38 answers

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired!

I am desperate for some kind of solution here. I have been sick off an on since October. Whatever is going around, I catch, and I just can't seem to recover. I am better for maybe a week before the next one hits. The week before and of Christmas I was down with an infection (either sinus infection or bronchitis...maybe both - the dr. just gave me antibiotics because it was clear I was just going to keep getting worse). I finally started to feel better last week when I started getting a sinus headache midweek, and this weekend, I've just been miserably congested.

I've been doing everything to treat what I'm catching: steam, saline nasal spray, cough medicine (if applicable to the cold of the moment), sudafed, etc. As a pre-emptive strike, I have also started taking vitamin C and a probiotic supplement in addition to my regular multivitamin. I try to get as much rest as I can, and schedule "me" time. However, I've been so sick, I haven't been able to exercise since October, and it is really getting to me. I eat healthy, keep as clean a house as possible (without going overboard on disinfectant), wash my hands regularly, run the humidifiers (keep them clean)...I'm doing everything I'm supposed to!

It's killing me - I'm using up my sick time, dipping into vacation time, and just feeling totally ineffective personally & professionally because I'm sick ALL the time! Airborne hasn't done a thing, so that hasn't been a solution either. Any thoughts? Please send help.

-kat
ps- My daughter hasn't been getting sick nearly as often. She's had one cold through all of this! I also have a really supportive husband who had been just shaking his head all weekend because I'm down again. It's to the point where it is just absurd.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Holy cow! What an overwhelming response. Thank you all so much for your good thoughts & advice. I seem to be almost out of the woods, though I'm still recovering from the last bout. I've weeded through all your suggestions and have tried a few, particularly the dietary supplements, which seem to be making something of a difference.

Again, I really appreciate all the good thoughts & advice. It's also just nice to know that there are so many strangers out there so willing to help! Thanks again.

Featured Answers

I could've written this about a month ago. I have a 2 year old girl and a 4 month old boy and was sick constantly after his birth. A good friend recommended that I take Vitamin D rather than Vitamin C. She's a yoga practitioner and has a relative who has a PhD in nutrition and said the latest research shows that Vitamin D does a better job of boosting the immune system and in the winter folks often don't get enough Vitamin D. So far it seems to be working for me.

Good Luck!

Chronic fatigue Syndrome can sneak up on Mom's. Especially if you've got symptoms of lost weight, constant sore throat, tired all the time, irritability etc... If not sounds like you need to get some blood work done.

Rest up & Feel better

More Answers

Your one sentence description under "A little about me" says it all. You're probably not getting enough rest. Any possibility of cutting back work hours a bit or getting help with the house work?

Hi Kat,

I had similar issues about a year ago-- I caught every 'germ' within a mile of me. I found acupuncture to be very helpful in improving my immunity, energy level and overall positive outlook. Hope this helps!

E.

K.:

I know alot of people who have had similar illnesses which just linger and linger. I feel your pain. Sounds like you are trying to do the right things. Continue with drinking plenty of fluids and eating right. But, also are you sleeping enough. Rest is vital to recovery and most people simply do not get enough. Stress is very harmful to the body and you must try to limit it. I know today's world makes it difficult to live at a healthy pace, but, do try. Also try to do a little excercise even if you are tired (a short walk) sometimes we are lethargic from lack of activity and fresh air always helps. If your symptoms do persist or worsen go back to your doctor. Though unlikely more serious conditions can lead to this inability to recover from illness. The length of time you have been sick does not fall outside of the range of normal even though it does not feel normal to you. If you have severe headache, fever or other pain seek medical assistance immediately.

J. L.

Please learn more about Tahitian Noni Juice and the new beverage called Hiro Vitality that we have to give your immune system an extra boost. I live by this Hiro Vitality beverage, especially when I feel stressed or symptoms of a cold or flu. It has noni juice and lots of whole herbs. Funny thing is that it is only 10 calories and it is filled with noni juice, vitamins, herbs, and antioxidants. I drink 1-2 cans whenever I filled flu or cold symptoms and instantly I get relief. I mean literally I feel better within hours and take no medication. My 2yr old son has also greatly benefited from this product. If you would like more info, you can either visit my website at www.tni.com/1049768 or call me at ###-###-####. Hope this info helps!

