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All Posts in Category: Supplements

Covid-19

Coronavirus – Protect yourself

Last updated: 07.07.2020

This is an unprecedented time, a once in 100-year pandemic. A time for us to be level-headed, open-hearted, and focused on what we can do to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country, and be kind to each other.
Control the host

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm" by
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

It is best to act as if you have the infection and act to protect others!

This is also an opportunity to spend time with family, to take care of ourselves, to cook and cherish the people and things we love. The more we can face the threat to our health and to our economy with calm and kindness, the better able we will be to survive and thrive.

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COVID-19: The Quintessential Example of a Planetary Lifestyle Disease

Read this fascinating article written by 
Jeffrey Bland, PhD,  known to many as the “father of Functional Medicine”. 

The virus stays 12 hours alive on shoes. Keep your shoes outside!

The question is “What can we do”? The answer is a lot, both to reduce our own risks and reduce the spread. 

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus Quotes

The WHO has produced this very easy to understand video which explains the basics. 

How big is the problem? 

Risk of Contracting Covid-19

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm"
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

COVID-19, the viral disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a global pandemic. Scientists estimate that 40% to 70% of our population will be affected. Those with a chronic disease will face a greater threat. In some cases, they will be affected ten times more than the rest of the population, underscoring the need to protect this vulnerable group. Additionally, the mortality rate estimates range from 0.6% to 4% percent and is much higher in people over 75 years old. 

Patients who do better are under the age of 70 and have a BMI < 26. 


No doubt you will hear/see daily updates of the number of infected patients in your country. However, the number of true cases is likely a lot higher than the number of documented cases. This is due to [lack of] testing. If you don't test, you don't know. 

A moderate case scenario, according to the Department of Health and Human Services predicts for US 38 million needing medical care, 1 million requiring hospitalization, and 200,000 needing ICU care. A severe case scenario would lead to 2.9 million needing ICU beds (the US has currently only 64,000).

It will get worse before it gets better and we will be dealing with it for the next 12-18 months. It may die down over the summer but could roar back in the fall It is easily transmissible and can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours, some say longer. People are infectious and can transmit the virus from 2 days to 14 days after exposure.

The most at risk are those with a chronic disease, those over 70 years old, health care workers, and those on immunosuppressive medicine (commonly used for autoimmune disease, cancer, and transplant rejections).

Up to 80% of people infected have mild or no symptoms and up to 96% to 99% recover from the infection.

The virus affects cells located deep in the lungs, heart muscle and kidneys. This makes it especially potentially dangerous for patients with related health issues. 

The John Hopkins University provides this very useful chart of the current reported cases of COVID-19. The numbers are - obviously - only as good as the testing performed in each country and real numbers are likely higher. .

The Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team posted this update on the expected severity of cases:

Covid-19 estimated severity
Risk factors Covid-19

Source: NPR 22.03.2020

How does the Covid-19 infect us?

This is a so-called RNA virus. Think it is just packed genetic information in a box. The genetic information enters one of our cells and hijacks these cells to multiply the virus. Once the cell has made the viruses, it dies and releases the newly made viruses into the body.

To make this happen, a certain enzyme is needed, a so called Polymerase. This enzyme seems to be very sensitive to zinc. The higher the zinc content in the cell, the less active this enzyme is and therefore the less infective the virus is for the cell, making less viruses. 

A lack of Vitamin D and C makes us also more "attackable". 

What is Incubation?

Incubation is the time in which the infection is active, but might not show symptoms. It is currently thought that the Covid-19 has an incubation time of up to 14 days.

Dr Adriana Radler-Pohl

Dr. Adriana Radler-Pohl

It is best to act as if you have the infection and act to protect others!


The virus and survive up to 2 days on surfaces [steel, plastic, cardboard]!

Source: Immunabwehr Kongress 03,04,2020 (online, in German)

 For this reason it is advised to self-isolate for at least 14 days and WASH YOUR HANDS whenever you touch something outside of your home!

How long are affected people infectious?

If you have the infection (whether diagnosed or not) you can pass it on to others. The current thinking is that this might be up to 22 days!

Source: Immunabwehr Kongress (online, in German) Dr. Adriana Radler-Pohl 

Are there any studies to explain why people might be at higher risk?

It is always worth asking the WHY question. Why does the vast majority people have very little symptoms and others end up in hospital or even intensive care?

