Recurring colds are not just a nuisance. Besides bringing unpleasant symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and malaise, common colds are additionally big energy drainers and work interrupters. There are about 500 million colds in the USA every year and they drain 40 billion due to productivity loss and medical costs.
Recurring colds always have reasons
Recurring colds aren’t random. There is at least a reason or two why you, not anybody else gets them. There are also reasons why they persistently keep on coming back, instead of paying you a visit once a year.
If you haven’t figured out why you keep on getting sick, this short guide may help you reduce the mysterious recurrence of colds. Repeating sickness always have an underlying cause. Here are five of the invisible “lows” or “hypos” that contribute to frequent colds. Don’t expect any of them to be announced to you by your MD. Nearly all MDs know that the common cold is caused by a cold virus and has nothing to do with your diet, hormones, or vitals, wink, wink.
1 – Ditch Hypo-Nutrition and Stop Getting Sick Frequently
Malnutrition isn’t reserved to jungle tribes. Believe it or not, but according to recent estimation, chronic malnutrition affects more than half of the US population, with occasional nutrient deficits showing up in more than 85% of Americans. Don’t get fooled. Body size does not matter. You don’t have to look thin to be short of nutrients. Many overweight people are.
Recurring colds and malnutrition go together
Do nutritional deficiencies have anything to do with recurring colds? You bet! The immune system needs vitamins and minerals to work well. If you have frequent colds, chances are your immune system isn’t well-nourished. Make sure you aren’t deficient in at least the 6 key nutrients the immune system heavily relies on.
2 – Check Low Thyroid to Prevent Frequent Colds
What does thyroid have to do with recurring colds? Apparently, a lot.
Thyroid supports the immune system indirectly. Thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which sends information to the immune system. So, while the thyroid isn’t considered to be an immune system component, it is instrumental to the immune system function.
Thyroid hormone stimulates immune response
Thyroid hormone facilitates immune system response. The amount of circulating thyroid hormone is responsible for proper immune system behavior. Without an adequate thyroid hormone humoral and cell-mediated immune responses are frequently inadequate.
It decides on metabolic rate
Thyroid is also responsible for the body’s metabolic rate, which is linked to body temperature. When thyroid goes hypo-, so does body temperature. And as you know low temperature is a major trigger for several upper respiratory viruses, including a common cold virus.
Metabolic rate suppression by hypothyroid can be so powerful that it could produce a never-ending string of colds. It’s because a cold virus, instead of being eradicated after a cold, survives in low body temperature.
You can catch a cold from your own nose
Has it ever happened that you got sick, even though you haven’t been exposed to anyone with a cold? When the virus does not get eradicated but sticks around due to a favorable low-temperature environment, it does not take much to trigger its replication. In many cases, a minor stressor, or a minor weather change will be sufficient to spark another case of a sick nose.
Are you hypo?
Can you be hypothyroid and not know it? Yes, you can, and many people are. Firstly, hypothyroid is not something doctors routinely test for. Expect to be tested only if you present with typical hypothyroid complaints: weight gain, constipation, enlarged thyroid gland, and fatigue.
Secondly, your doctor may not inform you about your slight lab variations due to assumption that they reflect your normal physiological state. Since that happens frequently, your best bet is to always look at the lab results yourself and compare your number with the lab norms.
How to test for low thyroid:
- Ask your doctor: Ask for a thyroid panel that includes TSH, T3, and T4
- Order thyroid test on line. This one also contains thyroid antibodies
- Test your BBT (basal body temperature). You will find instructions in this post.
Lifestyle solutions for low thyroid:
- Use iodized salt,
- Eat ocean fish,
- Move closer to the ocean
- Take vacations by the ocean
3 – Boost Low Adrenals to Reduce Recurring Colds
Low adrenals and low thyroid frequently go together. In fact, research demonstrated that nearly all cases of low thyroid are linked to low adrenals. They also demonstrated that boosting adrenal health automatically boosts thyroid health as well. It’s because adrenals and thyroid share hormonal info pathways.
