Integrative Health Blog

Let's Think About Virus Prevention

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2020

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was Right

It is more important to understand the patient who has a disease, than it is to understand the disease that a patient has.  ~ Hippocrates

Now that we are mostly through the first stages of the Corona or COVID-19 pandemic, we can appreciate that all the good preventative efforts (masks, social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting, etc.) have slowed the spread, giving our healthcare system “breathing room” to process new cases. 

Of course, as I have often explained, the media and governmental agencies tend to focus only on the virus and not on our innate immunity, which is our best defense system.  However, having slowed the spread of COVID-19, it gives us all time to think about ways to enhance our immune systems, so I will reiterate here some information from my previous articles for two important reasons:

  • It looks like COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, and while you may have escaped the first wave, it is a good idea to beef up your immunity now and for a long time to come. Don’t drop your guard.  Just remember the acronym, ABCD and…Z.  Everything that you do to enhance your immune system also helps protect you from cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

  • The latest research on Vitamin D from 10 countries shows (surprise, surprise) that deaths are much lower in those who have higher vitamin D levels.

Be sure to have your physician test your Vitamin D level, and keep it optimized.  The ideal levels are greater than 50 ng/mL.

Basic Supplements to Support the Immune System

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Tags: immune system, integrative medicine

Improve Your Immune System Health to Fight Virus

Posted by on Wed, Apr 15, 2020

We are ALL concerned about how exposure to coronavirus could adversely affect the health of ourselves and our loved ones. We want to know:

  • Am I at high risk for COVID-19?

  • Is my immune system strong enough?

  • What can I do at home to remain healthy while social distancing?

  • What should I be eating?

  • Are there certain vitamins or minerals that may help?

The key to who gets sick and who does not lies in the strength of their immune system. The healthier you are, the better chance you have at fighting the Coronavirus. To combat coronavirus, or any flu or cold or virus, we must first support the immune system.

But how do we do this?

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Tags: flu, immune system, functional medicine, virus

Coronavirus: Healing the Gastrointestinal Tract to Boost Immunity

Posted by on Sat, Apr 11, 2020

One of the ways to tune up your immune system and give you more resistance to the Coronavirus is to heal your intestines.  A healthy gastrointestinal tract is often synonymous with a healthy immune system, which strengthens your resistance to any and all infections.

Roughly 60% to 80% of our entire immune system is estimated to surround our gastrointestinal tract to keep our microbiome, the bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses, in check.   If an overgrowth of unfriendly flora occurs or our immune system is reacting to various foods (e.g., food allergy), a lot of our immune systems energy is diverted to the intestines and away from the immune system’s other responsibilities such as resisting or fighting infectious invaders like Coronavirus.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Microbiome

How can we tell if the immune system is wasting its energy fighting food proteins or the flora growing in our intestines?  One way is to consider symptoms.  If bloating, excess gas, abdominal discomfort, loose stools, acid reflux or constipation are a regular occurrence, you may be suffering with food allergy/sensitivity and/or the overgrowth of unfriendly intestinal flora.  Sometimes it is impossible to figure out which foods are involved, and which micro-organisms are overgrown without diagnostic functional medicine testing, like a stool test, a urine test and blood work.  Once the diagnosis is made, it’s a relatively simple process to correct the flora and get your immune system to then divert its attention away from the intestines to other parts of your body.

Healing the Gut with the 5 R’s

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Tags: immune system, gut, functional medicine, integrative medicine, virus

Coronavirus: It's Not Just About the Virus (Mostly)

Posted by on Tue, Apr 07, 2020

It’s more important to treat the person with a disease, than it is to treat the disease that a person has.

                                                                                                  ~Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine

When I was in medical school almost 50 years ago, we were recruited for an experiment to test the common cold virus (i.e., a rhinovirus).  I didn’t volunteer even though some extra spending money would have been nice, but my classmates did.  Students were selected who had essentially no antibodies to rhinovirus.  In exchange for a pittance, researchers at the University of Virginia Medical School divided the volunteers into four groups (if my ancient recollection serves me well): 

  • Group 1 was the control and received no virus.

  • Group 2 received a very low dose.

  • Group 3 received a moderate dose.

  • Group 4 received a high dose.

As you might expect, no one in group 1 became ill, whereas everyone in group 4 got a cold.  A few in group 2 came down with the sniffles and about half of those in group 3 “caught” the cold.  The takeaway from this outcome was that we all have a dosage threshold of inoculation.  Despite this well-established fact, I see little discussion about immune resistance to the corona virus and almost all discussion is about the virus itself.  It’s as if the quote above from the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, has never been heard.  It’s also similar to integrative cancer treatment – modern medicine’s expertise treats the cancer but may tend to ignore the whole person (with an immune system), who is fighting and killing cancer cells.

The Role of the Immune System

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Tags: immune system, functional medicine, integrative medicine, virus

Winter is Coming! Prepare for a Healthy Season with Essential Oils

Posted by on Mon, Oct 14, 2019

Please join us for a fun and informative class and learn how to use essential oils to stay healthy and stress-free this winter!

