FACT-Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses found in a variety of mammals and birds. In humans, these viruses can cause several conditions, ranging from mild respiratory infections to more serious illnesses like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that was recently identified in humans.

The symptoms of coronavirus are like other respiratory infections, including the common cold. Some of the most common symptoms include: Fever, Shortness of breath/Difficulty breathing/Chest pain (because it affects the deeper portion of your lungs as compared to the “bronchitis” type of lung issues we get as secondary conditions from the “colds, sinusitis, flu, etc.”), Runny nose, Headache (secondary to possible fever), Sore throat ( due to the tonsil/adenoid/lymph node  involvement which is the immune response as our body is “fighting” the virus/bacteria).

In severe cases, coronavirus may also lead to more serious issues, including pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and death. But before “FEAR” takes over we must accept that these potential risks are accepted with all the FLU’s we as Americans deal with each year. This year it was Influenzas A & B, in years past we all recall the Swine Flu, Asian Flu, H1N1 Flu, etc. Both viruses—influenza and coronavirus—are highly infectious diseases with similar symptoms, transmission, and prevention methods. This new virus is NOTHING LIKE the Ebola virus. That virus had an extremely high percentage of death associated with it. 

A pandemic is an epidemic occurring on a scale that crosses international boundaries, usually affecting many people.”

On March 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) began describing the outbreak as a pandemic. A pandemic is an epidemic occurring on a scale that crosses international boundaries, usually affecting many people…. A disease or condition is not a pandemic merely because it is widespread or kills; it must also be infectious. For instance, cancer is responsible for more deaths but is not considered a pandemic because the disease is not infectious or contagious.

As for the data we do have, that information shows a low fatality rate and high survival rate for COVID-19. In a new article published February 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), authors looked at the worldwide case records of 72,314 patients, 44,672 of which were confirmed as having COVID-19. Of those confirmed cases, 36,160 cases, or 81%, showed only mild symptoms, while 14% were severe and 5% critical. The overall case-fatality rate, corona-virus cases that ended in death, was only 2.3%, or 1,023 deaths out of 44, 672 confirmed cases. In America we have greater access to:  clean water, high hygiene and health habits, better quality and control of our food sources, sanitation and removal of our personal and lifestyle wastes, a better medical care system for those who do get more severe complications, and a highly sophisticated communication ability than most of the other poorer nations that this new coronavirus has impacted. So while hearing the news daily keep in mind that the “media” are driving this hysteria to a whole new level. This is NOT the Bubonic plague, Malaria, Anthrax or any of the other pandemics/epidemics we have heard in the past. Its just the newest one and believe me there will be more in the future. Viruses as well as bacteria, parasites, molds, and fungi are constantly mutating. Our bodies live everyday with these critters on and in us.

This is what leads me to my point today referencing the old cliché:



Wash Hands Frequentlyas simple and basic as that sounds it is the hallmark of most if not all transmissions of virus and bacteria spread!!

Maintain Distance-Ideally, try to maintain at least three feet of distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This can help prevent you from breathing in any liquid droplets containing the virus, which can be sprayed through the nose or mouth through coughing and sneezing.

Clean and Disinfect Surfaces-Viruses can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours (some experts are stating that the human coronaviruses can remain infectious from 2 hours to 9 days). Washing and disinfecting surfaces that you regularly use can help block the spread of germs to prevent infection.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth-Your hands can pick up viruses from the surfaces that you touch. Touching your face with unwashed hands can transfer these germs, which can then enter the body and cause infection.

Practice Cough Etiquette and Respiratory Hygiene-Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or using a tissue to cover your mouth can help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. Be sure to also dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands thoroughly after exposure to any respiratory secretions.

What About Natural Approaches?  

First and foremost, clean hands and do not touch face, eyes, nose and mouth.

Hydration This virus as many others enters through our breathing. The mucus (snot) we make each day (4-5 pints/day) is our first line of defense against these attackers. If we do not drink an ample amount of H2O, the mucus becomes thicken and less protective allowing the virus to have a greater access point. In addition, mucus contains a variety of antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal proteins.  Inorganic salts, antimicrobial enzymes (such as lysozymes), immunoglobulins, and glycoproteins such as lactoferrin and mucins, just to mention a few. Mayo Clinic published a recommendation- “a minimum of 16 oz. of water within the first 10 minutes after waking up”! For many decades our clinic has stressed the importance of rinsing these same nasal passages especially in the morning with saline solutions. This practice is as important as bathing and brushing our teeth. It immediately cleans the overnight mucus thickening that occurs as we sleep. When our patient’s do get sick, we add other agents to this saline rinse to enhance the effect .

