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Immune response to viruses. Pregnancy care. Covid-19 update

As we head into mid fall, it is the time of year when I discuss improving your body’s response to the seasonal viruses that circulate around us.  The Covid-19 virus that has haunted us the past year and a half provided me with many opportunities to share with you ways to boost immune system function  Those many health tips were not unique and specifically tailored for Covid-19.  Covid-19 is one of many viruses that we will be exposed to in the winter time, mainly due to spending most of our time indoors in recirculated air. Germs that can lead to the common cold, sore throats and the flu are just a few of the viral infections that occurring more frequently in the winter time.  As I mentioned, being indoors breathing recirculated air increases your exposure.  The other main issue in the winter time related to being indoors is the decrease in sun exposure which causes our vitamin D levels to drop. Vitamin D is produced in the body with sun exposure and is widely thought of as the reason we have a flu season in the winter time.  Vitamin D is an important part of immune system function.  Less vitamin D means lowered immune function and more susceptibility to having a germ turn into a cold, flu and as studies have pointed out, even Covid-19.  


Before I talk about ways to boost immune system function, let me first talk about germs and how they interact in the body.  Germs in general do not always cause illness.  They can definitely be a precursor to illness, but not every time and in everybody.  What determines whether you get sick or not is your body’s response to the germ, your immune response.  The body’s immune response is dictated by how well your immune system is functioning.  A strong immune system equals a productive immune response capable of fighting off invading germs. Billions of germs exist around us all the time.  Why are we not sick all the time?  It depends on the viral load of the germ and how well your immune system is functioning.  For instance, if my immune system is well taken care of and doing its job at a high level, I can be directly exposed to cold and flu viruses and not come down with anything.  Other times if my immune system is weakened, I can catch a cold from someone sneezing across the street from me.  This can even occur with Covid-19 and explains why when of my direct family members had the virus, no one else in the house came down with it despite constant exposure of the Covid virus.  Again, viral load is also an issue, a very strong viral load in the flu and or Covid may even cause a problem for a strong immune system, meaning you may end up symptomatic. But an optimal functioning immune system means you get a mild case and are over it quickly.


What causes the immune system to work at a subpar level and not be as helpful as it could be?  Lots of things.  Poor nutrition, lack of sleep, high levels of stress, minimal exercise are the main external culprits. An internal source of a lesser functioning immune system has to do with what controls the immune system in the body.  The nervous system is responsible for controlling the immune response.  The brain to body connection via neural impulses through the spinal cord is what allows the immune system to do its job.  Inadequate neural or nerve impulse flow contributes to a decreased immune response. 


So now that we know what can cause our immune system to slip a few notches and cause us to be more susceptible to catching a cold or virus, the plan to prevent that from happening is easy…give the immune system all it needs to do its job properly.  Proper nutrition is paramount. Sugar and foods that breakdown into sugars (processed carbohydrates like bread, pasta, cereals, etc) reek havoc on the immune response.  Avoiding sugar is the first step to being healthy.  Drinking enough water every day is also a help.  The body is 70% water and not enough water intake leads to dehydration which effects immune system response.  6-8 glasses a day is the way to go.  Eating processed foods, foods that come out of boxes and cans that have been filled with chemicals and colors decrease the immune response.  A whole foods diet made up of vegetables, lean proteins, natural carbs like sweet potatoes and rice give your immune system the nutrients it needs. Nutritional supplementation is also extremely important certain vitamins and minerals help the immune system function and can even boost immune performance.  Here are the essentials (in addition to a daily multivitamin), Vitamin D3 (hugely important to take in the winter months), progressive scientists and nutritional researchers recommend take 35 units per pound of bodyweight in the winter time with no sun exposure. Zinc and Quercetin (50 mg and 200-500mg daily), Vitamin C (100mg daily), Elderberry extract once daily.  Taken every days these nutrients are immune system enhancers.  If for some reason you start to feel a symptom of a cold or virus, doses of these vitamins increase for added protection.  For instance vitamin C would increase from 1000mg a day to 3-4000mg taken 3-4 times a day. Zinc and Quercetin would double and elderberry would be taken 3-4 times a day. Once the symptoms start to subside in a few days, dosages return to normal.


As far as the other immune system function tools are concerned it is vitally important to be getting at least 7 hrs of sleep a night. Research shows that less than that on a regular basis will lower immune system function and even contribute to heart disease.  Exercise increases immune system hormones that contribute to the fighting off of germs.  People who exercise daily are producing extra amounts of these hormones and help the body to be healthier.  Stress, worry, anxiety keep your body in a constant state of survival mode which causes your adrenal glands to overload.  This decreases immune response. What needs to be done is to try and lower stress levels through exercise, meditation, deep breathing and adrenal gland support supplements. These supplements support immune system function in times of great demand – stress.


