The Trumpet Medical Advisor

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patPatricia Naeder, RN, BS.


November, 2010 Edition ew3

~~~ Cold and Flu Season Tips - Keep your Immune System strong! ~~~


This is the season where keeping your Immune system strong will pay off.

During this season you can fight bacteria and viruses with simple steps.


-         Bacteria, such as streptococcus, which causes a sore throat can be successfully treated with antibiotics plus treating the symptoms. About 20% of colds are caused by bacteria.

-         Viruses can be treated symptomatically, or with anti-viral agents which should be taken in low doses to reduce the side effects. About 70% of colds are caused by viruses, often the rhinovirus which lodges in the nose, head and sinuses.

-         The best goal is to get through the season without becoming infected by either one, by strengthening your immune system to fend off pathogens.

The following lifestyle actions can help you greatly.

1-    Diet: Every day you can strengthen your immune system by eating a healthy, vitamin-rich, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory low fat, low sugar diet according to your state of health and your discussion with your family physician.

2-    Anti-viral foods: To fend off viral invasion, eat an anti-viral, immune strengthening diet, which makes your body unfriendly to viruses. Eating some of the following anti-viral foods will help:

a.     Broccoli.

b.     Turkey, (also relaxing because of its tryptophan).

c.      Fish. Watch the mercury content per week.

d.     Chicken.

e.      Onions, preferably sliced raw, or lightly steamed or sautťed.

f.       Garlic, preferably chopped raw over food.

g.     Beans.

h.     Kale.

i.       Dandelion greens.

j.       Many of the above foods contain lysine, which blunts the action of viruses, and shortens their active life span.

k.     A Mediterranean style high vegetable, fruit and seafood diet is best, but have little lean meat a few time a month for the B12 iron, and carnosine antioxidant content.

l.       Red grapes.

m.  Basil. Use it in iced Green tea for a double hit!

n.     Oregano.

o.     Turmeric, a relative of ginger.

p.    Curcumin . Eat Indian food!

q.     Ginger. Eat chinese food!

r.      Cinnamon, also lowers blood sugar.

s.      Oranges and juice, unsweetened.

t.       Lemons.

u.     Grapefruit and juice which has maringin, an anti-viral substance

v.     Green tea which is a powerful anti-oxidant and scavenges up the damaging free radical cells in your body.

w.   Tea Tree Oil can be applied to viral skin infections 3X a day and will dry up the infection quickly.

x.     Lemon Balm Oil applied to viral skin infections 3X a day will also dry up the infection very well.

y.     Yogurt activates cells which fight viruses.

z.      Olive leaf extract is a powerful antiviral and anti-bacterial.

3-    Hand washing is very important. There are millions of viruses and bacteria on everything you touch and breath. Here are some tips to kill them, and to prevent spread:

a.     Wash your hands with soap and water many times a day. Do not use a towel than hangs by the sink to dry your hands because towels have bacteria and viruses on them from the prior person using them. Use paper towels.

b.     Donít touch your face, nose, and mouth. You are transferring germs, and cross-contaminating yourself.

c.      Buy hand sanitizer, which is basically alcohol. Keep one in your car, purse, at your desk, and in your gym bag or brief case.  It will kill organisms on contact until you can get to a sink. Alcohol can be drying, so use an aloe based hand cream to heal and protect your skin.

d.     Any break in the skin should be washed and treated with common over the counter antibiotic creams, and covered with a band aid overnight.

If you are allergic to Penicillin do not use the over the counter antibiotic creams. Ask your physician to prescribe clindamycin, erythromycin or another antibiotic cream instead. They work well.

e.      Keep your throat free of organisms:  My advice here is to remember that virus & bacteria get into the back of your throat all day long, through your mouth and nose.

f.       The throat bifurcates into two pathways: Your food passage (esophagus) and your breathing passage (trachea). There is a flap that flips back and forth over the opening to these two structures, called the epiglottis. This gets organisms on it too.

g.     Remedy: When you come up out of your basement or a room that has dust mites or is musty with fungus, gargle with an alcohol based mouthwash to kill the organisms that are clinging to the mucosa at the back of your throat and your mouth and tongue.

Then drink or eat something to force the organisms down into your stomach, where hydrochloric acid will kill them immediately.

This keeps them out of your respiratory tract where they will multiply and make you sick.

Drink tea, or coffee or any drink to clear the organisms, and keep them out of your lungs.

4-    Blow your nose throughout the day. The cilia hairs in the nose catch organisms, preventing them from getting into your lungs and bronchi. Donít let the organisms sit there too long in your nose or you will breathe them into your lungs.

5-    Sleep should never be underestimated. It allows your body to equalize itself to bring your chemicals back to normal balance. Lack of sleep compromises your immune system machinery. White blood cells are your Immune System army. Sleeping allows them to reorganize without stressful chemicals in the body.

6-    Stress lowers immune system fighting ability. Once a day, use a relaxing stress - lowering method for 20minutes to relax your whole body. Use any method of complete relaxation that works for you.

Stress elevates the damaging chemicals, like Cortisol and Adrenaline (epinephrine) all through your body, weakening your immune system. Stress also causes vessel inflammation, nerve irritation, and the ability to think clearly and remember things.

Perhaps playing calming music and closing your eyes for 20 minutes, or simply taking a nap away from your work. Using meditation or Yoga or Pilates, after work, or whatever suits your personality style. Your mind and body must be completely relaxed once a day.

7-    Body temperature is important to immune system functioning. Keep your body temperature as close to normal as possible. As soon as your body gets overheated, or too cold, this places stress on your whole system, and your body has to go into overdrive to compensate.

Also, uncomfortable body temperatures can cause micro-cellular damage similar to a circuitry overload. Protect your body from these temperature extremes.

