Eight Natural Options to Remedies That Reduce Headache Pain

Headaches! Some natural treatments work as well as drugs.

Over forty million Americans get headaches each year. Eight million of them will have to visit a doctor’s office. The most common type is the tension headache. The other two common types of headaches are migraines and clusters. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/know-your-headaches.html

There are many drugs used to treat headaches. This link lists the most. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraine-treatments

Natural Options

https://www.greenmatters.com/p/natural-headache-remedies?fbclid=IwAR0-FOHiKW59W5xz555x8cv3MY1JExDh_9qwofKigScyWngyRmhNJpZMdwE

Drink Water

Headaches can be caused by dehydration. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21517-dehydration-headache#:~:text=A%20dehydration%20headache%20happens%20when,and%20taking%20pain%20relief%20medication.

Relaxation Techniques

Tension headaches may be treated with several types of relaxation techniques. http://www.headachereliefguide.com/relaxation.php

Magnesium

Low levels of magnesium are also known to cause headaches. https://www.withcove.com/learn/magnesium-migraine-prevention#:~:text=How%20can%20it%20help%3F,transmitting%20chemicals%20in%20the%20brain.

Ginger Tea

Inflammation is another known cause of headaches. An anti-inflammatory such as ginger tea is known to work well. https://www.healthline.com/health/ginger-for-headache#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

Hot or Cold Compress

It is an individual’s choice to use hot or cold compresses. Place it on your forehead, temples, or back of your neck. I prefer a very hot shower to soak my neck, shoulder, and back muscles. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/in-depth/migraines/art-20047242#:~:text=Apply%20hot%20or%20cold%20compresses,may%20have%20a%20similar%20effect.

Butterbur

Traditional treatment for many ailments is butterbur, Petasites hybridus. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/butterbur

Vitamin B2

A deficiency in the B vitamins can cause headaches. For example, a riboflavin deficiency (vitamin B2) appears to be more headache-inducing than other B vitamins.
https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/vitamin-b-2/#:~:text=High%20doses%20of%20Vitamin%20B,next%20two%20months%2C%20researchers%20said.

Turn Off the Screen

Blue light can create eye strain and headaches. I bought a new computer monitor a while back and immediately had eye problems and headaches – within ten or twenty minutes. I bought a pair of blue-light filter glasses, and I can spend hours without any health issues. When you suspect that your electronic device might contribute to your headache, take a fifteen or twenty-minute break. https://www.healthline.com/health/blue-light-headaches

Conclusion

There are many causes of headaches. Treating a pathway that is not the cause of your headache may have no effect. For example, there may also be more than one cause – stress/muscle tension and blue light. Assess your life to determine what lifestyle changes might be needed.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/causes/sym-20050800. This link is a good one to review potential causes of headaches.

See your doctor when your headaches are increasing in frequency or severity or are interfering with your daily interactions.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin

 

Six Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs

When was the last time you took your blood pressure? I take mine daily.

Many things are known to cause high blood pressure. In some cases, it is probably caused by a combination of factors. Drugs treat a specific pathway. Over time, drug dosage or the type of drug is changed because it may no longer be effective.

What are typical causes of high blood pressure? Smoking, obesity, too much salt, too much alcohol, unmanaged stress, old age, genetics, and more are part of the list.

Dangers of High Blood Pressure

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410. This is a good link on high blood pressure. Complications from high blood pressure could be a heart attack or stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, weakened blood vessels in the kidney, thickened blood vessels in the eyes, metabolic syndrome, memory problems, and maybe even vascular dementia.

The cost of a blood pressure monitor has fallen a lot in recent years. I did a quick Google search and found several under $20. It is a good insurance policy to get a blood pressure monitor and use it often. Record your times and blood pressure readings. Take this information to your doctor when you have a problem or at your annual physical exam.

Drug Options

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/hypertension-ace-inhibitors-medication-natural/2022/03/07/id/1059974/. One method of lowering blood pressure is to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE). Nearly half of the prescription drugs used to control blood pressure are ACE inhibitors.

Side effects of ACE inhibitors used to control blood pressure include a dry cough, hyperkalemia (increased potassium levels in the blood), fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and loss of taste. Angioedema or swelling of the airway happens rarely. There are three groups of people who should avoid ACE inhibitors – those who are pregnant, those who have severe kidney failure, and those with allergic reactions to ACE inhibitors should not use them.

Natural ACE Inhibitor Options

Garlic

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966103/#:~:text=Garlic%20supplements%20have%20shown%20effectiveness,levels%20and%20blood%20’stickiness’.

Grape Seed Extract

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33671310/

Pomegranate Juice

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21457902/#:~:text=Pomegranate%20juice%20consumption%20may%20reduce,and%20reduces%20systolic%20blood%20pressure.

