Many people hear the word "Cytokine Storm" and think it is a weather prediction.
However, this storm is one that can kill you. It is a "body weather prediction".
A cytokine storm can kill you. It occurs when a very severe viral infection (such as Swine Flu H1N1 or Bird Flu H5N1) takes control of your immune system and causes immune confusion in your body. Basically your body starts to work on overdrive and becomes really confused. This reaction called "Cytokine Storm" over activates your body to where normal feedback loops designed to calm things down fail to operate. (See the Medical Dictionary definition here.)
Your immune system becomes a runaway freight train where high fever, massive inflammation, extreme fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea dominate every minute of your existence. Did you know that MOST of the 25 million people that died in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic died from a cytokine storm? Wow... that's good information to know. You don’t want to be caught in a cytokine storm.
So what does this have to do with you and your family?
I know what you are thinking... "that's great and all, but what does it have to do with me?"
It actually has A LOT to do with you, especially if you are the caretaker of your family, especially if you are using alternative medicine on a consistent basis. Educating yourself about this is EXTREMELY important.
You see, when someone in your house gets "the sniffles" there are so many wonderful ways of treating the illness through a natural route. Elderberry Syrup, First Defense, essential oils, diffusing, baths, glycerides, tinctures... In essence there are a lot of resources to use in order to combat the illness before it gets worse.
However, if someone in your care (including yourself of course) gets ill and it keeps getting worse, and worse, and worse and worse... you could be FEEDING the problem by what herbs you are using.
There are some herbs that COMBAT the Cytokine Storm and aid your body in fighting it, and there are other herbs that actually make it worse.
Here is a list of herbs that help to COMBAT Cytokine Storm (and if you keep getting more and more sick, these are the herbs to INCREASE), basically the good guys:
-St. Johns Wort
-Tea Tree Oil
-Vitamin C (lots of it!)
Now... here is a list of herbs to STOP taking if an illness is starting to escalate to a BAD stage, basically the bad guys:
-Honey (any sugar of any kind makes it worse)
So... How do I recognize a Cytokine Storm?
Once again, if you or anyone in your care is just starting to get sick, the risk of cytokine storm is NOT real. It's okay to use Elderberry Syrup and First Defense, honey syrups, echinacea and all the other things on that list.
However, if these signs show up and the illness keeps escalating, then be aware that a Cytokine Storm could be upon you:
-High Fever for extended period of time (102*+ for 2 full days without breaking) - See this article about the basics of fevers, gives excellent information and medical guidelines.
-Swelling and redness on the body
-Nausea and diarrhea consistent for 2 full days
-Rapid resting heart rate (over 100 beats per minute)
Remember, please seek medical attention in the case of an emergency. Don't avoid medical help when a Cytokine Storm could be upon you or anyone in your care - because it can be fatal!
NMM Suggestions During Illness
As always, the key to staying healthy is PREVENTION. Eat healthy, wash your hands, take daily herbs (like children's multivitamin) to keep your body healthy.
AS SOON as a sniffle is heard in your household, get out the Elderberry Syrup and/or First Defense Cold and Flu Formulas. These formulas are wonderful as a FIRST attack on an illness. Diffuse essential oils and put Tea Tree Oil on the bottom of your feet. Sleep and douse yourself in water, drink water like crazy!
Let me just add - when I JUMP on a "flu bug" as soon as I recognize the symptoms 90% of the time it goes away within 24-48 hours. Literally.
If the flu bug escalates and gets worse within 48 hours, then decrease the herbs on the "bad guys" list above and increase the herbs on the "good guys" list instead. Watch the fevers and stay hydrated. 95% of the time when a flu bug escalates, if you are smart about watching it a cytokine storm won't appear. Just stay aware and educated.
But remember, please don't shy away from medical help if a major problem arises.
You've got this! You can take care of your family!
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