Preventing and Reversing the Common Cold and Flu Viruses
by Thomas C. Petrie, C.D.N., Nutritionist
Table of Contents
- The Common Cold and the Influenza Virus: Very Expensive for the U.S. Health Care System and the Economy!
- How our Immune System Works
- Our Overtaxed Immune Systems
- Dietary Changes for Maximum Immunity
- Your Lifestyle Matters!
- Herbal and other Natural Therapies
- Vitamins Against the Common Cold and the Flu
- Conventional Medical Treatments
- Appendix A: Fasting, the Basics
- Appendix B: On Being a Great Thinker (by John Stuart Mill)
About the Author
Author’s note: Before following any of the recommendations in this book, be sure to seek the advice of your doctor.
The Common Cold and the Influenza Virus: Very Expensive for the U.S. Health Care System and the Economy!
If you’ve been reading the newspapers lately, you’d know that the ‘flu season is here.’ “Better get your flu shot right away!” But wait! There may be a shortage of flu vaccine or it may not work for this year’s strain of the influenza bug! Don’t fear—here’s a book which covers, in a straightforward way, what you can do to get better. The truth of the matter is that there is much you can do to both prevent and reverse the common cold or the flu and this is what this book will address.
What is the cost of the common cold and the influenza virus? About $26.9 Billion per year!
According to a CDC Government report from 2007, the annual cost to Colds and Flu can be tabulated using two figures: Direct medical expenses and lost work productivity. Their summary was that based upon 2003 data, there were:
(a) 3.1 million hospitalized days due primarily to the Flu; (people don’t usually go to the hospital for a cold)
(b) 31.4 million outpatient visits;
(c) Direct medical costs averaged $10.4 billion annually and
(d) Projected lost earnings due to illness and loss of life totaled $16.3 billion annually.
Finally, the total economic burden of annual influenza epidemics using projected statistical life values amounted to $87.1 billion!
Their conclusions were as follows: “These results highlight the enormous annual burden of influenza in the US.”
The cause of influenza (mostly hereafter referred to as “the flu”), is a virus. It is not any type of virus, and should be considered a totally different species when compared to the virus that causes the common cold. The way it attacks the immune system is much more severe and potentially, much more dangerous. The good news is that a healthy immune system is a great tool and will go far in fighting old threats as well as new threats that seem to come along every few years.
Each year 110,000 individuals become so sick that they have to be hospitalized from the flu and a few hundred die from it each year. Still, it should be noted that figures of “36,000 dead” from the flu each year are lies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported less than 1,000 deaths from the flu in 2003. And while fear sells vaccinations, it does NOT make people healthier. (Some 30-50 percent of folks getting the flu have been fully vaccinated.)
There are two types of influenza strains: Type A and Type B. Type A is the more virulent, but both can make you sick in similar ways. Every year, somewhere around the world, one or two strains make headlines for being particularly virulent. Just remember it is your immune system that is the variable over which you have the most control, and it is this variable that I’ll be discussing throughout this book.
The standard or official method to preventing the flu is with vaccinations. The standard ‘conventional’ mode of treatment is to use medications such as Tamiflu®. Both of these items will be discussed further in Chapter 8. Sometimes medications to reduce fever are also used.
Because new forms of the virus may occur each year, the vaccinations tend to change according to what strains are expected. New forms may be extremely virulent and thus, the flu should not be treated casually. If you follow the recommendations herein, prepare to be sick for a relatively brief period of time—perhaps one to four days, depending upon your current health status. Still nothing can be guaranteed, because I don’t know your individual circumstances, your diet, your sleep routine, etc. If you eat poorly, don’t take the correct supplements, drink bad things, etc., then you might be sick for a longer period of time. Note that some recommendations are ‘optional’ due to individual circumstances. For example, if your fiber intake is adequate (e.g., you have two to three bowel movements per day), there is no need to think about fiber supplements. But if you’re a smoker, you’ll need extra vitamin C even before you get sick.
In the conventional model, host resistance plays little if any role in the protocol for treatment. The only exception that could be noted is the fact that those who are encouraged to receive their ‘flu shots’ are those with ‘weaker’ immune systems, namely the young or the elderly. In other words, the very folks whose immune systems are compromised are being advised to take vaccinations which have, as a major side effect, a weakening of one’s immune system! This would not be as bad IF the elderly patients being advised to get a flu shot, were also told to eat better, take vitamin C and other immune enhancing vitamins, and to avoid fluoridated water. Unfortunately, almost never do doctors recommend such measures to those anxious and desperate patients clamoring for that ‘scarce’ flu vaccine. This e-book will provide simple alternatives to this situation: a method by which you, the reader, can strengthen your immune systems and prevent the occurrence of the cold or the flu in the first place. On the other hand, the guidelines in this book will adequately address what you can do immediately should you happen to come down with a cold or the flu.
It is important to recognize the differences between the common cold and the flu. Influenza nearly always starts out with a fever of at least 100°F. Colds are rarely accompanied by fever, except those in children. The onset of flu is generally abrupt and severe. Flu’s standard symptoms, such as general weakness, headache, chills and widespread muscle aches, usually overshadow its local cold symptoms, typically sore throat and nasal congestion. Colds, on the other hand, begin with specific local symptoms. Furthermore, the local cold-like symptoms in flu are less severe than those of a full-fledged cold.
