With the recent spread of the coronavirus into the US, and lack of information regarding rates of transmission, length of incubation, and many other statistics, confusion and fear can easily consume us. Maybe you are like me and you don’t want to be an alarmist, but you also want to be educated and make sure you are doing what you can to protect yourself and your family; essentially your whole community. The reality is that this will likely be another virus that humans learn to live with.
Even though we don’t have the complete picture of the coronavirus, there are actions within our control that can help reduce spreading the virus and support our own immune systems right now. There is a misconception that it is the virus alone that makes us sick. However, it is not the virus itself that causes severe symptoms, but our own body’s immune response to exposure of the virus; either too much of a response or not enough. This is why viral exposures can be more detrimental for people that are immune compromised or have underlying conditions, and why healthy individuals may fair more easily without any or only mild symptoms. In both of these situations, prevention (reducing exposure) and supporting the immune system (the body’s innate ability to heal itself), are where naturopathic medicine shines brightest.
Here are some actions that you can put into place now that address these two factors:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. If you are going to touch your mouth, nose, eyes, or eat, wash them for at least 30 seconds, immediately before doing so and avoid touching any surfaces unnecessarily. If you are unable to wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Use the inside of your ELBOW to cover your cough or sneeze, not your hand.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid people who are sick and large crowds if possible. Now is not the time to prove you can still go to work while feeling under the weather.
Support your immune system:
- Sleep, exercise (move), drink plenty of water, eat clean foods and avoid sugar, dairy, alcohol and processed foods. These inflammatory foods reduces your body’s immune response and creates more mucus for viruses to breed in. Instead, drink bone broth and vegetable soups, which are highly nutritious and replenishes electrolytes.
- Reduce stress. Being stressed (emotionally, physically, mentally) taxes our immune system and puts us at a greater risk of infection. This includes stressing out about Covid 19. Know that by doing these things you are taking action and doing what is in YOUR control.
- Talk to a Naturopathic doctor about incorporating additional support through modalities such as botanical medicines, supplementation, and IV therapy. These can help to prevent illness and reduce recovery time when you are ill.
Dr. Jainuddin graduated from Bastyr University and is currently doing her naturopathic medical residency at the Live Well Clinic in La Quinta, CA. She is now accepting new patients. If you are interested in discussing your specific healthcare needs or would like to see if IV therapy is right for you, please contact the Live Well Clinic at 760-771-5970.