Title: “Winter is Coming! Prepare for a Healthy, Stress-Free Season with Essential Oils”

Date:  Wednesday, OCTOBER 23, 2019

Time:  6:00- 7:30 pm

Place: National Integrated Health Associates

           Washington, D.C.

Presenters:  Janette Coffee, CHC, and Denia Tapscott, MD

REGISTER                

As the weather is starting to cool and leaves are starting to change, we are heading into one of my favorite seasons.  Fall always reminds me of my childhood and the excitement of getting back to school, sweaters, boots and the start of the holiday season. 

However, as we head into fall and winter, we also enter the dreaded cold and flu season.  Plus, the added busyness of getting back to into a routine after the summer, and all the extra responsibilities as we prepare for the holiday season can increase our stress levels.   When we are stressed our immune system can be compromised, and we might be more susceptible to those unwanted “bugs.”

Using essential oils as part of a daily self-care routine may help support the immune system and promote relaxation and better sleep.  Essential oils are known to have powerful cleansing and purifying properties, which may help boost immunity and reduce feelings of stress. 

Wouldn’t it be great to truly thrive and experience abundant health and energy as we head into this season? 

Using Essential Oils

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Tags: immune system, essential oils

Vitamin D for Disease Prevention and Optimal Health

Posted by on Tue, Jul 09, 2019

Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for your health at every age.  In fact, the illnesses associated with vitamin D deficiency are numerous. Recent studies on vitamin D reveal the hazards of D-deficiency and the benefits by maintaining an optimum level:

  • Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a greater risk for cancer.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased incidence and severity of asthma and wheezing disorders.
  • Vitamin D deficiency affects the cardiovascular system. Deficiency of vitamin D increases the risk for heart attack, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.
  • Vitamin D has been shown to be an effective treatment for psoriasis.
  • Vitamin D supplementation reduces the incidence of autoimmune diseases, specifically multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes (when taken during infancy).
  • Vitamin D enhances the immune response and provides protection against upper respiratory infections, influenza, and middle ear infections.

Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency

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Tags: vitamins and minerals, immune system

Vitamin D Helps with Seasonal Changes and Immunity

Posted by on Thu, Oct 25, 2018

As the population of North America progresses through seasonal changes from summer to fall and then into winter our bodies also go through critical changes.   

The days get colder and shorter with decreased sunlight exposure promoting changes and alterations in our immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems (especially the brain) as well as lesser changes with the other body systems.  

These seasonal changes will bring illness unless our systems are healthy enough to adequately adapt.  Because a large percentage of our population is already unhealthy (huge numbers are obese, pre-diabetic or worse- highly stressed, immune compromised, or have chronic disease ) seasonal changes will add another level of stress which frequently results in illness.

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Tags: vitamins and minerals, immune system

IV Therapy Can Help With Energy and Immunity

Posted by on Tue, Oct 03, 2017

Many people remember the days when intravenous (IV) therapies were used only for medications and around surgery. Now, IV's are tailored to the individual needs of the patient, and we can give IV fluids and nutrients for everything from hangover recovery (yes, really) to cancer support.

IV therapy delivers nutrients directly to the bloodstream where they can be absorbed quickly and effectively.

Myers cocktail is probably the best known nutritional IV and can be used in many situations such as fatigue, illness prevention after exposure to germs, recovery from surgery, hangovers, immune support, upper respiratory infection, and more.

IVs for Infection or Chronic Illness

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Tags: immune system, IV therapy

3 Ways to Improve Your Child's Gut Health and Immune System

Posted by on Mon, May 04, 2015

Gastrointestinal symptoms occur frequently in children.

Unexplained abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and gassiness all commonly prompt a visit to the doctor’s office. More and more research is showing the importance of gut health for a child's healthy immune system, healthy brain and overall wellness. Therefore, here are some ideas for optimizing your child’s gut health:

A healthy gut starts with a healthy diet

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Tags: immune system, children's health

How Holistic Dentistry Supports Your Immune System

Posted by on Thu, Jan 08, 2015

Mark McClure DDS

Have you ever wondered what will determine whether you remain healthy or get sick with cancer, heart disease, dementia, neuro-degenerative disease, chronic fatigue, the flu, a cold or Ebola?

It’s the immune system, stupid!

While I don’t usually use the word “stupid” - in this case it helps to illustrate the obvious fact of what really keeps us healthy, what prevents us from getting sick, what helps us recover quickly when we do get sick…is our amazing immune system!

In other words, it’s your immune system that keeps you healthy, strong and aging gracefully. Likewise, it is your grandchild’s immune system that will determine whether they will develop autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, mental health issue,  diabetes, breast cancer (see Dr. Fuller's article Can Half of Breast Cancers Be Prevented?) or any other of the modern "epidemic" childhood diseases that are ravishing our youth’s health.

Of course genes play a role, but for purposes of this article I want to talk about the role of the immune system and how your dentist can support a healthier system. Dental treatment should be safe and effective and impact the rest of the body as little as possible.

A Healthy Mouth Affects Your Overall Health

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Tags: mercury free dentist, immune system, biological dentistry, holistic dentistry