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                                         Coronavirus: Breeding or Healing?

                                                    By Tami Hulcher, RN, CNC, CHE

The doctor of the future will give no medications but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes and prevention of disease.” ~ Thomas Edison

…And one hundred years later, we’re still not there, yet many of us continue our journey to educate, encourage and inspire others to take their health into their own hands. This is not to say that modern medicine has not made advances, but we fall short if we continue to only treat a disease, cut it out, burn it out or simply medicate it. We must look at the underlying cause, in many cases a faulty or weakened immune system may be at play. Prevention of disease is the key!  If our bodies are truly our temples, we must ask ourselves…are we really making healthy choices that create and heal our cells and DNA, or are we making choices that mutate, damage and kill our cells and DNA? Is your body a breeding ground for disease or a healing garden of health?

It seems we are exposed to new diseases, viruses and new bacteria every year; some are deadly and some we have to ability to fight off. Coronavirus, is the new virus de jour.

What, when, why, how: According to Harvard Health, “Coronaviruses are an extremely common cause of colds and other upper respiratory infections. These viruses are zoonoses, which means they can infect certain animals and spread from one animal to another. Chinese health authorities reported a group of cases of viral pneumonia to the World Health Organization (WHO) in late December 2019. Many of the ill people had contact with a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, a large city in eastern China.” (The market sold live and recently killed animals, which is where the virus originated.)

Symptoms may present as an upper respiratory tract illness to include cough, fever, sore throat, headache and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Many people may feel flulike symptoms, they may rest and recover in 3-5 days. However, those with a weakened immune system, including the elderly, or infants and young children may develop a serious infection such as pneumonia. Serious cases may require hospitalization.

Sadly, 300 people in China have died and more than 2,000 new cases were recorded in the country in the past 24 hours (as of this writing) raising the worldwide total to nearly 14,380, according to Chinese and World Health Organization data. Most of the cases are inside China; about 100 cases have been confirmed in at least 23 other countries, including the Philippines, Canada and the U.S.

Hygiene tips: Droplet transmission from coughing or sneezing is a mode of transmission. Covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, washing hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub, and avoiding touching one’s eyes, mouth, and nose are the most effective preventive strategies for transmission.  Caution on buying regular face masks you see everyone wearing: will they protect you?  If it's a regular surgical face mask, the answer is "no," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Most of these surgical masks are designed to keep droplets FROM the wearer spreading TO others. They do not protect from incoming viruses.

So, what do we do now?  Well, if your body and immune system are strong, chances are you will not get the disease, or at least you can ameliorate the symptoms. Considering that approximately 70% of the entire immune system is found in the gut (your gastrointestinal system), it is important to keep your gut healthy! Help your body become a healing garden and not a breeding ground.

Here are some health and nutrition tips to assist you:

Keep in mind that sugar suppresses the immune system, so reduce your processed sugar consumption, including sodas, desserts, candy, sugary cereals and use caution on those sweetened and whipped cream coffee drinks from your favorite barista!

Colds, flu, viruses and even cancer prefer sugar to breed; they also prefer an acidic environment. This means diet! Those pies, fries, meats, treats, sodas are acidic to your body. Eat more beans, greens, roots, fruits and berries.

Many fruits, vegetables, berries, beans, legumes have antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Examples: Various studies have shown that garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic stimulates the production of white blood cells and can act as an antioxidant in the body. Studies have shown that mushrooms such as shitake, maitake, and reishi have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects. Berries increase immune function. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain thousands of healing phytonutrients. Eat the rainbow, eat a variety…Eat to beat the flu, cold and viruses!

Zinc… According to the European Journal of Immunology, the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes (T cells). T cells help the body in two ways: they control and regulate immune responses and they attack infected or cancerous cells. Caution on using high dose zinc supplements; too much can upset the stomach and zinc may interfere with medications such as certain antibiotics. Zinc lozenges may be a safe alternative to pills.

Increase water intake and try some green tea, which has many antioxidant properties. Fluids decrease inflammation and help cleanse the body.

Spice up your life: turmeric, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon and other spices have shown to reduce inflammation and increase immune function.

Probiotics… One of the major mechanisms of probiotic action is through the regulation of host immune response. Probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema and viral infection. Remember that up to 70% of our immune system resides in our gut, so probiotics are a good way to assist your body in becoming a healing garden.

Please note that sleep deprivation and chronic stress play a role in your immunity. In these stressful times, working long hours, taking care of children…or taking care of elderly parents, activities, social media…it is easier said than done to encourage you to increase sleep and reduce stress. Please do take some time for yourself…your immune system needs you!

While the immune system is complex, while new diseases and viruses are being discovered, there is much more information to be given. This brief article is not meant to treat, cure, diagnose or mitigate any disease, nor is it intended as medical advice. This information is for educational purposes and I invite you to consider some of these tips or research your own. Always check with your health care professional if making any changes to diet, including supplements.

My goal has always been to educate, enlighten and inspire others to take their own health into their hands. And as the late great Jim Rohn said, “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live!”  

(Note: As a healthcare professional, I would be remiss if I did not share what I have been recommending for almost twenty years to family, friends, colleagues, clients and patients. I proudly use and recommend the Juice Plus+ health program not only for immune function, but for diabetics, those with heart disease, pediatrics, athletes, my autistic patient-base and more. Juice Plus+ is the most thoroughly researched nutritional in the world; I invite you to review here: https://tamihulcher.juiceplus.com/us/en/clinical-research/published-medical-and-scientific-journals)

Your partner in health ~ Tami

 

Sources include:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health)

PCRM.org (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

Health.Harvard.edu

FamilyDoctor.org (American Academy of Family Physicians)

LiveScience.com

 

 

 

 

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