I also think it's safe to say that most people feel that if they pop a multi-vitamin and meet that suggested amount they are good to go. But did you know that the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals aren't meant to give you sufficient levels for health? Nope. It's only to keep you from being vitamin deficient. There is a HUGE gap between vitamin deficient and healthy. The RDI of Vitamin C is only 75mg. A single cup of raw bell pepper has 195.8% of your RDI of Vitamin C. Although you should be aware that cooking causes a breakdown in C, so it's best to eat raw. Vitamin C is also water soluble, which means your body does not store it for later use, and it's nearly impossible to have too much. It increases iron absorption, is a powerful antioxidant that helps your immune system fight off infection, and helps prevent gallstones! So how much should you aim for? If you're healthy, the Vitamin C Foundation recommends all people over the age of 3 get at least 3,000 mg per day. It's always better to get your vitamins through whole food sources, so here are some of the best Vitamin C foods.

  • Buy a Neti Pot  A What?? A neti pot is a container use to irrigate your sinus cavities. Your tilt your head, insert the tip of the pot into your nostril, and the salted water rushes through your sinuses, clearing away dirt, debris, bacteria, allergies, and sickness. It's slightly acidic pH level gives it an antibacterial effect. Seeing as there are a plethora of airborne bacteria that we encounter on a daily basis, and that number only rises during the colder months, daily nasal irrigation with a neti pot is a natural step to add to your heath routine.

  • Add a probiotic to your vitamin regiment Probiotics are a way to introduce good bacteria into your gut. They keep yeast levels at a minimum, fight off bad bacteria, and  several studies have shown that probiotics decrease the duration of colds and flu as well as regulate immunity in the respiratory system.

  • Wash Your Hands Elementary, right? But the key is actually doing it. We know that when we touch something someone else touched we're touching everything those other people touched as well. {Try saying that 3 times fast} So don't just lecture your kids on the hand-washing routine, but make sure that you're leading the way with your example.

I'm not claiming that if you do these things you'll never get the sniffles, but every little bit helps. And each of these HAS been proven to be efficient in fighting off colds & flu. Four simple, easy, basic steps to take your healthcare into your own hands, before you wind up having to get sickcare. Like me. *snort*

3 comments:

  1. Great tips. Also - I've found that when I start to feel like I might be getting sick, garlic and raw honey are great at killing off bacteria! We've prevented lots of illnesses from grabbing hold this way!

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  2. Don't feel silly; it sounds like you used medicine when it was truly needed as a last resort. Hope you're feeling better now!

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  3. Good tips. You should also cut back on sugar intake - that makes a huge difference!

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Thank you for your input!

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