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     2355 Canyon Blvd.   |   Suite 102   |   Boulder, CO 80302

Author: Amy Reidhead

Allergies in the time of COVID-19

There’s bad news and there is good news this allergy season.

There’s bad news and there is good news this allergy season.
 
Many of the symptoms of seasonal allergies can be mistaken for signs and symptoms of other upper respiratory infections including COVID-19. Many symptoms include runny nose, stuffy nose, red eyes, scratchy throat, cough, tight chest and sneezing.
 
Seems the tricky part is how embarrassing it is to have allergies right now. Having a runny nose and sneezing in the grocery line-aaak! It can be a whole situation… Believe me; just imagine the looks you get from other people shopping right now — Ugh.

The good news is that many of the natural things we use to treat seasonal allergies are also great at COVID-19 prevention.

Quercitin — Quercitin is a polyphenol that comes from the skins of many fruits and vegetables including apples and onions and is a natural anti-histamine. It helps take the overall level of histamine during allergy season down a notch. Quercitin also appears to prevent coronavirus from attaching to the ACE receptor on the outside of the cell membrane, blocking the entrance of the virus into the cell and slowing viral replication. Recommended dosing 1200mg twice a day.
 
Diamine Oxidase — Diamine oxidase (DAO), also known as histaminase, is the enzyme that we make to break down and recycle histamine. The highest levels of DAO are found in the digestive tract. Taking this enzyme helps to break down histamine once it is released in the body. Our favorite DAO product is HistDao by Xymogen, take 3-4 capsules as needed throughout the day.
 
Bromelain — Bromalain is an enzyme that comes from pineapples. Taken on an empty stomach, this enzyme gets absorbed and helps to digest inflammation and mucous in the upper respiratory tract. We love this one! Take 2-6 caps on an empty stomach twice daily.
 
NAC — N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of the amino acid cysteine. NAC is mucolytic, anti-viral and is a precursor to glutathione, our body’s most potent antioxidant. NAC is recommended for both seasonal allergies and COVID-19. NAC can be taken orally 900 mg twice daily. NAC is also available in prescription form that may be inhaled to help with asthma and shortness of breath.
 
AllQlear — AllQlear by Integrative Therapeutics has a unique ingredient derived from quail eggs that appears to act as a tryptase inhibitor, stabilizing mast cells and reducing histamine secretion. Chew two tablets twice daily between meals.
 
Sinus Rinsing — Rinsing out the sinuses helps both with seasonal allergies and preventing COVID-19.
 
Read more here about sinus rinsing and all the things you can add to your sinus rinse to make it more powerful! We especially like the nasal ionic silver for allergy season.
We hope you are staying healthy and happy during this great pause.
Let us know if we can help in any way!
 
Please call or email the office. We can ship you an allergy package or anything to help during this crazy time. We can also do curbside pick up.
 
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Up The Nose

What?  Yep, more COVID prevention.  And great for allergy season too!

One great way to help prevent the seeding of a virus into upper respiratory tract is by sinus rinsing.

I recommend the Neil Med system or a neti pot, at least 2X’s/day.  This can help clear out the days exposures, allergens and mucous.  To make this even more effective you can put some biocidin 5-15 drops in your sinus rinse (with your salts or packets.)  Biocidin is an herbal combination with great anti-viral effects.

Get it out of the nose before it goes any further!

And did you know your glymphatic system in your brain detoxes neurotoxins and neuroinflamation and may help prevent dementia of all kinds.  Keeping your sinuses clear and lots of sleep may help with this process.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24199995

Other Things you can Put Up your Nose

Ionized Silver –my favorite is Argentyn23 – Widely know to have well respected anti-microbial effects while being helpful at nipping any virus in the bud. 

Nicatinomide Riboside (or RG3) – A compounded nasal spray increases NAD which increases mitochondrial function.  Incredible for fatigue, brain fog, and or neurodetoxification.

Nicatinomide Riboside (or RG3) – This compounded nasal spray increases NAD which increases mitochondrial function.  Incredible for fatigue, brain fog, neurodetoxification.

Glutathione –compounded intranasal glutathione –there’s some great emerging data on glutathione as helpful to prevent the cytokine storm in COVID 19.  And when you spray it up your nose, you have better access to you central nervous system – for neurodetoxification and brain healing. Great for brain fog too!

Sinus rinse and prevent viral infection, improve allergies and neurodetoxification!