Nourish our Immune System It is a fact that certain nutrients in food do have a profound effect on our bodies by maximizing healthy functions. For example, we all know that the lack of Calcium in our diet increases the risk of weak bones later in life. Science has demonstrated that Vitamin C complex & Vitamin D support a healthy immune system [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010 May;91(5):1255-60)]. The authors further state that our needs are best served by foods high in these nutrients as well as other lesser known nutrients (Phyto/anti-oxidative food chemicals) such as found in fruits and veggies, for example, citrus fruits, tomatoes, red/yellow sweet peppers, berries, green leafy vegetables, squashes, carrots, etc..

Herbs and Spices There is research about “Adaptogenic” Herbs and Spices- substances that improve the body’s ability to adapt to stress (emotional, chemical, physical).  In other countries, Ginseng for example, is a widely accepted herb used for supporting health is one example of an “Adaptogen” [Journal of Alternative/Complement Med. 2012 Nov;18(11):1061-9)]. Others are-Echinacea, Aloe Vera (Researchers have taken renewed interest in aloe vera as a powerful herb and superfood. Two of its compounds, Acemannan and Aloctin A, support immune and adrenal health [Pharmacodynamic Basis of Herbal Medicine], Oregano, Andrographis and Moringa Oleifera (Seeds, leaves, roots, and oils of the Moringa Oleifera plant are used throughout Southeast Asia) an ingredient in many common dishes. As part of traditional medicine, it supports the immune response, eases swelling, and promotes energy and adrenal health [Nutritional Characterization and Phenolic Profiling of Moringa Oleifera Leaves. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Aug 12;16]).

In conclusion, there are many other helpful “Natural Approaches” to support our immune systems which include Essential oils, Probiotics, Colloidal Silver, etc.  Once you become ill, your lifestyle, age and past medical history may necessitate medical advice as your situation dictates.  For additional info, please contact the Wilmington Clinic.

    2020 THE NEW DECADE!

    New Year’s resolutions are many, but New Decade goals are a whole new ball game. Our bodies change in 1-day, 1-week, 1-month cycles as well as 1-year, 3-year, 5-year cycles. For example, some fevers can be a 24-48-hour cycle depending what is causing the fever; many of us will “pull something” in our neck or back (again depending on many factors) can be resolved or at least greatly improved within a 1-week to 1-month cycle. More serious conditions such as coronary disease, cancers, degenerative joint conditions (arthritis of spine, hip, knee, shoulder, etc.), auto-immune conditions and many more take the longer cycle: 1-year, 3-year, 5-year cycle before we become aware of them. Most of us make promises (resolutions) such as start a new diet, exercise more, be nice and forgive others, which is all well and good, but one thing that some of us lose sight of is a very simple one- “Good Posture”. Many of you have come to the clinic over the years with neck, headache, low back and leg pain that your posture at work and/or home is a causative and/or contributing factor to how you feel. Posture also affects heart, lung, digestive and eliminative functions too. The big secret to “Good Posture” is not just exercise (which is good for overall health) but your constant awareness of your posture. Your “Mind-Body Connection” must become a habit like bathing and dental hygiene. So, pull those shoulders back, tuck that chin and “engage” that six pack as you sit, stand, and walk to make the next decade be the best that you can be!

    P.S. Google Bruegger’s and YTWL postural exercises.


    A “newly discovered chemical” in food called Apigenin ( a type of flavonoid that is high in celery and chamomile) has been demonstrated in lab tests to be “cytotoxic” (cell killing) to Pancreatic and G.I. tract Cancer cells.  The scientists have suggested that Apigenin has a potential protective role against these extremely aggressive forms of Cancer.  After 45yrs of studying health, I am glad to see that health professionals and the scientific community are analyzing foods and their “chemistry” as opposed to only trying to make “chemicals” that have a beneficial affect on our health. It’s my opinion, in the future we will see more “newly discovered chemicals” in our food and how they benefit and protect us.

    Remember…”Food is Medicine and Medicine is you Food….”we are what we eat”!!!


