COVID19 -What You Can Do

COVID19 is on everyone’s mind now and you may wonder what you can do to help prevent you from getting the virus and/or to protect yourself from getting the more severe form of COVID19 that could kill you.

The news media has done a very good job of scarring everyone about the incidence of the virus, which is going up dramatically as more testing is performed. However, death rates appear to be leveling and are staying rather stable. In the DFW area, death rates are around 1.7% using only confirmed cases. If you add the estimated 35% who are asymptomatic, the death rate is around 1.2%, which is about the same death rate as the flu.

Who Dies of COVID19?

Around 90% to 95% of the people who die from COVID19 sequelae have comorbidities.[1] In other words, they have one or more of the following: [2]

  • obesity (BMI>30)[3]
  • diabetes (associated with obesity)[4]
  • COPD (associated with smoking)
  • severe heart disease (associated with the above three conditions)
  • severe liver disease (associated many times with obesity)
  • Immunocompromised (e.g. from cancers)

 

What Can You Do to Decrease You’re Risk of Dying from COVID19?

Most of us fear the sequelae of death from COVID19. It’s therefore obvious what we must do to prevent this sequela. According to HHS, most likely almost everyone will get COVID19 over time since it is such an infectious disease. Thus, if you want to decrease your chances of death from COVID, do the following:

  • If you’re obese, lose weight and get to a normal weight as quickly as you can
  • Losing weight and maintaining a normal weight can cure type 2 diabetes or at least reduce your needs for diabetic drugs significantly and make you healthier.
  • Stop smoking immediately. If you have COPD from smoking, at least stopping smoking may reduce the severity of the COPD.
  • If you have heart disease, determine why. The top three items are the top items that cause heart disease, i.e. obesity, diabetes, smoking.
  • If you have liver disease, determine why. One of the most frequent causes of liver disease fatty liver that occurs when you are obese. Others include viral infections and alcoholism.
  • If you have cancer, protect yourself from others while you are immunocompromised. Do social distancing.[5]

Supplements to Boost Your Immune System

Other actions you can take include boosting your immune system efficiency so it can fight infectious agents better. Supplements may help, including curcumin,[6] green tea extract,[7] omega 3 fish oils, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and others with similar immune boosting supplements are beneficial.[8]

Taking these types of supplements is a great way to potentially protect yourself from many age-related chronic medical illnesses, including heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Maximize the immune boosting benefits of these supplements to improve your health. Combined with losing weight, exercising and staying fit and healthy, they may also help you to fight off COVID19 and other viral infections too.

One especially important supplement to take is Vitamin D. As you can see from the graph below, darker skin colored races seem to have worse outcomes from COVID19 than lighter colored ones. In addition, because the darker skin blocks sun’s UV rays from penetrating the skin to produce Vitamin D within you body, most darker colored skin people tend to have very low Vitamin D levels.

It has been proven that those people with low Vitamin D levels tend to have more severe cases of COVID. If you have low vitamin D levels, there is a 70% protective effect when Vitamin D deficiency is corrected with supplementation.[9] This is partly the reason for the disparity noted on the graph below. Of course, there are other reasons, as noted on the CDC site.[10] But boosting your level of Vitamin D is a good way to potentially reduce your risk no matter what race you are.[11]

Peptides for COVID19

Peptides are compounds that signal certain processes to occur within your body. One potentially beneficial peptide for COVID19 is called Thymosin. This peptide helps activate T-cells to be more efficient in killing invading microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

T-cells are immune cells produced by in your bone marrow along with the other blood products such as your red and other white blood cells. Another name for them are Killer T-cells. They essentially kill viruses and bacteria that have infected your cells. The T-cells basically drill a hole into the infected cell and secret cytotoxins into the cell. These cytotoxins kill the viruses and bacteria within the cell. When enough of these eradicate the virus or bacteria from your body, you’re cured.

When you’re a child, you have a thymus gland in your chest which makes T-cells. It also secretes a substance which activates the T-cells that were made within the bone marrow. This substance is thymosin,  a peptide produced by the thymus gland.

 

Unfortunately, as you get older, your thymus gland gets smaller and smaller until it is almost hardly perceptible in your 70’s, having been replaced with just fat. Along with this decline in the thymus is a corresponding decline in immune efficiency. This immune decline makes older people more susceptible to diseases such as viral and bacterial diseases.

COVID19 produces hardly any attacks on children. In fact, most children are either asymptomatic yet have the virus, or they have minimal symptoms. [12]The older you get the more likely that COVID19 will result in severe sequelae and even death. This is exemplified in the above graph from the CDC:

The older you get, the higher chance you could die from COVID19. However, there is something you can do to potentially reduce this risk. That something is to inject thymosin into your body to activate your T-cells in a similar fashion as what your thymus did when you were young. Thymosin has been shown to decrease the severity of COVID19.[13] Thymosin injections are available and are easily administered.