Check out the netti pot, Oprah show. There is instruction and a picture. It is a saline wash, and seems to be very effective.

Hi K.,
My girlfriend swears by an over the counter medication called Zicam. When you feel a cold coming on you take this and it is supposed to work wonderfully to prevent getting a full blown cold. Have you tried "Emergen-C"? It comes in a packet you mix with water or juice, it a vitamin mix.
Stay positive and just focus your thought on feeling better, Spring is almost here!!

You need to boost your immune system. This is great advice. I hope it is okay to post this on here. I am new here.
http://naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/10_ways_t...

Hi Kat, have you tried acupuncture or any other alternative treatments?

M.

Hi K.,

I have a friend who was congested all the time and it turns out that it's a wheat and dairy allergy. She avoids dairy and wheat and is fine, but if she eats one of them, she starts getting clogged sinuses again. You might want to try a dairy and wheat-free diet for a week and see if it makes a difference.

Be well,

A.

Hi K., has your dr done a complete blood work-up? If not he/she should check your white count. Also maybe get checked for lyme disease. Your immune system must be compromised & they need to find out why. Good luck ~ D.

You mentioned that you were on antibiotics. Did you eat yogurt with live cultures to get your gut flora back on track? Watch out for MSG, sugar sources, and chlorinated water, as they will all throw the gut into further imbalance. It is SO important to getting your immune system back on track. Old fashioned soup stocks made at home with chicken or beef bone are awesome too. Adding shitake mushrooms, garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, astragalus and thyme make it a powerful (and delicious) immune booster. Make a huge batch and freeze in 2 cups quantities so you can use it for a rice base or other small meals.

You might also want to consider putting some essential oils in your humidifier. I would suggest thyme or myrrh for their antimicrobial properties.

Hey K., I totally understand where you are coming from. In 97 I caught a virus that attacked my immune system and after being hospitalized and house bound for 3 months- I spent the next 8 years trying to recover. I caught everyhting and was always sick. I agree, you do start to feel frustrated with your self and the situation. I found a line of vitamine and wellness products that have totally changed my life. The biggest thing for me was the absorption rate of the vitamines- most sold over the counter have about a 24% absorbtion rate, the ones I use have over 90% absorbtion. That makes a huge difference in what your body is getting for vitamines and nutrience. Also I found that sometimes I would get cold like symptoms when I cleaned the house- I found that I had allergies to the cleaning products I was using. Since switching them- I feel sooooo much better. Often we don't even realize when something is an allergy because we can get flu like symptoms. (I have more info on that if you are interested)
Lastly, I help combat the onset of a cold with an immune booster. I use the one from the same company I get my vitamins from. This helps alot! I only use it when I am starting to feel sick and usually by the next day I am feeling much better.
God Bless

Hi K.

My name is S.. I think you might have whooping cough. I had the whoop and I sounded just like you. It took a year and a half to get better ( no worries the reason it took so long was because I didn't know I had it )They thought I had bronchitis or alerges or whatever. I was so miserable I can't even but it into words. Even though this is a old time sickeness there has been a resurge about 25% of adults get it. whatever you have don't just settle for an unknown. Good Luck!
Be Well
S.

Hi K.,
sorry you are having such a hard time of it! I am a public school teacher so I'm around a virtual germ incubator. Though Airborne can help if you take it early in the illness, it doesn't work as well once the germs have taken hold. Not only that, but you're pretty beaten down at this point from the sound of it and your body's defenses are tired. Aside from the well known practices of hand washing and drinking lots of fluids, I do have some ideas for you that might help you break the cycle now as well as prevent this from recurring every year. First, you probably know the importance of diet and getting enough sleep. But there are other things that are just as important as the multivitamin and Vitamin C. I take mega doses of a product called E-Mer-Gen-C. It comes in a little packet that you put into 4 oz of water and each packet contains 1,000 mg of C along with a few other minerals. I take a high dose because of a connective tissue problem and had to find the right amount for me....too much causs diarrhea. I also take CoQ10, an antioxidant, acidophillis, a probiotic, Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3, 6, and 9), as well as a few others that are anti-inflammatories for the connective tissue stuff. I see an acupuncturist as well. That part of it is the most helpful. I could go in there feeling like death warmed over and leave feeling sort of refreshed and rested. I never thought I'd go to an acupuncturist, but now that I have, I consider it a art of my 'health plan' If you are anywhere near Newton, I can give you his name. Another thing you could try to relieve the symptoms of the sinuses is a Neti Pot. It looks like a little watering pot. You use 1C distilled water and 1/4tsp of non-iodized salt. Warm it up a bit and then you tilt your head over the sink and pour the water into one nostril until it comes out the other. It sort of loosens the mucous in your sinuses. If you're really bad, get a syringee, mix the distilled water with the salt and add a tincture of echinacea and goldenseal...about 10-15 drops. You tip your head back and empty a syringe full into your nostril and let it flush the sinuses....it will try to go down your throat, but you should spit it out.

