August 19, 2020

Prevention & Immune Boosters for COVID-19


To our Dear Spring Center Patients:

Sending you all thoughts of health and safety for you and your families and friends.  We have been working really hard to stay on top of the Corona virus pandemic to do our part to help you navigate this strange new world we find ourselves in.   The number of articles being published on COVID-19 doubles every 14 days.  The medical literature is exploding almost as fast as the infection itself.

If you have specific needs and questions that I am not addressing in this forum, please contact the office for an appointment.  We are booking telemedicine appointments for all patients.  As always, I welcome all your questions and comments.  Feel free to let me know if there are particular topics you want me to address in future blogs.

A few reminders to help one another:

  • Our office staff is working diligently to provide continued compassionate care.
  • Our call & pick up hours are as follows:
  • Monday – Thursday 10am – 4pm
  • Friday 10am – 2pm
  • Please be patient and considerate when calling for prescription refills, lab requisitions and supplement orders and give ample advance time: at minimum 48-72 business hours in advance. We do ask that you plan ahead as the preferred notice is 10 days prior for Rx refills, as pharmacies are equally as busy. Call your pharmacy for Rx refill request and they will fax over to us.
  • LDA is still available for shipping or pick up. Please call 2 business days in advance.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

We are in this together.

Answering your questions about COVID19 and Autoimmune Conditions and Immune Compromise

COVID-19 and Autoimmune Conditions and Immune compromise

We’ve all heard that patients with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic lung conditions, diabetes and obesity are at greater risk for complications of COVID-19.  Many people with underlying autoimmune conditions are also concerned about the state of their immune system and are wondering about their risk with this infection.

As for getting the infection – everyone’s risk is the same.

We are all at risk.  

The difference is really how we manage the inflammatory response that the virus triggers in us.  Before we discuss inflammation, let me start by explaining some basics about the Immune System.

Our immune system is complex.  It consists of 2 parts, the innate and adaptive immune systems.

  • On the innate side, there are white blood cells (basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils), mast cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. They provide the first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and cancer.
  • The adaptive immune system takes several days to develop but provides long-lasting protection. The adaptive immune system includes B cell-mediated immunity and T cell-mediated immunity, both of which are directed towards the specific antigens (bacteria or virus) and the creation of antibodies, such as IgM, IgA and IgG antibodies against the infection. Macrophages and dendritic cells have both innate and adaptive immune cell traits, presenting the antigens to the T and B lymphocytes.  Typically, IgM antibodies are created first and then days to weeks later, IgG antibodies are created, providing lasting immunity to the infection.

The presence of IgM antibodies mean that the person is currently fighting an infection.  IgG only antibodies mean that the person has been exposed to and now has immunity against the virus.

With autoimmune conditions, such as Lupus, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Celiac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or even just those with positive antibodies, such as anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), the immune system is hypervigilant and attacking our own tissues.  The immune system is making antibodies against our tissues, as if it is a foreign invader.  Autoimmunity is very different from immunodeficiency, where the immune system is too compromised to fight infections.  It is possible that some people can have both autoimmunity AND immunosuppression with low IgG titers or low IgA antibodies, but this is relatively uncommon.   An over-active immune system in autoimmunity doesn’t necessarily mean that a person can fight this infection better, because it is dysfunctional, attacking “self”.    Autoimmune issues could lead to increased inflammation as in the cytokine storm that causes ARDS in patients.

Some autoimmune patients may take medications to help suppress their immune systems while simultaneously working with The Spring Center to identify the root cause that triggered their immune dysfunction. Right now, there is not a lot of information about immunosuppressants specifically in relation to COVID-19. For people using local steroids such as creams, rectal suppositories or inhalers, there does not appear to be a great concern.  It may be more detrimental to abruptly stop medications.  For people taking systemic steroids, these can NOT be stopped but must be tapered very slowly, if possible.  However, there may be people for whom tapers at this time are not possible. Do not abruptly stop any medication without discussing this.  

There are other classes of medications, such as methotrexate, azathioprine, that suppress your body’s ability to fight viruses, but the effect is more modest than with steroids. Newer “biologic” medications are much more targeted to the disease process, and although there is a slightly increased risk of things like influenza, there is some evidence that these may be beneficial in reducing the cytokine storm.  

Immunodeficiency refers to people who have diseases like HIV or inborn immunodeficiencies (common variable immunodeficiency, for example) or people who are taking medications that suppress the immune system, such as transplant patients, or patients who are being treated with conventional chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.

As we age, our immune system capacity diminishes, but this varies a lot from person to person, so there is not a specific age when risk suddenly shoots up. We just know that older people are more vulnerable to infections in general and COVID-19 specifically.

Pregnancy is considered an immunosuppressed state, so that the mother’s immune system can “tolerate” the presence of the baby without mounting an attack.  However, at this point it does not appear that pregnant women are at higher risk for COVID-19. A small study done in China showed a good outcome for women infected in their last trimester. As is always the case in pregnancy, we recommend being conservative and taking precautions to avoid contact with infected people.

COVID19  and Lyme & Mold & Mast Cell Activation Information

And what about patients withChronic Lyme Disease or chronic inflammation due to mold and mycotoxins or even Mast cell Activation Syndrome?

We are all equally susceptible to getting the infection, however, what happens during the course of our infection may vary greatly.

At this time, we still do not know enough about the patient who mount an aggressive cytokine storm.  It would be reasonable to think that the 10-15% of those who do have a severe clinical course, could be ones who have underlying inflammatory conditions, like Lyme disease or Mast Cell Activation.  I will continue to research this possibility and keep you informed.  

In the meantime, we will focus on what you can all do to prevent from getting sick in the first place and should you get sick, to recover as quickly and gracefully as possible.

Ways to increase your overall wellness during this time.

