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All health care providers should be activists.

An article in STAT talks about doctors protesting racial injustice. This very eloquent comment by an MD is one that I hope that everyone, including all health care professionals, will read and take to heart:

Sarah O’Neil, MD

Racism is lethal.
Primum Non Nocere.
First, Do No Harm.
If I let racism stand, believing that because I don’t discriminate that my job is over, I am violating a primary tenet of medical ethics.
As a competent and responsible physician, I MUST actively choose to personally and publicly be an anti-racist because to do otherwise harms my patients.
The so-called controversy about whether docs should or shouldn’t speak out against racism arises from the conflation of fact with opinion.
It is not my OPINION that racism is bad for the health of people of color. It is a fact backed by epidemiological data.
Being an anti-racist activist is different from any other health campaign because why? Because racists still exist?
Smokers and people who don’t eat vegetables also still exist. But smoking is still harmful and vegetable consumption is still a contributor to improving health on many fronts and it is still my job to help people uncover the obstacles to making healthier choices.
In delivering good health care, it is my duty to be aware of and speak out about critical medical facts. Racism is harmful to one’s health. Racism kills people directly and indirectly, every day. This is a public health crisis. It is a fact. People with crushed tracheas are highly likely to have a bad medical outcome. Getting shot is bad for your health. Not trusting the medical establishment because we physicians won’t speak out about the real harms of racism contributes to health care avoidance by people of color. The chronic stress of afraid of being shot for daring to be alive while Black increases inflammation as does any other source of chronic stress.
Don’t smoke.
Wear a bike helmet when riding.
Buckle your car seat.
Choose to be anti-racist.

Vitamin D and COVID-19

There has finally been more press on Vitamin D (and other nutrients) for supporting the immune system and its benefits re: COVID-19. A physicians group in Canada specifically recommends Vitamin D3, zinc, and Vitamin C to help protect seniors from COVID-19. Vitamin deficiencies make everyone vulnerable to infection, not just seniors, although seniors do tend to have lower levels. More studies have been coming out on Vitamin D and risk of death from COVID-19. Vitamin D helps protect you from respiratory infections and it appears COVID-19 is not an exception.

As my colleague says: There is a huge gap between “wash your hands/social distancing” and ending up in a hospital. Naturopathic medicine fills this gap.

So contact your doctor about getting your Vitamin D levels tested so you can find out what an optimal dose of Vitamin D is for you to help protect yourself during this pandemic.

Flowing Health is a naturopathic clinic that also offers acupuncture and cupping in the Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Ballard, Queen Anne area since 2010.

Cold, flu and coronavirus

The immunologist Heather Zwickey, PhD has a short recording on coronavirus/COVID-19 you can find at Natural Medicine Journal. Some of the highlights include the following: Coronaviruses have been around for a long time and they typically show up as mild colds. But this recent coronavirus, COVID-19, is more similar to SARS and MERS. It’s fairly contagious but not as contagious as measles (for every one person with COVID-19 about two people get infected. For measles, 18 would get infected). Because it spreads by respiratory droplets, handwashing does work for preventing infection. COVID-19 affects the elderly with pre-existing conditions the most. It does have an affinity for the lower lungs so people with COPD are especially vulnerable to pneumonia from this. We don’t have total control over being exposed to viruses such as COVID-19. But we do have control over strengthening our immune system and making ourselves less susceptible to infection. Find out ways to do so on our resources page where you can find a handout on Naturopathic Immune Support for Cold and Flu.

Flowing Health has been providing naturopathic services as well as acupuncture and cupping since 2007. We are conveniently located in Green Lake and close to Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and Crown Hill.

Prescription drug mix-ups

are more common than you think. Have your loved ones double check the shape/color/markings of their prescription pills whenever they re-fill their medication especially if they are using one of these chain pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid) named here: How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies is Putting Patients at Risk. Better yet, use an independent local pharmacy. They typically have better pricing.

Flowing Health offers naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and cupping in North Seattle.We are in the Green Lake area and conveniently close to Ballard, Greenwood, and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods.