By: Pearl Zimmerman, MD, MPH .
Yes, those of us with immune system issues, cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases, and those of us who smoke are at the greatest risk of developing serious cases of coronavirus. Those of us whose bodies can put up the best fight are most likely to prevail against coronavirus, Epstein Barr virus (mono), and flu viruses. So how should we prepare for battle?
Starting with the most potent recommendation for those who are at highest risk, compounding pharmacies specializing in Peptide Therapy offer Thymosin Alpha 1, available by prescription.
Thymosin Alpha-1 is the most recommended peptide for immune modulation. It has been shown to enhance the immune system response to destroy viruses.
Functional Medicine has found that we have maximum impact when we start by removing the things that either create a toxic burden on your immune system or produce triggers that cause your immune system to attack yourself:
A - Allergens and food intolerances
It’s critical to identify and treat allergens and food intolerances. Beware of many tests that are not reliable, recommending that you remove too many foods from your diet. That’s where a science-based practitioner can help guide you best. Cyrex testing for gluten intolerance is particularly valuable. Many people who are gluten intolerant don’t notice immediate reactions, because your immune system attacks gluten for an incredibly long period, 15-20 months after you eat it. Your body reacts to gluten more like a chemical than like any other food. This leads to chronic fatigue, insomnia, bloating, or other neurological issues that many come to accept as “normal.”
B - Bugs
Specialized nasal swab testing is valuable for finding yeast, mold, and unusual bacterial infections. Functional Medicine small and large intestinal testing for bacteria, yeast, and parasites uncover further infections that sabotage healing when trying to create a strong immune system.
C - Chemical and Mold toxicities
75% of people can live in mold without damaging their health, however approximately 25% of us will experience severe immune suppression and symptoms that spread across multiple body systems. If mold sensitivities are present, they need to be treated before or during any treatment for toxic chemicals as our detox systems won’t function well without clearing the mold.
D - Dietary deficiencies and excesses
Testing then maintaining ideal levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants will help to ensure that your body is functioning at peak performance.
G - Genetics
Gene mutations affect how well your body produces or uses your nutrients and brain neurotransmitters. Testing can help you determine and address any genetic variations you may have.
H - Hormone Balance
Low testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone as well as medications or supplements that lead to excessive hormone levels will compromise your health. Functional Medicine doctors carefully test and balance your hormone levels to help restore your energy, libido, sleep, and overall health.
I - Immune System Health
Here are specific recommendations for supplements that support your immune system, specifically known to fight viruses. You can find professional supplements here:
My recommendations are free of gluten, dairy, sugar, and petroleum-based chemicals, with caring for my patients who have multiple sensitivities.
Designs for Health Immunitone Plus: 4 caps daily with meals. Combines the most effective agents including Andrographis, astragalus, beta glucan, echinacea, elderberry, cordyceps, maitake, reishi, and shaitake mushrooms
Pure Encapsulations Immune Support: 1 cap 1-2x/d between meals or Gaia Rapid Immune Response: follow directions on bottle. Contain potent blends of echinacea, elderberry, and Andrographis
Douglas Labs Zinc lozenges: follow directions on bottle
Herb Pharm Super Echinacea (organic): 1-2 caps 2-3x/d between meals
NOW or Pure Encapsulations Elderberry: 2-3 caps/d between meals
Jarrow or Priority One Beta Glucan: 500 mg daily with meals. As with all meds and supplements, discuss drug/supplement interactions and adverse reactions with your doctor before taking, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Don’t forget these life-giving practices:
Sleep 7-8 hours each night
Eat 6-8 servings (1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked) of vegetables; it’s the one thing all the varied diets agree on.
Exercise 30-60 minutes 5-6 days/week
Drink 8-10 glasses of filtered water daily.
Use a Hepa filter to decrease virus particles in your airspace.
Now’s the time to extinguish your last cigarette.
I became a Functional Medicine doctor because I personally experienced having cancer twice then an immune system breakdown with severe chemical sensitivities that lasted 7 years. During those years, multiple conventional and integrative doctors either gave me treatments that made me worse or kept telling me that all I needed was Prozac. When I finally found a Functional Medicine doctor who helped me get my life back, I was inspired to learn all I could about this field. My heart goes out to the complex mystery patients who experience the seemingly hopeless search to get well, struggling with so many symptoms that doctors either don't believe you or haven't been able to help you. I’ve been there. Now I love being able to give you answers, validate you, and empower you to find healing. My patients can expect a tenacious detective who listens, genuinely cares, and doesn’t give up.