Sunday, November 01, 2009

Worried About The Flu?

I don't know...a bunch of folks ar going nuts in Toronto...sort of like they did when SARs hit. The h1n1 flu is travling around and there is always a question of whether someone should get a flu shot or not. People who are not even at risk ar being shown on the news joining line ups to get a flu shot in Toronto. They're going crazy for flu shots here in Chicago too...but I expect that because Chicago tens to be a little paranoid. (usually with good cause heh heh) But come on Canadians it's unbecoming seeing so many all freaking out over a flu shot. Flu shots are recommended by some specialists "Public Health Agency of Canada lists the following at-risk groups who should get the vaccine first: Children 6 months to 5 years; pregnant women; anyone who suffers a chronic health condition, such as heart or kidney disease, diabetes, asthma and chronic lung disease, suppressed immune systems, neurological disorders, liver disease, blood disorders, and severe obesity; people in isolated communities; health care workers; and people who provide care for any high-risk individual who can't be vaccinated."

I don't believe in flu shots...but I know several people who do believe in getting them and who worry about getting a flu. Wash your hands and face several times a day when you are working or outside with others. No really, go nuts washing hands.

I just got an email from my herbalist today. He's an old dear friend of mine in fact, he was at my house when I had my daughter. (yep...home birth..you're not sick when you're knocked up you're just having a baby! So why go to the hospital)

I love it when my herbalist sends me a message...he has given me endless health tips over the years. Here is todays message regarding flu shots...

"you guys should be taking cod liver oil (or Vit D3) Carlson's lemon flavoured is good, this is the best protection for flu, the vaccine is big trouble, we interviewed a doctor for tonights broadcast (a retired neurosurgeon Dr. Blaylock) We will be playing in first 2 segments (8pm EST)"

So I guess I'm off to track down some Vitamin D3. Here is the Wiki page for Vitamin D.... Did you know you can produce Vitamin D in your skin?

Vitamin D is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight. Season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis in the skin, and it is important for individuals with limited sun exposure to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet. Extra vitamin D is also recommended for older adults and people with dark skin. Individuals having a high risk of deficiency should consume 25 μg (1000 IU) of vitamin D daily to maintain adequate blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

You can get Vitamin D from eggs, eel, herring, salmon, beef liver, tuna and fish liver oils. Go for it and fight not only the flu but arthritis and bone related ailments! Vitamin D also fight cancer cells and builds immune system.

Related Links:

1) Vitamin D and Influenza
2) Buddhist blog about Vitamin D3...
3) Some more ideas for preventing flu...(yogourt builds your immune system)
4) An holistic doctors blog.
5) The immune system and a Cytokine Storm. (Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system)
6) The ingredient that anti-vaccine activists most question is thimerosal, a preservative added in trace amounts to keep vaccine in two-shot doses from deteriorating if stored while awaiting application.
Thimerosal contains ethyl mercury, and critics allege it can cause autism and other neurological disorders. But researchers say there is so little thimerosal in the vaccine that it poses no harm. Nevertheless, they have produced thimerosal-free, single-shot doses that can be ordered. Also, researchers say there is no thimerosal in the nasal spray.
From here

16 comments:

Captain Karen said...

Hey there Candy! It's not just Toronto, folks here in Edmonton and Calgary are going bananas as well. The government is completely unprepared and blaming the sudden shortages on the high demand for the shot. And yet, in the very next breath they're telling the public that everyone should get it.

I've never had a flu shot and likely never will. If people took better care of themselves, washed their hands (duh! why is this such a challenge for people?), and ate better...fewer people would be sick. Granted there are people with deficient immune systems due to various medical conditions who should probably get it.

I realize that people are sick and are dying from H1N1 but everyone seems to forget (or don't know because you never seem to hear the statistics) just how many folks die every year from the regular flu.

SME said...

