NATURA is OPEN for normal business hours and we are seeing our scheduled patients. We are encouraging TELEMEDICINE and phone appointments for those who are staying closer to home or are feeling unwell. We are taking extra precautions to continually disinfect surfaces in our dispensary and exam rooms and are enforcing an limited number of people in our clinic.
If you are a patient of NATURA and are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, please call us! Do not come to the clinic. One of our physicians will do a phone screening with you first. We are not testing for COVID-19 at the clinic, but we will refer you for testing if needed.
WE CAN HELP! Naturopathic medicine is of great value in times like these and has a venerable history of effectively supporting prevention of and recovery from viral illnesses, through the strategy of optimizing each individual’s personal, unique physiology. Our doctors are here to advise the best course of action for your specific concerns, underlying condition and symptoms. Our dispensary is well stocked in immune support products. We also offer Immune Support IV therapy.
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! Most importantly, we want you to know that we are here for you during the time of this pandemic. We are working hard to stay up to date on the latest information from the CDC and the Montana Department of Health.
We at Natura Health and Wellness Clinic are experts in prevention. We are well-versed and long-experienced treating viral illness of all kinds. Congruent with our basic philosophy, physician-as-teacher is a primary role, and we are here to help you learn what you need to know. We have a lot to share.
TOPICS of INTEREST
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR HAVE SYMPTOMS
If you think you have been exposed to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or you have symptoms of the virus, here is a list of steps to follow:
- Reach out to your Natura Health and Wellness provider by phone or through your portal messaging system to set up an acute same day phone or telemedicine consultation. We will assess your symptoms and guide appropriate treatment. If the consensus is to triage for testing, we can help you navigate the latest directives and locations.
- Reach out to your primary care doctor as well; especially if you have other chronic conditions you see them for
- It will be important to follow quarantine guidelines. If you think you might be contagious, you should keep yourself isolated and avoid contact with other people
IV VITAMIN C
Vitmain C continues to be our recommended cornerstone whether for prevention, for those who have symptoms and those who have been diagnosed with this viral infection.
We also want to bring to your attention that research is now available from hospitals in China regarding intravenous Vitamin C in the critical care setting. An executive summary of this information is linked here. What is relevant to you, our patients, is that relatively low doses of intravenous Vitamin C have been used safely and effectively. In the limited group of patients with whom this was used, no mortality occurred, hospital stays were shortened by 3-5 days, and no side effects were reported. While we do not know how effective this intervention will be on a larger scale, we want you to know it exists.
Questions you may have:
- Should I get a Vitamin C IV now?
- No. Taking oral Vitamin C has been shown to be safe and effective for prevention and most treatment.
- We regularly use small doses of Vitamin C in our immune-boosting formulas due to its many positive effects on immune function and overall wellness. We continue to do so.
- Intravenous Vitamin C in this context is reserved for someone who is in a critical state (most likely in ICU)
- If my loved one ends up in the hospital, how do I get them this therapy?
- Please provide the attending physician the information available on our website
- Please also ask them to call us, as we understand how using an unfamiliar therapy would feel. We have the Vitamin C in our office, and we have over 30 years of combined experience in using it. We can teach any physician how to administer it per the protocol which showed promise in the Chinese hospital population.
- Can I just get intravenous Vitamin C instead of going to the hospital?
- Vitamin C IVs showed promise in conjunction with all typical hospital/ICU therapies.
- Oral dosing of Vitamin C:
- Adults: 1,000mg 3 times per day
- Children: 500mg up to 3 times per day
Remember that our primary intention is to keep you well! Please call us to address any underlying conditions, anxiety, or troubling symptoms that you may have. We have telemedicine appointments available. Call 406-317-1965.
The BASICS - SUPPLEMENTS to BOLSTER YOUR SYSTEM
Vitamins and Minerals:
Certain vitamins and minerals support the immune system and mucous membranes, which are part of our first-line defenses. These are best taken prophylacticly in low-moderate doses, or at higher doses on the ONSET of cold/flu symptoms. The doses recommended are for the prohylactic phase during this pandemic and should not be taken at this dose on going – and as always consult your health professional with questions. There are other vitamins and minerals we would recommend for certain underlying medical conditions in addition to these. Please call us to address any underlying conditions, anxiety, or troubling symptoms that you may have. We have telemedicine appointments available.
