Seems like only yesterday, though actually it was 2003, that a viral infection called SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) meandered around the world after starting at a live animal market China. For those affected, what first appeared to be an especially bad cold quickly became something ominous, progressing to a potentially fatal pneumonia. Ultimately there […]
The Flu: How To Recognize It and What to Do
It’s here, folks, and this year could be a doozy. How do we know? We keep a watchful eye on Australia, whose winter and flu season occur six months before our own. The New York Times reported that “In 2017, a terrible flu season in Australia presaged an American outbreak in which 79,000 died. Experts […]
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV): Trouble On The Horizon
A quick blood test will verify that 98% of you are carrying an inactive form of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), one of several herpesviruses (human herpesvirus 4, to be exact) that can rest quietly in your body. You hope. That high percentage is confirmed by testing large populations for the presence of EBV antibodies, produced by […]
Getting Tough With Your Immune System
No reasonable physician (I modestly include myself here) can refrain from crowing delightedly when a new clinical study confirms the value of a treatment he or she had been using for years, even if that treatment had contradicted prevailing standards. Ever since I learned something about natural medicine, I’ve been reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for […]
Then, one day, you realize the dermatologist’s waiting room is looking awfully familiar these days and more than likely, you’re there because the wart is back on your kid’s finger. These fleshy little growths (the wart, not the kid) are caused by the papillomavirus, of which there are thirty different types. Interestingly, all the different warts you’ve read about (common wart, plantar wart, genital wart, and so forth) are essentially the same, but their appearance changes according to their location on the body. Because the virus invasion is confined to the topmost layer of skin, it manages to elude the radar screen of the immune system. When a wart does disappear spontaneously, it probably just got ‘noticed’ and appropriately zapped.
Since almost everyone gets chickenpox as a child, most of us are susceptible to developing shingles as adults. Each illness is caused by the same virus, which is called varicella in children and herpes zoster in adults. After the chickenpox ends, the virus goes into hibernation in the nerve cells along the spinal cord. Then, many years later, when the immune system is weakened in some way–by age, stress, certain drugs, illness (even the flu)–the virus awakens. At some point along the spine, it travels along a nerve, producing a painful rash along the band of skin served by that nerve. Herpes zoster means “belt of fire”–the name is apt.
Doctors call them “viral upper respiratory infections” or “acute viral nasopharyngitis” because big words always sound impressive to patients. But the common cold is…well, common. Most of us get two or three a year. Colds are caused by upward of 200 viruses and it’s this large number that not only prevents developing a “cold vaccine” but is also responsible for the woeful complaint, “Another cold? This isn’t fair! I just got over one.” Neither conventional nor alternative medicine can cure a cold yet, but our WholeHealth Chicago remedies will get you feeling better muy pronto and may just might knock a few days off the usual seven to 10 days you can expect a cold to last. And you might even build up some more resistance to fend off the next cold virus that comes your way.