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Monday, January 03, 2011

Characterizing Flu and Colds

I read a lot of blogs and information about flu and colds.  One thing that I notice is that the discussion of symptoms is always "flat" relative to time, i.e., you will see "runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing," as if they all arrive and leave at once.

Personally (as well as for people I know, and, in fact for everyone I know) the symptoms don't fall out of the sky "all at once" - they have a sequence.

Personally I experience these in a definite order and with a definite time progression.  I see this with others as well and in fact its often possible to decide if you have the same flu as someone else by discussing the progression.  For example, one year a friend said, "Oh I've got it now: first its the sore throat for a week, then the cold for a week, then the earache for a week" and by God he was right!  I had each of these symptoms, albeit very mildly, exactly in that order and for more or less the same amount of time for each.

There is also some specific aspects of symptoms I find for colds and flu. 

For colds I generally only have a mildly runny nose and perhaps a day or two of mild fever.  Nothing that stops me from doing anything but just enough so that I know its there.

Flu is more interesting.  Generally I find a very specific sequence of events.  First there is usually a day or two of gastrointestinal upset - for me very mild usually.  Then there is probably a lag day or two.  Then usually I detect some sort of post nasal drip which increases over a day or two.  Prior to me practicing sinus flushing things were usually more unpleasant after that: a stuffed up set of sinuses, a sore throat for a couple of days, fever, the post nasal drip would drip some miserable crud into my lungs, then the cough would start.  Generally first with a "tight" chest followed by a progressively worse cough over a series of days.  Usually a worsening fever was involved.  Then there would be weeks of "post flu" recovery - coughing for a week or so, some throat crud often involving a day of laryngitis, and a lingering (usually a month to six weeks) of sinus infection misery.

Post iodine supplementation and sinus flushing the course of the flu is now much different.  There is the same basic sequencing but the effects are very mild - generally never involving more than daily discomfort but still not really limiting anything I do.  The cough, sore throat and sinus infection phases are basically gone so long as I keep up with the sinus flushing. 

So no where do I ever see anything related to the sequence of events.  Certainly I know that other adults experience similar sequences of events but modern medicine seems to be completely ignorant of this progression.

What I have found critical to keeping from suffering is to apply the sinus flushing early on and regularly.  This seems to completely eliminate the sore throat phase, it keeps the sinuses from getting a serious infection (blood and yellow mucus), and seems to eliminate the cough - though with a bad flu I can still feel it progress into my chest somewhat - but its manageable and while I may voluntarily cough to eliminate mucus I don't suffer from "a cough".

For flu I tend to need a day or two of sage tea to help the sinus flushing.  Usually I use this (home grown sage dried, crushed, and placed into a "tea ball" then steeped in hot water for 5-10 minutes) if and when I feel things heading for my chest.  Prior to sinus flushing I needed a lot more sage tea but once I started with sinus flushing I find it only really helps with the "chest" aspect.

So why am I writing this?

For one thing I think that the type of flu is probably very definitely tied to the sequence of symptoms - not the just the fact that you have them but with the order in which they appear as well as their length.  No where do I see medical sites talking about this - yet no one I know ever gets "all" the symptoms at one time.

For another I think that its critical to keep the flu from going from your "head to your chest".  Sinus flushing and sage tea do this for me. (Colds, on the other hand, never seem to try for your chest and stay only "in your head".  Colds also never seem to produce the "green, yellow, and bloody" mucus -  instead causing white or clear mucus.  Colds never have gastric and sinus infection elements either.)

For me flu always tries to attack your chest and subsequently give you a sinus infection.  Like clockwork with a flu after its mostly gone suddenly my teeth and face will start to hurt telling me its going for the sinuses.  A couple of additional sinus flushes are critical at this point and completely kill off the sinus problems.

So what do I think?

I think that what we call "cold and flu" today is really made up of two parts:

First colds are simple viruses that cause head-only symptoms: runny nose, fever.  Beyond these basic symptoms I think that other infection elements (the second part) come into play - particularly in the sinuses.

Flu, on the other hand, involves a clear sequence of specific events in a specific order: gastric issues, nasal drip, plugged sinuses, move to the chest, cough, sinus infection.

I will claim that with proper treatment (iodine, sinus flush) that flu will take about twiece as long to run its course as a cold but still not cause significant problems unless you do not use effective (iodine, sinus flush) treatment in which case it will run on for weeks or months.

I think that a properly timed attack is key for flu - particularly during the head to chest transition.

I believe that the iodine and flush kill off bacteria that attempt to take advantage of your weakened immune system.

I believe that proper iodine supplementation helps and that you can increase this during a flu or cold to shorten its life (I went from two drops a day of Lugol's to four during the worst of it).

I believe that the ridiculous over-prescription of antibiotics for flu create far, far stronger strains of these bacteria and that modern medicine is making the problem of flu much worse than it would otherwise be.  Peroxide and iodine are fatal to bacteria for reasons much different than antibiotics and are therefore more effective.  (But since a bottle of Lugol's Iodine is $10 USD and a bottle of peroxide costs about $1.75 USD you will not see much happening in modern medicine to make use of it - particularly if you can do all this at home without a doctor.)

I think that flu should be characterized by sequences of symptoms over time so people can identify them and compare what they have to what the CDC and others are claiming are out there.  Of course everyone is different, but I am becoming suspicious that these viruses have very specific sequences of attack that are easy to identify.

Most of what is available from doctors, pharmacies and over-the-counter only address symptoms.  Flu and colds are viruses and only anti-viral medications will attack them directly.

No doctor or pharmacist that I know has ever questioned anything else regarding the flu like I have here nor do I believe that they ever will - as there is no business in it for them.

I think that if an idiot does not know how to wash his or her own hands (and needs a sign or video for instruction) its obvious that the same idiot will happily spread flu and cold viruses around like there is no tomorrow.  Hence all the "wash your hands" nonsense is just that.  Do you think the cook at home or out and about never sneezes? 

No, I think that this silliness is the result of the fact that most people have weakened immune systems.

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