COVID-19 Beyond the Numbers: Taking control of your health in a pandemic


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As coronavirus cases skyrocket, doctors say the best way to keep from catching it, is to follow CDC guidelines: wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask.

But beyond that, integrative medicine physicians, who focus on the entire aspect of a patient, including both mental and physical health, there is more we can all be doing to take better care of ourselves.

In COVID-19: Beyond the Numbers, we see how lifestyle choices can help boost your immune system.

One way to boost your immune system is to see food as the first line of defense.

“No matter what food plan you subscribe to, adding more plant-based foods and vegetables to your diet is always a good place to start.”

Dr. Dawn Flickema, Avera Integrative Medicine

Dr. Flickema, says eating healthier and getting better sleep is key to a healthy immune system. So is reducing stress through exercise and mindfulness practices like meditation.

“Anytime you down regulate inflammation in your body overall, most body functions do better. It’s another way to help your immune system function better,” Dr. FLickema said.

When President Trump was hospitalized for COVID-19, he was given a variety of medications and supplements, including Vitamin D and Zinc.

Dr. Flickema recommends a daily multivitamin, which should contain zinc. She says you could supplement that with an additional dose of Vitamins D and C, as well as turmeric, which studies show decrease inflammation.

Dr. Flickema says instead of just fearing the virus, it should motive us all to take steps to improve our health. “Now we all have reason to make some good positive changes with our lifestyle,” she said.

While even the healthiest person may contract COVID-19, adapting a healthier lifestyle could help prevent the most severe symptoms of the disease.

However, it’s best not to believe the hype over some products. According to the Mayo Clinic, the supplement colloidal silver, which has been marketed as a COVID-19 treatment, is not considered safe or effective for treating any disease.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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