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Vitamin D, Coronavirus, and Your Overall Health

Vitamin D, Coronavirus, and Your Overall Health

New studies reveal interesting and pertinent information about vitamin D and the coronavirus that could just save lives.

Over 80 percent of hospitalized coronavirus patients also have a vitamin D deficiency. These patients also have higher blood levels of inflammatory markers However, there is no link between lower levels and severity of the disease. In another study, Spanish researchers gave 50 patients a prescription of vitamin D. One participant went into intensive care. No participant died. Half of the 26 patients who did not receive the vitamin needed intensive care and two of them passed away.

Another US study found patients with adequate vitamin D levels were less likely to become unconscious or die from covid-19. 

What the Latest Research Means for Treating Covid-19

So what does all of this research mean in the treatment of covid-19? The answer is still unknown. Many new studies are being conducted as we speak. Some research suggests a link between vitamin D and the C-reactive protein, a marker for severe covid-19. Others are looking at how vitamin D relates to coronavirus’ cytokine storm. A cytokine storm occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking its own cells and tissues rather than fighting the virus. 

Interestingly enough, researchers who took a look back at the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic found that patients with sufficient vitamin D levels were also able to fight off the disease rather than succumb to it. This and other recent studies on vitamin D and its effects on overall health lends more credence to the fact that vitamin D is a significantly vital nutrient to our wellness. 

Vitamin D is also crucial in fighting other diseases such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease. It helps strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis, a bone disease that causes the bones to be brittle and weak. Vitamin D can also decrease depression and boost weight loss. It’s important to note that people with vitamin D deficiencies are more likely to experience depression. If you are a frequent sufferer of depression, talk with your healthcare provider about your vitamin D levels. If they are low, your provider can help. 

Why People Have Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. That means people with a deficiency must suffer from lack of sunshine. Right? Well. You’re not totally wrong, though there are other factors that can contribute. For instance, people with darker skin have a harder time absorbing vitamin D from the sun. Pollution, sunscreen, and living in big cities where buildings block the sun also contribute. And yes, staying indoors too much is a factor. 

How to Get the Vitamin D You Need

First, talk with your provider before beginning any supplement and find out if you need one. Vitamin D overdose is a real thing and it’s just as dangerous as being deficient. In addition to supplements there are many delicious food alternatives that provide the vitamin D your body needs. Options include salmon, sardines, shrimp, egg yolk, and fortified milk, cereal, yogurt, and orange juice. 

Concerned about your vitamin D levels? This another great subject to discuss with your provider during your annual checkup. The end of the year is quickly approaching. If you haven’t scheduled a wellness visit this year, now is the time. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.

How Will Covid-19 Precautions Affect Flu Season?

Covid-19 continues to spread as traditional flu season approaches. Many are wondering, will covid-19 precautions affect flu season?

As the start of the average flu season begins, epidemiology numbers are the lowest they’ve been in recent history. The only states in the US to show moderate flu activity at the time this was written were Iowa and New Mexico. Current CDC data shows an average of 0.1% of specimens testing positive for the flu.

These incredibly low statistics are likely due to current social distancing, handwashing, and mask guidelines. This data shows that the measures do work to slow the spread of contagious illnesses. 

Numbers are considerably low this year compared to most. But the flu is still something everyone should take seriously. Covid-19 and influenza are similar illnesses with equally similar symptoms. However, each require their own treatment. 

Who Should Be Concerned About Flu and Coronavirus?

Everyone young and old should get the flu shot as a precaution. Pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are still the most critical recipients of the flu vaccine. Practice the same social distancing, mask, and flu guidelines already in place to help slow the spread of flu germs. 

Both viruses can be deadly for some and mild for others. It’s those who are more likely to suffer from serious consequences who must be considered. 

What Should I do if I Develop Flu or Coronavirus-related Symptoms?

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop a fever, chills, nausea and/or vomiting, or cough. You need to be tested for both viruses and get treatment for your symptoms. Follow their guidelines for social distancing while you are at the clinic. Some clinics will treat and test you from your car. You should quarantine yourself for at least 10 days to help prevent the spread of illness. Exposed household members should do the same for precaution.

Are you experiencing symptoms related to flu or covid-19? Contact Mantachie Rural Health Care immediately to set up an appointment for testing and care. 

How to Stay Safe at the Clinic during Non-Coronavirus Health Visits

How to Stay Safe at the Clinic during Non-Coronavirus Health Visit

As we write this, the entire state of Mississippi is experiencing an upswing in confirmed coronavirus diagnosis. It’s more important now than ever to practice CDC guidelines to stay safe and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Staying home and avoiding unnecessary trips to public places including health facilities are among the steps we should take to slow the spread of the virus. But when you become sick with a non-coronavirus related illness or need a prescription refilled, a health visit is unavoidable. Here’s what you can do to stay safe at the clinic.

Find out your clinic’s safety requirements before your visit. 

Most clinics are taking extreme precautions and measures to protect their patients and staff. Find out your clinic’s policies on masks and social distancing, as well as their cleaning and sanitizing protocols. Most clinics will have restrictions in place regarding how many people are allowed inside and how many visitors can accompany a patient even for a non-coronavirus health visit. Expect temperature checks and symptom screenings at every clinic entrance. 

Ask about their protocol for possible coronavirus patients.

Knowing what your clinic is doing to protect you and others from exposure to coronavirus is one way to ease any anxiety you have about your visit. Every clinic should have a protocol in place that keeps patients with coronavirus-related symptoms totally isolated.

Take your own protective measures.

Do your part to protect yourself and help slow the spread of coronavirus. Wear a mask to the clinic and other public places. Sanitize or wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after touching public surfaces. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth and stay 6 feet away from others. 

Mantachie Rural Health Care is committed to protecting you and all of our patients and staff. If you are sick or have an urgent health matter, don’t put off visiting your provider because of coronavirus fears. A known illness or emergency can be more dangerous to your health than the possibility of a virus. We are taking every measure possible to keep our clinic safe. Request an appointment with us at 662-282-4226.

Read next: 4 Dangers to Skipping Your Child’s Wellness Check-up


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