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Shane: Hi, everyone! This is Shane and Dr. Sarah Duke at Austin Community Wellness. Today is a cool coffee talk because we get to talk about the flu season. I’ve been wanting to ask Dr. Sarah about this for a little while now, so here we go. Dr. Sara, what are your thoughts on the flu season?
Dr. Sarah: So, the flu is not actually a season, flu virus is around all year round.
Shane: Yeah, that’s makes sense. Good point. Well, if there’s no season then why is there an increase of flu cases during this time of year?
Dr. Sarah: The flu season that they discuss and talk about on the news and everything, that is between October and February with the flu season really peaking in February. So, why is this happening? If we look at what we’re doing in between October and February, it’s pretty clear. In October we’ve got Halloween, we’re eating a lot more candy than we’re used to eating, a lot more sweets, partying a little bit more, drinking, that kind of thing. Then we’ve got Thanksgiving right afterwards doing the same thing, Christmas right after that doing the same thing, and then we’ve got New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. So, all these holidays that we have are increasing the amount of rich foods that we don’t normally eat. It’s also increasing the amount of sweets we’re eating and we’re drinking a lot. Not that these are bad things, but these are just the things that we’re doing this time of year and that kind of contributes to weakening our immune system. In kind of starts in October and then continues in November, December, January, and by February everybody’s immune systems are pretty taxed. It’s also really the darkest month of the year in most areas of the country, and it’s cold so all of that combined activity as well as the weather contributes to less vitamin D in people.
Shane: What can we do to sort of get ready for this time of year? Or throughout this time of year, what can we do like if we’re out there indulging to protect ourselves?
Dr. Sarah: Sure, there’s lots of stuff! Green smoothies are great for trying to incorporate into your daily life as much as possible, just so you’re getting those nutrients in. Increasing water intake is a really big deal too. If you’re drinking a lot of alcohol during the holiday seasons, you can tend to get dehydrated. That’s never good for contributing to getting sick at all, whether it be flu, cold, or any kind of virus. Also, increasing your vitamin As, Bs, Cs, Ds, those are all really helpful. Increasing your probiotic intake is great. Getting adjusted and getting massaged increases your overall neurological and immune system, so trying to do activities that kind of gear you toward improving your immune system as much as possible during this season is really ideal.
Shane: Awesome! Okay, well I got a few little pointers and some strategies to use. Of course, I’m fortunate enough to be with you all the time, so we get to talk about these things a lot. If you guys have any pointers, any little tips or tricks or secrets you use during the flu season or to get ready for the flu season leave a comment. We don’t know it all, so share with us if you like. Alright, thanks for talking with us!