February 2010

Is it still Flu Season? Treating Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Author: Dr. Gerald C. Renato

Your child is, flushed, listless, has no appetite, has diarrhea, vomiting, and a runny nose, is congested and sounds like a Saint Bernard. Is this still the flu?

We hear this every day. Some people take comfort in that other children are also afflicted. There seems to be some kind of safety in numbers. The other thing that we as a society have been taught is that this child is sick. There is no question. This is “sickness.”

But wait. Let’s look at this: Your child has a fever, and that is a good thing! It is his/her body’s way of “burning” the bug. It is also the result of all the necessary body activities kicked into high gear to fight for survival. All this extra work produces extra heat—fever. It is that simple. At the same time, the eyes take on a glassy appearance—the result of being continually washed with tears to cool down the cornea, which is very heat sensitive. In its wisdom, your child’s body may want to get rid of this germ really fast, thus diarrhea and vomiting may start. There isn’t a quicker way! This is good!

Your child may have increased breathing. It is simply another portal of exit for the germs that have invaded his/her body. As breathing and respiration also increase, your child literally exhales the invading organism faster. You’ll notice that the skin is moist and clammy—another method of exit for the bug.

You notice that your child has no appetite, even for McDonald’s. The reason is that the body’s energy is geared towards survival and is on emergency standby. There is no energy wasted digesting food.

There you have it—the logic behind the scenes. Pretty amazing isn’t it? In case you didn’t know this, your nervous system, that amazing computer complex that runs all of you, is responsible for all this wondrous activity. It is the system that causes your immune system to spring into action to protect you any way it can. This is not “sickness.” It is an expression of health. It is your body doing exactly what it needs to do in order to regain your health.

When a child is feeling like this, parents have the compulsion to intervene with this process unknowingly: cough suppressants, anti-fever medications, antibiotics, etc. We have been carefully taught that a child needs these drugs to be healthy. NOT SO!! Your child simply needs no interference.

There are a number of things you can do, however, to help your child while his/her body is “doing its thing”:

• Have your child checked by a chiropractor to make certain his/her nervous system is functioning optimally so it can handle this “sickness.”
• High doses of vitamin C. For a young child, I recommend 1000-2000 mg/day for a week. For adults, 5000-7000 mg/day.
• Lots of liquid! Water is best, but getting kids to drink lots can be difficult. You can use diluted fruit juice as well.
• Lots of rest.
• Echinacea in drop form in a bit of juice, for a week.
• Zinc lozenges.

In the event that your child is not improving on his own in a week, it means that his immune system is weak and crisis care may be needed. Call for more information.

Dr. Gerald C. Renato is a licensed chiropractic physician and has a local practice in Bluffton (Patient First Chiropractic and Wellness Center). 843.706.2378

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