Is It A Cold Or The Flu?

The next time that you experience a cold or the flu, remember this: giving your body plenty of rest while allowing the cold or flu to run its course is good for your health. Conventional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry would have you believe that there is no "cure" for the common cold, that you should protect yourself against the flu with a vaccine that is laden with toxic chemicals, and that during the midst of a cold or flu, it is favorable to ease your discomfort with a variety of medications that can suppress your symptoms.

Unfortunately, all three of these positions represent a lack of understanding of what colds and flus really are, and what they mean to your body. Colds and flus are caused by viruses. So to understand what colds and flus do at a cellular level, you have to understand what viruses do at a cellular level. Each of your cells are called parent cells, and through processes of genetic duplication (mitosis) and cellular division (cytokinesis), each of your parent cells divides into two daughter cells. Each daughter cell is then considered a parent cell that will divide into two more daughter cells, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Viruses are different from your cells in that they cannot duplicate themselves through mitosis and cytokinesis. Viruses are nothing but microscopic particles of genetic material, each coated by a thin layer of protein. Due to their design, viruses are not able to reproduce on their own. The only way that viruses can flourish in your body is by using the machinery and metabolism of your cells to produce multiple copies of themselves. Once a virus has gained access into one of your cells, depending on the type of virus involved, one of two things can happen:

1. The virus uses your cell's resources to replicate itself many times over and then breaks open (lyses) the cell so that the newly replicated viruses can leave in search of new cells to infect. Lysis effectively kills your cell.

2. The virus incorporates itself into the DNA of your cell, which allows the virus to be passed on to each daughter cell that stems from this cell. Later on, the virus in each daughter cell can begin replicating itself as described above. Once multiple copies of the virus have been produced, the cell is lysed.

Both possibilities lead to the same result: eventually, the infected cell can die due to lysis.

Why Colds And Flus, When Allowed To Run Their Course While You Rest, Can Be Good For You:

By and large, the viruses that cause the common cold and the flu infect mainly your weakest cells; cells that are already burdened with excessive waste products and toxins are most likely to allow viruses to infect them. These are cells that you want to get rid of anyway, to be replaced by new, healthy cells. So in the big scheme of things, a cold or flu is a truly natural tool that can allow your body to purge itself of old and damaged cells that, in the absence of viral infection, would normally take much longer to identify, destroy, and eliminate.

Have you ever been amazed by how much "stuff" you could blow out of your nose while you had a cold or the flu? Embedded within all of that mucous are countless dead cells that your body is saying good bye to, largely due to the lytic effect of viruses.

So you see, there never needs to be a cure for the common cold, since the common cold is nature's way of keeping you healthy over the long term. And so long as you get plenty of rest and strive to stay hydrated and properly nourished during a cold or flu, there is no need to get vaccinated or to take medications that suppress congested sinuses, a fever, or coughing. All of these uncomfortable symptoms are actually ways in which your body works to eliminate waste products and/or help your body get through a cold or flu. It's best to avoid medications that aim to suppress helpful processes such as fever, coughing, and a runny nose.

It's important to note that just because colds and flus can be helpful to your body doesn't mean that you need to experience them to be at your best. If you take good care of your health and immune system by getting plenty of rest and consistently making health-promoting dietary and lifestyle choices, your cells may stay strong enough to avoid getting infected by viruses that come knocking on their membranes. In this scenario, you won't have enough weak and extraneous cells to require a cold or the flu to work its way through your body to identify and lyse them.

How To Differentiate The Common Cold And The Flu:

A cold usually comes on gradually - over the course of a day or two. Generally, it leaves you feeling tired, sneezing, coughing and plagued by a running nose. You often don't have a fever, but when you do, it's only slightly higher than normal. Colds usually last three to four days, but can hang around for 10 days to two weeks.

Flu, on the other hand, comes on suddenly and hits hard. You will feel weak and tired and you could run a fever as high as 40 C. Your muscles and joints will probably ache, you will feel chilled and could have a severe headache and sore throat. Getting off the couch or out of bed will be a chore. The fever may last three to five days, but you could feel weak and tired for two to three weeks.

Because the common cold and the flu are both caused by viruses, antibiotics are not necessary. People who take antibiotics while suffering with a cold or flu often feel slightly better because antibiotics have a mild anti-inflammatory effect. But this benefit is far outweighed by the negative impact that antibiotics have on friendly bacteria that live throughout your digestive tract.

from What Most Doctors Won't Tell You About Colds and Flus by Ben Kim (NaturalNews 10/08). Ben Kim is a chiropractor and acupuncturist who lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife and two sons. He provides information on how to experience your best health as you age at his website, http://drbenkim.com.

Antibiotics Drastically Overprescribed for Sore Throats, Bronchitis

Reported by ScienceDaily 10/13 - A vast majority of people who see their doctors for sore throats or acute bronchitis receive antibiotics, yet only a small percentage should, according to analyses of two major national surveys being presented at IDWeek 2013™. Those illnesses usually are caused by viruses, and antibiotics -- which only treat bacterial infections -- do not help.

Harvard University researchers analyzed the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and determined that doctors prescribed antibiotics in 60 percent of visits for sore throats and 73 percent of visits for acute bronchitis. The antibiotic prescribing rate should be about 10 percent for sore throats and nearly zero for acute bronchitis. The sore throat analysis has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

While antibiotic stewardship programs have helped reduce the misuse of the the medications in hospitals, the analyses suggest the message isn't reaching the community, with patients continuing to request antibiotics for conditions they don't cure, and doctors prescribing them. The inappropriate use of antibiotics adds to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria, or "superbugs," which are very difficult to treat and are a public health threat. "Also, people need to understand that by taking antibiotics for viral infections, they're putting something in their bodies that they don't need," said Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, associate physician at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, and senior author of the study. "Taking antibiotics unnecessarily exposes people to adverse drug reactions, allergies, yeast infections and nausea, with no benefit."

Sore throats caused by streptococcus bacteria ("strep") should be treated with antibiotics. But while people often think they have "strep" throat, streptococcus is the cause only about 10 percent of the time. In most cases, a virus causes the sore throat. Acute bronchitis is almost always viral, and even when bacteria are involved, there is no need for antibiotics unless the patient develops pneumonia, said Dr. Linder.

To assess the antibiotic prescribing rate for sore throat, researchers determined there were 94 million visits to primary care physicians and emergency rooms for sore throats between 1997 and 2010, based on an extrapolation of 8,191 visits. Physicians prescribed antibiotics 60 percent of the time, a decrease from 73 percent from numbers reported by the same authors in 2001.

Regarding acute bronchitis, researchers calculated there were 39 million visits to primary care physicians and emergency rooms between 1996 and 2010, based on a extrapolation of 3,667 actual visits. Researchers determined there was a significant increase in the number of visits for acute bronchitis to primary care doctors, from 1.1 million in 1996 to 3.4 million in 2010. They also noted an increase in the antibiotic prescribing rate in emergency rooms, from 69 percent to 73 percent, during the same 14-year period.

Most sore throats and cases of acute bronchitis should be treated with rest, fluids and using a humidifer, and don't require a visit to the doctor, said Dr. Linder. A cough, runny nose and hoarseness usually are signs that a sore throat is viral, not caused by strep. Pain relievers can help. Essentially a chest cold, acute bronchitis involves swelling and inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs and typically follows a head cold or flu, which are viral infections. The illness lasts a week or two, but the cough, caused by lung irritation, may linger for weeks.

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Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

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