If there was ever a time to BE HEALTH PROACTIVE, this is it!
Sacramento, CA- While anyone could become infected with COVID-19 (hence prevention by washing hands frequently and physical distancing), most people, with strong immune systems, without pre-existing conditions, according to the CDC, are not hospitalized, or die from COVID-19. 90% of patients hospitalized, have one or more conditions: high blood pressure (50%), obesity (49%), chronic lung disease (35%), diabetes (29%), and cardiovascular disease (28%). Also, patients on immuno-suppressive prescription drugs are at significantly higher risk of complications.
However, as a practicing Naturopathic Doctor, I would encourage you not to live in fear, or in denial, but choose to be proactive, and take control of the things you can change, such as making lifestyle choices to strengthen your immunity to prevent disease and improve vitality.
Our immune system acts to protect us from a plethora of potentially harmful organisms. The immune system is a complex network divided into two sub-systems: innate and adaptive. Both systems are vital for protecting us from invading bugs. Briefly, the innate is considered the first-line of defense, and is generally, non-specific, with barriers such as: skin, stomach acid; inflammatory processes; NK cells, neutrophils, etc. Adaptive system “adapts” to the invading organisms over time, such as the T and B lymphocytes, which recognize invading organisms with high specificity. This system includes “memory” for a quicker and stronger response if there is a second invasion of the same bug.
Both systems need to be working properly in order to maintain protection against pathogens and malignant cells. Both systems are vulnerable to an unhealthy lifestyle, but this susceptibility to immune challenges can normally be overcome with a healthy diet, reducing stress, exercise and nutritional supplementation.
15 PROACTIVE Things You Can Do to Strengthen Your Immune Resilience System and Thrive
- Seek help for overcoming preexisting conditions cited above, and other chronic conditions, especially digestive issues.
- Attitude: Your attitude is 100% controllable.
- Decide to choose health.
- Sleep: Research shows a 350% increase in colds when sleeping only 5 hours, versus 7+ hours.
- Stress Reduction: When did you last get sick when you were happy?
- Stay Hydrated: Drink water, soups, herbal teas.
- Exercise: Inside (walking thousands of steps is possible), or outside in nature, has extra benefits. Research shows that active people get significantly fewer upper respiratory tract infections than those less-active. Exercise immune benefits include: faster skin wound healing, which reduces pathogen entry; large increase in neutrophils and NK cells; and lifelong exercise helps maintain healthy T and B lymphocytes.
- Hydrotherapy: End your hot shower with cold, as long as you can stand it, up to 2 minutes.
- Vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants, all the colors: for example: apples, blue/black/strawberries, beets, celery, curcumin, garlic, ginger, green tea, greens, mushrooms, onions, oregano, pomegranates.
- Fiber in vegetables and fruit have prebiotics lead to probiotics, and removing toxins and improved immune system.
- Avoid sugar and processed junk food, and excess alcohol: Within 30 minutes, and up to 5 hours duration, your white blood cells are lowered by 50% by eating sugar.
- Macronutrients: Eat enough protein, eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar, increase essential fatty acids (Omega 3s and 6s).
- Micronutrients/Supplements: The following are highly researched, and most clinically used supplements to support immune system. This list should not be construed as medical advice. The quality of supplements is highly variable. All should be taken with food: Vitamins: A (retinol), C, D, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), and zinc.
- Water fast: 12-14 hours overnight. Fasting improves white blood cell response.
- Think healthy and resilient!
Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center
Explore additional topics from Dr. Godby at Natural Wellness.