I don't get flu shots myself, but I really should. This year I had Swine Flu (seriously) and a stomach flu. A few years ago I had a wicked flu that knocked me flat for a week. And I'm a pretty healthy person usually. I eat well, wash my hands religiously, exercise, take vitamins, etc.

Now I have to be a Debbie Downer and tell you that in my honest opinion, Dr. Russell Blaylock is a toolbox. I've blogged about him at Leaving Alex Jonestown, because he's been making the rounds of Patriot radio shows lately. The man is full of it. He insists that aspartame and other excitoxins are lethal because they cross the blood-brain barrier (they don't), rants against ALL vaccines, and is a consultant to the Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative (which promotes the theory that water fluoridation is a Commie plot to kill and sterilize the greatest people who ever walked the face of the earth - American white men).

Handwashing and fish oil and vitamins are great, but health advice from paranoids - not so much.

Four Dinners said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Choooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...sorry...you were saying?...;-)

mister anchovy said...

I think people here started lining up for flu shots after a 13 yr old boy got sick and died after a very short illness.

Candy Minx said...

Captain Karen, how ya doing? It's true...people die from the flu. I do understand the fear but again...people will get a needle before they will take cod liver oil. It's very odd to me.

SME, I think in many ways you are fortunate to have your body exercise it's strengths by fighting through several flus. Your immune system will be stronger for it.

heh heh...yes, I am well aware that Blaylock is a conspiracy theorist. I have followed his ideas for quite a while. I am fascinated by him because he is locked into the subcultures of the Christian Right. he is unusual because often that same group is locked into fighting the transition of the health care metwork in U.S. So he cuts an interesting figure and crosses over between extreme neo-cons and the subculture and alternative health care in U.S.

I'm not a fan of Blaylock...but I don't believe in flouride in our drinking water..and I haven't used mainstream toothpaste since I was 13. I began buying Tom's Toothpaste as a kid when I traveled in the States because it ws the only one I could find with natural ingredients and no flouride. I don't feel the flouride in our water and toothpaste is a "Comie plot" and that makes me howl with laughter...but I don't think we should have it in our water or toothpaste. Now I have found another product I use, Trader Joe's anti-plague no-flouride toothpaste and it's a great price and tastes and cleans teeth really well. (oh god...I could do a commercial heh heh)

I also don't believe in consuming aspartamine. We have a mutual friend SME, who claims that it makes rats brains explode...and so I avoid it with a passion.

I am not "against" all vaccines...but I would proceed with caution. i did vaccinate my child...but I put it off as long as possible and till I felt she was a little older. I won't be surprised if there is eventually evidence between autism and infant vaccines. I'm not saying I believe their eis...but I am open-minded to the corelation between the two and we need to find out more about it. I believe if a parent can allow their child to get a bit older and the give vacines that is a good option.

I am well aware that I am perceived as a paranoid....but I see myself as yes, heh heh a little paranoid...but more that I am conservative. I prefer to really look into all aspects of health options. I don't assume doctors or researchers know everything. They just simply don't know everything. It's critical for a person to research in medical journals and get several opions and insights before progressing on any treatment. In my opinion. I visit herbalists, nutritionalists, read all kinds of books about food history and I study the practices of First Nations.

Indigenous peoples don't have the same crime rates, depression, metal illness as farmers do. This is a red flag to me. I prefer indigenous healers and holistic doctors when possible. Like most of us I have also had the benefits of European/N.A. science methods. I believe in mixing all our options.

Four Dinners, bless you!

Mister Anchovy, yes, the public panic hit full force after Evan Frustaglio passed away. The situation is heart-breaking and one of the reasons I made this post. Maybe a visitor here will go and get some cod liver oil and begin to research what foods have high nutrition and what foods don't. Our immune system is mostly dependent on the foods we eat.

tweetey30 said...

