1

votes

Why are we still getting sick?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 08, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Hi all,

Our family has been mostly (80-85%) paleo for the last 3 years (time flies!). I would say we do cheat sometimes with candy and cheese but other than that do not have any processed food on our table. Kids (3 and 6) still eat cereal, rice, etc. but also eat vegetables and fruit. We also walk barefoot most of the time including winter and do icy water-dousing a few times a week (I do it every morning). I would say that our health improved in the last years (blood results definitely improved - my triglycerides dropped from 849 to 101 in a matter of months and cholesterol is normal now) but we still getting sick. I understand that this time of year everybody get sick but still surprised that we do to. About 10 days ago we all got sore throats and running noses and only now start to recover. I should note that most people around us ARE sick and have taken at least a few days off work while we only suffer with sneezing and light coughing. I probably shouldn't even complain about it but would like to know your experiences. If you've been paleo for more than a year - what's your record? How do you deal with that? I also noticed that since we started paleo I worry more about my health and even a light discomfort makes me think the worst because of the expectation that I should be healthy because I am paleo - it's more psychological but still - anybody with same symptoms?

All the best,

barefooter

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 08, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Read this response: http://blog.vitamindcouncil.org/2012/11/08/study-links-low-vitamin-d-levels-to-longer-lifespan-did-we-hear-that-correctly/

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on November 08, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Start a new thread with that question...it'll get lost on this page!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 08, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Ditto. See my answer below.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 08, 2012
at 03:42 PM

How's your vitamin D status?

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10 Answers

7
F694fc245d03b64d6936ddb29f4c9306

(2613)

on November 08, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Paleo can improve immune system functioning, but it certainly doesn't make you invulnerable to pathogens! I definitely get sick much less often since I started Paleo, but I do get sick about once a year. Just make sure that you're following good hygiene habits (e.g. washing out water bottles), and you'll be fine.

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 08, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Get your Vitamin D3 blood levels tested. Sun & supplement to 50-60 ng/ml. (60-80 ng/ml if you have any allergies/inflammatory conditions.)

Once my husband & I got our levels over 65 ng/ml, we haven't gotten sick at all (3 years now.)

More info at www.vitamindcouncil.org

1
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on November 08, 2012
at 03:46 PM

I get sick much less than I used to and I would guess my immunity is much stronger because I don't get always sick even when the rest of my family (non-paleo!) does, and when I do get sick, I improve much faster than I used to. But I don't go barefoot nor do I douse with icy water -- so no idea if those help or not. I have no firm idea as to why I get sick less, but imagine taking vitamin d and fermented cod liver oil are big helps, as is eating bone broth & liver regularly.

I've said this here before, but I do think that it's quite possible to devise a paleo diet* that involves various micronutrient deficiencies, and for that reason alone I think it is worth tracking your food intake for a week or so in something like Fitday to make sure you're getting everything you need. I was very surprised to see how many nutrients I wasn't getting.

*and don't mean to pick on paleo, you could presumably have deficiencies in any diet, but does seem like anything that constricts the range of foods you eat is potentially problematic. If nothing else, all the processed wheat products people give up were undoubtedly fortified, so when you give them up, you might solve one problem and cause another

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 09, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Do germs cause us to become ill?

"Well, we all live in balance with trillions of germs in our bodies from soon after birth throughout life, including some nasty bugs, and we only get ill when other factors and stressors disturb this balance. Germs usually act more like scavengers than predators. At a deeper level germs don’t really cause illnesses, but they certainly feed on them, and they intensify them by triggering our immune system to create inflammation—e.g., fever, pain, redness and swelling. Every inflammation, in children or adults, every cold, sore throat, earache, fever and rash, is a “healing crisis.” A healing crisis is an intense action of the immune system to cleanse and detoxify the body. It is a strong effort by the human spirit to remodel the body so it can be a more suitable dwelling." - Philip Incao, MD

I just really like that response and thought I'd share it. Got it here http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/component/option,com_crossjoomlaarticlemanager/Itemid,772/aid,2276/view,crossjoomlaarticlemanager/

No reason to think that these intense healing responses are negative or bad things. They can actually be looked at in quite the opposite light if they leave you in a better state of health. I mean I agree you should look at vitamin D and such, but healing and remodeling is an ongoing process (long as your alive) and I don't think a couple bouts with a cold/year should make you think any less of your health status.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 08, 2012
at 08:50 PM

Kids get exposed to a lot of stuff if they are in school and day care. It takes them time to build up their immunities, and I used to catch EVERYTHING from my kids.

