To Our Patients at the Spring Center:
As all of you are aware, we are now in the midst of a Coronavirus pandemic. And I suspect many of you are concerned, scared and not sure what to do or how best to protect yourself. In many ways, the constant media barrage may be doing more to stoke our fears, but there are some basic things that you can do to protect yourselves and your families and loved ones.
This is a lengthy email, but we encourage you to read fully.
We are open for business, but only allowing those with appointments to enter the office. If you prefer a phone appointment, please call and we can change to a phone consult. If you need supplements, please call the office in advance and we offer either shipping or outside office pick up. Simply knock on door and then stand 6 feet back, we will place bag outside for you to retrieve.
If you are sick with symptoms that you suspect may be due to the corona virus, please do not come to the office for any reason – for an appointment, to talk to staff or to pick up supplements. Call and leave a message on extension 7 which is the medical line and someone will get back to you shortly.
DO NOT GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM OR URGENT CARE UNLESS DIRECTED TO DO SO. The staff and our providers will assess your need for testing using guidelines developed by the CDC. The test kits are in limited supply so ONLY THOSE WHO MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA WILL BE RECOMMENDED FOR TESTING. You will require a voucher to be tested which we can provide if testing is indicated.
At this moment in time testing is limited to those patients with fever (>100.4◦F ) and acute respiratory illness who:
· Have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case
· Developed symptoms within 14 days of returning from affected geographic areas with widespread and sustained community transmission which currently includes:
· Have severe acute lower respiratory illness requiring hospitalization and without an alternative explanatory diagnosis, regardless of travel or exposure history.
· Additionally, patients who are older and have a medical history of coronary disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, cancer and documented immunodeficiency are at increased risk of complications from this virus.
At this moment in time we do not have test kits and we are not going to offer testing at our office at this time.
· The Spring Center is recommending Hoag Urgent Care Centers for COVID19 testing. More information about their 13 Orange County locations and services can be found online by visiting www.hoag.org/locations/urgent-care or by calling 1-800-400-4624.
What Is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system. It is often the common cold virus, but this strain is clearly more virulent. Our current health threat is a strain of coronavirus officially known as SARS-COV-2 and causes a disease which has been dubbed Covid-19. This is a novel infection to humans so there is no latent immunity in the global population, unlike the influenza virus. It is considered to be an airborne virus – meaning it’s spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes. These droplets can end up on a surface (like your hands or a doorknob) and then be spread if you come into contact with the contaminated surface.
Some of the experts at UCSF were talking about how we are now in a situation that is beyond containment of the virus and they expect 40-70% of the US population to become infected in the next 12-18 months. The good news appears that 80+% will recover without intervention. However, some people will become very ill and require oxygenation, hospitalization and more aggressive treatments.
What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
The coronavirus can remain latent for anywhere from two to 14 days – meaning people can be infected without showing any symptoms. And there appear to be asymptomatic carriers. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
· Fever (>100.4◦F defines a fever)
· Uncomplicated respiratory symptoms (Cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache)
· Shortness of breath
But those infected may experience additional symptoms including:
· Muscular stiffness and pain
· Loss of appetite
· Malaise, extreme generalized fatigue
· Night sweats
· Stomach upset, such as nausea or diarrhea
The symptoms of coronavirus are quite similar to the flu. The primary difference appears to be the extent of respiratory involvement, especially the shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. This can progress to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring hospitalization, Intensive care unit stay, mechanical ventilation and potentially sepsis and death.
Children appear to have minimal complications and no deaths reported. Pregnant women, also, do not appear to be at higher risk than the general population.
How does the corona virus cause illness?
The corona virus enters the cell and hijacks the replication mechanism of the cell and creates its own replicase enzyme which then replicates the virus in the cell. Zinc blocks this enzyme, however getting zinc inside the cell is challenging. There is research that suggests that there are some older medications which can act as ionophores (passageways into the cells) and these can be used to treat the infection. See below for specifics.
