Posts Tagged ‘illness’

Don’t Sneeze on Me!

February 28, 2018
220px-Rotavirus_Reconstruction

Rotavirus

Are you a germaphobe? Or in other words, do you suffer from mysophobia? Do you freak out or are tempted to spray a can of Lysol in your face if someone sneezes within 40 feet of your personal space? Clinically, you probably don’t have this phobia. However, I see a lot of people that seem to come close to it. Do you subscribe to germ theory – the idea that many diseases are caused by microorganisms (or pathogens) such as bacteria and viruses? If you do, you’re not alone. Most people see it that way. And I’m not here to disprove it or say that germ theory is all wrong. However, I believe we need a more balanced view.

Blaming illness on infection by common germs is like a drunk driver who hit a telephone pole blaming his injuries on the telephone pole. Was the telephone pole directly responsible for the damage to his car and his body? Yes, of course. Was the telephone pole the cause of his accident? Of course not! He was driving drunk! That’s why he hit the pole.

I don’t dispute the existence of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens or their role in illness and infection. Even I have taken antibiotics when I had infections that could not be controlled by more natural means. And yes, there are some pathogens for which our immune systems cannot mount an adequate defense (such as Ebola). However, in most instances, our immune systems are capable of fighting off illness or infection due to reasonable exposure to common germs.

Pathogens, or the illnesses they are related to, are rated on two scales – morbidity and mortality. Basically, morbidity means what percentage of people who are exposed to a pathogen actually get sick from it. Mortality is the percentage of people who die from it. There are many factors that affect morbidity and mortality, outside of how mean the germ is. These include your basic level of health, stress levels, nutrition, age, etc. Often times, the very young (whose immune system hasn’t matured yet) and the very old (whose immune system is worn down) are the most susceptible.

Our susceptibility to illness varies from day to day, sometimes from moment to moment. For instance, strong negative emotions such as fear and anger seem to put our immune system on hold temporarily, leaving us vulnerable. Excessive sugar intake (as with most Americans) can cause our immune system to be depressed. Lack of sleep, too much stress, vertebral subluxations, poor eating habits (i.e. junk food – high in toxins and chemicals, low in nutrition), and other factors also reduce our immunity.

Some of these things are hard to avoid. Lifestyle changes are generally difficult to make overnight. So it is wise to reduce the exposure. That doesn’t mean to be a germaphobe, but just exercise a little caution. It’s important to note that many viruses (such as those that cause cold and flu) thrive in a warm, moist environment, such as your sinuses. You should wash your hands with soap and water a few times a day. Why? It’s not that your hands are susceptible to these viruses. It’s because we can’t seem to keep our hands away from our nose and eyes! Those are the pathways to our sinuses. What goes in the mouth (except for poisons and serious toxins) is usually not as much of an issue.

So, yes, be on your guard in a reasonable fashion. However, if you do get ill, the most effective way to figure out what happened is not to look around and see where you got the germs. You need to look in the mirror and try to figure out why your immune system failed you. It probably won’t be too hard to figure out. Most illness happens when you’re not taking very good care of yourself or you’re under a lot of stress. Take responsibility for your health and your emotions. Take care of yourself, and get natural, effective healthcare as needed.

P.S.- After I published this, I thought of some personal insights I’d like to add. What prompted this particular blog post is that I was recently sick (first time in 2-3 years). My wife is prone to bronchitis due to her asthma, which is related to a weakness left behind from having pneumonia as an infant. In spite of this, she did very well this winter until a few weeks ago. She came down with bronchitis. Then a week later, I got it. Many people would say this is typical, but in our house, it’s not the norm. While I was caring for her, I had a particularly stressful night where I slept very little. The stress plus the lack of sleep weakened my immune system. Low immunity plus high exposure equals a strong chance of getting sick.

My children are all adopted. They come from very different gene pools. But one thing they all had in common is that they rarely got sick as they were growing up. I’ve heard of families where illness goes around from child to child and often starts up again at the first child, continuing the cycle. Our family was not like that at all. My kids didn’t eat great, but their diet was above average. I taught them to enjoy fruits and vegetables and limited their consumption of junk food. But most importantly, I kept them in proper alignment with chiropractic. Whenever they would start to not feel well, I would give them an adjustment. Then they would either not get sick or it would be very mild. By working to keep their immune systems strong, there was very little illness in my home.

For more information on caring for your health and well-being, go to www.GoodHealthChiro.com or www.ohanachiropractor.com.

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