We are heading into flu season. Let’s revisit this popular question…Should I get a flu shot?
Influenza is a contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu complications can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
The following post will discuss the pros and cons plus natural alternatives to immunization.
In my clinical experience, flu patients present with 3 major findings:
- Sudden onset of severe bodyaches(Even your hair can hurt)
- High Fever 102 +
- Dry Cough
Folks with weaker immune systems are more susceptible to the flu complications and are more likely to benefit from immunization. Those folks include:
- Patients with COPD
- Patients with Asthma
- Immune compromised (Immune suppression therapy…Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, etc.)
- Younger than 5 and older than 65.
Flu season can begin as early as October and end as late as May.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that persons who are at high risk of having serious flu complications get vaccinated each year. This includes all persons 65 years of age and older and persons with certain chronic conditions that weaken their ability to fight flu and its complications.
Since many persons 50–64 years of age have one or more medical conditions that would place them at increased risk for serious complications from the flu, it is also recommended that all persons in this age group get yearly flu shots.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:
- People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
- Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
- People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
- People with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.
Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)
Different side effects can be associated with the flu shot. The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:
- Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Fever (low grade)
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.
So what if you can’t take the vaccine due to contraindication?
NATURAL ALTERNATIVES FOR PREVENTION DURING FLU SEASON:
- Avoid people obviously sick
- Wash hands routinely
- Avoid habits involving touching the nose or face
- Take Immunoplex 2 twice daily during flu season
- Take Acidophilus or Lact/enz 2 twice daily during cold/flu season
- Avoid processed sugars, sweets, sodas, and alcohols.
- Increase water intake
- Perform light, routine exercise
All the above have been shown to improve immune function and decrease likelihood of contracting respiratory illnesses……