- Vitamin C– Vitamin C can greatly enhance the immune system’s ability to fight infections of many kinds. In controlled trials Vitamin C has been shown to aid in the prevention of viral infections, as well as shortening the duration and reducing the severity of infections already contracted. If you think of your immune system as a high-performance vehicle, vitamin C is like high-octane fuel that makes the immune cells better able to find and destroy viruses.
- Adults: 1,000mg 3x per day (most effective to take in multiple doses throughout the day)
- Children: 500mg up to 3x per day
- Zinc- Zinc plays an important role in maintaining healthy immune function. Low levels of zinc are associated with a decrease in T cell function, a vital white blood cell that helps fight infections. When taken as a lozenge, zinc works on the throat and can reduce the duration and severity of symptoms.
- Adults: 30-60mg daily
- Children: 15mg daily
- Vitamin A– Vitamin A is also associated with T cell function, making it a vital component of a healthy immune system. Vitamin A maintains the integrity of mucus membranes, which are at the front line of our defenses against viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
- Adults: 25,000-50,000IU daily
- Children: 5,000IU daily
- Vitamin D3 – Studies have shown that people with vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to get a cold or flu, while supplementing with vitamin D can reduce colds and flu by 42 percent.
- Adults: 5,000-10,000IU daily
- Children: 1,000IU daily
ELDERS and COVID-19
Advice for all of us, regardless of our age…
What is different about how Elders experience COVID19?
The over-simple answer is “less immune system function”. More accurately, elders in the USA are generally lower in what is called anti-oxidant reserve. As we age, we tend to have a smaller appetite, so we eat less in general and we can be especially low in antioxidant rich foods because these tend to be veggies and fruits, the sort of stuff that requires frequent shopping to keep fresh and available in our kitchens.
Also, the older we are the more likely we will have developed health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and COPD or emphysema. Lots of us spent some years as tobacco smokers too. All these conditions weaken the parts of our body defenses that are particularly needed if we get ill with this virus. The following information is brought to you in part by our colleague Kate Stage, ND at Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.
What can elders do NOW to strengthen our systems
against COVID19? It turns out there are two relatively easy things you can add to your day that will rapidly improve your antioxidant reserves. You can eat to support immune function. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals support proper immune system functioning. Research out of China, specific to elders infected with this virus, encourages us to use these two things:
1. Green tea! a component in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a potent antioxidant and corona virus protectant. If you buy green tea capsules to take, be sure the EGCG is standardized to 80%, with 50% ECGC. If it doesn’t say that on the label, it may not be worth you money.You can also drink green tea, any of the many versions, 1 to 3 strong cups every day. It does have caffeine.
2. Broccoli Sprouts! Ok, this isn’t easy as green tea, it’s a little different to eat sprouted seeds, but hey, you should be staying home anyway and you can have fun learning a new hobby! For the old hippies among us, this is the same deal as when we were sprouting alflafa and mung beans in canning jars with pieces of panty hose stretched across the top to filter- ah the good old days. Broccoli sprouts are really rich in sulforophane antioxidants . You can sprout your own in 3 days; they are also available at the Good Food Store in Missoula
Additionally, there are food items that support our anti-viral mechanisms:
3. Mushrooms! particularly reishi, maitake, and shiitake, but also the brown capped Crimini mushrooms and even white button type are medicinal. Making a mushroom broth or tea is an excellent way to deliver the key constituents of the mushrooms, and feels nourishing on a cold winter day.
4. Aromatic root veggies and spices are antimicrobial and rich with antioxidant action too. Include extra onions, garlic, and ginger into your diet for an immune boost. If you have fresh rosemary, thyme, and/or mint, these will also support your health during flu and cold season.
5.Foods rich in vitamin C include peppers, papaya, broccoli, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, oranges, cantaloupe, and kale. Strawberries also, but of all those foods strawberries are the most full of agricultural chemicals, so only eat them if they are organically grown. You do not want to waste precious body resources on chemical pollution when you need it for viral protection.
6. Foods rich in zinc: oysters, garlic, sesame seeds, chickpeas, organic beef, wild salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms, turkey, and lamb.
