Blog Archive - October 2009
October 20, 2009
Every newscast these days has a story with headlines alternating between, “Where is the H1N1 vaccine?” and “Most Americans in our survey said they are not planning to take the H1N1 vaccine because of fears about its safety”. Human beings are so fickle- they demand options but usually respond negatively with their choice. I know that while we wait for the vaccine, people are getting sick and some are even dying. But, I think it is important to stop blaming and complaining and spend our energy in planning and implementing an alternative strategy to protect ourselves and our families.
I can offer some of my logic and the rationale I used to develop my personal H1N1 infection prevention strategy. I am attempting to sleep more. The human immune system function is enhanced by rest and it is less effective if one is dealing with endless days and too much stress. So how do we eliminate or even reduce stress? Compromise on as many things as possible – at least for a few months. Cut the number of activities in your day so you can end it early and get more sleep. Some argue – they don’t have time to sleep. Well, if and when you get sick, you will have to sleep then. Personally, I would rather sleep well than sleep sick. And since I have affirmed this increase in sleep as a major element in my strategy – I am relieved of any guilt about limited productivity.
Hydration is a key to the effective functioning of mucous membranes so increasing my intake of water is a critical element in my plan. I start the day with a smile upon awakening and then drink a glass of water – to make up for the insensible water loss during the night with breathing and sweating. A glass of water before or with each meal helps hydration and compensate for the increased urination that goes with my intake of green tea throughout the day.
Green, white and black tea are great antioxidants and help control my appetite.
I drink Kefir every day (“plain” is better than sweetened varieties). Kefir is a source of probiotic bacteria and enhances the immune system. Adequate protein in my diet is important because antibodies and white blood cells are constructed from protein. Lots of fruits and veggies – real food – whole foods – are essential. I add small quantities of real organic lemon juice, grapefruit juice, or other unsweetened citrus juices. I end the day with chamomile tea to help me sleep well and counteract all the green tea I consumed. A multivitamin with plenty of vitamin C and D adds extra insurance.
Plenty of fresh air – walking the dog and the use of exercise equipment as a substitute on days of inclement weather – will help dilute and expel invading pathogens. Smiling, laughing, singing playing my recorder – even for brief periods throughout the day will keep my mood positive and contribute to feelings of wellbeing.
Now, you have probably read through my plan looking for some expensive or dramatic prevention tools, medicines or medical consultation and ended up disappointed to find only that same old advice you hear every year during “cold and flu season” – get plenty of rest, eat right, drink plenty of fluids and exercise.
Sorry. I think it is a tried-and-true strategy and it is based on promoting optimal functioning of these wonderful bodies we have been given. You got a better idea?