There have been smart suggestions on how to prevent exposure to infectious illness such as washing your hands. Yes, please follow those suggestions. Great success in Public health was brought about decreasing the spread of communicable disease since the 1834 Poor Law Commision related a connection between communicable disease and filth in the environment. https://www.britannica.com/topic/public-health/Modern-organizational-and-administrative-patterns
Yes you should follow those suggestions, but realize preventing exposure does not improve your baseline health or immune function. You can never remove the risk of exposure to some virus or bacteria 100% anymore than you can remove 100% of stress. The focus since 1834 became on the filth outside your body ,public works and sanitation. The filth outside your body was only half the conversation between Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard. Not only did the widespread use of grains and flour bring the vermin and the fleas that spread the bacteria, it brought nutritional deficiencies that lowered the whole community’s immunity. The hyper focus on the environment outside the body did not go to the next step and and look at the filth on the inside of you. The filth in you that makes you a more fertile breeding ground.
So what can you do everyday to help improve your baseline health? First you need to realize that how healthy you are fluctuates by the choices you make and by situations beyond your control. Being a healthier host means you are more likely to survive or have minimal or no symptoms if exposed to a communicable disease or injury. This advice is good for all situations but is being written when those who are dying of a corona virus infection are those who are unhealthy.
First: Focus on what you can control
So focus on those things you can control. You can answer the question, what will make me less healthy and more likely to have more severe symptoms or illness? The answer to that question is, having too much or not enough of something can make you less healthy with a lower immune function.
Let’s first focus on some things we commonly don’t get enough of: body movement, certain nutrients, proper brain and nervous system connection and control, positive thoughts.
Healthy body movement can simply be getting off your couch moving around the inside and outside of your house. Body movement can be walking, house work, playing with those in your household such as your pets, family or children. You can go for a hike, walk your dog or push your children on the swings. If you know you are out of shape slowly increase your activity because increasing too fast can overwhelm your system including the immune system.
Good food and nutrients
To be healthy a person needs enough of all the vitamins and minerals that come from plants and animals. For those that want more clarification, the definition of plant means something that grows in the ground, not the manufacturing of goods. So eat many different color vegetables, fruits, and protein sources. This regular eating habit will set a good baseline of getting enough nutrients. But this is often not enough for some nutrients or in certain regions of the world. Some common nutrients that are often missing in high enough amounts for you to be healthy are: Vitamins D, A and C.
Linus Pauling won two Noble prizes, one for chemistry in 1954 and one for political activism in 1962. His book “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” in 1970 started a debate about the immune system and vitamin C. There is a relationship between every day levels of Vitamin C and the preventative state of your immune status and there is a much higher amount needed to medically treat infection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29099763 Today we are discussing every day health and prevention. Another Noble prize for sterols, cholesterol and vitamin D was won by Adolf Windaus in 1928. Without cholesterol and the sun you can not make vitamin D on your skin. Without enough vitamin D you are more likely to have infections, cancer and other health problems. Modern living, and living in the Northern part of the world means having to supplement with vitamin D to have enough. Simple blood tests can determine if you are at the minimal accepted level for health at 40nm/ml. Please realize that nutrients are not found in food isolated from other nutrients. Taking high amounts of D without K2 or A can lead to other health issues. The mineral zinc is often too low for normal immune and health function. Taking a small amount for a short period of time has been shown to help normal immune function. If you have questions about foods or supplements make sure to ask a doctor who is knowledgeable about those things.
You can make sure you get 8 hours of sleep in a dark room. Less than eight hours of sleep has been shown to reduce how efficient your immune function works by 50%, “Why We Sleep” by Mathew Walker. Avoiding screen time an hour before bed, having a cool space, darkness, journaling and thinking about something you are grateful for right before bed all help with quality sleep.
Nervous system connection and Control
The nervous system and immune system work directly together. Basic science studies show how the immune system works more normally when chiropractic adjustments are applied. Chiropractic adjustments reduce stress on the body. When cold viruses were dripped into 394 people’s noses they all didn’t become infected. The more stressed they were as measured by the amount of nor-epinephrine and epinephrine then more likely they were to be infected. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1713648 Basic science research studies show that Chiropractic adjustments reduce levels of nor-epinephrine and epinephrine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5267084/ This is just one mechanism that helps explain why for over a hundred and thirty five years chiropractic patients have been telling their doctors that they have fewer and less severe colds while under care.
Make sure you are having positive thoughts and loving relationships. You can call, or use social media to reach out to friends and family. You can receive hugs from those in your household or from pets. You can pray, or meditate. You can repeat to yourself, I am healthy and I have a strong immune system.
After adding good things, avoid the negative and toxic
What can you avoid now and everyday to improve your baseline health and immune system? I recommend first focusing on what you can add then you can look at what you can avoid. Avoid sugar and alcohol as both decrease your health and immune function. In 1973 a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on humans showed that a glass of orange juice dropped innate immune response by 50%. Orange juice, doesn’t that have vitamin C you ask? Yes, it does but the toxic effect of sugar erased the benefit of the vitamin C. Avoid the constant fear, fear, you are going to die messages. This barrage of fear messages creates the same stress hormones that being mugged in a dark alley would create.
Focus on what you can control. What you put in matters. Block our what can harm you. Do this everyday not just during an Epidemic/Pandemic/health crisis.
Be Healthy Be the Best You
Dr. Bryan Ludwig, Progressive Chiropractic Cobleskill NY 12043