Do you have another cold? Why you? Why again? Nothing happens by chance and getting frequent colds is not incidental either. Below you will find a few missing pieces to your health puzzle.
If you are currently battling with another bout of a flu or cold don’t hesitate to use the natural remedy list from the downloadable chart below. These remedies have been clinically proven to be the simplest and the most effective solutions for acute infections such as a common cold or a flu.
Do frequent colds indicate weak immune system?
If you have recurring colds and frequent bouts of flu, does it mean your immune system is weak? Not necessarily. There are many different circumstantial factors that can play a role in how your immune system reacts.
I have dedicated a special post on the signs of a weak immune system. You may also be interested in a post on three lesser-known weak immune system indicators or a post on less known symptoms of low immunity.
You may also want to check the following shortcuts:
- Low immune system causes
- Foods that boost fighting power
- 5 quick ways to boost immune system
- 7 rules on how to make the body stronger
Why The Cold Virus
Common cold is caused by a virus. The most common cold virus is called rhinovirus. 1 Not that it makes any difference to your symptoms however, it is worth knowing what to blame your sniffles for.
You don’t have to know anything about the virus to ease the frequency of your colds, except one thing: the cold virus likes to keep cold.
The virus replicates (makes babies) most ferociously at 33-35°C (91-95 °F).2 Normal body temperature is around 36.6°C or 98.6°F, which is higher than the ideal temperature for the common cold virus.
That’s good, because higher temperature prevents you from being in a constant state of common cold.
Lower body temperature a hidden cause for recurring colds
However if your body temperature is lower for some reason, you may suddenly become wonderfully attractive to a common cold virus. You may even become a host!
What’s your body temperature? You don’t know? Ok, but try not to assume too much. Feeling fine does not mean your body temperature keeps at 36.6°C or 98.6°F. You can’t tell body temperature without measuring.
If you don’t have a thermometer, get one! But make sure you get an accurate thermometer. There’s no point of using a thermometer if you question its accuracy.
You can check your body temperature at any time, but if you haven’t done it so far, do it at the first opportunity.
BBT, your tool against recurring infections
Checking temperature at any time is great, but to be really accurate you need to use a technique called BBT.3
BBT stands for Basal Body Temperature. It is measured on waking, the time when the body temperature is the lowest. This is how you test BBT:
When you wake up, don’t move too much. Don’t go to the bathroom, sit up to reach for the thermometer, or prop your pillow. Any motion increases your body temperature, so keep still.
Keep in bed under covers, do nothing, just relax. Reach for a thermometer (should be under the pillow or next to you on the bed). Test.
Temperature (oral) below 36.3°C (97.3°F) may be the hidden factor contributing to recurring colds. Do not be surprised if you see 34.5°C (94.1°F) or 35.5°C (95.9°F) on your thermometer. Such low temperatures are common in low metabolic and low immune system states.
Can foods contribute to common colds?
Yes, they can. They can make the body feel colder. In Western countries we know how to cool ourselves with icicles and ice tea, but Eastern countries made body cooling into an art… and medicine.4
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) all foods have either a cooling or warming properties. Those that cool the body down are good in hot climates and hot conditions. Those that warm the body are good in winter and to treat cold diseases.
A good TCM doctor would treat recurring colds by prescribing lots of warming foods and prohibiting excessive use of cooling foods. Here is a downloadable chart with foods that cool.
Constant colds and foods that chill
Lettuce is cooling and that’s why you should not focus on salads during snowy winters. Instead, you should make a huge pot of chili with warming spices and meats.
Below is a short list of cold foods to get you started. Please limit those when prone to frequent colds:
- yogurt, and
Replace the above cooling foods with the warming foods listed below:
What’s the fastest way to cool the body down and make frequent colds even more frequent?
Use cooling foods excessively. This is somehow obvious, yet many of us, do exactly the opposite.
Here is a common example of healthy foods that aren’t healthy for people with frequent colds due to their cooling properties:
Yogurt for breakfast, a green salad for lunch, and a wheat sandwich in the evening. That menu may be great for hot flushes, but it’s not for warding off common colds.
To find details on food energetics, antimicrobial- and immune-boosting properties of foods as well as simple methods of transforming a weak immune system into a strong-one, follow the steps outlined in Ousting Sniffles, a great read that will teach you how to gain control over your own physiology.
Basement living and frequent colds
Basements aren’t usually warm and cozy. They are more frequently the opposite, damp and cold. If you live in one of them, chances of you getting frequent colds definitely goes up.
