If you are like me, I thought life was already hectic between work, raising children, and the daily grind we all face….and then the corona virus pandemic hit!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kirsten Baker. I am a board certified Physician Assistant with a background in health and wellness. I graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Nutrition Science and attended the Rush University Medical Center Dietetic Internship prior to becoming a Physician Assistant. During this time of uncertainty, we wanted to equip our Austin Skin and Wellness family with some tips to help keep you in control of your health:
Get Outside: Did you know staying active will help you release anxiety, relieve stress, and manage your mood. Additionally, 15-20 minutes of sun exposure per day allows your body to absorb much needed Vitamin D. Studies have shown that proper levels of Vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing respiratory tract infections. I do strongly suggest continuing to maintain a minimum of 6-foot distance between yourself and anyone else, as well as avoiding parks or other public places.
Supplements: Many supplements and natural treatments are being promoted to aide in the prevention of coronavirus. While none have been proven to work, many are theorized to have a potential benefit. While the list of potentially beneficial supplements is vast, I have highlighted a few possible options below:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is vital to the function of white blood cells that help your body fight infection and your overall immune health. Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, studies have shown that taking high-dose vitamin C beforegetting a cold may slightly reduce the severity and duration of a cold.
- Zinc: Zinc is another supplement that has been studied and shown to reduce the risk of developing a respiratory infection. However, zinc would not benefit most people unless they are deficient in zinc. People at risk for zinc deficiency include the elderly, vegetarians, and people taking certain medications, such as those that reduce stomach acid and ACE inhibitors for extended periods of time.
- Astragalus: Astragalus has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system and has recently been promoted to help protect from coronavirus. Studies have shown that it can help increase the bodies white blood cells in your body to help fight infection and has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects. However, there is no clinical evidence at this time that astragalus can prevent or treat coronavirus infections in people.
*The above information is meant to informative and is not a formal recommendation. None of the above information has been formally studied in the prevention or treatment of coronavirus. Each client should always be evaluated individually and risks/benefits should be discussed in detail. Always consult your primary doctor before adding or removing any medication and/or supplement to your treatment regimen.
Meditation/Prayer: While I am a huge believer in staying informed, we can all agree that sometimes the news and social media can become exhausting. Information is rapidly changing and is often confusing, overwhelming, or even scary. Mediation and/or prayer is a great time to temporarily disconnect from the chaos and re-center our minds. Apps such as “Headspace” and “Calm” can help guide you through some simple meditation practices.
Self-Care: I cannot stress what an important role self-care plays when things seem out of control. Many of our clients are facing extreme stress during this time of uncertainty, but one small act of self-care per day can greatly reduce your overall anxiety level. This could be as simple as reading a book or taking a bath, to applying a great face mask with some chocolate. Honestly, anything that makes your mind calm and your heart happy. Additionally, while we may be temporarily out of office, the Austin Skin and Wellness staff is available to you via phone or e-mail. We now have the ability to ship your favorite products directly to your home! Additionally, we are able to book future appointments to help you take advantage of some amazing specials that we will be offering to help you feel and look your best after weeks of social distancing.
We hope these wellness tips can help during this time of social distancing and sheltering in place. We are thinking and praying for our Austin Skin and Wellness family and we cannot wait to serve you again soon!
Kirsten Baker, PA-C