If you think you may have a fungal sinusitis from mold or yeast, contact our office to get tested or your favorite functional medicine doctor.

If you suspect you may have marcons (multiple antibiotic resistance coag negative staph), we can test you for that too!

Steps to building emotional resilience in uncertain times

As we enter the seventh week (or is it week 107?) of social distancing and quarantine, for some, ongoing social isolation may be eroding our ability to be happy. No matter who you are, we have all suffered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The structure of our day-to-day lives as well as our roles and responsibilities have drastically changed. Globally, we are experiencing this pandemic together, but the uncertainty and fear of quarantine has us sheltering at home, compounding feelings of loneliness, sadness, guilt, doubt, anger distrust and disorientation.
 
A review article looking at the impact of the more recent SARs and MERs epidemics and concluded that quarantine had significant mental health consequences, especially among healthcare workers, those infected with the virus and in those with previous mental health concerns.

Reviewing these studies found quarantining for as little as two weeks was associated with a dramatic rise in depression, anxiety, anger, confusion and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as an escalation in drug and alcohol use disorders. Read more about the psychological impact of quarantine.

So what is “normal” to feel at this time? 
That answer can really include just about anything. Some common things we are hearing include increased feelings of irritation, annoyance, fear, frustration, guilt, anxiety, and sadness, overwhelm and anger. 
Our emotional health may also manifest as physical symptoms like insomnia, nervousness, compulsive eating or drinking, loss of appetite, deteriorating work or school performance, poor concentration, profound fatigue, and indecisiveness.
 
Take a deep breath. All of this is normal.
Stress impacts the brain in a number of ways. Are you feeling more tired than usual? During prolonged stress, your brain uses fuel at an alarming rate, depleting vital mental energy leaving you mentally and physically exhausted. Having a hard time concentrating on projects or work? A stressed brain shuts down the part of your brain called the prefrontal cortex, responsible for concentration and focus in order to better prepare you for the next yet unforeseen stressor coming down the pike. Chronic stress also depletes certain methylated B-vitamins, which can negatively impact neurotransmitter recycling and mood.

Here’s the good news.

We can make choices that build our emotional resilience. Here are some simple steps we are recommending to build our mental resiliency during quarantine.

Maintain a routine

The brain and body like routine. Keeping regular sleep and wake times stabilizes our mood and can help defend against depression and anxiety. Also, try showering, brushing your teeth and getting dressed for the day — even if you are just working from home. Wearing regular clothes, not just sweat pants, can go a long way toward boosting your mood.

Stay connected to what gives you meaning

For many of us, the bonds with our family and friends provide the deepest meaning. Our pets and our work can also provide profound meaning and comfort. Nurturing these connections is an antidote to trauma, so schedule a zoom dinner or happy hour, or add extra play time with your pets and children. Reach out to colleagues at work or friends and family through phone calls, text or FaceTime and zoom. Spending extra time playing with your loved ones will help offset negative feelings.

Set realistic goals

During times of high stress, it’s important to manage the expectations you place on yourself and others. Though you may find yourself with more free time than usual, it doesn’t mean you have to DO something with it. Who says you need to take on a new hobby or learn a new language? It’s ok, and probably healthier, to lower your expectations of productivity at this time. Focus instead on your core needs.

Give everyone a break, including you!

The stress of the pandemic affects people of all ages differently. We are also experiencing something called collective stress. Try giving people the benefit of the doubt and practice kindness. That means also being good to yourself.

Take good care of your body

Stay hydrated and eat well. Even mild dehydration can trigger issues with mood, concentration, headaches and fatigue. Eating processed foods that contain bad fats and excess sugar can contribute to mood issues by reducing serotonin production and using up our mood enhancing B vitamins. Eat a diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, clean meat, and drink at least 2 liters of filtered or spring water daily.

Keep moving. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of walking daily helps to mitigate depression and improve mood. Walking, sitting or exercising in the sun is even better. Get out and connect with nature.

Create a self-care tool kit. There are loads of things that can fit into this basket: Playing games with your family, practicing breath work, or meditation, learn how to use Tapping to shift mood and dampen anxiety, taking a bath or a nap, reading a book, watching a funny movie or television program or just practicing laughter all can help manage anxiety and improve mood.

As Colorado transitions from the more restricted shelter at home orders to the more relaxed safer at home measures, our anxiety and feelings of uncertainty are bound to be triggered. Visit Colorado.gov to learn more about what this means for you as these restrictions can vary by county and by city.

