better immunity w/ disease? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 84 Old 12-22-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dymanic View Post
It's interesting that upon noticing that the flu example seems to contradict the idea that infection strengthens immunity in a general way, rather than question the validity of that idea itself, your first response is to question whether the flu example is valid.
Yes. This is also known as "begging the question".

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One is that is was reading a study that claimed that children raised on farms and that were allowed to play in the dirt and with animals, had less instances of allergies, illnesses than children reared in "cleaner" environments.
This might very well be fresh air, though, and not exposure to disease.

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Wow, that is amazing that your kids never get fevers!
My daughter didn't get a fever until last week (14 months) even though she's been sick several times. I guess it's genetic because she has been sick a few times, always runny nose. No stomach stuff, though.

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#62 of 84 Old 12-22-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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This might very well be fresh air, though, and not exposure to disease.
They're all antigens, though, even if some are infectious and some aren't. So it's the same principal either way, I think.
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#63 of 84 Old 12-22-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
I haven't read past this post, so I don't know if anyone else has addressed this yet. Your naturopath seems to not understand fever very well. It's true that it's a sign the body is working hard on something but it usually occurs because the immune system increases the body's temperature in order to weaken the pathogens. A fever is a sign that the immune system is working as it should. A lot of bugs we get can survive in a very limited range of temperatures. The fever weakens them, making it easier for the immune system to kill them. Reducing the fever makes the immune system work harder, reducing the chances that it can fight off whatever the disease is. That is why fever is beneficial, because it is part of the way the body fights off disease. If you reduce the fever there is a chance, particularly with a very virulent disease, that you are also reducing the chances of survival. At the very least, reducing fevers increases the length of the disease.

We are in agreement about how to treat fevers. I am not understanding where the supposed disagreement is coming from. Maybe you don't give meds to a fever at all? Is that it? My naturopath actually is against giving meds for a fever but does not tell me I cannot do it if I want to and fever is high. She just tells me it is not necessary. I do it anyway if child is really uncomfortable. So, I guess I am giving tylenol not for fever but other symptoms.
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#64 of 84 Old 12-22-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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I don't think she was disagreeing, just reminding that even if you give Tylenol for discomfort or whatever, it still contains fever reducers...thus the info on lowering a fever causing the body to have to work harder.
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#65 of 84 Old 12-22-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by delphiniumpansy View Post
We are in agreement about how to treat fevers. I am not understanding where the supposed disagreement is coming from. Maybe you don't give meds to a fever at all? Is that it? My naturopath actually is against giving meds for a fever but does not tell me I cannot do it if I want to and fever is high. She just tells me it is not necessary. .

But she said:

Quote:
She also agreed that while it is not wise to give meds to a minor fever, that it is best to let it run its course unless the child is in serious pain and/or the fever gets worse, it is also not true that a fever is beneficial or does some good for the body. Fever indicates the body is working hard on something that is wrong. Therefore, avoidance of fever, and avoidance of illness, is best.
Either fevers are beneficial in fighting illness or they aren't.
Your naturopath says they are not beneficial, but are rather just a sign that the body is fighting something.
We (and the WHO, and lots of scientific evidence) are saying fevers are useful for fighting illness.
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#66 of 84 Old 12-22-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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It is my understanding/belief that heat works as a catalyst for cellular development. Hence a fever would increase the speed at which cells healed or were produced, which would include T-cells and brain cells and skin cells, etc. A hyper productive immune system is exactly what the body needs to fight off any organism.

Another good question is, what does the increased temperature do to the attacking organism? Some bacteria prefer cool environments to thrive, so I'd suspect that those organisms would slow down their attack stratagy when the body temperature increases.

and, while I'm tossing my meager 2 cents around... I also think that a good immune system without proper nutrition is no better than a bad immune system with proper nutrition.
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#67 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
Either fevers are beneficial in fighting illness or they aren't.
Or they're more beneficial against some pathogens and less so against others, or they're beneficial up to a point, but beyond that, potentially detrimental, or they're more likely to be beneficial for some individuals, but less so for those who may not be as easily able to tolerate the costs...

In biology, the nice, neat dichotomy is surely among the rarest of all phenomena.