7. Foods can also diminish your immune response. Avoiding any foods you know don’t sit well with you is a good start. If you are prone to congestion, avoiding cow milk/dairy products will support your body’s own process of clearing mucus congestion. Finally, AVOID SUGAR AND SWEETENERS, which markedly decrease your immune system response. Stevia is ok, but honey, syrup, molasses and the like are not helpful now.
FOOD SAFETY AND COVID
Food safety is of course an essential element for remaining healthy. We are now urgently concerned about how to stay safe from infection and COVID19. The article below is a very well researched guide that clearly and thoroughly describes how to safely shop, how to receive take-out or home-delivered meals, and manage packaging and cooking/reheating food once it’s in your kitchen. As you will read, the most important protective steps remain- wash your hands frequently and always before eating; avoid touching your face and keep a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others. And remember, this too shall pass. This is not forever. We can do what we need to do for the amount of time required to minimize suffering during this pandemic.
BOOST IMMUNITY THROUGH DIET
Avoid simple sugars as much as possible! Studies have shown that refined sugars (including white flour and juice) can suppress your immune system for hours after ingested, making you more susceptible to infection. Sugar molecules look similar to vitamin C and compete with the vitamin C needed in macrophage cells that attack viruses and bacteria. Think of it this way: when you eat sugar your immune system slows down to a crawl.
Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric) to your meals! All of these herbs contain powerful antimicrobials properties that will only boost your immune system. Add these to your soups, sauces and vegetable dishes. (See Dr. B’s immune boosting soup recipe). A great cookbook for soups is Clean Soups by Rebecca Katz.
Eat your vegetables: Vegetables contain an array of nutrients that support the immune system. High in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients, theses nutrients metabolize energy, support detoxification, and help maintain our stress response. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Aim for four servings of vegetables daily!
Practice some fasting. Notice when you are sick that you don’t want to eat much. That’s because your body is trying to heal, and digesting food can be taxing to the body trying to fight disease.
Time-restricted eating, 14 hours a day or so away from food works well.
Drink plenty of fluids. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! 8 to 12 glasses of filtered water a day. Consuming adequate fluids supports all of your bodies’ functions including the immune system. Keeping your mucous membranes well-hydrated helps optimize the mucous membranes of the mouth, ears, and nose. Keep a bottle of pure water with you at all times (hot or cold). Make soups and broths. Drink herbal teas like ginger and Echinacea daily. Avoid concentrated fruit juices (or dilute1:3 with water) and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content stresses the immune system.
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM - Hydrotherapy at Home
Hydrotherapy is a system of using hot and cold on the surface of your body to change blood and lymph circulation in ways that increase immune function, decrease fatigue, and support the body’s intrinsic healing powers. However, some simple home hydrotherapy can also support your immunity.
Ending your daily shower with a cold rinse charges up your skin’s elimination function, and your body’s inherent repair process. Take your warm shower as usual, and when finished turn the water to cool or cold (as cold as you can handle). Aim to immerse your entire body in the cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. After the rinse, use your towel for a vigorous rub to dry off and warm up.
An Epsom salt bath is a fantastic way to ease the aches and pains of the flu (or just from a hard day!). Epsom salts are widely available in supermarkets and drug stores, and are inexpensive. Add 1-2 cups Epsom salts to a bath of warm or hot water and allow the salts to dissolve, then ease into the bath and relax. 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil will further assist in relieving pain and aching muscles and joints.
Warming socks are an excellent way to boost the body’s immune function. These are best done at night just before bed. You will need a pair of thin cotton socks, a pair of wool socks (or heavy hiking type socks), and your cold tap water. Take a warm bath or shower so you do not feel chilled before starting. Immerse the cotton socks in the cold water and wring well, so they are not dripping. Put on the cold wet cotton socks, and then on top of the wet sock put a dry wool sock.You will be wearing 2 socks: a cold wet cotton sock covered by a dry, thick wool sock. Go to bed like this, and do not remove the socks until the wet socks have been completely dried by your body heat. You will wake feeling energized and better. Repeat for 3-4 nights or as needed.
FOUNDATIONS for IMMUNE HEALTH
Beneficial methods to strengthen immune defenses include lifestyle factors, which includes wise food and supplement choices, reducing and managing stress, improving sleep, and increasing movement. As we age our bodies accumulate more toxic substances and nutrient deficiencies, which interfere with good immune system recognition and communication. Boosting immune function also means strengthening defenses, reducing exposures to toxins, and improving elimination. Our susceptibility to colds and flu are in direct relationship to the strength of our immune system and internal hygiene. Viruses and bacteria will not thrive or take hold if our internal hygiene is balanced and healthy. Prevention is key!