Coronavirus can lead to respiratory failure by causing:
· Damage to the membrane where gas is exchanged in your lungs (the alveolar-capillary barrier)
· Oxidative injury
· An uncontrolled inflammation from excessive production of cytokines
If your body becomes infected, the virus attaches to the surface of epithelial cells in the lungs, spleen, and lymphatic system. Once your body is alerted to the invaders, your immune system goes to work and deploys immune cells and sets off a cascade of chemical messengers, causing what is known as a “cytokine storm.” Cytokines are a type of chemical messenger the immune system uses to communicate with the rest of the body.
This flooding of cytokines and immune cells into the tissues of the respiratory tract is what causes damage to the alveolar-capillary barrier, oxidative injury, and uncontrolled inflammation.
This combination essentially halts the lung cell’s ability to move mucus out of the lungs and triggers the immune system to begin attacking your own lung cells. In susceptible individuals whose immune or respiratory systems are compromised, this can result in a severe lack of oxygen in the body, which eventually leads to death.
So, we want to do everything we can to support our immune systems and protect ourselves.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Coronavirus?
When it comes to defending yourself against coronavirus, it’s best to take a two-pronged approach: avoiding potential contact with the virus and bolstering your natural ability to fight infection. Here’s what I recommend:
The most effective way to prevent the spread of germs is pretty straightforward. Simply taking some basic precautions to keep viruses and bacteria from entering your body can go a long way in keeping you safe.
· Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water – scrubbing all surfaces of your hands for at least 20 seconds.
· Use an alcohol-based hand non-toxic sanitizer to clean your hands if soap and water aren’t available. And only if your hands aren’t visibly soiled. Always choose soap and water if available over hand sanitizer.
· Always wash your hands before eating or touching your face.
· Regularly clean and disinfect any frequently touched objects or surfaces with cleaning sprays or wipes.
· Stay home if you’re sick or feeling under the weather.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your face and eyes.
· Use a tissue or the inside of your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes.
· If you have access to a mask, you can wear this to protect others.
· These tips may sound simple, but they’re powerful, and just doing these things will go a long way. I suggest incorporating these healthy habits into your daily routines – coronavirus or not.
For immune Support:
· Be sure to get plenty of rest. Your immune system and your body needs lots of good, restful sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
· Eat lots of healthy vegetables and fruit. The images of empty grocery store shelves are disconcerting since folks are buying sugar and flour and processed foods. Frozen foods are good options for storage, while fresh, organically grown is always preferred.
· Work on minimizing your stress response. Deep breathing, meditation, prayer, connecting with nature and our loved ones are all good ways to maintain perspective. We need to not give into fear and catastrophizing. More on this later.
Supplements are one of the most potent ways to give your body a boost and drastically improve its ability to fight off infection. Here are some of the most powerful immune-boosting supplements that I recommend taking:
For prevention you will likely take lower doses and then if you start to show symptoms of infections you will increase these doses and add other things. If you don’t have a copy of our Cold and Flu treatment plan this is a variation on it.
Probiotics. Two-thirds of the immune system is in the GI tract so we want to support our microbiome with healthy bacteria. Use what you have or consider getting Ultrabiotic 100 or Corebiotics which are some of the probiotics we offer at the office. If you start to get sick, please double or triple this dose.
Vitamin D3. Vitamin D modulates the immune system and when folks are deficient this can hamper our ability to fight infections. I would suggest everyone take at least 5000 iu daily unless you are already taking more for a known deficiency. Even children are ok to take slightly larger amounts now, though I would recommend 2000 iu to children under 3 if we don’t have blood levels. If you start to get sick, please increase to 20,000 IU daily for 3 days.
Vitamin C. This is a potent antioxidant which can help with proper immune function and reducing oxidative stress. If you aren’t taking any, I would suggest 1000mg twice daily (or less if this is not tolerated and causes diarrhea) if you start to get sick you can take more of this.
Transfer Factor Multi Immune from Research Nutritionals. Transfer factor are something that we make in our bodies however, we can take it as a supplement to help provide an immune boost. Preventive dose is 2 caps daily. Ideally this is taken away from food and other supplements but may cause some GI distress and nausea if your stomach is empty so eat soon after taking. If you start to get sick, please increase your dose to 3 caps twice daily.
