Lessons From A Pandemic – Part One
by Dr. Jason Sonners
As we welcome June and hope for some nice weather, we also finally see some of New Jersey’s shelter-in-place restrictions lifting. While the health and economic effects of COVID-19 are far from over, the intensity of the spreading seems to at least be slowing.
I literally have hundreds of thoughts regarding this situation that I hope to share over the next few months, but I’ll begin with this blog post.
There are still so many unanswered questions. Where did this virus come from? Are there things we could have done differently? What can we learn from our national response? Was it appropriate? Not enough? Too aggressive? Why did other countries seem to have better infection and death rates? What did other countries do in terms of sheltering or not, and what were the results of those responses?
These answers are so important because, unfortunately, this is probably not the last time something like this happens. The more we discuss the answers to these questions the more likely we will have improved responses in the future. In the meantime, what can YOU do right NOW to improve your personal possibilities?
While the list of unknowns is very long, the list of knowns is quite short, so let’s begin there. We know this is a virus. We know where in your lungs and epithelium it attacks. We know the stronger our immune system is, the better our response will be; and we know the more “other” conditions we have, the poorer our outcomes will be. Is this a black and white approach? No. Like so many illnesses it is about hedging your bets and doing the best you can to improve your odds and outcomes.
Since the onset of this virus, I have been asked by hundreds of patients what they should or could be doing. My answers today are the same as they were three months ago and focus on two conditions guaranteed to weaken your immune system:
Increased Stress – There is tons of research showing prolonged stress responses weaken our ability to handle infections. While we cannot simply remove our stress, we can work on our responses to stress. Hobbies, meditation, breathing exercises are all great ways to reduce our stress response. We offer guidance at Core Therapies, so please talk with your provider to explore options that may work for you.
Blood Glucose imbalance – This is true at all times, but specifically for COVID-19, which seems to have a much worse response in those with obesity and diabetes. Learning how to balance your blood sugar properly through diet is critical for improving the immune system and helping to improve your body’s response to infection. We offer guidance here too, so again talk with your provider to explore these options as well. We do have a variety of solutions.
In these times, there are also specific supplements to consider that will help BUILD a healthy immune response. These recommendations are very similar to the strategies we use during flu seasons.
For building a strong immune system:
Vitamin D – improves our body’s ability to fight infection (among many other roles)
Vitamin C – plays a huge role in improving our ability to fight infection and balance inflammation
Zinc – another key player in immune function and fighting viral infections
For improving your ability to fight infection:
AHCC – one of our favorite immune system stimulants
Zinca Stop – a specific form of zinc utilized for fighting viral infections
Glutathione – helps keep our inflammatory response more balanced
Quercetin – improves our inflammatory response as well as our ability to move zinc into our cells
Ask us about the types and amounts of supplements that should be used to help ensure a strong immune system.
Watch for Part Two of Lessons From A Pandemic coming soon!