This is a new series that we are starting at Dr. Larrow's blog. It is a simple, and quick, question and answer session with Dr. Larrow about a current event, current health news topic, or something related to the season. It is not limited to those specifically, but will likely focus on those subjects. If you have any suggestions about Q & A sessions for Dr. Larrow then please post them in the comments below, or use the contact form to e-mail your requests. We'll try our best to find a happy medium of content in this regard. Enjoy!

Staff - Recently, reading a few different articles and discussions about how to treat the flu the other day raised a few questions I wanted to ask you. We are in the peak of the flu season and I’m sure many people are coming down with it leaning on what western society feels are tried and true methods of relieving their ailment. These might include going to see their traditional M.D. for a prescription drug, or taking some over the counter drugs like aspirin or acetaminophen. The latter two have the effect, usually, of lowering the fever of the person taking them. So the question then is this a good idea? Should the person suffering from a flu assume that possibly prolonging their symptoms, and potentially giving the virus a more hospitable environment be a good thing? Or should the person ride out that fever, untouched, as long as possible to let the bodies natural defenses (like said fever for example) take care of the problem?

Dr. Larrow - The body is innately wise and does a wonderful job of fighting off foreign invaders. When we become infected with the flu or a cold the body’s first response is to alter homeostasis as the virus or bacteria will thrive in our normal conditions. The body will create a fever to help destroy, slow down replication, or even kill off the invader. Thus if we take something that will inhibit the body from running its natural course inevitably the bad guys will win out as the body cannot fight off the invaders. As a result people will be sick longer and in some cases the severity of the illness will increase.

Staff - So using the bodies natural defenses is what you recommend. Ok, so are their other, non-drug, methods that one can do to help their bodies to do the necessary, and natural work?

Dr. Larrow - One of my favorite immune boosting tricks is to do wet socks. Yes I know it sounds strange but wets socks on your feet will directly boost the immune system, while also helping the body to fight off the invaders by, again, altering the body’s natural homeostasis, and allowing the body to still be in control of the changes. The wet socks will help increase circulation which then causes an increase in lymphatic flow along with blood flow which makes sure the immune system is on full attack.

I think the best thing we can do is to also give the body a break, take time off of work, slow down, and take a nap so that the body can fight off the invaders. While doing this we also need to cut out the sugar as 1 teaspoon of sugar will knock the immune system down for 4 hours. Always listen to your body. If you are not feeling better within a few days it is always wise to seek medical attention.

Staff - Well thank you for your input on this as I'm sure many have either had questions about this subject, or were unaware of the strain one puts on themselves by preventing the body from following its natural course. You can, of course, find Dr. Anita M. Larrow, ND at this blog, and if you would like to get more information about how she treats patients check out the "How I Treat" section of this site, by just calling Dr. Larrow at (415) 912-9934 to schedule a free consultation, or e-mail her at your convenience.

Thanks everyone for reading, and don't forget to post your comments on the subject matter below. Dr. Larrow will try to answer some of your basic questions here when she has time. If you feel a more private conversation is appropriate then please use the provided contact information.