Viruses – Until 2020, we didn’t think that much about them. If you had a virus it was probably a cold or something you certainly didn’t think could be fatal. Then COVID-19 came along, and all bets were off. What is a virus? Can we really fight off or help to avoid a virus? And what do we do if we get a virus? Can we treat it at home, homeopathically or naturally with foods, supplements and medications easily found here in N. Michigan? The answer to these questions and more can be found in the following blog by Michigan Health and Wellness.
What is a Virus?
Viruses are microscopic parasites, generally much smaller than bacteria. They lack the capacity to thrive and reproduce outside of a host body. Viruses have a reputation of being the cause of contagion. (Vidyasagar, 2016) When a virus enters your body, it invades some of your cells and takes over the cell machinery, redirecting it to produce the virus. Diseases caused by viruses include chickenpox, AIDS, common colds, etc. (Tosh, 2020)
What is the difference Between a Virus and a Bacterial Infection?
As you might think, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, and viral infections are caused by viruses. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses. (Tosh, 2020)
Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that thrive in many different types of environments. Some varieties live in extremes of cold or heat. Others make their home in people’s intestines, where they help digest food. Most bacteria cause no harm to people, but there are exceptions. Examples of infections caused by bacteria include strep throat, tuberculosis, and urinary tract infections. Inappropriate use of antibiotics has helped create bacterial diseases that are resistant to treatment with different types of antibiotic medications. (Tosh, 2020)
In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether a bacterium or a virus is causing your symptoms. Many ailments — such as pneumonia, meningitis, and diarrhea — can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. (Tosh, 2020)
What is the Standard Treatment for Many Viruses?
Vaccines have been developed for many viruses which is “supposed” to stimulate the body’s defense systems. Immune globulins (think chickenpox, hepatitis B, or rabies). Antiviral drugs (think herpes, HIV, or influenza). There are also non-prescription medications depending on the virus such NSAIDS, topical creams, decongestants, anti-inflammatories, rest, fluids, etc. (Kramer, 2020)
How Can We Help our Bodies Fight Off a Virus Naturally if We Get One?
Although naturopathy and Functional Medicine provides holistic options for better health and building strong immunity, even traditional medicine understands that building resilience is a necessary tool to body and brain health. In a recent article Dr. Sanjay Gupta listed five steps toward growing healthier and happier brains. Step one-Maintain social connection in a physically distanced world. Two-Eat for resiliency. Three-Move more-exercise remains key to mental sharpness and a healthy immune system. Four-Boost immunity through sound sleep. Five-Ward off anxiety and fears by learning something new, to distract from the negative news. (Gupta, 2021)
Can we Help our Bodies Avoid Viruses and Potentially Keep them at Bay?
First, if you must cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow and teach your kids to do the same. Water and sleep are two overlooked simple defenses against viral attacks. Lack of sleep lowers the power of your immune system. In addition, you need a constant flush of eight full glasses of water every day to cleanse your body of metabolic toxins. Being fully hydrated also provides easier access by the cells of your immune system to all parts of the body so there is nowhere for a virus to hide. Wash your hands with soap and water. While disinfecting wipes and sprays are helpful in a pinch, they have their own set of dangers. (Schwan, 2021) Consume Vitamin C and D and consult your naturopathic or functional medicine practitioner on other healthful supplements to strengthen your immune system. Yes, we can arm our bodies to contribute to the defense of potentially warding off viruses. While this is not a guarantee, it is a positive step in fending off the spread of the germs that cause viruses.
Functional Medicine/Functional Neurology and Naturopathic Therapies for Defense and Treatment of Viruses
Functional Medicine is a relationship between a patient and their physician looking at more than just the symptoms of a given disorder but discovering the core reasoning of any condition and what can be done to reduce or alleviate symptoms. This could be through testing to check for other related disorders. Blood and other tests, medical history, review of lifestyle, environmental factors, and diet, both historically and currently, are reviewed before a treatment plan is devised. A discussion of what symptoms the patient has experienced and how it is affecting their life and health is reviewed. Then, the patient and the doctor develop a treatment plan to possibly include supplementation, diet and lifestyle changes and immune boosting therapies. If a patient is suffering from a viral or bacterial infection, this protocol is applicable and is an excellent holistic and naturopathic way to treat these conditions.
Hyperthermic Ozone and Carbonic Acid Treatment Therapy
HOCATT therapy uses a combination of powerful modalities to detox the body down to the cellular level, boost energy and strengthen the immune system. The main modality is Transdermal Ozone which is generated from pure oxygen. This detoxification is beneficial to those who have been exposed to viruses, chemicals or toxins, mold, mildew, parasites and more as ozone inactivates these. Post detoxification nerves are calmed, pain is reduced, free radicals have been scavenged and healing can begin.
Hyperbaric Therapy-has three times higher than normal air pressure. Oxygen is dissolved into all the body’s fluids and carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. Hyperbaric therapy is beneficial for many lung function improvements including edema, infections, inflammation, tissue healing and much more. Hyperbaric chamber therapy is amazingly comfortable, non-invasive and one of the lowest risk medical treatments available.
LED Red Light Bed Therapy
LED Red Light Bed Therapy is a comfortable, non-invasive treatment that repairs tissues, increases circulation, and effectively destroys bacteria. Oxygen is brought to the tissues and patients feel no side effects post treatment.
Pressotherapy helps the body by boosting both blood circulation and lymphatic drainage helping the body to remove toxins and waste products. This is particularly helpful if edema is present in viral or bacterial episode. This therapy is comfortable, painless, and non-invasive.
To learn more call Michigan Health and Wellness for a FREE consultation. Functional Medicine, Functional Neurology, and their relation to the naturopathic and holistic treatment of viruses are managed by our clinical director, Dr. Tony Aboudib, DC. Dr. Aboudib attended post-graduate studies at Carrick Institute for graduate studies in clinical neuroscience, American Functional Neurology Institute, Functional Medicine University, Institute of Functional Medicine and Kharrazian Institute for graduate studies. For more information call 231-421-5213 or click here to go to our Contact Us page to schedule a free consultation.
Covid and the Brain. Gupta, Sanjay MD. (January, 2021). AARP. Pg. 44-47.
What are Viruses? Vidyasagar, Asparna (January, 2016) Live Sciences. Retrieved from What Are Viruses? | Live Science.
Bacterial vs.Viral Infections: How do they differ? Kosh, Pritish MD. (November, 2020). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from Infection: Bacterial or viral? – Mayo Clinic.
Overview of Viral Infections. Kramer, Laura PhD. (April, 2020). Merck. Retrieved from Overview of Viral Infections – Infections – Merck Manuals Consumer Version.
Natural Ways to Avoid Virus Infections. Schwan, Doug DC. (February, 2021) Healthy Living News. Retrieved from Natural ways to avoid nasty virus infections – Healthy Living News | Toledo, OH (hlntoledo.com)