2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and conditions, alternative therapies, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and much more. Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine Aging Allergies & Food Sensitivities Alternative Therapies Big Pharma Evils Bone Health Candida (Yeast) and Parasites Cardiovascular Health Case Studies Chiropractic & Physical Medicine Dermatology Digestion Diseases Ear, Nose & Throat Environmental Sensitivities Eye Care Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Fitness & Exercise Health Insurance Issues Healthy Lifestyle Immune System Inflammation Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease & Morgellons Men's Health Mental Health Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins, & Herbal Remedies Pain Management Sexual Health Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues Weight Issues Women's Health

Should I Get the Flu Shot?

It’s time once again to consider getting your flu vaccine.

When it comes to flu shots, I admit I take a far more conventional approach than many patients at WholeHealth Chicago and regular readers of these Health Tips might expect of a doctor who calls himself “alternative” or “integrative.” I’ve recently been reading some of the alternative medicine newsletters online warning people away from flu shots. The conclusion often seems to be “…and I’ve got this product you can buy instead.”

I became a major advocate of flu vaccines in 1974 when there was a flu epidemic and my wife and I simply had forgotten to get immunized. Being in health care, I got the flu quickly from one of my patients and brought it home to share. Illness-wise, we look back on March, ‘74, as simply the worst month of our lives: four solid weeks of being housebound with fever, headaches, exhaustion, and body aches that seemed to never go away. We’d awaken in bed and ask “I wonder if we’re still sick” before coughing deeply and gasping for breath, muttering “Yep, still sick.” We staggered around the house and had friends leave groceries at the front door. Tamiflu, which can offset the seasonal flu, hadn’t yet been invented.

Since 1974, we’ve never missed a flu shot. And although we’ve had very light cases of flu despite being immunized, we’ve never been that sick again.

Let’s review a few of the sentences of protest from patients who opt not to get immunized:
• “I took a flu shot and got the flu anyway.” This is possible. Maybe you got your shot too late in the season and your immune system didn’t have enough time to make antibodies. Maybe the vaccine didn’t target the exact flu strain that year. But at least with an immunization you have a shot at protection (pun unintended).
• “I’m allergic to eggs.” Very few people have a real allergic reaction (sudden onset of hives and wheezing) to eggs. This is not the same as being sensitive to eggs, such as when eggs appear as a positive on food sensitivity testing or you don’t digest eggs well.
• “I don’t want the mercury.” Yes, thimerosal, which contains 25 micrograms of mercury, is used as a vaccine preservative. A microgram is a millionth of a gram, such a minute amount that it’s cleared out by your liver and is harmless.
• “Should I really get two flu shots?” You may not need both. Regular flu shots are always strongly recommended for people over 50, health care workers, anyone with a chronic illness (heart disease, lung disease, etc.), and those who have a lot of contact with other people. Everyone else is welcome to have a regular flu shot, which is why you see so many signs advertising “Flu Shots Here.”
• “I never get a flu shot and I’ve never had the flu.” Congratulations. You’ve apparently got an immune system like a long-range missile protection program. Since there’s no government mandate to be immunized, you can continue as-is. I hope your luck holds out.
Tips on Preventing and Treating the Flu

Since all flu strains are airborne viruses, spread by the invisible droplets people shower you with when they cough and sneeze, avoid the immediate vicinity of both coughers and sneezers. One reason elementary school teachers get frequent colds is their moist and drippy little children lovingly cough right in their faces. If you’re at a movie and the person behind you is coughing mightily, just move away. If you can avoid crowded spaces, like buses and elevators, this too might help.

Viruses are also spread from surfaces, including skin, health club equipment, remote controls, and computer keyboards. If you see someone covering her mouth with her hand when she coughs, it’s best not to shake that hand or use her keyboard, remote, or StairMaster and then inadvertently rub your nose or your eyes with your own hand. This is how the flu virus spreads. And when you yourself cough, remember to do so into the crook of your arm rather than into your hand. Interestingly, billboards throughout Toronto are teaching their citizenry this correct coughing technique.

