Colds and Flu
Colds and influenza are a major concern for health care professionals,
especially when dealing with the young, elderly, and immunocompromised
individuals. The elderly in particular can suffer serious consequences from
the flu, a leading cause of death in the elderly. Americans spend over one
billion dollars annually on nonprescription treatments for coughs and
colds, including antipyretics, antihistamines, cough preparations, and
decongestants in various combinations. Although these agents may help the
symptoms of colds and flu to subside gradually, they do not address the
underlying condition, including immune and nutrition status. Also, many of
the agents used conventionally for colds and flu may cause unwanted side
effects such as insomnia, hyper-excitability, dry mouth, constipation,
drowsiness, or interact with prescription medications. There are several
reasons for the recommendation of natural therapeutic agents as the first
line of defense or as a complement to drug therapy.
These reasons include:
- Pre-existing conditions or medications may preclude traditional OTC
- Occupation may eliminate the choice of antihistamines or decongestants
(pilot, truck driver);
- The patient may request a natural product due to belief system;
- Flu vaccination may not provide adequate immune support.
Take these All-Natural Antibiotics for support at the first sign of
infection (eyes, ears, nose, throat, cold, flu). If
someone in your house, Church, School or work, is sick, start on these
immediately to help you from getting the virus or shorten/lessen it if you
do. Great results without the harmful side effects of prescriptions. *
See LifeSource Vitamins All-Natural Antibiotic Supplement:
The common cold, also known as upper respiratory infection (URI), is an
acute, self-limiting illness caused by a virus. The enveloped viruses may
survive for long periods of time outside a host. With the rhinovirus, the
home is the primary site for viral transmission. Mechanisms of transmission
of colds and influenza include aerosolization of virus-laden respiratory
secretions and direct mucous membrane contact with viruses from
contaminated hands, other skin surfaces, and even furniture. Touching the
eyes and nose with contaminated hands will increase transmission rates.
Similarly, influenza is an acute febrile respiratory illness that occurs in
annual outbreaks of varying severity. The causative virus infects the
respiratory tract and is highly contagious, producing systemic symptoms
early in the illness. Influenza viruses belong to the family Orthomyxoviridae and are divided into three types (Types A, B, and
C), which are distinguished by the antigenicity of the internal and
external proteins of the virus. Type C infection usually causes either a
very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all; it does not cause
epidemics and does not have the severe public health impact that influenza
types A and B do. Efforts to control the impact of influenza are aimed at
types A and B. Influenza viruses continually change over time, usually by
mutation. This constant changing enables the virus to evade the immune
system of its host, so that people are susceptible to influenza virus
infection throughout life. Influenza is very contagious and is spread by
contact with an infected person. A person is contagious from about two days
before symptoms occur until about the fifth day of the illness.
Novel H1N1 flu (referred to as "swine flu") is a new influenza virus
causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in the United
States in April 2009.
No methods have been developed to effectively prevent colds and influenza
to date. Vaccines are not likely to be effective in preventing the common
cold, due to the large number of immuno-types and the lack of solid
immunity to re-infection with the other viruses. Treatment of colds and
influenza is largely symptomatic, with antibiotics not recommended for use
in the therapy of uncomplicated colds and influenza due to the viral nature
of the disease.
A recent resurgence in the use of nutritional supplements including herbs,
vitamins, minerals, and homeopathic medicines has provided new options for
the support of cold and flu symptoms as well as for prevention. These
agents may not prevent a cold, but may result in less severe symptoms and a
decreased need for nonprescription or prescription medications. The purpose
of herbs and nutritional agents are to improve host defenses before and
during viral invasion. By improving immune functionality and host
integrity, the individual stands a better chance of fighting off the
infection, or at the very least reducing the severity of symptoms
associated with a cold or the flu.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements have shown to help Colds and Flu:
The Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark
Symptoms of colds may include rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal stuffiness,
throat clearing, postnasal drip, cough, and nasal obstruction. A sore
throat and/or cough may also be present. Other symptoms may include coryza,
pharyngitis, laryngitis, headache, malaise, and fever, usually in various
combinations. Ear and sinus problems are often present as well, but these
symptoms are usually caused by mucosal edema, which impairs drainage.
Postulated that the unwanted symptoms of colds (i.e. rhinitis) are produced
by a viral cytopathic effect that destroys the nasal mucosa. In one study,
rhinovirus and coronavirus were found not to be destructive of nasal
epithelium in vitro.
Influenza virus can produce clinical syndromes, such as the common cold,
pharyngitis, tracheobronchitis, and pneumonia. Symptoms of influenza
include chills, fever, headache, muscular aches/pains, malaise and fatigue,
and lack of appetite.
- Nasal stuffiness
- Throat clearing
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal obstruction
- Sore throat
- Ear and sinus problems
- Muscular aches/pains
- Lack of appetite
- Drink at least 6-8 glasses of quality water daily.
- Take in clear broth and soups.
- Try to eat more nutrient-rich foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
Foods to Avoid
- Avoid refined sugars.
- Reduce sugar intake.
According to the CDC, the influenza vaccine has been shown to reduce
hospitalization by about 70 percent and death by about 85 percent in the
non-institutionalized elderly. About 5-10 percent may experience mild side
effects, such as headache or low-grade fever for a short period of time.
For some elderly, the vaccine does not provide adequate protection, and
therefore, are still at risk and should consider taking additional steps to
be prepared for flu season.
Some of the following laboratory testing can provide information necessary
for diagnosis and treatment. In addition, the tests listed may also give
insight to functional metabolism and functional nutrient status in the
Adrenal Function Profiles
Adrenal insufficiency can contribute to impaired resistance to infection.
Stress activates the HPA axis and has impact on the immune system,
particularly through the adrenal hormones. In assessing the HPA axis,
adrenal functional abnormalities are relatively simple to identify and
address (e.g., when compared to hypothalamic dysregulation or pituitary
Low thyroid function can result in poor resistance to infections.
Assessment of thyroid hormone production, peripheral hormone conversion,
cellular sensitivity response, thyroid hormone antibody activity, and
hormone feedback response mechanisms can provide critical information for
intervention with a goal of optimal function.
Organic acids analysis is a useful method for measurement of biochemical
intermediates in urine. These intermediates can offer information about key
enzyme functions and nutrient competence (amino acids, nutrient cofactors,
minerals, and fatty acids). A subset of organic acids, the dysbiosis
markers, may provide useful information regarding gastrointestinal
pathogens that can contribute to immune compromise.
Plasma or salivary cortisol measurements can be used as a marker in the
evaluation of stress syndromes that may relate to increased susceptibility
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