I’ve been asked too many times to count this week “should I be worried about the coronavirus (COVID – 19).” I have a lot of thoughts, and still a lot of questions. I feel I could argue both sides – to worry or not to worry.
Part of me takes the stance of, I have been in practice almost 14 years and I have seen the bird flu, swine flu, and SARS come and go. All produced a state of hysteria at first and neither took us out. However, this virus is spreading faster and reaching more people than the latter. So that is a concern. And we’ve not seen a virus quite like this, so that is another concern. We also don’t know the long term effects. And with it’s long incubation period of 2 weeks, this leaves a lot of room for unknown spreading of the virus.
Pediatrician known as ‘The Holistic Mama Doc’ Elisa Song, MD writes this: “The incubation period is thought to be 2-14 days, with a median incubation period of 4 days. Patients are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic. However, a recent report (4) found that an asymptomatic woman who transmitted COVID-19 to 5 other people may have had an incubation time of 19 days.”
This is especially a concern in my brick and mortar practice in Austin, Texas with the recent San Antonio case confirmation. It is starting to hit close to home. We are personally not stockpiling food and water just yet. But, here is what I do know and want to share from a holistic perspective to give you some tools to arm yourself and your immune system to control what you can.
Keep in mind it is a virus. And I will stick to what I know about viruses. Despite all the media scare and politics of are we being told everything or not, which I can not speak to, what I can speak to is that it is still a virus. And what I do know about the human body is that a virus CAN NOT harm you in a detrimental way IF you are STRONGER than it. What does that mean? BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM! STAT!
What we do also know is that the majority of infected people appear to have mild infections – with mild cold-like symptoms and fever.
**Update as of 3/25 We have spoke to many positive cases around the country and have found the first symptom is often loss of taste and/or smell.
Other mild symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
Yes – I know, I know this also looks like Cedar fever here in Austin, or a cold, or the flu. And that is what is tricky here in knowing when to go get tested. Definitely get tested if you have been exposed, or the symptoms feel more severe than allergies.
More severe symptoms look like:
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty breathing
- Mild pneumonia
- Severe pneumonia (the severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is now named severe acute respiratory infection (SARI))
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
- Sepsis and Septic shock
So what to do? I will go over immune boosting ideas to stay stronger than the virus here in a second, but let’s talk about prevention of transmission first:
- Wash hands with warm soap and water for at least 30 seconds, often.
- Stay home when you’re sick, unless you need urgent medical attention.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough with your elbow – we call this the vampire cough in our house (try it and you’ll see why).
- Netipot/Irrigate your nose.
- Stay away from and keep your distance from sick people the best you can.
To keep your immune system strong and to prevent being an optimal host for this, or any other virus start loading up on the following items. Also remember that this is a virus, not a bacteria. Antibiotics will not kill it. So your best bet is to keep your inner terrain (your body) as an environment it does not want to live in.
Here are my favorite immune boosters and Antivirals tips and tricks:
- Vitamin D3 – this is a strong antioxidant to increase immunity. I like to see levels between 60-100 when you test your levels. If any lower I suggest taking 5,000 – 20,000 IUS (be sure it has Vitamin K for absorption).
- Glutathione (trizomale is best) is another powerful antioxidant.
- Get Chiropractic Adjustments and Acupuncture to boost the power of your nervous system to increase your immune system.
- All Immunity starts in the tummy. Heal your gut if you have GI issues with amino acids and enzymes.
- Avoid sugar (sugar is found in most processed foods).
- Avoid processed foods. Avoid flour, and carbs.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
- Lower stress – HAHA easier said than done!! If you are under stress you NEED Adrenal support to lower the fight or flight adrenaline response. Being in fight or flight decreases your immune system so much that you then become an opportunistic host for this virus.
- Take antiviral herbs such as Monolaurin and Pau D’arco, and other supplements that can support your immune system such as vitamin C, echinacea, licorice root, and probiotics
- Fish oil – Omega-3 essential fatty acids have a host of immune benefits too long to list!
- Probiotics – One study showed a dramatic reduction in fever and upper respiratory symptoms in children who took a probiotic with a specific combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium daily throughout the cold and flu season.
- Zinc – Zinc is needed for your white blood cells to function. Just 15mg of zinc per day in adults has been found to improve our immune cells’ ability to ward off viruses.
- Load up on foods and spices with antiviral properties such as coconut oil, raw garlic, oregano, ginger, kimchi and other fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea, and apple cider vinegar.
- Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. They are full of antioxidants which will destroy the free radicals that weaken our immune system.
- Drink your bone broth! Bone broth has amazing immune-supporting properties.
- Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t overdo it!
- Get adequate sleep. Loss of sleep, even for a few hours at night, increases inflammation in our body which makes us more susceptible to catching a virus.
Since the long term effects of this virus are not yet known, the best thing we can do is give our bodies the tools that it needs to fight it off. If you have any further questions about Coronavirus, please call our office or schedule an appointment today. Remember, you are stronger than this virus!
***Please Note, this is NOT medical advice. If you think you have an illness including COVID-19, please get tested and see your doctor for treatment. The treatment may include coming in to get tested, staying at home and isolating, or going to the hospital. But you must consult your physician. As a novel virus, this means with its newness there is no known cure. There are currently no approved treatments.