General Wellness Recommendations

1.    Eat a variety organic, fresh vegetables and fruits.  Focus on eating a rainbow of color, texture and be sure to incorporate herbs and spices, especially those that have anti-inflammatory properties such as turmeric, ginger or antimicrobial properties some as garlic.

2.    Minimize sugar, carbohydrates, and alcohol.

3.    Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Aim for an oz for every kilo of body weight.  For those with autonomic nervous system dysfunction, be sure to include adequate salt and electrolytes.

4.    Aim for exercise and movement every day.  Start where you are and use this time to improve your flexibility and endurance. There are plenty of exercise programs, gyms and yoga studios who are providing online offerings.

5.    Get some fresh air, too!

6.    Adequate sleep is critical to maintain a healthy immune system.  Aim for 8 hours.  Six hours or less greatly compromises your immune system.

7.    Consider beginning a meditation or gratitude practice.  There are many apps that can help with this also.  A gratitude journal is a great way to focus on the positives during this time.

8.    Maintain connection with loved ones.  We can still call, FaceTime or Skype to be with the ones we love.

9.    Frequent Hand washing and social distancing must be continued.

10.    Wear a mask and gloves in public places.  You can create a simple fabric mask with a scarf or bandana and some hair ties, if you don’t have N95 or other masks.  Cloth masks must be washed after each use in hot water.

11.  Focus on what you can control.  We will get through this and although the world will look different than what we expect.  We will be okay.

12.  For those of you who tend to be in sympathetic overdrive, now would be a great time to focus on Limbic System retraining through Annie Hopper’s DNRS or the Gupta Program.

What Supplements can help support my immune system?

Preventive Supplements:

1.    Vitamin D3 5000 or 10,000  iu daily. Goal level is 70-80 or higher.

2.    Vitamin C 2000mg twice daily

   Or C-Flav 1 cap twice daily for combination Vit C and Bioflavonoids including quercetin.

3.    Mineral Support 1 cap daily   Or Zinc 30-50mg daily

4.    Ultrabiotic, Corebiotic or any probiotics daily

  * Add UltraFlora Immune Booster 1 cap daily of targeted probiotics for healthy respiratory and sinus function

5.    Transfer Factor Multi Immune 2 caps daily

*or ImmuCore® 1 cap daily

6.    SBI Protect Powder, 1 scoop daily

7.    NAC 900 mg daily

8.    Liposomal glutathione 1 tsp daily

9. Quercetin 500mg twice daily or quercetin containing product such as DHist or HistaQuel

10. Melatonin 1-20mg at bedtime daily

11. Vitamin A 10,000 iu daily

If you start to get sick, please call the office to notify us, and begin:

1.    Increase Vit D3 to 25,000 IU – 50,000 IU daily for 7 days

2.   Increase Vitamin C to 1000mg every hour while awake as tolerated.

3.   Increase Zinc to 100mg – 150mg daily for 10 days or so.  This is the ingredient that is blocking the viral replication in the cell.

4.   Double or triple your probiotics

5.   Increase Transfer Factor to 3 caps twice daily

6.   Increase SBI powder to 2 scoops daily

7.   Increase NAC to 2700mg daily

8.   Increase liposomal glutathione to twice daily.

9.   If tolerated, increase quercetin 500mg three or 4 times daily

10. And begin adding other antiviral herbals and anti-inflammatory herbal support

Anti-Viral and Anti-Inflammatory Herbal Support

Anti-Viral Herbal Support

1. Virex Plus – Our Spring Center Stand-by for colds and flus. Can take 2 caps twice daily up to 3 caps three times daily.

2. Microbinate – Research Nutritionals (contains Oregano, Monolaurin, Olive Leaf Extract, Allicin and Turmeric)– 2 caps twice daily

3. Biocidin by Bio-Botanical Research (contains Bilberry, Milk Thistle, Echinachea, Golden seal, Shitake, White Willow, Grapeseed extract, Black walnuts, Gentian, Lavender and Oregano) 2 caps twice daily

4. Lauricidin 10-20 pellets once or twice daily

5. Research Nutritionals Crypto Plus 2 dropperful twice daily

6. Research Nutritionals MycP – 2 dropperful twice daily

Anti-Inflammatory Herbal Support

1. Anti-InflammX (contains Boswellia, Turmeric, Quercetin, Bromelain, Resveratrol, Green tea and ginger) 3 caps once or twice daily.

2. InflammaBlox– Orthomolecular Products (Turmeric, Bee propolis and Skullcap) 2 caps twice daily

3. Phytoprofen– Thorne Research – (Turmeric, Ginger, Boswellia) 2 caps twice daily

4. UltraInflammX/GI Calm– Metagenics ( a medical food with protein powder and lots of anti-inflammatory herbs) 1-2 scoops daily

5. Inflavonoid Intensive Care– Metagenics (Turmeric, xanthohumol from Hops, Boswellia and Ginger) 2 caps twice daily

6. SPM Actives– Metagenics (contains resolvins of inflammation) 2 caps daily.

7. Resvoxitrol– Orthomolecular Products (Contains turmeric, Broccoli Seed extract, Resveratrol and Andrographis) 2 caps twice daily for inflammation

8. DHist– Orthomolecular products (contains Vit C, quercetin Stinging nettles, Bromelain and NAC) 2 caps two to three times daily

9. HistaQuel – Research Nutritionals (contains combo of Quercetin, Perilla, luteolin, nettle and butterbur) 2 caps twice daily

10. Hemp Advantage Plus– Metagenics (contains CBD and PEA)

If you find yourself getting sick, please contact the office.

Swab testing is still very limited to those who have fever and substantial respiratory compromise. I am researching antibody testing and will inform you when this is available.

With love and hope for a healthy future,

Dr. Kelly


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