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How To Stay Healthy During Winter Months
How To Ward Off Those Nasty Flu Symptoms

How To Ward Off Those Nasty Flu Symptoms

With Fall the kids start back to school, and before you know it our beloved children become little "virus factories" and start passing around all sorts of colds and flu bugs. The cold weather also forces us indoors a lot, making for closer contact so it doesn't take long before the viruses spread out quickly through families and communities. 

Facts About Common Cold And Flu Viruses 
The adenoviruses are responsible for the common cold. There are so many different types of cold viruses that it has been impossible to develop an effective immunization for the common cold. One strain (A14) has caused some concern because it has mutated to become a very serious variety. Several people over the last couple of years have actually died from complications. But this type has remained quite rare and usually happened in people with other medical problems. It is not expected to become widespread. 

The flu is a viral illness caused by the Influenza virus, and spread by contact from person to person or by inhaling infectious droplets from someone else with the flu. There are several types of influenza viruses, Type A, B, & C. Type A is most common and leads to more serious epidemics. Type B is usually a milder type, and Type C is even milder, similar to symptoms of the common cold. The sudden onset of headache, chills, generalized muscle aches occur at first. Then respiratory symptoms like congestion, cough and sore throat can appear. These symptoms are usually accompanied by fever between 100 to 103 degrees in adults, but may be even higher in children. Usually gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea do not ordinarily appear with the flu, but may be signs an symptoms of other viruses, commonly called the "stomach flu" 

Treating Flu Symptoms 
Most influenza illnesses are self contained and complications are not that common in young, healthy people. However, people with chronic illnesses can be severely incapacitated and take a long time to get well. That's why getting the flu shot is so important for those with chronic illnesses or for adults over the age of 65 years. Skipping a flu shot in a child or adult with asthma could be life threatening if severe complications (such as severe bronchitis or pneumonia) develop. 

Because the flu is caused by a virus, antibiotic treatments are ineffective and will not affect the course of the illness. ONLY if a bacterial complication, such as a superimposed bronchitis develops will antibiotics help. Currently there is a health care campaign to educate the public not to expect antibiotic treatment to help with the flu. The overuse of antibiotics is one reason for the rise of resistant bacterial infections in general.

So what do we do?
  • Fluids and plenty of rest
  • Use inhaled steam or a vaporizer to moisten the air
  • Avoid smoking or smoky rooms
  • It's OK to use over the counter medications (decongestants, gargles, cough syrups) targeted to your specific symptoms. If you are on other medications you may want to ask your doctor which ones would be right for you.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for relief of fever, aches and pains that accompany the flu
  • Influenza is usually a self limited disease but if after 8 - 10 days your symptoms are getting worse and not better, it's time to see your doctor.

How to Ward Off Those Nasty Viruses 
It is a common misconception that cold weather causes the flu. It doesn't. But it may play some role if you are in a state of lowered resistance. Stress, chronic illnesses, and cancer are some known causes of lowered resistance. The immune system is very complex, however, and we don't know all the causes. 
Either inhaling or touching infected particles and airborne droplets is how these viruses usually spread. So here's some tips on things that will help cut down the spread of these viruses from person to person.
  • Wash your hands often plus wash down shared objects like the phone, doorknobs, TV remotes, and computer keyboards.
  • Drink plenty of fluids regularly to flush out your system of germs and toxins.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation definitely makes us more likely to become infected by altering our resistance.
  • Do not smoke. Studies show smokers get sick with colds and flu more often and have more complications
  • Take alcohol only in moderation. Heavy drinkers also have lowered resistance, can get sick more often, plus have more complications
  • Exercise regularly to keep the immune system at it's best, and eat a well rounded diet of fruits, grains and veggies.
  • Learn relaxation techniques, especially during times of stress. This also helps the immune system operate at it's best
  • Get an annual flu shot--this is a must if you are over 65 years of age or if you have any sort of chronic condition that would lead to serious complications if you got the flu.
Boosting The Immune System 
Our immune system is part of an elaborate system of defense against attack of outside invaders that come at us daily. There are many parts to this system, including the skin, membranes, respiratory tract, kidneys, and the liver. The body also relies on white blood cells to release antibodies and clean the blood if our first lines of defense don't work. The immune system is quite complex and is dependent on the many factors such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Daily stresses, lack of sleep, poor nutrition can all play roles in reducing our immunity. Many natural food sources provide substances that can strengthen our immune system. 

Immunizen includes intact colostrum, a milk fraction that has high levels of immunoglobulins. Other ingredients include arabinogalactanes, glucans and lactoferrin subtances which stimulate our natural killer cells and other white blood cells to defend the system against bacterial invaders. Stimulating our own natural immune system by support with the proper supplements is key. Immunizen comes in a 10 day supply and should be taken at the first sign of illness or when your resistance may be lowered.  

We have other products to boost the immune system. Go to the  IMMUNE SYSTEM page for further details.

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