If you want to boost the status of your immune system, there are two supplements you can take throughout the flu season.
• The first is Host Defense, an extraordinarily popular and effective blend of immune stimulant mushrooms. Clinical mycology is the study of the medical benefits of mushrooms, which have been used for more than 5,000 years to prevent and treat disease. Weighty textbooks and medical journals are devoted to this topic. Host Defense, formulated by well-known mycologist Paul Stamets, is a blend of about 15 immune-boosting mushrooms. You simply take one capsule twice daily for the rest of the flu season.

• In addition, take vitamin D . Ideally, you want blood levels of around 40-60 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter).You could ask your doctor to measure your level, but it’s not necessary. The days are getting shorter here in the northern hemisphere and I haven’t seen any sunlight for a week, so it’s safe to assume your vitamin D is low. We now know that low levels of vitamin D affect your immune system’s ability to fight anything–from viruses to cancer–so just take 2,000 IU of D every day. There’s no danger of overdose.

If you feel you’re coming down with any viral respiratory infection, I suggest starting ViraClear EPs 7630 , a homeopathic remedy recently licensed in the US from one of Europe’s largest nutritional and herbal companies. EPs 7630 is obtained from the roots of the South African pelargonium sidoides plant and in a post-marketing survey of more than 9,000 patients was shown to reduce the severity and duration of a wide variety of viral respiratory illnesses. One published study of 103 patients showed significant improvement of symptoms using EPs 7360 when compared to placebo.

If you’re getting the flu, consider the prescription antiviral drug Tamiflu. If you think you’re coming down with the flu, have your doctor phone in a Tamiflu prescription ASAP. Tamiflu is effective only when started at the very onset of symptoms, ideally within the first 24 to 36 hours. Remember, flu symptoms are much more systemic than cold symptoms, meaning you feel them bodywide. With a cold, everything is rather superficial: runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat, cough. But you can function with a cold. With flu, you start feeling a little bad in the morning and by evening you feel like you’ve been hit by a train. There are respiratory symptoms (worse than a cold), but also fever, muscle aches, brain fog, and tremendous fatigue. This is the flu.

If we have an epidemic here in Chicago, WholeHealth Chicago patients shouldn’t bother making an office appointment to see me. You’ll just infect everybody in the waiting room. Instead, have your pharmacy contact us for a Tamiflu prescription. You’ll get ten capsules and you’ll take two daily for five days. Tamiflu won’t cure you overnight but it will shorten the duration of your flu and reduce the severity of symptoms.

If you’re the well one but some family members have the flu, taking one Tamiflu capsule daily for ten days will lessen your chances of getting the infection yourself.

Leave a Comment


  1. Robert says:

    Perhaps you should read what Dr. Mercola has to say about vaccines.
    You do not need vaccines and you certainly do not need to take Tamiflu or other such garbage.
    It looks like BigPharma and their lapdog media have done a number on you. It’s very unfortunate, for you, your family, and your patients.

    “I don’t want the mercury.” Yes, thimerosal, which contains 25 micrograms of mercury, is used as a vaccine preservative. A microgram is a millionth of a gram, such a minute amount that it’s cleared out by your liver and is harmless.
    That’s a good one Dr. You DO NOT know how much mercury is in these shots. You just want to believe BigPharma. And we know that mercury settles in the brain. Dementia is on the rise…this is just one reason why.
    And more money, more money, more money to BigPharma.

    Your response is most welcome.
    Have a good day.

    Robert

  2. vaccines are fraud says:

    Well, this is what I found on Mercola website, on the comments board regarding your view on flu shots.

    “Obviously not a very well informed natural medicine physician on this issue. Not surprising though. I have seen it hundreds of times. The position on vaccines is the LAST position that a physician will give up as he makes the transition to natural medicine. Obviously Edelberg is not there yet and other well intentioned patients in the Chicago area should be warned of his position so thanks for sharing.”

    Fortunately he doesn’t impact many people and his website gets virtually no traffic.