Zinc: Zinc is known to support immune function and block viral replication. Aim for 45-60mg daily. If you are taking these doses, will do best with a multimineral that has at least 1-2 mg of copper in it also. A regimen could be Spring Center Mineral Support 1 cap daily plus 30mg or more zinc daily.
N-Acetyl Cysteine: N-Acetyl Cysteineis needed to make antioxidants (namely glutathione) and has been shown to yield a significant increase in immune function. It also has been shown to be helpful in respiratory conditions. Aim for 600-900mg daily. If respiratory symptoms develop, can take more.
Liposomal Glutathione: Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative damage.
Anti-inflammatory herbals: we have a variety of options for reducing inflammation. Consider adding these to a basic regimen if you aren’t currently taking anything. Product ideas include anything with Turmeric, Ginger, Boswellia, Quercetin, etc. Specific Spring Center products include: Anti-inflammaX, InflammaBLOX, SPM Actives, Phytoprofen.
Herbal Anti-viral supplements: Spring Center’s Virex Plus has long been a mainstay for treating cold and flus and we expect it will be helpful in this current environment for mild to moderate Coronavirus infections. The dose is 2 caps twice daily.
Other supplements that may assist in mitigating viruses and inflammation in the respiratory tract include:
Quercetin 1000mg daily. There is some newer research which suggests even high doses may be helpful for treatment. We will keep you posted on this as it develops.
There is also some evidence to support the use of a variety of natural agents in viral infections such as: Elderberry, Echinacea, Andrographis, Astragalus, Medicinal Mushrooms, goldenseal and Oregon grape.
What Is the Treatment for Coronavirus?
Currently, there is no one standard treatment for coronavirus. As of now, there is no specific treatment but research is coming out that older medications like chloroquine or hydroxycholorquine (plaquenil) or indomethacin may be possible treatments. Again, we will keep you posted as we learn more.
We will be offering IV vitamin C which has been used in Korea to help with immune boosting and as an treatment for the Corona virus. Stay tuned for more information.
Lastly, a word on energetics for those who are interested. In this unusual and unprecedented time, we need to remember that we have control over our thoughts and our responses to the world around us. We can choose to live in fear, see danger lurking everywhere, stay in the stress response, breath shallowly and worry our way to illness. Or we can recognize that we can shift our perspective and practice a different way of being. I read the writing of a Medical Intuitive, Laura Alden Kamm and would like to share some of her information here. The basic premise is that everything in the universe has energy and like attracts like, so:
“Right now, the most important thing you can do is: DO NOT match the energy of the virus. Do the opposite of what a virus does.
1. Viruses attach. Do your best to stay unattached to fear and hype. Trust your life. Follow safe and common sense practices.
2. Viruses sink in. If you are super empathic and get spun out by the news, listen in small does for any updates. Other than that, live your life. Use your spiritual practices to detach from scary thoughts. Remind yourself of what you’re grateful for. Gratitude expands your life, even if you’re staying close to home.
3. Viruses replicate. If your mind keeps tracking toward and replicating the same negative thoughts over and over again, say to yourself, “I’m thinking fearfully again. Isn’t that interesting? I’m doing this again.” The phrase, “Isn’t that interesting…” breaks through the circuit of replicating thoughts.
4. Viruses assemble and cluster. Follow those common sense rules again. Be mindful of your choices to go to concerts, rallies, or large group gatherings. This is temporary. Don’t let your wild precious mind take this situation into your future. Be present and make choices in this very moment.
5. Viruses release. This will eventually become a thing of the past. Trust your gut sense on what to do and when to do it. That’s the survival level of your intuitive system speaking to you.
Trust yourself. Trust your life. Trust the invisible force that guides you.” -Laura Alden Kamm
She goes on to share method for calming a vagus nerve. And I would suggest that any method by which you are able to relax, connect with a high power, shift your way of thinking will be invaluable.
Please practice safety, take care of yourselves and your families.
Be smart and trust that you have all the tools and skills to get through this experience with grace and ease. And let us know how we can help.
Kelly McCann and the Spring Center staff.
Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 9. pii: ciaa237. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa237.
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