Sometimes this is not possible, as in skiing or running. When finished with these activities, immediately correct your bodyís situation internally and externally with liquids, and adding or subtracting clothing.

8-    Special Conditions for choosing foods. Consider your own medical conditions and diagnosis. You know your body best. Choose the foods and recommendations that suit you and your microbiology best.

If you have allergies, donít take chances because the allergic response weakens your bodyís ability to fight off colds.

However, generally speaking, a low saturated fat, low sugar, high anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-vital diet is most helpful to fend off pathogens of all types.

9-    Excessive alcohol drinking batters the immune system, and destroys nerve branches and nerve cells in your brain and feet and your whole body. Thousands of nerve cells are destroyed every day.  You will be sick all of the time.

If you are drinking to treat symptoms that are bothering you, see a physician and get on the corrective medication for that symptom.

The fix might be very simple and you wonít need to self-medicate with alcohol any more. Remember, if you donít get a satisfactory answer from the first doctor that you see, go see another one. Itís worth it!

10-  Smoking weakens your immune system, destroys blood vessels, causes cataracts, and leaches calcium out of your bones. Get the ďcommitĒ lozenges, over the counter, at the drug store. They come in flavors, like cherry, mint and the cappucinno flavored lozenges can be thrown into a cup of coffee. You will not want to smoke.

If smoking calms you down. Ask your doctor for diazepam, or some relaxant to replace the cigarette. Itís much healthier than calming yourself with smoking.

11-  Supplements can fill in the gaps to keep you healthy. Here are some common ones to discuss with your physician:

a.     A multi-vitamin covers most of the common vitamins.

b.     Acai gel cap, one a day. It is made from the acai berry, a very strong antioxidant.

c.      COQ10 gel cap is for cellular repair, and cellular energy. It speeds mitochondrial cell replication. Like auto-repair.

d.     Vitamin C supplement up to 500mg. supports the immune system and is a mild anti-histamine. It is water soluble so the excess is excreted in urine. Discuss the dose with your M.D.

e.      Bilberry gel cap one a day, is for eye health.

f.       Cranberry caps or tabs are to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Cranberries or cranberry un-sweetened juice is good.

g.     Carnosine caps are to prevent or treat macular degeneration of the eye.

h.     Chromium Piccolinate is good to help with sugar metabolism. Take is low doses.

i.       Combination eye tabs are available which contain lutein, zeoxanthin, and beta-carotene to support eye health. Check with your physician on the dosing, because the fat soluble vitamins, while effective, can accumulate.

12-  Exercise is the best all round therapy if you are not otherwise medically compromised. It should always be moderate. At a minimum walk, or exercise or move around for 20 minutes a day to keep your circulation and brain healthy.

A young active person can exercise moderately for Ĺ hour a day for best results. Walking around the block a couple of times is also healthy, as is going to a gym and using the treadmill, rowing machine, and some moderate resistance training. Repetitions with low weights are better than less reps with high weights which tear muscle and joint structures.

13-  Do not over-train in each session. This causes micro-hemorrhages, and intramuscular and joint damage, which requires 24 to 48 hours to repair. It is non-productive.

14-  Eat yogurt with probiotics in them. Yogurt provides calcium and protein. The probiotics  Acidophilus, and Bifidus regularus balance the flora in the intestines and fight pathogens.

15-  Rest: If you become ill, take time off. Sleep and drink fluids, and take supplements. Have iced drinks and soup with lots of vegetables in it, and tea, which has antioxidant properties.

All of this allows your white blood cells to fight the infection for you. Keep your body cooled off with light clothing and take over the counter pain meds which also lower your fever.

If you have a sore throat, use sugar free popsicles or cold yogurt and iced drinks for relief.

16-  Flu Shots:

If you are in the high risk category, such as senior citizens, you can get your annual Flu shot from your physician.

After receiving the flu shot you may have soreness at the injection site, and some people develop a reaction of mild symptoms of a cold for a day or two.

Allergic reaction to flu shot: If the site becomes very reddened and you have either a rash over your body, or itching all over, or difficulty breathing, go directly to the Emergency Room. You are having an allergic reaction and possibly going into life threatening anaphylactic shock.

Take some liquid Benadryl on the way to the hospital. That will slow down the reaction a bit. You will receive IV epinephrine among other drugs when you get to the E.R.

If you donít keep liquid Benadryl in your house or purse, consider purchasing it. For allergic reactions it can be a life saver to buy some time to get to the E.R. in time. Keep a bottle in your car and everywhere that you keep your hand sanitizer. Better to be safe than sorry.

17-  Meds over the Counter for Colds: If you do get a cold remember that Anti-histamines dry up the fluid, and Decongestants open up the airway circumference to ease breathing. It is best to buy combination anti-histamine/decongestant pills or liquid.

The nighttime combination liquid formulas also include your pain reliever which also lowers fever. So itís very efficient because all of those symptoms are handled with one or two tablespoons of medicine. Some formulas include DM to control cough.

Remember that anti-histamines are NOT indicated with asthma. They make asthma worse.

18-  Using some of the above combinations should get you through the cold and flu season. Happy Thanksgiving!

REMEMBER: Be good to yourself, you deserve it!

I am always available to answer questions or help anyone who gets sick, or has to go to the hospital.  Donít hesitate to contact me.  I would love to help you.

Be the healthiest that you can be, and let not your heart be troubled.


Good Health to You!


Patricia Naeder, RN, BS

Medical Advisor


This column is for informational purposes only, and represents the opinion, and reporting of the author only. Any discussions with the Author should be presented to your own personal Physician for his/her Professional opinion. It is not meant to substitute for seeing one's own Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist for Professional care.

This article is copywrited by the Author.