Surely, there is not a single [simple] answer to this question and many different factors will contribute: Diet, nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, general immunity will all play a role. 

A recent military study "Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season" might shed some light on one of these factors. 

The study showed that military personnel who received the flu vaccine had a 36 percent Increased Risk for coronavirus infection. 

The flu vaccine is routinely given on the NHS to:

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019
  • children in primary school
  • frontline health or social care workers

But we should not forget that the "flu" is causing many deaths and having the flu vaccine might be the right choice for high-risk people.

Why Is It Called “Novel Coronavirus”?

Basically, the term “novel” means that we have never seen anything like this before. The rise and rapid spread of COVID-19 is still something we don’t know a lot about. The human population has no native immunity which means we are all susceptible.

While scientists, researchers, politicians, and the public try to learn more, we need to think about the ways that we can prevent it and what we can do to treat the possible spread of the virus throughout the world.

What I want to provide you with is the latest information, knowledge, news, and studies powering our discussion of COVID-19. That way you can know what to do, what to watch out for, and what matters when it comes to your health.

What Are The Symptoms?


What you should do now

Based on advice gathered from previous coronavirus outbreaks, the WHO offers general guidance about how to prevent Wuhan virus infection:

  • Extensive Social Distancing - see below
  • Keep your hands clean frequently with either soap and water or an alcohol-based rub. The virus is easily killed with antibacterial cleaning agents including alcohol, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Cover your mouth anytime you cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues.
  • Avoid spending time around people who have a fever or cough.
  • If you show symptoms of Wuhan virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath), tell your doctor right away, and fill your doctor in on your recent travel history.
  • If you visit an animal market where a coronavirus outbreak is suspected, avoid animals and any surfaces they may have touched.
  • Make sure any animal product you use in meals is fully cooked. Handle raw meat carefully.

In addition, the CDC recommends you avoid visiting areas where there is an outbreak of this infection and to avoid any close contact with anyone who has visited the outbreak area or shows signs of the infection in the last 14 days..

When Should You contact medical services?

You shouldn’t immediately rush to the doctor or hospital! 

If you or your child has flu-like symptoms, right now chances are that you have a cold or the flu. It’s really as simple as that.

When your health is rapidly declining or you need urgent attention, then you should CONTACT your medical services, but DON'T just turn up as you could expose others to the virus, 

In the UK call 111/999 depending on urgency, in the EU 112. 

How is the COVID-19 treated?

There are currently no approved treatments other than supportive care with fluids, symptomatic care, and ventilators, if needed. 

There is NO GOOD TREATMENT available at the moment!

Although there’s no direct evidence that ibuprofen is harmful, some experts say not to use it to treat COVID-19 because it can make symptoms worse. This might be due to making the virus more sticky to the receptors and damaging the gut lining. 

However, many are hard at work looking at various treatment options. Here are the most promising. 

  • Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine): a medication used for autoimmune disease. It is widely available as a generic medication, low in cost, and low in side effects. The recommended dose is 200 mg twice a day for 10 days. 
  • Remdesivir: an antiviral drug developed for Ebola, given only intravenously. Studies are underway and medications promise faster approval than vaccines. 
  • Convalescent plasma therapy: means taking the blood of a recovered patient, extracting the antibodies from their blood, and giving it to those who are sick. 
  • Cytokine blocking drugs (tocilizumab, sarilumab, etc.): can reduce the inflammatory storm that leads to death. Cytokines are inflammatory messenger molecules that can spin out of control with COVID-19. 
  • Interferon B.: In Cuba, they have developed a drug that can calm down an out of control inflammatory response. More data is needed but seems promising. 
  • Vaccines: will likely take 12 to 18 months to progress with human trials for safety and efficacy. 
  • Theoretically beneficial medically supportive therapies: Some therapies are being suggested based on their mechanism of action such as theophylline (bronchodilator), ARB medication (blood pressure medication), amantadine (anti-viral), and sodium bicarbonate (like Alka Seltzer Gold, to increase the pH making it harder for a virus to thrive).
  • High dose intravenous vitamin C: In Wuhan doctors have been using high dose intravenous vitamin C for those who are sick and for those in the hospital. Nearly all patients with symptoms received 50-100 mg/kg/day for mild symptoms and 100-200 mg/kg/day for severe forms. 

The aim of this study was to examine several medicinal plant-derived compounds that maybe used to inhibit the COVID-19 infection pathway.

