Archive for Colds & Flu

Natural Immune Boosters for Flu Season

The flu is a miserable virus that strikes anywhere from 5% to 20% of the U.S. population each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually. Symptom of the flu include fever, chills, fatigue, nausea, coughing, a sore throat, a runny or stuffed up nose, headaches, general body aches, and, in children, diarrhea. These symptoms can move beyond mild to debilitating, and if they grow too severe, may even cause death.

image of a man with flu

When is the flu season?

You can catch the flu at any time; however, the season when the virus is most active runs from late October into early May. The peak period during that time is from December to March. Flu loves the cold!

Complications of the flu – who’s at risk?

Most of the time, people who get the flu recover in just a few days, and two weeks is generally the maximum duration of the illness. However, complications can occur that may lead to hospitalization or death.

Because the flu is a respiratory disease, pneumonia is a definite threat, as is bronchitis. The ears and sinuses are also subject to infections.

Even someone who is healthy can get the flu or be affected by flu related problems. Those most at risk are people 65 years and over, expectant mothers, and the very young. People who have chronic health problems may find their health problems worsened by a flu infection. A person with asthma may have increased attacks, while someone with chronic congestive heart failure may suffer an intensification of their condition due to flu.

Natural immune boosters for flu prevention!

Traditionally doctors recommend the flu shot, but even under the best conditions a flu shot only delivers a 50 to 60% effectiveness rate. (This is when the flu shot is a good match for the current variety of flu.) According to the CDC, “During years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed.” For these reasons it makes sense to take natural immune boosters during flu season.

These are simple steps easy for anyone to follow:

  • Eat nutritionally rich foods and exercise regularly. If your body and systems are in good condition, even if you contract the flu you’ll be in a better position to fight it off or prevent complications.
  • Manage your stress. Your body’s resistance lowers when your emotions are out of control.
  • Don’t spread germs by coughing without covering your mouth!
  • A really important point: wash your hands. Use soap and wash vigorously for several minutes. This is considered one of the best protections against flu germs.

Additionally, there are a wide variety of vitamins and herbs that are natural immune boosters.

  • Echinacea – may help boost the immune system and fight infections. Use it when you begin to feel bad and keep taking it for seven to 10 days.
  • Zinc is believed to inhibit viruses from achieving full cell access, so it may offer flu protection. A zinc supplement is fine, but even better is to eat zinc rich foods such as wheat germ, oysters, lamb, lean beef short ribs, spinach, pumpkin seeds and cashews.
  • Garlic has anti-microbial properties, which means it can help fight certain viruses. Try it as seasoning with those short ribs or with a steaming bowl of chicken soup, which is also considered an excellent way to battle illness.
  • Take a vitamin C supplement or eat vitamin C rich foods such as strawberries, lemons, oranges, dark leafy greens, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, or chili peppers.
  • Boost your immune system by using vitamins B6 and B12.
  • Mushrooms also boost the immune system and they can be delicious alone or eaten with other foods.

One product that we like and recommend is Epimune Complex, a vegetarian immune support supplement. This remarkable supplement contains EpiCor® along with maitake and turkey tail mushrooms.

Recorded in use for medicinal purposes in Asia between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D, Maitake mushrooms are natural immune boosters. The mushrooms were made into a powder thought to ease spleen and stomach problems, as well as serve as a calming element for the nerves. Epimune Complex contains a patented extract from the maitake mushrooms called MaitakeGold404. This formula also contains turkey tail mushrooms which are often used in Asian medicine for vigor and energy. Vitamin C is incorporated for its antioxidant value.

This complex delivers strong support for the respiratory system.

The flu is an unpleasant problem to deal with at any time, at any age. To lessen your potential to get the flu, follow the suggestions above. And remember, Epimune Complex can help keep your immune system strong throughout the winter and well beyond. .

The Great Flu Shot Hoax

An image of Great Flu Shot Hoax
Every year around flu season, we’re inundated with recommendations to get a flu shot. But do flu vaccines really protect against the flu? And what about the widely documented flu shot side effects? Are they worth the risk?

Mounting evidence suggests that the effectiveness of flu shots is only fair and is not the protection we’ve been led to believe.

Estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness vary greatly. According to the CDC, one observational study of people aged 50–64 demonstrated a 60% effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza among healthy adults. However the effectiveness level dropped to a mere 48% among people with high-risk medical conditions (Herrera et al., 2006). But it’s important to know that even under ideal conditions the flu vaccine varies in effectiveness from year-to-year.

Here are five reasons to reconsider your yearly flu shot:

1: Weakened Immune System
The idea behind a vaccination is to introduce a weakened version of the virus into the body so the immune system can recognize the intruder and build a response for when the real flu hits. The reality is often the opposite. Many people have observed that previously healthy kids who have received the flu shot develop runny noses, pneumonia, ear infections, and bronchitis more often.

Vaccinations initially weaken the immune system as it fights the weakened form of the virus. Then the immune system is supposed to bounce back stronger. But increasingly, data is starting to reveal a long term trend of weakened immunity from flu shots. This is because bodies that don’t naturally encounter the strong version of the virus have a generally weaker immune response to it and other, similar viruses.

2. Mercury Toxicity
Flu vaccines contain mercury, a highly toxic substance that has been linked to brain damage, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other terrible consequences to the human body. The amounts of mercury in flu vaccinations are within a regulated limit, and have not been directly linked to any conditions in patients who have received the flu shot. But creating a direct link between the mercury in a flu shot and a specific condition would be a scientific feat because of the complexity of the human body. However, it is known that mercury is a highly toxic substance, so why inject it into your body and risk the side effects of mercury toxicity.

3. Overuse is Leading to Resistant Strains
A resistant strain of a virus is a form of the virus that has mutated, allowing it to adapt to new conditions and in essence making it resistant to any medication we can throw at it. By vaccinating most of the population to a certain strain of virus, we open up a vast playground for any resistant strain. The immune systems of those who have been vaccinated wipes out the competition for the resistant strain, and allows it to wreak havoc on the body of that person. The amount of deadly, resistant strains is on the rise: bird flu, swine flu, H1N1, Avian flu virus – all have been in the news lately. Getting vaccinated to the common flu just distracts your immune system from building a natural response to the more deadly, resistant strains.

4. Complications in the Elderly and Immuno-Suppressed
Because the vaccine contains a small amount of the influenza virus, it can bring on the flu. This is especially true for the elderly, the very young, and those with weakened immune response, such as HIV-positive individuals. For these people, getting the vaccine can lead to serious health complications, and even be deadly. A better practice is to maintain overall health to support the body’s own immune response, and to avoid exposure by washing hands frequently. This is much more effective than risking potentially deadly flu shot side effects.

5. Potentially Serious Side Effects
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) This autoimmune disorder occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve cells, which then leads to muscle weakness and in extreme cases, paralysis. In 1976, a “swine flu” vaccine was given to millions of Americans. Several hundred recipients contracted GBS, and 30 died from it. While you would think that the possibility of contracting Guillain-Barre Syndrome from today’s vaccine has been removed, you might be surprised to learn that GBS is still around, and is still linked to flu vaccines. Although the numbers of GBS from flu vaccines are very small, many others develop allergies, suppressed immune systems, and other chronic illnesses from flu vaccines.

Why Take The Risk?

Since flu shot side effects can lead to serious health complications, why not explore the many natural products that can help your immune system ward off the flu naturally. You’ll find your Garland chiropractor is a great resource for finding the right natural supplements, homeopathies and herbs.