Covid-19 & Your Immunity -What to do to strengthen your immune system
We ARE ALL going through a new normal. It’s a time that makes you have a number of different emotions. Some days are better than others for sure.
Overall the main goal is to stay health – here are a few tips and suggestions to keep you and your family well during this uncertain time!
Keep up the HEALTHY basics: people who maintain healthy lifestyles are known to fair the best to not get sick, and have better outcomes if they contract the virus. Here a few tips to remember:
- get plenty of sleep: at least 8 hours a night for optimal immune function. Studies on the rhinovirus shows lack of sleep makes us more susceptible to catching virus. Don’t get to bed late either – your most restorative sleep is in the early evening. Try to be in bed by 10 to 11PM
- exercise moderately: moderate exercise has been shown to improve immune function and potentially reduced the risk and severity of respiratory viral infection. However, extensive exercise is shown to be immunosuppressive – so right now, do what is comfortable for your body, but not too much more. Also, exercise can help burn off some of the stress hormones too…
- stress / meditation / relaxation work: stress lowers the ability of the immune system to deal with viruses.17 Keeping a meditation practice, and lowering stress load will help.
- stay positive and laugh: don’t keep watching the news – the media is very negative-driven. Conversely, daily laughter boosts immune ability, and lower prevalence of diseases like heart disease.
Do or watch something every day that makes you laugh –
- eat an anti-inflammatory diet: today’s Western style diet is proven to lead to increased inflammation, reduced control of infection, and increases in auto- inflammatory disease.20 Eating nutritiously is good for both prevention and treatment of viruses. Fasting may actually help the virus take over, so I do not recommend fasting if you feel ill. In my practice I find to help patients avoid and treat viral disease it is key to:
o avoid: all dairy products, sugary foods, fried foods, trans-fats, and red
o follow a Mediterranean Diet: high in fish, vegetables, nuts, beans, and
olive oil is best.
- don’t smoke: smoking is a major risk factor for advanced respiratory distress syndrome, the main reason people can die from coronavirus. The virus attacks the respiratory cilia cells, which are already damaged from smoke. Smoking allows much better virus transmission. Quitting smoking may help prevent the transmission and sickness of Covid-19.22
SUPPORTIVE IMMUNE SUPPLEMENTS-
vitamin D 1000iu to 2000iu a day: Vitamin D deficiency is known to be much more prevalent in Advanced Respiratory Distress (ARDS), which is the major concern in patients who get very sick from Covid-19. Low vitamin D is shown to directly contribute to worsening of ARDS, likely because you need vitamin D to keep a balanced immune and inflammation reaction. Some people with low levels of D may need even more.
– selenium 200 micrograms (mcg) a day: Selenium deficiency may make it easier to
catch viruses. Supplementation can protect antioxidant capacity in the lungs in those with acute respiratory distress (ARDS is the major medical concern in patients with coronavirus) as well as help patients already being treated for advanced lung inflammation. Proper selenium levels may be protective to smokers. ARDS is the main danger for patients who are coronavirus positive. A single Brazil nut contains 68 to 91 micrograms (mcg) of selenium.
– Vitamin C 1000mg a day: higher levels of vitamin C as used in intravenous therapy may help patients who have respiratory distress syndrome as well. Possibly keeping levels in the body higher might help prevent it, although we do not know that for sure. One doctor’s case report from China suggests high dose had helped him and his family.
– vitamin A 10,000 iu a day: Vitamin A deficiency can stop innate immunity by impeding
vitamin A prevents or treats coronavirus, my experience in clinic suggests with other viral illnesses suggest benefit and may be worth taking in low doses.
* Please note pregnant women should NOT take extra vitamin A.
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