Monday, September 21, 2015

Seniors: Flu Prevention through Vaccination and Good Alternatives

People 65 years and older have some of the highest rates of hospitalization and death as a result of influenza infection. If you are in that age group, you could choose:
  • No flu shots 
  • Regular flu shots 
  • Higher dose flu shot[1] 
All medical interventions have a benefit-to-risk ratio. Each person has to weigh the supposed benefits against the potential risks[2]. No matter what your decision is, always do:
  • Avoid contact with others who are sick
    • Avoid hospitals
    • Stay away from people with runny noses
  • Practice good hygiene
    • Wash your hands
  • Build strong immunity[2,3,4]
    • Optimize your vitamin D levels
    • Avoid Sugar, Fructose and Processed Foods[5]
    • Get Enough Rest
    • Have Effective Tools to Address Stress
    • Exercise[6]
    • Take a Good Source of High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats
    • Use Natural Antibiotics
    • Choose nutrition over medication[2,7,8]
      • People do not build health via the ingestion of medicinal substances.
        • Even natural, herbal products that have pharmacologic effects work because of their toxic properties not their nutritive content.
      • Don't abuse antibiotics and cold/flu medicines[8]
If you do get flu, Dr. Fuhrman recommends you to[2]:
  • Stay home
  • Sip water all day, as opposed to guzzling a lot all at once 
  • Eat as little as possible
    • If you're hungry, stick to light food, mostly juicy fruits and salads. 
    • Anorexia of infection (loss of appetite) is one way the body has of activating a more powerful immune response.
  • Know when to call the doctor
    • Watch for a sudden worsening of the overall condition, especially if worsening symptoms start to involve labored breathing, persistent fever above 103 degrees for three days, abdominal pain, changes in behavior or mental status, and persistent diarrhea or vomiting.

What Factors Could Affect Your Flu Shot Decision?


Several factors can affect whether you should get certain vaccines — or wait before getting them. Be sure to tell your doctor if you:[9]
  • Are planning to travel abroad 
  • Have had your spleen removed 
  • Work in certain occupations where exposures could occur 
  • Are or might be pregnant 
  • Are breast-feeding 
  • Are moderately or severely ill or have a chronic illness 
  • Have any severe allergies, including a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine 
  • Have had a disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome 
  • Have a weakened immune system or are being treated with an immunosuppressant 
  • Have recently had another vaccine 
  • Have recently had a transfusion or received other blood products 
  • Have a personal or family history of seizures

References

  1. National Council on Aging Urges Older Adults to Get Their Annual Flu Shot
  2. Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. 
  3. Confirmed! Flu Vaccine INCREASES Risk of Serious Pandemic Flu Illness (Dr. Mercola) 
  4. Natural Immuninity Plays Important Roles in Your Health (Travel to Health
  5. The Sweet Relished and the Bitter Loathed (Travel and Health
  6. Exercise and Its Benefits (Travel and Health
  7. Western Diets and Western Diseases (Travel and Health
  8. Are You Fever Phobic? (Travel and Health) 
  9. Vaccines for adults: Which do you need?
  10. The Pros and Cons of Flu Vaccination (Travel and Health

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