Protecting Your Bio Markers During Cold and Flu Season
Updated: Oct 23
The hardest time of the year is here...cold and flu season...get all the tissues, electrolytes, soup, but be careful when reaching for the Vitamin C and Cold Medicines.
Of course there are times when it is absolutely necessary to take certain medications, some aliments just need them. But if you can use an alternative way to help a cold, it could be really supportive for your bio markers.
Let's talk about Vitamin C. Obviously, it is important for your immune system and can help you when you're not feeling the best. Maybe daily you take Vitamin C to stay ahead of the game to prevent getting sick. Then, a cold hits and maybe you want to up that dose to assist your body in the healing process. Which of course is totally fine and a very logical thing to do. Although, it is important to be aware of the side effects taking a high does of this supplement can have on your chart.
The goal with Vitamin C, like in antihistamines, is to dry up all the mucus that is causing the congestion you may be experiencing. As it drys up all the stuff you may be coughing up (ewww, but it is what happens), it actually can have the same effect on your cervical fluid. When taking high doses the supplement it doesn't always strengthen your cervical membranes it actually can weaken them causing your body to not produce as much mucus when gaging your fertility.
With the Creighton Model Fertility Care System, we actually use a Vitamin C protocol when trying to dry up a situation of excess mucus. With all that being said, you can take Vitamin C when you are sick or on a daily basis. But if you're in a situation where you are trying to get pregnant, be aware of what Vitamin C could be doing to your cervical mucus.
Now that we have talked about what can dry up cervical mucus this cold and flu season, let's talk about what could actually increase it.
One of my go to medications is Mucinex. Each fall, without fail, I get an upper respiratory infection and laryngitis. Since I unfortunately get this every year I know what works for me and what doesn't. But I also know what I need to look out for when it comes to my chart. The idea behind this medication is it makes mucus, whether it be from congestion or your cervical fluid, thinner allowing it easier to treat. Thinner mucus, from a cervical standpoint is a good thing. It is stretchier and gives the sperm a better chance of passing through. There have been studies done, where when women take this medication, in some cases over 50% of them saw an improvement in their cervical mucus and even some were able to become pregnant.
We should note not all women will have a positive response to Mucinex. It is just important to be aware of this fact before you reach for the "good stuff". Each woman's body is different and complex in distinct ways. In a situation where a you are trying to avoid pregnancy, it is important to be aware of this side effect. Make sure to be extra vigilant in your observing because you could be seeing more mucus than normal if you are taking this medicine.
Again, we are not saying you cannot take these supplements or medications. Really we are just exploring this topic in order for you to be aware. But if you are concerned in any way, there are some alternatives to medicine when you're not feeling your best.
(As always please consult your doctor before doing anything to help yourself feel better)
If you are concerned about your Vitamin C intake, try finding sources of Vitamin C in your foods. Although it can sometimes have the same effect as taking the supplement (like eating an insane amount of oranges everyday), eating something processes differently than taking a supplement. Reach for an orange first thing in the morning or maybe a kiwi, either way try to eat a small amount of Vitamin C rich foods through out the day. Also adding, more garlic, Tumeric, ginger, or elderberry into your diet can also help your immune system prevent and fight infection.
What if taking something like Mucinex is causing you stress, try some natural ways to clear up your congestion. My favorite way is a steam shower or bath. Not only does it help me feel better but it is so relaxing. I have also seen the benefits of a humidifier with essential oils in helping my keeps feel better. Other remedies we have found to be helpful are, drinking lots of fluids, gargling with salt water, and sleeping in an elevated position.
Needless to say, this time of year has its challenges when it comes to sickness. And it is important to understand what you are putting in your body, before you do it. When you are someone who is charting their bio markers, be extra vigilant when battling a cold or the flu. Make the best decision for you and create the best path forward to help you feel better.