Luckily, the same tools that build resilience during quarantine can be used to manage stress during transition. In addition to applying these simple lifestyle recommendations, there are a number of nutraceuticals that can support emotional resilience.

Let’s work together to build an individualized program for you to support your mood, manage anxiety and improve your sleep so that you can thrive now and always.

We are here to help,

Drs. Amy Reidhead and Terri Fox

Using nasal rinses for COVID-19
prevention and allergy season

One great way to help prevent the seeding of a virus into the upper respiratory tract is by practicing nasal rinsing. Sinus rinses may help prevent viral infection, improve allergies and aid in neurodetoxification.

We recommend using the Neil Med saline system or a Neti pot at least twice per day. This process can help to clear out the days exposures to allergens, viruses and mucous. Think of it like flossing your nose.

Other things you can put up your nose:

Biocidin. Biocidin is an herbal combination with excellent anti-viral effects. You can add 5-10 drops in your saline solution for added protection against microbes. 
Ionized silver: We like Argentyn23. Intranasal silver has anti-microbial effects and is helpful at nipping any virus in the bud. 

Intranasal Glutathione: Compounded intranasal glutathione –there’s some great emerging data on glutathione as helpful to prevent the cytokine storm in COVID 19. And when you spray it up your nose, you have better access to you central nervous system – for neurodetoxification and brain healing. Great for brain fog too.
 
Probiotics: News, flash, your nose also has a microbiome ! My favorite way to support it is to dissolve MegaSporeBiotic by Microbiome Labs in distilled water overnight at room temperature and add this to your sinus rinse (with your salts or packets). 1 cap is enough for 3 sinus rinses. 
 
Nicatinomide Riboside (or RG3): This compounded nasal spray increases NAD which increases mitochondrial function. Incredible for fatigue, brain fog, neurodetoxification.
 
Clearing nasal passages may have far-reaching health affects beyond just viral and allergy support. A newly discovered part of the lymphatic system called the glymphatic system located in the nasal cavity detoxes the brain of neuro-inflammation and neurotoxins wile you sleep. 
 
Recent research suggest that improving sinus health and getting good sleep may be a key strategy for preventing all types of dementia.
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Boulder Holistic will be offering antibody testing

Boulder Holistic will be offering antibody testing beginning this week
 
At Boulder Holistic, we believe accurate and widespread testing for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is essential to stopping the spread of this virus. Testing is vital from both a public and personal health perspective. It helps to identify individuals who have already been infected and whose bodies have mounted an immune response, as well as to recognize and protect those who are still at risk for developing the disease.
 
After talking to multiple labs and doing extensive research, we have ordered specialty laboratory test kits for measuring SARS-CoV-2 antibodies that we feel good about. These are IgG/IgM tests that are 97% sensitive and 98% specific (which is great accuracy for any test). In other words, the false negative rate is 3% and the false positive rate is 2%. These numbers are based on a study of 200 COVID-19 patients in China who tested positive on nasopharyngeal PCR tests. It’s a small study, but it was the best one found thus far.

This is a blood draw test. We will reserve them for our patients on a first come, first serve basis. We also ask that only well patients, not currently experiencing symptoms, use this kind of testing. 

Because this virus is so new to all of us, there are no clear cut answers. In order to understand antibody testing, we need to dive into the science a bit, so try to stay with us on this one, it’s important!  
What is IgG and IgM antibody testing?
 
IgG is a type of immune cell called an antibody that your body produces once it has seen a new pathogen. When you develop IgG antibodies, it means your body has been exposed to or infected with this coronavirus/SARS-CoV-2 in the past. When your body produces IgM antibodies, it means that your body is fighting the virus currently (even if you are asymptomatic.) If you are IgM is positive, you are likely contagious. Once your antibodies are IgG positive and your IgM is negative, it means that you have been exposed and have recovered and are not currently fighting the virus. Therefore, it would be very unlikely for you to be contagious. 
 
That brings us to another big assumption here: that being IgG positive implies you have immunity. This assumption could have a great impact on public health decisions and how to move forward.  
 
Unfortunately, this virus is too new for us to know for sure if being IgG positive and IgM negative means you have immunity to coronavirus/SARS-CoV-2. There is one small study that looks promising for exposure and recovery conferring immunity (meaning if you’ve had the virus, you are unlikely to get it again.) This study was done on primates who were infected with coronavirus and became symptomatic for COVID-19. Scientists found that after they recovered, and were re-infected with the virus, none of the monkeys got sick the second time. This is encouraging but not conclusive, as we have not had time to do similar human studies yet. 

