Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swine Flu/H1N1 and your immune system

Every year just before the weather turns cooler, a campaign begins geared toward motivating the masses to get the flu vaccine. They always talk about the number of deaths each year, and the number of work days lost, caused by the influenza virus. The big push this year is the H1N1 flu. The name was changed from swine flu to H1N1, because the general public equated swine flu with eating pork.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. Diarrhea often accompanies the flu. The flu shot is an inactivated (killed) virus that is given with Thimerosal (a mercury disinfectant that can result in brain injury and autoimmune disease). Just like all vaccines and medications, there are potential side effects associated with the flu vaccine. Some of the side effects can be very serious, including Guillian-Barr syndrome. This is a disease that damages the bodies own nerve cells, resulting in muscle weakness and paralysis. In my opinion, a much better way to avoid the flu is to maintain a strong immune system. Of course, simple practices, such as covering ones mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing is important, as is washing hands often (with soap). Following a healthy diet (avoiding non-food items such as soda pop, white flour and sugar), taking quality vitamin supplements and drinking plenty of water is essential for a healthy immune system. You may choose to have your vitamin D levels checked also. Research has shown that many people are low on this vital nutrient, which helps control the immune abilities of your body.
Since antibiotics are useless against a virus, medicine has little to offer for treatment of flu, other than bed rest and plenty of liquids. Sometimes pain and sleep medications are ordered. We teach our patients that prevention is the key…... by boosting their immune system with a healthy diet and proper nutrition.

In order to add an additional boost to your immune system, there are several products available in our office to assist your body in fighting off the seasonal bugs. We recommend Lauricidin® (Monolauric Acid) and ImmunoPRP…... And lots of Buffered Vitamin C. Feel free to stop in or call our office for more information on these great immune boosters. Remember that it is easier to stay well than it is to get well!

Enjoy a healthy fall season, and if you need some assistance on how to get your immune system ready for this cold and flu season, give us a call at the office.

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