Now that summer is almost over, we will have the flu season in our hands soon and along with it the advertisements for flu shots all around us. Should you get a flu shot or not? How beneficial it is or not?
First let us understand what an infection is before we analyze flu shots. An infection occurs when the immune system is weak or compromised. There are many factors that will weaken your immune system, like stress, poor diet, sedentary life style, deficiencies etc.. Can we control everything around us to keep our immune system strong? Probably not, but we can control many of the factors like our diet, management of stress and life style. If your immune system is strong, you don't catch any infection, be it cold or flu. As discussed in the previous blogs, eating a nutritious diet will make sure that the cells that comprise the immune system function optimally. Also eliminating anti-bacterial, anti-viral wipes and cleaners in the house is important in keeping the immune system strong. When the body is kept protected from exposure to bacteria and virus, they never learn to fight them and hence when you are exposed, you are prone to catch infections.
What are flu shots? Flu shots are prepared from the previous year's viral strains. It is a live attenuated vaccine, which means it has the live virus. This vaccine is supposed to produce antibodies against the particular strains of virus and if you come across that virus, your body will not be affected by flu. But in most cases, the virus has mutated and is a different strain from year to year and hence it is not effective. Also if there are many vaccines given at one time, it causes the production of auto antibodies which result in autoimmune disorders. This is particularly true for people who already have a weak immune system like infants, pregnant woman and elderly.
So this flu season if you want to keep yourself fit and healthy, eat a healthy diet, stay active and keep a strong immune system!