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We (and the WHO, and lots of scientific evidence) are saying fevers are useful for fighting illness.
Funny, upon reading the link you provided above, the take-home message I get is: "it depends".
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#68 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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Yes. This is also known as "begging the question".
Err, no. Begging the question is also known as using circular logic. Circular logic is using your conclusion as a premise. Something along the lines of, "The CDC website says Prevnar is effective at preventing pneumococcal meningitis in children. Since the CDC website contains information from the CDC and the CDC never misleads us about vaccines, all vaccine information on the CDC website must be true. Therefore, Prevnar must be effective at preventing pneumococcal meningitis in children." THAT is begging the question. Saying that I don't think the flu example is valid, based on the fact that catching 10 different flues in ten 10 different season doesn't result in a milder case when you catch the 11th flu, is not circular logic/begging the question. I even stated, right before I said that, that I was not stating an opinion either way on whether or not disease strengthened the immune system. You missed some of it due to editing, but coming to the party late is no excuse for accusing someone of circular logic based on your misunderstanding of the conversation that has taken place.

Since I already explained MULTIPLE times that I did not have an opinion on whether or not disease "strengthened" the immune system, there was no way that I was using a conclusion as a premise to support the idea that disease strengthens the immune system. If you had bothered to read further, you should have also noticed how I explained that I considered the issues to be two separate ones. That exposure to influenza in particular does not increase one's resistance to influenza in particular is not the same issue as whether or not exposure to pathogens in general makes one less susceptible to illness in general. That whole idea is rather nebulous - what is "stronger," how does one measure it? - so it's pretty imposible to define, IMO - which is why I've never personally had an opinion about it one way or the other.

Basically, Mahtob, in order to beg the question, an individual would have to have a conclusion they were attempting to support. I wasn't supporting the conclusion that disease "strengthens" the immune system (see above), so I wasn't begging any question about it. The only conclusion I was supporting in that post was that having one strain of the flu doesn't mean you're protected from a different one - and even about that I said "I'm not really sure" and "doesn't actually seem to be the case". Those were hardly absolute statements designed to suggest that I was attempting to support some conclusion I was sure about. At any rate, if you disagree with that information, then take it up with the CDC - they're the ones who say that having the flu or the flu shot this year won't protect you against the more common strains next year.
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#69 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dymanic View Post
Funny, upon reading the link you provided above, the take-home message I get is: "it depends".
What they said at the end was:

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In summary, what does the evidence seem to indicate? Fever represents a universal, ancient, and usually beneficial response to infection, and its suppression under most circumstances has few, if any, demonstrable benefits. On the other hand, some harmful effects have been shown to occur as a result of suppressing fever: in most individuals, these are slight, but when translated to millions of people, they may result in an increase in morbidity and perhaps the occurrence of occasional mortality.
That's pretty clear.
Fever is generally good.
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#70 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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And I'm going to jump in as an experienced mother and grandmother (and the inheritor of my mother's many years of experience as the mother of 5) and say that allowing a fever to run its course without interference is generally a safe and reasonable choice. In fact, the houses where I grew up (we moved a lot) didn't have aspirin or any other fever reducers in the medicine cabinet. We didn't have a family doctor, come to think of it. And all five of us made it to adulthood and on into middle age.

More anecdotal evidence
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#71 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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Here's another one:

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/...ussell0503.pdf
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Policy and Practice
Evidence on the use of paracetamol in febrile children
Quote:
Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2003;81:367-372.
Quote:
The relative costs of the benefits of symptomatic relief
versus the adverse effect of toxicity or the impact on illness
response have not been determined. Some evidence shows
that paracetamol may prolong patient discomfort by prolonging
the duration of illness. Children with varicella infection who
were treated with paracetamol showed a longer time to total
crusting of lesions compared with those who received placebo
(14). This may prolong pruritis. In addition, patients with
malaria who were treated with paracetamol had a longer time to
parasitic clearance (33).
The current WHO recommendations for the management
of fever in children include the use of paracetamol for
children with fever of539 oC (12). Insufficient data, however,
support this recommendation. We recommend that health
professionals should not be encouraged to give antipyretics
routinely to febrile children. Treatment should only be given to
those children in obvious discomfort or those with known
painful conditions.
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#72 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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Fever is a fascinating thing & in fact I think it would be a great topic for a detailed discussion in Health & Healing. In this thread lets try to stay closer to the topic for this forum - immunity provided by vaccines as compared to immunity provided by the VPD. Thanks!!
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#73 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 05:09 AM
 
