A message from Dr. Bryant – Coronavirus COVID-19

Wellness (Merriam-Webster) [well-ness ]
– the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal

 

At Balance, our goal is to help our clients achieve and maintain optimum health, there are a few tips I’d like to share during this challenging time of this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.  In addition to avoiding exposure by handwashing, hand sanitizing, and social distancing, there are things we can all do to boost our immune system and help reduce the risk of infection.  While eating right is great, this is likely a good time to add supplements to your routine. The information below is not to substitute for updated information fromCDC or the World Health Organization.

Boost your immunity

 

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps boost our white blood cells’ ability to fight infection especially at higher doses. While many often wait until symptoms occur, the biggest benefits are likely when it is taken before symptoms occur. While 500mg tablets are common, many studies that showed benefit were with doses of 4gm (4000mg) per day or more. Those with renal issues or kidney stones should avoid high doses, as ascorbic acid is excreted by the kidneys.

Vitamin D also appears to play a large role in our immunity. Since most of the body’s vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight, many believe that having less vitamin D during the winter months may be a reason that respiratory infections may be more common. While we have long known that vitamin D is important for calcium and bone regulation, we now know that vitamin D receptors are on our white blood cells, and appear to play an important role in immunity. Dosing of vitamin D varies greatly, and standard doses have now increased from previously 400 IU per day to 4000 IU per day or more. As it is a fat soluble vitamin, much larger doses can be taken on a weekly basis (50,000 iU/week, for example). With higher dosing, checking serum levels is recommended.

Other nutrients and supplements
There are numerous other supplements and nutrients that may play a role in immunity. At Balance, we may individualize supplement recommendations, depending on any existing health concerns or medical conditions. The most important thing is to eat a proper and varied diet. Be sure to have healthy fats and proteins, while limiting excess sugars and starches. This simple change alone can help be sure you’re on the right track.

 

Lifestyle changes
Sleep, exercise, and meditation each appear to have significant potential benefits for our immune system. It is likely no surprise, since sleep deprivation alone results in increased cortisol levels and impairs other hormone levels and inflammatory markers. In summary, don’t neglect yourself during stressful times, but be sure to make time for staying conditioned physically, mentally, and spiritually.  While there may beother ways to help prevent infections, or boost your immune system, these simple steps are universal for maintaining wellness.

If symptoms arise

If cold symptoms such as scratchy throat, runny nose, dry cough, and mild chest congestion begin to appear, don’t panic. Continue to use your precautions and social distancing, while being sure to wash your hands even and use sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) even more frequently than you do already. Even if symptoms are mild, be sure avoid infecting others.

Things you can do
Honey is one of my favorite solutions for cold symptoms. It has been used for centuries for its antimicrobial effects (and also helps with cough). It breaks mucous (biofilm), which helps the body combat infection, as has been studied in sinus infection and wound care. So whenever I feel a cold coming on, I rush for honey. Personally, I add honey to hot water (enough that it is quite sweet) and basically sip on it all day! Now there are also lozenges that are around 99% honey, so that’s another alternative.

Other supplements
High dose vitamin C, zinc, and other supplements are also used to help shorten the duration of symptoms. Importantly, you’ll also want to be sure to drink plenty of fluids, and get your sleep. Exercise may still have a role in the early phase of symptoms. Contact us or your physician for further questions or concerns.

If symptoms progress

If it’s looking like more than just a cold, be sure to contact a healthcare professional. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or body aches.  During the covid-19 pandemic, a video appointment could be a good start. In some cases, continuing supportive care will be the best option. In others’ it will be good to get screened, and at other times have an emergency room visit. While not everyone with cold symptoms should rush to the emergency room, be sure to reach out to a physician before symptoms progress.

At Balance, we wish the best to you and your family.  We’re always here to help, so feel free to contact us with questions or for a visit.  This too shall pass, until then, take precautions to help yourself and your loved ones by optimizing your health.

Telemedicine virtual visits are now available!

For a telemedicine visit, call us or make an appointment online.  Whether in person or online, we’re here to help and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Ron Bryant MD
Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine
Balance Wellness Center
(713) 338-1231

Ron Bryant, MD
Dr. Bryant is a board-certified Internist and wellness physician in the Texas Medical Center with over 20 years of experience. He has special interest and passion for issues of nutrition, metabolism, and hormone balance as they relate to helping clients achieve optimum health.

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