Coronavirus information by Laleh Shaban M.D.
Here is some information to take home and apply to help you decrease your risk of severe infection with Coronavirus.
COVID 19 is different from other viruses due to it’s long incubation period which means you may be exposed to it and not realize it as you may not experience any symptoms. Meanwhile you are spreading it to others around you. Some researchers believe the incubation period may be 2-24 days which makes COVID 19 extremely infectious. Also, sneezing or coughing spreads the virus particles up to six feet, hence the 6 feet contact restrictions that you are seeing in public businesses.
Another concern is that you may get exposed to it from an infected person by touching objects that you have come in contact with. Good news! Since COVID 19 has a lipid envelope on its surface, it is vulnerable to sanitizing agents. Thus, use cleaning agents to sanitize whatever you come in contact with, especially metals. Viruses are not alive. They can not survive or reproduce on their own. They need to enter the cell and use the cell’s DNA or RNA to replicate. Once they enter our cells, they reproduce, infect our cells and move to another cell. These infected cells act like viral factories, and they go viral…
Currently there is no vaccine or medication for this virus. By the time a vaccine is available, most of us have formed immunity against it which means our body has produced antibodies to this virus and we have self vaccinated. This is how our body deals with such invaders.
The problem with illness in elderly is not the virus, rather a weak immune system. Therefore strengthening the immune system will help us fight it off and have a mild form of the disease rather than the severe one which causes hospitalization and in extreme cases needing life support.
We have some control over how aggressive this virus may attack our immune system.
If we are in a battle & have strong troops and are prepared, we will most likely beat the enemy. This concept applies to our immune system and any intruder whether it is bacteria, virus, parasite, cancer cells, etc. can be defeated by our strong immune system.
How do we strengthen our immune system?
This virus spreads fast. We either get infected by cough or sneeze from an infected person, or by touching surfaces that have been in contact with the infected individual that may or may not yet be showing the illness.
Hand washing with soap in warm/hot water for at least twenty seconds can help tremendously. I personally like to avoid hand sanitizers or antibacterial agents as there is a balance between our good & bad bacteria on our skin and using these agents will interfere with our normal skin bacteria balance, making our skin more vulnerable to infections. In addition, antibacterial agents are not effective as COVID19 is not a bacteria, it’s a virus.
Spray (disinfect) door knobs, your cell phones, credit cards, gasoline pump handles and anything you may touch with a good disinfectant containing high alcohol concentration.
Be aware that COVID 19 can last on metallic objects such as door knobs, rails, etc. for hours to days.
Avoid touching your face as much as possible.
We touch our face about 20 times per hour without being aware of it. Paying attention will make you more aware of this behavior, allowing you to minimize your contact.
If you are using tissues while you cough or sneeze, try to dispose of them in small plastic bags, wash your hands and sanitize all surfaces within 6 feet of you.
Clean all surfaces with good cleaning solutions as COVID 19 can infect the next person touching that surface or object. Hypochlorous acid solutions are very stable and effective to use for disinfecting, or as nasal spray or hand spray. Hydrogen peroxide and liquid silver are other good options that appear to be safe for us, yet effective against many germs, and are inexpensive.
This virus likes cold, damp and dark environments. Although COVID 19 doesn’t survive in a sunny, bright, and dry environment, propolis diffuser/vaporizers can be a good household item. It protects by sanitizing the room as well as inhaling it boosts the immune system & alleviates respiratory germs. It is also available to be used in your car.
It is important to know that over 70% of our immune system is housed in our GUT. Every ailment begins with an unhealthy gut. Many people suffer from gut issues without knowing the impact it has on their health.
In today’s world,we don’t eat what our grandparents ate. The soil is devoid of many nutrients and we are not eating nutrient dense foods. Our fiber intake has dropped tremendously which is necessary to keep our gut bacteria healthy.
On the other hand, we are consuming unhealthy foods with bad fats and refined sugars that add to the gut inflammation.
A normal gut has over one hundred trillion bacteria. These microbiomes have extensive functions in keeping our gut healthy which leads to a better overall health.
These bacteria help protect our gut lining, help get rid of toxins and bad cholesterol and communicate with our brain. Our gut microbiomes make Vitamin K which helps with improving our bone density, protecting us against osteoporosis and much more.
