|Keep Calm…and Carry On|
These words, made famous by a government sponsored poster campaign in England amidst threats of German bombardment during World War II, are very appropriate today as we brace against the constant bombardment of dire news concerning the COVID-19 virus. Some of the news is true, some not, and much is uncertain. We simply do not know all of the details, and this vacuum of information leaves the door wide open to all sorts of misinformation, conjecture…and hysteria.
We really need some perspective here. So by the end of this email, if think this is valuable information, please send this to every person you know in this country and around the world!! Okay, back to some perspective. If you are older with preexisting respiratory conditions or are immune compromised due to medical treatment or have a weakened immune system, you are at greater risk of complications to viral infection, mainly a secondary pneumonia. This is true not just in the case of Corona virus, but even with the regular H1N1 flu (which kills an estimated 20-80,000 people due to secondary pneumonia per year in the US). Even the common cold could be devastating to the immune compromised. So, while virulence and transmission is a concern, those with the worst outcomes are those with the worst health and lowest immune resistance heading in.
So, these are the two sides to any infectious disease issue. Exposure and resistance. I have heard the panic being ratcheted up over the exposure, virulence and transmissibility, hygiene and quarantine. This is the field of epidemiology in which I am not an expert. However, on the other side of the infectious disease equation, I have heard little about what can be done to strengthen one’s immunity and how to support the body in sickness to full resolution, an area in which I aman expert.
Case in point; many of us have experienced within families, that when one or two members fall ill, the others don’t. It is doubtless that in the close quarters of the home, there has been ample exposure to the pathogen by everyone. So, it begs the question, why did only two develop fulminant illness and the others not? The answer rests in the individual’s immune competence (resistance level). It seems to me that we ought to be talking about that… so, let’s have that discussion.
So, how does one enhance their immunity?
Here are some simple steps that you can take which are largely based in common sense.
Step 1: Sleep
First, get rest. All night benders, staying up late on social media or gaming do little to enhance immunity. Your body recharges, heals and repairs when you have ample quality sleep. Establish a regular bed time and stick to it. Put down the devices for at least 90 minutes prior to bed. Whatever you do, don’t watch the news or read social media before bed. These steps will reduce the perceived stress by your body and increase immunity by reducing adrenal hyperactivity and the endocrine exhaustion and sickness that often follows.
Step 2: Eat Well
A high carbohydrate and high sugar diet taxes your stress handling glands (adrenals) resulting in weakness of those glands leading to reduced immunity. Be sure to eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates (not sugars and starches), quality proteins and good fats and oils. Reduce your use of stimulants like caffeine and nicotine as these stress the endocrine and nervous systems and ultimately weaken the immune system. Eat whole foods and avoid processed (anything in a package) products (can’t really call it food) to reduce the immune stresses on the gastrointestinal system. A probiotic taken regularly, will help to keep pathogenic bacteria and yeast in check. A happy and healthy digestive tract is an important key element to overall health and strong immunity.
Step 3: Stop Smoking
If you smoke, stop. Smoking (and inhaling anything other than air) puts stress on the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract, and as such, reduces immunity there. In the winter months, maintain adequate humidity in the home. This aids in preventing a drying of the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract thus supporting surface immunity in these organs and passages. Steam inhalations of chamomile flowers with a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil are helpful in keeping the mucus of your respiratory tract flowing (along with bacteria and viruses) up and out of your body.
Step 4: Do Not Supress the Body’s Natural Defenses
Do not suppress coughing as this allows the settling of infection lower in the respiratory tract which could result in pneumonia. The cough reflex is a blessing! Mucus is a Godsend!
Step 5: Do Not Supress a Fever if Neurologic Function is Intact
Fevers energize the immune response! Do not suppress your body’s inborn defenses! If there is altered consciousness and awareness, medical care should be sought and the cause of the fever investigated.
Step 6: Reduce the Toxic Load on the Body
Reduce medication use as much as possible. These place a toxic burden on the body which results in chemical stress and an attenuation of immunity. Of course the consumption of alcohol and other deleterious chemical substances should be reduced or avoided as well.
Step 7: Resist Pessimism and Worry
Our minds and our perception of reality have a tremendous effect on immunity, as those thoughts (bad ones) can activate the stress handling mechanisms of the body. When we habitually worry and are anxious, reality becomes a very dangerous place and our stress handling mechanisms become fully engaged all of the time without rest. Your body can only support this state of red alert for so long. The drumbeat of fear is pervasive and constant. These conditions are perfect for squashing your stress handling ability and thus your immunity. Step away from the media and the devices for a while. Turn off the alerts and notifications. Only check in periodically. Don’t let your connectedness consume you.
Step 8: Supplement Your Diet
Most people’s diets are lacking in at least some vitamins and minerals even if you eat well. Of course, some are worse off than others. However, to increase the nutrient density of your meals, there is supplementation. And there are nutritional supplements that will help to strengthen your immune system. Here are a few.
Beta carotene provides the body with a reservoir of pro-vitamin A. Vitamin A is helpful in the body’s defense against viruses. Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant and will regulate and support the immune response. Fish oil helps to support the functioning of lymphoid tissue and reduces inflammation. Zinc lozenges support surface immunity in the oropharynx and the rest of the body. Vitamin C (preferrably with bioflavonoids) in doses exceeding 3,000 mg support mucus membrane surface immunity, but also prevent viral replication. Probiotics optimize the bacterial and yeast flora of the gut reducing the effects of pathogenic varieties thus improving immune system competence.Vitamin D, which is vitally important to the functioning of the immune system, is much lower in the winter (a reason why the flu affects us then). 10,000 IU daily for a week then 5,000 IU daily for two weeks, will help to get you over the hump until the sun is higher in the sky. Get at least 20 minutes per day of “unprotected” sun exposure.
Step 9: Get Chiropractic Adjustments
During the 1918 flu epidemic Chiropractors had a much better success rate in treating patients with the flu than their medical counterparts. Treatment included the steps outlined above and adjustments and physical treatments to support the body in the immune response. Please see the following link.
Palmer Chiropractic College and Flu Epidemic of 1918
Consider this; a seed needs soil to grow into a plant. A pathogen needs fertile ground (an immune compromised host) to produce disease. Information (disinformation) only needs ignorance and a lack of critical thinking to cause panic…
So, these are the steps necessary to strengthen your resistance. You can get all of the exposure, transmission and quarantine information from the press. Hopefully, cooler heads and intelligence will prevail in this situation (crisis!). But we’ll see…Keep Calm and Carry On!
If you haven’t already, send the results of your most recent blood work for me to analyze through our sister company Veritas Health Analytics. Bring them to your next visit, or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Though my evaluation may be less flattering than your medical doctor’s, it will give you vital information about how your body needs to be supported. The name of the disease that you have (diagnosis) becomes less relevant, to the degree that you regain yourhealth. My mission is to support health, not simply manage disease.
Yours for Better Health,Dr. Henry Bulitta
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