There are so many layers involved in the ever-evolving response to COVID-19. While immune support and lung health are one chapter of this story, we also want to acknowledge the immense stress that this pandemic is having on our patients and community members as businesses are forced to close, people are being laid off and retirement accounts are dwindling.
Yes, this is a time to support our physical health, but it’s also a time to pool our collective resources and take care of each other in anyway that we can.
We want to share not only our response to this virus from a clinical standpoint, but what we are doing to support overall health and wellbeing. We also want to provide cutting-edge information that is not available in the “wash your hands” emails.
We imagine you’re all on the bandwagon of aggressive hygiene so let’s cover the other ways you can support total health and wellbeing in these uncertain times.
BioLounge Services and Telemedicine
Office visits, phone appointments and video consults
We are moving appointments to phone/video consults with our patients to support social distancing. If you have an existing appointment time we will call you at that time for your phone appointment. If you have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 971.770.1655 or or message through the Charm Portal.
For patients getting procedures such as hormone pellets, consider rescheduling anytime after April 1st. I will still be offering pellets as of today, but basically, we are encouraging social distancing for the next two weeks.
If you currently have or had the below symptoms in the past 14 days we definitely do NOT recommend coming into the office
- Temp of 99.6 or above
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
- Flu-like symptoms
- Traveled outside of the country
- Contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient
We are working hard to stock supplements that help with immune function. We are actively reading studies that support the use of herbs/vitamins with action agains flu and corona-type virus. Much of this research is coming out of South Korea and China as they are actively researching many compounds on hospitalized patients. Many of the supplements we are recommending were temporarily out of stock, including the NAC that we just shared with you over the weekend. However, out vendors feel confident about the current supply chain and most will come back on line in the next 1-2 weeks and we will keep you posted.
We are thrilled to report that Bio-Immunozyme, a potent immune support (Megan lives on this stuff) is available again as of today. This should be taken as follows:
1-2 caps with breakfast1-2 caps with lunch
Take one for maintenance and 2 if you feel compromised. Must be taken with food and not after 3pm.
Other Supportive Supplements
Our other favorites will also be listed through our online partners and you will receive these email links soon. Some herbs we endorse are here for your reference and in no particular order. The following article provides some background on some of these supplements as well as scientific studies which support their use. This list is not intended in any way to replace standard medical advice. If you have symptoms of flu or COVID-19, please traditional medical care first.
- Vitamin C
- Licorice Extract
- Olive Leaf
- Vitamin D
As a courtesy, you will receive an invitation to join our online supplement dispensary, Fullscript within the next 24 hours. This gives you access to BioLounge Favorites (listed above) and a host of therapeutic-grade supplements at a discounted price. We will continually update this list as many supplements are “flying off the shelves” with increased demand.
Stay tuned for supplement updates!
Reduce Stress Response
When we face increased stress and overwhelm, we often go to coping mechanisms that don’t promote health. We encourage you to engage in deep breathing, 5-minute meditations on Headspace, time in nature, time with pets and extra rest.
We also love adaptogenic herbs to help balance cortisol and calm stress response. Ashwagandha is particularly effective and we’ve found that most of our patients feel noticeable results with the ashwagandha compound HPA Adapt from Integrative Therapeutics. We suggest taking 4 caps upon waking or 2 upon waking and 2 between breakfast and lunch. This should be taken on an empty stomach for best results.
Your health is more than taking supplements and medications. Your immune relies on a good nights sleep, stress management, balanced nutrition, and regular exercise. Here are some thoughts on how to manage these aspects of your health.
Sticking with the circadian cycles improves cortisol (stress hormone) regulation. This means dim your lights as the sun goes down and try to be asleep by about 10. Wake with the sun around 6-7am. If you struggle to fall asleep, take 0.5mg melatonin every hour on the hour for 4 hours prior to bed (starting at 6pm). As melatonin production increases, cortisol decreases and helps you become sleepy. This changes your “clock”.
Also, avoid eating refined carbs or drinking alcohol at night. If you crave after dinner snacks, eat a dinner higher in fat and fiber and stop eating by 6-7pm.
Keeping your bedroom temperature around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. For better sleep, take a hot shower before bed for 5-10 minutes, then turn the water to it’s coldest setting for 30 seconds and then back to hot for 30 seconds and get out. There are many studies on the decreased susceptibility to seasonal bugs when doing cold shower rinses.
Aside from a cool dark room, you may also consider wearing an eye mask, use white noise or/or earplugs. Air purifiers such as IQAir and Molekule can reduce sinus congestion and have been shown to reduce cortisol levels throughout the night.
For much more, check out our recommended book. “Why We Sleep.”
Try to get outside for 30-60 minutes a day, preferably in the morning and without sunglasses. Getting out in the AM tells your brain that it is morning and doing so generates of the strongest circadian signals you can receive (even on cloudy days).
Breath deeply! Based on your energy level, move accordingly. If you’re energized, run or do lunges or sprints. If you’re low energy, take a walk. Using bands or doing HIIT workouts easily accessed on youtube is a way to maintain your muscle mass without having to visit the gym.
Our awesome neighbor, Hyatt Training, is continuing to support the community by offering free virtual fitness consultations and a members app. Now is not the time to let our healthy habits go. Check it out!
Restaurants are officially closed so now is the time to put some energy into healthy immune boosting food. You may not be able to find vitamin C, but check out this article for a list of high antioxidant-containing foods. Include them as often as possible in your daily diet.
We are all taxed so this may not be the time for a grand cooking project. Here are our favorite fast recipes that will support balanced blood sugar, high nutrient-density, and you can make them in bulk to save time.
Sheet Pan Fajitas (Siete Cassava GF wraps or tempeh can be replacements)
Fast bites for breakfast include homemade chia pudding sweetened with monk fruit and topped with berries and nuts or organic sausage and mixed veggies. Want something faster, make an antioxidant-rich smoothie!
Pharmaceutical Immune Support
This is by no means an exhaustive list and is subject to change as more studies are done. This is intended to stimulate conversation and offer some options to those in additional need of immune support. This is not intended to be a substitute for standard medical advice or care. Please contact your primary care doctor if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Thymosin Alpha-1 is the most recommend peptide for immune stimulation. This should be used as a treatment adjuvant and a prophylactic that can help with many immune conditions beyond viral illness! Most will dose it as a daily subcutaneous injection. We currently have access to this treatment for patients in need of extra immune support.
Intravenous Vitamin C – Vitamin C success seems to be dose dependent. Vitamin C can reach higher levels given intravenously than orally. See this study on IV vitamin C out of China which hypothesizes the proposed benefit of high dose Vitamin C IV for corona virus induced pneumonia.
Note: We do have limited supply of IV Vitamin C to support immune function, not to treat infection. Please contact Good IV for more information.
HIV Medications and Anti-malarials– More studies needed, but currently China is using Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir which are pharmaceutical drugs typically used in HIV. Additionally, Ribavirin and Interferon-α are being used in China. Also being investigated are anti-malarial medications (chloroquines) as they improve innate immunity.
COVID-19 testing: We are seeing quick movement to get testing available in Oregon. Lab Corp and Quest will be online soon as well. These resources are being reserved for the following groups at the moment:
Symptomatic Individuals in the Following groups:
Health care providers, regardless of known exposure to COVID-19.
Symptomatic residents of a site at high risk for spread: long term care facilities, shelters, or corrections.
Symptomatic patients at high risk for complications because of age or underlying medical condition
We hope this overview is useful and we want to hear from you. If you need resources or health support, please reach out and let us know what we can do to help.