In the midst of Covid-19 fears and information overload, we can easily become distracted, losing sight of very basic facts of health. In this short paper, I hoped to remind our patients of scientific truths to help protect your health and wellness.
- Hormones are proven to strengthen the immune system. Every immune system cell has hormone receptors! For women not using hormone replacement after menopause, a weakened immune can result in:
- Reduced resistance to infectious diseases (like Covid-19)
- Increased risk of inflammatory and/or auto-immune diseases
- Greater risk of cancers
- Increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
***Similar statistics are seen in men as hormones decline.
- Optimal Thyroid function and thyroid hormones are crucial to the production of energy and a robust immune system. The immune system requires an energetic response. Many patients have sub-optimal thyroid and are unaware of the deficiency.
- Sugar and a high glycemic index diet reduce your immune system’s response to infectious diseases. Example: the sugar in a soft drink can suppress the immune system response to a viral pathogen for 4-6 hours. To maintain a healthier body and immune system, we suggest a Paleo-type eating style:
- Healthy proteins (e.g. free-range beef & chicken, wild caught/cold water fish)
- Plenty of healthy fats (e.g. olive oil, butter, grapeseed oil, coconut oil)
- Fresh or frozen vegetables with low glycemic index (non-starchy)
- Limit fruit to berries as lowest sugar-containing fruits
- Avoid grains (e.g. breads, rice, chips, crackers, pasta)
During a pandemic like Covid-19, by maintaining hormone/thyroid balance and cleaning up your eating style, you will have the best chance of emerging from this crisis with optimal health. I look forward to happy and healthy days ahead!
Maturitas. 2010 Dec;67(4):316-20. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Sep 1. Menopause and aging: changes in the immune system–a review. Gameiro et al
Endocrinol., 04 June 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2019.00350, Thyroid Hormone Action on Innate Immunity. María del Mar Montesinos and Claudia Gabriela Pellizas*
Exp Cell Res. 2018 Jul 15;368(2):215-224. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2018.04.032. Epub 2018 May 1. A high-sugar diet affects cellular and humoral immune responses in Drosophila. Yu S1, Zhang G1, Jin LH2.