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They're all antigens, though, even if some are infectious and some aren't. So it's the same principal either way, I think.
Fresh air as an antigen? I was referring to its property of having more oxygen, of course generally there being more sun out there even in cloudy weather, and the fact that we do breathe more deeply when engaged in physical activity, and all that.


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Originally Posted by Mahtob View Post
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Yes. This is also known as "begging the question".
Err, no. Begging the question is also known as using circular logic. Circular logic is using your conclusion as a premise. Something along the lines of, "The CDC website says Prevnar is effective at preventing pneumococcal meningitis in children. Since the CDC website contains information from the CDC and the CDC never misleads us about vaccines, all vaccine information on the CDC website must be true. Therefore, Prevnar must be effective at preventing pneumococcal meningitis in children." THAT is begging the question. Saying that I don't think the flu example is valid, based on the fact that catching 10 different flues in ten 10 different season doesn't result in a milder case when you catch the 11th flu, is not circular logic/begging the question.
Yes it is. I understood. I think you don't really see that you are begging the question. You say that you don't have any proposition to support, which I find odd, because in that case, what exactly are you posting about? I'll keep this short and simple: you say it is not a valid example because it doesn't support a particular premise that is at the very heart of the debate. It doesn't matter whether you believe the premise or not. This is circular reasoning, begging the question.

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#74 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 08:27 AM
 
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Fresh air as an antigen?
"Country" air has more traditional allergic antigens in it.
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I was referring to its property of having more oxygen,
I think the oxygen content is the same. Altitude is what changes oxygen content.

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of course generally there being more sun out there even in cloudy weather,
Is there a measurable difference in sunlight?
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and the fact that we do breathe more deeply when engaged in physical activity, and all that.
...we're getting pretty far away from the properties of fresh air here, but I guess that might factor in...
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#75 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 09:42 AM
 
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Mamakay-

Indoor, stale air does have less oxygen. I am sure of this. Links below.

The difference in sunlight- I am not talking about being on a farm, per se, but yes, being in a rural environment with outdoor tasks will inevitably lead to more UV exposure, primarily due to (a) more time outdoors as opposed and (b) fewer tall buildings obstructing sunlight. The UV rays make a difference and cannot be absorbed through windows.

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...we're getting pretty far away from the properties of fresh air here, but I guess that might factor in...
Okay, well I was not using "fresh air" in some scientific sense there. I was using it in the traditional, "get some fresh air" sense, hence the misunderstandings.

This article gives a kind of industrial perspective- I don't have time to farm for tons of articles, but yes, there is more oxygen in outdoor air, generally, except in highly polluted cities, and we are talking about farms here. (I don't remember where I learned this originally, either, or else I'd quote that. I guess it absorbed into my general knowledge somewhere along the line...)

More on indoor air pollution...

This is an ad but has some clear explanations.

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#76 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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I just have two thoughts.

One is that is was reading a study that claimed that children raised on farms and that were allowed to play in the dirt and with animals, had less instances of allergies, illnesses than children reared in "cleaner" environments.

And in another natural health book, as a PP naturopath stated, that natural immunity is a much better defense than aquired immunity (vax).

Also viruses and bacteria are very smart and they ADAPT. That is why the rampant use of antibiotics causes new strains that are resistant to the usual treatments.

You guys probably know this better than I, but there is also a test to see if you are naturally immune to something, which means you were exposed to say the measles and became immune without actually showing symptoms, which to me would mean you have a very healthy immune system. And may explain why babies and the elderly can get sicker.

So how do you gals feel about using herbs to boost immune function?? And what about babies/toddlers who are still on breastmilk??

