Do I need a FLU Shot ?
This is the time of year when everyone is advised to have a flu shot.
I don't agree.
Flu shots are ideally designed to help prevent the flu. Flu illness by itself is not a particularly terrible disease unless you happen to be elderly or have a chronic illness.
Most healthy young people do not need a flu shot, unless you work in a medical institution or school.
Although flu shots are considered to be innocuous, there are definitely reported adverse reactions to them.
One of my friends, a doctor, experienced a terrifying side effect of a flu shot; Transverse Myelitiis of his spine. He was paralyzed for 4 months from the waist down. He thought he would never walk again. Luckily he recovered, but never took another flu shot again.
Every treatment in Medicine is governed by the adage, "Risk vs Benefit".
The risk from having the flu for a healthy person is feeling sick for 7-10 days. The risk from a flu shot could be anthing from an allergic reaction to temporary paralysis like my friend.
However, for an elderly person or someone with a chronic illness like heart disease, lung disease, asthma, emphysema,cancer, auto immune disease,diabetes etc, the risk of getting the flu could be fatal. So in those people getting a flu shot and taking the risk of an adverse reaction to the flu shot is no where as bad as the risk of getting the flu.
When I worked as an Emergency Room Doctor I always took a flu shot. The reason was that obviously I was exposed to many people with the flu, and the chances of me getting it were very high. If I did get the flu most likely I would go to work anyway, and then I would be spreading it. So I always got the shot. Now that I am not in the ER I don't.
My mother who is over 90, definitely gets the flu shot every year, as the flu could prove fatal to her.
By the way, if you feel like you are getting the flu there is a medication that you can take called TamiFlu if you start taking it in the first 24-36 hours of symptoms. It can knock out the virus if it is Type A or Type B.
The flu season is upon us and it is difficult to avoid. People are sneezing ,coughing, blowing their noses in confined spaces like elevators or offices. The highest risk place is on airplanes where there is no fresh air and everyone is packed in close together.
It is best, if possible to avoid these crowded confined spaces during flu season.
Try to keep your immune system robust by getting enough sleep, avoid being overly stressed, take extra vitamin C, and maintain good Vitamin D levels. Immunitone from Designs for Health can also help boost immune function.
Additional preventive measures can be attained by coming in to the office periodically or if you are feeling "run down", to receive a Vitamin C infusion or intravenous Ozone treatment to boost your immune system.