Follow link for Dr. Meggie’s 5-minute video on the topic: https://vimeo.com/508586008
There are specific steps I am taking to prepare for the covid vaccine, but first I want to give you some background on why I am preparing.
When you get the covid vaccine, or any vaccine, your immune system is challenged to respond to the contents of the vaccine. That challenge is what creates immunity.
You can think of it as a dress rehearsal for a performance. The more seriously your immune system takes the rehearsal, the easier it will be when it’s opening night.
The 2nd dose of the covid vaccine is a very serious dress rehearsal. Lots of people are reporting feeling cold or flu like symptoms. This is because their immune systems are kicking into high gear.
At Chiropractic First we talk about the difference between being sick and being symptomatic. If you eat something poisonous and then you throw it up, that is an example of your body working perfectly. You may have a symptom, vomiting. But you aren’t sick. Your body is doing exactly what it needs to do in order to keep you healthy. It is expelling poison!
The same is true of having a fever. A fever can be seen as a sign you are sick—but if you have bacteria in your body, a fever is the perfect response for a healthy body. In that case fever is a symptom of a bacterial infection… but it is also a sign your body is doing what it needs.
The same is true of swelling or short-term pain after an injury or many other ways our immune system responds to threats and fights them off. In small does for short periods of time, fever, swelling, aches, and pain can be a very healthy sign that your body is doing exactly what it needs to do.
There has been a lot of talk about the symptoms of the 2nd covid vaccine. There are articles all over the internet, and posts on the CDC and mayo clinic website, about how symptoms after the covid vaccine are a good sign that your body is working correctly. And to a degree that is true. But I want to be careful about drawing a direct link between feeling bad and your body working well.
Fevers can get too high. Swelling can be excessive. People’s response to the covid vaccine has ranged from mild to much more intense.
If you decide to get the covid vaccine, I don’t want you laid up in bed for 36 hours if we can prevent that. If our immune systems are on overdrive or if we have too many inflammatory agents already in our bodies, these symptoms can be more than you really need. Immunology is really complex. But there are a few things you can do to decrease your inflammation.
The main thing that I did in the week leading up to both my covid vaccines was that I cut out inflammatory foods. For me, those are sugar, alcohol, grains and dairy. The other thing I did was make sure I got plenty of sleep.
If cutting out all those foods seems like too big of an ask, then stop doing the things that make your face puffy. This may be eating or drinking, it may be not getting enough sleep, it may be some other activity or behavior. You know your body and how it responds to the world.
If I drink beer, I wake up in the morning and my face is often a bit puffy. The combination of grains and alcohol is really inflammatory for me. It doesn’t mean I never drink beer—it just means I know that if I do, I’m going to be a bit inflamed.
What makes your face puffy? Or, what makes your clothes fit a bit tighter? Are there foods you can cut out that will quickly make your clothes a bit looser? Whatever those foods are— those are the foods that cause inflammation for you.
If you don’t know what those foods are start by cutting out, or at least dramatically cutting back on, sugar and alcohol. This includes artificial sweeteners. If you already don’t eat many of those, cut out dairy and/or grains. Cutting out, or cutting back, on these foods will leave more space on your plate for leafy greens! Make sure you are eating lots of those.
Secondly—get plenty of sleep! Seriously. This one is really important. We don’t live in a society that prioritizes sleep. But it is incredibly important. If you usually get 7 hours of sleep, get 9 for a few days. Just try it. See what happens. Studies have found that increasing your sleep can cause weight loss! Again—the things that make us puffy are the things we want to avoid.
The third thing I am doing to help my body process the vaccine is that I am getting chiropractic adjustments. I got adjusted a few days before the vaccine in order to assure my body was functioning well. I will then get adjusted the day after to help my body process the experience. Headaches, pain in the arm and fatigue are all things that we helped people with after their 1st covid vaccine. And we look forward to helping patients with the symptoms and side effects of the 2nd shot as well.
Please reach out if you have any questions. And talk to your medical providers about vaccinations and managing the symptoms you may have.