Short Red Hair Woman Blowing Her Nose

I went to bed last night with a stinging nose, sore throat and sore ears, here we go I thought! Sure enough I’ve woken up this morning with a full on head cold!

So what’s the story, it’s February for goodness sake! Why do I have a cold now?

It’s simple really, the answer is stress.

In times of chronic stress (unrelenting stress), the adrenal glands are instructed to pump out cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone, and it’s job is trigger certain mechanisms in the body to try to restore homeostasis, a fancy word for normality. Cortisol raises blood glucose levels and elevates the heart rate, in order to get more oxygen, glucose and nutrients to the cells ready for fight or flight. This is a good thing, as long as the threat quickly passes.

Back in the day this cortisol response would allow us to run away from the bear or fight the enemy. These days we are running from different stresses, such as deadlines, traffic, over-scheduling, sitting all day, a junk food diet etc. Modern day stresses tend to hang around, and that puts a lot of pressure on our body’s ability to stay healthy.

Another thing cortisol does is it supresses the immune system. This is because when we are in fight/flight mode (sympathetic nervous system) the body is sending all available resources to the muscles. The immune system, digestion and reproductive systems are put on hold as non-essential in a time of threat. The priority is immediate survival, not having a baby, digesting a meal, or fighting off a passing cold.

Last week I had a cold sore, and a touch of eczema (first time in years), so I knew my immune system was under pressure from stress.  When you combine the expectations of christmas, a car accident, my special needs son starting prep, and the usual daily stressors, is it any wonder really. So it probably wasn’t the best time to start up distance running again! Lol! Has that ever happened to you, you start a new fitness regime only to get sick 2-3 weeks later?

Time to take stock, my body is forcing me to slow down.

What to do?…..

I’m dosing myself up on zinc and vitamin C, and sitting out in the sun for the vitamin D and gentle detox.

For lunch I’m having a big bowel of vegie soup, full of love and comfort. I’m using turkey broth from the freezer, made from the remains of the Christmas turkey. I’ve got fresh vegies lovingly grown and donated by my friend Kristy.  (Kale and zucchini). There’s vegies from our garden (silver beet and squash) and then what ever was in the fridge; carrots, corn, beans and broccoli. All up about three cups of vegies – lots of antioxidants and vitamins to fight off infection.


Also pictured are some throat lozenges containing Manuka honey, olive leaf extract and lemon- all good antimicrobials. I bought these for my daughter last winter, but typically she didn’t like them! I’m glad though to have them stashed away for a rainy day so to speak.

For stress I’m taking magnesium and B vitamins, having a quiet day, sitting in the sun, and yoga last night was a bonus. (It’s good to do a mix of exercise types, rather than over- doing one type). I’m taking care of myself. Hopefully this cold will soon be a thing of the past.

I hope you are keep well

Jen 🙂