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Cold and Flu Season-Home Body Health Newsletter, Oct. 20, Issue #003
November 21, 2004
Helping You and Yours to Better Health, Naturally
Learn how to improve your health and that of your family and friends through natural and alternative options, supplemented by education so that you can make informed decisions. The goal is to create optimum health so that you can live life to the fullest.
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Home Body Health Newsletter Issue #003, November 21, 2004
In This Issue:
There are three things you can do for yourself and your family to improve your immune system and fight off illnesses.
1) You can feed the immune system the nutrients it needs to operate.
2) You can stimulate the immune system's natural response, over the short-term or long-term, plus help maintain this response until you are over the illness.
3) You can relieve the immune system of extra burdens by reducing your germ exposure.
What do you do if you are not able to get a flu shot? Don't worry. I was even advised by my wholistic doctor last year not to get a flu shot. For the people that are at risk of dying from the flu, a flu shot may be warranted. This would be the very young, the older population, and those with compromised immune systems. You need to talk to a doctor who keeps up on new findings in the medical field to find out if a flu shot is justified in your case.
Have you heard about the recent controversy of mercury being an ingredient in flu shots? This is just incredible to me. I suspect that this is why my doctor advised against having a flu shot. How can a company or manufacturer justify protecting you from the flu when they are poisoning you at the same time? If you do get a flu vaccine, you have the right to ask for a flu vaccine that doesn't contain mercury. About half of them don't, and the mercury will probably be phased out of the manufacturing process in the next few years.
So, how can you make colds and flu less severe and come around less often? If you have a cold for more than a week or two, your immune system is definitely compromised and you need to support it.
Colds and flu are not caused by germs and viruses alone. Ten people may be exposed to a cold virus, but only 5 get sick. Of those 5, one may get sick for a very long time. What makes the difference? The difference is how healthy and active each individual's immune system is at the time of exposure and throughout the illness, if the person does get sick.
First of all, how do you boost the immune system? Nutrients boost the immune system because your body needs nutrients to activate the immune response system.
What kind of nutrients in what form? As always, I recommend getting your Basic Nutrition First in the form of vitamins, minerals, and protein. You need to get this covered first, giving your body the tools to work properly.
Protein (I recommend a biologically complete soy protein supplement) is very important for activating your immune system. Also included in this basic nutrition should be a multi-vitamin and mineral made from whole foods along with extra Vitamin C in a sustained release formula with bioflavinoids, needed to utilize the Vitamin C.
Your body cannot store Vitamin C, so you need to get a regular supply of it. I recommend a natural Vitamin C that is clinically proven to give your body Vitamin C that can be absorbed and utilized. A Vitamin C supplement that has been heated too much will kill the nutrient. So it might still be in the supplement, but your body can't make use of it.
Another addition should be Vitamn E in a natural form (synthetic Vit-E is made from petroleum) with selenium to increase the effectiveness of the vitamin E.
Other vitamins that can boost the immune system are beta-carotene and Vitamins B6, B12, plus folic acid. Minerals that aid the immune system are selenium, zinc, and copper. You need to get these from natural sources in a form most available for your body to use. If your body can't use it, it won't do you any good.
Check out the About Me Page of my website, FibromyalgiaHope.com. In it you'll find a form you can fill out, without obligation, to find out what kind of supplements I use and recommend. I consider these to be the safest, purest, most bioavailable and therefore the most effective supplements on the market today.
A means of stimulating the immune system is through clinically proven immune-supporting ingredients. Echinacea is a common, well-studied plant that can help jump-start the immune system if you feel like you're coming down with something.
But, I recommend a combination of black elderberry, echinacea, larch tree, and zinc. These each support, enhance, and promote a healthy immune response, giving you much more than echinacea alone. This means your immune system will work sooner and faster, shortening your affected time with an illness. This would be something that you would only take for about a week. The formula that I recommend can be used by children aged 4-12. Be careful about giving herbs to children. Some herbs react differently in children. Always be sure that it says on the bottle that it is recommended for children before giving any herbal supplement to kids.