I must say, however, that I still have one child in elementary school and one child who lives at home but who attends university. Both have gotten sick a few times a year (the university brings kids and their germs from all over the country, then they bring more germs after each vacation!), but I have NOT been sick.

This is something of a minor miracle to me. I used to get sick constantly, from anything my kids brought home and from what my DH brought home from the office, and from my office mates via their kids! In the past two years, I haven't even had a full blown cold--typically I had 5 or 6 a year, with several bouts of asthmatic bronchitis!

I'm 100% grain free (except on my birthday)and eat fairly clean primal low carb (I eat dairy). My DH and kids are not primal--they eat grains and a good deal of sugar. I was always the weakest link in the chain--it really says something that I have not been sick in quite a while.

0
D342e276aebe1ce6666f22821f5f2f91

on November 08, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Thank you for all your answers. I do confirm that my health as well as my family's improved a lot. And as someone mentioned we do not get really sick. I haven't had a fever for the last 3 years although before it 102-103 was a norm for me 2-3 times a year.

A few here mentioned Vitamin D level. Mine is within the range recommended by doctors. Ironically, I just found an article about it -- new research states that lower your vitamin D level is longer you'll live

Longer life link to low vitamin D

Any comments?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on November 08, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Start a new thread with that question...it'll get lost on this page!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 08, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Read this response: http://blog.vitamindcouncil.org/2012/11/08/study-links-low-vitamin-d-levels-to-longer-lifespan-did-we-hear-that-correctly/

0
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on November 08, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Even before I went Paleo I would go for a year or longer without a single cold, then BAM! One year I'd get sick 4-5 times. I don't doubt that Paleo is healthy and might improve immunity, but hi, with children and the weird stuff the bring in the house, no one is impervious to all of it. I wish I had a better answer than "that's life", but that's it.

0
Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

on November 08, 2012
at 05:38 PM

I think it's almost impossible to not get sick if you have kids that age. The kids themselves need to build resistance to viruses & bacteria and also their immune systems are still developing. I know when my son (now 13) got a cold he was instantly much more snuggily and it was impossible not to get infected. Also if they get colds, they are up in the night & that breaks your sleep which is devastating to staying on top of things.

Having said that nowadays if he gets a cold I am confident that I can have much reduced symptoms if I get it. Partly that's paleo, but it's also because I'm much stronger that I used to be, so if your fitness regime doesn't include lifting heavy things then I would recommend you think about adjusting it. I can't prove it but I think having more lean mass helps me to fight germs.

Kids' immune systems get much stronger by the time they get to 8-10, so with healthy eating you are probably not that far away from a largely cold free existence.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on November 08, 2012
at 05:34 PM

Improved nutrition --> improved immune function status. I also think that Vitamin D3 helps a lot with reducing cold frequency. The last time I had a cold was over a year ago, but I had stopped taking my vitamins for about a week.

I wonder though, whether we still catch colds but our bodies just fight it off better when we eat and supplement better. When I had labs drawn at my physical a couple months ago, my wbc was a little off. Perhaps I had a cold but my body was in a good enough nutritional state to fight it off with no symptoms noticeable.

0
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 08, 2012
at 05:20 PM

I get sick a lot less often, and when I do get sick, it's not nearly as devastating as it used to be -- but being paleo or primal, even 100%, doesn't mean you'll never get sick. It just means that your body will have an easier time getting OVER being sick, with fewer incidents of prolonged, chronic illness developing out of acute sickness.

I do have a lot fewer problems with things like pollen allergies and stuff -- it took about 4 years of bone broth, raw honey, and homeopathic support, but now, when everyone else is miserable with allergies (especially seasons like this ragweed season in Texas, where pollen counts have been through the roof!), I haven't had a sniffle -- just the occasional "gee, my eyes are a little itchy today".

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