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Liz asked...

I keep getting colds.

In the last 12 months from last March to this March I have had 8 colds with 3/4 bouts of sinusitus. I have had a cold every month from last October. The last cold started 23 January for 2/3 weeks, then I developed a very bad sore throat and a cough which lasted a further 2/3 weeks and then another bout of sinusitus which I still have. I did go to EMDOC at one point but they just suggested inhaling Vick and said there was nothing more that could be done as it was a viral infection. I have used a Vick nasal spray, this had no effect at all, I have been steaming as well with salt water this has no effect either. I have been given several different antibiotics too, but my body reacts badly to these - HELP PLEASE!! Any suggestions will be gratefully received. Thank you.

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The answer

We are constantly being exposed to new viruses and other potential microbial infections but if our immune system is in good working order then we can usually manage to avoid most of these.  It is not uncommon to go through a period of months with lots of new infections after getting physically and mentally overtired which results in a  heavy colds or flu like illnesses. This then causes the immune system to run on empty for a while. To boost your immunity try to avoid getting overstressed, exercise regularly providing you don't have an active infection and eat the correct foods. Although exercise is known to boost immunity too much heavy endurance exercise can result in low immunity so be careful not to overdo it.  Keep your weight down by avoiding fats or sugar and try to eat foods containing vitamin C, antioxidants, selenium, zinc and vitamin E such as fruits, nuts, pulses and green vegetables.  If you feel that your diet is lacking then it may be worth taking multivitamin supplements. Once your immune system is up and running again then it is important to stick to these principles to prevent spells of recurring infection.

 

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