Adrenal fatigue vs Addison’s disease
Don’t think however that all low adrenals present as low thyroids. Milder cases don’t go beyond adrenals and only result in partial adrenal insufficiency. But even though mild insufficiency isn’t a deadly disease, it still can cause sufficiently discomforting immune system dysfunctions.
The most extreme form of adrenal insufficiency is called Addison’s disease. Addison’s disease is nothing trivial, because it can lead to multiple system failures. The hallmark of Addison’s disease is a complete adrenal exhaustion with poor or near non-existent adrenal output. This leads to the following symptoms:
Addison’s disease symptoms
- Extreme fatigue
- Weight loss and decreased appetite
- Salt craving
- Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint pains
- Depression or other mood problems
- Hair loss
While Addison’s disease is rare, a mild adrenal burnout is not. Adrenal burnout also called adrenal fatigue isn’t considered to be a medical entity. There are no standard lab values your doctor can go by to diagnose it. To test for adrenal fatigue you need to order a saliva test that detects minor diurnal cortisol variations.
Suspect adrenal fatigue if you have the following symptoms:
Adrenal fatigue symptoms
- chronic fatigue
- low blood pressure
- low blood sugar
- low body temperature
- need more sleep
- crave salt and sugar
- are averse to cold
How to test for low Adrenals
- Test for Addison’s disease: ask your doctor for morning cortisol
- Test for adrenal insufficiency: get 4-point cortisol saliva test,
- preferably combined with DHEA.
Lifestyle solutions for low adrenals
- consider carnivore diet
- avoid vegan or plant-based diets
- vitamin C supplementation
- consider stress reduction
- improve stress coping techniques
- gradually increase exercise intensity
4 – Avoid Low Blood Sugar to Slash Frequent Infections
Surprise! You don’t have to be diagnosed with hypoglycemia to end up with low blood sugar. Blood sugar dips are very common, but the diagnosis is reserved only to those who are swift in glucometer use. In most people hypoglycemia is transient and short-lived. So, if you don’t have a glucometer at home or wait till “later”, the likelihood of you catching the sugar lows are close to nil.
You don’t have to be a diabetic to be hypoglycemic
Hypoglycemia is diagnosed when blood glucose dips below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L). Contrary to popular belief hypoglycemia isn’t reserved for diabetics.
People using prescription medications, those with hormonal deficiencies, those with malfunctioning liver, and those who abuse alcohol are also prone to low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is also likely to occur in overweight, those with a fatty liver, and those who crave sugar.
Watch out for that in-between meals’ cravings for cookies and coke or that sugar crash. Hypoglycemia happens when you feel hungry, tired, and cranky. Get your glucometer ready precisely at that time otherwise you may still be wondering forever why you get sick so frequently.
Blood sugar swings break down body barriers
Hypoglycemic dips lower the immune system function. Frequent blood sugar fluctuations are linked to poorly functioning immune system and increased number of recurring infections. Specifically, large daily glucose oscillation lowers the integrity of endothelium, a thin sheet of cells protecting surfaces, which happens to be a viral entry point. Without structural integrity of the surface barriers you will be prone to recurring colds, flus, and other microbial nastiness.
Low blood sugar dips temperature
Hypoglycemia is known to lower body temperature. That is obviously a problem if you get sick frequently. Lower body temperature invites viruses and can create a perfect scenario for recurring colds. Hypoglycemia can lower core body temperature as much as 2 degrees C (3.6 F), which is an ideal temperature for the common cold virus.
Hypoglycemia lowers oxygen supply
Oxygen is the key immune system weapon and low blood sugar lowers its supply. Without adequate oxygen the body can’t make hydrogen peroxide, its main anti-microbial ammunition. That presents a problem, because hydrogen peroxide not only kills germs, it also performs a messenger role. It tells white blood cells where to go, so they don’t wander aimlessly all over the body.
Low blood sugar starts inflammation
It’s a very little-known fact, but hypoglycemia seems to initiate inflammation. Hypoglycemia increases leukocyte count and increases pro-inflammatory cytokine production, which can promote a sustained pro-inflammatory state, if low blood sugar occurs frequently.