Indian Gooseberry

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/indian-gooseberry and
https://pharmeasy.in/blog/amla-uses-benefits-side-effects/

Mushrooms (Lion’s mane, shiitake, maitake, and reishi)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3443885/#:~:text=Shiitake%20feeding%20resulted%20in%20a,blood%20pressure%20increase%20in%20hypertension and
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224414001289

Whey Protein

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6526665/ and
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-whey-protein

Conclusion

There are other natural options to treat high blood pressure. Unfortunately, doctors cannot prescribe any of the above since they are foods and are not approved by the FDA to treat anything. However, you can talk to your physician and tell him that you want to try one or more of these natural options and work a plan that will align with any current drugs you currently take.

If not on a prescription drug, I suggest getting your doctor’s approval to take one or more natural options, regularly monitor your blood pressure, and report back to the doctor within an agreed-upon schedule. High blood pressure is not something to ignore.

My personal experience with high blood pressure when I flew in the military was that if I kept my weight in check and exercised regularly, I never flirted with high blood pressure. However, if I gained weight over the year and slacked on my exercise, I would tend towards more elevated blood pressure. There are natural options to control blood pressure.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

 

 

One in Five Older Adults Are Deficient in This Vitamin and Have Higher Risk of Dementia

Eggs are a good source of folates (vitamin B9)

Twenty percent of older adults are deficient in folate (vitamin B9). Researchers examined over twenty-seven thousand medical records of men and women between 60 and 75.

The Study

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/low-folate-dementia-death-aging/2022/03/22/id/1062407/. None of them were previously diagnosed with dementia. For four years, the researchers monitored the records for any diagnosis of dementia or death. Over 3,400 of them were deficient in folate.

At the end of the study, of those 3,400-plus, dementia was noted almost 8 per 10,000 person-years. The measurement of person-years accounts for both the number of people and the amount of time each person spends in the study. If ten thousand people spent one year in a study, the metric of 10,000 person-years would be used.

Death was observed at just under 20 per 10,000 person-years. Those not folate deficient usually see rates of just over 4 per 10,000 person-hours for dementia and just over 5 for death.

Options?

https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-folate-folic-acid#1. Natural sources for folate can be found with an easy Google search. WebMD lists beef liver, dark leafy greens, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), asparagus, broccoli, oranges, bananas, and eggs as foods high in folates.

Confusion

https://www.healthline.com/health/folate-deficiency. Vitamin B9 sometimes appears as folate or folic acid on labels. Folate is the natural vitamin, and folic acid is the synthetic one. Vitamin B9 is not stored in the body and must be replenished daily.

People with vitamin B9 deficiency usually have fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Changes in the hair, nails, and skin might also be symptoms. In addition, B9 is critical for heart health, and palpitations might also be a sign of B9 deficiency.

Conclusion

This study was done by researching health records. Therefore, there was no cause-and-effect analysis done. Folate deficiency may or may not be a pathway to dementia, but the data is alarming and worth consideration.

Vitamin B9 is needed in many aspects of our bodies’ health. Another B vitamin, B12, mimics Alzheimer’s disease. It would not be a hard jump to assume that another B vitamin might also be a contributing pathway to dementia. And it is an easy test to assist in diagnosing and treating dementia.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

Who Is Putting Cancer-Causing Poison in Our Drugs?

Hard to resist the smell and taste of bacon!

Nitrosamine is a toxin linked closely with cancer in the lungs, brain, liver, kidneys, bladder, stomach, esophagus, etc. Recently, nitrosamine has been found in a blood pressure drug, Accuretic, manufactured by Pfizer.

Pfizer’s Drug

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/accuretic-blood-pressure-medication-pfizer/2022/03/22/id/1062321/. Elevated levels of nitrosamine were discovered recently in Accuretic, and Pfizer reported that there is not an immediate risk. Pfizer recalled this drug. Additionally, Pfizer recommends that patients using this drug talk to the physicians about an alternative treatment option.

OK, no risk, yet change medicines, eh? Yes, nitrosamines are found in other products, especially cooked bacon, cured meats, cosmetics, etc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609975/.

Is it a health risk if found in so many products we consume regularly? Or is it the level of nitrosamine detected? It depends on whether the sodium nitrites or sodium nitrates are synthetic or natural, such as those contained in celery powder. Nitrites are added to processed foods to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

Options?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/nitrosamine. Nitrates and nitrites have been used as preservatives for longer than we care to remember. Salt is used in ‘uncured’ meats instead of nitrites. However, some consider salt a health hazard almost equal to nitrosamines.

Regardless, nitrosamines result from chemical reactions of nitrates to nitrites by the enzyme nitrate reductase or other secondary or tertiary amines. Nitrites react with proteins, such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and become nitrosamines.

Avoiding any foods with nitrates and nitrites will help immensely. However, some foods are difficult to avoid – like bacon! I have been buying uncured bacon for a few years. Is there a real advantage?

Maybe, maybe not? My bacon is nitrite-free, and no preservatives are added. It does have sea salt and celery extract listed on the label.

What minimizes or inhibits the chemical reactions that lead to the formation of nitrosamines? Vitamin E (all eight compounds), vitamin C, selenium, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid. Increasing your daily intake of antioxidants can also be of immense benefit.