What else do you need to know about viral and antibody testing?

  • Typically, the time of exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms is approximately 2-21 days, however >90% of people who develop symptoms to coronavirus will do so within 14 days of exposure
  • Viral testing: This type of testing requires swabbing the nasal or oral cavity or obtaining oral secretion to test for the presence virus by PCR. This method is best used during an active infection to identify a sick individual. We have been referring patients to have these done in urgent care and hospital settings as well as through drive up testing centers. This type of testing has been very difficult to get so far. National Jewish may be a good resource now for this type of drive-up testing. All testing requires a requisition from your healthcare provider. Click here for complete information.
  • Antibody testing: Using serum or blood testing, this type of testing may be used to identify whether a person has been exposed to the virus currently or in the past by testing for immune cells called antibodies
  • Antibody production can occur within that 2-14 day incubation window of an infection
  • Oral or Nasal swab testing is recommended during an active infection, when a patient is symptomatic
  • Antibody testing is recommended 3+ weeks after symptoms begin to ensure accuracy of this type of test results
  • Many people exposed to coronavirus are asymptomatic, and therefore can get an antibody test at any time

Available testing at LabCorp and Quest

Traditional testing companies like LabCorp and Quest are now offering antibody testing as well. LabCorp will only do SARS-CoV-2 IgG testing in their facilities; they will not draw for the IgM portion of the test. You can ask that your provider order an IgG/IgM test and your blood can be sent to LabCorp for results, but the blood itself must be drawn at a different facility (like at a doctors’ office, urgent care or hospital). It is our understanding that Quest is currently only offering SARS-CoV-2 IgG testing. LabCorp and Quest have not yet released pricing for this testing, nor do we know whether or not it will be covered by insurance. LabCorp and Quest have also not published the accuracy of their results. Both companies will bill patients and/or insurance directly.

What we think matters most

The deep concern and worry we have with IgG only antibody testing is that you may be getting an incomplete picture. Meaning, you could be an asymptomatic carrier and not know it. If you know your IgM is negative in the presence of an IgG positive result, it’s reassuring that you’ve already had coronavirus and don’t have it now, and importantly, you are very unlikely to be contagious. But if you only know your IgG result, you could still be actively contagious for up to three weeks. It feels to us that getting only an IgG is a potential public health risk. People could assume they are safe because they have already had it, however, we would not know if they are still contagious and actively shedding the virus without the IgM result.
Our recommendation
 
Whatever lab you use, please ask to get both the IgG and IgM tested. Understanding whether you’ve had the disease or currently have it is critical and we believe this could save lives and help to prevent the spread.
 
Finally, also understand none of the tests currently available are FDA approved. In this pandemic, we simply have not had the time to wait for rigorous FDA testing. These private-label testing companies are providing early testing approved under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
 

If you made it this far, good work!

Please let us know how we can help. We will be providing testing 1 day/ week this week and then hopefully 2-3 days per week after that. We are happy to give our patents lab requisitions for LabCorp and Quest, or feel free to pick up the test kits to get it drawn elsewhere if that works best for you.
 
Email the office and let us know if you want to get tested and we can guide you from there.
 
Stay home, and take your Vit C, D, Zinc, Quercitin and melatonin at the very least.
 
May this information give us accurate information and help guide us to a healthier future for all.
 
We are here to help,
 
Drs. Terri Fox, Amy Reidhead, Melissa, Sara and Ame
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COVID-19: What to do if you get sick!

Ok, so you’ve stayed home, limited your contact, washed your hands like crazy, disinfected everything and still, you or someone you love gets sick. What can you do?
 
FIRST THINGS FIRST — STAY CALM. Remain at home, do your best to hydrate and take good care of yourself while avoiding others. Call our office for an assessment. Our goal is to keep you out of the hospital, so paying close attention to the illness and its progression is essential. Make a list of your symptoms and note any new symptoms should they arise.
 
What to do now
 
Use these tips as a potential means for reducing the severity of the infection should you become sick. You can view and print a pdf of these recommendations by clicking here.
 
