How Not to get the Flu if you have a Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid Hormones play an important role in our body’s health. They are involved in regulating metabolism, and are vital for growth, development and also proper of various body functions. People who have thyroid issues especially low thyroid also have poor immune function and thus are more susceptible to infections, especially viral infections. 

Flu season is here and you might have already heard that there have been several cases of flu. It is vital to know how you can prevent the flu specially is your immunity is compromised because of poor thyroid function.

Now if your immunity is compromised than chances of getting the flu is higher for you as compared to anymore else. So I always warn my thyroid patients to be careful in the flu season. Also what I have seen is that my thyroid patients takes longer to recover from flu once they get it and are much more sicker during that time.

The bigger question is can you do anything to prevent the flu.

And the answer is yes there are things which certainly decrease your chances of getting the flu. 

Things Thyroid Patients can do to prevent Flu

There are various things that can be done to help prevent the flu. 

  1. Diet: With most of my thyroid patients, I recommend doing an autoimmune diet which is low in processed food and high in vegetables and fruits. So for preventing flu the same diet will also be useful. Very important to have as many colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet. Different colors in your diet give you different phytonutrients which increases your immunity and help you fight infections. 
  2. Stress: Stress is poison to your immunity. Whenever our body gets exposed to stress whether it is emotional, or physical our body’s immunity gets weaker. And during this time when our body is vulnerable, the flu virus takes over our body. It has also been shown that meditation or other stress reduction techniques boosts your immunity. So reducing stress and incorporating some kinds of deep breathing or meditation practice will keep your immune system in good shape. 
  3. Zinc: Zinc is an important mineral which helps keep our thyroid in good health and also supports our immune function. Thyroid gland needs Zinc to function properly and most people who have thyroid disorder needs Zinc in supplement form to support their health. During winters it becomes even more important to take zinc as zinc can help you fight against the viral infections specially flu virus .So if you have thyroid issues and not taking zinc, it is a must have supplements especially as it also helps to prevent flu. 
  4. Echinacea: Echinacea is an herb which has long been used for treatment of colds. Echinacea improves your immunity and also has antiviral properties. This particular study showed that echinacea was equally effective as a treatment of flu as compared to oseltamivir which is antiviral medication.It doesn’t have any side effects and can be an effective way to reduce the risk of flu, especially for people with compromised immunity. 
  5. Probiotics: Probiotic work in the gut, and improve the gut function. But it is now proven by research that they play an important role in regulating our immune system also. Probiotics have shown in research to support our immunity and can help us fight against the flu virus. So a good probiotic with lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species can be a great strategy to keep flu away from you. 
  6. Vitamin D : Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining our body immune function. Vitamin D also supports our thyroid health. So people with thyroid issues should take vitamin D to keep their thyroid healthy and at the same time this important vitamin can support their immune system and help them prevent getting viral infections like the flu. Most of us these days are deficient in vitamin D so makes it even more important to take this vital vitamin on the regular basis specially in winters when our body is at the lowest level. 

So the patients with thyroid disorders have altered immunity and are susceptible to infections more than other people.

In order to keep their immune system strong and not get the flu there are simple things that you can do that can be very helpful.

The above recommended things are low key and also have other benefits to your health besides just preventing you from flu. 

We will see how this flu season looks like but if you prepare your body before hand your chances of getting flu will get reduced significantly. 

References:

Dietary Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415 and zinc oxide stimulate immune reactions to trivalent influenza vaccination in pigs but do not affect virological response upon challenge infection.Wang Z, Burwinkel M, Chai W, Lange E, Blohm U, Breithaupt A, Hoffmann B, Twardziok S, Rieger J, Janczyk P, Pieper R, Osterrieder NPLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e87007.

Effect of an Echinacea-Based Hot Drink Versus Oseltamivir in Influenza Treatment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Multicenter, Noninferiority Clinical Trial.Rauš K, Pleschka S, Klein P, Schoop R, Fisher PCurr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2015 Dec; 77():66-72.

Kawahara T, Takahashi T, Oishi K, et al. Consecutive oral administration of Bifidobacterium longum MM-2 improves the defense system against influenza virus infection by enhancing natural killer cell activity in a murine model. Microbiol Immunol. 2015;59:1–12. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Goto H, Sagitani A, Ashida N, et al. Anti-influenza virus effects of both live and non-live Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92 accompanied by the activation of innate immunity. Br J Nutr. 2013;110:1810–1818.

Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida HAm J Clin Nutr. 2010 May; 91(5):1255-60.

How Not to get the Flu if you have a Thyroid Disorder

About The Author

Dr. Anshul Gupta, MD

I am Dr.Gupta, a Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine physician. I like to write about Functional medicine approach to managing different diseases and want to empower people to reclaim their health through this modern approach. Come join me on this healing journey.

How Not to get the Flu if you have a Thyroid Disorder

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