Get enough sleep! Although our immune systems are always active, it is most active while we are asleep. Therefore, sufficient sleep is vital to maintain optimal health. We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Address the stresses of the day long before bedtime by incorporating various relaxation and breathing techniques in order to allow the mind to rest. Stress increases the level of cortisol in the body. If sustained at high levels, this “fight or flight” hormone may weaken the immune system by binding with cell proteins and altering cell expression and communication. B-vitamins support the body while under chronic stress.
Get regular exercise. Physical movement not only increases blood circulation and oxygenation, but also helps lymph (the body’s garbage collectors) move through the body and eliminate metabolic wastes and toxins more effectively. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes/day) has been shown to significantly boost the immune system. If you are feeling run down, avoid overexertion, as this will lower your immune defenses.
Gut health plays a big role in the immune system, so you want to do the best you can with your meals. Taking your time when you eat and chewing thoroughly can also support gut health.
Try a daily nasal saline flush. Along with staying hydrated, flushing your sinuses with mild salt water helps to keep mucous membranes moist and intern protects you from unwanted microbes. Mucous membranes are loaded with enzymes, immune cells, and lymph glands designed to catch viruses/bacteria and are our first line of defense against infection. The best mechanism for this is a Neti Pot. Studies have also indicated that flushing one to two times daily is appropriate, more is not better in this case. Be sure to thoroughly dry (blow) your nose after each treatment to prevent your nasal passages from becoming overly boggy and creating a prime environment for microbes to thrive.
Don’t over heat your home, dry air dries out mucous membranes. Keep rooms a moderate temperature and consider using a humidifier to keep air moist. A HEPA filter in bedrooms is a great way to minimize dust and toxins, thereby reducing the burden to your immune system.
Wash your hands often, of course.
HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH RESPIRATORY ILLNESS
Adapted with gratitude to the Billings Clinic
STAY AT HOME and follow these instructions for home care while waiting for a determination of your diagnosis. You will be called when any test results become available. Stay home under HOME ISOLATION until your testing comes back negative and you are instructed by a healthcare provider to return to normal daily activity.
MONITOR YOUR SYMPTOMS. Be alert for worsening fever, cough or shortness of breath; notice changes in your sense of smell or taste; notice if you can hold a deep breath for 10 seconds.
STAY HOME except to receive health care. Do not go to work, school, shopping, church, other people’s homes or public spaces. Limit visitors to your home to only essential persons.Do not use public transport, ridesharing or taxi. Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. Stay in a specific room away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if possible.
WEAR A FACE MASK when you are around other people or pets, if you enter a healthcare provider office or patient waiting area.
COVER YOUR COUGHS AND SNEEZES Use a tissue, or the crook of your elbow to contain your saliva. Throw used tissues away immediately, in regular trash; change your shirt, keep laundry separate. Immediately wash your hands ideally with soap and warm water x 20 seconds; use alcohol based hand sanitizer if washing is not available.
AVOID TOUCHING ESPECIALLY YOUR FACE (EYES, NOSE, MOUTH) WITH UNWASHED HANDS.
WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN Wet hands under running water Apply soap Rub your hands together to create lather Clean front and back of your palm, between each finger and under your nails, for 20 seconds Rinse hands under running water, dry and apply lotion. Over-dry hands that crack are an infection risk
USE ALCOHOL-BASED HAND SANITIZER IF SOAP AND WATER ARE NOT AVAILABLE. Use a nickel-sized or larger application of hand sanitizer. Rub hands together, including front and back and fingers until dry.
AVOID SHARING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses/cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with others. Washing in hot soapy water will disinfect all these items.
CLEAN ‘HIGH-TOUCH’ SURFACES AT LEAST DAILY. This includes counter tops, tables, door handles, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets or any surface that may have respiratory secretions/saliva, blood, stool, urine.
CALL AHEAD BEFORE LEAVING HOME TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR/GET TESTED. Call as needed to reschedule any appointments for issues not related to your respiratory symptoms.