And my favorite of all is Yogi tea. You can get this at Whole Foods, (or as I like to call it, Whole Checkbook), or even at Shaws Wild Harvest or Stop & Shop. Get the Cold Season variety as soon as you start feeling symptoms. If you already have the symptoms, just keep drinking the tea. I will admit that it's not the best tasting stuff, but it works! I let mine get cool before drinking it so I can sort of chug it.

Sorry for being long winded, but I have done all of these things and I am hardly ever out of school for that kind of illness. Good luck and I hope it helps you!
K.
ps...if you do have allergies, the Neti Pot or syringe will help that too.

Hey K.,

That is so frustrating! There's nothing worse than constantly being sick.

I shop with an online store that sells products that don't release bad chemicals into the air of your home, which could be contributing to your constant illness. They also sell great vitamins and supplements to build up your body and immune system. Let me know if you'd like more information - it's a wholesale club that requires a referral from a current customer.

Healthy thoughts to you!
D.

its all about the exercise- even if you feel like a corpse dragging yourself to do it, its really the onl thing that cna get your body back in line. I was having the same issue, cold after cold after cold...the exercise seems counterintuitive, but its ends up boosting your immune system

Hi K., did anything happen that upset you when you first got sick? How is your work life? How do you deal with the responsibilities at home and at work? How is your love life? All questions to ask when you just can't seem to shake being sick. You seem to have "your nose full"! Or in other words, are you dealing with a situation in your life right now that is simply too much to handle? Do you need help and can't seem to ask for it or even get it? Wheninfections will repeat themselves over and over it is most often a sign that something wants to be changed, otherwise you wouldn't be so run down... Be truthfulto yourself, you'll find the answer.
Good luck,
A.,37, mother of two (7 and 5 1/2) formerly from Salem,MA

Have you had any tests run to see if its something more serious? I would go to a specialists and have tests run.. blood , urine, etc. I had someone in my life who was getting sick all the time for years and she just found out that she is allergic to wheat. Good luck!!

Hi K., It sounds like your immune system is not performing at it's best. There are studies that indicate that chemicals in our home cleaning and personal care products can affect our immune system as well as cause many of the symptoms you are describing. Here are some of the study groups and the effects they found.
Studies released by The California Public Research Group, The Mayo Clinic, The Harvard School of Public Health and The Canadian Lung Association report that the effects of these chemicals which are found in our home cleaning products and personal care products, range anywhere from headaches & depression, to allergies and asthma, from eczema & rosacea to birth defects & psychological abnormalities, From fibromyalgia & lupus, to Alzheimers & Parkinsons, From ADD/ADHD, to irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis and Cancer.
Also, the vitamins you are taking may not be effective because of the way they are made.
I know of a company that has home cleaning and personal care products that do not contain harsh or harmful chemicals AND vitamins that are made with a patented process to assure absorption.
If you would like some information, please contact me at ____@____.com

Hi K.,

Sorry to hear you are struggling with so much illness. Sounds like your immune system has tanked... no medic needed to see that one! I would recommend checking out The Healer Within You Wellness Center... Dr. Pam Halton is amazing and she provides various services that are wholistic, non-invasive, and basically help your body to heal itself... which is what it's designed to do anyway. You can call her at ###-###-#### or check out a listing of some of her services at http://thehealerwithinyou.com/ I would highly recommend speaking with her about Network Spinal Analysis since this work is amazing at improving the health of the nervous system which in turn promotes a stronger immune response. She is amazing... my family is under care with her and my son who is High Functioning Autistic has had many improvements over the past 6 months since he's been under care. I'm happy to share more about my personal experience but would definately encourage you to contact Dr. Pam and speak with her... I think you will be happy with the results... it's time you get your health and life back! Best of Luck! ~ R.

