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PREPARING TO PREVENT INFLUENZA AND OTHER ILLNESSES 2014

Preparation for influenza season should begin now. If we begin to get ready today for this season the difficulties and illnesses we encounter will be fewer and of shorter duration if we get ill at all. Remember that it is very important to prepare our bodies to withstand the stress and strain that exposure to these illnesses put on our bodies.

This winter we also are facing other challenges such as concerns for how to prepare for possible exposure to Ebola and EV-D28. However, the preparation for all of these circumstances is the same—essentially keeping our immune system as strong as possible and ready to respond to any assault. Because the CDC has not given us any other direction besides washing our hands to prevent getting infected with Ebola, I believe we have every right to do whatever we need to do to protect ourselves until the CDC gives us more specific directions regarding definitive ways we can protect ourselves against influenza, Ebola, and EV-D28. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm

We have bought into a lie—that the only way we can prepare is to wash our hands five to six times and day, sneeze into our sleeves, and get our influenza vaccine. Getting vaccinated is only the first rung on a long stairway of steps you can take to help prevent the flu and other illnesses.

I recommend you take the following steps to prepare yourselves for wintertime.

Keep your vitamin D 25 OH level from 40 to 80 ng/ml at all times. One hundred IU of vitamin D3 raises the vitamin D level 1 ng/ml. So, if your vitamin D 25 OH level is 30 ng/ml, increase your intake of vitamin D3 by taking an additional 1000 IU/day. Although there is no conclusive study about vitamin D intake and influenza prevention, the study below is enough for me to recommend strongly that you make sure to take vitamin D3 in appropriate doses. http://www.scribd.com/doc/35523792. Randomized-trial-of-vitamin-D-supplementation-to-prevent-seasonal-influenza-A-in-schoolchildren http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24593793. Vitamin D: a new anti-infective agent?

Consider taking N-acetyl-L-cysteine preventatively from October to March. New studies show that adults that took 600 mg of NAC twice a day preventatively had a significant reduction of symptoms of the flu even when they got the illness as compared to the control group who did not take NAC. In order to figure out the pediatric dose, use Clark’s Rule: take adult dose and multiply it by the child’s weight divided by 150. So if the child’s weight is 25 pounds – (25 divided by 150 = .167) So, 600 x .167 = 100 mg/dose. The child would take 100 mg twice a day. Anyone who is taking NAC twice a day for 6 months needs to make sure to take vitamin C daily. See the NAC-Influenza study abstract here: http://www.wellnessresources.com/studies/n-acetylcysteine_nac_and_the_flu/

Decrease or eliminate sugar from your diet. Remember that eating bread, crackers, pasta, drinking juice, and eating excessive amounts grains, and eating a lot of fruit also adds to your sugar load. So this is the time to begin cutting down on sugar intake. Unfortunately this may mean that your children do not get to enjoy all the Halloween treats and baked goods most people believe are absolutely necessary to eat around the holidays. However, you do not want to give viruses an entry to your child’s body. Eating sugar decreases the immune system and opens the door and invites the pathological organisms in. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24939238. Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity.

Keep your diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. The higher the phytonutrients in your diet, the more protected you are against all manner of disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25051278 Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents.

Add herbs and spices to your foods because they help you fight infections. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15180577

Drinking green tea every day is a great way to fight the flu. If you do not like the taste of green tea, try mixing it in a shake or adding it to peppermint tea. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21832025 Green tea consumption is inversely associated with the incidence of influenza infection among school children in a tea plantation area of Japan.

Using soap and water to wash your hands is very important. Some studies found that washing your hands with green tea may help prevent transmission of the flu better than washing with the alcohol based hand wash. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22451404 Evaluation of antiviral activity of a green tea solution as a hand-wash disinfectant. I probably will not be making green tea to carry with me. Personally I use Thieves hand sanitizer when I cannot use soap and water. I used Thieves Foaming Hand Soap at work. I strongly recommend that if you are traveling on a plane that you rub a little Thieves essential oil on the bottom of your feet and at least twice a day.

Daily saline nasal flushes. I also recommend using Xlear nasal sprays to make the mucosal lining of the nostrils healthier and more resistant to airborne viral infections. For infants, use the squirt bottle and put 2 drops in each nostril three times a day. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9755259?dopt=Abstract. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11027360?dopt=Abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11163479?dopt=Abstract

Get sufficient sleep and rest

Drink abundant clean, filtered water daily

Stay physically active but do not over-exert. Over exercising increases oxidative stress, which will lower your resistance to infection.

Eat a well-balance diet which includes 7 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Phytonutrients are bioactive nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that enhance the immune system. If you are unable to eat that many servings of fruits and vegetables every day, consider finding a way to get these into your body. There are reputable companies that make organic powdered fruits and vegetables you can mix in your favorite beverage and drink every day.

If you are especially sensitive to the histaminic properties of dairy, then decrease your milk and dairy intake during the cold and flu season. What I mean by that is that some people actually produce more histamine when they eat dairy and that causes them to make more mucus. Mucus is sticky and attracts more germs.

Make sure you get adequate protein intake daily. You should eat at least 35 to 40 grams of lean protein each day.

I recommend that you give your infant 400 IU of Vitamin D3 daily. Give your baby who weighs 23 pounds or greater 800 IU daily; your child who weighs 28 to 54 pounds 1000 to 2000 IU a day; your child who weighs 57 pounds to 84 pounds 2000 to 3000 IU daily; your child who weighs 85 to 114 pounds 4000 IU daily; and you child who weighs 115 pounds or more 5000 IU daily. This is especially important during the winter months when colds and flu proliferate. These are moderate doses and should not cause any problems. However, after they have been on vitamin D3 for 6 months, they should get their 25 OH Vitamin D levels checked. Of course, this is important for adults to take, also. Check with your doctor about your dose. I take between 8000 and 10,000 IU daily, depending on the season. I can do this much because I know what my levels are.

Buffered Vitamin C 500 to 2000 mg daily.

Preventative Probiotics daily to enhance immunity and keep the GI tract healthy. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/124/2/e172

Zinc 3 mg to 15 mg daily for otherwise healthy children during the cold and flu season. Adults can take safely 30 mg zinc daily.

Omega 3 (10 mg/kg/day divided equally between EPA and DHA) for general good health up to a maximum of 500 mg/day. If you trust the provider, consider eating one serving of wild salmon every week.

If you are ill, be considerate of others and stay home. Actually when you are ill and your immunity is down, you are at higher risk to contact something else, so you are also doing yourself a favor by staying home.

Take time each day to meditate and contemplate beauty, goodness, health, healing, and truth for yourself and others. Create your reality by speaking positively and expecting good things to happen. I personally pray Psalm 91 over myself and my family pretty much every day.

Copyright © 2014 by Sharon Collins

October 4th, 2014
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