To Your Health
Flu vaccine doesn’t threaten most autoimmune sufferers
Dr. Keith Roach
Q: I am a 39-year-old man with systemic lupus. I have been told that “priming” the immune system with any vaccine isn’t a good idea, because I could develop antibodies that attack my body. Is it a good idea to get the flu vaccine?
A: I often see advertisements for products claiming to “boost” the immune system. In someone with an autoimmune disease, though, that could be a disaster because increasing the immune and inflammatory systems overall could lead to a worsening of the autoimmune disease. In systemic lupus, it could lead to a flare-up of the disease in any of its manifestations — such as arthritis, kidney disease or swelling of the brain.
Fortunately, none of the products touted to “boost” the immune system actually does so. Vaccines are specific antigens (usually proteins purified from bacteria or viruses) presented to the body, which then prepares cells that respond to invaders with the antigens. They shouldn’t increase autoimmune diseases, and the majority of evidence suggests that vaccines are safe for most people with autoimmune diseases and that, for most people, the proven benefits of vaccination outweigh the small and theoretical risk of worsening the autoimmune disease.
Exceptions do exist. Anyone with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome within six weeks of a previous influenza vaccination shouldn’t get the flu vaccine. People with autoimmune diseases taking medication that compromises the immune system shouldn’t take live vaccines. Some physicians recommend against vaccinating patients with a severe autoimmune disease.
My comments shouldn’t be a replacement for the advice of a physician who knows you.
First off, my predilection/opposition to vaccination is as adamant as ever. That inoculations are now mandatory (by and large) is simply a testament to the dysfunctional Washington establishment and the fact that the powerful Pharmaceutical lobbyists work is doing very well for THEM instead of for us — the people they are supposed to represent. Many things are causing our once healthy nation to weaken and debase our level of health; polluted waters and mismanagement of usage (Flint isn’t the only area where our waters are sickening the people, we do it here in Ohio too…using our good water for fracking and draining off the pollution into our riverbeds), and so many other toxins from everything else including GMO’s, lack of labeling of our food sources leaving us incapable to make our own best choices. Not to mention that the focus of medicine is it’s own business ($) model rather than determining cause areas , then correcting those imbalances rather than piling on more toxic (chemical) medicines to our over-burdened bodies.
Dr Roach has given a helpful, intelligent explanation, however, we spring from differing starting points, so I’m gonna see it differently. The medical establishment isn’t focusing on the gut – brain’s well established, vital connection which is in ongoing back and forth communication of the brain in the head and the equally participating ‘brain’ of the gut. This is important to understand for if something is amiss with one, the other is affected also. The energy flow (communication) between them is linked by a channel connected from our mouth to the anus. So since our immunity starts in the gut, one could say that our health is actually controlled by our nutritional input.. .our dietary choices. In fact, barring congenital birth defects, one could say – – “you are what you eat.”
It’s pretty simple really. There is an autoimmune problem. The body or nature hasn’t come up with yet another ‘new’ problem or disease. Our immune systems have become inundated with incorrect material — not the natural food-stuff it recognizes, has always used appropriately to keep its engines humming. Far too few eat what nature intended. Simple, free-roaming animals eating the diets they instinctively need — not not synthetically grown cheap corn and soy; and cruelly crowded into commercial feedlots. Fowl and fish suffering the same indignities. The same holds true with our plant based foods which should be constituting the largest portion of our diets. These of course, should be all organic and sustainable, with no poisonous spraying with insecticides, etc.,. The thrust of it all is more, cheaper food to feed our nation. Quantity, not quality. Couple that with the hype of the processed food manufacturers with the same focus of mass quantity, but with great loss of nutritional value. Going to your doctor for help reveals that your problem is requiring meds because its cause is unknown. But its not unknown. We aren’t eating right. The synthetic, toxic , loaded with preservatives and chemicals of all kinds are making everybody sick. Even people who are scrupulous in their choices are also afflicted. This will continue until our lawmakers are expunged and replaced with ethical people with open minds capable of seeing truth and committed to justice and ethics; doing the people’s business. Our problems are huge!
But even with a corrupt congress taking orders from the corporate structure. . .all is not lost, its just harder. What our doctors should be doing for us, we must do ourselves. There are many committed physicians and specialists globally who have made enormous inroads regarding “autoimmune problems,” and a great many are handling these afflictions with diet primarily, stressing exercise and movement to enhance health, and some also advocating the use of natural supplements such as amino acids (the building blocks of protein) such as what I am doing for my own health issues – heart protocol (and COPD, Alzheimer’s and so on). It is encouraging, frankly, and somewhat justifies my actions regarding what I’ve done to help myself even as most regard it as risky and unwise. For me, it has worked.
We have so many, many excellent, forward thinking people who have been out there, leading the way with simple logical and fairly easy to do processes which actually work. Far too many to list and the assortment is wide, but I want to offer a link or two for those of you who might want to think seriously about taking steps to solve your problems. You might also try going to JJ Virgin.com site. She is delivering such a simple message. Says many of us have food intolerances or are sensitive to foods and don’t know it. So we keep on eating these foods and compounding the problems til hell breaks loose. A large clue she says is the very foods we crave and are drawn to. They comfort us, make us happy. Part of the trap. For me its BREAD and DAIRY. [Folks, I’ve done over 2300 posts here at “smokinchoices,” – – a lot, I know, but I can rarely find stuff now. Have done several posts on JJ Virgin (love her). . one was on “give up 7 foods for 7 days and loose 7 pounds”. . back a few years)] The majority of people are sensitive to CORN, DAIRY, GLUTEN (bread), SOY, PEANUTS, EGGS and the main one is SUGAR. This isn’t complicated, its an elimination diet (safe, well known technique). Give up these 7 foods for three weeks – no cheating, will find not bloating anymore, energy returns. It takes that much time to clear the effects of these foods out of system. Then add back just one food and see what happens, if okay, fine add another, one at a time. Get details on her site. This works and is cheaper and easier to do than allergy testing @doctor’s office. Just as accurate – perhaps more so.
Q #2 I was on a cruise during which I shared a bathroom wit my daughter. She and I both had urinary-tract infections. She has had several recurrences and is seeing a urologist. Is it possible that we reinfected each other?
A: It isn’t at all likely. Virtually all urinary-tract infections are caused by bacteria entering the bladder and not being eliminated by the body. That might be due to the bacteria being particularly virulent or to the person having a susceptibility to an infection. The bacteria that enter the bladder are generally those that colonize the lower intestine.
No matter how carefully we clean ourselves, bacteria always remain on our bodies.
Toilet seats are relatively free of bacteria.
My comment: (Was up late last nite doing this post. Must have published it without saving last efforts of categories, tags and this response. Sorry)
From my perspective it seems that my response to #1 Question above would apply here also as they both seem to be struggling with impaired ‘immune system’ function. We can’t rely on our own dynamic immunity to protect us against all the invaders which our toxic world throws at us. . .if we have not been willing to do right by our body – ourselves. We must be committed to correct any dietary errors (see all the above) — stop loading poisons and crappy, empty-calorie stuff into our precious body. Treat it right and It’ll protect you back.
As to the toilet thing, I wouldn’t venture a guess as to how clean or contaminated they might be?? But something our mommas should have taught us as we learned how stuff works in this world, is which way to remove the fecal matter. Always pull to the rear (from behind), rather than forward – dragging potential bacteria from the gut over a vulnerable vagina and all it’s parts. . . just sayin’ Jan
Dr. Roach answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters at www.rbmamall.com Write him at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.