There’s so much focus on preventing the flu that most people haven’t thought much about the dangers of another winter health risk: pneumonia… and yes I know, based on the weather of the past few days this may be the last thing on your mind. But don’t be fooled. The risk is till there.
Pneumonia symptoms can range from mild to severe, and it can be fatal in cases when your immune system has already been weakened from fighting another infection.
If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated against it, think again. The vaccine can cause fever, swelling and, in some severe cases, behavioral changes, swelling and hives. And according to a 2012 study, it may not be effective if you’re 65 and over.
You can try to avoid getting sneezed on, but there are actually 30 different known causes of pneumonia – including bacterial, viral, and fungal.
And based on the latest research, you could catch this infection from your own kitchen or bathroom!
When researchers from Tufts University combed through 100 million medical records, they found that more than 617,000 elderly patients had been hospitalised over the course of 15 years for cases of pneumonia – mostly caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
It turns out these buggers thrive in dark, damp locations – making your faucet and drain the perfect breeding ground for them to thrive and end up right down your gullet when you take a drink from the tap.
But you can avoid pneumonia – and colds and the flu, which often lead to a more severe infection – without vaccines or drugs by following these five easy steps:
1. Install a reverse osmosis filter where the water comes into your house. You can remove a lot of microorganisms that way, but you may also need to give your pipes a good cleaning to remove all the gunk where bacteria like to hide.
2. Load up on vitamins D (about 4,000 IUs daily, which is double what I’d recommend the rest of the year) and C (at least 3 grams every day).
3. A daily probiotic can keep your immune system in prime condition while keeping your gut bacteria in check.
4. Avoiding an injury or illness that could land you in a hospital or rehabilitation facility is key to avoiding “hospital-acquired” pneumonia. Previous studies have shown that yoga can improve balance and decrease the risk of falling in the elderly.
5. Eat healthy, stay active, and wash your hands often with regular soap and warm water.
And remember that only bacterial pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics. But your doctor may not be able to tell whether your pneumonia has been caused by bacteria, a virus, or a fungus.
If you’ve already been infected with pneumonia and are on the mend, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear – because viral pneumonia actually INCREASES your risk of getting bacterial pneumonia.
So if you do get pneumonia make sure stay off your feet for at least the first three to five days.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Healthcare costs for infections linked to bacteria in water supply systems are rising, sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160912084638.htm
What we know about Hillary Clinton’s health, cnn.com/2016/09/11/health/hillary-clinton-health/index.html
Five Facts You Should Know About Pneumonia, lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia/five-facts-you-should-know.html
Is Pneumonia Contagious? medicinenet.com/is_pneumonia_contagious/article.htm