COVID 19 is scary, but there is some hope
About 80% of COVID positive patients will have mild symptoms for 1-5 days and will need any additional support. For the other 20% symptoms typically worsen as you approach day 7. Concerns for shortness of breath/pneumonia/acute respiratory distress requiring oxygen supplementation/intubation arise. This is the true danger of COVID 19. Even healthier younger COVID positive patient can succumb to the cytokine storm (around day 8-10). This is an important hump to overcome and be mindful of. Seek medical care immediately if you have chest tightness, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing at anytime.
If you are lucky to be among the 80% of patients, here are some things you can do at home:
Drink warm water all day. You can add fresh grated ginger and honey. Another soothing drink is warm water with lemon or lime. Drink plenty of water (at least 64 oz per day)
The following are 3 important things to have at home
- Thermometer – Take acetaminophen for fever
- Finger pulse oximeters (sold at pharmacies and on-line). This small device shows the oxygen level in your blood and your heart rate. Oxygen level of 92% or below is concerning in COVID, seek medical care immediately. Heart rate of 100 or above is abnormal. Elevated heart rate can occur from fever, dehydration, anxiety, among other more dangerous medical conditions. Always discuss heart rate above 100 with your doctor.
- Prone – Sleep on your stomach. It helps to improve oxygenation. Avoid laying on your back.
There are a variety of supplements thought to help COVID positive patients. Among them are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Black cumin seed oil
- Zinc lozenges – good at onset of sore throat or cough. Do not use for more than 3 days. Chronic use can replete copper.
As always, discuss all supplements with your doctor prior to starting use. All supplements are not for everyone, especially those with chronic medical problems.
Interestingly, there are herbs thought to be helpful. Consider cooking with tumeric, sage, oregano, bay leave (all great ingredients to put into your soup).
A healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, sleep without any artificial light to maximize melatonin production, exercise for 30 min, and breathing exercises are beneficial today and everyday.