Thursday, December 09, 2010

You can avoid the flu even easier this year....

Today's Post: Thursday, 12-9-2010

In most years, the flu vaccine prevents about 60% or a bit more of cases of the flu – but just in the people who got it that year.

Breaking news: THIS year, there are beginning to be widespread cases of the flu. But guess what! It’s a caused by a B type virus strain that this year’s flu shot prevents! You can really avoid the flu well this year if you get the shot in time.

And there’s more. Two thirds of the people or a bit more who are under 65 still have not gotten a flu shot. (Most people over 65 have gotten a flu shot so the fraction of people under 65 who have not is OVER two thirds.)

This is also NOT a good year to do that. Possibly because they are old enough to have overcome similar viruses years ago, people over 65 hardly ever got the H1N1 flu. But it killed many young adults and children last year; and it is still around this year.

Meanwhile this year’s flu shot prevents and includes protection against the H1N1 flu.

Together these two facts mean that this year you have a better than average chance of getting no flu at all if you get a flu shot this year AND a greater chance of dying from the flu than in most years if you don’t.

And, it’s NOT too late to escape the flu. If you get the flu shot today or this week, in just a couple of weeks, you’ll be protected. You may be able to get one free through your medical coverage and many stores and drug stores have it available for less than $30.

And the flu season has over three months yet to go this year.

I have 5 other topics I’d like to post about today. But this one is so important, I decided to do it first!

Second, there are more other ways known to prevent the flu or minimize its effect if you get it than we knew about in past years.

The shot may prevent 90% of flu cases this year. But even if you got the shot, why not cut your risk by more than half and get over 95% combined protection?

Take over 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. In addition to being less likely to get depressed and having stronger bones and much more, you can cut your remaining risk of getting the flu by a bit over 40% from that alone according to a study I saw earlier this week. (Having kids take at least 1200 iu of vitamin D3 a day has the same effect for them.)

Consider taking a daily probiotic and two or three capsules a day of the herb astragalus. Research has found people who take either, let alone both, have much stronger and effective immune systems and get fewer colds and cases of the flu. (Astragalus also has been found to prevent some cancers. Nature’s Way makes an Astragalus supplement that has the capsules which I believe is both effective and free of impurities.)

The information on probiotics has been known for a while. And, it seems, so has the information on Astragalus. But I just discovered it myself a few days ago thanks to an email from Dr Al Sears.

Regular moderate exercise (and vigorous exercise that’s not overdone to the point of over-training) cuts your chances of getting a cold about in half and make the ones you do get about half as long and half as bad. The study on this came out recently. Flu is similar enough this may also work for getting the flu also.

And, exercise works even more reliably if you also take antioxidant supplements and eat fruits and vegetables high in them. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid and blueberries and walnuts and most other berries and most nonstarchy vegetables and carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, and both raw and cooked tomatoes all help!

Lastly, if you do get a cold or a case of the flu, at least double your normal intake of water. Doctors SAY to do this but most are ignored because they don’t say WHY!

If you get a cold or flu, you will have a fever and feel like hell. So you may miss it if you get thirsty. Plus that will happen much sooner than you are used to because of the fever and the often overdry air this time of year.

If you know this and at least double your normal amount of water you drink and drink it more often, you will still be and feel sick. BUT, you will still be able to function and NOT feel totally wiped out. If you have to, you can go to work or do shopping and continue the things you need to get done.

BUT, if you don’t know to do this and do it, you may well drink less than usual and get dehydrated instead. You’ll be and feel debilitated and weak IN ADDITION to being and sick and it may not even be safe for you to leave your home. You won’t be able to do the things you felt you had to get done or may collapse or be in an accident or wind up in the emergency room if you do.

Worse, your chances of getting a secondary infection or other complication and even dying go up.

Too bad most doctors don’t know to tell people this!

But now YOU know it!

So, if you get a cold or flu or a fever, try to drown it! Drink at least twice the amount of water you normally drink!

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