Environments play a large role in maintaining our body temperature. That’s not rocket science. You most likely won’t want to go to Alaska or sit under an air conditioner if your body is freezing.
However, there are a few things that may have slipped your attention. These little things may especially be important if you get colds frequently. Is your air conditioner blowing on you at work? Do you turn one on when driving? Do you sit in a drafty room? Do you jump into a cold room after a shower?
There are many more examples, but you know what i mean: stay warm.
3 other reasons for getting sick frequently
Let’s say your BBT is low, but you don’t live in a basement and your foods don’t seem to be excessively Yin. Where do you go from there? How do you trace the reason for your cold body?
Exogenous cold may not be the only reason for low BBT. There are at least four that you should check.
1 – Low Thyroid
Sub-clinical hypothyroid is extremely common. Just because your doctor did not mention it, you should not feel immune. Doctors don’t test for sub-clinical hypothyroid. They only look for only obvious hypothyroid cases.
Sub-clinical means that there aren’t any obvious hypothyroid symptoms and the blood work is normal. 5 That means your doctor diagnoses a healthy thyroid when a thyroid actually is sufficiently slow to lower the body’s metabolic rate.
Despite its innocence, sub-clinical hypothyroid can substantially contribute to low immune system by slowing down the metabolic rate and make your body colder. 6
When should you suspect that low thyroid is related to recurring colds? When not only BBT is low, but also your your heart rate.
You can thoroughly assess your thyroid health with this 4-parameter thyroid test. Treatment may be as easy as taking a few drops of thyroid-supporting nutrients.
2 – Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia is another reason for lowered body temperature. One doesn’t have to be a diabetic to experience blood sugar swings. Poor diet alone is capable of changing glucose metabolism.
But don’t think that low sugar in the blood is due to low sugar diet. It is not. It is due to liver’s inability to release glucose granules on time.
Low blood sugar frequently occurs in people with sugar cravings and people with excess weight. Low blood sugar symptoms strongly contribute to recurrent colds, because it substantially lowers body temperature.7
Blood sugar can be tested at home. You won’t need to set up any clinic appointments. All you need to do is to order a blood glucose testing kit and use it any time you suspect your blood sugar going down: in between meals, when you feel hungry, and when you have strong urges for eating sweets.
When sugar isn’t the cure
Did you know that the most common reason for low sugar state isn’t fasting, but a body reaction to food?
Reactive hypoglycemia can happen when a body goes into a low sugar state in response to ingestion of specific foods.8 This does not have to be anything toxic. You may have had reactive hypoglycemia many times. Your 3 pm habit of nibbling on a muffin may be flagging a blood glucose dip after lunch.
Abnormal sugar swings are very common in people with either excessive or low body weight. The best way to find out how your blood sugar behaves is to start journal-ing energy patters throughout the day. Note down any low and high next to your diet diary.
Once you figure out your patter you will be able to reduce blood glucose ups and downs through dietary adjustments. Better sugar regulation throughout the day can make a big difference to frequency of recurring colds.
Hidden food sensitivities
Low blood sugar does not have to follow a sugar binge. Hypoglycemia can also show up after ingesting a food you have allergies/sensitivities to. 9 If you suddenly start yawning, feel sleepy, or feel that your energy dipped down, suspect your sugar may have just dropped.
If you have the glucose testing kit, use it. If you have a blood pressure monitor, see what it says. If you have a thermometer, test your temperature, as well. See if it either one is off.
Keep a list of foods that cause alteration in your blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Don’t eat them. Eating foods that cause stress to the body isn’t wise. Minimize those foods and minimize the frequency of colds.
Alternatively you can test for hidden food allergies. This may be a simpler way to create a diet that is supporting your health. Don’t be fooled to think that all healthy foods are healthy for you.
Unless you test you won’t know whether you are reacting to almonds, banana, blueberries, yogurt, cheese, soy or something else. Here is a test you should use to uncover hidden food allergies.
3 – Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure also can contribute to more frequent infections. It’s because low blood pressure causes poor circulation, and poor circulation makes the body colder.
Pay attention to your hands and feet. Are they cold frequently? Cold hands and feet may be one of the first signs of circulatory insufficiency.
What’s your blood pressure like? Many people actually don’t know and usually won’t care unless their doctor tells them about hypertension.
But hypertension is not what you should worry about. You should worry about hypotension, a condition that can increase your chances for catching a cold.