Kampherol was found to be the best amongst the tested medical plant compounds. Quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, and epicatechin-gallate were the most recommended compounds found in medicinal plants that may act as potential inhibitors of COVID-19 Mpro. However, further research is necessary to investigate the potential uses of the medicinal plants containing these compounds


Medicinal Plants Covid-19a
Medicinal Plants Covid-19b

Quercetin

Quercetin is found in many fruits and vegetables, with apples and onions contributing most to the typical UK diet. Each 500mg tablet provides significantly more quercetin than 1 kilo of apples. Quercetin is probably the most researched bioflavonoid as it is recognised as being more active in the body than most others.

Quercetin

Prevention is better than cure! 

There are many potential approaches from proven to experimental to ensure you, your family, and your community remain safe. These fall into two categories.

  1. The first is how to not get it in the first place and reduce spread
  2. The second is how to support your immune system so you are more resilient to infection.

This pandemic can bring out the best in us or the worst. It is a time for kindness, for calling friends, for FaceTimes with family, or hunkering down with loved ones and family in your home, cooking meals from scratch, and for finding ways to help those who are in need.  

Here are evidence based recommendations that you can and should implement straight away: 

extensive social distancing

In order to get ill, you need to have the infectious organism AND you have to be receptive. So, the first step is to avoid contact with the organism, in this case COVID-19. This is best done - and now practised in more and more countries - via Extensive Social Distancing. You don't need to wait until your government asks you to do so!

This is among the most effective way to prevent spread. Don’t shake hands. Keep a 6-foot radius from others (unless they are healthy, uninfected people who live in your home). Cancel vacations, business trips. Restaurants, bars, schools, yoga classes, fitness clubs and more are shutting down. Work from home if you can. 

Extensive Social Distancing is the most effective way to reduce the spreading of the virus. The Washington Post posted a BRILLIANT simulation that shows this. Go on, click on the LINK and check for yourself!

Stop the Virus Spread

sick people, healthy people, recovered people. NB:The simulation missed the fatalities!

Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people as much as possible by staying at home or in your hotel.

You can still go outside for walks, runs or cycles on your own. But you should not spend time in close contact with other people.

Practice Good Hygiene. Wash your hands for 20 to 30 seconds with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is ok but not necessary.  If you are out and about, do your best to wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face (hard to do).  

Protect Those At Risk. People over 60 should stay home and avoid unnecessary contact.  If you have elderly parents find ways to support them with food and supplies. If you have an autoimmune disorder, cancer, or are on transplant medication be especially careful. 

DON'T

  • Do not go to school, college or work
  • .Do not use public transport.
  • Do not go to meetings, social gatherings, group events or crowded places.
  • Do not have visitors at your home.
  • Do not go shopping - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off.
  • Do not VISIT older people, people with chronic health problems and pregnant women
  • .Do not travel 

.You can find further practical information HERE

Strengthen your Immune System

Let Food Be Your Medicine! Proper food = proper immunity

Food to support immune system

* SMASH fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Hering

* EVOO: Extra Virgine Olive Oil

Avoid certain foods: Gluten, Processed Foods, Sugar. 

  • It has never been a better time to be[come] gluten free: No one food trigger!
  • 300 kcal sugar decreases immune system by 50% for 2 hours!
  • No dairy - makes mucous, one of the 3 top food triggers
It is a great time to check for food sensitivities!

Eat a whole foods, nutrient-dense diet. Our immune system relies on nutrient-dense whole foods to function well. Death from infections in the developing world is often not due to the infection itself but the body’s inability to fight it because of nutrient deficiencies.

We can all improve the quality of our diet. This is a great opportunity to cut sugar and starch which suppress the immune system.

Cut out sugar and refined starches. Now has never been a better time for a sugar and junk food detox.  Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting. Limiting starch and sugar will help your immune system function better and your overall health improves. 

Ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is critical for immune function and protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infections. Eat approximately 1 gram/kg or about half your body weight in grams of protein a day, Plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts/seeds) are adequate if consumed in enough quantity. Try tofu and tempeh from non-GMO soy for the highest protein concentrations.  

Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric, rosemary) to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties. 

Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Aim for 2 servings of fruits and 8 or more servings of vegetables! A serving is half a cup. 

Eat fermented foods to support your microbiome and immunity. Eat sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, kefir. They also keep well. 

Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids. Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including the immune system. Make soups and broths (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and have them throughout the week. Drink herbal teas like ginger and turmeric tea. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system. 

Get sufficient sleep! We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! Get in a better rhythm and head to bed earlier. Aim for seven to eight hours a night. Incorporating various relaxation and breathing techniques throughout the day to help with stress and allowing the mind to rest is also very helpful! 

Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses. If you are able to exercise outside in less populated areas, great. If not find workouts and yoga classes online. Try the 7-minute workout app. 

Practice meditation and yoga.  The data are clear. Increased levels of stress increase susceptibility to viral infections. In one study volunteers had cold viruses injected into their nasal passages. Only the ones who scored high on the stress questionnaire succumbed. Now is the time to learn meditation, double down on your practice, do yoga, take hot baths, do deep breathing, practice home massage with your loved ones. 

Start a garden. If you live in an area with a lawn or some access to land, grow some of your own food. 

If you haven't got a garden,here is a simple way to make your own one. 

Manage your stress!

Our immune system is tied back to our stress response. As it happens, our stress response is worsened when we are in isolation. Whilst we do need to practise extensive social distancing, we can’t simply become hermits and expect to stay healthy and thrive.

Engage in real-time communication with loved ones. Those that are both with you in isolation and in your immediate network. Pick up the phone, call your mom, your sister, your cousin, anyone. 

Supplements 

Supplements for immune system

There is an increasing number of health claims and the promotion of supplements has also increased in the coronavirus frenzy.  There is a lot we don’t know and a lot we do.  It’s important not to go overboard and be sensible. 

Immune Supporting Supplements

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm"
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

This is a link of the recommended supplements from the Institute of Functional Medicine.

Just starting with a multivitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc and fish oil is a great start. 

Our supplement recommendations

  • Due to restrictions, we cannot deliver Lamberts supplements to Estonia. You might be able to source the supplements via their Estonian distributor, but the prices are considerably higher!
  • Stock is running low or out for some supplements which is out of our control.

An All Rounder Multivitamin

This is the foundation for any health support regimen. It’s a good way to cover the basic vitamins and minerals your body needs for day-to-day functions. If you aren’t on a good multivitamin you should get and stay on one. Look for a high-quality, broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral.

Multiguard Advanced

Echinacea

Echinacea is known as both antiviral and preventive. In addition, it has been shown as effective against the avian virus. 

We know that it works through immune modulation and not simple immune stimulation. It is also known to be safe and effective for long-term use. 

There is concern that Echinacea should not be used for children under the age of 12 - but these studies are not very strong. 

In our experience, not all echinacea products work. We recommend this product. 

Viral infections can lead to "leaky gut". The well-studied probiotic yeast S. boulardii plays a crucial role in the preservation and/or restoration of intestinal barrier function - being effective in the prevention and treatment of gut disorders. Another study confirms that probiotics "are a rational adjunctive options for the treatment of various viral diseases."

Secretory IgA is known as the respiratory and GI tracts’ first line of defense. It can prevent the adhesion of viruses and other pathogens from our respiratory and gut lining. Numerous studies have shown improved outcomes in various infections, as well as cancers and gut issues.

People with Hashimoto’s tend to have low secretory IgA (SIgA). This could be partially genetic (if you’re a non-secretor like I am), or due to infections you may have, or lifestyle factors (like stress and sleep deprivation).

S. Boulardii can help to boost Secretory IgA. 


Omega-3 fatty acids

People's viral infections typically start and settle in the respiratory tract, where B cells (and T cells) form the first line of defense.

Results from a study from 2017 suggest that omega-3 DHA enhances a key aspect of immune function, in unique, previously unknown ways (Guesdon W et al. 2017). In this study, 0.5g EPA and 2.0g DHA per day showed enhancements in B cell responses, including higher production of immune-system messenger molecules.

Recommended intake: 3 capsules daily of Pure Fish Oil 1100 mg.

In the early literature, vitamin C deficiency was associated with pneumonia. A total of 148 animal studies indicated that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Three controlled trials found that vitamin C prevented pneumonia. Two controlled trials found a treatment benefit of vitamin C for pneumonia patients. Two controlled trials found a statistically significant dose–response, for the duration of common cold symptoms, with up to 6–8 g/day of vitamin C. [Find the study from 2017 HERE]

 I recommend 500-2000 mg per day with meals and snacks. 

