H1N1: The topic of much conversation, conjecture and fear. Over the past several months this virus has been highlighted on the news as something that can attack you at any time, any place and is potentially fatal. H1N1 is touted as a fearsome virus.

What is truly the issue is not the geographical reach of this disease, nor it’s virulence; nor even, the potential efficacy of the suggested vaccine. The real issue at hand is how strong your immune system is and whether or not it has the ability to launch an immune reaction strong enough to eradicate the virus before it negatively impacts your health and well being. Even with the use of the suggested vaccine, you must have a strong immune system in order to facilitate the building of the appropriate antibodies to the virus.

In all instances viral, bacterial and parasitic invasions require a weakened immune response in order to gain the upper hand in the human body. These organisms thrive in the systems of the immune compromised. These same organisms wither in the face of a strong immune response.

Immune compromised people include: the very old, the very young and the very ill. These individuals all have weakened immune responses and may well succumb to an infection by H1N1 or any other pathogenic organism.

It is true that the strength of the invading organism is a factor to be considered. It is equally true that our best defense against any illness is to ensure that our immune systems are working as efficiently as possible.

As we enter into the fall weather, we are in much closer proximity with our fellow man and pathogens. It is important to protect ourselves in an effort to prevent disease. We must also ensure that should we contract an illness; the intensity will not be as strong and our rate of recovery will be improved. All Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the use of powerful immune supporting treatments.

It is important to ensure that your lungs are strong and healthy. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that weak lungs equate to a weakened immune system. Chinese medicines of choice may include GanMaoLing, YinChiao or YangYinQingFei to strengthen the lungs. Western medicines may include Corylus avellana, Echinacea purpurea and high doses of vitamin C and Zinc. Naturopaths also offer natural “flu shots” to support immune function.

Prevention is the key. The beauty of prevention is that its natural sequelae are: decreased likelihood of contracting an illness; less severe symptoms should you contract a disease, and a better immune response should you opt for vaccination.