While many of us thought we were done with cold and flu season, a recent viral pandemic has swept across across the world.
Most people by now have been inundated with tenacious media coverage surrounding the SARS-COV-2 virus that is causing the coronavirus disease 2019 or also referred to as COVID-19. Gratefully, the media has provided us with an overabundance of information to utilize for our benefit. However, along with that same generosity, the media has also flooded us with a great deal of fear and worry. Some might claim excessive and unnecessary worry.
With a recent original outbreak in China, this virus has now affected many people across the United States. While this virus has unfortunately lead to some fatalities, this virus typically leads to mild to moderate symptoms that mimic the common cold and flu. Infants, those with suppressed immune systems (immune-compromised) and the elderly with severe, life threatening medical conditions are usually at higher risk for worsening viral symptoms. The good news is that most healthy people will recover from this virus if infected.
This virus has been around for quite awhile and as is common with many viruses on our planet, it has mutated or changed over time. This is why flu shots (as one possible way to build immunity) change nearly every year.
Since the respiratory system becomes the primary target for the coronoavirus, the most common symptoms including: cough, congestion, fever and shortness of breath. Other symptoms that have been reported with this virus (that also resemble the common cold and flu) include runny nose, nasal and lung congestion, sinusitis, pharyngitis (sore throat), body aches, moderate to severe fatigue and in some cases gastroenteritis (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting).
In the event that you or someone you know might have these symptoms and possibly be infected with this virus, please contact your local Primary Care Provider covered by your health insurance, visit the ER (if severe symptoms) or contact your local Department of Health. Visit the CDC for more detailed guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
This article will focus on proactive prevention and natural treatments that you can use to support and strengthen your immune system against outside pathogens. However, these treatments can also help your body fight viral infections in the event that you are exposed. Your body knows what to do. We are merely giving it a powerful boosting nudge in the right direction.
Listed below are things that you can implement right away to help yourself and everyone around you in your family and communities. Stay informed, be aware and use your wise common sense.
The Basics of Immune System & Environmental Support
- Stay Home: If you’re sick, do yourself and everyone else a huge favor. Stay safe at home sweet home. Sleep, nap, take it easy, watch Netflix and recover. Excess toilet paper not required.
- Personal Hygiene: Diligent washing of your hands with warm, soapy water especially after using the bathroom, sneezing, coughing, wiping your nose or mouth, shaking hands at meetings or conferences, preparing meals, handling raw animal meat, eggs, touching animals, etc.
- Home & Work Hygiene: Regularly clean and disinfect your home and work place environments. No need to use toxic and harmful chemicals that irritate your respiratory and immune systems. (Plus many products are sold out of stores anyways!) Seventh Generation makes clean, safe, non-toxic and effective products and cleaners for the home and work place: https://www.seventhgeneration.com/household-cleaners
- Healing Foods: A Nutrient Rich, Plant Focused Diet will supply and nourish your immune system with the therapeutic vitamins and minerals it needs for a strong defense system. This includes a diet filled with fresh vegetables, fruits, plant based fats and healthy sources of protein (animal or plant based depending on your diet preference). An added benefit would be to season with culinary immune boosting foods: garlic, onions, shiitake and maitake mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, onions, clove, cinnamon and more. Limit refined carbohydrates, processed, refined, deep fried, overcooked, burnt foods that are limited in essential nutrients. This includes excess alcohol (including Corona Beer), caffeine, drugs and medications that deplete our bodies of nutrients.
- Hydrate: Water, Water and more Water! Hydration is important all day long. It is essential for the respiratory system which relies on fluids for healthy mucus membranes and mucus production to moisten, lubricate and protect the surfaces lining our nasal airways, sinuses, lungs and bronchioles. Carry a steel water bottle with you daily and refill. Refill again. Repeat.
- Sweat: Exercise boosts your immune system! If you’re sick and fatigued, then stick to more mellow exercises like walking and yoga. Otherwise, invigorating cardiovascular and muscle strengthening exercises 4 or more days per week. The higher intensity and consistent practice of exercise to the point of sweating supports detoxification, increases oxygen and nutrient blood flow to the whole body (including the respiratory system) and boosts production of defending immune cells to protect your body against foreign microbes.
Botanical Medicine, Vitamins & Minerals
A naturopathic and functional medicine approach to supporting the immune system is an incredibly therapeutic method to fighting and protecting the body against infections. There is such an abundance of helpful natural treatment options available. I’ve listed just a few important, effective, safe (and my favorite) products here. I would have listed many more but unfortunately many of those products are on back-order from this current viral threat. All of these products can be purchased from my Fullscript Dispensary listed on this link. https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/ktompkins
- NAC 600mg (N-Acetyl Cysteine) by Pure Encapsulations: 1 cap 2x/day with food; precursor amino acid nutrient to the potent antioxidant glutathione that replenishes the entire body – especially the respiratory system that needs it.
- Astragalus Max-V by Douglas Labs: 1 cap 2x/day with food; powerful antioxidant herb that boost white blood cells to enhance our immune system and give us stamina to fight infections.
- Optimal Vitamin C Powder by Seeking Health: 1/2 tsp 2x/day ~ 2200mg per day. An essential rejuvenating and healing vitamin that is needed by every cell in the body. The respiratory and immune system cells greatly benefit from this favorite vitamin.
- D3 5000 by Metagenics: 1 cap per day This mighty immune fat soluble vitamin has multi-faceted effects on the innate and adaptive immune systems. It is particularly beneficial for lungs in decreasing risk for respiratory conditions like influenza, pneumonia, COPD and asthma.
- Vitamin A 25,000 IU by Protocol for Life Balance: 1 cap per day; Another excellent fat soluble vitamin that has a great affinity for nourishing the epithelial cells that line our respiratory organs to make them more vital and strong.
- Zinc Picolinate 15mg by Pure Encapsulations: 1 cap 2x/day with food; An important mineral needed by the entire body to make protein and genetic material (DNA) of cells. Our immune cells need zinc for defense against pathogens like viruses.
- Ther Biotic Complete probiotic by Klaire Labs 1 cap per day: This broad spectrum probiotic powerhouse contains 25 billion CFU per capsule. Why a probiotic? 80% of our immune system resides in our GI Tract. When our gut is functioning optimally with an abundance of supportive, beneficial bacterial strains, the rest of our body, including our respiratory system, can perform its job more effectively: helping us breathe and fight outside invaders like viruses.
Knowledge is power. Follow these effective, supportive and safe recommendations, dissolve unnecessary worry, trust that your powerfully wise body knows exactly how to help you (with a little help from you, too) and you will have a healthy and strong immune system that has your back.
Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy and vibrant spring!
P.S. Need help with an individualized treatment program or non-coronavirus healthcare support? Click on www.doctorkristi.com to schedule time with me.