Protecting against the cytokine storm

Since hurricane season is only a few weeks away, now maybe the time to talk about a different kind of storm, a cytokine storm. When a healthy body fights an infection, the body naturally releases biological chemicals as part of the immune system response. Cytokines are one such chemical. They are responsible for the communication between the cells in the body and pathways that signal the immune system to start doing its job, as in fighting infections.  This is an extremely important and normal function of cytokine release.

 Sometimes things can go wrong and there is an accelerated outpouring of cytokines. Too much cytokine production causes the immune system to start harming the body. Accelerated cytokine production is typically referred to as a cytokine storm. Too many cytokines in the body creates inflammation.  Inflammation can be deadly. I have read about the cytokine storm being described as having your foot on the gas pedal in your car and not being able to take your foot off the pedal to slow down your car.  The cytokines just keep getting produced and produced.  This makes the cytokines now more dangerous to the body than the actual virus that the immune system is fighting. 

So why do I bring up the topic of cytokine storm and how does it pertain to you?  These storms are occurring in the severe cases of CoVid-19, coronavirus and more than likely is what is leading to death in those cases.  Once in the hospital with severe CoVid-19, doctors work hard to treat the patient’s cytokine storm with medications and other medical methods.  Once again, my takeaway from this topic is that it is best practice to build health prior to becoming exposed to viruses so that your body has a better chance at battling any potential illness. 

I have written previously about the importance of nutritional supplementation for immune system support -  Vitamin D3, K, C, zinc, quercetin and elderberry extract to name the most important.  We have talked about the importance of regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and avoiding junk food, mainly sugar to help the body be stronger and healthier in case of viral exposure.  I have written many times about the benefit of chiropractic care in helping the body to function better by improving neural impulse flow to all the vital systems in the body including the immune system. 

In doing my research on the cytokine storm, I now have additional ideas to present that can help your body be prepared for viruses.  It turns out that ketones have extremely powerful anti-oxidant effects.  Anti-oxidants are what reverses cell damage in the body.  Ketones are chemicals that the liver makes when the body burns fat for energy.  Ketones cause an increase in a certain chemical in the body that acts like a battery charger for fighting inflammation and oxidative stress, two very important factors that occur in the cytokine storm.  

It is suggested that by raising ketone levels in your body, you can help your body be better prepared for viral attacks and cytokine storms. It turns out that raising ketone levels in the body is not a tricky thing and a lot of us may already be doing some ketone raising activities. The easiest way to raise ketones is by doing time restricted eating, commonly called intermittent fasting. This is where 2-3 days a week you do not eat for 14-16 hours after your evening meal. For example, if dinner ends at 7:30pm, the next time you should  eat is 9:30-11:30am.  The other method of raising ketones is by eating a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet.

I have saved the easiest method of raising ketone levels for last.  That is to drink two small cups of black coffee.  It turns out two small cups of black coffee can double ketone levels.  One doctor suggests that if you are feeling bad, as in getting sick, have two small cups of black coffee. 

For the past 8 weeks I have been studying and writing about CoVid-19 and during those eight weeks a lot has happened.  Social distancing, business closures, unemployment, protective gear, 24 hour news coverage, daily reports of death and viral spread, talk of medical treatments and vaccines, conspiracy theories to name a few.  Some say that every dark cloud has a silver lining.  This has been a pretty dark cloud.  But for me, if I had to pick out my silver lining from what I learned over the past eight weeks, it would be that the type of doctoring that I do, the kind that brings to light that a healthy lifestyle can provide the building blocks to having an immune system that can battle these types of infections and help to avoid disastrous and dangerous health consequences is the right type of doctoring.  Hopefully more and more people will realize that there are things you can do right now to be healthier that doesn’t require you to take medications or wait for a vaccine to be manufactured.  To take responsibility for the strengthening of your own innate immunity.
 
Pregnancy and chiropractic care.  During covid-19 pandemic, many of my pregnant patients continue to come in for weekly adjustments despite stay at home orders. The value of chiropractic care to a healthy pregnancy is extremely strong and is a huge help during a scary and stressful time such as this pandemic. Chiropractors help the pregnant body function properly and to be healthier.  Much needed in times like these. Pregnancy and chiropractic. 

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

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