First perspective is from Donna, the Mental Health Counselor:
Everyone reacts to stressors differently, and the patients in our practice have presented with worries, fears, and ideas for our office. Some have been worried for us (in the healthcare profession), others have been worried about significant others and parents, while some have concerns for themselves. This is all normal, and we want to help by offering what we are doing, as well as how we are thinking about this threat.
For my part, I am taking my supplements that support my immune system and continuing to work on staying calm and keeping my mental space available for my day to day work and home life. What do I suggest for our patients? First, understand that this virus is very much like the flu, and while a novel virus, not likely to be much more impactful in the long run than any other virus that we run into. It has a higher mortality rate in specific populations, but even in those populations most recover. Second, make a plan for what would help your immune system be at its best to do its job if you do become infected. And third, understand that you cannot control this, but if you stop your entire life for it, or become so focused on it that you are in a constant state of fear you will only make yourself more susceptible and increase your risk.
What can I do to stay calm? When you feel panicked try doing deep breathing exercises, and focus your mind on your breath, elongating your exhale. This can reduce the stress hormones that your body produces when you are fearful. Another tip is to follow news sources that are trustworthy, that you have fact checked – information can be twisted to get more attention. Finally, remember the serenity prayer. As a therapist I work with people on changing the things that they can, accepting the things they cannot change, and understanding which category each fear/stressor falls into. This virus is a stressor we cannot control currently, but we can plan for how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We can understand that we will all most likely be ok and accept that the best way to move forward is optimistically. And remember, if any of you are experiencing high levels of stress or panic, we are all here to help.
Second perspective from Kathy, one of our Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners:
I have been asked quite often recently what foods and supplements and lifestyle habits can help boost your immune system and reduce your risk during this worldwide Coronavirus outbreak.
First, eat nutrient dense, whole foods. This includes lots of plants, good fats and some grass fed, pastured animal protein or wild caught fish. Aim for 9 cups of vegetables and fruits a day (3:1 vegetables to fruit). Stay away from fried foods and foods laden with sugar and flour. Nutrient dense, whole foods support a healthy gut microbiome and much of your immunity comes directly from your gut. Utilize virus and bacteria fighting herbs including garlic, oregano, sage, ginseng, basil, peppermint, rosemary and lemon balm (great as a tea). Take probiotics for additional gut support.
Second, get good rest and take care of yourself. Exercise, wash your hands often, wash your face before bed and potentially shower before bed. It has been proven that we are more likely to get sick when we are under stress. Avoid large crowds when possible. As Donna mentioned, the power to control what you can and release what you can’t is extremely powerful.
Third, keep your vitamin D levels up. Infection fighting T-cells need vitamin D to activate. Your blood levels of vitamin D should optimally be above 60 ng/mL to receive all the benefits of this wonder vitamin. Add Vitamin C as it is a great antioxidant and is most effective in liposomal form.
Lastly, Consider Zinc, Elderberry, Ortho Molecular’s Viracid, Bio-Botanical’s Olivirex, NAC and L-Lysine – Zinc is known to shorten cold viruses and boost immunity(lozenges or 30mg capsules), Elderberry stops viruses from replicating (I like Gaia’s syrup or capsules), Viracid is packed with adaptogens and NAC, Olivirex contains antibacterial and immune boosting Olive leaf extract, goldenseal and garlic, and Lysine inhibits viruses. You can get Lysine from eating beef, lamb, poultry and tuna. Lysine in supplement form can help take the virus load down.
Third perspective from Mimi, our Family Nurse Practitioner:
My protective shield against the coronavirus is to supercharge my immune system with everything that it needs to be resilient and efficient. When supplements are administered intravenously, I get 100% bioavailability of the substances vs. taking it orally and only getting a portion of it due to first-pass effect. My IV protocol is simple: A Myer’s cocktail and glutathione. Myer’s has all the wonderful vitamins and minerals such as high dose vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium. These are all key ingredients for methylation, which is responsible for a lot of biochemical processes in your body, and vital in the detoxifying pathways. Glutathione is a super-antioxidant and the most important detoxifying molecule. It helps in the clearance of many exogenous and endogenous toxins and damaging substances.
Hand hygiene is very important as well. I scrub/wash my hands whenever I can for at least 20 seconds throughout the day. These two things have protected me during the cold seasons, especially in this last winter when almost every staff and patients around me were sick with some viral illness.
The most important thing to remember is that the fear associated with the virus can be damaging to your immune system. Take the preventative measures, protect yourself, build up your immune system, but do not let fear dictate your actions. Instead of being driven by fear, focus on the prevention and focus on what you are able to control: yourself and your actions.