Other Concerns?

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet. This fact sheet is a good source for the dangers and options of cooking meats. Some recommendations include avoiding direct flame, hot metal surface, long high-temperature cooking times, continuously turning meat, and removing charred portions of cooked meat.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15284391/. Nitrosamines are not the only worry when it comes to our foods and potential cancer sources. Nitrosocompounds increase as meat is cooked at high temperatures. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (HCA) and heterocyclic amine (HA) are the byproducts.

Conclusion

Is Pfizer using nitrosamines for preservation? I do not know. The article did not go into detail, and my research did not specifically say they did. However, it had to get into the blood pressure medicine. Pfizer. And then there was the recall indicating some level of safety concern.

Coincidentally, not long ago, Pfizer recalled its anti-smoking drug, Chantix, due to nitrosamine levels.

The level and duration of nitrosamines determine the risk of future health problems. Very low levels of sporadic exposure to nitrosamine should not be near the concern of daily exposure to higher levels. How much and how long are still unknown.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughin.com

 

Reverse the Sleep Apnea Aging Processes with This Simple Fix

Sleep disruptions can harm you in both the short and long term.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when the upper airway is blocked during sleep. As a result, it creates breathing problems and repeated awakenings during the sleep cycle.

Sleep and Inflammation

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902075211.htm. An article in the September 2008 issue of the Biological Psychiatry Journal reported that losing a little sleep at night can trigger inflammation. Researchers measured (NF)-ĸB, nuclear factor kappa B, levels that regulate the body’s inflammatory responses.

Those with more sleep had higher levels of (NF)-ĸB compared to those missing a portion of their normal sleep cycle. Higher levels of inflammation occur because of OSA-caused awakenings during the night.

Sleep and Oxidative Stress

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40989-6. The rest, repair, and recuperation during sleep eliminate ROS (reactive oxygen species) that our bodies generate when we are awake. Impairing the sleep cycle retains levels of oxidative stress that would have usually been removed from the body. Again, OSA causes interrupted sleep intervals not conducive to eliminating oxidative stress.

CPAP and Sleep

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sleep-apnea-aging-cpap-treatment/2022/03/21/id/1062134/. A recent small sleep study (https://erj.ersjournals.com/) measured two dozen people diagnosed with OSA before and after using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines. The participants’ blood and DA were analyzed to measure biological age. This sleep study lasted one year.

Those with OSA and not using CPAP machines were found to have accelerated the biological aging processes. CPAP machine keeps the airways open, and the body receives a steady flow of oxygen, reducing or eliminating sleep disruptions. Those using CPAP machines showed slower signs of aging.

Reducing OSA sleep disruptions by using CPAP machines reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which, in turn, lowers the rate of aging.

Conclusion

OSA is one of several factors that can increase the rate of aging. Smoking and diet are two causes that were also identified and addressed during this study. Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of other health issues besides aging. High blood pressure, stroke, and mental decline are frequently observed in patients with untreated sleep apnea.

Check with your doctor when you have issues getting consistent sleep issues. Stress is a significant cause of sleep difficulty and can be managed with a more aggressive stress management program. Reducing alcohol levels before bedtime helps also. Plan your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Did You Know that Small Bedroom Lights Can Harm Your Health?

Sleep, quality sleep, cures many things!

Sleep is mandatory for good health. There is a healthy range of around seven to nine hours for adults. When you are outside that range – above or below – your long-term health can be impacted

Power of Sleep and Health

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep#:~:text=Sleep%20is%20an%20essential%20function,the%20brain%20cannot%20function%20properly. Our bodies (and minds) require sleep to recharge and repair. We have an internal body clock called the circadian rhythm. It regulates our sleep cycle.

Light affects our circadian rhythm. The hypothalamus in our brain has special receptors (suprachiasmatic nuclei) that process light – natural or artificial. It helps our brain determine whether it is day or night. As the light gets dimmer as night approaches, our bodies make melatonin, increasing our need for sleep. The reverse happens in the morning when cortisol is produced to promote alertness and energy.

How Much Light Affects Us at Night?

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sleep-light-heart-insulin/2022/03/15/id/1061332/. A recent small study of twenty healthy adults (https://www.pnas.org/toc/pnas/current) found that one night of sleeping with the lights on created measurable health events compared to one night of sleep with the lights off.

Those sleeping with the lights on had higher pulse rates during their sleep and awoke with higher insulin levels. The study results pointed out that this small study may indicate a problem that could develop over time – years. How little light affects us during sleep is debatable.

The Moon and Sleep

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20211101/moon-affects-sleep-differently#:~:text=Moonlight%20is%20a%20reflection%20of,hormone%20cortisol%20during%20full%20moons. Thousands of years of human existence has seen the moon bright and non-existent. Has the moon’s brightness for those sleeping outdoors been a factor in long-term health? I do not think anyone knows since we cannot measure, test, and evaluate our ancestors.