I have to admit I have never had a Flu shot in my life that I can remember and I really dont plan on it either. I feel if I get sick I get sick. I am not around people that often.. I also try and make it to the Y twice a week lately. With the girls. We walk the track and then play raquetbal since Kora learned how.. She is still learning so I play more by myself because she refuses to run after the ball.. LOL.. But she tries.. anyway its for those that are in real need for it. I believe the elderly or the pregnant woman should get it because some woman put up enough with morning sick ness besides this flu..

Candy Minx said...

Hey Tweetey, some people believe that when we get sick with a cold or with the flu it builds up our immune system. The thing with some of these bugs is they mutate so it's kind of good to get some of them and become stronger. Vitamin D3 also helps balance out the immune system. I remember my grandmother always took cod liver oil and made us take it as kids too. I'd rather have a food supplement like cod liver oil than a needle. Just me I guess. I also just think most of us do not get enough omega 3 and 6 anyways. I also take flax seed ol during the summer months if not taking fish oil.

SME said...

Due caution is just fine with me - great, in fact. And I can't see much harm in avoiding fluoride. I have friends who avoid tapwater religiously. I also avoid aspartame, not because I've had bad reactions to it or anything, but, well, it's just not very natural. Unnatural as refined sugar is, it's still more natural than aspartame.

The occasional health fad or bit of misinfo doesn't bother me too much, but the paranoia and fear that some quacks instill in vulnerable people just drives me nuts. It's one thing for folks to stay away from certain chemicals because they just prefer not to use them, but to avoid tapwater or toothpaste out of soul-numbing fear that it will render them sterile or kill them because the Rothschilds want them dead - when there's just no evidence of that - makes me sad. And annoys the hell out of me. I wouldn't mind it if these naturopaths and quacks who promote health-related conspiracy theories were merely stupid, but most of them aren't. They're predatory. They have stuff to sell, or they market themselves shamelessly to make a living because (in a lot of cases) they've lost their licenses or are being sued into oblivion by disgruntled former patients.

Sigh. Okay. Enough. I could rant all day. The bottom line is I'm like you: I like to follow the evidence, not the people.

mbarnes said...

There is some interesting data suggesting that keeping your vitamin D level optimal will prevent colds, flu and in particular H1N1 (swine Flu). The Canadians are taking the data very seriously and starting studies to see if Vitamin D can prevent Flu
Here are links to two interesting articles:

August 2009-Vitamin D3 deficiency and its role in influenza
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs026/1102452079631/archive/1102685428884.html
Sept 2009-More on Vitamin D3 and influenza
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs026/1102452079631/archive/1102728693089.html

If these links don’t work you can go to www.vitaminD3world.com and click on ‘In the news” to find the articles.

Candy Minx said...

SME, I find the ways that people each feel about food, tech all fascinating. Yes, I have met the odd person who seems afraid of tapwater...but folks who are religously afraid are very rare. Most people just go and buy a bottle of water. Most of the time we can know each other and not know very much about each others eating habits or ethics towards food.

It seems that we agree SE about some things but disagree about the many forms that prejudice manifests...

I think there is as much stubborn elitism and prejudice in many "reputable" doctors. It's just easier to see the weak arguments in someone like Blaylock...but prejudice is in all professions and in many doctors. (and actually, I did tell my herbalist friend that he needs to be more vetting with people he interviews, that interviewing someone with extremsit views of other countries isn't going to help their herb business)

I find doctors interesting...and not just "quacks". I think the so-called quacks aren't always quacks because they they are doctors...is what I mean. I have found people with extreme political beliefs in every sort of profession. I don't think Blaylock, for example, is a quack. I believe his concern over vaccines is completely justified. But I absolutely reject the manner in which he convinces people by using political fear and xenophobia. In the same way...I agreed totally with Tom Cruise when he said he thought children and people were over diagnosed with meds for mental illness. I disagree with Crusie in his methods of communicating ad his reasons in order to promote his church. I don't think children should be converted to Scientology and avoid medications for mental illness. I just think they shouldn't be given such medications. Do you see what I mean (fortunately in Canada anti-depressants are virtualy banned for children)

So I don't see Blaylock as a quack...in fact I agree with his ideas about flouride and artificial sweetener. But his extreme opinions about conspiracy are not why I agree with him.

