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Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 | 0 comments

Flu Shot or Not?


 

It’s back. Flu season is here and everywhere you go, signs hang from store windows – “Flu Shots available” “Get your Flu shot here”.

During the 2010-2011 seasons, nearly half of all Americans received a flu vaccination. But the question and the controversy remains, is the flu shot really protecting us? Or is it really just a shot in the dark?

Advocates insist that the flu vaccine will protect the weak and keep the population primed for the dreaded day when we may be threatened by a true pandemic. However, critics argue that the vaccine is practically no better than a placebo, and in fact, there may be many safety concerns in getting a shot.

Over the years, scientists have become better at isolating specific influenza strains and producing updated vaccines. But it is still an inherently inexact science. We are simply unable to keep up with the speed at which viruses can morph and spread. So are we even aiming at the right target?  In even healthy populations, typical vaccines only protect against 3 or 4 strains, not the multiple strains that are constantly mutating.

But it is fear that keeps the population coming back for more – new shots each year to protect us. But do we really need to be so afraid in the first place? Experts explain that the incidence of influenza is greatly inflated because of an incredibly common confusion between the deadly influenza viruses and simple “influenza-like illnesses” (commonly miscalled the “flu”) that are more frequently attributed to other viral and bacterial agents.

Experts estimate that only about 7% of people with “influenza-like illnesses” actually have influenza.

The CDC has the media portraying influenza as a deadly threat, but data suggest that seasonal influenza is actually relatively rare and benign, with an incidence of less than 1% in the general population during autumn and winter months.

On average, experts estimate that perhaps 1 adult out of 100 vaccinated will get influenza versus a whooping 2 out of 100 for those who do not. So is the possible gain worth the risk?

While there are still certainly plenty of experts that highly endorse the influenza vaccine, take a look at what is in your shot:

Thimerosal  a mercury-based preservative removed from other vaccines in 2001

Polysorbate 80 – a chemical linked to infertility

Formaldehyde – a major human carcinogen

Octoxinol-10 – a chemical commonly used as a vaginal spermicide

THE GOOD NEWS? There are other ways to stay healthy this Flu season!

 

Natural Prevention

-Avoid contact with sick people

-When you are sick, stay home!

-Wash your hands frequently

-Keep your (germy!) hands away from your face

-Support your immune system with plenty of sleep and exercise

-Get plenty of sunshine (soak up that vitamin D)

Avoid antibiotics. Surprised? Antibiotics can weaken your natural defense system. By avoiding chemical antibacterial agents, you’re immune system will get smarter and work harder.

Get adjusted! What better way to support your immune system than a strong base. Use regular chiropractic adjustments keep your spine in line and your body healthy.

 

 

Yours In Health,
John J. Koc, D.C.
16429 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ. 85032

 

 
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Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 | 0 comments

Health Care, The Cost That Affects Us All!

Health care is a universal necessity for all individuals. Without it, the personal cost of everything from dental procedures to eye care can be a serious dent to your wallet. Health care is also a key component of our economy.
However, we are only ranked #37 by the World Health Organization’s analysis of health services in the world. Why is health care so costly in the U.S?

Click image to enlarge
Health Care Costs Infographic
Via: Medicare Supplemental Insurance.com

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Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 | 0 comments

The Supreme Court’s health care decision: What it does—and does not—mean

Supreme Court Building

The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (which I’ll just call the Law) in 2010 was regarded as a landmark event in U.S. history. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, which largely upholds the Law, should also be viewed as a landmark event—whether one agrees with it or not.

Why? Three reasons: Everyone wants health care when they need it. Everyone wants to be spared financial devastation from the cost of that care. And health care accounts for 17% of the total U.S. economy, and is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the economy—putting the rest of the economy under enormous strain.

Before the Law was passed, I saw two huge challenges facing U.S. health care. The first was the fact that so many people did not have health insurance. The second was the high cost of health care.

For decades, the percentage of Americans with health insurance has been lower than in other developed nations. Passage of the Law did not immediately change things. At the time of a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2011, 46 million Americans—15% of the population—had no health insurance. These people lived an automobile accident, a heart attack, or a stroke away from becoming destitute.

Who are they? Relatively few are unemployed adults. People who are chronically unemployed have often been able to get health insurance through Medicaid. In fact, most of the uninsured are working adults whose employers did not provide health insurance. Many are children—often, the children of employed but uninsured adults. A smaller fraction are adults under the age of 65 who are out of the labor force.

Another group of people without health insurance are healthy young adults who have simply decided not to pay for health insurance—and to take their chances. They know that if they become seriously injured or ill, they will receive health care somewhere—effectively paid for by the insurance payments that other people are making. They are “free riders.” In passing the Law, the President and Congress basically said to them, “That’s not fair.”

What does the Supreme Court’s decision mean?

It means many more people will have health insurance. That does not, however, mean universal health insurance will be provided to everyone.

It means that health care will continue to be provided largely by the private sector—private doctors and hospitals. And for people under age 65, it will largely be financed by private insurance companies, not the government. The charge by some that the Law is “socialized medicine” is simply misinformed.

It means that many very popular provisions of the law will remain in force:

  • Insurance companies won’t be able to deny an individual coverage because he or she has a chronic medical condition, drop coverage if an individual becomes sick, or put limits on the amount of lifetime coverage a person can get.
  • Young adults under age 26 can still be covered on their parents’ health plans.
  • More low-income people will probably be covered by Medicaid, a health insurance program financed by both the federal government and the states

It means that several unpopular provisions of the law also will remain in force:

  • Starting in 2014, individuals will have to pay for health insurance: no more free riders. The Law creates mechanisms that make the cost of health insurance much more affordable for people who don’t have coverage through employers, Medicaid or Medicare. But nearly everyone will have to pay. That’s the contentious “individual mandate” that many people had speculated would be ruled unconstitutional. It wasn’t.
  • Starting in 2014, many employers who do not currently offer health insurance as a benefit will be required to do so, or pay a stiff penalty.

Read the rest of this article at The Harvard Health Blog

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