Why Fall and Winter Is Cold and Flu Season

Fall finally decided to make her entrance to southern California on the evening Halloween.

It was atypical of her to do it with a downpour though. The trick or treaters, some layered for the cool evening and other with lightweight costumes, scattered when the rain started. The rest of the weekend was chilly and we finally turned on the thermostat and put on an extra blanket on the bed. I felt the chill again today and it reminded me that fall and winter also means cold and flu season.  I don’t do flu shots – instead I do the things I know will build and keep my immune system strong. 

There are quite a few reasons why some people get sick more often than others.

Understanding these reasons can help you avoid situations where your immune system will be compromised, causing you to be more prone to catching some bugs…and I don’t mean the kind kids catch in the bug catcher. 

How many of these six reasons do you think play a role in your immune system being compromised? 

  • Most people spend a majority of their time indoors during the cold weather season. Enclosed environment and close proximity with others encourage the spread of germs.
  • High-sugar, high fat “comfort foods” and holiday fares can weaken the immune system – sugar, in particular, can suppress immunity.
  • Stress caused by the holiday season induces the body to produce corticosteroids, which suppress the immune system.
  • Most people don’t get enough sleep during the holiday season, causing an increase in cortisol level and a decrease in immunity. Cortisol also makes us crave sugar, which suppresses immunity.
  • Shorter daylight hours can cause “winter blues” – low psychological states can suppress the immune system. Do you get enough sun time?
  • Dry weather reduces the moisture level of mucous membranes in the nasal passage, which are important in preventing unwanted bacteria and viruses from entering the respiratory system.

A lot of people understand that they get sick easily because their immune system is weak.  What they don’t get is how to boost it.  Next time we’ll get into the best way to boost your immunity…stay tuned!

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