Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NSAIDS - Ibuprofen, Naproxen

My favorite medications to take for pain are NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. You may know them as the brand names Advil, Aleve, Midol, etc. or the generic ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etc.

I love them because they actually work in my personal experience.

NSAIDs help with swelling, pain, and inflammation. They don't always work the same on everyone, but they do work on me and I am very thankful for that!

Something important about NSAIDs is that they should never be taken without food, or something in your stomach besides water. When taken chronically or on an empty stomach, NSAIDs can create holes and ulcers in the stomach and gut.

When taken in large amounts, or chronically they can harm your body with a buildup of toxic effects. Never exceed the amount your doctor says you can take!

How do they work? They interfere by binding up and blocking the binding receptors of something called substance P, a very small neurotransmitter that transmits pain signals. Basically, it keeps pain signals from traveling.

Hooray for NSAIDs!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A response to "8 Damn Good Reasons Not to Get the Flu Shot"

As a nurse I love Flu Vaccines. Influenza is so bad that I gladly roll up my sleeve and ask a coworker to jab me in hopes that I won't get fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, cough, congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. Being sick is bad enough, but with young, healthy individuals sometimes dying from the flu, I know that it is more than just an inconvenient illness. Dying from the flu is NOT how I want to go.

If I could get a vaccination with ALL the flu strains in it I would. I wish that they would put out two flu shots a year, with a second one updated once they have a better idea of what strains are actually going around.

Recently, I stumbled upon this post: 8 Damn Good Reasons Not to Get the Flu Shot

The listed reasons were so bad (incorrect, misleading, etc.) that I had no choice but to respond to them. 


There is more mercury in a can of tuna than there is in the flu shot. Believing that the mercury in a shot will hurt you is ignorance. 

The quotes in this article are taken out of context and warped. It is true that some in the medical community remove or want to remove a harmless, yet culturally controversial ingredient, but that is because it keeps people from being protected through ignorance and fear, NOT BECAUSE THE INGREDIENT IS ACTUALLY HARMFUL. 

For an example... let's say a bunch of fictional people are dying from a bacterial disease that penicillin can cure. Let's also say that the penicillin pills are pink, and that there is a cultural taboo to not eat anything pink because pink will make your insides rot and your teeth fall out. We know that is not true, but the fictional people believe it, so despite the fact that this medicine would keep them from dying, they will die because they refuse to eat it. So the doctors seeing this talk to the people who make the pills and ask them to make the pills blue. They agree and the pills are blue, the people eat them and everyone lives. This is like the ingredients in immunizations, except that some of the ingredients in question actually are a vital part of how the immunization actually works. They tried to take out the pink color, but all it did was reinforce the idea that pink is bad, and therefore red is bad, and white is bad, and yellow is bad, etc.


This is just basic statistics. They only looked at three years, and three is not a statistically viable number here. Also, correlation does not mean causation. It's like flipping a coin three times... you get heads, tail, and heads, and Emily sneezed the one time it landed on tail, so tail will always make Emily sneeze.


More statistic problems... correlation and causation, AND the fact that 1.) the actual reports say that there MAY POSSIBLY be a possible genetic link that the vaccine turned on that lead to narcolepsy NOT that there actually IS one and 2.) The studies are from Europe talking about a chemical they only use in Europe that the US has not okayed because it hasn't been tested enough. If anything, this should be an argument FOR the vaccine system in the United States.


Yes, the pharmaceutical companies are protected, but the web source for this reason is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that "compensate vaccine-related injury or death claims for covered vaccines administered on or after October 1, 1988." A more accurate title should be “THEY ARE PROTECTED” … FROM YOU! but you will still be able to get compensation if you are hurt from a vaccine.


It sounds bad but it isn't actually a problem. This is not for all vaccines, only the mist-type that is sprayed in the nose. The virus is very, very weak. If you spread this weak virus it will likely do nothing to others. Those who have not been exposed to it previously will likely develop their own antibodies and be protected. However, those without immune systems won't be able to do that, hence why there is a warning to stay away from them. They wouldn't be able to fight off the flu even in its weakened state, which is why they count on healthy individuals to be immunized so that viruses are not passed on to those who would die from them.


If you actually believe this then my story should also cause you to disbelieve it: I got my flu shot three weeks ago. I did not get the flu.

The anecdotal proof conveniently ignores the fact that the flu is spread person to person and the host and his guest likely hugged and shook hands with hundreds of people that day and undoubtedly one of those people passed the flu on to him. If he had got the flu shot a week or two earlier, he likely would of skipped actually getting sick.

Also, have you heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?


Actual experts that spend their life and living studying the disease are the ones to use science, math, statistics and predictions to try and figure out the best chance for us against it. Would you really have it any other way?


So basically this explains that CDC is doing a good job getting people informed and motivated enough to get a flu vaccine. Why is this a problem?

I will add Reason 9: Did you see the DONATE button at the top and bottom of the page? This site looks like a ploy to gain money by pandering to the beliefs of those who just want to read things that reinforce their thinking. 

I bet the creators of this site got their flu shots.

Now if only they had a vaccination for the common cold...