If you travel a lot, are exposed to a lot of illnesses or tend to be run down often by a busy schedule, there's a unique combination of pumpkin seeds, honeysuckle flower buds, safflower flower, and plantago seeds which is clinically proven to support and stimulate the body's natural immune response process at the cellular level. Polysaccharides are what you are looking for to aid this process, and the brand that I recommend was #1 in amounts of this nutrient as of September 13, 2002. In my opinion, this will only work if your body has the basic nutrients described above to allow your immune system to operate properly.
A final way to stimulate the immune system is through homeopathic medicine. You have to find the formula that mimics the symptoms you are having. These super-diluted formulas will actually increase your symptoms for a minute or two. This wakes up the body (immune system) to realizing, "Hey, I gotta do something about this . . . (runny nose or cough or whatever you are having problems with). Homeopathic medicines work best when you take at the first sign of a cold. Do not wait until your cold is at it's peak and you can't ignore it anymore.
I've also used a very good homeopathic medicine for the flu. I find it harder to catch the flu before it becomes more severe, but if you start to feel funny and you know that either another family member has had it or that it's going around, you can anticipate and diminish the flu. Sorry, I'm still researching to find the best brands of homeopathic medicines for you.
I know of two instances (one with my own child) where a prescription anti-viral medication lessened the duration and severity of Type A Influenza from a week down to 2 days. You must see a doctor and be tested for influenza within 24 hrs of the onset, for best results. Although my insurance wouldn't cover the anti-viral medication, I thought it was worth the money as I didn't have to tend to a sick child for days on end.
One thing you can and should try to stay away from is cold and cough medicines bought over-the-counter. The problem with these is that they will lessen your symptoms, decreasing the body's ability to realize that, "Hey, there's something here that I have to fight off." If you are more in tune with your body and what's happening, you can catch a cold early and decrease the severity by the suggestions above. Then these cold and cough medications won't be needed at all.
The same goes for medication to reduce fever. Babies need medical attention for fevers, but for children and adults, the fever is there for a reason--to help your body fight illness. Unless you are extremely miserable or have an unusually high fever (above 103-105 degrees farenheit), or it lasts more than 2-3 days, let your body do what it needs to in order to get well. This suggestion comes from the book "How to Have a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor" by Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D. I couldn't find this for you at Amazon, so check your local library. I love this book. His knowledge of fever and other childhood illnesses is extensive.
Another way to aid the immune system is by simply washing your hands more. I know you know this, but do you do it? This means washing them thoroughly, several times a day, not just a quick rinse.
An anti-bacterial soap is not necessary and in fact may cause problems in the end. These soaps kill all bacteria just like antibiotics destroy all bacteria. The body has good and bad bacteria in and on it. You want to keep your good bacteria, it has functions in the body.
Besides, if your body never has to defend against any bacteria, the immune system will not know what to do when it does encounter something and will be slow in acting against it. Your immune system learns from experience, so that the next time it encounters a foreign substance that is familiar, your immune system knows what to do.
Anti-bacterial soaps (and chlorine bleach) also destroy the bacteria in septic systems, making it difficult or impossible for the wastes to break down, adding to septic system problems and pollution. Soaps that don't biodegrade in 30 days or less also add a truly significant amount of pollution into our world today.
A quality germicide will kill 99% of germs on surfaces. I use a concentrated germicide, diluted to about 1 Tablespoon in a quart of water. When someone in the house is sick, I spray all of the light switches, faucets, doorknobs, wherever the family is repeatedly touching. I don't have to rinse the germicide and it continues to kill germs for up to 3 days after I apply it. This helps keep illness from spreading around the family.
Mom's, A Special Note for You: If you can keep yourself from coming down with an illness, it can help stop the sometimes continuous cycle of passing around illnesses from family member to family member. Breaking the cycle keeps everyone healthier.
So, get started today to boost your immune system. Quality supplements are the key to results.
That's all for now. . .
I'd be happy to help you. Email me below.
Until next time. . .
Anita Murray 920-382-0680 FibromyalgiaHope.com
Health Disclaimer These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any diseases. The information here is not provided by medical professionals and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.
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