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Posted on October 28, 2022 by
With the scare of COVID here in the USA now, I wanted to post a little info about boosting immunity to prevent contracting the virus. Here are some important facts about Covid-19
- It is spread by contact with respiratory droplets within 3-6 feet.
- One person usually infects 2-3 others
- Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath
- It can progress to pneumonia and about 30% of patients that are hospitalized may require ICU care
- Incubation period is 2-14 days but averages about 5 days
- The current case fatality rates is unknown still but is approximately 2.3-2.8%. This is lower than SARS/MERS but slightly higher than the seasonal influenza (0.02-0.05%)
- Seasonal flu usually causes 30-80 million cases and 30,000 deaths in the US alone per year
Here are some supplements that you can find at your local pharmacy or health food store that you can take daily to boost immunity
N-acetyl cystine (600mg twice daily)
Zinc (40mg daily)
Liposomal Vitamin C (1000mg daily)
Here is my usual recommendation to start the second you start feeling like you may be coming down with a bug (Like when you first feel that scratch in your throat and think “Am I getting sick?”)
- Continue all the supplements above but change the vitamin C recommendation to 1000mg every 2 hours while awake. Remember that the limiting factor with Vitamin C is that too much can give you diarrhea so if you get that, start backing off on the dose. I wouldn’t take more that 1000mg at a time to get maximum absorption. Because Vitamin C is water soluble, you really can’t overdose yourself.
- Ramp up your intake of probiotics– so double or triple your current dose.
- Drink some bone broth (I love Kettle and Fire brand)
- Lastly, I like to add 4 drops of Biocidin (herbal antiviral that contains 90% polyphenols, black walnut hull and leaf, multiple oils including raspberry, galbanum, lavender, and oregano oil) twice daily
I order all my supplements from Fullscript which is an online supplement company that ships directly to you. The guarantee that the products are stored correctly/not expired or counterfeit. They also encourage brands to undergo third party certification programs to ensure safety. You can use this LINK to create an account. You can also probably find most supplements other than the Biocidin at your local health food store. (Fresh Thyme carries most). I have found Biocidin available on Amazon as well.
Lastly, Click this LINK to see where confirmed Covid cases are located along with the recovered cases and deaths.
I hope this information is useful and remember that boosting your immunity by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercise, and sunlight is your best defense at this time. Lastly, the most important step of all to protect yourself above all others WASH YOUR HANDS!!! Remember to sing the “Happy Birthday” song and not stop until you are done singing (hopefully silently or people may think you are Nuts!)
Posted on March 7, 2020 by
This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms. Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something.
Of course–the old standby of chicken soup is helpful! You can make some fabulous Homemade Bone Broth which will help boost your immune system! You can also order some from THE BROTHERY. I keep some of Chef Lance’s bone broth in the freezer just for this type of occasion. When you feel crappy –it’s not always exciting to make your own so this hits the spot.
ELDERBERRY —is available as a supplement and research shows that it accelerates cytokine production to help regulate the immune response. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
GARLIC— is rich in vitamin C and zinc which both support immune response.
PROBIOTICS— these gut friendly bacteria make for a robust immune system. You can buy these as a supplement (check out my faves in the FULLSCRIPT link) Even better, try eating some fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi. I’ve heard of people taking a dose of probiotic every hour when they first start feeling ill.
Zinc — this essential mineral is the most common mineral (after iron) found in the body and zinc depletion causes immune dysfunction. So load up on that
Vitamin C/D/E— These support the production of anti-stress hormones and interferon which is an immune system protein that stimulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.
Posted on January 6, 2020 by
If you are like me — you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet. Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet; the mineral content of the soil that our food is grown in just isn’t equivalent to that of our predecessors. I won’t even begin to touch on the topics of pesticides, GMO’s, contaminated water supplies etc. Let’s face it — most of the food / water/ products that we put in our bodies simply aren’t healthy anymore. So I do think we need to augment our nutrition these days with some good quality supplements.
You can refer back to previous posts that will explain which supplements I think are important for most people and why—
But here is another big question—- WHEN should we take these supplements and WHY?
So here is the low down!
Take these with the main meal of the day!
Multivitamins contain the major fat soluble vitamins A,D, E, and K– and should ideally be taken with a meal that contains some fat.
They also contain B and C vitamins which can notoriously cause some mild nausea or acid sensitivity when they aren’t taken with food.
The only exception is a B12 vitamin which is better absorbed on an empty stomach — however, I usually recommend using a sublingual formula of B12 which is placed under the tongue — so it doesn’t matter if it is taken with or without food
Fish oil can cause some GI upset. That is why it is best to take it with your main meal of the day. Another little tip to remember is that if you are prone to getting “Fish Burps” or gas from taking fish oil, you can keep it in the freezer and take the supplement frozen. Remember, it is almost better not to take fish oil at all if you aren’t getting a high quality supplement. You want to avoid any fish oil that is generated in a farmed setting or that could potentially have high amounts of mercury. I recommend using something like Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil or Carlson’s fish oil. Reputable supplement companies such as Metagenics, Pure Encapsulations, and Thorne are also safe bets.