If your symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath worsen, call Natura Health and Wellness at (406) 317-1965, any time of day or night, to receive guidance about next steps.
IF YOU ARE IN A RESPIRATORY CRISIS, CALL 9-1-1. If possible, put on a mask before the First Responders arrive.
Motivational & Emotional Support
We are in this together! During this global crisis we all need pathways to calm, clarity and openheartedness.
A Letter - TO: HUMANS FROM: COVID-19
Stop! Just stop!
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa, China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Stop. Just stop.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.
ANTICIPATORY GRIEF - Normal and Necessary
All of us here at Natura Health and Wellness are holding you in mind and heart. We are receiving and holding space for your grief and anxiety. We have been making changes and preparing what is needed to continue to provide sensibly and safely for your health care. We understand, and we want you to understand and make generous room for all the normal-if-difficult experiences that we are each managing our way through right now. Anticipatory grief is real; mourning losses that have not occurred but are likely to, is part of every human experience. Please read this helpful article, that I found thanks to columnist Elad Nehorai. Mr. Nehorai is also worth searching and following. He is smart, and very kind. Here is the basic message we want to share:
- Accept that anticipatory grief is normal
- Acknowledge your losses
- Connect with others
- Remember that anticipatory grief doesn’t mean you are giving up
- Reflect on the remaining time
- Take care of yourself
- Take advantage of your support system
- Say yes to counseling
- Relief is normal
- Don’t assume how it will go, we all have different reactions to grief
STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU COPE...
Is coronavirus news ramping up your anxiety?
Does the thought of social distancing make you fret?
Certainly, we’re dealing with uncharted waters with the coronavirus pandemic, with measures being taken that we may have never witnessed before. However, it is within our power to manage stress and anxiety as, clearly, there are many things we can do. Start with one of them today, and be the force of calm in a world of unknown chaos.
- Take things a day at a time
- Limit your media intake 15 minutes a day
- Get outside in nature – everyday. Take a walk. Take a hike.
- Establish a routine – particularly if you are working from home
- Move your Body, Exercise – many trainers and studios are offering free online workouts
- Practice mindfulness – Pandemic Care Resources with Tara Brach
- Practice gratitude – Find one thing every day to be grateful for
- Laugh – it is such good medicine. People are so funny and creative, share your humor with others
- Embark on a hobby or interest you’ve been wanting to explore – baking artisan bread, learning the guitar, photography, etc.
- Be gentle with yourself – there are many fears around uncertainty. Fears are really just trying to protect us. It’s OK to feel them. To look at them with love. Give yourself time to grieve. To wonder about the unknown. Give yourself the same grace and patience you would a friend.
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LINKS TO HELPFUL RESOURCES
10% Happier author Dan Harris holds daily mediations with pioneers in the mindfulness and meditation. Each daily session contains a 5-10 minute meditation followed with reflections of this pandemic with the goal to find inspiration and build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos.
MINDFULNESS RESOURCES - Tara Brach
Tara Brach, is renown mindfulness teacher and author. She is offering a Pandemic Care Resource.
- Dear Friends ~ During this global crisis we all need pathways to calm, clarity and openheartedness. While it’s natural to feel fear during times of great collective crisis, our challenge is that fear easily takes over our lives. Mindfulness and compassion practices can help us find an inner refuge, and deepen our loving connection with each other. This list of talks and guided meditations will support you through these difficult times.
With loving blessings, Tara
FREE ONLINE WORKOUT CLASSES
Several fitness trainers, gyms, and studios are now offering free online workout options to help everyone stay fit and connected. See the list.
Challenged by navigating all the information out there on COVID? Having difficulty keeping up-to-date on the most recent information and research? Let us help you!
HOW DO VIRUSES WORK?
A virus is a pathogenic, parasitic infectious microorganism, about one hundred times smaller than a bacteria, and, unlike a bacteria, it needs a host to survive. In other words, for viruses to cause health problems, it needs to get it your cells. Once inside, it reprograms the cell with its DNA or RNA and multiplies on mass, bursting through the cell with a thousand or more new virus strands seeking new cells to invade. RNA viruses mutate more easily than DNA viruses.COVID-19 is caused by a RNA virus (SARS, bird flu, West Nile virus, swine flu, hepatitis, measles, polio, yellow fever, and Ebola are among the many RNA viruses).
