Dear members of the CCWM family:
We are writing this as the crisis surrounding the pandemic of Covid-19 is evolving in front of our eyes in hope of providing reassurance and well thought out advice that is not emotional but is science based and predicated by World Health, CDC and local health authorities recommendations.
It is clear that we are facing unprecedented circumstances of a health crisis in evolution, something that we only theorized about in our epidemiology classes in medical school. It is incredibly difficult to sift through the massive body of information coming our way via internet sources of variable credibility. While it is vital to educate ourselves, it must be from credible sources.
Many of you are undoubtedly already practicing conscious social distancing by working from home or watching your kids learn via virtual access to the classrooms, as we eagerly observe statistics about coronavirus in our own community and the world. As you know, safety of our patients has always been our first and foremost priority.
While our office remains open and we continue to practice the utmost care in keeping our environment safe, knowing that the risk of coronavirus to the average individual is very low, we recognize that some of you may prefer to remain away from public transportation on the way to your medical appointments and would feel more comfortable not leaving your homes. In fact, if you are over 65 and have underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune illnesses or cancer, it may be best to avoid potential exposure but at the same time, it would be imprudent to skip your routine medical follow up. To that end we have opened up slots in our schedule to accommodate virtual medical appointments for routine follow ups and non emergent urgent care appointments as well.
Many of you might wonder about testing for the coronavirus. As it stands right now, the testing will become available this week but there are strict criteria and recommendations that our office will follow which reflect the CDC’s recommendations and will be discussed during the telemedicine appointments on a patient to patient individually appropriate basis.
In the end, let us remind you that your response to the current situation and any infectious disease challenges in the future depends on the health of your immune system.
However, there are many things in modern life today that can harm immunity and make people more prone to getting sick, such as:
- Improper hygiene (like, not washing hands enough)
- Unhealthy diet (such as excess sugar and processed GMO foods)
- Excess alcohol
- Excess stress
- Insufficient sleep
- Environmental toxins (in the air, water, on food, etc.)
- Poor gut health
- Sitting too much and/or not exercising enough
That, of course, begs the question…
What exactly is that best immune-supporting “ammunition” -- the nutrients you’ll most want to supplement with to best protect you?
You see, over 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. And one of the most effective ways to rapidly support a healthy gut is by supplementing with a high-quality probiotic.
Not only do these “GOOD GUYS” help get your gut microbiome balanced, they also support a powerful immune system by helping reinforce gut barrier function... supporting a healthy inflammatory response… promoting immunomodulatory activity... and enhancing antimicrobial activity - which is a fancy scientific way of saying they fend off “BAD GUYS.”
Not surprisingly, multiple studies have shown that probiotics help prevent episodes of upper-respiratory tract infections.
Our Immune system has two arms - one that helps produce antibodies and fight off offending agents and the other that helps modulate body’s over exuberant production of antibodies against self, such as in autoimmune diseases. The two need to be in perfect balance to allow us to function most optimally. Ingestion of foods that are rich in natural detoxifiers like calcium-D-glucarate and 1,3 beta-glucans or daily use of supplements that provide those is key.
Compounds like beta-glucans and muramyl peptides largely enhance the immune system's ability to survey for and destroy the foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria.
Found in fruits and vegetables of rainbow of colors, particularly the dark skinned variety (berries, beets, purple carrots, grapes, dark green leafy veggies) provide body with oligomeric proanthocyanidins, compounds that neutralize free radicals and support our bodies’ metabolic functions ranging from blood sugar control to supporting healthy cholesterol and increasing nitric oxide levels, thus helping with circulation.
While the best way to get those benefits is through a healthy diet, it is sometimes quite difficult to get all of those fruits and veggies in and we recommend prudent, science based nutritional supplementation.
NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES, such as OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Inflammation has been recognized as the root cause of many evils - from gut health to heart and brain health. While the most important way to avoid it on a cellular level is to make smart food choices and avoid pro-inflammatory foods, a little help from a high quality, well purified marine source of essential fatty acids or plant based omega 3’s is key to fighting off inflammation and clearing infection.
Really not a vitamin but more of a hormone, vitamin D plays crucial role in our response to inflammation and should be supplemented especially in our part of the country on a regular basis and in high doses in the winter months but in face of an acute infection short term use of mega doses is appropriate. Medical literature abounds in well designed studies which show its beneficial effects on prevention and amelioration of viral illnesses such as colds, influenza and some others where the vitamin altered the course of the illness by down-regulating the genetic expression of the virus.
Large doses of vitamin D3 combined with vitamin K2 (such as 5000 - 10000 IU daily) should be used for prevention and to ameliorate severity of an existing viral infection on a short term basis.
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps prevent and fight viral infections and should be a part of our toolbox. The right kind (esterified form or liposomal form or oral preparation which is bound to bioflavonoids for best absorption and bioavailability) is important. One should decide what their maximum dose is by taking it in 1000 mg increments until GI distress (loose stools) occur and then decrease daily intake by 1000 mg for ongoing daily use.
- Avoid exposure by practicing social distancing - avoid unnecessary travel, large group gatherings, contact with people who aren’t well
- Wash your hands!
- Don’t touch your face (avoid mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes and nose)
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Get plenty of rest - sleep is restorative to our immune system
- Eat a healthy, mostly organic, plant based diet
- Prudently supplement with pro and prebiotics, antioxidants, immunomodulators, vit D3, vit C and omega 3’s
- Report to us by phone any symptoms that may suggest disease caused by coronavirus so we are able to direct you to obtain appropriate testing