I think conspiracy theorists are incredibly valuable for monitoring what goes on in our cultures. Many doctors believe there are things that we don't treat or treat only ina certain way. I've seen "normal" well educated doctors roll their eyes at patients who ask questions, who ask questions about alternative medicines etc. To me these doctors are a every bit as questionable as someone who believes in "commies". And I sure wouldn't returned o them for consultation or treatment.

It's actually very difficult to find a doctor who will consider indigenous medicine with respect. And many N.A. doctors consider TCM to be hogwash. These doctors are practicing their own form of xenophobia and elitism towards other cultures.

I think there is a big difference between prejudice and quakery. When you look behind the curtain at socially and science sanctified medicine in N.A. you start to see how much prejudice there is in some practitioners. In fact, Blaylock is just one aspect of the kind of elitism often found in the medicine practitioners in N.A. That elitism and prejudice against other cultures, other forms of healing can be found throughout attitudes in modern medical centers.

mbarnes...thanks for the links. You don't have to convince me, just convince the doctors who want to get budgets to promote flu shots. I believe we need to get sick in order to build our immune systems. The other interesting thing about Vitamin D is that it also helps regulate an over active immune system. The strong immune systems of people under 25 is part of the reason they are most at danger with some of these flus. Their strong immune system seems to help the flu virus move so quickly. Taking Vit D helps an over active immune system "calm down".

Anonymous said...

08 June 2007
TORONTO -
The Canadian Cancer Society is recommending a specific amount of Vitamin D supplementation for Canadians to consider taking. This first-time recommendation is based on the growing body of evidence about the link between Vitamin D and reducing risk for colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

“The evidence is still growing in this area, but we want to give guidance to Canadians about this emerging area of cancer prevention based on what we know now,” says Heather Logan, Director, Cancer Control Policy, Canadian Cancer Society. “As we find out more we will update our recommendation.”

In consultation with their healthcare provider, the Society is recommending that:
Adults living in Canada should consider taking Vitamin D supplementation of 1,000 international units (IU) a day during the fall and winter.
Adults at higher risk of having lower Vitamin D levels should consider taking Vitamin D supplementation of 1,000 IU/day all year round. This includes people:

who are older;
with dark skin;
who don’t go outside often, and
who wear clothing that covers most of their skin.


“We’re recommending 1,000 IUs daily because the current evidence suggests this amount will help reduce cancer risk with the least potential for harm,” says Logan. “More research is needed to clearly define the amount of Vitamin D that will maximize health benefits.”

Logan explains that Canada’s geographic location was a strong factor in the Society’s decision making about the recommendation.

“Where a person lives is one important factor in how much Vitamin D they can produce from the sun. Because of our country’s northern latitude, the sun’s rays are weaker in the fall and winter and Canadians don’t produce enough Vitamin D from sunlight during this time.”

Research findings announced today add to the mounting evidence in this area. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that taking Vitamin D supplements and calcium substantially reduces all-cancer risk in post menopausal women. Specifically, the researchers found that the higher the levels of Vitamin D in the blood, the lower the relative risk of developing cancer. As well, another study released in May, suggests that w omen who consume more calcium and vitamin D may be less likely to develop breast cancer before menopause.

In addition to taking supplements, people can get Vitamin D by exposure to the sunlight and in their diets. However, Logan cautions Canadians about relying too much on getting Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.

“It’s important to remember that a few minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure is usually all that is needed for some people to get enough Vitamin D,” says Logan. “It’s not a good idea to rely solely on the sun to obtain Vitamin D. For some people, it’s possible that just a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day could increase skin cancer risk.”





http://www.cancer.ca/canada-wide/about%20us/media%20centre/cw-media%20releases/cw-2007/canadian%20cancer%20society%20announces%20vitamin%20d%20recommendation.aspx?sc_lang=en

L.M. said...