Also, different viruses affect different parts of the body.
- Rotavirus works in the gastrointestinal tract, what people refer to a stomach flu
- Herpes and rabies virus works in the nervous system causing pain and tingling like sensation
- Influenza, SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19), and rhinovirus (common cold) affect the respiratory system.
HOW DOES MY IMMUNE SYSTEM FIGHT VIRUSES?
Our bodies fight off invading organisms, including viruses, all the time. Our first line of defense is the skin, mucous, and stomach acid. If we inhale a virus, mucous traps it and tries to expel it. If it is swallowed, stomach acid may kill it. If the virus gets past the first line of defense, the innate immune system comes into play.
Innate immunity responses are non-specific, as the mechanisms do not distinguish between invaders (viruses, bacteria, fungus, etc.). The innate immune has several components the provide an initial defense response consisting of physical and chemical barriers, blood proteins that target cells.
It is this part of your immune system that causes our body temperature to rise and cause a fever allowing the body’s temperature to kill off pathogens that are sensitive to temperature changes. Viral infections tend to elicit higher fevers then bacterial infections.
You may have also heard the term cytokine. Cytokines are a group of proteins made by the immune system that act as chemical messengers that regulate immune response. There are many different types of cytokines and have a diverse range of immune and inflammatory functions. However, excessive amounts of cytokines can actually become dangerous. A cytokine storm, is a condition caused by a surge in the production of the inflammatory proteins – which as it relates to a viral infection, increased inflammation can lead to fluid accumulation in the air sacs of the lungs and can result in pneumonia.
If this invader outplays and this non-specific response is overwhelmed, a more specific approach is required which leads to the recruitment of adaptive immunity. Cytokines are the main messenger between the innate and adaptive immune systems.
Adaptive immunity takes a more targeted approach as it recognizes specific features on the surface of a pathogen. Our adaptive immunity response initiates a cascade of events leading to the elimination of the invader and create a “memory” that will allow for protection from future exposure of that same pathogen. Our lymphocytes, T cells and B cells, retain the memory and form antibodies. The antibody then provides immunity by preventing colonization by invading pathogens. (This is how vaccinations work. The body has fought a similar infection). In the case of a novel viral infection, the body has not exposed to this pathogen and thus elicits a very strong immune response.
WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)? ...A 'NOVEL' VIRUS?
Coronaviruses are a large family of single-stranded RNA viruses that infect a broad range of vertebrates. They are extensive in bats but can be found in many other birds and mammals including humans. In humans, COVIDs tend to cause mild to moderate upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. However, in the past couple of decades, there have been outbreaks of severe, and sometimes fatal, respiratory illnesses that were later found to be caused by novel COVID strains, which were determined to be phylogenetically distinct from the common human COVIDs, had originated in bats and were transmitted to humans, typically through an intermediate host..
Technically, COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease of 2019) is the name of the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2. The common name, Coronavirus, stems from the fact that the SARS-CoV2 virus has spikes around it in a circular shape, which looks like a “corona,” Latin for crown. Those spikes are what sticks to the surface of the cells and penetrate inside of it. SARS-CoV2 is considered a novel virus. A novel virus is a virus that has never previously infected humans, or hasn’t infected humans for a very a long time, and thus almost no one will have immunity to it.
WHAT DOES COVID-19 DO TO MY BODY?
According to the CDC, the virus can spread person-to-person within 6 feet through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s also possible for the virus to remain on a surface or object, be transferred by touch and enter the body through the mouth, nose or eyes.
When the virus enters the body it begins to attack. It can take two to 14 days for a person to develop symptoms after initial exposure to the virus. The average is about five days.
Once inside the body the virus attaches to part of the inner lining of the respiratory system.
A protein on the receptors of the virus can attach to a host cell’s receptors and penetrate the cell. Inside the host cell, the virus begins to replicate until it kills the cell.
The patient begins to experience mild version of symptoms: dry cough, shortness of breath, fever and headache and muscle pain and tiredness, comparable to the flu. Symptoms becaome more severe once the infection starts making it’s way to the lower respiratory tract.
So it’s basically a war between the host response and the virus. The vast majority of individuals infected with the virus are able to initiate an effective immune response and contain the virus in the upper respiratory tract.