    Good news…..medical science has added “new evidence” that BERRIES are good for you!  Those of you who were kind enough to attend the health class series dealing with the Immune System became aware of the research that  supports:  “food is our medicine and medicine can be our food”! The latest in the journal  “Phytother Res. 2016; 30(8): 1265-86” Pharmacology and Health Benefits of Anthocyanins (the ‘blue’ of blueberries)  reports the biological effects as: “antimicrobial” (germ fighting), “cell-protective” (antioxidant), “antitumor”, “lipid-lowering” (cholesterol effecting), “neuroprotective” (brain aging protection). Just as our grandparents would say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”… now science has added another food to keep our bodies strong and resistive to disease. Can’t wait to learn what else they “discover” in our food because there are more than  10,000 food based chemicals identified so far …. I guess “they” will be real busy figuring out all of what that means!! So, add 1-2 cups of mixed berries to your 2-4 servings of fruit per day.


    For those of us watching the Olympic athletes compete to be their best, we get a chance to see how far one will push themselves to accomplish this.  Many competitors train excessively and make great sacrifices to achieve their quest for greatness.  It is not surprising that many of the participants look to a variety of approaches to treat and manage their strains, sprains, and injuries.  We have seen them wearing supportive “taping” techniques (kinesio taping) popularized in the previous Summer Olympics by the USA Beach Volley Ball team.  Now the “newest” example of specialized procedures to help has been observed with Michael Phelps, the USA swimming champion, exhibiting those “mysterious perfectly round” bruises!  He is using a method called “cupping” to treat Acupoints more commonly called Myofascial Trigger Points in Western Medicine terminology.  Many folks have heard of “Acupuncture” but are not aware that there are multiple ways to address “Acupoints/Trigger points” without “puncturing” them.  Pressure has been and still is the most popular, beneficial and least risky approach to treat them.  Needling (Acupuncture), Scraping (Gua sha is the Asian term; IASTM and/or Graston are the Western terms) and Cupping techniques were developed as additional ways to stimulate the “points”.  Today we have a better understanding of these areas of the body that include muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, skin, and periosteum (tissue that covers the bone) and how they have a huge influence on how we feel and function.  Most of us are not “gifted athletes” competing on the world stage but we are all working and playing hard in our daily lives…. either pushing ourselves hard, doing the same thing over and over again at our jobs, or just not taking care of ourselves the way we should.  Myofascial (Acupoints) treatment should be part of your health care for maximum health and function.


    One of my patients (who is an official member of the “seasoned citizens” club) posed a common question- “I am 75+ years old but I feel (and everyday tell myself) that I am 45+ years old.  I am always active with my family, my Church and my favorite hobby-Golf.  But I have noticed that my skin is thinning, bruising easier, and just looking older than I feel…Why and is there anything I can do??”

    Well, first off this individual is starting their day off the “right” way with positive and prayerful affirmations for their Mind. Secondly, each one of us has a specific gene makeup that is passed down from our parents that directly influences our health in all aspects. It is what we do during our lifetime that we can control that either minimizes or maximizes these genetic predispositions. The skin is called the integumentary system and is an organ system consisting of the skin, hair, nails, and exocrine glands. The skin is only a few millimeters thick yet is by far the largest organ in the body. Under what we see in the mirror is a fiber mesh work of collagen and elastin–type’s proteins that keep skin firm. As we age, this fiber network weakens and skin sags. In addition, it thins because it loses fat. Some of this “aging” is related to our genetic code. But no matter what kind of skin one has inherited, you can keep the skin you have looking young by taking action!

    The outside elements-sun, wind, cold, etc. greatly stress this incredible “organ” so protecting it would be the first line of defense to slow the process. And as with every other part of our body, what we nourish it with also has a tremendous influence.  At this time, medical science has affirmed that adding flax seed and fish oil to the diet has improved the overall health of skin by enriching from the inside out (‘British Journal of Nutrition’ Sept. 2008; Ray Sahelian, M.D.). Hydration was also noted for skin health-eight 8oz. glasses of water each day (just like we all have heard a ‘thousand’ times before!). Japanese researchers have shown the antioxidants (a sub category of 40,000+ phytonutrients in food) found in edible seaweed, algae, chlorella, spirulina, etc. protect the skin from damage done by ultraviolet B (UVB) light. Tomatoes provide an important chemical-Lycopene- that also is an antioxidant that has been linked to protecting the skin. In addition, it was discovered that more of this antioxidant becomes available with cooking. The list continues with a variety of vegetables and fruits (carrot, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, green leafy veggies, apricot, watermelon, all berries, etc.). Olive oil, Coconut oil, Almonds, Walnuts, and Brazil nuts all contain essential types of fats, “EFA’s”, that keep the skin supple. Topical applications of some these oils, in particular coconut and almond oil, are very popular. Many companies now add “antioxidants” (vitamin C, A, and others) to their skin formulas with all types of ‘celebrity’ endorsements and ‘clinical’ testing to promote these products. It is my opinion, we should put as much emphasis on “what we put in our body” as well as “what we put on our body”.  And lastly, there are more than 40 muscles that contribute to our facial expressions, so remember to “exercise” your face not just your body muscles.


