The Hard Facts and Truth About Viruses
Dr. Lauren and I have seen many people over the past few weeks, including our own kids, show up with sniffles, congestion, coughing, and all sorts of things that point to one conclusion – they’re sick!
I can hear you thinking, “You’re a genius, doc. I could have told you that.”
Yes, we’ve all been there. We know what it’s like to be sick and we hate to see our loved ones suffer through an illness. We want to do anything we can to help make them better, but here’s where a lot of us get in trouble. There are some things that we do to address these issues that can actually make the situation a whole lot worse!
The first thing we need to do is determine if we’re dealing with a virus or bacteria. There are a couple easy ways to tell, such as if the sinus drainage is perfectly clear, it’s most likely a virus. If there is any color to it and it’s thick, then it’s probably bacterial. You may have even noticed that it can start out clear and then a couple days later become colored. I’ll explain that later.
You also want to pay attention to the temperature. If their fever spikes high and low, then you should think virus. If it’s high and stable, you’re probably dealing with bacteria.
Why does this matter? This is important because antibiotics overuse is a serious problem. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, but people who have obvious viral issues are often prescribed them anyways. This can not only lead to the development of resistant strains like MRSA but can also wreak havoc on the natural bacterial flora that is inside of us. We have lots of beneficial bacteria in our intestines that help with digestion and regulation of our bowels, and it should also be noted that 80% of our Immune System is due to this flora in our bowels. The antibiotics are very effective, but they can’t tell what is a “good” bacteria and a “bad” bacteria. They all get attacked.
Everyone should print out this chart explaining what antibiotics are effective against and keep it as a reference.
So, what should you do about a virus? Most of the time, you just have to ride it out. Your immune system will thank you for it, trust me! To speed up the process, we have several great products that we recommend to our patients dealing with viruses, such as Immuplex, Virox, and others. (Immuplex is also great for warts!)
If a virus lasts long enough, it can weaken the immune system enough that a simple bacterial infection is allowed to sneak through the defenses. This is when you’ll see the sinus drainage develop some color. At that point, it’s still important to take care of the virus, but you also have a bacterial issue to deal with. Immuplex is still a great choice, as well as Congaplex (which also comes in a chewable form for kids) or Bactrex.
In the same vein, keep in mind that if you or your child has a fever that the fever isn’t the problem! The fever is actually your body’s own solution, the problem is the internal infection.