In a small number of severe cases one can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which requires a patient be placed on a ventilator to supply oxygen. If too much of the lung is damaged and not enough oxygen is supplied to the rest of the body, respiratory failure could lead to organ failure and death.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19?
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu and the common cold. For some symptoms are similar what they experience with environmental allergies.
- FEVER (>80%)
- followed by a cough
Other symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- body aches
- sore throat
- nasal congestion/discharge
Symptom unique to COVID-19: (though not diagnostic)
- loss of taste in the mouth
- red, rash-like appearance around the eyes in fair skin people
HOW CAN THE CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?
The Coronavirus, like most viruses, is passed on from person to person, either from:
+ An infected person coughing or sneezing in the air, and then you breathing in these aresoled droplets. According to the CDC, the virus can spread person-to-person within 6 feet through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
+ Or by having direct or indirect contact with a contaminated person (shaking hands) or an object touched by someone with the virus, (a doorknob) and then you touching your eye, nose, mouth, or face.
CAN SOMEONE HAVE THE CORONAVIRUS AND NOT KNOW THEY HAVE IT?
Yes!!! This is why we are encouraging people to act as though they have been exposed and social distance.
The incubation period is about two weeks, meaning it can take two to 14 days for a person to develop symptoms after initial exposure to the virus. The average is about 5 days.
HOW LONG CAN THE VIRUS LIVE ON SURFACES?
Here’s the breakdown from the most recent study form the New England Journal of Medicine:
- Aerosol – 3 hours
Aerosol transmission is defined as the person-to-person transmission of microbes through the air by means of inhalation.
- Copper – 4 hours
- Cardboard – 24 hours
- Plastics – two to three days
- Stainless steel – two to three days
While it is nearly impossible to avoid touching objects and surfaces within or environments, one can wipe surface areas often and obsessively wash hands.
Is This True?
As the coronavirus disease spreads, so is misinformation. Knowing the facts is key to being properly prepared and protecting yourself and your loved ones against the virus.
ACE-2 & IBUPROFEN CONNECTION TO COVID-19?
Recently, the French Health Ministry recommended against the use of Ibuprofen in people with COVID-19.
The recommendation was based on a letter published in a medical journal the Lancet hypothesizing the ways various medications could, perhaps, increase the risk of infection with the coronavirus. Research has shown that the virus attaches itself to cells in the lungs by way of an enzyme — angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is a critical regulator of our vasculature as it relates to heart function.
The Lancet commentary suggested that taking ibuprofen might increase the number of ACE2 receptors on a cell, which could make someone taking the ibuprofen more vulnerable to the viral infection.
Within 24 hours the World Health Organization first recommended against the use of Ibuprofen and now changed its tune, reversing its stand of Ibuprofen, now saying there is no evidence to recommend against the use of Ibuprofen.
“Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of of ibuprofen.” The WHO stated on its official Twitter account, adding, “We are also consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients and are not aware of reports of any negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations.”
While it is true that COVID links to ACE2 receptors in the lung to get into the cell, less ACE2, not more may cause more deadly harm to the lungs.
That said, ibuprofen and other NSAIDS are not the best option to fight a viral infection, despite the ACE2 controversy.
The theory that Ibuprofen may be a problem for COVID patients is not because it reduces ACE2 expression in the body but because Ibuprofen along with other NSAIDS may dampen the immune system.
Ibuprofen works by alleviating body aches and fever. However, fever can be a very good thing. An increase in body temperature is one way your immune system creates an unfavorable environment to fight invading viruses. We encourage fever to run it’s course in most cases (Adults: up to103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 Celsius) before imitating fever reducers).
In the case where one needs to lower a fever (and you don’t have liver disease), use acetaminophen as it does not have a negative impact on the immune system.
Brand names for acetaminophen:
- Mapap Extra Strength
- Infant’s Pain Relief
- Tactinal Extra Strength
Brand names for Ibuprofen include:
- Pediatric Advil
- PediaCare Infant’s Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer Fever
- Neoprofen (ibuprofen lysine)
The maximum dose in adults for acetaminophen is 1000mg every six hours, no more than 3000mg to avoid liver problems. Those already with liver disease should consume less.
Again, let the fever take its course, don’t lower it if you don’t have to.
List and reference articles are credited to Dr. Geo Espinoza
IS THERE A CURE?
