Sunday, September 20, 2015

Managing a flu/fever with a chronic illness

glass thermometer
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A few weeks ago, I was shivering under 5 heavy blankets with a fever.  While all bundled up in my bed, I thought back to the last time I was battling a flu.  It was about 2 years ago when I was early in my Colitis journey. I was hit with a stomach bug which eventually triggered a pretty bad flare. Since I was quite inexperienced with how to manage the newly diagnosed chronic illness, I was afraid to take any over the counter medication, I was even afraid to take any natural remedy like oil of oregano or garlic as they can also increase digestion symptoms, so I roughed it out by taking lots of Epsom salt baths. I remember even drinking water hurt my insides but I had to keep myself hydrated with coconut water. I had terrible hunger pangs from not eating for 5 days and ended up loosing a pound a day.

This time around I am more confident how to nurse myself back to health. I believe the year of being on AIP has really healed my gut. My body is much stronger to deal with seasonal sickness. Don't get me wrong, the fever was not fun! I slept most of my day. My children were worried as they watch me shiver but I assured them that I will be ok, whereas 2 years ago, I really didn't know how I would get myself out of the flu.

The million dollar questions about AIP is "how long does it take to heal?" I used to count how many months I was on the protocol, but I don't anymore. I just know that this is the right direction for me to continue to support my health. It is a lifestyle, not a diet.

Besides rest,  here are some of the home remedies I used to help speed up the recovery ( disclaimer: I am not qualify to give medical advice nor can I suggest medication even though the following are remedies )
  • Cell salt: Ferr Phos can help with inflammation like fever in the body
  • Epsom salt bath. 2 -3 times a day and I made sure to stay hydrated 
  • I added Lavender and rosemary oil in my bath and in my diffuser. I am learning more about using essential oils to support my health so stay tuned for more. 
  • I up my Vitamin C supplement to bowel tolerance. This means I increase dosage in small increments ( 250mg - 500mg) until I get loose stool. I have to be careful with this one as I don't want to trigger my UC symptoms
  • I increase my Vitamin D supplements for a few days until I feel improvement
  • LOTS of bone broth
I tolerate Astragalus well if the my cold and flu is a stubborn one. While I was researching for this post, I finally read up more about the TH1/ TH2 pathway dominance theory. There are a lot of information out there on this healing path and we don't assimilate the knowledge well until we are ready for it. I am finally ready to understand more about this theory. It looks like I am most likely ( not proven by testing )TH2 dominant according to the two links by Mickey Trescott listed below. 

Preventative measures 

The following are what I practice to ward off the germs

Oil pulling - removes bacteria/ viruses hiding in our mouths
Neti pot - removes bacteria/ viruses hiding in our nasal passage
Drink more hot teas - hot teas help loosen mucus
Getting enough Vitamin D
Again... bone broth! I find a 10-12 hours simmer works best for me, longer cook time can increase the histamine. This article from The Paleo PI explains why. 

Here is a great article from the Paleo mom about How long is it going to take to? Finding Patience with the AIP

These link shares Mickey Trescott at The Autoimmune Paleo's explanation on the Th1/ TH2 pathway

If you are fighting a flu I hope you feel better soon. Get lots of rest and stay hydrated and if you try any of the remedies on my list, let me know which ones helped.


  1. Great post, Astrid. It will help a lot of people! I'm glad you're feeling better!

    1. Thanks Eileen. I always hope by sharing my experience, I can help others.


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