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 and K2

I recommend to start with 2000 IU per day for an adult  and 1,000 IU for children.  and you may want to test your levels every 3-6 months to ensure you are getting adequate amounts.

Adequate vitamin D status is critical for optimal immune function and this cannot be achieved without supplementation during the winter months. Studies have shown that people with vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to get a cold or flu, while supplementing with vitamin D can reduce colds and flu by 42%.

The possible interactions between viral infections and vitamin D appear to be more complex than previously thought. Vitamin D, seems to induce a transient antiviral state by regulating the immune system. Cell culture experiments support the thesis that vitamin D has direct antiviral effects particularly against enveloped viruses.

It is best to get your levels of 25-OH vitamin D checked for accurate dosing. Many need 5,000 IU or more of vitamin D3 a day in the winter. Start with 2,000 IU for adults, 1,000 IU for children.  

For this intervention to be effective, it should be done continuously, before the respiratory tract infection starts.

A poor Vitamin D Receptor [VDR] restricts Vitamin D from getting in the cells. It appears that 30% of the population has a poor VDR. Vitamin D Receptor activation can be increased by any of: Resveratrol, Omega-3, Magnesium, Zinc, Quercetin, non-daily Vit D, Curcumin, intense exercise, and Ginger.

Zinc is an essential trace element that is crucial for growth, development, and the maintenance of immune function. Its influence reaches all organs and cell types and hundreds of key enzymes.

Seafood—especially oysters—red meat, and pumpkin seeds are the best food sources. 

Zinc deficiency is strikingly common, affecting up to a quarter of the population in developing countries, but also affecting distinct populations in the developed world as a result of lifestyle, age, and disease-mediated factors.

Consequently, zinc status is a critical factor that can influence antiviral immunity, particularly as zinc-deficient populations are often most at risk of acquiring viral infections. An abundance of evidence has accumulated over the past 50 y to demonstrate the antiviral activity of zinc against a variety of viruses, and via numerous mechanisms. 

The NIH notes that children and the elderly with zinc deficiency have been shown to be more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections. The agency reports zinc allows the body to produce and activate T-cells (t-lymphocytes), which are some of the white blood cells that respond to infections.

study from 2010 established that "Zinc Inhibits Coronavirus Activity and Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture". Importantly, the amount of ionic zinc present at the site of infection (oral and nasal mucosa) is highly correlated to the study outcome.and is dependent on the zinc formulation. At a physiological pH and 37°C, zinc gluconate for example, releases high amounts of ionic zinc, whereas zinc aspartate releases none. One study showed that zinc citrate is as well-absorbed as zinc gluconate but has a less bitter, more appealing taste.

Zinc 15 mg

I recommend taking up to 30 mg per day.for 2 weeks, then 15 mg per day. Too much Zinc can deplete your body of copper. 

Probiotics

Probioguard

A healthy gut flora supports a healthy gut, a major barrier against pathogens and integral to the immune system. Look for brands that offer several species of good bacteria and contain at least 5-10 billion organisms per capsule. Lactobacillus plantarum and spore forms of Bacillus are the best for immunity. 

Beta Glucan Complex

Research has shown that these compounds up-regulate the function of the innate immune system. This part of your immune system is the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. It helps your white blood cells bind to and kill viruses and bacteria.

Note: Patients with autoimmune diseases should not take this.

Beta Glucan

N-Acetyl Cystein

Most people who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, seem to experience breathing challenges. N-Acetyl Cysteine, is a mucolytic agent — which means that it can break down and thin mucus, allowing us to clear up congestion. It may also benefit other respiratory-related conditions. Additionally, it can support glutathione levels, which can block the replication of some viruses.

Take 1 capsule daily with a meal 

 Garlic

Source: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Garlic is a plant has been used as a flavor, and anti-microbial and anti-diarrheal agent. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a coronavirus. A study from 2016 found that garlic extract had inhibitory effects on IBV. 

Need some inspiration how to use garlic? Check out THIS WEBSITE

Herbal remedies

Many extracts of plants acted against IBV prior to and during infection, but the most effective were those of Peppermint [Mentha piperita], Thyme [Thymus vulgaris] and Desmodium canadense.

Sauna therapy

Picture: harvia.fi

It has been studied that high temperatures and especially moist heat with water vapor can deactivate viruses effectively. Even at a temperature of 55-70 ° C (moist heat), the virus can be countered within a few minutes and thus there is a loss of infectivity via the destruction of the virus outer layer.