Lastly, wait for it….Chiropractic.  Remember the nervous system I talked about above?  Decreased neural impulses can lead the immune system to not function properly.  Chiropractic care removes spinal joint fixations, opening up the neural space so that nerve impulses get where there supposed to with enough flow and energy to improve function in the body.  Research has shown that when your middle back is adjusted there is an immediate increase in white blood cell production.  White blood cells are your immune system germ fighting cells. Additional research has shown that chiropractic adjustments increases the rate at which your body’s DNA repairs itself.  Rate of DNA repair is an important part of immune system function.  Other studies have shown that upper cervical chiropractic care (neck care) increases lymphocytic T-Cell production. And finally, people who undergo regular chiropractic care of at least once a month spinal adjustments were measured via lab work to have a higher level of immune system resistance enzymes then people not under chiropractic care.


Pregnancy / Prenatal Chiropractic care:  Fertility naturally occurs before pregnancy and is the reason that a women becomes pregnant. Some women have fertility issues that make becoming pregnant difficult. Many different medical causes can explain this problem.  But there can also be a non-medical condition that can contribute to fertility issues and prevent pregnancy.  This issue is spinal nerve stress to the reproductive organs.  If the lower back vertebra are subluxated decreasing nerve flow to the reproductive organs, it can be more difficult to become pregnant.  Research papers have shown the relationship between spinal nerve flow and becoming pregnant.  Lower back alignment can be a contributing cause to not becoming pregnant and is worth a visit to the chiropractor.


Covid-19 Update:  Sweden and Denmark on 10/6/2021 said they will pause the use of Moderna’s COVID vaccine for younger age groups after reports of possible rare side effects, including myocarditis.

The Swedish health agency said it would pause the vaccine for people born in 1991 and later, as data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults who had been vaccinated, Reuters reported.

“The connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine, ‘Spikevax,’ especially after the second dose,” the health agency said in a statement.  The health agency said it now recommends Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine instead. People born 1991 or later who received a first Moderna dose — approximately 81,000 people — will not get a second Moderna jab.

A word on Ivermectin.  I have heard a lot of misinformation on news programs by the talking head newscasters as well as popular TV and Radio show hosts talking down about the drug ivermectin and belittling doctors for prescribing it and patients for taking it at as a treatment for Covid-19.  The news and TV  radio hosts like to call it a medicine given to horses for parasites, a horse medicine.  What they fail to mention is that ivermectin is not a veterinary horse parasite drug.  Ivermectin is just one of many ingredients in a parasitic medication given to horses.  Ivermectin has been shown to have strong anti-viral properties and that is the reason that doctors around the world have been successfully prescribing it in the treatment of covid-19 in combination with other medications.  Since 1998, ivermectin has been given to over 4 billion human patients.  As with all drugs and medications, ivermectin should be given under the supervision of medical doctors and not be bought on the black market and self-prescribed.  The problem is finding doctors who will use it in treatment protocols. At least in our country.


Atlantic County, NJ and Covid-19:  Atlantic County has 1,506 new cases of Covid-19 over the last two week period, down from 1,510 cases the prior 2 weeks. Our 7 day average cases reported per day is 107 cases per day.  Atlantic County has had 14 deaths in the last two week period, the same as the prior two week period.    On 10/10/2021, there were a total of 1,020 people admitted in all of New Jersey’s hospitals for care of Covid-19 infections, up from 980 a week ago.  In the USA, 392 million doses of the vaccine have been given out.  186.9 million people are fully vaccinated. 44.3 million people have contracted the Covid-19 virus in the USA.

Vaccine Informed Consent Information:   Informed consent means that the person to be vaccinated has to be informed about all the risks, the risk benefit ratios, the potential dangers and what is known about side effects. For example, informed consent takes place in all drug advertising.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded one-year supplemental grants totaling $1.67 million to five institutions to explore potential links between COVID vaccines and menstrual changes, after thousands of women reported menstrual irregularities after vaccination. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System data released 9/24/21 by the CDC showed a total of 752,803 reports of adverse reactions from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 15,937 deaths. Serious injuries reported in this time period totaled 105,758 between Dec. 14, 2020 and September 24, 2021. According to the CDC, as of September 24th 2021,   This week’s data for 12- to 17-year-olds show 20,907 total adverse events, including 1,213 rated as serious and 21 reported deaths among 12- to 17-year-olds.  3,151 cases of anaphylaxis, 516 reports of myocarditis and 112 reports of blood clotting disorders in the 12-17 year old age group. “CDC strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks,” the agency said in a health alert. To date, only 31% of pregnant people have been vaccinated, the CDC said. This week’s data for pregnancy /prenatal vaccination shows pregnant women had 3,823 adverse events reported including 1,144 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.  VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database contains information on unverified reports of adverse events following immunization. Reports are accepted from anyone and can be submitted electronically.

Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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