The coronavirus has created quite an uproar in the media. Deaths. Infections. Masks … Lots of masks. Hysteria. Quarantine. Travel bans.
I bought a bubble and decided I’ll live in it for the next few months.
Just kidding. What I’ve learned in health is that fear rarely solves problems. It usually makes people act hysterical and with quick, thoughtless judgment. Yes, we have to prepare for a pandemic, but we should be proactive about it and not reactive when it already has happened.
The best way to cure a virus is to prevent getting one in the first place. Common hygiene practices go a long way.
- Hand washing with soap and water is the single most important thing anyone can do to help stop the spread infection. Hand sanitizer typically is filled with chemicals and does not wash off germs like hand washing does.
- Avoid touching your face and eyes. This can be habitual for some people, but our hands carry a lot of germs and our mucous membranes in our eyes, nose and mouth can be a vehicle for spreading infections.
- Increase your vegetable intake and decrease your processed sugar intake. Sugar decreases your immune function and can slow down immune function hours after sugar intake. Sodas, Frappuccinos, candy, breads, yogurts and other processed foods contain large amounts of sugar.
- Improve your immune function with high-quality supplements. Vitamin C, organic elderberry, vitamin D3 and zinc are all great supplements to keep the immune system working well.
Let’s look at them in a little more detail:
- Vitamin C: Dosing can be as high as your bowels tolerate. Taking 3,000 to 5,000 mg divided throughout the day usually is well tolerated. When sick, your body cycles through vitamin C (a potent antioxidant) faster, so your body usually needs more. You can do higher doses and then back down if you are having gas, diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset.
- Vitamin D3: Best to have your levels checked. Typically, the Iowans I treat all are deficient and do well with 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily. You can increase this dose for a few weeks while improving your immune function. You can also do Vitamin D3 injections (50,000IU) at Vive IV Therapy.
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): Acts powerfully to strengthen the immune system and to loosen mucus from lungs. Humans convert N-Acetyl cysteine into the antioxidant, glutathione. Antioxidants fight free radicals in our body. Take 1000mg twice daily when acutely ill. A well-known Italian study published in European Respiratory Journal found that only 25% of people who took NAC and were injected with a flu virus developed flu symptoms compared with 79% who received a placebo. You also can consider taking NAC when you notice the first signs of a cold.
- Zinc: Take 20-30 mg daily with food.
- Organic Elderberry: 1 teaspoon, twice daily. *If fighting Coronavirus, stop use until after virus has subsided. But continue to use as preventative if no active infection.
It’s great to know what you can do to prevent viruses (including the coronavirus), but what can you do if you were to get a virus?
Typically the treatment requires increasing your fluid intake and resting. If you notice that you have a fever, cough, chest pain or other symptoms, get checked out by a medical professional and call in to work. We spread infections often in the periods where we are starting to experience the first signs of illness. Again, this is why hand washing is so important.
Dr. Andrew W. Saul, an international expert on vitamin therapy, says, “The coronavirus can be dramatically slowed or stopped completely with the immediate widespread use of high doses of vitamin C. Bowel tolerance levels of C taken in divided doses throughout the day, is a clinically proven antiviral”
If infected with a virus:
- Increase your water intake and stay hydrated.
- Take time off work to sleep and rest, allowing your body time to heal.
- Increase your intake of vitamin C to bowel tolerance. Take 2,000 mg every two hours while acutely ill. If you have too much, you will have loose stools, decrease the dose but keep taking it. If you have ulcers or sensitive digestive tract, go very slow with your vitamin C intake.
- Get a vitamin C (Immune Boost) infusion.
Vitamin C has been known to be one of the best natural antivirals around.
Professor Victor Marcial-Vega says, “Given the relatively high rate of success of intravenous vitamin C in viral diseases and my observation of clinical improvement within two to three hours of treatment, I strongly believe it would be my first recommendation in the management of the coronavirus.” He goes on to state that he has seen vitamin c infusions treat influenza, dengue fever and chikungunya, for more than 24 years.
I hope this can give you practical and helpful ways to prepare for any viral infection. Remember that fear increases stress, which decreases immune function. Turn off the television and start washing your hands.
See your medical provider if you have any questions or concerns about your health. And remember, always ask “why” and get to the root cause of your symptoms.
Stephanie Grutz, ARNP, FNP-C