Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week, we’re going to go over some of the latest Covid-19 findings as it relates to you. I want to go over some things that are actionable and within your control, especially as we head into Flu season.
So far, I’ve treated 50 cases of Covid-19 through telemedicine over the last month. From individuals to whole families who have had it.
I’m optimistic right now. It’s the middle of Fall and things are trending toward opening back up and people getting back to work and school. Life is returning to some semblance of normalcy. I don’t think it will ever quite be the same though, as we’ve realized for many reasons we weren’t quite prepared for this.
It will change the way we do things as far as infectious disease is concerned, and my hope is that good things will come out of this bad situation.
Flu season is coming up. The flu is hard to predict. The flu shot sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. I don’t take the flu shot anymore, which is weird for me to say as a 65 year old doctor who has recommended flu shots in the past. But I’m skeptical of the flu shot.
I won’t say don’t take a flu shot. If you’re at risk, then you should probably take the flu shot. I’m not against it. Vaccines can be hit or miss. It’s an inexact science.
The same thing might be true of the Covid-19 vaccine. Whether it’s the answer or not, I don’t know. I’m not convinced that it is. My opinion is that we need to continue to develop herd immunity. The main thing is to realize that we’re a susceptible nation. Chronic illness and the obesity epidemic, which is the main risk factor in my opinion besides very elderly people.
The focus has to be on starting to build your immune system up, so that if you do get exposed you’ll be able to shake it off, or not even get it. Half the people who get Covid-19 don’t get symptoms of Covid-19. 100% of the people who get the flu get symptoms. With Covid-19 that’s not the case. It’s a very unusual virus.
Covid-19, Hormones, and your Immune System
As I continue to do research, read on this, and use common sense, I want to again point out things you can do to take care of your immune system.
For those of you with diabetes or hypertension, make sure those are well controlled.
One of the main reasons I started Performance Medicine was to fight the obesity epidemic. In mainstream medicine you put patients on one drug on top of another to treat metabolic syndrome, instead of getting to the root of the problem.
The root of the problem in most cases is that people are obese. They’re eating the wrong foods for one thing. Medications used to treat these illnesses help make the numbers look better, but if you’re still obese it’s not helping you much in my opinion.
Always remember, your goal is to take less medication.
An interesting fact is that women are dying less frequently of Covid than men. There are a couple of reasons for this: ACE2 receptors and Estrogen.
ACE2 receptors – This is the portal the virus enters through your lungs. This receptor is one major cause of high blood pressure. Some hypertension medicines are ACE2 receptor blockers. Men have more hypertension because they have more ACE2 receptors. This is one reason why hypertension is a major risk factor for dying of Covid, and even getting Covid.
Hormones are playing a big role in this disease as well. Testosterone is very protective against Covid. If you have optimal testosterone levels you’re more likely to do fine. The general health of your body is better with testosterone. It helps build muscle which burns fat. It improves energy and mood, and helps your immune system.
Another main player is estrogen. It turns out that estrogen is very protective for women in prevention of Covid. It gets complex, but estrogen interacts with ACE2 receptors. Women, as you know, are protected against heart disease because of estrogen. When women go through menopause they catch up with men with heart disease.
For postmenopausal women, this is yet another reason to get on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
When your hormones decline, you decline in every way. You’re more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, and general frailty. And you’re also more susceptible to viruses because your immune system is lowered.
You also cannot ignore your gut when it comes to your immune system.
How’s your gut (digestive system)? This is one of the first questions I ask anyone who comes in to see me. Pay attention to your gut and take a probiotic.
Your gut has a lot to do with nourishing your body. If your gut is off, what that means is you aren’t digesting food well which means you aren’t getting the nutrients you need into your bloodstream and cells. Your gut bacteria is out of balance.
The good and bad bacteria in your gut has more DNA than your own DNA. It’s what we call the microbiome. This microbiome has as much to do with your health as anything in your body. It’s amazing what it does, and no one realizes it.
Remember, 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. That’s why I’m talking about it as it relates to Covid-19.
So take a probiotic.
Gluten Shield is my favorite probiotic. It has prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, lactase and a gluten blocker. It can turn around IBS and leaky gut symptoms.
Most of this is common sense stuff. Stay healthy. Everything else falls in place. You’re much less susceptible to getting viruses, and if you do get a virus you’re much more able to fight it off.
Note on Vitamins for Covid-19: Vitamin D with K, Vitamin C with Quercetin, Zinc, and a Probiotic.