Experts weigh in: Are there more natural ways to treat the flu?
Oklahoma City, Okla —
Naturally protecting your immune system from cold and flu should start long before symptoms do. Some health experts said it can be as simple as making sure your vitamin levels are where they should be.
According to Keith Bishop, a Clinical Nutritionist at Flourish Pharmacy, "A high dose of vitamin C may reduce the risk of cold and flu. Researchers found that students, and actually, military that are under a lot of physical stress, if they took at least 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C, they had fewer colds and flu."
Herbal medications like Elderberry are also options to help prevent sickness, but it's important to get a professional opinion before treating children.
"Especially with children,” Bishop said, “They can't communicate the problem, their symptoms can be different, and you need to seek help any time you have a question or concern."
Bishop added, the pharmacy can offer options on medication that will help customers support their immune systems and help them fight off infection and get over the sickness faster. In fact, he and a local doctor discovered medical research that suggested, patients who took 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 at the first signs of flu, were relieved of their symptoms as early as one day later.
Compared commonly prescribed medication such as Tamiflu or Xoflusa, which are said to reduce symptoms by one to two days, overall.
As with any medication, Bishop warns against side effects and risks.
“Vitamin D, we do have to be careful about that. High doses increase the absorption of calcium, and then long-term use could create some kidney disease issues," He said.
Vitamin D treatment is also not an F.D.A. approved treatment for flu and might be better used in addition to prescriptions, instead of by itself.
After talking with a doctor, if you choose to treat your sickness naturally, medical experts strongly suggest carefully watching symptoms and if you begin to get worse, always seek medical help right away.