Why getting sick is important for your long term health.

As the flu season falls upon us, many of you will be looking for what to do in order to avoid or prevent a cold/flu from happening. While this is a very normal approach to take for your health keep this in mind, we are suppose to get sick, and how you manage yourself while you are sick will have a dramatic outcome on your long term health.

Lets start with the concept that getting sick is good for you. The analogy that I use with my patients goes like this, think of forest fires, they occur during the year to come in and burn out all the invasive (pathological) species that are growing in the forest. Nature turns up the heat to burn them out so new native species can regrow even stronger. This is the exact same thing that happens when you get sick. Your body creates fever to burn out the virus/bacteria that is invading your body. The last thing that you want to do when you are acutely sick is put out the fire. We use to put out forest fires as soon as they would occur and you know what happened, the invasive species would take over the forest. If you stop fever or use suppressive medicine (antihistamine, antibiotics, flu vaccine, anti-symptom therapy) to stop the reaction of acute illness, you will create significant long term problems in your health, such as cancer and autoimmune disease.

I highly encourage you to manage your acute illness with non-suppressive therapies. Allow yourself to be sick and take the time to get better. Use natural medicine such as homeopathy, hydrotherapy, herbs, etc…  to help the body move through the infection rather than stopping it. Eat the correct nutrition, get sleep, stay hydrated. I can not overstate the importance of how you manage your health when you are acutely sick and the consequential impact that it can have on your long term health.


Naturopathic physician who is educating people about their health in order to empower them to practice self care.