Hi K.,

It seems like you are trying everything possible. I was pretty much like you where it seemed I caught everything that came around. I used to be very up on nutrition and supplementation and when I met a met a gal that told me about a nutritional supplement and that you mixed it with water. I liked the idea that it was in liquid form as your body absorbs liquid in about 20 minutes and is absorbed at 98%. Pills have about a 20-30% absorbtion rate. She asked me "Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?" So, I felt I had to respond to your request.

Nutrition is the very key to building your immune system so the body can renew it's cells. You need a supplement that is bioavailable and synergistic and absorbed at the same rate. Different nutriments have a co-inhibitor that optimizes each nutriment. Calcium isn't aborbed into the body unless you have vitamin D and vitamin D isn't effective unless you have magnesium; and vitamin E isn't optimally effective unless you have Zinc and Zinc isn't effective unless you have the correct absorbtion of Vitamin C and Copper. This is why you need a synergistic and bioavailable formulation.

If your cells aren’t healthy, your tissues aren’t healthy; if your tissues aren’t healthy, your organs aren’t healthy; if your organs aren’t healthy, You’re Not Healthy!!! If you’re not Healthy, You Are Not HAPPY!!!!

What I take is a multi-nutritional supplement that is in a powder awarded the first US Patent on its formulation. You mix the powder with their sports drink--Lemon or Orange that you mix with a cold liquid. This way it is in your system in 20 minutes unlike a pill that could take hours before it is dissolved enough to be absorbed and is processed to go thru the digestive system. Taking a liquid nutritional you can regulate the amount of nutritional intake and spread it out to take it at least every 4-6 hrs to keep a regular steam of nutrition in the body.

Our bodies build up toxins in our system from our own free radicals, environmental, pharmaceutical and life style choices and you need to detoxify your cells. You need to flush your body of these toxin by giving it optimal nutrition, because our bodies want superior nutrition to rejuvinate and regenerate our cells and will expell the toxins. If you give your body optimal nutrition your body will respond like it was designed to do...HEAL!!!

Be Healthy.

Sandy G.
Winthrop, MA

Hi K.,

I went through something about 5-years ago, symptoms different than yours. I had watched my father, at a young 20+ age, diagnosed with MS, so here I am thinking history is repeating itself. The symptoms are so varied and hard to diagnose. Thank god the doctor said I was run down and possibly was also having an allergic reaction to something in the home. I started purchasing safer products from my local natural food store where they also sold safer cleaning products. Later I became a member of an on-line store, where the products are actually more economical and I was able to save money as well. About a year ago, I learned that scientist and physicians are now learning the products we use to clean with as well as some of our personal care products are compromising our health. This even includes make up. As women, we do most of the cleaning, we wear make-up and our skin absorbs whatever is in these products; we absorb toxins just like a sponge absorbs water. I would really consider getting rid of your cleaning products with the ammonias, bleach, phosphates etc.

I work with a team of moms and dads who educate others about toxins in the home. Look at the link below and you will be amazed at what is happening under your sink and in your cabinets. See what can happen when you polish your furniture and what can happen when you spray disinfectants around your home. This was in the Canadian news a few years back.

http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/home/cleaners/

To see the video, go to the link above and then look 1/2 down on the right and click "Watch the Story." I was really appalled by what I saw and learned, especially about the disinfectant because we are told to use this around our kids; spray the room, disinfect their toys etc. It has a pesticide in it.

Hope you feel better soon.

Maybe mono, did they test you?

I could've written this about a month ago. I have a 2 year old girl and a 4 month old boy and was sick constantly after his birth. A good friend recommended that I take Vitamin D rather than Vitamin C. She's a yoga practitioner and has a relative who has a PhD in nutrition and said the latest research shows that Vitamin D does a better job of boosting the immune system and in the winter folks often don't get enough Vitamin D. So far it seems to be working for me.

