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Monday, June 15, 2009

Six things you can do to reduce the impact of Swine Flu on your health

"The 1918 has gone: a year momentous as the termination of the most cruel war in the annals of the human race; a year which marked, the end at least for a time, of man's destruction of man; unfortunately a year in which developed a most fatal infectious disease causing the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings. Medical science for four and one-half years devoted itself to putting men on the firing line and keeping them there. Now it must turn with its whole might to combating the greatest enemy of all--infectious disease," As noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association final edition of 1918: (12/28/1918).

My article here is not about how to avoid Swine Flu. It is about how to ensure you do not get knocked around too much should you get a dose of it. There is already plenty of advice about how to avoid it (Washing hands, quarantine etc). What I am about to tell you is what health officials do not tell you.

Swine Flu (H1N1) virus is a relatively mild influenza. Those most at risk of complications include people with:
  • Pre-existing conditions such as asthma and emphysema
  • Weakened immune systems due to factors such as chemotherapy, chronic stress, poor nutrition, poor sleep and medicine such as statins and prednisone
  • The least previous contact with influenza over their lifetime
In my case: If I catch a dose of the Swine Flu, I will welcome it because I am currently in good health and most unlikely to die from the few days of sniffles and aching muscles. I greet the infection with the knowledge that, once I have had this mild virus, I am immune to it for life.

I will then have an innate resistance to this new influenza family.

This is important to me because the H1N1 virus will surely eventually mutate into another variation of the H1Ni and there is the slight, but real, possibility that the new bug has similar qualities to the 1918 Spanish Flu that wiped out millions. My immune system will be primed and prepared for the onslaught.

Here are six things you can easily do to reduce the impact of the virus on your health:
  1. Ensure your vitamin D levels are kept up over winter. We have a "Flu" season because population D levels plummet over winter. Keep yours up with a vitamin D supplement which you can get off me for just $12-$15. Adults can take 4,000iu per day, children 1,000iu per day during winter. In three years of testing vitamin D levels, not one person has returned an "optimum" result and many have been seriously deficient - is there any reason why you should be bucking the trend towards deficiency? High vitamin D levels may reduce your lifetime risk of all cancers by 60-70%, so what are you waiting for?
  2. Ensure you have a good intake of vitamin C with fruit, vegetables and a daily supplement - Ester C is best because one dose per day is enough. Daily intake can be about 2,000mg per day over winter. Kiwifruit are rich in vitamin C and going for as little as $1/kg right now. As an added bonus, vitamin C improves energy levels and is great for hair, skin and nails.
  3. Boost your trace minerals. New Zealand soils are deficient in many trace minerals, including boron, cobalt, selenium and zinc. So far, everyone I have tested for zinc levels (an indicator for several trace minerals) have returned a deficency result. Low levels of zinc and selenium lay you wide open for inflammation and infections such as sore throats and poor healing. I use two supplements to correct these deficiencies: AgeWise Blood Sugar Support and Kordels Selenium ACE. Dosages depend on a person's needs. these supplements have the added bonus of reducing the risks of developing prostatisis (if make and over 40yrs), they may improve male and female virility while reducing sugar cravings.
  4. Take a daily Lysine supplement. Lysine is an amino acid that has antiviral properties. It is used for reducing the ferocity of the cold sore virus. It works when taken daily over the longterm with similar benefits for other viruses, including infuenza. As an added bonus, it is great for skin, hair and nails as well!
  5. Get an infusion of quality protein over the day. Your immune system needs protein to fight the Good Fight. Good athletes and gardeners know that you get better results if you dribble in the nutrients, including protein, rather than give the same in a single big hit each day. Rather than have all your protein in a single meal, divvy it up into three or four servings over the day. Whey protein is the King of proteins. You can get a pot of whey off me. Sprinkle a level spoonful on your breakfast cereal and mix with smoothies and other dishes during the day.
  6. Get plenty of sleep. Seven to eight hours per day. Go to bed by 10pm, have the lights out by 10.30pm and be asleep by 11pm. It is during the hours of 1-3am that your body produces peak levels of Growth Hormone (This is why children and teenagers need lots of deep sleep). In the adult, Growth Hormone repairs and revitalises the body that has been exhausted by a hard day's work. Sex is the recommended knockout drug for those who are slow to fall asleep. With all that vitamin D and trace minerals, you will be feeling more like it and hopefully getting plenty of it one way or another!
If I catch Swine Flu....

