The Must-Have Holiday Gift

Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical EditorAs you scurry around grabbing those last-minute gifts, you may want to think about one for yourself: a flu shot. Yeah, I know. The weather has been warm, flu rates have been low … and you’re invincible.

But here’s the deal. The flu business has been slow. And if you haven’t been immunized yet, you’re not alone — rates all across the country are way behind last year’s. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

Flu is coming — it always does. And it always seems to really hit in January and after. So just because you’ve been lucky so far doesn’t mean you’re going to win the influenza lotto.

So why is this week so important? Think about it. Holiday gatherings. Holiday visitors from areas of the country where flu is common. And an immune system run into the ground because of the holiday “busys”.

So, while you may make it, say,  through Christmas Day without a problem — all bets are off after that. The first of the year is when we start to see an uptick in patients who are sicker than dogs, and sheepishly moan “No, I didnt get a flu shot yet.”

Last but not least, if you don’t worry about yourself, think of the children. They are the one who get flu most frequently, and often, most severely. Roll up your sleeve as you go to grab that final present. Santa will thank you.

  • Paul Chenault

    May be a reason for less folks getting the shot, its doesnt work and is dangerous

  • Paul Chenault

    Most Physicians Fail to Understand Vaccines
    The sad reality is that most physicians are very busy and are relying on professional organizations and agencies to review the hard data so they can make their recommendation based on their “expert” review.

    Sounds like a great strategy, but it fails miserably as the drug companies figured out long ago this is the strategy they would use. So they bought off many of the experts by directing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to them personally and as a result of this relatively minor investment they are able to influence nearly all the professionals with their propaganda.

    The Importance of Making Informed Decisions
    Hearing of tragedies like the four children in India who recently died after routine vaccinations only serves to reinforce the importance of doing your homework before subjecting your children to any vaccine.

    You can also search for the truth about vaccinations by visiting credible, reliable resources like the National Vaccine Information Center. The more information you have, the better able you’ll be to make smart, informed decisions to protect the welfare of your family.

  • Paul Chenault

    If you’re feeling skittish about going through flu season flu-shot-free, you should know that there are far safer, not to mention more effective, ways to prevent the flu.

    Most people do not realize that vitamin D, unlike flu shots, is a proven method to keep yourself from catching an infectious disease.

    According to the Irish Independent, R Edgar Hope Simpson was one of the first to discover the link between a deficiency in solar radiation and seasonal influenza. Then, in 2006, the journal Epidemiology and Infection published Dr. John Cannell’s paper Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D, which presents the hypothesis that influenza is merely a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.

    He followed this up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008.

    His findings were again confirmed by another recent study — the largest and most nationally representative of its kind to date — that involved about 19,000 Americans.

    It found that people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu. In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde stated:

    “The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu. Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency.”

    Add to this the fact that vitamin D has been shown to have a dramatic impact on nearly all chronic diseases, and you begin to see why optimizing your vitamin D levels may indeed be crucial for avoiding the flu in the first place, and/or avoiding serious and potentially deadly complications from the flu.

    While you can use vitamin D acutely to treat the infection by using 20,000-50,000 units a day for three days, it is FAR better to have your levels optimized BEFORE you are exposed to the flu. If you have been taking relatively larger doses of vitamin D (5,000 units a day or more) then there is very little likelihood that this high dose for three days would work and it is not suggested to try it.

    Only use that dose if you have not been on regular doses of oral vitamin D or had healthy sun exposure.

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