My DD hasn't had anything but a stuffy nose once and she is 9mo, altho she doesn't really play with other children and is only exposed to my 5-6 yo nephews who are in school.
My 5 year old rarely ever gets sick. Although she's had quite a few fevers. She had been exposed to chickenpox on multiple occasions. After one exposure, she came down with a fever for 3 days and then was fine. I finally took her to the doctor to check her for chickenpox immunity. She has it, although she never broke out, and it didn't last long. The only time she got really sick is when she had the stomach flu...but other than that...she gets a lot of slight fevers, but never really any other symptoms.

My 12 month old seems to be going the same way.

I think it's just the way that each individual body deals with fighting stuff.

I don't give my kids anything for fevers unless they are uncomfortable. If they have a fever of 103 and above and are still playing, running around, etc...I just leave them be. If they become more "lethargic" or act uncomfortable (like at bedtime...I always believe that a good nights sleep is key to getting better) then I will give them a fever reducer, but as soon as they are up for the day, they don't get anything.

I look at it as the body knows what it is doing. To try to interfere with what it is already working will only cause problems in the long run. Medicine is good, but in moderation and I know people who take medicine to "cure" everything...they end up sicker, longer than if they were to just let it run it's course.

Just MHO, though.
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#77 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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I'm still not seeing anything about there being less oxygen in cities compared to the country.
And indoor air pollution would be a problem in rural areas as much as cities. You'd have to control for lots and lots of extra factors to start comparing the indoor air pollution exposures of city kids to rural kids.
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#78 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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I don't think there is less oxygen...just more pollutants. Like, in rural Nebraska, they'll have less air pollution than, say, San Francisco or Los Angeles (or Chicago). I don't think it's less oxygen, though (agree with mamakay).
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#79 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Mamakay-

Okay, let me be clear.

I was suggesting that farm kids will get more fresh air- that is, outdoor air- than city kids, and thus, that they will be getting more:
-oxygen
-sunlight
-deep breathing associated with outdoor play

I am not suggesting comparing outdoor air with outdoor air or indoor air with indoor air. I am suggesting that farm kids will be outdoor more often, in general, than city and suburban kids, and that this could have a lot of different effects on health (presumably positive).

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#80 of 84 Old 12-23-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
Altitude is what changes oxygen content.
Strictly speaking, it isn't the oxygen content of the air that varies; that's a constant 21% regardless of altitude. There simply isn't as much air at higher altitude. To significantly lower the oxygen content of indoor air, you'd have to have a tightly sealed building, and leave it completely closed up for quite a while (depending on how many breathers were present). Even then, the depletion of oxygen isn't the first thing that would impact you health-wise; it would be the buildup of carbon dioxide.

(As a side note from this tangent, my personal experience is that another thing that impacts oxygen content is attitude).

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Originally Posted by Angela512
I look at it as the body knows what it is doing. To try to interfere with what it is already working will only cause problems in the long run. Medicine is good, but in moderation and I know people who take medicine to "cure" everything...they end up sicker, longer than if they were to just let it run it's course.
Perhaps the central point here is that it isn't just modern medicine that interferes with what was working; it extends to broad aspects of the modern way of life. If you're going to spend your life sitting in front of a television and scarfing down doughnuts and pork rinds, you're going to need more help sustaining your lifestyle than will the person who is active and eats healthy food.

Some of the consequences of the way we live are psychophysiological; it may be hard to put a scientific finger on the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, as it is of the benefits of spending one's entire life within the bosom of a small, tightly-knit agrarian community -- but this is how most people lived until very recently, and even if we weren't strongly guided by intuition to see these as having health benefits, there is the logical inference that since human physiology is still better tuned for success on the African savannah than in the modern city, many of the recent changes are likely to be detrimental simply because they are changes. By turning away from traditional lifestyles, we have already "interfered with what was working". Living in artificial environments means relying on artificial support systems.
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#81 of 84 Old 12-24-2007, 03:16 AM
 
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Some of the consequences of the way we live are psychophysiological; it may be hard to put a scientific finger on the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, as it is of the benefits of spending one's entire life within the bosom of a small, tightly-knit agrarian community -- but this is how most people lived until very recently, and even if we weren't strongly guided by intuition to see these as having health benefits, there is the logical inference that since human physiology is still better tuned for success on the African savannah than in the modern city, many of the recent changes are likely to be detrimental simply because they are changes. By turning away from traditional lifestyles, we have already "interfered with what was working". Living in artificial environments means relying on artificial support systems.
THANK YOU! Although, it's not like this hasn't been said here before and I suppose it will have to be said again.