I get a yearly flu shot in honour of the logistic genius and founder of modern public health, Flo Nightingale.

Also the death count from all of ww1 was 16 million people. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic killed 50 million people.

But I have nothing against vitamin D, get more of it with the non-negotiable 2 hours of dog walking every day.

Anita said...

I took cod liver oil every day as a child. I should look into getting some for this flu season, as I too have never had a flu vaccine.

There is no doubt that the more viruses one is exposed to, the more resistance they build up. I spent some time with a friend last weekend who then spent the week sick in bed. I had a mild sore throat for a couple of days, but never got sick and it passed. I wonder if I fought off a virus I was already exposed to in some form?

Candy Minx said...

L.M. I totally get that the flu shots are an attractive option for some people. I have a couple friends whose company pays for their flu shots because they don't want them to miss work. An interesting perspective no? Most of us can't afford to miss work with sick days and I can see how that is a reason to get a shot. I also understand, it's just not fun getting sick. Hey, just two weeks ago half my family had the h1n1 (swine flu)...the whole family was sick, the kids missed school, they were a mess. I've two friends in Toronto who had the h1n1 beginning of October...one of them pregnant. It's a real drag. The flu in 1918 is related to this very strain of h1n1. I saw a pic on Wikipedia a couple weeks ago of President Ford getting the shot for this pandemic.

Anita, oh god, I took the cod liver oil as a kid too...all winter...my grandmother made us. I hated it but did it. The benefits are amazing...for one thing even if you do get the flu it helps the recovery. I had so many colds and flus when I was a teenager...just miserable ones. I kind of figure that I've got a fairly strong resistence. I don't seem to get as sick as others with the very same flu bugs or colds. I don't like taking antibiotics either. I am quite a freak heh heh about health care and food as you know. Death to bread! I totally think you fought off a virus and had a tough immune system.

Gardenia said...

Two years ago - I had the flu shot. Got sick with the strain of flu that I had the shot for. Last year got flu shot - my arm, wrist and hand swelled for a year - diagnosis: arthritis - a sudden appearance three days after the flu shot? Three years ago, I watched the nurse administer flu shots to a line of people without changing her rubber gloves.

This year - no flu shot. Took a swabbed for proof friend with swine flu some chicken soup - two days later down with month long flu. I lived, despite being diagnosed with umpteen at risk underlying health problems.

My own conclusion after two years of intense study - take vitamin D, massive C, high B complex, eat lots of veggies & fruits, less meat, wash hands religiously, use neti pot during flu season and salt water gargles. Forgo flu vaccine with the "safe" levels of toxins.

And I don't think I would have gotten sick this year if I hadn't been on a sugar binge that week!

I am familiar with Dr. Blaylock, he makes as much sense to me as the FDA. :) Er, more sense to me, I mean.

Oil and Vinegar said...

Hi Candy,

I think you bring up a very good point about cod liver oil, not that I'm taking that. I take Fish Oil every day. I also got a regular flu shot. A friend of mine got the nasal spray vaccination and got sick right away.

I think, that you are right about building up your immune system. When I worked in the school system I was sick all the time, because my body wasn't yet prepared for the onslaught of germs.

People also forget to do simple things like sneezing into their elbow, or washing their hands!
Yuck.

I rarely get sick and part of that is because I don't want to. That seems stupid right? But when I am ready to rest, or things get to be too much, that's when I get sick.

I'm not sure how I feel about vaccines in general. I do think that people are way too paranoid about the H1N1 flu. People die from regular flu every year. It's usually because they are too young or too old to handle it. Otherwise, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

I don't know about Canada, but I think Americans are very quick to believ what they are told about flouride, shots, having babies, the FDA food pyramid and medicine. All of these things are related to big business, agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies.

That's my rant. Thanks for writing about this Candy!