Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Ebola Virus

The Ebola  Virus 
Pretty scary stuff we are reading about these days. What concerns many of us is that we are too often not told the truth. We have learned from sad experience that the media (news reporting agencies) and the marketers (those trying to sell products) are more motivated to manipulate our behavior than give us honesty and truth. As a result, many of us have become skeptical, suspicious and cautious of what we are being told.
And so it is with this latest outbreak of the contagious disease - Ebola. 

Firstly, I tend not to trust what the American Media is telling us, especially in the face of what is being reported overseas. We are not being told about the US bioweapons lab that has been kicked out of Sierra Leon who was working with Ebola. We are not being told about the research suggesting that this strain of Ebola is different from the one that first surfaced in 1976. We are not being told of documented cases contracted without direct contact - meaning that it was and can be spread through the air. And it is not being discussed what we (as individuals and families) can do to prevent or avoid exposure. No mention in the popular media of doing ANYTHING to prevent or prepare.  [Don’t want the populace to get all riled up - just keep telling them they are comfortable and safe].

The truth is, it is difficult to know when we are being told the truth or when we are being manipulated with half truths or outright misinformation. Most people are simply too busy to bother with “all of the negative news”. Wars, financial crises, fires, immigration debates, terrorism (terrorism was just in 2001 right?) - It is all so negative. We’ve got kids to get ready to get back in school, family reunions, parties and social gatherings, skiing on the lake, hiking in the woods, training for the next race, etc. Nope, no time for negative stuff.

Now I am not suggesting that THIS IS IT. That this Ebola outbreak will spread to become the next worldwide pandemic - the last being the 1918 Spanish Flu, which killed millions (that was with a 2.5% death rate). However, real or not, I believe this is an opportunity for us to discuss and prepare for the WHAT IF.
First, understand that prevention is far better than grappling for a cure. This Ebola virus is scary and can kill up to 90% of those infected. Your number one strategy for this and any other contagious disease is referred to as social distancing. Honestly, nothing else has proven effective. This can range from wearing a protective mask and keeping your distance to walking into your house, closing the door, and not come out for 90 days (and not let anyone or anything else in). Period.

Wow, that is kind of harsh. However, if a potentially deadly contagious disease becomes widespread, you need to prepare and have the ability to exercise every option. If you do not have the personal resources to take care of yourself, you risk exposure.

As a natural health care practitioner, I hear a lot of talk (and read A LOT) about peoples natural remedies. Understand, that there is not one remedy that will cure-it-all. We must understand the nature of the enemy (the disease). In the case of Ebola - it is a virus. Medicine does not have an effect drug or treatment for viral illnesses. Generally, the goal with viral infections is to keep the person alive long enough for their own immune system to finally kill the virus.

Here is what Ebola does that is fatal: It gobbles up all Vitamin C in the body. No one actually knows the exact mechanism involved in how this is done, but that is what is observed. Scientists know that vitamin C drops to zero and all the symptoms of Ebola are consistent with a complete loss of Vitamin C.

"The very first symptoms of Ebola are exactly the same as scurvy, which is caused by inadequate Vitamin C. With the absence of Vitamin C, blood vessels become very weak and start to leak losing blood. Ebola causes massive internal bleeding, loss of blood, and shock resulting in death (up to 90% of the time). This 90% number that is often thrown around represents the most impoverished, malnourished populations.  The range is actually between 25% to 90% depending on the level of health of the population base exposed.  This is a pretty convincing argument to be well nourished and healthy. I would rather face a 75% chance of surviving than 10%.  Some researchers suggest Ebola can be stopped simply by taking enormous doses of Vitamin C until the immune system succeeds in killing off the virus."

Characteristic skin lesions or sores develop, which are actually multiple tiny areas of bleeding into the skin that surround the hair follicles. With Ebola virus and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, the disease tends to reach epidemic proportions in areas where Vitamin C deficiency and malnutrition are more prevalent, such as some of the African countries (or possibly to those of us whose diet are less than nourishing). Because of this, it would make sense to ensure that you are getting plenty of Vitamin C and are eating a diet that promotes a healthy immune system. Understand that consuming sweets and sugar will compromise a strong immune response.

When treating for an infectious disease (Ebola or just the common flu), Vitamin C is taken to bowel tolerance. Plainly put, this mean that you keep taking vitamin C until you get the runs (diarrhea). This signal from the body tells you that you have got enough. When I was in school in the early 1980’s, studying the work of Linus Pauling (winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954), I decided to put this to the test. I wanted to see how much Vitamin C I could take in a day for the flu I had contracted. 75,000mg (that’s 75grams) of Vitamin C before I reached toleration.