A study from 2016 found that the effect of Short-Term Heat Shock, e.g. Sauna therapy as a stressful condition,could induce the expression of heat shock proteins that function as molecular chaperones to protect cells against multiple stresses, increasing the survival rate of influenza-infected mice. 


Please note: the strategies above are meant to be combined with any of the other common sense and personalized recommendations you may get from your healthcare providers or local public health authorities,

This article is not intended to provide medical advice and any changes should be done in consultation with your healthcare provider.

We hope that this information helps you to 

Stay Safe and Healthy!

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Functional Approach to Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign oestrogen-sensitive growths made out of smooth muscle cells and connective tissue. They appear during the reproductive years, grow during pregnancy, and regress after the menopause. Sometimes growth spurts can happen in perimenopausal years during anovulatory cycles with irregular oestrogen excess.

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Find out what uterine fibroids are, other conditions that could present similarly, symptoms of uterine fibroids, which functional tests are useful, conventional vs functional treatment approaches, and which supplements can be helpful

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Your Gut – Your Second Brain

In recent years scientists have discovered that our gut contains a vast amount of bacteria which are called the microbiome. The number of genes in these bacteria is about 3.3 million whilst the human body has around 23.000. The total weight of the microbiome is about three pounds – the same as our brain, which is why it is also called the Second Brain.

One millilitre of colonic contents contains more bacteria than there are humans on this planet.

One of the important functions of the microbiome is to provide immunity (70% of our immune system is located in the gut), and this starts at birth. The birth canal is filled with lactobacilli – which prevent the growth of candida (which causes vaginal thrush). Lactobacilli are the first thing that enters the baby’s mouth during birth.

When mothers have C-sections the child does not get these beneficial lactobacilli. 80% of babies born via c-section are likely to develop asthma versus those born naturally, and they are also more likely to develop diarrhoea in the first year of life, have a tendency to be allergic to cow’s milk and have food intolerances.

Mothers milk also contains lactobacilli. They help to break down lactose, which is the major sugar in milk. The first milk also contains a lot of antibodies for the baby. Later breast milk contains carbohydrates (sugars) and prebiotics which provide food for the microbiome.

People often say they have a “gut feeling” and this is true as the brain is connected to our gut and vice versa.

The gut contains as many nerve cells as the spinal cord. The microbiome affects not only our nerves and immune system, but also our endocrine system. It modulates our emotions, desires and moods. The microbiome also produces neurotransmitters. Imbalances or deficiencies of neurotransmitters are known to cause, among other things, behavioural problems in children and psychiatric problems such as depression.

Environmental chemicals can change the gut microbiome. They can trigger inflammation and metabolic disorders.

Functional medicine is the new way of investigating how your body works and can often provide answers for chronic diseases.

Healthy regards

Dr Oliver Frey, MD MRCGP

Picture: UAB Comprehensive Cancer Centre
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Bedwetting

Babies need to be in nappies as they cannot control their bladder. As they get older and turn into little people their nervous system is moving along nicely and the frequency of bedwetting goes down and eventually stops. 

Bedwetting is one of the most common disorders among children. It occurs in up to 20% of 5 year olds and 10% of 10 year olds, with a spontaneous remission rate of 14% per year. Weekly daytime wetting occurs in 5% of children, most of whom (80%) also wet the bed. Approximately 5% to 10% of all seven-year-olds have enuresis.

The reasons for bedwetting involve the inability to awaken from sleep in response to a full bladder, coupled with excessive nighttime urine production or a decreased functional capacity of the bladder.​

​Children who wet the bed may do so for emotional reasons. They may feel insecure due to the arrival of a new baby, a change of school or because of the parents' marital problems. In these cases, the child needs love and reassurance.

Why do some children have a problem?

There are numerous possible reasons why children - and their families - suffer from bedwetting: 

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  • Slower central nervous system development
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Infections (kidney or bladder)
  • Diabetes
  • Excess water consumption prior to bed
  • Being scared of the dark
  • Laziness
  • Side effects of medication
  • Caffeine (some give this to their kids – and I highly suggest not doing it), e.g in tea, coffee and many fizzy drinks

Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels 

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A study from 2012 found significantly lower mean vitamin B(12) and folate levels in patients who suffered from bed wetting. These findings were confirmed in a study in 2015 which also identified that average blood iron was significantly higher. 