However, we do know that moonlight is the reflection of sunlight that affects the creation of melatonin. Studies have tested and measured melatonin levels with the cycle of the moon. In men patients, both melatonin and testosterone were lower during the full moon phases. Additionally, cortisol levels were also higher.

These studies were done in Sweden with over 800 people. However, the measurements were for one night of sleep. Men and women were affected differently. The difference was less than a half-hour in the total sleep each night, and the men were more sensitive to the phase of the moon.

Red Light at Night

https://www.healthline.com/health/why-not-to-have-red-lights-on-at-night#light-to-avoid-at-night. We see a red light in military command centers, onboard ships, cockpits of aircraft, astronomy labs, and more. It is to improve your night vision. However, does it affect your sleep?

There have been numerous studies on red light and sleep. A crucial factor in determining the red light is the frequency of the light. Many red lights are tinted red and are not representative of true red light.

A study was done in 2012 of Chinese basketball players (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499892/) using red light therapy to evaluate the performance of athletes. Red light therapy stimulates the mitochondria to produce more energy and endurance.

The results were improved sleep, increased melatonin levels, and better endurance than the placebo group with no red light therapy.

A more recent study (just before the pandemic) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1477153519885157 tested an office environment by combining red and ambient white light. Again, a measurable difference was noted post-lunch in alertness and energy levels than measurements before the test.

Sleep inertia is a measurable state of cognitive impairment and sensory-motor performance immediately after arising from sleep. It is the transition from sleep to being fully awake. Does red light impair sleep inertia? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6506010/

Measurements were taken in one to three-minute intervals after awakening showed that red light does not suppress melatonin, and results do not affect sleep quality.

Light to Avoid Before Sleep

Blue light is common in many computer screens, cell phones, and other electronic devices. I had headaches and eye strain when I bought my current monitor a couple of years ago. I could go five or ten minutes and begin to feel eye strain, and another ten or fifteen minutes resulted in the beginning of a headache.

I bought a cheap pair of blue light glasses, and I work with the monitor for hours a day without any eye strain or headaches. Blue light helps our bodies adapt to the day. It makes us feel more alert. However, at night it is harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Avoid fluorescent lighting, LED lights, televisions, cell phones, tablets, computer screens, gaming devices, and the like for a couple of hours before bed. If you have sleep problems, this might be an easy thing to address.

Conclusion

Quality sleep is needed for long-term health. So a night or two (and probably even a few more) will not be a big deal. Yes, you will feel groggy for a while, but a good night’s sleep will correct it.

The incremental impairments from having a light on in your bedroom while sleeping still need to be evaluated over months, if not years. Leaving a television on while you sleep might be one of the most detrimental to long-term health. Both the blue light and the background noise affect sleep quality and your circadian rhythm.

Sleep is one factor for long-term health. Exercise, diet, stress management, weight management, and more lead to a longer and healthier life. Many factors play in sleep patterns. Being aware of those that can affect you and making changes to improve sleep might be one of the wisest things you can do today and in the months to come.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

How Bad is It Here Compared to Everywhere Else?

Are the French worse off than the United States in living with the virus?

The media tells us how bad it is in the United States daily. But, have you ever wondered how bad it is here and in other places? Would you believe there are places in the world where the survival rate from COVID-19 is over 99%?

COVID-19 Survival Rates Over 99%

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ Japan, Spain, Canada, Israel, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Italy, Turkey, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, and India are just a few countries where the survival rate from COVID-19 is over 99%.

Israel has a survival rate of 99.8%, South Korea’s is 99.7%, Hong Kong’s is 99.5%, and Japan’s is 99.5%. So when we hear the figure of 99% survival rate, does that mean anything? Yes, there is still a one percent chance you can catch the virus and die from it.

Does it depend on who is asking the question? From the beginning of this pandemic, we have known that older adults are the most vulnerable.

Death Demographics – COVID-19

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1191568/reported-deaths-from-covid-by-age-us/. Over one-quarter of a million Americans over the age of 85 have died with or from COVID-19. Almost the same number of citizens have died between 75 and 84 years of age. That is over one-half million out of over 900,000 people who have died in the United States.

Trim the age demographic a bit more by adding another 200,000+ who did not survive COVID-19 between 65 and 74 years of age. That equates to roughly 680,000 deaths attributed to the pandemic virus in people over 65.

The next bracket down, demographically speaking, is 50 to 64 years of age. That might be closer to those working adults with families. They are approaching retirement and have concerns about their future. Over 170,000 of this group passed on over the past two years due to coronavirus. This represents nearly 94% of all pandemic deaths. If you are under 50 years of age, you belong to a group of about 6%.

What about other countries? France, for instance?

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107434/victims-coronavirus-age-france/. Eight percent of the French population perished to COVID-19 under 65. Nearly five and a half percent of Germans under the age of 59 are no longer with us because of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

I scanned several websites looking specifically for COVID-19 death demographics. All were similar. And we would expect that. However, some countries were unprepared for the pandemic in early 2020 and suffered a much higher loss rate of older adults. Italy, for example, lost 99.6% of its aging population over the age of 59 to COVID-19.