To be able to have a robust immune system, you have to address your gut issues. I recommend that my patients take probiotics with multiple microbiota strains and over 30 Billion colonies. This regimen should rotate every three months to a different probiotic brand with different bacteria strains & colonies. This will help populate the gut with different bacteria as each group of bacteria have different functions. The fiber in our diet feeds these microbiomes. You should increase your fiber intake or take prebiotics to keep these helpful creatures alive and healthy.
You may have heard of “ Leaky Gut Syndrome”. This condition is caused by inflammation of the lining of the gut causing food material to escape from the gut into the blood system. Since food material is not supposed to be in our blood/circulation, our defense system AKA immune system is alerted and our white blood cells rush to the scene to destroy the invaders. You may be curious as to what causes this inflammation?
Many factors cause Leaky gut syndrome. Some of the more common causes are gluten,refined sugars, dairy, corn, soy, lectins, pesticides, herbicides, food preservatives, food colorings, vegetable oil, corn oil, excess alcohol ,stress, hormonal imbalance, elevated heavy metals, food sensitivities, etc.
When the lining of our gut, lined by one layer cells (enterocytes) gets inflamed, the space between these cells (the gap junction) will open causing seepage of food, semi food/ stool into the circulation. This process starts a slew of unpleasant health conditions including autoimmune disease. The good news is that you may be able to reverse this process by healing the gut. You need nutrients, antioxidants and other substances to heal the inflamed gut. This is where IV nutrients can help. High dose vitamin C, minerals, vitamins & glutathione in IV forms can provide the basic nutrients to support your body as you and your doctor work on addressing the gut issues.
Try to avoid junk foods & eat healthier, add lots of onions and garlic to your meals while cooking. Use Extravirgin olive oil with lemon juice, vinegar, seasalt & pepper instead of salad dressing. Use coconut oil, MCT oil, walnut or avocado oil for cooking.
There are other ingredients that help improve your immune system. These include:
Echinacea, ginger, elderberry, green tea, black cumin, milk thistle, astragalus, rosemary & oregano oil.
Most animals make Vitamin C & don't rely on the environment to obtain it. However, as humans we have a genetic mutation leading to loss of the enzyme that converts glucose into Vitamin C and we are unable to synthesize it, thus we need to take it in our diet. During stress our bodies utilize our vitamins, minerals & antioxidants at a much faster rate leading to deficiencies in these nutrients.
Foods rich in Vitamin C are lemons, limes, Oranges, citrus fruits, strawberries, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, to name a few.
During this pandemic viral infection,I recommend Vitamin C orally 2-10 grams a day. It is best if it is liposomal Vitamin C in which you would need half this dose.
Our gut won’t be able to handle large doses of Vitamin C, thus plan on taking 1 gram every 2-3 hours to reach your goal.
You can also get an IV Vitamin C available at five practices in San Luis County.
Dr Bolland in North County
Dr Starr in South County
Dr Lapidus & Dr Thoring in Avila Beach
Dr Shaban @ Revive MD Medical Group in San Luis Obispo
Oxidative therapies (Can help many acute & chronic infections)
This compound can be used as a topical agent for wound cleaning, mouth wash, IV form or as nebulizer.
Nebulizer form is by inhaling the small particles. It is very effective and has systemic effect, meaning it gets into the circulatory system.
Hydrogen peroxide is inexpensive.
Ozone (O3) is a safe, powerful oxidant found in nature. It improves our tissues oxygenation and can inactivate many viruses directly. It can also modulate our immune system.
It is used to kill microbes. It is sometimes used in hospital surgical units to kill germs and sterilize the room.
This vitamin has an action on every organ. It helps with so many health issues from our brain to lungs, heart, bones, gut and mostly immune system. You need to make sure your Vitamin D level is between 60-100ng/ml to get the most benefits this vitamin/ pre-hormone offers. Some people may not be able to take too much vitamin D due to certain health conditions. Please check with your physician to make sure it is safe for you.
This Vitamin can be found in salmons, tuna, sardines ,etc. Most of our Vitamin D comes from sunlight. Some scientists believe the reason for cold & Flu during winter months is due to lower Vitamin D levels from sunshine. Vitamin D from sunlight then will transform to an active form by the influence of different enzymes and our other organs. Activated Vitamin D regulates over 1000 human genes. During the TB outbreak, people improved when exposed to the sunlight. Many people infected with TB would travel to Arizona to get sunshine. At the time, it was not clear how sunlight improved TB infected people’s condition. Today we know it is the Vitamin D’s profound effects on the immune system that helped these very ill people.
