Letter to Patients
by Dr Shideh Pouria
We are in the midst of the biggest crisis in living memory. Whilst the greatest concern is regarding how the virus will impact the health and wellbeing of us and our loved ones, the whole fabric of our human lifestyle is affected and changing. Whilst change may be difficult, the truth is that the necessity for change has been long overdue, if not for reasons other than a pandemic. The mindlessness with which humanity has treated its own health and the health of the planetary ecosystems is not sustaining nor is it sustainable. This is symptomatic of the dominant paradigm of ‘I do because I can’ and not because it is right. Already we see that through reduced consumption and travel, the waterways in Venice are clearer and the fish have come back! The airspaces are purer and people have turned their attention to their community and how they can support each other. There is much hope and we must keep faith that humanity may take this opportunity to change its course.
So, while we health practitioners are here to deal with and support everyone with the effects of the current pandemic, we hope to take the time through this enforced retreat into the simple life on how we got here and how we can change things for the better for one and all. Whilst there is much fear and confusion generated by the pandemic, we ask you to think clearly about how you can protect yourself and others firstly by following the very simple hygiene and protective guidelines that the government agencies have covered extensively which are aimed at slowing down the spread. Also through other measures which support our intrinsic capacity for immunity and improving your body’s natural defences we can protect human health and enhance resilience.
What are some of the recommendations? Well many of you are already doing this by:
· Hydrating well with pure water
· Eating real wholesome food that nourishes you and supports the diversity of the microbial community. This in turn ensures good immune function, giving the upper hand to your body versus any invading infections and reduced inflammation which wastes your body’s resources and causes damage to your tissues and organs.
· IF you are still smoking or Vaping NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO STOP.
· The same is true of excess alcohol consumption.
· Good sleep recharges the immune system and repairs tissues. It is more important than ever now to get the right number of hours of sleep especially before midnight.
· Get as much sunshine as you possibly can as this not only boosts vitamin D levels, it also recharges your immunity, creates a more efficient metabolism, as well as lifting mood! So please follow the ‘light hygiene’ meticulously: Light by day and darkness at night so that the light meter in your brain (the pineal) which has been bombarded with light pollution by night can reset itself and your immune function.
· Exercise within the space you have, inside the house, on the balcony or in the garden. Ground yourself on any soil that you have access to. Sit under a tree maybe even hug one if you don’t feel too self-conscious about it!! Grow you own food in the garden or on window sills. We need to stay connected to nature for myriad reasons. This is particularly important for our children whom staying home now from school may be on their mobile devices for 16+ hours per day. This not only has clear emotional effects but will also erode their physical (and our mental!) health through various pathways.
· Connect with community through the old fashioned ways. Write and call friends, family and neighbours. Maintain an online presence safely. Computers are better than being constantly on the mobile device. But keep a balance between staying connected and having time to yourself.
· The most important way to prepare is to be spiritually ready for whatever it is we face. When we are centred, aligned and connected, we can overcome the greatest crises. Practice any form of relaxation, mindfulness or meditation that speaks to you. Whatever form this takes: music making, poetry, meditation, walking the dog, hugging the cat, laughing, breathing, or yoga, we know that such practices also balance the automatic part of our nervous system that can get stuck in the ‘fight fright and flight’ mode when people are anxious. We know from scientific studies that chronic stress suppresses immunity and damages our body in particular the nervous system. So avoid stress at all cost and learn to only ‘sweat the big things’ not the little things.
What else can you do to protect yourself from the nutritional point of view? The first step is to keep the virus numbers down so the immune system has a chance to control them more easily. Using one or more of the following strategies in order of ease/importance:
· 3-6 grams Vitamin C powder daily in a large glass bottle of water to drink through the day little and often. Vitamin C has been shown in scientific studies to kill micro-organisms on contact, to boost immune function and to protect against oxidative stress.
· If available add 15mg of zinc drops to the vitamin C/water mix or take one capsule per day
· Add 1-2 drops of liquid selenium to above mixture 100ug-200ug capsules per day.
· In case of sore throat you may IF NOT ALLERGIC to iodine put 1-2 drops of Lugol’s iodine in a glass of water and gargle morning and evening. You can also try to inhale iodine (either on a salt pipe or if not available a couple of drops of Lugol's on cotton wool) by taking 10 sniffs twice daily
· Use iodine oil (10 parts coconut oil to one part Lugol's) about a marble size amount on hands and face rubbed in before any foreign contacts. You may use this in addition to the hand sanitizer.
· Vitamin D3 daily at least 2000IU or as per the latest Vitamin D3 levels
· Eat probiotic foods or take any broad spectrum probiotics. It is good time to learn to make fermented foods. There is plenty of information on line. Don’t waste the leftover bits of raw veg fruit and herbs
· Other supplements that help are phosphatidylcholine in protecting cellular structures; any antioxidants examples of which are resveratrol, polyphenols, quercetin, pycnogenol, CoQ10, or glutathione.
In case of contracting the virus the immune system will be better placed to protect you and your body is less likely to breakdown as a result of injury from the infection. Therefore the second step will be to slow the rate of viral replication. At the first sign of any symptoms increase dose of Vitamin C to bowel tolerance, inhale iodine every 2 hours, do not suppress fever or symptoms arising from it unless very high or uncomfortable with anti-pyrexial drugs to allow the immune system to deal with the virus effectively. You may try to reduce symptoms with simple measures such as Epsom Salt baths or tepid water flannels or baths. The virus apparently is very heat sensitive. If you have access to a sauna, or can do inhalations with essential oils such as eucalyptus or lavender, this can reduce the numbers in the nose and sinuses. Problems arise when the viral numbers get so high that the immune system goes into overdrive. It takes several days of severe symptoms for this to happen. This is called a cytokine storm. Vitamin C is still helpful to damp this down but this is really when treatment in hospital with oxygen and anti-inflammatories may be life -saving. In China these seriously ill patients are being treated with intravenous vitamin C with good results.
I am sending you all my very best wishes and thoughts at this time of crisis. Let us turn this emergency into a time of emergence of a new path for humanity. On the first day of spring, we look forward to the season of light and new beginnings. Be safe and well.