Consistent with our previous postings, the WHO has now declared the H1N1 flu outbreak as pandemic. There are a few oddities about this declaration. First is how quickly this has been declared and secondly, that the statement itself has so many “qualifier” statements attached.
As I have stated previously, we should be very concerned about this particular strain and I think much more is known about the situation than is being fed to the MSM. It is important that you pay very close attention and more importantly educate yourself as much as possible as to the realities of this particular outbreak.
Expect that as we move toward the fall (late September through November) there will be a massive second wave much as the charts I provided will indicate. Think carefully before traveling. taking any vaccines, and finally you should be doing everything possible to be building up your immune system defenses. Some good information is available like:
Basically it does not have to be difficult. Just understand a few basics health habits and try and reduce the stress in your life as much as possible. A good overview:
Age, stress, and poor nutrition can sap our immune system of its effectiveness. Influenza provides one example. During young adulthood, when the body can mount a robust immune response to this common virus, influenza is rarely fatal. Among the elderly, however, the virus is associated with significant rates of death and hospitalization (Nichol KL 2005).
The impact of aging on the immune system is profound. As people age, a number of critical immune system components are reduced or slowed, including cellular response, response to vaccines, and antibody production. At the same time, susceptibilities to infection and cancer are increased. Some of this increased susceptibility to disease is linked to chronic inflammation, which is associated with many disorders of aging (Ershler WB et al 2000; Hamerman D 1999; Taaffe DR et al 2000).
Age, however, isn’t the sole culprit in reduced immune function. There is no question that exercise, stress, and nutritional status play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Consider just a few of the research findings:
- Dietary deficiencies and malabsorption alter metabolism and exacerbate chronic disorders (Kaput J et al 2004). An imbalance in the intake of dietary fat, carbohydrate, and protein can contribute to the development of diseases (Kaput J et al 2004). On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence of the benefits of a good diet on reducing the risk of many chronic diseases (Ames BN 2001; Kaput J et al 2004).
- Malnutrition causes a decline in immune function and increased susceptibility to infection (Brussow H et al 1995; Lotfy O et al 1998; delaFuente M et al 1998). Likewise, a vitamin or mineral deficiency can suppress immune system function (delaFuente M et al 1998). Correct choices of supplements, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, probiotics, and botanicals have been shown to boost immunity and may also reduce the risk of diseases in healthy Individuals (Kaminogawa S et al 2004).
- Psychological health influences the immune system and the course of many diseases (Kiecolt-Glaser J et al 2000). Depression, stress, and anxiety increase the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the blood, which in turn can compromise, depress, or suppress the immune system (Appels A et al 2000; Dentino AN et al 1999; Maes M et al 1997; Maes M et al 1998; Maes M et al 1999; Boscarino JA et al 1999; Lutgendorf SK et al 1999; Zhou D et al 1993; Papanicolaou DA et al 1998).
- High levels of anxiety are associated with decreased immune function (Ironson G et al 1990; Koh KB et al 1998; Boscarino JA et al 1999; Kiecolt-Glaser J et al 2000).
- Chronic stress can provoke long-term increases in pro-inflammatory chemicals. For example, caregiving for a relative with a serious medical condition results in long-term immune suppression among women (Lutgendorf SK et al 1999).
- Chronic stress from persistent marital problems, burnout at work (Lerman Y et al 1999), and lengthy unemployment (Arnetz BB et al 1991) can also lead to immune alterations that persist for years (Boscarino JA et al 1999; Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al 1987; Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al 1997; Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al 1988; Kiecolt-Glaser JK et al 1993).
So now more than ever, eat well, sleep 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours per day, take a good multivitamin supplement, exercise daily, and above all move to simplify your life to reduce as much stress as possible. Oh yeah, make love more often!