Magnesium (see Magnesium- the unloved mineral) is quite beneficial as a supplement as it is necessary for many processes in the body and it helps stabilize calcium in the body. I like magnesium glycinate. It is quite bioavailable and doesn’t tend to cause diarrhea like magnesium sulfate or citrate. Taking magnesium before bed is helpful because it also assists with sleep and muscle relaxation. There is also a good supplement called “Natural Calm” which is a drink you can do before bed. They make magnesium sprays that you can use topically or you can take a bath with 1-2 cups of epsom salts dissolved in it if you don’t like taking the oral supplement.
Probiotics include helpful bacteria to re-colonize the gut micro biome after taking prescription antibiotics. I believe they are helpful to take on a daily basis if you don’t consume a lot of fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha) It is always best to get good bacteria from foods but taking a quality probiotic with at least 7 different strains of bacteria including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species can certainly be beneficial (see Probiotics). I suggest taking these on an empty stomach and at night. Preferably 2-3 hours after your final meal of the day.
The website Fullscript – is my new go to supplement spot. Since we can’t always guarantee the what we order from Amazon is going to be stored correctly and is the quality manufacturers that we like — I now order everything from Fullscript- You can click the link below to go directly to the site and see all my favorites.
Posted on February 17, 2019 by
Grandma: “I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the rollercoaster. You get more out of it”
I always loved the movie “Parenthood” from 1989 with Steve Martin. It cracked me up when the Grandma gives this fabulous quote about the rollercoaster as a a metaphor for life and then proceeds to get in the wrong car.
I think I have certainly experienced every emotion possible in the last 6 weeks or so. I don’t know about you all, but I have travelled through each emotion multiple times each day since Covid 19 started. Initially, I have to admit that I was rather cavalier about the virus, compared to flu statistics and sort of wanted to blow it off. The first wave of reality hit when I went to pick up my daughter from school after one of her first softball tryouts. She came running out frantically to the car. I was ecstatic assuming she must have made the team. Instead she revealed that school was shut down for the next few weeks due to coronavirus. That was the first wave of realization that this shit was getting real. We suffered thru some e-learning growing pains and managed to get into a groove. I even made a daily schedule with a Pinterest flare that quickly made me feel like a failure when we deviated.
The next realization was that I was going to be exposed and then bring it home to them. We started doing 2 week rotations of seeing patients in clinic and then doing virtual visits for the following 2 weeks from home. This was exciting because I can’t imagine a time that I would ever be able to actually work from home. But I had to get thru the 2 weeks without getting sick in order to have that priveledge. Then there was guilt. I thought I should be doing more and offer to work on the inpatient Covid unit. But, if I did that then my kids would have both parents working with Covid patients and then we certainly both die and leave them orphans (yes, a little catastrophic thinking is always where my mind goes) So we agreed that one of us was ok to stay back until it became a necessity.
I said goodbye to my partners and coworkers and we begin the rotations into clinics that were unknown and tried continue to see our own patients via video and phone visits and those for acute visits that were screened “safe” to come in. I had a few patients that had tested positive but were doing well enough to stay at home. I video visited with them and we did supportive measures to help them through. This was the new normal that I settled into until the REALITY hit. On of my patients turned for the worse. He was in his forties and on about day #8 he tanked and wound up on a ventilator. His wife was at home with kids and grandkids and couldn’t even talk to him. She got reports from the physicians and I called her to give her emotional support. I was powerless and he was declining. It was then when I realized how this virus devastated. It creeps in and then changes the symptoms without warning, separating family and leaving patients scared and alone. I sobbed alone, got incredibly anxious, and got irrationally mad. I snapped at my kids and was just downright bitchy. My emotions were all over the place for a few days. I started stress eating and threw in the towel on my daily exercise. I was binging movies since the insomnia had crept in. Then, I immersed myself in Covid world. I read studies on treatment, listened to every daily update from my institution, talked about it constantly and went a little insane. More horror stories emerged, another patient of mine wound up ventilated after contracting it from her husband. Her husband actually passed away while she was in the ICU and her son couldn’t be there to deliver the news after she was extubated. Horrifying!
I don’t share these things to scare anyone. It’s just my journey over the past few weeks and I’m not even including all the gory details of what a rollercoaster this has been. I have so much gratitude that I have a job and realize that so many are out of work right now which makes this all so much tougher. I know you are all going through similar emotions and hope you feel free to reach out to friends, family and physicians if you need help. Feel free to share your experiences here as I really think there is so much to learn in our stories.
As an update, all my patients so far have made a full recovery and continue to improve daily. I can only pray that we are trending down and this won’t surge again. My family continues on a high speed carnival ride of emotion but we are dealing a little better. The nicer weather has helped as we are back to exercising outside. We found some projects around the house and have tried to do some healthy meals again (less comfort food and door dash)
Hang in there everyone!!!