Any crisis is an opportunity for people to show up with their personal priorities on display. The novel corona virus spreading across the globe is one such opportunity. While thousands of health care and public service workers put themselves at risk to identify and care for the seriously ill, a TV preacher, previously convicted of defrauding his flock, is hawking an over-priced, unproven remedy as a cure for CVID 19. Please be alert for people whose priority is to take advantage of you, for their own profit.
Televangelist Jim Bakker, and a woman with spurious credentials he touts as an “authority”, are profiteering off public anxiety. The Attorney General of the State of New York has issued a warning to this multi-millionaire who is attempting to con the gullible out of $125.00 for a bottle of stuff that may or may not be helpful for a viral infection. Bakker has already served 4 years in prison for defrauding his followers.
The efficacy of colloidal silver as an antimicrobial is not what matters in this case. The crucial points are:
- There is no medicine, natural or otherwise, proven to cure CVID 19, period, never mind in 12 hours as claimed
- The person backing up the convicted scammer Bakker, a woman named Sheriill Sellman, claims to be a naturopathic doctor. She is not. And that makes her and Bakker, liars and frauds.
Sellman has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and psychology, 1970. And she has a certificate from a mail-order outfit known as Trinity College, in Indiana, 2004. Trinity College is well known to the community of accountable, licensable naturopathic physicians. It is an entity that for decades has been passing out pieces of paper declaring that people who pay for their on-line, not accredited and unsupervised course are a “Doctor of Naturopathy”.
In states that do not regulate natural medicine practitioners, people with this piece of paper are free to present themselves as if they are trained as physicians at accredited medical schools. The harm they do has been difficult to document, because the jurisdictions that do not regulate their activities also have no trackable reporting mechanisms. However, we know that individuals who choose this path have been implicated in deaths. In 1999 a North Carolina girl died when her family were convinced by Lawrence Newman to take her off insulin and give her herbs instead. Throughout his trial and conviction this person was called a naturopathic doctor, because there is no law in NC defining naturopathic medical practice. Too late for 8 year old Helena Kolitwenzew, he was convicted of manslaughter.
Sellman is also a person without legitimate credentials, posing as an authority and selling, along with the TV preacher, a colloidal silver product that typically retails for about $35, at the outrageously inflated price of $125.00. Sellman can be heard in an interview stating that while this product has not been tested on the CIVID 19 viral strain, it has been shown to work on other corona virus strains. A search of PubMed, a database of the National Institutes of Health, reveals zero studies on the effects of colloidal silver on corona viruses.
Montana has regulated naturopathic physicians since 1990. It is illegal to call oneself a naturopathic physician, naturopathic doctor or naturopath in MT unless one is a graduate of an accredited naturopathic medical school, have passed the national licensing exam and qualified for a license from the state. A person like Sellman can call herself a naturopath in any of the 28 states that do not license NDs, and on the internet. Prior to 1990 there were people in MT doing the same thing.
Now, when you add a ND to your health care team, you are assured you are in the care of a person who has invested deeply in a high quality education, proven herself through qualifying examination, who is maintaining that integrity with annual continuing education. And we make ourselves as vulnerable as our patients are, because we can lose it all if we do not take best care of you and our license is taken away. In the 30 years that NDs have been licensed in the state of MT, not been a single license to practice has been removed; the record of harm done by NDs in this state is a pristine zero.
Not everything natural is safe, not everything natural works for everything that’s claimed, and you deserve health care providers motivated by service and not greed for profit. To check the credentials of a person based in MT, contact the Alternative Health Care licensing board for their status. If you are considering spending money with someone you only know via the internet, due diligence includes researching their credentials. For more info on where you can find a licensable naturopathic physician, contact the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Local & State Resource Links
It is a community effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. We’re calling on, Montanan’s to stay informed, get engaged, and support organizations doing important work to keep our communities safe and healthy. Know that you have access to resources that can help support families and businesses in this time of need is critical. Here are some helpful links.
Missoula County Health Department Daily summaries & health briefing, FAQs, Testing & Screening Information
Monatana COVID Joint Information Center Resources for citizens, businesses, employers, media, and community partners
Missoula COVID-19 Mutual Aid Community Need help? Can offer Help? List of local/regional nonprofits, communities, and initiatives to help you and your family through this trying time