Conclusion

Italy has a 99% survival rate overall. Less than two percent of the one percent loss of the pandemic were under 50 years of age. (0.02 times 0.01 equals 0.0002 of the total, for example). Is that enough to worry about if you are under 50 years of age? Would you buy a lottery ticket with those odds? The United States is running a 98% survival rate. Six percent of the two percent who died from coronavirus is tiny. So, again, if you are under 50 years of age, is there a significant concern?

Many people have died during the pandemic due to the virus. It is not lightly taken by anyone who lost a family member, coworker, or friend. Your family, coworkers, or friends might have been in the group of over 850,000 older Americans or 57,000 younger citizens. It still hurts regardless of their age.

I did not publish any data on those under 18 years of age or even under the age of ten. The numbers are meager. It appears this pandemic virus preys on the older, more health challenged. The old joke, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” rings true.

We tend to wait until something grabs us by the throat before we decide to visit the doctor. However, the military forced me to get an annual flight physical every year to remain on flight status. My string of over thirty years of physicals continued when I retired in 1999.

I have not missed an annual physical exam since 1967. I probably visited the doctor’s office for an employment physical back then, but those memories are harder to dredge up. Regardless, if you have not had a comprehensive physical exam in years, add it to your ‘to-do’ or ‘bucket’ list. Put it in writing because, in my case, if it is not in writing, it generally will not happen.

As always, protect the most vulnerable – they are the main target of this pandemic virus.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Hiding Data Because It Might Be Misunderstood Is Not Right

We are not in the data collection mode anymore, but it is hard to tell the difference.

I remember that coronavirus data was everywhere during the first several months of the pandemic. Then, it appeared that databases were no longer being updated, and others consolidated into more centralized control. Data was then being parsed. The numbers supported the narrative of mandatory vaccine shots.

Today’s Headline

https://www.yahoo.com/news/cdc-isnt-publishing-large-portions-124915536.html. The CDC is not publishing COVID-19 data that can help all of us. We get data on the number of new cases from the media and CDC. When was the last time you saw a headline from a source in the United States about breakthrough cases? Some states provide it, but not all.

The CDC was given over a billion dollars to update and maintain its database during this pandemic. As a result, lots of data has been collected. However, many in CDC fear that it may be misinterpreted and used against them by the anti-vaxxers. Additionally, the data was not working as the agency wanted it.

Many of the anti-vaccine crowd list trust as their number one reason not to get a vaccine. If you cannot trust those, to be honest with the data, why should you believe only what they chose to tell you?

Wastewater Data

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/surveillance/wastewater-surveillance/wastewater-surveillance.html. The CDC recently released a dashboard of wastewater data from 31 states. Data is collected from all 50 states, yet only 31 states have it integrated into the central database. How did that happen?

I have never heard the term, wastewater, as it applies to healthcare statistics. Wastewater data presents the pandemic virus as a community statistic. It eliminates privacy concerns related to medical data. Using the health data in a wastewater format removes the legal and ethical challenges.
Last September, the CDC launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) to track the SARS-CoV-2 virus collected in wastewater samples across the United States.

Local health departments track the pandemic virus in their wastewater to alert the community to act more quickly when viral levels increase. This ‘early-warning’ system works in conjunction with other data collected by the CDC.

A person infected with coronavirus leaves traces of that virus in their bowel movements. The person can be asymptomatic and never know they were infected to leave a detectable amount of virus in their feces. Wastewater samples are collected and sent to laboratories to analyze. That data is sent to the CDC. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#wastewater-surveillance

Wastewater – Value or Distraction

https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/95591. Yes, it is probably a good thing to have a system that alerts you to increases in pandemic variants from samples of poop. But, the actual data people want to address are about people, hospitals, businesses, and lives.

When the vaccine effectiveness started tumbling downhill after six months, there was scant mention of it. That would have been super important to people to know. Yet, all we heard was a continual barrage of mandates and the importance of vaccines are to your health.

Scientists believe that wastewater data is the tip of the spear when it comes to knowing a new variant is multiplying in a community. So it may be, but I need more comparative data to convince me.

Part of the data recently released addressed the effectiveness of booster shots in adults under 65 years of age. However, the demographic of adults from 18 to 40 years of age was left out. Why? Because the booster shot offered no value above and beyond the two shots already. Selective information was given to the public!

Data – Where Else?

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israeli-scientist-says-covid-19-could-be-treated-for-under-1day-675612. I often research articles from other countries, especially Israel. However, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, India, Scotland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and other countries have headlines never seen in the United States.

For instance, the headline from the link above – treating COVID-19 for a dollar/day using ivermectin. A double-blind study that the CDC and WHO clearly state must be done to prove testing was ignored. Why? I do not know.