Posted on April 26, 2020 by
Never in the last two decades of my career as a physician would I have imagined that we would be using the same mask to see patients all day and then sterilizing/recycling them at the end of the day. These are unprecedented and unsettling times for sure. As of today (April 5th, 2020), Indiana has 4,441 positive cases and 127 deaths from the novel coronavirus. The good news is that as of today, Spain has seen death totals drop for the third day in a row. It is possible that New York may be reaching peak numbers and we are about 2 weeks or more behind them (credit to Dr Bryan Sharpe). The demographics show that about 20% of patients are aged 50-59, 16.9% are 40-49 and 17.4 % are 60-69. Only 1.6% of the case are in age less than 19 and 8% in patients over 80. 54.3% are female and 45.7% are male patients affected. These statistics are for the state of Indiana only.
So enough of the somber news and let’s move on to prevention. Most of us are sheltering at home which is a great thing!!! I have seen new people out walking in my neighborhood. Families are Zoom calling friends and having parties. Neighbors are dropping off groceries and goodies for each other as well as decorating windows and front doors with all kinds of special messages. I see people wearing masks/ gloves and social distancing at stores which is great. If you wear a mask and practice good hand washing you have a >90% of not contracting the virus. Check out The Doctor’s Farmacy with Dr Mark Hyman called: Special Episode: Medicine In The Age of COVID 19 And Beyond. They analyze some of the recent data on treatments and answer listener’s questions as well. This is a very helpful podcast outlining prevention and future treatment options that may even include IV vitamin C as well as ozone therapies.
Hopefully, you checked out my previous POST on Coronavirus prevention and supplements to stock up on. I am still taking all of them and really focusing on daily exercise, good nutrition and sleep. This is also a fabulous time to really start zoning in on eliminating sugar since we all have more time to cook at home. It is also a great time to get outside and start a garden, catch up on yard work, and get some simple walks in. It is the perfect time to start meditating (Check out apps like Headspace and Calm).
So what happens if you do start to get sick and think you may have the virus??? First, don’t panic. You can call your physician for guidance since most are doing telephone and virtual visits at this time. They can walk you through a protocol to find out if you need to be tested and direct you on where to go to do so. Our program currently has a virtual hub that will triage patients to designated sites. Please call and don’t got to the emergency room or doctor’s office. The only reason to go the the ER is if you are having worsening difficulty breathing.
One major key it to stay well hydrated. Drink hot liquids like tea and broth regularly. As for fever and body aches, I usually recommend not treating the fever unless it gets dangerously high. I would avoid NSAIDS (like ibuprofen, naproxen also known as Advil and Aleve). I would stick with low dose Tylenol if needed. A fever is the body’s way to respond to infection so it is actually helpful.
So now I’m curious. How are all of you? What strategies are you using to cope? What fun ideas or projects have you come up with?
If you are a current patient, I am available via the My IU Health portal for questions and and also doing virtual and video visits so feel free to call the office and get one set up. Stay strong and this too shall pass. Prayers to all for good health and safety.
Posted on April 5, 2020 by
Have you ever wondered what the paste is applied to the bride and groom’s faces and arms in Indian weddings? It’s actually the spice turmeric. Turmeric is the ingredient in curry that gives it a vibrant yellow color. Actually, Indian traditional beauty secrets are handed down by ancestors to young women for skin radiance and hair removal using turmeric paste. Interestingly, turmeric has multiple health benefits and is a real power spice. Turmeric’s health benefits lie in the active ingredient curcumin. Curcumin has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, stomach soothing, and heart/liver protective qualities. It is thought to reduce histamine levels and stimulate the adrenal gland to decrease inflammation. It is often used to ease joint pain associated with arthritis. It is rich with antioxidants which are disease fighting substances that bind up free radicals (oh yes, cousin Joe that wacky guy) which are responsible for premature aging and cancer as well as destroying your marriage (see previous post on free radicals). Some animal studies even show that turmeric may benefit liver health and protect the liver from damaging toxins like alcohol (which cousin Joe definitely needs with his strong affection for Sun King). It may even harbor anti platelet activity which reduces the body’s ability to form blood clots and ultimately improve circulation. As always, you need to do your research if you are interested in taking a turmeric supplement and should check with your doctor first. However, I do have patients that have begun cooking more with turmeric and have seen some decrease in their arthritis symptoms.
Here are a few suggestions for cooking with turmeric–
1. Add it to egg salad
2. Mix brown rice, raisins, and cashews with turmeric, cumin, and coriander
3. Add it to steamed cauliflower or green beans
4. Add it to lentils
Turmeric 2 tsp:
0.24mg of manganese
1.82mg of iron
0.08mg of vitamin B6
0.93g of fiber
111 mg of potassium
******One interesting tidbit is that if you add a spoonful of turmeric to the water in water-cooled radiators, it will stop leaks!
Many patients are currently taking 500mg of turmeric twice a day and claiming that it is really helping with joint pain!
I have linked an excellent article on the benefits of Turmeric HERE
Feel Free to check out Lyfebotanicals.com to learn more info on the benefits of botanicals!
You can also find excellent brands of supplements at FULLSCRIPT
Posted on March 14, 2020 by