(Each dot, when clicked, tells you about location and mutations.)
|Fundamental MedicineTeresa Gryder, ND||
Genetics of Covid-19: Tracking Strains and Mutations
(Each dot, when clicked, tells you about location and mutations.)
To be updated with links of interest for the next few days.
Crowdsourced Covid-19 tracking: Tell Them How You're Feeling, weekly
(This method will be more predictive than current tracking of confirmed cases, if enough of us participate.)
Quickly Illustrates COVID-19 Spread in U.S.
Effect of Social Distancing on Death Rate in U.S. Cities 1918
Countering the Loneliness
12% of C19 Patients Have Heart Muscle Damage 3/27
Boris has it now 3/27
Mt Sinai Transferring Antibodies from Recovered to Critically Ill Patients
Daily Covid Tracking (updated often)
Social distancing doesn't kill the economy: Disease and Death do.
Clones of our Antibodies in Development, possibly available in June
Outdoor Alliance on Getting Outdoors During a Pandemic
Food Supply Worries --> Victory Gardens Planted
206 Antibodies Found in Patients Who Recovered from C19
(Good news for vaccine development)
About Soap and Why It Kills Enveloped Viruses
Johns Hopkins C19 Dashboard: Over Half a Million Cases Now
For-Profit Hospitals Muzzle Doctors Who Don't Want to Die 3/25
Are you an immunologist? Yeah, probably not. There aren't a lot of immunologists in the world. I'm not one, though I've studied immunology under one of the best (Dr. Heather Zwickey) and I try to keep up. It's a fast moving field. Every time I hear Dr Zwickey speak she tells us about some new receptor or cytokine that they've discovered, and a bunch of new correlations between the things we already have a little info about.
If you don't speak the language of immunology, a lot of the talk these days won't make a lot of sense. How does the body fight off a virus? How is a vaccine made? These questions have long, complicated answers. In this post I want to teach you the basic outline of the answers, even if we don't go into all the terminology and details.
One word you're going to hear a lot about is ANTIBODIES. Antibodies are, for the most part, a good thing. Antibodies are what you have if you have gotten sick and managed to fight off the infection.
But how do you get them?
When you first get an infection, something has invaded your body. It could be a virus or a bacteria or a cancer cell that won't stop multiplying. The first step in fighting off such an invader is to recognize it. We have immune cells who are always on patrol for invaders. The take samples of antigens from the invader's surface and deliver them to headquarters (a lymph node). At headquarters there are cells that design and manufacture antibodies that match those antigens. Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that stick to the antigens on the invader cells and mark them for destruction.
After the invader antigens are marked, a different set of immune cells charges out and kills them. This is when you start getting better from your illness. Unfortunately the process of noticing the invader, delivering the antigen sample to HQ, designing and making the antibodies, tagging the invader cells and killing them takes about a week. It's not fast.
When your body has never fought off a certain invader before, your immune system is said to be "naive" about it. Once you have been exposed and are making antibodies, you are said to have "immunity".
This is why vaccines are so useful. A vaccine is basically a sample of antigen injected into your system to jump-start the process of recognition, delivery, and antibody-making. If you've had the vaccine for a particular kind of invader, then your body already has the antibody designed and a few of them are already made. This cuts days off of your response time to that infection. The faster you can mark the invader with antibodies and send in the troops to destroy it, the less time it has to grow in your body and make you badly sick.
When it comes to COVID-19, we had doubts about humans making good antibodies to it, because we don't seem to develop antibodies to the other coronaviruses that cause the common cold. Without developing antibodies, we don't have immunity. We can get the common cold over and over again, and it can be just as bad as it was the last time.
But the GOOD NEWS is in, and that is that people who've had COVID-19 are making antibodies to it! That means that we will be able to make a vaccine, and that the vaccine will work. This study from China, posted today (3/26/2020), says they found 206 different antibodies to COVID-19 in the immune cells of patients that survived it. Not only are there 206 antibodies detected so far, but they stick really well to the virus. Good news indeed!
The next step after testing people for the virus is to test them for the antibodies. Some of us have already had it. Wouldn't it be great to know if you've had it yet? If you knew that your immune system had already beat this virus and was ready to beat it again, you could go work in a hospital with sick people and not worry about getting sick.
It's true, we don't know how long immunity will last after exposure and antibody response, but we will learn that in the next year or two. In the meanwhile I am encouraged that research is finding good antibodies that can be used for a vaccine. Hope is on the Horizon.