I am seeing retrenching of the success of ivermectin in wiping out the Delta surge in India last year. It was lauded in Israeli news sources and is now being discounted in Indian media.
Compare these two headlines – Ivermectin Obliterates 97 Percent of Delhi Caseshttps://www.thedesertreview.com/news/national/ivermectin-obliterates-97-percent-of-delhi-cases/article_6a3be6b2-c31f-11eb-836d-2722d2325a08.html and The success of ivermectin in preventing COVID-19 in India has not been provenhttps://www.newswise.com/factcheck/success-of-ivermectin-in-preventing-covid-19-in-india-has-not-been-proven/?article_id=761091.

Data is data. What you do with it, how you share it, how you analyze it, and how it fits your purpose is found in both articles – just different perspectives and different purposes.

Two years into this pandemic, we have not progressed much in the coronavirus war. There has been a lot of data collected but not much more than new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. I would expect with all the hospitalizations; we would know the demographics of those being treated that are more meaningful than age distinctions. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1254477/weekly-number-of-covid-19-hospitalizations-in-the-us-by-age/

How many people being treated for COVID-19 alone – no other health issue – have had vaccines and boosters? How long ago were they vaccinated or boosted? What are their ages/genders/races? And more. How many people died from COVID-19 (not other health issues). How many of those people had vaccinations and booster shots? What were their ages, etc.?

Conclusion

I do not think the CDC and WHO want us to know the real numbers. So it is not that we would misinterpret the data, but that we would see through the current narrative of mandatory vaccines that last six months and booster shots that last three or four months.

After seven or eight months, we would probably see that those who think they are bullet-proof because of their vaccine or booster shots would have something to worry about when attending weddings, funerals, graduations events, birthdays, etc. When people think they are fully protected, they let their guard down. People do not know how long their vaccine lasts.

I think knowing the effectiveness of our COVID-19 treatments is better than knowing the level of virus in wastewater treatment facilities.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Confused About Natural Immunity in Today’s World?

Confusion abounds in many areas of our lives.

A person becomes infected with a disease. The body’s immune system responds accordingly. Over time, hopefully, you will survive the disease and have an everyday life again.

Your immune system has a vivid memory of that live pathogen that attacked and entered your body. As a result, it will be more vigilant and act more quickly in the future to thwart that same disease in the future.

That, in a nutshell, is naturally acquired immunity. Except in this pandemic age. It is discounted all the time in media. Why? Because the agenda is to push vaccines.

When vaccines work correctly, it is a good tool in the medical toolbox to fight the spread of disease. However, problems can develop when they do not work to counter the incoming attackers effectively. That is one reason why people do not want a COVID-19 vaccine.

Why Not Get Vaccinated?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/15/this-is-why-some-people-dont-want-to-get-the-covid-vaccine. People who refuse to get vaccinated are not ignorant nor brainwashed. Trust of health authorities and the vaccine’s efficacy are primary reasons why many will never get vaccinated.

The new technology, mRNA vaccines, developed quickly and initially looked like it could stop the spread of the disease. It was adequate for a few months. I often opined that I would wait several months to decide to get vaccinated. I was upfront and said I would not get the mRNA vaccination because I thought the technology was not tested enough.

I set my personal line in the sand as September 2020. At that time, I would decide to get, or not get, vaccinated – and it would be with a viral vector vaccine. On the last day of August 2020, I caught the Delta variant as it visited my lovely south Texas city. Thanks to monoclonal antibodies, I made a rapid recovery and now have naturally acquired immunity.

Would I have decided not to get vaccinated had I not become infected with COVID-19? I honestly do not know. But, I tried to keep an open mind. I have written hundreds of articles on COVID-19 and probably know more than the average bear about this topic.

The artificial proteins used to develop mRNA vaccines are not natural. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/artificial-proteins-never-seen-in-the-natural-world-are-becoming-new-covid-vaccines-and-medicines/. Development, approval, mass production, and distribution were expedited to save mankind from a disease that 99% of people survive, especially those under the age of 60.

Most vaccines go through a many-year cycle of clinical testing. However, the mRNA vaccines were distributed on a radically accelerated program in less than a year. Is this a reason to worry? Absolutely!

Over 12,000 people have died because of the vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html. Of course, how do you know that the vaccine caused death? You do not. However, we have recorded many cases of anaphylaxis, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and heart failure. https://www.unitypoint.org/coronavirus-article.aspx?id=53fd58f1-3d0a-42f0-814c-8a41d9972df5

If people had known this before getting a vaccine shot, would they have gotten one or both? It is a tricky question to answer. If you are risk-averse, then you would willingly jump at the opportunity to have hope in the vaccine rather than face a less than two percent chance of dying from the pandemic virus. There are countries in Europe where the survival rate is above 99.5% for COVID-19.

We heard the term, breakthrough, used to describe extremely rare situations when a person is fully vaccinated and becomes infected with the pandemic virus. Initially, this number was extremely low. Then, however, the breakthrough numbers shot up exponentially after the shelf-life ran out on the vaccine shots.