  3. Dr. Edelberg says:

    The amount of mercury in a flu shot is extremely small and definitely harmless. I remember when I was in geriatrics and signed one death certifcate an hour for several days in a row because patients in nursing homes were dying of flu related illnesses. These were most often patients whose families had yours and Dr Mercola’s attitude about flu shots. I myself am less cavalier about other’s peoples lives. So many deaths can have an effect on a physician. I now, and will continue to advocate flu shots hoping to prevent unnecessary deaths. If you actually believe my stance has something to do with my being in the pocket of Big Pharma, that’s your problem.

  4. Nancy Ramsdal says:

    I have avoided flu shots for years because since I started having Fibromyalgia symptoms the pain from the shots seemed worse, and felt like it caused flare ups of my system. Information from earlier 2000’s was that FM patients might not mount enough of an immune response to the vaccine to gain immunity, so why cause a flare up? I just recently investigated this question again, and found a study taking a look at this specific question that found the flu vaccine did not cause measurable increase in post-vaccine FM symptoms, and that patients did form enough antibodies, so I’m going to go back to getting the flu shots this year!

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

 

*Yoga Therapy for Digestive Health
1-3 pm Saturday, April 22

In this workshop you will:

  • Discover how biological and environmental factors shape the health of your gastrointestinal system.
  • Learn specific breathing techniques to reduce stress and feel more grounded in your body.
  • Practice yoga postures that soothe, detox, and ground the entire GI system.
  • Practice a mindful eating exercise (on gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free foods) to explore your relationship to food and cultivate fulfillment.

Registration
Insurance-eligible for WholeHealth Chicago patients.
$50 registration for self-pay or those new to WholeHealth Chicago.
Space is limited and registration is required. Register by calling (773) 296-6700.
More>>

Questions? Please email Renee here.

 

*Self Care for Chronic Pain with Yoga Therapy and Healing Touch
Monday May 15th and Monday May 22nd
6pm – 7:30pm
Workshop Fee $75

Are you looking for ways to manage chronic pain that doesn’t involve medication? Consider a gentle exploration in Healing Touch and Yoga Therapy that connects mind, body and spirit for overall health and wellbeing with WholeHealth Chicago’s Healing Touch practitioner Katie Oberlin and Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo.

Enrollment is limited. Register online here or by calling (773) 296-6700 to secure your spot.
Read More>>

 

*May Lyme Academy
Lyme & Lymph; A Source of Pain and Swelling
Tuesday May 16, 5:30-7:00pm

People with Lyme disease may experience pain, swelling and have decreased ability to move toxins out of their body. Karen Meier, Doctor of Physical Therapy, will be presenting information about the lymphatic system, how Lyme affects it, self care and manual techniques for treatment.

Registration:
Registration is open to patients of Dr. Kelley, and pre-registration is required. Please call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700 or see a Patient Services team member to sign up!

 

*Awakened Body, Quiet Mind
An innovative workshop series for relieving mind/body stress and tapping into your true power and natural health.

Four Group Sessions with Meghan Roekle, PsyD.

Four meetings using a unique combination of embodiment meditation and mental inquiry for deep healing.

Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm beginning May 23rd.  Register online or call 773-296-6700
More>>

 

*Facial Guasha Class
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!
With Mari Stecker, LAc
Thursday June 8, 2017, 6:30-8PM, $65 course fee

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself! Guasha treatment is a 2,000 year old Chinese massage technique that uses a flat tool to apply pressure to the skin to increase circulation as it moves along acupuncture channels.

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700 or online.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Pain And How We Perceive It

    Pain And How We Perceive It

    Many people suffering chronic pain and fatigue hear far too often the dismissive “it’s all in your head.” Dr. Edelberg has written frequently on the destructive nature of this statement, which places all the blame on the patient and none on the physician to dig …Read More »
  • Stevia and Lyme Disease

    Stevia and Lyme Disease

    Patients often ask me if stevia can treat Lyme disease. The answer is both yes and no. The question stems from a study published in 2015 in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology on stevia and the different forms of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium …Read More »

April Sale: 20% Off Metagenics Medical Foods

Metagenics pioneered the development of science-based medical foods to help manage specific health conditions. Take 20% off these products during April…
More>>