Update On The Flu Survival Guide

by Sarah on January 14, 2013

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A few days ago I sent out a notice that I’ll soon be releasing The Flu Survival Guide.

It’s a project I’ve been working on for at least 5-6 years but I’ve never quite finished it up.

However, given the current flu epidemic, and the limited advice being given for how to contend with it, I felt I had to do something.

So I’m rushing to put something together.

(If you’re just hearing about this now, you can read more about the soon-to-be-released  The Flu Survival Guide here. And if you’re not subscribed, you can sign up there to be alerted to the report’s release.)

Since I sent out the announcement, I’ve gotten a few questions back and I realize there’s a some bits of information you should have about the guide and why I’m putting them together . . .

If you’ve shared the sign-up page link with friends and family, I’ve incorporated much of the information on that page as well.

Let me start with this simple statement . . .

You’re The Expert

A. emailed me to tell me she was looking forward to seeing the guide. However, she and her husband had been getting the vaccine for years due to his heart problem. She reported they hadn’t gotten sick much and it seemed to be working for them.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t write the guide to tell you not to get the vaccine.

When I started this research years ago, I wanted information so I could decide what was best for me and my family.

And that’s what this guide is for – to give you information so you can decide what’s best for you.

No one – no doctor, health official or fired-up health writer – can tell you what you should do about your health. I consider doctors to be health consultants who we should value for their experience and information.

But they are limited in many ways in the scope of their expertise. I’ve worked with and interviewed dozens of doctors who will tell you up front, medical school trains you in medicine, not health and nutrition. And as one nutritionist (with a Ph D) explained to me, in essence, when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

For doctors trained in using pharmaceuticals, medical devices and surgery, they have a hard time even seeing the nutritional and common sense options outside of medicine.

When you graduate from medical school, orthodoxy and the status quo make it hard to look at new approaches outside of the field of medicine. Doctors are flooded with literature about pharmaceuticals and very little about nutrition. Laws in this country make it illegal for nutritional companies to discuss how their products work for diseases. And a huge bulk of the funding for medical research goes to pharmaceuticals.

I know doctors who have told me they are worried about liability lawsuits or censure from their colleagues if they should stray from the standard practice.

This is why I cannot emphasize enough, you are the expert when it comes to your health. Your doctor will probably only bring part of the story based on their expertise. But many of them are limited in their perspective and scope.

And consider this, too. While many doctors have very good intentions in medicine, no one has as big a stake in the final results than you do. Ultimately, you’re the one who has to live with the choices you make about your health.

You are also the one who knows the most about your body and your specific life situation.

As the Tempurpedic commercial puts it so eloquently, “There are no mass-produced people.” We all have unique chemistry and biology that makes it hard to mass-prescribe a solution.

So when it comes down to it, you are the expert. And I firmly believe for your own best interest, you need to take this responsibility seriously.

The story gets worse, however.

In 2012, the Cochrane Collaborative, a very well regarded international research review group released a review of research on the flu vaccine. They looked at 75 published studies and concluded that most of the studies were conducted by manufacturers and not disinterested parties.

And then they said this:

“Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favourable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.”

In other words, much of the research cited by so many about the vaccine seems to be horribly misleading.

I spoke to the lead researcher of this study, Tom Jefferson, 6 years ago when he released an earlier version of this review. The 2006 report had gotten a lot of attention, covered in all the major media. And in 2006, 6 years ago, he expressed similar frustration in trying to get the raw data from the vaccine manufacturer that was not published with the published study.

They would not release it and when I spoke with the vice president of clinical development at the company, he beat around the bush. And they still haven’t release the data.

I had hoped when I refreshed my research after 6 years, things would have changed . . . not so as this updated meta-analysis showed.

Likewise, the lead researcher from the Cochrane Collaborative review released in 2012 on Tamiflu research has hit similar brick walls in getting the full data.

Again – we’re not getting the information we need to make an informed and wise decision about the flu, the vaccine and our health.

And here’s my second point . . .

The Vaccine Is False Security

Have you heard about the Norovirus Sidney? It’s hit Utah after circulating through Australia and England.

You probably know the norovirus well – it’s the one that makes you vomit, have diarrhea and an terribly upset stomach.

It sweeps through cruise ships and nursing homes. In 2012, more than 1500 hospital wards in England were shut down due to norovirus outbreaks.

It’s nasty and fast. Researcher Ian Goodfellow calls it the “Ferrari of the virus world. One of the most infectious viruses of man.”

This year’s version seems to be particularly bad.

And the flu vaccine does nothing to protect you because it’s not an influenza virus.

This is why this soon-to-be-released report is so important.

It gives you options. As any good general knows, you want to have a backup plan for the backup plan.

Whatever you decide to do about the flu shot, you need other ways to protect yourself as well.

The report is not going to give you magic formulas or some miracle cure.

It gives you lots of different tools – lots of them. Many of them very basic, some of them that will take a little effort and diligence to implement. But options that will help you safeguard your health and your family’s health no matter what hits your neighborhood.

Bottom line, while I’ve researched and written about health for close to two decades, when it comes down to it, I’m just a mom.

I’m a mom who doesn’t like to stay up all night with a sick child and can’t afford to miss a day from work.

I’m a mom who watched with fear when 14 years ago my eldest child’s body was wracked with febrile seizures.

I’m a mom who wonders when they talk about flu epidemics if we’re really safe – and what we can do to make our families safe.

I’m a mom who worries and then – together with my husband who hasn’t met a problem he doesn’t chomp at the bit to solve – got researching and experimenting to find some tactics that work.

Do you have other questions or comments? Please share them below.

my pic YHHB edited 1 150x150 Update On The Flu Survival GuideSarah Clachar has built a thriving health copywriting business from scratch while being a mom . . . nurturing a strong marriage . . . and running a small homestead farm. Along with a BA in biology, she’s got two decades of experience teaching and researching about natural health. Her articles have been published in Life Extension Magazine, Health, Mothering, A Taste For Life, Nutrition Business Journal, and Natural Foods Merchandiser.

Over the years, she became keenly aware how important strategically working to maintain her health was for her business. And even more importantly, how good health factored into enjoying the rewards of having a successful business.

At Your Healthy Home Biz, Sarah has combined her expertise in health and her experience running a freelance health copywriting business into a special resource for home biz owners, freelancers and solopreneurs. Your Healthy Home Biz provides inspiration and a system for transforming your workday so you can run your home business without running yourself into the ground.

She and her personal trainer husband also provide family fitness guidance on their website www.FitFamilyTogether.com.

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  • stevescomment

    Sarah, love your comment, “While many doctors have very good intentions in medicine, no one has as big a stake in the final results than you do. Ultimately, you’re the one who has to live with the choices you make about your health.”
    That’s true in personal healthcare decisions. I’d like to add I believe it holds just as true for parents directing the medical care of their children, including decisions to vaccinate or not.

    Thank you for what appears to be a sensible, balanced approach to the vaccination issue. Look forward to reading your flu report.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.clachar Sarah Clachar

      Steve, thank you for commenting. Yeah, it would be nice to have an expert swoop in and make these hard decisions – which get even harder when it’s not your body but your child’s! – but unfortunately no one can do that for us. Only help.
      Report should be ready soon!

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