Understand that there have been no published trials or studies with Ebola or hemorrhagic fever and Vitamin C. It has been suggested that a disease of this nature and intensity could require as much as 500 grams (that’s 500,000 mg of Vitamin C - classically used as Ascorbic Acid) per day to reach bowel tolerance. Again, there is no cure for Ebola. The goal of any and all treatment strategies is to support the person by keeping them alive long enough for their own body’s immune system to win the raging war against the virulent infection.

The sicker a patient is, the more ascorbic acid will be tolerated by mouth before diarrhea results. This is what is meant by bowel tolerance. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is taken to support the immune system in a degree that will give the body as much vitamin C as it can use.  Depending on the individual symptoms, you can determine how many doses of vitamin C will be taken.  I generally suggest 5 grams (5,000 mg) per dose.  So if the goal for the day is 30 grams that would be given in six - 5 gram doses. A dose can be taken as 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals (or the vitamin C equivalent of 5 grams) in ½ cup of water or juice. The goal is to take enough vitamin C to be just short of bowel tolerance. Once bowel tolerance is reached, back off a bit. Continue with intensive Vitamin C doses until symptoms are completely gone. I would continue taking it in lower doses until you are completely “out of the woods“.

The following chart can give you an estimation of the number of doses to divide amount of vitamin C in.

                     GRAMS ASCORBIC ACID     NUMBER OF DOSES      
CONDITION               PER 24 HOURS        PER 24 HOURS 
normal                       4 -  15              4 -  6 
mild cold                   30 -  60              6 - 10 
severe cold                 60 - 100+             8 - 15 
influenza                  100 - 150              8 - 20 
ECHO, coxsackievirus       100 - 150              8 - 20 
mononucleosis              150 - 200+            12 - 25 
viral pneumonia            100 - 200+            12 - 25 
hayfever, asthma            15 -  50              4 -  8 
allergy: food - Environment  1 -  50              4 -  8 
burn, injury, surgery       25 - 150+             6 - 20 
anxiety, stress & exercise  15 -  25              4 -  6 
cancer                      15 - 100              4 - 15 
ankylosing spondylitis      15 - 100              4 - 15 
rheumatoid arthritis        15 - 100              4 - 15 
bacterial infections        30 - 200+            10 - 25 
infectious hepatitis        30 - 100              6 - 15 
candidiasis                 15 - 200+             6 - 25

Many in the natural healing arena suggest their favorite remedies as being the cure for practically everything. Whether it be essential oils, colloidal silver, oregano oil, herbal remedies, or whatever, I suggest having some Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate) on hand. I would suggest getting plenty as it can be stored for a very long time and is relatively inexpensive.  You can purchase ascorbic acid crystals (and just about everything else under the sun) from sources such as Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HMG6BCG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


The rule at our house is that when anyone gets sick, EVERYONE takes the medicine (that’s herbal medicine). By following the bowel tolerance method, you can also get an indication of the body’s level of health.  You can test or dose someone to the point of bowel tolerance.  If someone can all of a sudden take 50 grams of vitamin C, then something may be up.

In the case of Ebola - there is a 2 to 21 day incubation period (most often 4-9 days). This means that a person can be infected with Ebola and actively spreading the disease BEFORE they ever have a symptom.

While medical reporters in the United States continue to assure us that infection can only occur from direct person-to-person contact there are several published studies that suggest this virus has been spread from aerosol droplets (a sneeze or cough). The Public Health Agency of Canada warns of this on their website. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php

In preventing and treating conditions with so many unknowns, I recommend using several approaches simultaneously. Take your herbal remedies to boost and strengthen the immune system. Use your silver and essential oils. But also consider Vitamin C. For more information on natural remedies to strengthen your immune system see my Blog article on Influenza. http://drkylechristensen.blogspot.com/2014/01/prepared-for-flu-during-sunday-school.html

Is Ebola going to become the next worldwide pandemic. No one really knows. However, epidemiologist assure us that something is coming – if not now, then sometime in our future. Discussions of such dire events and illnesses are not pleasant, but it is far better to be prepared than hoping we will always be immune from disaster. Being prepared as best you can “just in case” is prudent advice that perhaps can give a little peace of mind.
Dr. Kyle Christensen
August 19, 2014