In this era, Vitamin D from sunlight is not enough to get us to reach the ideal levels to get the most benefits this vitamin offers. This is due to our indoor lifestyle. Thus, it’s important to supplement with this vitamin especially during cold & Flu season.
Vitamin D has also been shown to help with depression, weight loss issues, bone building, respiratory tract infections, asthma and much more.
We are fortunate to have Dr. John Cannell in our community. Dr. Cannell has performed extensive research on Vitamin D and it’s benefits and is very knowledgeable and guess what? He resides here in SLO county.
This vitamin is also helpful in improving your immune system.
Your body does not produce this vitamin and you need to get it in your diet and supplements.
Foods such as chicken, salmon, tuna, sweet potato, beef, turkey, liver, avocado, banana and green vegetables are rich in Vitamin B6.
Other important functions of Vitamin B6 include but are not limited to decreasing risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, improves mood and helps with depression, reduces severity of premenstrual syndrome & morning sickness. It reduces severity of heart disease and stroke risks by decreasing homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid produced when proteins are broken down.
This is a powerful antioxidant and helps fight off infections, boosts collagen production and has a hydrating & moisturizing effect. It is used to treat sunburn, wounds and has anti-aging properties.
You can get it from nuts, seeds, abalone, rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon etc.
This vitamin helps strengthen the immune system, improves vision & more.
Colorful vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins,etc are rich in this vitamin. During COVID 19 pandemic, you will need a higher dose than usual. Do not take high doses if you are pregnant or on certain medications. Please consult with your physician.
Mushrooms, (especially shiitake) are a good source of beta glucans which not only stimulate the immune system, but also deliver potent antioxidants.
Garlic & Onion
Worried about bad breath & body odor?
This is the best time to eat them while in Lock down and isolation.
Garlic has shown to combat cold & flu, lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels as well as decreasing risk of heart disease.
They have immune boosting action and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Taking garlic or any supplement can affect your medication potency. Always check with your physician to make sure the combination of your medication & supplements are safe for you.
Minerals & micronutrients
Zinc, Selenium, copper, iron, methyl B12 & methyl folate all help strengthen the immune system.
We are made of mutations that make us different from one another. These mutations may cause us to need certain nutrients more than others.
In my practice I have seen 80% of my patients have a mutation to methyl Folate/B12.
This mutation is called MTHFR.
People who carry this mutation will need more B12 & folate as they are unable to methylate.
Methylation is a process our body uses to convert toxic amino acids to a non toxic, beneficial amino acids. Methylation defects can lead to many diseases and can affect your immune system.
Ask your doctor to order MTHFR genetic testing which is done by many labs.
This is a hormone and is produced when we sleep.
It has many benefits. Our body makes it while we are asleep and the levels in our body drop as we wake up or with light exposure.
If your room is not dark, this hormone may not be released appropriately and you may become deficient.
Your skin has light sensors and it can detect if it is dark enough to signal your brain to release melatonin.
Also with aging our hormone levels decline and we become deficient in this hormone.
There are some recent studies showing the role of melatonin in modulating the immune system and suppressing the cytokine storm which is the main reason for lung injury and respiratory failure caused by this virus.
The COVID 19 infection dose ranges from 5mg-50mg.
It is important to get your supplements from a reputable source to avoid contamination and always check with your physician to make sure this is safe for you to take. Many conventional physicians are not familiar with this information.If your physician is unfamiliar with this hormone or the dose, do your research and help them get the information.
This is extracted from a plant and has antiviral and antioxidant properties.
It has been used commonly in colds & flu
This is an anti parasite drug & has antiviral action and can help with infection.
Medications such as Chloroquine, Azithromycin, Remdesivir are all under investigation for COVID 19 infection.
What are the symptoms of COVID 19 infection?
The four common symptoms are
High & persistent fever
Blood work may show low white cells & low lymphocytes
Testing may show false positives or false negatives at this point.
Chest X-ray may show signs of pneumonia.
It’s important for you to recognize that people don’t die of the virus, rather the co infection from bacteria or other viruses due to a compromised immune system leading to pneumonia.
