As we are all getting bombarded with the constant updates on numbers of cases, deaths, reports and instructions related to the coronavirus pandemic, I want to offer you some information I have gleaned from a Functional Medicine perspective; discussions and scientific literature that I believe you may not have heard regarding the COVID-19 illness:
Importance of inflammation: A study done in China shows that people who had the worse outcomes had elevated lab markers of inflammation. Inflammation is part of a normal immune response- we need it to defend from viruses and bacteria. However, it is when that inflammation gets out of hand that it becomes the cause of more severe illness and lung damage. What does that mean to you?
If you do get infected you want your baseline of inflammation to be as low as possible so that you never reach that threshold. You lower inflammation by:
Removing bad foods and alcohol from your diet and adding tons of good, anti-inflammatory foods.
Getting enough sleep. Melatonin can be useful since it not only can improve sleep but also supports a healthy immune system.
Reducing stress hormones. This is the time to ramp up the yoga, meditation, joyful activities like singing. Ashwagandha is a good adaptogen for either high or too low cortisol.
Do NOT use elderberry unless you know you just have a common cold. It appears that the powerful effects of elderberry may contribute to a over-reactive immune response and possibly be harmful. I know I recommended elderberry previously but please hold off on its use for now.
Optimizing your body's anti-viral surveillance: It is thought that many will contract this virus although it still appears that most cases are mild. Everyone should be optimizing proven immune supports such as zinc, Vitamins A,C and D. Other evidence based supplements such as astragalus, quercitin and reishe mushrooms can also be useful.
I want to let you know that I am thinking of each of you and sending wishes for your safety and well-being. Please reach out if you have questions. I am available for consultations by phone or video conference if you want to discuss a personalized strategy to make sure you are as resilient as possible during this time. In the meantime: breathe, find joy, take good care of yourself and your loved ones.