It is that time of year again when we not only hear of people getting the flu, but also get bombarded by advertising about getting the flu vaccine. There is all sorts of information out there on what to do if you get the flu, and more importantly what to do to help prevent it. Let me see if I can sift through some of this for you, and give you some practical tips...
First of all, 2014-2015 was billed as one of the worst flu seasons in recent times, as widely published by many public health organizations. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) pushes the flu vaccine as the best way to prevent the flu. By it's own admission, in 2014-2015 the effectiveness of the vaccine sat at roughly 18%. This caused them by February 2015 to issue a warning saying their flu vaccine was no match for the Influenza A strain (which caused most cases of the flu last year). A flashback to the previous flu season and many previous to that show a very similar pattern.
So what does this mean?
Getting your body strong and healthy to either prevent the flu all together, or quickly get rid of it when it occurs is the best option. It is VERY difficult for a virus to live inside a body with a very healthy immune system. Aside from the questionable effectiveness, there are also some safety concerns over the contents of the vaccine. As a result many choose to simply strengthen your body's own defenses by a variety of means.
What Do You Do If You Feel The Flu Coming On?
- Avoid Sugar: Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately upon consuming it. Keeping sugar intake down is a good thing to do for your every day diet, but it is especially imperative while your body is run down. Be aware that sugar is hidden in many food you least expect like ketchup and juices.
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can result from the flu, and can be potentially dangerous. Stay ahead of it by drinking lots of water as soon as you feel like you are coming down with something. This will help your immune system flush your system clean as fast as possible.
- Get Plenty of Rest: It is every difficult for your body to fight off disease when it is overly fatigued. Aim for 8 hours of rest on a regular basis, but more can be very beneficial when your body is run down. Listen to the signs your body gives you, if it tells you to rest, do not argue with it.
- Keep a Healthy Nervous System: It is crucial to keep your nervous system healthy and free of interference especially during times of sickness. Your nervous system plays an integral role in your body's ability to fight off sickness and disease. Stay regular with your chiropractic adjustments on a regular basis, but during times of sickness be sure to get your spine checked frequently.
In closing, remember that your body is well equipped to handle whatever it comes in contact with. Our body was designed with an amazing system to defend itself from sickness and disease, give it a chance to do what it needs to do. Whether or not you choose to get a flu shot is up to you, but be sure and take care of your health. Give your body the best chance possible of getting and keeping you healthy.