Monday, May 1, 2017

The Importance of Immune Function in Stomach Flu and other Illness

It may be the end of stomach flu season but for the first time in 20 years my husband and I came down with stomach flu. This was a real nasty version that made you feel like a mac truck had mowed you down.  I could hardly drag myself out of bed for two days. 
Why did we get sick, when normally we don't get sick with flu or colds?  The answer is easy in our case. Our immune function was down.

Stomach flu really is sneaky at times.  My father-in-law got sick a few days after seeing the dermatologist.  They diagnosed  his over the body rash as a drug interaction. They then gave him Prednisone for the rash which is hard on the stomach. He was given a Prednisone taper dosage.
"Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is particularly effective as an immunosuppressant drug. It is used to treat certain inflammatory diseases (such as moderate allergic reactions), some autoimmune diseases, and (at higher doses) some types of cancer, but it has significant adverse effects."

After a few days on the new medicine, he called us saying he had been throwing up with diarrhea for several hours and was really sick.  We rushed over there and took him to emergency since he is 92.  They put him into the hospital for dehydration and instability. They did lab tests on various kidney and liver functions. They ruled it a medicine side-effect reaction. He was there for 3 days. At the time of his entrance into the hospital, my sister was due in to stay with us for a month, and the place he was living at gave all the residents a 60 days notice to pack up and leave. They had sold the building. I was livid with anger at what they did to the residents, all in their late 90's.  I was at the hospital constantly with dad. My stress level was off the wall. My emotions were torn up with where to move dad and the others. So I was angry as well.

My fatigue started while he was in the hospital.  I was tired from the stress and away from the house to take my daily regimen of immune boosters. I thought the fatigue was due to stress.  The second day of the fatigue, I went and bought sea food salad locally from a store to eat while at the hospital. When I began to get sick and throw up three hours later, I thought it was food poisoning.   I took colloidal silver and Kyolic garlic for it only after I began throwing up.  Two days later my sister got sick, then my niece, then my husband. It was apparent then, it was the flu originally caught from dad, that we were all sick with. So the diagnosis of 'medicine reaction' was wrong and misleading.  Since I have never had stomach flu, I was not worried about that. I have been around people who got sick before and not gotten sick.  What made the difference?

Immune function in all of us was down. I might add that my sister gets a flu shot every year, but she got sick too. My husband and I don't believe in flu shots. I still don't. I believe in keeping the immune function at optimal performance so you don't get sick, even when others are.  In this case all of us were under abnormal stress.  We were devastated in having to move dad again. He had just moved in the place the middle of January. He and all the others loved it there and it was convenient for us to visit him. The way they did it caused emotional turmoil and anger.  Those negative emotional reactions really cause problems in your immune function.  It imbalances your fragile immune function.  So what should we have done.

I should have made more of an effort to take immune and nerve supporting herbs. When my sister was there, I did not take them as I usually do.  My normal schedule was thrown off with all the activity.  She does not believe in herbal medicine, so we took the herbs from the kitchen to the bedroom where it is harder to remember to take them. I was having a hard time juggling my sister's visit, dad's hospital stay, and trying to figure out the next step for dad.

When dad got sick, I should have begun a heightened response to ward off what dad was sick with. I really thought it was medication related.  No one else was sick at his apartments that we knew of. So I was caught off guard as well. I had suspected food poisoning,  since the food they served the residents was often uncooked or of poor quality.  My advice for myself and all of you for the future, is to assume that anyone around you who is throwing up and suffering from diarrhea, is contagious.  It is better to be safe than sorry. 

Immediately began a high dosage of Vitamin C,  Goldenseal, oregano, and Kyolic garlic. Take more of your favorite immune boosting formula. If you don't have one, visit your local health food store, and they will help you pick one. 

At the first sign of heavy fatigue, start the immune system regimen. Do not blame it on stress.

Assume the worst, that you are coming down with a virus or bacterial infection. Waiting as I did, cost me one day of throwing up and severe fatigue for several days longer. It ruined Easter day and a week of my sister's visit.  She got sick too which did not help her visit. I must point out that she would not have taken herbal remedies from me because she believes in standard medicine and flu shots. She proclaimed if it's the flu, I take my flu shot every year. She  got just as sick as we did.  So the flu shot does not work for all flu viruses.  She did not experience a reduced case either.

So my lesson for today is don't assume it is stress or just fatigue from overwork. Immediately go on a heavy regimen to boost your immune system early when the abnormal fatigue begins which is about two days before the illness really sets in.

So healthy blessings for you all reading this column.

All for today, Kate Freer,  the herbladyisin