Good Luck!

K. - I have had my cold since before Thanksgiving. It wasn't too bad at first, but as soon as I came back from the Christmas holiday to work, I went to see our on-site "RN" who told me it was just a really "bad cold" and to take sudafed (the kind you sign for over the counter) and mucinex. I did that for a week - got worse. She then upped the sudafex to 3x a day (from 2x) and also recommended saline nasal spray. A week later I was back and she prescribed Flonase nasal spray (prespcription steriod spray). I was back a week later (now week 4) and she prescribed augmentin. I've now been on the augmentin for almost a full week and am only slightly better. The only thing that gets me through the night to sleep is Vicks nasal spray (although by this point I am probably doing more harm then good still using it - but I need to sleep) and my steam vaporizor. I just talked to one of my friends today who had it for 6-8 weeks and had to go through 2 rounds of antibiotics before he could breath at all. The only thing that truly works for me is "exercise" (any major body movement) - I walk around during meetings so I can breath. I feel your pain. Hang in there. Maybe you need more antibiotics. Best of luck to better health.

HI K....

I don't know much about it.. But it sounds like your immune system has been compromised somehow. I would look into that & then ask your Dr. for possible causes! Good Luck, and I hope you feel better soon!

K.

Have you tried supplementing with an antioxidant??? We generally do not get a lot in our daily diet... These are extemely important to fight sickness and cleanse our bodies.. I have studied nutrition heavily and redily reccomend some my e mail is ____@____.com... Good luck!!

H. P

Have you tried sitting in a steam room or using saline spray? I find those both to be good when your immunity is down. I was going to mention probiotics, but I see you've already started taking them. Those are probably one of the best things you can be taking. Also, have you considered taking echinacea, my vegetarian friend swears by these :) I hope you feel better soon.

Hey Kat!

I know how you feel! I have been dealing with the same since September 23rd! Most of the colds/sinus issues/etc out there are all viral, so there is little we can do medicine wise to help. However, I have a few things that are working GREAT for me!

First, you have a 15-month old!!!!!! And you work!!!! You are probably not getting as much rest as you think you are, and your hormones are still involved! If you are stressed your resistance may be down as well. You are also coming off the Holidays which can take a while to bounce back from.

Does your daughter go to day care or another type of care situation while you are at work? That also may be where your exposures to germs are coming from. I would not go overboard sterilizing your home as we need to build up immunities, but it sounds like you are being consistent about keeping on top of it. Don't forget your car too! This time of year with the windows closed, it can be like a little test tube in there!

Instead of Airborne, I use Arbonne's Get Well Soon supplement. It has a triple echinecea formula and kicks butt! If taken at the first sign of a cold coming on, I usually avoid it. If I take it the first day, I notice that it is usually gone within a few days instead of lingering on.

Your multivitamin may need to be changed too. If it is the one you took prior to having your daughter, it may not be meeting your needs now postpartum.

The other thing I would encourage is exercising through it as much as you can. I think getting out of your routine may also be a factor to your resistance.

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired too and these are the changes that I have made that seem to be working. I hope these suggestions are helpful to you.

Hang in there and let me know if you need a shoulder!

C.

I was "chronically" sick for several months and at my wit's end when I finally consulted with a naturapathic doctor for help. I've been following her regime and I am happy to report that I have not had a single illness in months despite being exposed to all kinds of germs. For daily maintenance and to boost immunity, take a cod liver oil supplement (Nordic Naturals or Carlson) daily. Drink a cup of "Yogi Tea Defense" with echinacea and take "Emergen-c" drink supplement daily. If you feel cold or flu symptoms coming on start taking Oscillococcinum, which is a safe, natural homeopathic remedy and up your consumption of Emergen-C and Yogi tea. All these items can be found at a health food store and are well worth the money. Additionally, the naturapath kept reinforcing that I need to avoid refined foods and processed flour and sugar and to consume organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. I understand your frustration, because I also use to feel like I was never going to be well again. I didn't want to even leave my house because I knew that I would probably catch whatever was going around because I ALWAYS did. It was getting ridiculous! Follow this regime and I promise you that you will be a new woman and can start living your life again.
Good luck!

