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Is It All A Flu(ke)? – by Dr. Ian Hollaman, DC, MSc, IFMCP
The flu can be miserable! Do you stress whether or not you should get the flu vaccine every year? Or do you wonder is it worth it? It’s a hot topic and if you just look at the numbers you may not be seeing the full picture. Not to trivialize how awful it feels to have the flu, but the reality is the data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a horror show of conflict and political nonsense. In this article, I hope to clear up some of the fear-mongering used from statistics collected by the CDC and give you action steps to help naturally prevent the flu in the coming years.
The CDC recognizes there is a difference between flu deaths and flu-associated deaths yet the terms are used interchangeably. To clarify, flu deaths are those whose death is directly correlated to them having the flu. Flu-associated deaths are those who die from something else such as pneumonia but also had the flu. The statistics used are incompatible with national versus “official estimates”. Estimates used to sell a CDC policy that recommends health care practitioners “predict the dire outcome” during flu season as a way to sell the vaccine (for more, see Del Bigtree’s video). For example, the CDC website indicates “about 36,000 die from the flu” annually. “Influenza/pneumonia” is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Why are these two lumped together? Should they be connected so strongly as to use them interchangeably?
The CDC extrapolated this 36,000-person death from respiratory and circulatory causes modeled in a 2003 JAMA article by William Thompson, one of the leaders of the National Immunization Program (NIP). He explains, “influenza-associated mortality” is “statistical association between deaths and viral data available.” He specifically states that an association does not indicate causation of death. “Based on modeling, we think it’s associated. I don’t know that we would say that it’s the underlying cause of death.” This estimate is based on a model that essentially equates a death that hypothetically arose from influenza to something that rarely occurs, true influenza mediated death.
This is the kind of information that policymakers use to base their decisions for mandated vaccines and legislation that guarantees vaccine makers are compensated if their products are not used (as was proposed in the failed 2005 bill – HR 813). But, this bill is more of the same and is quite frankly, disgusting. In 2004 at the “National Influenza Vaccine Summit,” co-sponsored by CDC and the American Medical Association, a seven-step formula was presented to coerce the American public into increasing the sale of flagging flu vaccines. One of those steps stated, “continued reports…that influenza is causing severe illness and/or affecting lots of people, helping foster the perception that many people are susceptible to a bad case of influenza.”
Are you curious what the true number of deaths is from influenza as reported by the CDC in 2001? 18. Meaning flu virus was positively identified and attributed directly to the person’s death. For those people’s families certainly not trivial, but it is shameful and a disgrace to science when the true underlying motivator to the fear mongering is vaccine sales.
On top of the hype, there is evidence that the flu vaccine increases your chance of infecting other’s over six-fold and that Children who get the flu vaccine have three times the risk of hospitalization. So, what can we do naturally to prevent the flu and curtail its severity? LOTS!
If you have a Chiropractor, go see them! Research indicates a potent antioxidant called superoxide dismutase and glutathione may increase through chiropractic adjustments! In fact, the Pandemic of 1918 was particularly interesting for the chiropractic profession as numerous case reports revealed doomed patients given up on by Western medicine sought out Chiropractic care for the amazing response it created!
Nutrition is obviously a critical role in any infectious disease. Chicken soup would not be chicken soup if it did not help us when we felt miserable. Eating can be tough when we are in the throes of an illness so I think one of the best strategies is prevention! Here are my favorite tips for preventing, and if necessary supporting someone who has influenza.
Bone broth/chicken soup – The amino acids found naturally in chicken are quite amazing. This food, especially when created from bone broth has lots of essential amino acids like glutamine that help promote detoxification and soothes the gut lining and provides necessary nutrients to the enterocytes, which create the basement lining of the gut. It has also been reported in the medical literature to create an anti-inflammatory effect. There are to many recipes to use but whatever you do, try to get organic, free range, as meat is one of the highest sources of persistent organic pollutants!
Vitamin D – Preferably from the sun if possible, but this hormone plays a major role in the immune system by increasing anti-microbial peptides like beta-defensin and cathelocidin. Research done in 2008 indicated that those in the lowest levels of vitamin D had significantly increased the risk of respiratory infection. Their lead author stated:
“The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu. Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency.” On top of that, a review of over 25 studies concluded vitamin D boosts immunity and reduces infection risk (for those that have low levels). Keep in mind you want to take vitamin D3, not D2. D2 is still given as a prescription and it can actually cause harm at high doses! I recommend anywhere from 6-20,000iu/day depending on your levels and need. It is always smart to check your levels and take a high-quality form of it (I prefer Xymogens D3).
Astragalus/Echinacea/Olive leaf – These powerhouses are my go-to for herbs that naturally support the immune system in times of challenge! There is too much to say about them for one blog but the key is they need to be in the system prior to the infection for full effect! Astragalus has been shown to increase interferon, a potent antiviral. Echinacea has been shown to block the replication of viral particles and Olive leaf can improve the ability of white blood cells to gobble up bad guys. I think there are different situations that require different doses of these amazing compounds but my two go-to products are Immune Essentials and Max VRL.
Lastly, this might be a “no-brainer” but we get caught up in the daily grind, which can pummel our immune system into a state of susceptibility. By using sugar and stimulants to address our stress we weaken our natural ability to fight infection. By trusting our natural ability to heal ourselves (get some sleep and hydrate!) and a little help from natural medicine you can surely bounce back stronger and healthier and hopefully now you have a few extra tricks to protect yourself and your family!
Yours truly in health and wellness,
Ian Hollaman, DC, MSc, IFMCP
Ian really knows A LOT about thyroid problems! His knowledge and confidence convinced me to make the lifestyle changes -including no gluten, no sugar, and more exercise-that are essential to healing hormonal imbalances and to staying well. Several months later, I feel stronger, more energetic, and am happier than I have felt in a long time. Many thanks for all your help!
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