You may not think that low blood sugar applies to you, but when you recall those hunger pangs, intense craving for sweets, sugar crashes, headaches when fasting, and panic attacks for no reasons, you may start thinking otherwise. Stay on the safe side: measure, don’t guess. Get yourself a glucometer.
How to test for low blood sugar
Lifestyle solutions for low blood sugar
- Use 69 Pleasure blood-sugar normalizing recipes
- Follow blood sugar stabilizing diet
- Normalize weight
5 – Boost Low Blood Pressure to Reduce Recurrent Infections
Just like you don’t need to be diagnosed with hypoglycemia to have low blood sugar, you don’t need to be diagnosed with hypotension to experience low blood pressure ill-effects.
Low blood pressure is grossly underestimated. It is under-diagnosed. And even if diagnosed, it is left on its own due to its “mild” nature. Unfortunately, this “mildness” isn’t mild at all. Low blood pressure contributes to fainting, kidney failure, confusion, headaches, dementia, and personality changes. Low blood pressure may also be one of those hidden contributing factors to recurring infections.
Poor circulation leads to cold intolerance
Lower blood pressure can lead to poor circulation and sluggish blood flow leads to colder body. People with low blood pressure tend to feel colder and compensate by dressing heavier than people with normal blood pressure. It’s not difficult to spot hypotensives by looking at their clothing. They will dress warmer, and will be more likely to use scarfs and mitts to avoid getting chilled and sick.
Low blood pressure can occur as a side-effect of medication use, from malnutrition, dehydration, blood loss, heart or hormonal problems. But, the most common cause of low blood pressure isn’t any of the above. It is staying motionless.
Doing nothing equals slower blood flow
Increasing blood pressure is very energy-expensive for the body. Oxygen has to be delivered in larger quantities, the heart has to pump harder, and blood vessels have to keep a strong tonus. Unless absolutely necessary the body will keep the needs for oxygen at its lowest. Thus, when you do nothing, oxygen demand goes down, but so does your blood pressure. But that has consequences. When blood pressure goes down, the body temperature does the same. And you know that’s exactly what a cold virus likes.
Moving improves blood flow
Moderate exercise, which improves blood flow, but does not stress the body, has been shown to be a good common cold strategy. Moderate exercise increases blood pressure, increases body temperature, increases circulation, and simply makes the body habitus less inhabitable by the cold virus. Regular exercise seems to be a good trick to reduce cold frequency.
How to test for low blood pressure
- Get an accurate blood pressure monitor
- Understand blood pressure fluctuations
Lifestyle solutions for low blood pressure
- Follow steps outlined in Revived!
- Start a moderate-intensity exercise regimen
What NOT to do for recurring colds
Here is an abbreviated summary of what NOT to do to get rid of recurring colds. Hopefully none of the below applies to you, but if it does maybe the summary will let you see the real problem, and motivate you to undo the curse of recurring colds.
- After reading the post take no action, (leave things as they were, because you were not concerned about frequent colds, you were just looking for something to read)
- Think your case is different and whatever was mentioned in the article does not apply to you (that may be the easiest way to cop out of any effort)
- Stick to the same diet as before (apparently it has been working so far)
- Buy tons of supplements thinking that pills will cure your recurrent colds (this way you don’t have to examine your lifestyle)
- Wait for that miracle drug that pharma has been promising for decades (it must be coming, just look at big pharma shares going up!)
Ok, all jokes aside, how do you stop recurring colds forever?
To get rid of recurring colds permanently follow the steps below:
- Focus on immune-dense nutrition; that means more meat, fewer carbs and veggies. This is not a joke. Fiber is indigestible and reduces nutrient absorption
- Check your body for 4 common lows that directly influence frequency of infections:
- blood pressure
- blood sugar
- Temporary use supplements that reduce chances of getting sick. Here are examples:
- Permanently make lifestyle changes to strengthen your immune system. Link to book
- Check your health level. By this I don’t mean checking with your doctor whether you have a disease, but checking yourself whether you are perfectly healthy. Are you an “A” or are you a “D”? Find your weakest spot and work on it.
To find you body weak spots use these tests. They will help you understand your body.