As summer begins to wind down and the kids are back at school, the flu is back on people’s minds. Major universities have set up quarantine dorms for sick students and state governments are considering mandatory vaccinations. The questions to ask are, ‘Are these concerns valid?’ and ‘What do I need to do to prepare?’
First, the regular flu is something that I do not worry about if I know I have taken precautions to keep my defenses strong. Besides the obvious of washing your hands often (just use regular soap — anti-bacterial soap creates bacterial resistance), and avoiding people who are sick, this begins with vitamins A and D which can both be found in Cod Liver Oil (along with the added bonus of Omega-3 fish oils). Considering that 85% of us are CLINICALLY DEFICIENT in vitamin D, nowhere close to optimal wellness levels, most of us are very vulnerable. How do you know if your vitamin D level is optimal? Get a simple blood test. If it’s low, supplement for a month and test again to make sure the amount you were taking was enough for you. This step is very important. Not everyone will build up their vitamin D levels at the same rate or with th e same dose of supplementation. For some, 2000 additional IU’s of D per day will be enough. For others it will take 6000 IU’s of D. We have several supplements (tablets, drops and capsules) for vitamin D. We don’t recommend the Cod Liver Oils found in the grocery stores as all of them (we’ve researched this) have been chemically treated to remove toxins from less than clean sources of cod.
Second, the swine flu may be easy to catch since our immune systems do not recognize this strain, but it is not a severe form of the flu. It is a mild flu that should be defended against in the same way you would for the regular flu. Echinacea is an excellent herbal way to strengthen your immune system and can be used to reduce a bout of the flu should you catch it. Good quality echinacea is not so easy to find. You can test for the active component by letting a capsule or tablet sit on your tongue for a moment and see if it makes your tongue tingle and feel numb. High quality liquid echinacea does this in an instant when I swallow it and bothers my tongue for a good 5 minutes, so I prefer the tablets — easier to ingest! We stock those in the office if you need some.
Third, do you have chronic congestion, sinus problems or allergies? These are a breakdown in your defenses against the flu and other bugs. We can help you shore up your defenses and break your addiction to the tissue box or allergy medications. Many cases of chronic congestion are simply constant low-level infections of the sinuses. Antibiotics are usually the wrong treatment for sinus infections, according to the nation’s top diagnostic clinic, The Mayo Clinic. Their research shows that FUNGAL infections are to blame 70% of the time. Antibiotics may make these patients feel better, but they actually stay sicker longer with this treatment. We can test you in our office for these types of infections and tell which type you have. This way we can give you the anti-fungal or the antibiotic treatments with non-toxic things like purified garlic extract (no smell) and clear out your sinuses correctly the first time.
Sometimes chronic, year-round congestion is caused by irritation in the digestive tract causing excess histamines. We can test for this as well and give you treatments that get to the source of your symptoms. Why take medications endlessly for a runny nose when the problem may be an intestinal irritant that your body needs a little extra help with?
So if you’re concerned about swine flu, make sure get your Vitamin D levels up. If you’re worried about a weak immune system, get on a good Echinacea supplement. If you know you’ve got allergy or sinus problems, let us help you clear that up before you catch something worse!
Is The Flu Shot For You?
We live in an antiscientific world!
Today we hear marketing phrases like ‘evidence-based medicine’ when in reality, far less than 50% of medical techniques have ever been scientifically validated. Not to say that they are bad or don’t work, we just cannot say that they are ‘proven to work’.
Lets take a look at what scientific research tells us about the regular flu. The Cochrane Collaboration is an organization that publishes evidence-based reviews of medicine. If they say a therapy works, its been proven beyond a doubt in many studies. The Cochrane Collaboration has reviewed the effectiveness of the yearly flu shot and found that it does not reduce the number of doctor’s visits in young children. In other words, with or without the flu shot they will get sick just as often each winter to the point where they require a doctor’s visit. The Collaboration also published this: seniors living in nursing homes and living independently, did not have any reduced mortality by using the flu shot. It doesn’t save lives there either. So the advice of giving the youngest and the oldest a flu shot to save lives is not based on scientific evidence.
Once again, this just tells us that the flu shot does not help these people. It does not tell us why. It may be because they have weak immune systems and the flu shot does not change this. That is just one hypothesis.
Personally, we don’t get flu shots. We just keep our vitamin D levels up with cod liver oil each winter. We both work around sick patients all the time and I never get a cold unless I really run myself down (the last time was after a 250 mile bike ride!). If you decide to get a flu shot, I recommend you don’t get anything but the mercury-free one. 20% of each year’s batch is preserved without the mercury additive (which has been removed from childhood vaccines since 2001).