When people started seeing and hearing about people who had both vaccine shots (and boosters) getting infected with COVID-19, why would they think the vaccine offers any protection at all? This is a primary reason for me to discount the effectiveness of a six-month vaccine. Why should I risk my health on repeated vaccinations and booster shots that have a short fuse?

Trust in government is questioned all the time in private because anyone shouting it to the world is ridiculed and effectively shut down from the central exchange of ideas.

Public health trumps open debate. Politics trumps any existing potential solutions – Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, etc. When free speech is stopped, why should people believe in the efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines?

It is also interesting how reporting of COVID-19 deaths became an issue. If you died with or because of the pandemic virus, you were automatically listed as a COVID-19 death.

You may have died from a motorcycle accident, heart failure, stroke, or other cause, but with the mere fact that your body tested positive for COVID-19, your death was listed as a COVID-19 death. So why do people not trust their government and health authorities?

The list of reasons people choose not to get vaccinated is still lengthy. However, the purpose of this article is to cover the topic of naturally acquired immunity.

Naturally Acquired Immunity

https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/16/health/hybrid-immunity-studies/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0zY52iDmeBEbRKhJMM076RWAGyDEYRpdGNenUsc6_x4gaHgIjAZ6X3acM. Immunity is conferred in the body when it recognizes an attack from a bacteria, virus, or fungus. The body’s response is locked into that pathogen exclusively.

The mRNA vaccines were developed using the coronavirus spike protein’s configuration. When that configuration was recognized in specific receptor sites in our bodies, the vaccine would activate our immune system to respond as if it had seen that virus before and provide protection against it.

When a person is infected with coronavirus, the immune system sees the entire spike configuration and the entire molecular structure of that pathogen. That is why naturally acquired immunity has worked so well over time. Even if a pathogen mutates a bit, the overall structure remains constant. So minute changes do not show up to confuse our immune system.

Why are our health authorities constantly harping on getting vaccinated and downplaying or not discussing the benefits of naturally acquired immunity? I do not know.

However, the term, Follow the Money, probably has some part in the answer. The narrative is heavily invested in vaccines and boosters, even if they only work for a few months. There is no money to be made with naturally acquired immunity.

Recent Studies Supporting Naturally Acquired Immunity

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.10.22270744v1. A study down with nearly 40,000 Cleveland Clinic employees noted that administering one dose of the mRNA vaccine not designed for the Omicron variant (all vaccines are not designed for the Omicron variant!) six months or more after infection showed no evidence of a person needing a second shot of the vaccine. Was the single vaccine shot the wonder drug against Omicron – or was the naturally acquired immunity what kept the latest variant at bay?

https://mediacenteratypon.nejmgroup-production.org/NEJMoa2118691.pdf. This United Kingdom study compared two vaccine doses to naturally acquired immunity and the lasting power of each other. Two vaccine doses showed immediate protection that lasted for a couple of months and then waned significantly after six months. We have seen those numbers from several studies over the past months.

Those with naturally acquired immunity showed high resistance to infection well over a year without reducing the level of protection afforded by the infection-caused immunity.

Conclusion

The powers that be want their vaccine to be of value. Any protection that a COVID-19 vaccine affords should be considered to enhance existing infection acquired immunity. Combining the vaccine with the naturally acquired immunity is now called hybrid immunity.

A person surviving the pandemic virus has a high level of protection from reinfection. However, is it possible to catch the virus again? Yes, I know several who have been infected twice. However, the second time around was slightly less impactful than the first.

Our immune systems respond to incoming attacks. However, a challenged immune system from stress, lack of quality sleep, and many health concerns (high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) can weaken the immune system to the degree that it cannot fully combat the reattack from COVID-19. In the United States, the survival rate from COVID-19 is above 98%.

If naturally acquired immunity is better than vaccine immunity, why is it not part of the vaccine mandate? Because it is not a vaccine immunity! Mandates cannot dictate who gets infected. However, mandates can drive people into making decisions and taking action.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

No Light at the End of the Tunnel, But Hoofbeats Are Getting Louder

I believe the hoofbeats are closer than we realize.

Two days ago, I read two articles that still have my mind in a whirl. One stated that Moderna plans to have an Omicron-Specific COVID Booster by August. https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/covid-omicron-vaccine-booster/2022/02/17/id/1057227/. OK, the threat of infection from Omicron is minor compared to other variants. So why do we need a booster for Omicron?

Moderna tells us that a booster will be needed, but they do not know if it will be their existing vaccine, an omicron-only vaccine, or one that is a combination of the two. They expect to decide after more clinical data is available in several months – probably August at the earliest.

They also promised that this new booster would protect simultaneously against the COVID-19 virus, seasonal influenza, and other respiratory diseases. Let me be clear in my thoughts at this moment.