Hydroxychloroquine therapy

Although controversial, hydroxychloroquine therapy can decrease the severity of COVID19 infections as discussed in a prior blog.  A recent study performed at the Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan demonstrated a 39% decrease in fatal outcomes from COVID19 when HCQ was used.[14]

How TrueMD Can Help You

We have many options available for you at TrueMD that you could do to help you in preventing the severe sequelae from COVID19. Here’s a summary:

  • Weight-Loss programs – We offer weight-loss programs that help change your metabolism to burning fat and getting the weight off. Reducing obesity is the first step to getting you healthier so you could fight COVID19 better.
  • Diabetes screening – we offer diabetes screening for anyone, especially if you are overweight. If you are prediabetic, take action as soon as you can to help stop your progression to becoming diabetic. Microvascular changes start occurring in the prediabetic state, so if you correct the problem early you could potentially prevent these changes from progressing.
  • Smoking cessation consultation – if you smoke, we are more than happy to help you quit smoking through medications that have shown to be helpful. There are many options and all work, as long as you have made the decision to stop smoking. It is up to YOU to make that decision. We can help you with the withdrawal from nicotine, but only YOU can make the decision to stop smoking.
  • Heart disease evaluation – there are blood tests that we can do to screen you for arterial disease which could be a sign of heart problems. Heart attacks occur due to plaque formation within the arteries of the heart. This is arterial damage, and if it’s happening in the heart it’s happening elsewhere in your body. There is evidence suggesting that COVID19 sequelae is due to arterial disease.[15] Knowing if you’re a candidate for therapy is your first step to treating it. But you need to know if this process is happening and easy blood tests can help determine this.
  • Liver screens – blood tests to determine if you have liver problems. If abnormal, we can direct further testing to find the cause. If due to obesity, the most common cause is fatty liver. This can be a serious problem but reversible by losing weight. Taking certain supplements and medications may also help.
  • Cancer screens and possible supplements to help prevent it – we discuss screens for certain cancers to help you detect them at an early stage. In addition, there are certain supplements that may confer some protective effects for cancer development. We can discuss these during your visit.
  • Supplements – we offer many immune boosting supplements to help you fight off infections and improve your health. In addition, we offer Vitamin D therapy, supplements and injections, to boost your level of Vitamin D.
  • Peptide therapy – We offer peptide therapy including thymosin to help you replenish this peptide into your body and activate your T-cells to work better at doing what they do, being Killer T-cells.
  • Hydroxychloroquine therapy – if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID19 infection, such as cough, fever, shortness or breath, malaise or diarrhea and may have been exposed to COVID19, we offer a way to get a prescription for HCQ. Call the office and we’ll schedule a Telemedicine consult and get you started.

If you are interested in getting started on any of these actions, call our office for a consultation and let’s see how we can help you get your body in better shape to not only fight off COVID19, but also to live life better with better health. There’s no reason to let your guard down to the Corona virus when there are actions you can do.

[1] Baun S. How Comorbidities Affect COVID-19 Severity in the U.S. NEJM Journal Watch. April 3, 2020. https://www.jwatch.org/na51296/2020/04/03/how-comorbidities-affect-covid-19-severity-us

[2] Guan WJ, Liang WH, Zhao Y, et al. Comorbidity and its impact on 1590 patients with COVID-19 in China: a nationwide analysis. Eur Respir J. 2020;55(5):2000547. Published 2020 May 14. doi:10.1183/13993003.00547-2020

[3] Petrakis D, et al. Obesity ‑ a risk factor for increased COVID‑19 prevalence, severity and lethality (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports. 22(1) July 2020. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2020.11127

[4] Rubano, S. New Study Reveals Diabetes is Among the Top Three COVID-19 Comorbidities. Diabetes in Control. Jun 2, 2020. http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/new-study-reveals-diabetes-is-among-the-top-three-covid-19-comorbidities/

[5] H Mian, SJ Grant, M Engelhardt, et al. Caring for older adults with multiple myeloma during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspective from the International Forum for Optimizing Care of Older Adults with Myeloma. Journal of geriatric Oncology. 11(2020)764-768. https://www.geriatriconcology.net/article/S1879-4068(20)30190-9/pdf

[6] Zahedipour F, et al. Potential effects of curcumin in the treatment of COVID ‐19 infection. Phytotherapy Research/Early View. 19 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6738

[7] El Barky AR. How to Avoid Coronavirus (COVID-19) or Relief it is Symptoms by Natural Products. Annals of Epidemiology & Public Health. Jun 2020, Link

[8] Kakodkar P, Kaka N, Baig MN. A Comprehensive Literature Review on the Clinical Presentation, and Management of the Pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cureus. 2020;12(4):e7560. Published 2020 Apr 6. doi:10.7759/cureus.7560

[9] Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 2017;356:i6583. Published 2017 Feb 15. doi:10.1136/bmj.i6583

[10] https://usafacts.org/articles/covid-deaths-race-state-age-black-hispanic-white/

[11] Alipio, Mark, Vitamin D Supplementation Could Possibly Improve Clinical Outcomes of Patients Infected with Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) (April 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3571484 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3571484

[12] Ludvigsson JF. Systematic review of COVID‐19 in children shows milder cases and a better prognosis than adults. Acta Paediatrica. 109(6). 23 March 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.15270

[13] Yueping Liu, Yue Pang, Zhenhong Hu, Ming Wu, Chenhui Wang, Zeqing Feng, Congzheng Mao, Yingjun Tan, Ying Liu, Li Chen, Min Li, Gang Wang, Zilin Yuan, Bo Diao, Yuzhang Wu, Yongwen Chen, Thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1) reduces the mortality of severe COVID-19 by restoration of lymphocytopenia and reversion of exhausted T cells, Clinical Infectious Diseases, , ciaa630, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa630

[14] Lee TC, et al. An Observational Cohort Study of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin for COVID-19: (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. Intern. J. of Infectious dis. July 02, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.095. https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30530-0/fulltext

[15] Sardu, C.; Gambardella, J.; Morelli, M.B.; Wang, X.; Marfella, R.; Santulli, G. Is COVID-19 an Endothelial Disease? Clinical and Basic Evidence. Preprints 2020, 2020040204 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0204.v1).

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