US Pandemic Vigilance Was Further Reduced by Firing China-Based Expert
Epidemic Calculator: Epidemiology Made Easy
If you Think You Have Been Exposed (Not Just if you've been to China)
Can't Smell the Roses? Could be a Symptom of COVID-19
Documentary about the Epidemic in Wuhan -- Chinese with Subtitles
CDC Still Doesn't Know if Pets Get or Spread the Virus
Two Dogs Tested Positive in Hong Kong, No Symptoms
Kate Brown Orders Oregonians to Stay Home 3/23/2020 -- except for essential outings, which includes jogging and hiking as long as you can stay 6 feet away from others:
Chloroquine is NOT a Proven Treatment for COVID-19
Using UVC to Sterilize Face Masks
East Africa has Locusts as well as COVID-19
Olympics in Japan Not Cancelled Yet
Merkel is Quarantined Because her Doctor Tested Positive
How To Remove Protective Gloves Without Contaminating Your Hands
Johns Hopkins Dashboard: Still Best Place to Watch the Numbers
COVIDActNow Projects Consequences of Inaction By State
Oregon Health Authority
Why Fever is Good
Opinion Piece Says We Can Stop Virus Without Shutting Down Life
Extensive Testing is the Best Strategy: Ask Singapore
South Korea's Effort to Test Everybody
On ARDS: How Bad it Is
A Mary Pafford Equinox Meditation That Helped Me
This list was updated daily, 3/18, 3/19, 3/20.
In Colorado A Whole Town Will Get Tested
Worse Than the Flu: More Contagious and More Lethal
Overview of Situation and Actions to Take
Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard (for tracking the numbers)
Details on Lab Testing
CDC on What To Do if you are Sick
Dr Teresa Gryder on Self Care and Self Treatment Options
What Will Happen to Hospitals (Models by Propublica)
Simulitis: Washington Post Graphic on How Social Distancing Works
Dr Heather Zwickey (audio) on Immune Support and Why C19 is so Bad
Seattle Intensivist's One Page Notes 3/15/2020
Mental Health Maintenance Tips
Don't take Ibuprofen, Aspirin or Naproxin (Tylenol OK)
CDC Clinical guidance for Clinicians treating Confirmed cases
Diarrhea = Presenting Symptom in <50%, Presents Later, Worse Prognosis
(Chinese study, n=204)
Social Distancing May Last a Long Time
No Free Pass for Young People
Half of the patients in France's hospitals are under 65
Most Cases are Still Hidden 3/16/2020
American ICU's Will Be Over Max
Effect of Mitigation: No Way to Win 3/9/2020
Genetics of COVID-19 Show It is NOT Manmade
Capitalism is the Vector 3/18/2020
Single Payer Healthcare Systems Performing Better Than For Profit Systems
Rich and Famous Get Tested, Regular People Wait
Kushner aims to get rich on this too
Why Paid Sick Leave Should be Mandatory
On the Idea that we should let everybody get it and save the economy
Hello friends. As you probably know we have a pandemic on our hands and a lot of people are positively freaked out. I've been studying the relevant science and writing an email newsletter and it will be coming out soon. I notice that the conventional medical system says there is no treatment for Covid-19, and that is definitely wrong. There are lots of treatments and ways that you can help yourself, there just isn't a vaccine or FDA approved drug yet.
My upcoming newsletter will include naturopathic ways of fighting viral infections, based in part on what worked during the flu pandemic of 1918, and also on modern science. We are not powerless; we can increase our own survival rate! There's a signup on the home page of this site and also one under "contacts". I promise that I will not overload you with daily, weekly or even monthly newsletters. My goal is a newsletter every 2 months or so.
If there's one thing you should be doing right now it is social distancing. For most of us that means staying home a lot more than we usually do, and staying home completely if we have any symptoms at all. If you have the sniffles or a cough, you could be carrying this virus so please stay home and don't visit your grandma, OK? Take good care of yourselves and keep your nose clean. More to come. Enjoy the sunshine! It's anti-viral.
EDIT 3/18: The newsletter went out 3/17 and for the new subscriptions that are trickling in, I'll send you a copy for the next day or two.
This is the author using a down jacket and cat to get warm.
If you’ve ever had the flu, you know how miserable it can be. Chills and sweats, body aches, coughs and sniffles—there’s nothing about it that anyone would choose to embrace. Many people get the flu vaccine every year and while that’s not the subject of this article, I will say that most of us don’t need it. Even if you get the vaccine, you might get the flu. Even if you don’t get the flu, you could easily get a cold or some other bug. When the days get short and the air gets cold and dry, more people get sick. That’s just the way it is.
In my parents’ generation the main treatment for a cold or flu was lowering the fever. Aspirin was avoided for children because it could cause Reye’s syndrome, but Tylenol was given. These days ibuprofen or naproxen are popular options for lowering a fever. But what if lowering the fever makes you sicker in the long run? What if it impairs your body’s effort to kick the bug out?
