4 Tips to Stay HEALTHY This Flu Season
If you watch the news or listen to public health agencies, you’ll surely hear the message that “the first and most effective way to prevent the flu is with yearly vaccination.” But why and on what data are they basing this recommendation on?
During the 2012-2013 flu season, the flu vaccine's effectiveness was found to be just 56 percent across all age groups reviewed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) —that’s the statistical equivalent to a coin toss! In seniors, aged 65 and over, the US flu vaccines were only 9 percent effective! The fact is that your immune system is the most powerful determinant of whether or not you’ll get sick this flu season.
Your flu might not actually be the flu.
When someone starts to feel sick, feverish, or achy in the Fall and Winter months, most of us automatically think it must be the flu. In fact, only 20 percent of all flu-like illnesses are actually caused by the influenza virus.
The CDC doesn't even know how many people die each year from the flu, putting their estimates at between 3,000 and 49,000 people a year – and that is for "flu-associated" death, which means "deaths that occur in people for whom seasonal influenza infection was likely a contributor to the cause of death, but not necessarily the primary cause of death." The reality is the vast majority of these deaths are due to pneumonia, not the flu, which likely accounts for only a few hundred. Yet the CDC continues to use tens of thousands as a scare tactic to drive people towards flu shots.
So what can you do?
Well, first off you can make sure that your body and your immune system are functioning at their optimal level. As you know, your nervous system controls every cell, organ, and tissue in the body. Chiropractors correct the structure of your spine to relieve any stress or pressure on the nerves, which may be causing malfunction or disease in your body. There are also a few things you can do on your own:
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an important player in overall healthy immune function, but it's also an effective antimicrobial agent in its own right, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- Proper Diet: If your diet contains a lot of refined sugars, grains and processed foods, you're not doing your body any favours this flu season. Instead of giving your body the fuel it needs to function optimally, which means being healthy enough to fight off infectious viruses, you're giving it more toxic elements that it must overcome.
- Exercise: Regular exercise significantly reduces your chances of getting sick, and studies have clearly shown this. In one such study, staying active cut the risk of contracting a cold by 50%, and cut the severity of symptoms by 31% among those who did catch a cold. The researchers noted that each round of exercise may lead to a boost in circulating immune cells that could help ward off a virus.
For research on chiropractic and your immune system, click HERE.