Immediately do your best to isolate from your family or other members of your household. It is best to have an isolation strategy beforehand to limit the number of sick people in your home. According to the NIH, the average COVID-19 patient infects 2.2 other people. Many of those are close family members. It’s essential that you have a plan to mitigate transmission within your household. 
 
Change your dosages of antivirals from a prevention strategy to active treatment. This means picking at least one of the anti-viral herbal combinations and tripling your dose. These antivirals include: Allimed, Cat’s Claw Elite, Olivirex, Viragraphis, Sinatrol, Samento, our custom herbal tincture based on the Buhner Protocol, and Beyond Balance IMN V and IMN V III.
 
Start taking natural anti-inflammatories — as many as you can stomach. This includes Quercetin, Curcumax Pro, Meriva, Cyflacalm II, Nrf2 activators, Melatonin and ResveraCel. Part of this disease ramps up the pro-inflammatory processes in the body called cytokines. Supplementing with natural anti-inflammatories may help by reducing these substances in the body. 
 
Continue to take your basic immune support.
 
a. Vitamin C: 1000-3000mg throughout the day in divided doses.
 
b. Vitamin D3: 50,000 IU for 3 days then return to regular dose of
5,000 IU daily
 
c. Zinc: 30-60 mg daily with food
 
d. Probiotics: High dose 100 + billion CFU daily
 
e. Immunoglobulins: SBI Protect, Mega IgG
 
Add in additional lung support. This bug seems to have a special affinity for the lungs, so lung support is essential. 
 
a. N-acetyl cysteine or NAC 1000mg 2X’s/day. Thins mucus secretions 
 
b. Bromelain 2-6 caps on empty stomach to try to help dry out the lungs
 
c. Diamine Oxidase is good for runny nose, and excess histamine response
 
d. Honey or “Ivy Calm” for cough suppressant.
 
e. Melatonin has also been found to be useful in reducing inflammation in the lungs. Doses vary depending on your previous experience with melatonin. Start with 3 mg at night and slowly increase as tolerated. Max sick dose is 20 mg twice daily. 

Try to be equipped with the proper home supplies

If at all possible, consider having some basic equipment to weather this illness at home.

  1. Thermometer. Use the thermometer to monitor and keep track of your temperature. 88% of COVID-19 patients run a fever.
  2. Home nebulizer. Nebulizers can be used to help if you become short of breath. It is possible to nebulize saline, or hypertonic Quinton water to help. Omron is a good brand, but there are others. You can try to find one on Amazon or we have had luck with justnebulizers.com. If you cannot find one, placing a towel over you head while breathing in a pot of steaming water can also be an effective tool. **Other nebulized solutions may be necessary during treatment: Nebulized Glutathione, NAC and/or albuterol can be very effective–all require a prescription from one of our doctors.  
  3. Finger clip pulse oximeter. An oximeter monitors your blood oxygen levels. Oxygen monitoring is critical in knowing when it is time to get to the hospital if that becomes necessary. 
  4. Spirometer. Some of you may have this piece of equipment from a previous hospitalization or surgery. An incentive spirometer helps to improve lung function. You can typically find them at a drug store on online.
Other ways to support the lungs naturally
 
There are some amazing practices that can help to support your lungs should you become sick. These methods can also be used to strengthen the lungs and prevent illness.
  1. Click here for some home osteopathic exercises to acute lung infection by Dr. Eva Shay
  2. Lymphatic self massage
  3. Try dry skin brushing
  4. Break a sweat. Viruses die at elevated temperature. Sweating can happen with a home sauna or you can even just take a hot steam shower or bath with essential oils.
  5. Qigong exercises for lungs
Buhner’s Ginger Tea Recipe & Recommendations for Dosing
  • Two thumb sized pieces of raw ginger
  • Roughly chop or grate into 1 quart of filtered water
  • Place in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil
  • Simmer for 1 hour. 
  • Drink one cup twice daily for prevention
  • Drink one cup per hour for treatment
  • Can add Manuka honey or a small amount of local honey for sweetness. 
Potential Pharmaceutical Treatments
Some early studies are showing potential promise for hydrochloroquine and azithromycin. Consult with your provider to determine whether this is a good option for you.
 
References on Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin Treatment:
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32150618
  2. http://www.zjujournals.com/med/EN/10.3785/j.issn.1008-9292.2020.03.03
  3. https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Hydroxychloroquine_final_DOI_IJAA.pdf
 
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303-390-1245

2355 Canyon Blvd.   |   Suite 102   |   Boulder, CO 80302

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