As everyone takes action to reduce the spread of COVID-19, I want to remind you of the importance of taking care of your immune system.
Physical distancing and washing your hands are important, but let’s not forget that a strong immune system is critical for protecting your body from infection. We all need to focus on proper nutrition, sleep, stress management, and gut health to maintain our health.
If the gut is healthy, the immune system will be healthy. During a time when grocery stores are facing shortages you want to make food choices that are as nutrient dense as possible, as opposed to foods with empty calories and high carbohydrates.
Avoid foods that come in a box and reduce your sugar and alcohol consumption. If selection is limited, look to canned foods like beans, vegetables, meats, fish (sardines are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids), chicken/beef broths, and rice. Foods that are high in antioxidants are a great choice.
Multi-vitamins and fish oil are good for foundational health, but for immune support I recommend Vitamins A, C, and D, as well as Zinc, Elderberry, Andrographis and Astragulus. These can all be found in immune support complexes. My favorite is Viracid from OrthoMolecular Products, but there are many good ones. Companies sold out of these type of supplements fast, but are restocking as quickly as possible. You can check on Fullscript for up to date availability. My “Immune Support Stack” can be found if you click on CATALOG and then CATEGORIES once you log in. https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/agarza
Lastly, quality probiotics are essential for promoting natural antibodies and keeping harmful bacteria at bay. Use these supplements to help bridge nutritional gaps in your diet and support stronger immune system function.
Thymosin Alpha 1 (my first choice) and Selank are my two favorite immune boosting peptides. Thymosin Alpha-1 is administered as an injection with an small insulin syringe while Selank is inhaled via the nostrils. Tailormade Compounding has temporarily lowered their pricing for doctors so that we can get these amazing drugs to our patients more affordably. Current protocols used by some members of the International Peptide Society are calling for 3 months of treatment, but even one month will help significantly. If you are hesitant with injections or if cost is a large concern, Selank alone (even for a month) will help boost up your immune system.
These need to be ordered by prescription and you can send me a message via the patient portal if you would like me to send you in a prescription or call the office during the week from 9a-3p.
Thymosin Alpha 1 can be ordered for approximately $150-450, for 1-3 month supply plus a small fee for alcohol and syringes that the pharmacy will send you directly.
Selank can be ordered for $50-$150, for 1-3 month supply.
Staying home doesn’t mean forgetting your exercise routine. Keeping active reduces stress hormones and stimulates endorphins, so make time for working out indoors or taking a walk outside. Natural sunlight will also help regulate your circadian rhythm and promote a good night’s rest.
Turn off your devices at least an hour before bed, and maybe read a book instead. Blue light from laptops and phones suppress melatonin and mess with your sleep. Listening to relaxing music and taking a warm bath are other good ways to “wind down” and help you relax. Many of you already know that the Calm App is a favorite of mine for not only sleep induction, but stress management as well.
High cortisol and increased stress weaken the immune system. This is a pervasive problem among adults, and recent events are not helping.
Meditation and breathing exercises are the best approaches to lowering cortisol, and there are several apps (like Calm) and methods out there to help.Remind yourself to focus on the things you can control right now — how you react to situations and the actions you can take.
Most importantly, remember you are not alone. We are all facing similar challenges right now, and we will get through them together. I am confident our community will emerge from this predicament stronger than ever. I am praying for continued guidance and wisdom in seeing patients and will keep you updated in a timely manner.
Stay safe and be well.