Sometimes our immune system overreacts and attacks the intruder uncontrollably which causes
major inflammation leading to fluid accumulation in the lungs, called Cytokine Storm. This is a very dangerous condition seen in some hospitalized patients.
Vitamins A, VitaminD, resveratrol, nitric oxide & melatonin are all helpful in boosting the immune system to fight against this virus.
Other important ways to boost your immune system include:
It is advised to drink warm or semi hot liquids . Green tea(EGCG), hot soup, warm water are all good options.
In case of a sore throat, gargle with either salt, vinegar, lemon added to warm water, at least once a day. This can help with superimposed bacterial infections that can occur due to viruses suppressing our immune system.
I always advise my patients to add minerals to their drinking water. Minerals add more health benefits.
It is best to drink from a glass and avoid plastic containers as they are lined with an environmental toxin called Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is notorious for causing hormonal disruption in both men and women. Environmental toxins such as BPA may be a reason for the substantial decline in testosterone levels of young men since the 1980s.
Sleep has tremendous health benefits. The most effective time to sleep is 11pm-7am.
Sleeping eight hours per night is ideal.
Melatonin and some other hormones work during our sleep. Thus, lack of sleep can lead to many health conditions. We lose weight during our sleep. It would be hard to lose weight or maintain our weight loss without appropriate sleep cycles.
While we are dealing with COVID 19, and we are unable to be in public gyms, try walking, enjoy the outdoors and get fresh air and possibly sunlight.
Another useful exercise is jumping up & down such as jumping jax, jumping rope or bouncing on a trampoline. This action will not only increase your heart rate (cardiac), increase bone mass (resistance), but also helps with lymphatic drainage.
The Lymphatic system helps get rid of toxins and waste products. It transports lymph which is a white blood cell rich fluid that helps against infections.
In another word, the lymphatic system carries our troops to where they are needed.
Exercise releases endorphins from our brain. This chemical makes us feel euphoric which is what we need during highly stressful times. Remember! Depression & anxiety suppress our immune system and make it a perfect recipe to get sick.
It is easy to find a corner to isolate yourself for 10-30 minutes a day to meditate. Meditation requires the correct breathing rhythm to be effective. When you perform deep breathing, you are activating your autonomic nervous system which consists of Sympathetic & Parasympathetic nervous systems. These two systems need to be in balance for us to get the many benefits it provides.
Sympathetic nervous system is our “ Fight or Flight” system and Parasympathetic nervous system is our “ Rest & Digest” system.
We are living in an era where we are on sympathetic overload with the constant stress we deal with everyday. Our cortisol which is a stress hormone elevates and our adrenal glands try to keep up with the demand for excess cortisol. Excess cortisol causes so much harm to every organ in our body, especially our immune system. Eventually our adrenal glands burn out and we face extreme fatigue and chronic illness which affects every aspect of our lives.
Adrenal support needs to be customized per individual during highly stressful times. (Ask your healthcare provider). Most mainstream providers may not be familiar with how to support the adrenal glands and you may want to find a functional medicine provider.
When we do the correct deep breathing technique, we help balance sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems which help us with healing & boosting our immune system.
How do you Know you are breathing accurately to achieve the Autonomic Nervous System balance?
I use Inner Balance App by HeartMath company for my patients.
This App helps balance the autonomic nervous system and control cortisol release, thus improving your health.
I believe if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Inner Balance helps measure and balances your stress systems. It only takes ten minutes, three times a day to keep you and your body sane.
Avoid smoking!!! You need healthy lungs to overcome COVID19 or any other respiratory infections. Smoking is a choice. Choose to avoid it.
COVID 19 immune boost bundle club:
1. Vitamin C 1000mg (1 gram) every 2 hours to reach 5-10 gram per day
2. Vitamin D 10,000 iu per day.(Ideal blood levels are60-100ng/dl)
3. Vitamin A 10,000 iu per day. Do not take it if you are pregnant or on certain medication such as accutane. Please consult with your physician.
4. Zinc 30mg a day
5. Selenium 100mg a day
6. NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)
7. Vitamin E
8. Melatonin 5mg-60mg at bedtime
10. Nitric oxide
11.Adrenal support(Needs to be customized for you)
12. Probiotics with fiber or with Prebiotics