If you are not sure about your blood pressure, get yourself an accurate monitor and start testing yourself at any time you feel weak, fatigued, hungry, anxious, and sleepy.
If you see that your blood pressure is consistently low, your best bet would be to look for the underlying causes as well as the simplest, the most effective solutions. See the book Revived! for instructions on how to normalize your blood pressure. Good circulation is a prerequisite to a perfectly working immune system.
Do you know enough to stay in Peak Health?
I have frequent common cold problem and when this happens I also got mouth sores after one or two days of cold
Could you tell me what is the problem.
Age -27 yrs
Hi Manoj, I believe you are referring to cold sores.
Cold sores, just like common cold, are cold by a virus. Cold sores typically show up after the body encounters a stressor, in this case common cold. Cold sores do not show up in people with strong immune system, because the immune system is able to suppress the virus.
Cold sore virus, Herpes Simples, is opportunistic. It lives in the host and only gets activated and when body defenses are compromised. Their massive replication produces a cold sore. You don’t get infected after each common cold. Your lowered immune system just allows canker sores to show up.
As a doctor, you should know that a canker sore is NOT the same thing as a cold sore. They are 2 entirely separate conditions. Also, a canker sore is not herpes.
Thanks for the correction. Yes, canker and cold sore is not the same. I am rewording the previous answer to be accurate. Lay language not always appropriate. Thanks for pointing it out.
So what is the prescribed protection against this.
Many people look for one pill, one solution, and one advice. That’s futile.
The purpose of the article is to help readers understand that recurrent colds have multiple underlying causes, which are different for different people. A good look at your additional symptoms may provide you with a clue as to the source of your demise. You can home test some of the underlying causes as well. Solutions to the individual causes are provided via links to specific articles.
The prescribed prescription is as follows: observe, test, decide on the course of action, and then proceed with the solution. Without knowing the causes…. what are you going to treat?
Can you please supply me with an email address that I cantact you with?
media page: http://drdnaturopath.com/drd-experienced-toronto-naturopath/
Wow, this was really enlightening. I get colds LOTS! I always struggle to stay warm in damp weather and that list of cold foods has ALL my healthy favourites on it!!! I stay slim, but am frequently sickly. Thank you! x
Doctor, I’ve a trouble of cold like for twice in every month..and finally it ends up with a bad phlegm..what can be the reason…
For sure poor health, but without physical, blood work or an interview it is impossible to even narrow down the reasons.
Sir, I have cold for thrice in a week… If it comes my body becomes tired and sneeze comes very often… What can be the reason ND what to do for that problem???
If your body temperature is low, you need to raise it. If the body temperature is high, you may be high in histamine. Histamine is produced by “bad” gut microbiota, hence in order to reduce it, you would have to improve yout gut flora.
DRD, I have been trying to determine why I get frequent colds, and I think you have given me the answers. I am a healthy and active 71 year old male, but the following seem to contribute (as I read from your article]: Low heart rate, low thyroid function, tendency to cold (especially hands and feet). I was taking Armour Thyroid supplements for a while, but stopped because I had itching (possible side effect). Combine all this with the fact that I work for hours in my basement, is perhaps why I get the colds. Thanks particularly for stating that cold actually has a significant effect.
I think you are absolutely right. Basement air which is highly penetrating due to its higher moisture content is very likely a big contributor to the recurrent colds. If possible, move your work upstairs or use infrared heat to boost your microcirculation. Also consider grounding while in the basement. It may be worth the effort. PS. thyroid is seldom the cause, so Armour Thyroid may not be the best idea. The itch is likely due to iodine content of Armour Thyroid. You may be sensitive.
I am a single, 47 year old woman with no children, am in perimenopause and 15 years sobriety. In January I caught the nasty flu that everyone seemed to have. Since then I have had major external stress (death and hearbreak) and seem to get a cold every month. I do have perennial allergies that I am very familiar with and manage the best I can but I have never had a cold repeat itself on a monthly basis. Could it be that the flu and allergies weakened my immune system? Hormonal fluctuations? It’s very frustrating because I make sure I get plenty of rest and my job is somewhat active.
Long-standing emotional stress is very hard on the immune system and can weaken the immune system and antihistamines work by suppressing the immune response. To get out of this vicious cycle I suggest venturing into possibly new to you territory of homeopathic remedies. Make an effort to find a knowledgeable homeopathic doctor in your area and give it a try. Take your prejudices away and you may be surprised. Homeopathy is excellent in removing recurrent effects of emotional stress.