Is it okay to get colds or flus?

I think many of us have this misconception that if we are truly healthy, then we wouldn’t get colds and flus. Sometimes patients tell me that they never get colds and flus and want me to see that as a badge of honor that they are healthy.

My response to that is…..

It’s okay to get sick. It’s okay to get colds or flus. I call it exercise for your immune system. Every time your immune system fights off an infection on its own without any interference or suppression, your immune system gets stronger. It makes more antibodies specific to that infection and our army, our natural defenses gets bigger, more specific and more effective.  We should be able to fight off an infection in less than a week and we can get sick as frequently as once a season. If our colds last longer than 1 week or if we are getting sick more frequently than once a season then there is a problem with our immune system and we need to work on strengthening it.

If we are not getting sick at all, it can mean that our immune system is suppressed. That viruses or bacteria are coming into our body and our defenses are not being activated to remove them from our internal environment. This is an indication that there is actually a problem with the immune system.

Sometimes we just get a bit of sniffles or a tickle our your throat but it doesn’t turn into a full blown cold, this is typically your immune system seeing the virus and attacking before it becomes more problematic. Now this is a sign of a strong immune system.