The Earlier, the Better: Building Immune Defenses Against H1N1

<b>The Earlier, the Better: Building Immune Defenses Against H1N1</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Recently, scientists discovered that the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu virus is more like the H5N1 avian flu than the historic 1918 pandemic H1N1 Spanish flu strain, and that current mutations of the virus have rendered previous flu vaccines less effective.

In a teleconference with colleagues, Dr. Roger Mazlen, an internist in Rosyln Heights, NY, discussed the current Swine Flu outbreaks. Aside from traditional medical school, Dr. Mazlen received specialized training at the National Institute for Health (NIH) and is the former Clinical Research Director for Immunotec, Ltd. in Canada. He has practiced internal medicine and nutrition for more than 30 years.

Swine flu, or H1N1, was first isolated in a pig in 1930, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has demonstrated an ability to migrate from domestic pigs to humans. Dr. Mazlen said there are several factors contributing to the current swine flu outbreak, including environmental, cultural and economic issues. “The current recession, loss of retirement funds, compromised nutrition, reduced exercise, obesity and other factors produce immune depression. A depressed immune system cannot fight off the invasion of viral and other pathogens that attempt to find a home to set up infections in our bodies,” he says.

Dr. Mazlen suggests protection strategies for a potentially larger H1N1 outbreak during the 2009 through 2010 flu season. “Frequent hand washing is a start. Also, lots of daily water helps to hydrate the body and assist the immune system,” he said. Vitamin and mineral supplements add fortification, but Dr. Mazlen suggested also adding fish oil because of its clinically-proven immune function support. Fish oil blends are available as gel capsules or in liquid form at health food stores, and several different brands are also available at www.puritan.com.

Dr. Mazlen said that Tamiflu, the currently recommended prescription medication used in flu and Swine flu, is most effective when used within a few hours of the first viral symptoms. But Swine Flu, as reported by the CDC, has an ability to mutate within hours. Tamiflu may be effective for Swine Flu in the morning, and may be ineffective by the end of the day because of viral mutation.

When asked whether the popular herbal remedy Echinacea could be effective, Dr. Mazlen explained that studies have proven the product has minimal effectiveness in stimulating the immune response. He said he prefers a natural immune-stimulating product that he has used with over 500 patients, including his family members. The product was originally developed in Russia but is now made in the U.S. Dr. Mazlen said he has had good results during the past years with patients fighting flu and other infections. The product, Del-Immune V, is available at www.delimmune.com.

Early measures to protect health might be the key to minimizing potentially serious infections this flu season. Dr. Mazlen closed the discussion by expressing his concern over whether it is Swine Flu H1N1 or a mutated form of the Swine Flu. “It is important to have an immune defense strategy this year — the earlier the better,” he said.

When the Mind Causes Pain

<b>When the Mind Causes Pain</b> (NU) – Susan, a 40-year-old school teacher, was suffering from daily headaches, neck pains, shoulder pains, chronic feelings of tension and sleepless nights.

After performing a number of diagnostic tests and a thorough examination, Susan’s physician informed her that her X-rays, blood tests and MRI indicated she had no physical problems.

Yet Susan’s pain was very real. To her surprise, her doctor told her that her physical pains and discomforts were symptoms of depression.

Susan is one of several people who tell their stories of painful physical symptoms disrupting their lives in a video titled “When the Mind Causes Pain.” The video was produced by Freedom From Fear, a nonprofit mental illness advocacy organization.

Freedom From Fear began its focus on pain and depression with a survey to explore the impact of physical symptoms on an individual’s work, social life and family life. The survey, conducted last May, revealed that almost 90 percent of the participants believe depression or anxiety could cause painful physical symptoms.

Also, 50 percent of the participants who were diagnosed with arthritis, migraines, diabetes and other medical conditions with painful symptoms reported increased pain on days when they felt anxious or depressed.

Some of the other findings indicated that 60 percent of the participants with undiagnosed medical conditions experienced moderate to severe changes in their physical symptoms on days they felt anxious or depressed.

“The connection between physical pain and emotional pain is very well documented in the medical literature,” said Mary Guardino, executive director and founder of Freedom From Fear.

“Among patients with depression, 80 percent first present to their doctors exclusively with physical symptoms. The most common are: joint and back pain, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness and headaches. In fact, patients with painful physical symptoms are three times as likely to experience high depressive symptoms,” she said.

Chronic pain affects more than 40 million Americans each year. Depression affects more than 19 million. The numbers are staggering. The cost in human suffering is immeasurable. Yet, there are safe, effective treatments available, and people can improve their quality of life, even if they are experiencing painful symptoms. A feeling of well-being is a joint effort of the mind and body working together.

If you are experiencing physical symptoms and you feel that your mood and emotional state are being affected, help is available. Call 1-888-442-2022 to access a free mental health screening from a health care provider in your area.

To learn more about “When the Mind Causes Pain,” visit www.freedomfromfear.org. If you wish to purchase “When the Mind Causes Pain” and related materials, send $25 to Freedom From Fear, 308 Seaview Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305.