By Dr. Kaley Burns EBS COLUMNIST
Whether you’re tired from viral recovery, caregiving, working extra shifts, or mentally and emotionally exhausted with the pandemic, we’ve all been ‘infected” in one way or another in these last few years. Beyond this, we are expected to continue functioning at home and at work, exercising, and perhaps tending to others’ needs as well. However, more and more of us are feeling sub-optimal and it’s taking a toll on our overall health.
How can we support our health as we move forward?
The good news is that there are lifestyle techniques and holistic methods that have been found to support a healthy immune and inflammatory response. The following suggestions can be adopted to support your recovery and general health.
*Always make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes.
First and foremost: Rest.
Rest your body, your mind, your eyes, your soul. During rest the body is able to repair and rejuvenate. Unfortunately, sleep patterns can be disturbed after a viral infection. If you are struggling with sleep, aim to go to bed at the same time each night in a dark, temperature-controlled environment and allow for at least eight hours. Another option for healthy sleep promotions is a warm bath with magnesium salts and lavender oil. You may also find that your body needs a daytime nap. Try to nap at the same time each day and for just an hour or two, so it does not impact your nighttime rest.
The goal is to model your intake as an anti-inflammatory diet. This means to include an abundance of fresh vegetables and low-sugar fruits; healthy fats in fish, nuts and avocados; wholegrains such as steel cut oats, quinoa, millet and sprouted grain breads; and organic grass-fed meats for protein. At the same time, try to reduce fried foods, grain-fed meats, sugary drinks and treats, alcohol and highly processed foods. Utilizing food as medicine to reduce inflammation, improve gastrointestinal health, rebalance the microbiome and support the immune system enables the remaining therapeutics to be more effective.
Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant and protects from damage caused by infections. It also plays an important role in decreasing inflammation and facilitating proper detoxification. Foods naturally high in glutathione include avocados, spinach and okra.
I often recommend liposomal glutathione for the best oral bioavailability. However, my preferred method is providing glutathione via IV therapy to ensure direct delivery into the bloodstream.
Vitamin D has been shown to have powerful immune-supporting properties associated with reduced progression, severity and duration of illness. Symptoms of post-viral syndrome resolve more efficiently by optimizing vitamin D levels.
You are not alone on your health journey. Whether you are building back from illness or optimizing overall health, regular and proactive connection to your multidisciplinary care team will ensure your needs are best being met throughout your recovery. The providers at Big Sky Natural Health combine holistic family medicine, nutrient IV therapy and traditional Chinese acupuncture for whole-person care and recovery.
Hydration, movement and managing stress have powerful reaches for preventing and supporting recovery from any illness. Remember to focus on the basics, build when necessary and recruit your care team for further support.
Dr. Kaley Burns is the founder, owner and Naturopathic Doctor at Big Sky Natural Health. She embraces a natural approach to health and aims to similarly inspire and guide others on their health journey. Dr. Burns has advanced training application of regenerative and intravenous injection therapy. She also serves as the Vice President and CE Liaison of the Montana Association of Naturopathic Physicians.