    Everything with getting one’s health back and staying healthy boils down to Risk vs. Benefits.  For example, patients will ask…”if I add more veggies/fruits to my diet won’t I be getting more chemicals into me …and that’s bad. Right?”  Well the ‘knee jerk’ response would be- Yes, but there was an interesting finding in “Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal (2012 Dec; 50(12):4421-7) as well as the Journal of Nutrition, (2005; 135 (11):2639-2643). The authors observed by adding 1 extra serving of vegetables and fruits to our diets that 20,000 cancer cases per year could be prevented as opposed to just 10 cases of cancer per year being caused by increased pesticide intake.  Now don’t get me wrong… chemical ingestion is a problem in the American diet.  This is evident by the fact (also verified by one of my patients who works in the chemical food business) that other countries do not allow many of these “chemicals” into their food supplies. This is a “home grown” problem for the U.S… So, look at labels of “processed” foods but have peace of mind that just adding 1 extra serving of plant based foods has a greater Benefit when compared to its Risk!


    Acid-suppressing drugs called proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are considered so safe that they can now be purchased over the counter as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec. House brands include esomeprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole. But two new studies presented at the annual conference for doctors treating kidney problems indicate that regular use of such medications can increase the likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease. In one study of 10,000 individuals, those taking a PPI were 20 to 50 percent more likely to develop chronic kidney disease over fifteen years. The other study included more than 240,000 people for 17 years. They, too, were more susceptible to chronic kidney disease if they were taking a PPI. (ASN Kidney Week, Nov. 3-8, 2015)……today digestive disturbances plague Americans more than ever before! WHY??…not an easy answer but part of the the solution is the realization that we need to accept the following responsibility: what we eat, how we prepare and or modify what we eat, when we eat it and how much we eat has a tremendous influence  on “how we feel”…..answers to these issues sometimes is a “bitter pill to swallow” because many of us eat based on convenience rather than a way of nourishing ourselves…keep a food diary of  your daily food intake and play ” Sherlock Holmes” to uncover possible food situations that accentuate your symptoms…and if you feel the need for a “Dr. Watson” input,  we are always available for you.


    Vascular headaches have long troubled many people, and if you have never had one, you should consider yourself fortunate.  Whether it is once in your life or each week, one migraine is one too many.  Many people subsist in fear of the potential triggers and factors that can bring on a migraine, struggling to try and understand what is happening, why their head hurts so badly.

    The questions are why do the vascular mechanisms that supply the brain become abnormal, and then what can be done about it.  The standard of care in the health community seems to focus only on symptom suppressing pain management, which, even at best, is merely a mild palliative in the real management of this malady.  In nutritional practice using foundational measures to bring about balanced body physiology, a great deal of success has been achieved in learning about the underlying cause and supporting the body to prevent headaches from ever developing.

    First, let’s review what we know about migraines from experience:  A prodromal phase precedes the pounding pain characterized by hallucinations, visual disturbances with halo effects around objects, photophobia (light sensitivity), impaired thinking and nausea.  A secondary phase follows, characterized by severe pain and pounding, more severe photophobia, and nausea.  In fact, the migraine usually abates after finally throwing up.  This resolution to normal following vomiting may be the greatest insight into the causative mechanisms at work.

    There are two stages leading to migraine, both characterized by profound changes in the vascular (blood) supply to the brain.  The first stage (prodromal), is experienced because of an initial vascular constriction or starvation, creating secondary localized hypoxia (loss of oxygen), and this is why the brain hallucinates without the necessary blood/oxygen for proper function.  Then the vasculature, apparently fatigued by the effort of constriction, seems to lose its tone and simply dilate, sagging into the surrounding structures and creating the pounding pressure that is so crippling.  Most drug therapies seek to interrupt this vascular phenomenon.  In fact, in the past, certain drugs called ergotamines, were employed, even though they potentially compromised circulation to the heart at the same time.  Even now very little is offered except to attempt to interrupt the vascular dilation, which, while it provides essential relief, is not a correction to the cause of the condition, and it also costs the person a few days of being mildly drugged.

    It seems that the questions that need to be asked are:  Why does this vascular phenomenon occur, and what sets it off?

    We will deal with these questions in the next installment in this continuing series on migraine……………