So what is a mother to do? That's the question I keep hearing. And I do have some thoughts I would like to share with you. But keep in mind, I'm speaking mother to mother... not medical professional to patient... I have no medical credentials! For the record, I hold a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor (lacking six hours to be a major) in Fine Arts. Health is our lifestyle and my hobby.
You'll read from many credible sources, even the CDC, that Swine Flu is not a severe threat to those with strong immune systems. Of course, the flipside is also true: any flu is a threat to any person with a weakened immune system.
And what about vaccines? Once a vaccine is developed and released, it will protect against the particular strain of flu it was developed for (along with side effects), but it offers no help against mutations or newly developed strains. A healthy immune system will offer up a defense no matter what strain of flu attacks. It is my belief that a person with a strong immune system, when confronted with any flu or virus, will have reduced symptoms and a shorter duration of sickness.
Avoiding contact with infected persons may not be within our control. Honestly, if the Swine Flu spreads as the CDC predicts, we will come into contact with infected persons -- probably BEFORE they know they are infected. Our family was in contact with the swine flu recently. But we didn't know it until the next day!
Bottom line: We need to do what we can to build up our immune systems for the viruses we will most likely encounter this fall and winter -- H1N1 or any other invading pathogen.
This leads to the question: "What can I do to make sure that my family has strengthened immune systems?"
1. Did you know that your body's first line of defense is your skin? So it only makes sense to follow the ubiquitous advice and "Wash Your Hands."
2. If an invader breaks through your first barrier, your body will defend itself with its patrolling scavenger cells. A strong, healthy immune system will have plenty of these cells. Remember, it takes building materials to build immune cells, so take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Make sure yours includes a substantial amount of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc and B Vitamins. Each of these (plus others!) play a big role in supporting a functional immune system.
It is very, very rare that a person could consume adequate amounts of these vitamins through diet alone. (Click the links at the top left of this blog for my "What Is Health Anyway?" series. In those three posts, I offer a more complete discussion of this topic.) Balanced, real supplements supply your body with the building materials it requires to build an army of scavenger cells. This is my choice for myself and for my children.3. Those pathogens that make it through the skin barrier AND get passed the patrol guard, infect individual cells. Once a cell is infected, it will secrete Interferon. "Interferon is an immune system regulator that is extremely active in cell defense due to its antiviral and immune stimulating effects. When produced by cells infected by viruses, interferon communicates with uninfected cells to trigger an antibody response to the virus. Interferon can also activate natural killer cell activity, macrophage activity, and trigger the release of powerful cytotoxic chemicals designed to neutralize immune system invaders."
If you didn't get all that, just know that interferon is your friend and you need plenty of it to fight the good fight. Nutriferon is the only natural supplement I know of that boosts your body's own interferon without any negative side effects. It can be taken without pause, unlike other immune boosters, because it's efficacy does not diminish over time. In my opinion, a daily dose of Nutriferon would prepare your body for H1N1's friends and mutations better than any specific vaccine that can only defend against a particular strain.
4. Supplement your supplements with probiotics. Current research shows that the intestines are an important line of defense for the immune system. Prolific friendly bacteria in the gut will inhibit the growth of invading pathogens, so it is vital to keep a stong colony ready for action. My vitamins already contain probiotics, but I give this additional product to my children.
5. Finally, when you feel the slightest tinge of fever or other symptoms coming on, act right away with Garlic, Echinacea and Elderberry and Vitamin C around the clock. See yesterday's post for how I did this with Spiderman.
Keep in mind that if you or your children are just now beginning your health journey, it may take a while to build up your immune system. Eating whole foods, supplementing regularly, getting as much sunshine as possible, getting adequate rest and exercise... all of these things contribute to healthy immune function. Whatever you do, don't let yourself be discouraged about how far you have to go. Just get started! Your body will thank you, whether it's fighting Swine Flu or just living well.
There is so much more to be said about H1N1, vaccinations, immune systems, etc. I am trying to keep this brief. Just know that:
- We will most likely come into contact with some sort of potent viruses in the years to come.
- We may not be able to avoid sickness.
- But, we can protect ourselves from devastating effects of sickness.
- We are all at God's mercy, which is the very best place to be.
I welcome your comments on this topic. Please post your thoughts.