That is exactly what is happening. If you start to feel sick and get chills, the last thing you really want to do is lower the fever. It does not help you get better any faster. Instead of popping pills intended to keep yourself from getting a fever, you want to facilitate the fever. This is because fever is part of your immune system’s way of dominating infections and kicking them out. Once you realize this, you will know what to do. You might even be able to prevent yourself from getting all the way sick.
Whenever you feel strangely cold, it could be because your body has decided to turn up its internal thermostat. Chills are a sign that your body wants to be hotter. The best thing you can do is help it get as hot as it wants. Drinking hot tea, wrapping up in a blanket, curling up next to a fire are a good start. A hot bath is great. It’s hard to keep a bathtub hot for very long so boil a kettle of water and keep it on the side to pour in (carefully!!) when your water starts to cool down. If you have access to a hot tub or sauna where you won’t infect others, those are even better. Put on a warm hat or hoodie. Make a hot water bottle and put it on your midsection or your feet. Curl up with the kittie. The only warming thing you don’t really want to do is to exercise because you probably feel really tired if you have a fever and it will only make you more tired. Get warm and rest.
If your body is getting sick, it is mounting an immune response to something. You want it to do that. You want it to get the fever because that will help it get rid of the infection. Heating treatments are used for cancer too, because heat activates the immune system. There is nothing wrong with letting your body get a degree or three warmer than it usually is!
Unfortunately as we get older our bodies don’t get fevers like they used to. Kids make great fevers, so high that they can have harmless seizures from being so hot. Adults can get good fevers, high enough to kick infections, but rarely hot enough to cause seizures. Old people sometimes don’t get fevers at all, and this is a problem, because it’s hard to tell when they have an infection, and because the infections can hang around a long time. Regular heating treatments for elders are not a bad idea even when they are not sure if they’re sick. Some elders have low body temperatures to start with so if their temperature measures as “normal” (98.6F) they actually are having a fever.
Obviously you must be careful when using boiling water, heating pads or anything hot that you do not burn someone. A body temperature of 99F or more generally counts as a fever and if it gets over 101F or so your fever is getting real. This means the body is fighting something it considers dangerous. Generally we get higher fevers from bacterial infections than from viral ones, but getting our body totally warm helps us beat viruses just like it helps us beat bacteria.
The moral of the story is that fevers are good! If you get a fever, that means you are healthy enough to have a functional immune system, and it is doing its job. If you get the chills, your body is serious about beating an infection, and the best thing you can do is to get yourself toasty warm, drink liquids, and rest. Don’t eat food, that distracts the immune system, much of which lives in the intestine. Just get yourself hot and wait it out.
When your body suddenly starts sweating and you feel way too hot, the fever has broken. It’s OK to take off your hat and get out from the covers when this happens. The fever might come back again, or it might not. If it comes back again, drink hot liquids and cover up and get warm again. Usually after a few cycles of this the illness will be over. Unlike the lingering sickness that would have happened if you lowered the fever with pills and stopped your immune system from working. So be thankful for the innate intelligence of your body and enjoy the fever! It’s what nature intended.
The kidneys are one of those organs that nobody pays much attention to when they are young. They're in the back of the abdomen somewhere, and they don't say much. They just do their thing, filtering the blood and making urine that we eliminate many times a day. Without them we would not be alive.
I'm here to suggest that perhaps your kidneys deserve a little respect before they start failing. The kidneys weaken with age and can really cause a lot of trouble if they fail, but there are things you can do to treat them nice and keep tabs on them.
The kidneys are busy all the time because they get ~20% of your total cardiac output and have a lot of housecleaning to do. Take care of your kidneys starting now and improve your chances of finishing this life with kidneys that still work. Here are 13 Ways:
Hi friends. This blog has been neglected for a while but I'm getting back to it. I had to look up my log-in information! I've been working on a couple of books. One I've been calling "homeopathy lessons" but really it's about the need to look more deeply at every question in medicine. It does not serve us to dismiss anything out of hand. We should learn what we can from the very slow evolution of medicine.
Speaking of which, back in January the American Diabetes Association FINALLY decided to add the low carb diet to their list of acceptable diets for diabetics! They're STILL not telling diabetics to stop eating so much sugar and carbs, they're just saying if you do, you'll have to take more insulin. There is no sense in that, insulin is not something you want any extra of in your system. Better to eat less carbs and then have to take less insulin. So simple. Curative, in fact.
Anyway, if you have any requests for blog subjects, let me know. I have such a long list of possible topics that it helps to focus my energies when someone asks a question.
Hope your summer is going well!! Here, our tomatoes are just starting to come in.
Author: Teresa Gryder
Integrative Physician and Student of Life, Medicine, and the River.