Should I take Tamiflu?

Virulent it may be; but the Swine Flu is still a relatively mild virus. If you are in good general health and if you have put my nutrition and sleep advice in place early on, there really is no need to take Tamiflu - unless you want to add to the billion or so dollars Roche International is making out of this pandemic. Do not be fooled: Tamiflu is not some harmless drug. It has the potential for serious, harmful side effects. As with all drugs; take only if you really, really have to. Be guided by your doctor on this one, if you are unsure.

Should I take medicines like Panadol (and Tamiflu) to lower my fever?
If you are in good general health, there is no need to take any medicines for a mild flu virus. One of the tools your body uses to kill off a virus is to cook it. Viruses do not tolerate high temperatures, so let the body get on with the job without interference, use cold compresses to relieve the headache and wait for the fever to break. Once the fever breaks, you are on the way to a full recovery and robust immunity to that strain. Good old fashioned chicken broth will assist your recovery by supplying a rich brew of minerals and protein - including collagen.

Do I need to take antibiotics?
Antibiotics work against bacteria - not viruses. Influenza is a virus, so do not take an antibiotic unless your doctor has advised you do (If you already have a lung disease like COPD an antibiotic may be prescribed to lower the risk of secondary bacterial infection). If you are recovering from the flu and then find your health deteriorating for a second time within a week or so of the first infection, it is possible that you have contracted a secondary bacterial infection. Go see your doctor who may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Be sure to complete the full course of treatment.

So, what has changed since the influenza pandemic of 1918 which killed at least 20 million people?
It is interesting to note that the 1918 flu pandemic grabbed hold of humanity in the festering trenches of the 1st World War. This was the perfect breeding ground for the killer: Young men crammed together in the most appalling conditions, immersed in mud and excrement, surrounded by rotting bodies, fed shit for food and deprived of sleep - all the while being shot at, bombed and gassed. Then the survivors were herded into makeshift troop ships and transported home to spread the bug to their stressed and exhausted families.

This reminds me very much of the way modern industrial pig and chicken farming operate - Roll on more variations of Bird and Swine Flu! Perfect conditions for breeding Super Bugs. The next one may by more akin the 1918 killer virus.

If we are really serious about minimising the possibility of breeding killer pandemics, we would do more about the way we treat our animals.

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Wayne said...

most people who died in 1918 died from teh inflamatory complications of the flu, causing fluid to leak into their lungs killing them from pneumonia, there were no antibiotics to stop it
many people living in cities didnt ahve good access to fresh fruits and vegetables which would have boosted their imune systems with their anti oxidant content.
there wasnt the amount of transport available to ship large amounts of fresh produce for the masses in the cities.
fruit especially would have been in short supply.
the advent of vaccines also coincided with the dawn of transporting fresh produce to the cities, its debateable whether vaccines can take all the credit for giving immunity to viruses.

Wayne said...

one of THE most important actions you can do for your health in winter, is GET OUTSIDE AT MIDDAY, every day you can, if its not freezing, wear short sleeves and heaven forbid, shorts and get your fix of Vitamin D,
regular vitamin D from being outside, is like a fresh set of spark plugs for your whole metabolism.

wmodavis said...

Excellent article. Thanks! I noted and linked to it on my blog ( Hopefully many will read and heed what I called a 'Dynamic Duo' combining 1) mystery dispelling and, 2) practical steps. Keep it up

Wayne said...

fevers stop virus replication dead in their tracts, it interferes with the whole mechanism viruses use, so by reducing a fever you are not only stipping your budy from destroying viruses you are also encouraging the virus to keep replicating massively slowing down the process of getting rid of the infection