The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Recovering from Covid, Pt. 2

Last week’s blog was about using activity and posture to assist you or your loved one to recover from a bout of Covid.  It and this week’s blog are based on a list about “fighting Covid at home” that was circulated online by a woman who was sent home from the hospital to recover. It is important to note here that these blogs are NOT about preventing Covid, but about assisting the recovery after it been identified and treated. This week’s blog is about diet and nutrition. As I did last week, I have crossed out those items unsupported by science and added my own comments in italics.
  • Eat at least 1 - 2 eggs a day, plus bananas, avocado and asparagus. These are good for potassium.  (Good foods to eat anytime. While potassium does not prevent infection, it does promote recovery.)
  • Do not drink anything cold - have it at room temperature or warm it up. (There is a notion that cold water may cause lungs to become scarred. There is no evidence to support this claim.)
  • Do drink lots of fluids. Water with lemon, and little honey, peppermint tea, apple cider are good suggestions for getting in fluids. (Staying hydrated is important for maintaining good health and for supporting your immune system.)
  • No milk products. (Milk products are good sources of nutrition. Although once thought to create more phlegm in the lungs, they do not.  They do make existing phlegm thicker and more irritating, in which case they are best avoided just until the phlegm goes away.)
  • Drink a smoothie of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, honey, tea and a spoon or two of peanut butter. (Antioxidants, a natural sweet and a little protein--all healthy foods that will help to boost immunity. Use green tea for an even greater immune boost.)
The doctor also recommended the following supplements and drugs. Brand names are shown but you can buy generics for most of these items and they will usually be just as good--and much less expensive! Be sure to check with your doctor before using any of them. Normally you might not do this for yourself, but if you are already recovering from Covid, you and your doctor need to be on the same page. Don’t take anything that hasn’t been approved. And of course, Covid or not, check with your loved one’s doctor giving them to your loved one.
  • Sports drinks with electrolytes (Pedialyte, Gatorade Zero, Powerade Zero) to prevent you from becoming dehydrated. (Electrolytes help your immune system recover from Covid but drinking them will not prevent it.)
  • Vitamin’s D3, C, B, Zinc, Probiotic One-Day are good ideas. (As above, these all support your immune system as you recover from Covid but they will not prevent it.)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever. (An old favorite and fairly safe, used sparingly.)
  • Guaifenesin (Mucinex) for drainage, plus helps the cough. (Avoid giving your loved one those with additional ingredients such as Mucinex DM. They can cause problems with LBD.)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid) helps for cramps in your legs. (This is an antiacid used to treat heartburn and is unsupported by research for use with leg cramps. Try drinking more water!)
  • One baby aspirin everyday can help prevent getting a blood clot, which can occur from low activity. (While there is evidence that Covid patients clot more easily, evidence for use in milder cases is lacking. Ask your doctor if you need this.)
The bottom line is, stay active, stay hydrated and eat healthy with a focus on potassium-rich foods (not supplements, which aren't very helpful), antioxidant-rich foods and supplements that support your immune system. I hope this helps you, your loved one or someone you know.

For more information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia
Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs
Lewy Body Dementia: A Manual for Staff

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.

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