Diet and Nutrition health Articles

Are You Sick of Coronavirus?

Coronavirus has changed the way we live now and has affected the entire world in one way or another. I am so sick of COVID-19 and my new lifestyle (watching television for all the COVID-19 updates). I (and my family) have been fortunate to have not been afflicted. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who are medical, emotional, and financial victims.

coronavirus maps

While I am not a doctor, political figure or any of the brave heroes fighting this pandemic on the front lines. I thought I’d reach out and share some information that may be of value to you.

Coronavirus By Name

According to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, COVID-19 is a disease, caused by the virus: SARS-CoV-2. “Co” refers to corona, “vi” to virus and “d” to disease. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 is the test that identifies infection status, not COVID-19.

So, Coronavirus is a new addition to the SARS-CoV-2 family which causes many illnesses. Some pathogens in the family are benign; for example a cold. While others are more serious infections like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This may be the reason for the broad range of symptoms that we hear about.

Clinical Case History

When you read about coronavirus symptoms and are unsure about your health status, always “trust your gut”. According to the first identified US case of coronavirus in Snohomish County, Washington. A 35-year-old male suffered from nausea and vomiting along with a persistent cough for 2 days before he was diagnosed.

Shortness of breath and fever WAS NOT an early symptom. After hospital admission, January 20, 2020, the patient developed these symptoms. Dry mucous membranes were noted. It wasn’t until almost a week later that he started to develop fevers.

By the time a fever (currently a necessary symptom for testing) spiked, coronavirus had already advanced from the initial symptoms of infection. It was not until the evening of his 5th day of hospitalization (9th day of actual illness) that he entered into respiratory distress. Oxygen saturation (a measure of how much hemoglobin is currently bound to oxygen compared to how much hemoglobin remains unbound) dropped to as low as 90%.

OXYGEN LEVELS

 < 95%

Need Oxygen

95% to 100%

Normal

Days 6 & 7 brought on respiratory distress and pneumonia, he was medically treated. And then, on the 8th day of admission and after almost 2 weeks of being sick, his condition started to improve.

A Look At What We Know About Coronavirus

Fast forward to recent data published in The Lancet which tells us critically important information. The data helps us to make our own decisions regarding social distancing and viral shedding (contagiousness) of Coronavirus.

  1. Presently people are typically not being given antiviral treatment until day 14 of illness onset. This may change as we more testing kits.
  2. While 14 days seems like the magic number for quarantine, being contagious is not a finite number and may be related to the severity of the disease.  For example, viral shedding lasts between 18-30 days. Those who were in critical condition shed the disease for a month. Those who were less ill and categorized as severe seem to be contagious for fewer days, 17-22.
  3. With Coronavirus, once may not be enough to protect you from getting it twice.

Lessons To Be Learned

Of course, since the first reported coronavirus case, there are many more lessons to be learned. However, finding reliable sources of information may be difficult.

Even the experts are still on a learning curve. They are scrambling to help keep us Coronavirus safe and what they think is helpful today can compromise health tomorrow. It is hard to differentiate between fact or fiction.

Fact: According to recent data from the CDC, at least 2,572 cases are children under 18 years of age. Symptoms in children are less severe. Yet, 3 children in the US have died.

  • Fiction: Animals can’t get coronavirus.

Fact: A puppy in China and reports from the Bronx zoo contradict this. It seems that animals can be infected with the virus but do not have symptoms. The question remains. Can animals be coronavirus carriers and transmit the disease to humans?

  • Fiction: There is no need to wear a mask.

Fact: A mask is a physical barrier that can protect you, period. Many people today are wearing masks in public.

5 More Coronavirus Facts:

genetics and covid

  1. We know that 25% of COVID-19 carriers are symptomless.
  2. If you stay at home in a COVID-19 free environment you cannot get the virus.
  3. Genetics or blood type may determine your fate if you do fall victim to COVID-19.  In particular, the ACE2 gene may regulate coronavirus access into the lungs. Other studies suggest that Type A blood types are more likely to suffer from the virus and those with type O seem to have a significantly lower risk.
  4. It is difficult to know the window of contamination from contact to infection and symptoms. It seems if you have coronavirus you are sick for about 2-3 weeks.
  5. Make sure you are healthy and have a strong immune system.

Handy Health Coronavirus Tools 

  • Social distancing is the number one tool for containing the virus.
  • Devices that protect your skin and airways acting as a physical barrier such as masks & gloves.
  • A humidifier can keep dry mucous membranes moist.
  • The fingerprint pulse oximeter can offer peace of mind if suffering from coronavirus.
Finger oximeter

Which Nutrients Support Respiratory Health?

Specific nutrients have been found to contribute to lung health. Supplements can interact with medications or provoke an allergic reaction. Speak with your doctor before embarking on nutritional remedies for health.

My nutritional supplement list provides the basics for building, repairing, and strengthening the lungs to protect against medical conditions that involve the airway, like asthma or coronavirus.

NUTRIENTS SUPPORTING LUNG HEALTH

Vitamin A is used to build and repair lung tissue. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin A is 900 mcg (men) and 700 mcg (women) per day. So consider these food sources include yellow and orange veggies, liver, spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin C  has been established as an immune-boosting powerhouse. There is also evidence of its specific role in lung health. Recommendations range from  90 mg to 2,000 mg a day.  Orange juice is not the only source of vitamin C. Peppers, tomato juice, Brussel sprouts, and sauerkraut are all filled with this vital nutrient.

Vitamin D  when low correlates with low lung function. Normal levels are associated with better lung function. Vitamin D supports respiration and is associated with airway infections similar to coronavirus. 600-800 IU are current recommendations but its debatable some experts say 2-2-5x more is better. Sitting in the sun during non-peak hours and these food sources should help vitamin D levels: egg yolk, fatty fish, portobello or maitake mushrooms.

Zinc supplementation may help decrease labored breathing. Sources of zinc are red meat, lamb and pork, nuts and seeds, eggs and nutritional yeast.

Saturated fat and cholesterol contribute to healthy lung function via lung surfactant. Lung surfactant supports normal breathing and protects the lungs from diseases like coronavirus. Unfortunately, overeating ice cream and baked goods will not help. Healthy saturated fats (egg yolk, animal fat, butter, ghee, cod liver and even a Tablespoon of coconut oil) should be included in your daily eating routine.

Glycine protects cells and supports the immune system. Despite its function as a broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory, glycine can be toxic when supplemented at high doses. Therefore, eat glycine containing foods (gelatin, bone broth, seafood, and spinach).

Total Body Immune Health is Also Critical

These are a few nutrients that help build good health and protect against coronavirus. However, there is so much you can do for your entire immune system: Your skin, spleen,  gut, thymus, and bone marrow. Immunity is important because we may be faced with another wave of the virus. If this happens, there is the possibility that those who have been exposed to COVID-19 and who have been sick have the risk of reinfection. Therefore, it is better to maintain a strong immune system.

Sick of Coronavirus Wrap up:

History repeats itself as another strain of SARS-CoV-2 sweeps the world. I think we are all sick of the coronavirus but we do not all have to get critically ill from coronavirus. We may be nearing the peak as time and social distancing seem to be working in our favor.

This is a diagram that shows how the coronovirus peaksWill we have to ride another wave? If so, we will be better prepared.

We are all on a learning curve when it comes to the COVID-19.  However, if we use common sense and follow government direction we can save lives! I hope that the information here is useful in helping to keep you healthy always, not just during this pandemic.

About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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