Yes, your immune system is weakened. I have gone through it as well. Good choices are the Occillium (sp?) when you feel something coming on and it IS safe. Echinacea (tinture or teas) for two weeks only rest for a week and then on again. It will lose its oomph if taken all the time.

I would start with building your immune system too. Have real chicken broths with shitake mushrooms and garlic in it. Get the Pacific chicken broth if you don't make your own. Have lemon, ginger and honey tea. Try to stay away from any other citrus (except limes) when you have head congestion, it makes it worse (really!). Stay away from sugar as much as you can it depresses the immune system, yea, a hard one.

In your humidifier, and when you shower add 3-5 drops of PURE Tea tree Essential oil to the water. (in the shower put it on the back of the tub where it will warm up but not go down the drain) Don't use the stuff that is blended with a 'Carrier oil" (read olive oil or almond).

When you have time, I'd say get Rosemary Gladstar's book 'A Family Herbal' and she gives very good ideas for this type of stuff and for the whole family. Some are hard to do some are very easy. And the reference in the back is great!

I wish you health and happiness!

Just so you know, Air Bourne doesn't work and you do not want to take more than 1500 of vitamin c in a day, also ask your doctor to check your immune system you may have immunodyfisency, ( Sorry don't know how to spell it right) make them do all the blood work they can, not to scare you but they might find something, and fast before you do the blood work it will come out better.

Chronic fatigue Syndrome can sneak up on Mom's. Especially if you've got symptoms of lost weight, constant sore throat, tired all the time, irritability etc... If not sounds like you need to get some blood work done.

Rest up & Feel better

Hello K.,

We had similar symptoms several years ago, it turns out that we had hidden water damage and massive mold exposure. Our immune systems took a beating. Please check for water stains, high humidity, and / or other sources of indoor allergens.

Once we changed our environment, (including personal care items, cleaning without harsh chemicals, and boosting our immune systems) almost all of our symptoms disappeared, however we are still sensitive when re-exposed to inhaled irritants.

A thorough check of your environmant and a check up with a specialist seems in order.

Good Luck,

DebC, mom of 3

i would take prenatal vitamins cause they're loaded with Zinc, and everything else you need, alternatively there is a chinese herbal mix called cold snap you can buy at whole foods. I would also try to take a gentle yoga class 2 times a week, even if you are sick and find an acupuncturist. it sounds like your engergy cycles are off

I think you need to find out What is going on, do you have seasonal allergies? if that is the problem and it goes into a sinus infection you are not treating the cause. 1st go to an allergist and find out what you are allergic too..we had my 5 year old tested and he is allergic to all shrubs, trees and mine (lol no pet mouse)which I am also..so we know when we both have problems what it is.

I think you are taking too many different over the counter meds and they are messing with your body. You coudl have food allergies and that could keep you feeling bad too.

Look into getitng tested by an allergist and go from there. My Mom woudl get migraines form her allergies..they can invade and make you sick all over.

Good Luck!

Hi K.. I am so sorry and I feel your pain. My little one was in daycare full time while I worked and we were sick dozens of time each winter. It got to the point where my employers didn't seem to care anymore or get it. Because you are all out in the public world you will get sick but continue to do things to limit your chances. Try bathing your child and yourself in the evening as soon as you get home and get your spouse to do the same. I found when I bathed my child more, she got sick less, just use more lotion. As for yourself drink more water when you are at work and try using antibacterial hand wash when you are out at work or the grocery store etc, for both of you. I would recommend still exercising if you can, I find that my illness is shorter if I get some exercise, just don't overdo it. Also I just saw on Oprah about a neti pot which helps clean out the sinuses. Google it. Good luck and know that you are not alone!

K., I was feeling the same way for a while and I started seeing a practitioner of energy medicine. It's a nontraditional type of health care, but it has really worked for me, that and working on changing my diet. My dr. is a chiropractor also, so insurance applies! He is in Exeter, NH but if you are interested, I can find out about someone in your area. I don't know how it all works, but it does!! Let me know if you want more info!

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