A February 2018 study in the Journal of Pediatric Urology may offer hope for those pursuing non-drug options. 

Based on these results, the authors concluded that supplementation with vitamin D and omega-3 fish oil could help prevent nighttime bedwetting episodes among children seven to 15 year of age:

  • Vitamin D – 1,000 IU minimum but children frequently take up to 2,000 IU daily under the guidance of their physician.
  • Omega 3 – 1,000 mg daily, can be taken as a capsule, gummy or liquid.


Traditional Approach

Parents and children are often given the following advice by doctors  to curb bedwetting:

Bed alarms – alarms have sensors that detect moisture, which wake the child up as they begin having an accident.

Education and reassurance – diet changes, avoidance of caffeinated drinks and also avoidance of fluid before going to bed.  Make sure the child urinates before going to sleep.

Positive reinforcement – encouraging the child after dry nights.

Medications Commonly used include:

Desmopressin – Taken at night with a small sip of water, this medication can be used for children age 6 or older.  Common reactions listed by Epocrates Drug Database include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, high blood pressure and rarely seizures, respiratory arrest and anaphylactic allergic reactions.

Imipramine – This medication can also be used for those 6 or older.  Epocrates lists a “black box warning” for this medication, stating that it may increase suicide risk in children, adolescents, and young adults with major depression. Additional common reactions listed include drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision to name a few.

Due to the possible side effects of medications, more natural alternatives are desired as first line by most.

​Common strategies to help with bedwetting

  • Shift times for drinking. Increase fluid intake earlier in the day and reduce it later in the day.
  • Schedule bathroom breaks. Get your child on a regular urination schedule (every two to three hours) and right before bedtime.
  • Be encouraging. Make your child feel good about progress by consistently rewarding successes.
  • Eliminate bladder irritants. At night, start by eliminating caffeine (such as chocolate milk and cocoa) and if this doesn’t work, cut citrus juices, artificial flavorings, dyes (especially red) and sweeteners. Many parents don’t realize these can all irritate a child’s bladder.
  • Avoid thirst overload. If schools allow, give your child a water bottle so they can drink steadily all day. This avoids excessive thirst after school.
  • Consider if constipation is a factor. Because the rectum is right behind the bladder, difficulties with constipation can present themselves as a bladder problem, especially at night. This affects about one third of children who wet the bed, though children are unlikely to identify or share information about constipation.
  • Don’t wake children up to urinate. Randomly waking up a child at night and asking him or her to urinate on demand isn’t the answer, either – and will only lead to more sleeplessness and frustration.
  • Don’t resort to punishment. Getting angry at your child doesn’t help him learn. The process doesn’t need to involve conflict.

What can you do to identify the cause of bedwetting in your child?

  • Identify food allergies and remove (gluten and dairy are big)
  • Avoid caffeine and fizzy drinks
  • Limit intake of water and fluids prior to bed
  • Always have them go for a whee right before bed
  • Use a night light 
  • Star board (get a star for each night they don’t wet their bed and a prize at X stars)
  • Taking off their bedsheets self and taking them to the laundry
  • Supplement with Fish oil
  • Give a Multivitamin
  • Give a Probiotic
  • Give a methylated B-complex

A known cause of bedwetting is slower development of the central nervous system + low b12 and low folate contribute to a slowed central nervous system = increased susceptibility to nocturnal enuresis (ie. bedwetting).

If one has low folate and low B12, then their methylation system is going to be less functional.

As their methylation is not up to speed, then the development of the CNS is hindered.

As the CNS development is hindered, so is the nervous system of the bladder which leads to nocturnal enuresis.

Restoring nutrients for CNS development is critical to reducing bedwetting.

The younger the child, the more development they are experiencing. The more development they are experiencing, the more methylation they are utilizing. The more methylation they are utilizing, the more nutrients they require to support methylation.

If the child’s methylation is not supported with nutrients, then bedwetting may show up.

Before you start blindly supplementing your child we would highly recommend to arrange some of the following tests which are all available from CountryHealth:

Which Lab Tests can be useful?

References:

  1. Journal of  Pediatric Urology. 2018 Feb 5. pii: S1477-5131(18)30034-2. doi:10.1016/j.jpurol.2018.01.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Do you want your child to be tested?

We are keen to help you finding the root causes of bedwetting in your child

Why do some kids get dry and others struggle with bedwetting?

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