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Kick the Swine Flu and Other Bugs

by Jeff Cordeiro

Swine FluItís funny but most of us donít realize that the common cold or flu bug is harder to prevent than cancer. Even the very healthiest among us fall prey to viruses. Normally, we donít lump the flu in with cancer but when something like the swine flu makes the headlines and a swine flu ďpandemicĒ becomes a possibility, then we have to emphasize how serious a viral infection can be.

Viruses are extremely difficult to avoid because they mutate so quickly. We all carry the antibodies for every cold or flu weíve ever had but, because of the infinite number of permutations, we can never have antibodies to fight off every new virus strain.

This is why flu shots donít always work. Basically, those in control of the flu vaccine inventories have to guess which strain of flu is likely to be the next big problem, so they can get enough ready for the upcoming flu season. Sometimes they guess right and sometimes they donít.

The best way to fight off any virus is to stay as healthy as possible at all times (big surprise, coming from me). However, even those of us who many would call ďhealth nutsĒ can fall victim to a cold or flu, as I did recently. With all that I do to stay healthy, I sometimes think Iím bullet-proof. After all, I rarely get sick. Unfortunately, Iím not Superman and enough of those little bugs got past my antioxidant armor to take hold.

Of course, the first question everyone had for me was whether or not I had the swine flu. Honestly, I couldnít say. I doubt it but there really is only one way to know for sure and I donít go to the doctor without a very good reason (like a broken bone). Being I basically crushed the bug in one day, I had no reason to visit the doctor to find out what the virus actually was.

You may know that my schedule is always full. On top of being chief, cook and bottle-washer for New Health Basics, I host MonaVie tastings weekly, bowl in two different leagues on Tuesday nights and usually go out to sing karaoke once a week. I believe that an active life is a healthier life. 

Several weeks ago, while singing karaoke, the director of a local theater company asked if Iíd like to play a part in an upcoming play. I agreed believing it was a small part and only required a couple weeks of my time. I was wrong. It ended up requiring a commitment of 20 hours a week for six weeks but, I hate letting anyone down so, I kept my promise.

Unfortunately, one cast member or another was sick the entire six weeks, our three-hour rehearsals were in close quarters, our four-hour outdoor dress rehearsals were on cold windy nights, I had to bowl four games following one dress rehearsal and then there was the stress of opening night. That was just one too many straws even for this camelís back.

The next morning I woke up with a sore throat. Knowing that I had a performance that night and two a day on Saturday and Sunday, I ramped up my routine. Instead of using the Neti Pot (to clear my sinuses) once that day with just saltwater, I used it three or four times and added honey (a natural antiseptic Ė one teaspoon of honey to 8 ounces of water). Following each use of the Neti Pot, after washing my face and hands, I used Visine (to balance the pH of my eyes Ė proper pH promotes proper health). Instead of taking two ounces of MonaVie (antioxidants) in the morning and two in the evening, I took two ounces four different times that day and added 1000 mg of vitamin C (limit to 400 mg a day for those 8 and under). Instead of taking my minerals once, I took them twice and sucked on a Cold-Eeze every few hours for even more zinc (an antioxidant that also aids cellular signal transduction - the U.S. National Research Council set a Tolerable Upper Intake of 40 mg/day). Instead of flossing once, I flossed twice (the less bacteria my body had to fight the more ammo it had left to fight the virus). I rested all day but kept moving to keep the fluids in my lymph system circulating. I drank 12 glasses of filtered water instead of 8, had soup for lunch and made extra sure I only ate foods for my type (to limit phlegm production). I took a very hot shower to sweat out toxins and dressed extra warmly to keep my body temperature as inhospitable to the bugs as possible.

By the time I had to leave for the performance, I was in pretty good shape. Then I got lucky and that eveningís show was rained out. I continued my assault on the bugs that night and woke up the next day feeling much, much better. In spite of all that my body had gone through, my voice lasted through all four weekend performances.

You might think that this was just an easy bug to kick but one of the other actors, less than one-third my age, got sick on the same day that I did but was so affected by the bug that he was unable to make it to the Friday performance and was still quite sick on Sunday.

The point I want to emphasize is how important it is to give your body what it needs to be healthy (rest, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.). Most medicines don't make you healthier. They merely mask symptoms. They may actually slow your recovery and cause other health issues. Thereís an old joke about a guy who asks his doctor how long his cold will last and the doctor tells him "It will last a week, if you take your medicine, and seven days, if you donít".

The local news recently interviewed a healthcare professional about the swine flu. This person stated that the swine flu is no more dangerous than any other flu. If you do everything you can to be healthy and double your health regimen the minute you notice a little tickle in your throat, a sniffle in your nose, an achiness in your body or extra tenderness in your skin, you can minimize the severity of almost any virus.

If you don't happen to catch it quickly enough and find that you are running a fever of over 102 degrees, please see your health care provider.

To help prevent the spread of any virus, blow your nose properly (both nostrils at once), wash your face and hands after blowing your nose, cough into your elbow rather than your hands and open the windows to let the fresh air in and the bad air out.

As always, I hope you found this article thought-provoking and helpful.

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