Moderna has a COVID-19 vaccine, a temporary shot that prevents infection from the pandemic virus for around four to six months. We have not cured seasonal influenza with flu shots. And respiratory illness deaths are in the top ten (actually #6) of all deaths annually. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

That is quite a bold statement to make – a new vaccine that they do not know what it will be composed of yet and will address our pandemic virus and other serious health concerns. Am I the only one who thinks this might be a bit too much to chew off at this time?

Omicron Status

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Worldwide, the Omicron panic is dying down – significantly dying down. It peaked in late January with just under three and a half million new cases daily. This week, the seven-day average of new cases/day is under 1.9 million. Daily deaths lag new case statistics by a couple of weeks. The trend of daily deaths is starting to fall noticeably.

The Omicron variant was detected in South Africa around Thanksgiving of 2020, and new cases skyrocketed very quickly. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/. A week before Omicron was causing havoc, South Africa was experiencing around 500 new cases of coronavirus daily. By mid-December, the new daily case rate from the Omicron variant was just under 24,000. This week the numbers are stabilizing around 2,500 new cases/day.

Daily deaths in South Africa were in the low double digits before Omicron. It appears to be reaching its peak at around 200/day. Again, daily deaths lag new cases by about two weeks. New cases in South Africa rose by 48 times, and daily deaths have risen only ten times.

The Delta variant infection time lasted four times longer than the Omicron variant and never reached Omicron’s peak. However, the daily deaths are less than half that attributed to the Delta variant.

Second Article

https://www.newsmax.com/health-news/covid-omicron-vaccine-immune/2022/02/17/id/1057231/ .It is estimated that nearly three-quarters of Americans now have naturally acquired immunity to the Omicron variant. Statisticians estimate that that percentage could rise to eight out of ten Americans in another month.

I remember the early prognostications for herd immunity. Some thought as few as 65% could be enough to thwart the further spread of the virus. Estimates were then ratcheted up to 85% as new variants arrived.

So, we are at (or near) 75% and moving on nicely to nearly 80% shortly. Does that mean (or not) that America is approaching herd immunity? Probably, but no one is talking about it. Our current vaccines are worthless against Omicron for two reasons. One is that their shelf life has expired, and the protection afforded during the first couple of months is less than 50% today. The second reason given for so many infections from Omicron is that the vaccine was designed against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.

The Alpha and Bravo variants did not differ much from the original configuration, and the vaccine was effective. The Delta variant snuck in just as the expiration date of the original vaccine shots wore off. Devastation and high deaths followed – even with those fully vaccinated. Then, Omicron entered the picture, and booster shots have not helped.

The article states that herd immunity is no longer an option because there will be new variants. Yet nearly 80% of the population now, or will have shortly, naturally acquired immunity. It appears to me that everyone is still on the bandwagon that only vaccines can prevent forest fires – sorry, can prevent future infections.

Current infections and hospitalizations are still being blamed on the unvaccinated – even though in many cases the majority of hospitalizations are classified as breakthrough cases. They are not being reported that way. One would think it would be easy to determine how many people are unvaccinated in the United States.

I searched several websites and found lots of information blaming high hospital costs on the unvaccinated. I also found many reasons why people choose not to get vaccinated. But it was nearly impossible to find a discrete number of how many people are still not vaccinated.

Could it be that no one knows? When the Omicron variant blew through everyone, no matter whether vaccinations were recent or over six months old, infection rates burst through the ceiling. Many have contracted the pandemic virus and never had symptoms. I am confident that a few with very mild symptoms never got tested to determine whether they were positive for the coronavirus.

So, where does that leave us today? Unfortunately, I think we are still being led by the blind. https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-tracker. The Mayo Clinic statistics show that the fully vaccinated rate for the United States was 61.3% in December. Today, it is 64.3% – a three percent increase in two months. Similar statistics are shown for those with only one vaccine shot – currently at 76%.

Vaccines are the only thing that can get us out of this pandemic, lower hospital costs, and reduce deaths. Nearly three out of four have at least one vaccine shot. And about three out of four have had COVID-19 (Omicron variant). What does that mean?

Only one-quarter of Americans might be unvaccinated – and that number might be very accurate. However, probably three-quarters of the unvaccinated have naturally acquired immunity from being infected with the Omicron variant. In addition, some people were fortunate to be protected from Omicron infection because of recent vaccine shots and boosters. So, could it really mean that at least 90% of Americans have some level of protection against the pandemic virus?

Conclusion

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/. Omicron is waning, and the number of new cases is almost to pre-Omicron levels. The number of daily deaths is declining significantly. I have opined several times that the Omicron variant might be the light at the end of the tunnel – the sound of hoofbeats approaching. It is a highly infectious variant that does not overwhelm the health care system and produces fewer deaths/new cases than any other variant.

By the time Omicron has run its course, a new variant might be headline material. Will it be more deadly? Who knows, we will be told that it is more prudent to treat it as if it were – stay in masks and social distance. However, if we (all) have naturally acquired immunity, should we worry about getting infected?

It is a tricky question to answer because no one knows that answer. Why is every other disease that we have naturally acquired immunity enough to prevent future infections, and this disease is different?

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com