The cold and flu season comes around every year. Winter brings snow, wind, ice and for many people, recurring bouts of illness. Some of them are fairly minor. Maybe a couple days of feeling pretty rotten and we're back at it again.
But for plenty of people, this time of contagious illness brings on maladies far more serious. In this page I'll go over some "common" conditions that may bring about uncommon and very serious heart health challenges.
I'll offer a few ideas to help you avoid the problem in the first place and maybe get over them a bit quicker if you do get hit by the winter time bug that visits many neighborhoods.
I'll also add some information about a most controversial subject area that comes around every year. As Thanksgiving approaches, we hear two kinds of relentless advertising directions. One is holiday shopping and the other is immunization.
I'll cover that second area a little farther down the page.
Keep that idea of a summer breeze in your mind. It will help shorten this cold and flu season. This is sunset view of a bay in Hawaii. In the meantime, here is some good information to help you through the chill.
Viral cardiomyopathy is a very serious condition that weakens and enlarges the heart. This makes it much more difficult for this vital organ to do it's job. Dr. Chauncey Crandall, author of the number one best seller on Amazon, "The Simple Heart Cure", reports that there are about 30 different viral syndromes that can lead to this quick reacting form of cardiomyopathy. Dr. Crandall's expertise is featured in our list of classic books.
These conditions could range from a milder cold and flu to bigger challenges. Inflammation caused by effects of the cold and flu season are also known contributors to viral cardiomyopathy. We listed the treatments for the various forms of this condition on the cardiomyopathy page.
Another even bigger concern coming out of this cold and flu season is a more dangerous condition that can follow a viral outbreak. In America, around three million people develop pneumonia every year. Most of the people who contract this illness recover.
But what can go overlooked is the fact that this condition affecting our lungs can raise the risk of heart attack. Pneumonia causes your heart muscle to demand more oxygen. At the same time, this affliction decreases the ability of your lungs to transfer oxygen to the blood. Many people go through the process of being treated for pneumonia, but the underlying damage to their heart muscle isn't discovered.
Pneumonia also causes the levels of cytokines to go up. These chemicals can promote blood clots all the while decreasing the efficiency of you heart's operation. Inflammation is often a result of pneumonia as well. We already know of the elevated risk to our heart from this one.
People who are trying to recover from viral infections, such as flu are at risk of contracting pneumonia. This means the same tactics to avoid the flu will come into play against pneumonia. Some symptoms of pneumonia in addition to worsening of the indications of a cold or flu would include,
1.) Fever and chills
2.) Sharp pain in your chest or abdomen
3.) Sweating, confusion, rapid pulse, shortness of breath and constant fatigue
There are some very simple steps you can take to help protect yourself from this common ailment we call the flu. Here are the easiest ones for your consideration. And then we'll address that elephant in the room concerning cold and flu season and the potential long term ramifications of certain methods of "prevention."
1.) This one should be ingrained in the minds of regular readers at books-empower.com. Eat a healthy diet! You'll get nearly all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to fight off these conditions by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables. healthy fats and legumes. The Mediterranean diet covers every area of great, health improving, sickness defeating, food planning.
2.) Get more quality sleep. We devoted a page to the effects of lack of sleep. Not getting enough rest weakens your immune system. I'll add in stress at this point too. Higher stress levels will weaken your bodies defense system as well. Remember not to sweat the small stuff. And most of it is small stuff.
3.) Don't be a tough guy. If you feel sick, stay home. Yeah, I know you can make it through the day. But how many other people are you dumping a virus on, who may not be as tough as you? Take a day at home to sleep and let your body recover. While you are home be sure to....
4.) Increase the vitamin C count. By a large amount. Most doctors suggest 2000mg per day. Some natural sources include, oranges, red peppers, kiwi, acerola cherries, and one of the highest producers, which is guava.
5.) Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Think about how often every day that you come in contact with another person who hands you something. A server at a restaurant. A cashier in a grocery line. A conductor on a train. A friend just shaking hands with you when they see you. How about just opening a door in a common area such as a workplace or dormitory?
I've read plenty of research that indicates a virus can live on a surface for several hours. You may pick up a sickness from just opening a door. Which leads to some good suggestions I read from Clorox. They would seem to be experts at cleaning things.
They suggest cleaning and disinfecting....
Door handles, the refrigerator, microwave and kitchen cabinets. How about the television remote? Or the computer keyboard area?
Phone receivers. This is a big one. Where do we put that phone? Right up by our nose and mouth.
Kid toys. They aren't the only ones who touch them. And if they pick up a virus, it is spread very easily by coughing or sneezing in to the air. Take a couple extra minutes to wipe them down.
Double up on cleaning the bathroom. In this cold and flu season, more is always better.
What about that flu shot? This is for sure a personal decision. I've always had a problem with the flu shots for a few reasons.
The first two relate to the actual numbers. My melancholy personality looks for reasoning and data. I want to see the results.
1.) The record of actual success from flu shots are spotty at best. The numbers I saw from last year indicate a protection rate of just over 50%. According to the Centers For Disease Control, that number drops to under 10% for those over the age of 65. And the side effects can be just as bad. Mild effects from aching and soreness are at one end. Those with undiagnosed heart conditions could be even more at risk .
2.) Another data reason causing my skepticism is that it seems that those who race down to get this shot often forget all about the very natural ways we've listed above to avoid the flu anyway. They rely on the shot to protect them and forget about better rest, diet and avoidance of unnecessary contact during this active flu season.
My other reason for concern has been a part of several different pages at books-empower.com. Even though the specific topics are unique, there is that underlying issue of the "ring of protection" that has been set up by special interest entities. Distortion of truth and lack of any semblance of transparency are common traits found among this like-minded group.
Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury. Mercury is a known neuro-immune toxin. In the past, thimerosal has been added to those well advertised flu shots. After independent research verified some of the health risks, the addition of this ingredient was reduced.
But still, that ring of protection remains. The FDA used a method championed by the big pharmacy and major food producers. They allowed vaccines to be listed as "thimerosal-free, if the additive was not used as a preservative. It could be included in the production process. I guess if they say it often enough, they start to believe it.
Some dangers to unborn children and babies from mercury exposure include blindness, cerebral palsy and impaired learning capability.
In adults, the risks include neuro-muscular damage, fertility challenges, memory loss and extreme fatigue.
Mercury isn't the only hidden danger in flu shots. Aluminum is also in some of the strains. This toxin is linked to Alzheimer's disease as well as brain inflammation and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The cold and flu season could carry more risks than just a passing virus.
It's well-known that when we are faced with specific conditions, many of us learn to seek out facts. Some do so in advance of becoming a victim. That search includes looking for truth from independent research, rather than the kind paid for by those who profit from dispensing products laced with known toxins.
Here is a link to some interesting information. You'll read about a very big part of that ring of protection. And you'll see some data about the cause and effect of flu shots.
I suppose you'll all need to use your own best judgement on whether the flu shot is worth it to you. Do your research, but consider the sources. If they get paid by selling stuff, too often they ignore the truth about health risks. And if the source gets paid to protect those who profit from the sales, the results are the same. Use your best judgement.
Mine tells me to follow the list regarding better diet, more rest and being aware of how sickness is passed from person to person.
Use your head in this cold and flu season. If you are already following a heart healthy diet, your chances of escaping the illness this winter are already better.