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To significantly lower the oxygen content of indoor air, you'd have to have a tightly sealed building, and leave it completely closed up for quite a while (depending on how many breathers were present). Even then, the depletion of oxygen isn't the first thing that would impact you health-wise; it would be the buildup of carbon dioxide.
Well, you don't have to significantly decrease oxygen before it has an effect. There is a reason we feel like such crap after long flights- lack of oxygen does have an effect long before we faint. And if we are spending huge amounts of time indoors, that would also have an effect over the long-term. And you are right about carbon dioxide- not to mention the fact that indoor air pollution is greater than outdoor air pollution in nearly every single environment, with the possible exception of downtown L.A. in July, Beijing, et al.

I just think that in terms of farm kids being healthier, there is so much going on there besides exposure to cow dung.

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#82 of 84 Old 12-24-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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I'm still not seeing country kids getting more oxygen than urban kids...
Not sure about a link between sunlight consumption and autoimmune stuff, either, although I guess it's plausible in that "anything is possible" kind of way...
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#83 of 84 Old 12-24-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mahtob View Post
Yes it is. I understood. I think you don't really see that you are begging the question. You say that you don't have any proposition to support, which I find odd, because in that case, what exactly are you posting about? I'll keep this short and simple: you say it is not a valid example because it doesn't support a particular premise that is at the very heart of the debate. It doesn't matter whether you believe the premise or not. This is circular reasoning, begging the question.
No, based on your reply, you don't understand. I'm not saying it's not valid because it doesn't support a premise that's at the heart of the debate. I said I didn't think it was valid because it doesn't seem to be true. That having the flu this year doesn't protect you from a different flu next year seems to be true. I didn't say it wasn't valid because it doesn't support the premise. I said it wasn't valid because it's not true. Huge difference. I probably could've phrased it differently, but I was not saying it wasn't valid just because it didn't prove that disease strengthens the immune system. Besides, as I already explained, I consider the issue of general immune "strengthening" completely separate from the issue of whether or not having a particular disease multiple times makes you more resistant to that particular disease and that particular disease only. Since they are completely separate issues to me, then I would not believe that one is related to the other. Therefore, my commenting on whether or not an example of one is valid has nothing to do with any proposition related to the other. I post because it's a message board. We converse here and I was explaining that having the flu multiple times doesn't protect you, since she mentioned it.

I have explained multiple times that I have no strong opinion on the issue. If you care to look back over my old posts, you'll find this is true.

Okay, Mahtob, to clarify this for you....I should have said simply that her example wasn't true, rather than that it wasn't "valid". Like I said, I could've chosen a better way to say it, but that doesn't change my basic intention, which I explained to dymanic in my first reply to him.

Or if you still aren't exactly sure what I am trying to say, if having the flu this year protected you from the flu next year, I would've said that this wasn't evidence that the immune system had been "strengthened" in any general sort of way. Just like being immune to rubella after infection (or vaccination) doesn't mean that the immune system has undergone some generalized "strengthening". If there is other evidence to suggest that rubella or influenza infection has an overall beneficial effect on the immune system, then so be it, but resistance to one particular pathogen does not suggest an overall strengthening effect to me. Therefore, had I been commenting on the validity of the comment's relationship to the proposition that disease strengthens the immune system (a rather difficult to define idea which I already explained I wasn't commenting on) then I still would've said it wasn't valid.

Can't really explain it any more than that.
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#84 of 84 Old 12-26-2007, 04:17 AM
 
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if you still aren't exactly sure what I am trying to say, if having the flu this year protected you from the flu next year, I would've said that this wasn't evidence that the immune system had been "strengthened" in any general sort of way. Just like being immune to rubella after infection (or vaccination) doesn't mean that the immune system has undergone some generalized "strengthening".
But Dymanic said that having the flu this year did not protect you from the flu next year, so what was your objection, then?

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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