About ninety percent of flu victims have a dry, hacking cough. Colds are less often accompanied by coughs, and their coughs are less painful. Sixty percent of flu victims complain of sore eyes, often accompanied by a burning sensation, redness, watering and sensitivity to light. In nearly half of flu cases, victims have a noticeable flushed face and hot, moist skin.
Colds seldom cause either of these symptoms in adults. As the percentage figures indicate, none of these distinctions is absolute. The time of onset seems more indicative. Unspecific discomfort, fever, coughing and hoarseness usually appears earlier in flu than in colds, while colds usually start with a sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.
The conventional treatments for the flu are a preventative vaccination, medications to reduce fever, Tamiflu, plenty of fluids, rest, not exposing oneself to others and, keeping one’s hands clean!
The last four recommendations are good and have been standard for many years. The problems with the other two recommendations are that they are simply too simplistic and lack serious efficacy data or worse. (See Chapter 8). In brief, all of the standard and official recommendations, taken together, fall far short of what could be recommended, a fact that this book will amply illustrate. Remember the nature of propaganda is often not what is said, but what is ignored. And most of what’s in this book is ignored by both the mainstream media and regular doctors.
Vaccinations are only effective in about forty to sixty percent of the people for the flu (mind you that during any given year, less than three percent of the people get the flu, so by forty percent reduction, we’re talking forty to sixty percent of three percent, or preventing the flu in one (or 1½) out of one hundred people. One hundred people get the shot, (thus with 100 people taking the risks associated with the vaccine), so that one of them (or one and one-half of them), won’t get the flu. This is the crux of any vaccine: All the people take the risk, whatever it may be, so a few (hopefully), won’t get ill. This will be discussed more fully in Chapter 8.
Medications are often recommended to reduce symptoms and fever. The problem with this approach is that this often lengthens the time one is sick. It would be useful to remember that the fever is a mechanism that helps the body fight off an infection. It happens for a reason. In the science of anthroposophic medicine, a fever (unless dangerously high, such as above 105°F), would be encouraged, not squelched. In Afghanistan, when a youngster has a childhood illness and fever, the mother will wrap the child in several blankets to encourage the fever and consequently, to promote wellness in the child. This might be an old “folk remedy,’ but it apparently works.
Drinking plenty of fluids sounds like a good idea, but one could actually do more harm than good if not careful about what types of fluids are being consumed. Soda should be out because it is too high in sugar, contains no vitamins or minerals and is too acidic. It is enormously deleterious to the health of a ‘healthy’ person and should never be consumed by a sick person and certainly not by someone with a cold or the flu. This is because sugar substantially weakens the immune system, that’s why. Just to give an example of the tremendous ability of sugar to depress the immune system, a recent large study performed at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health showed that consumption of only two or more soft drinks per week increased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by nearly two-fold, when compared with individuals who did not consume soft drinks.
Tap water is not always a good idea because it frequently contains toxic chemicals like chlorine or fluoride. Fluoride, as you’ll read in Chapter 3 suppresses one’s immune system significantly and thus, one would not want to drink any artificially fluoridated water or drinks that may have been made with such water.
Rest? How can one argue with this recommendation?
My Personal experience with Colds and the Flu
As for infections and the flu, I think it would be instructive to provide my personal experience with these. The primary reason is simply to note how useful is good nutrition with regards to preventing the cold and the flu. So, for what it’s worth, here is my personal experience. Please note, this writer has been taking one gram of vitamin C, one to three times per day, since starting college in 1976.
(1) I’ve gotten about one cold every two to three years, since high school; They rarely last over one day perhaps because I follow the recommendations in this book or I’m just lucky!
(2) One severe cold in 2010 that lasted five days (I refused to quit drinking coffee during this time, so that didn’t help) and
(3) Lyme disease—extremely severe, back in September of 2013. My fever was 105.8° F for a few days (going up and down between that and 102), and I was so sick the State of New York tested me for the Powassin Virus! (I lived in one of the few counties in New York State that had this mosquito-borne virus around.) Thankfully, 50,000 I.U. of vitamin D, 50,000 I.U. of vitamin A (by mouth and every other day), 50,000 to 70,000 milligrams of vitamin C (intravenous), two to three times per week, 25,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day orally, on non-IV days and super-green foods, lemon juice and water (too weak to make vegetable juices!) and doxycycline (antibiotic for Lyme), and I was back to running regularly within two weeks! I stayed on the antibiotic for six weeks. That’s a quick recovery by anyone’s standards. And yes, I was treated by a “L.L.D.”—that is a “Lyme-literate doctor.” Those who want to see my lab work, can e-mail me and I will e-mail them the blood test results, if they’re skeptical. I’ll black out my escape from a psychiatric hospital, so you can’t read about it!
 .Noelle-Angelique, et al., The annual impact of seasonal influenza in the US: Measuring disease burden and costs; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Viral Diseases, Atlanta, GA Vaccine 25, 5086-5096, 2007
 My book, “The Mainstream Media’s Anti-Vitamin Agenda, 2015, discusses this topic in detail.
 Soda may increase your risk of pancreatic cancer, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Feb. 23, 2010
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