Corona virus and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – what should be considered?

Since December 2019, the corona virus, internally known as SARS-CoV-2, has been keeping the whole world in suspense, claiming tens of thousands of lives worldwide and causing the governments of affected countries to take sometimes drastic measures to contain the pandemic as much as possible.

The coronavirus, which causes the lung disease COVID-19 pneumonia, causes high death rates and increased complications in the overall course of the viral disease, especially among elderly and immunocompromised people.

Since we Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients are known to have problems with our immune system, I’ve put together some information to do a little education, take away fears and dispel myths. But first some facts:

Where does the corona virus come from?

The coronavirus, which is currently leading to the lung disease COVID-19, first became apparent in the city of Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, in December 2019 and has since caused a pandemic that is spreading rapidly around the world.

It is suspected that the coronavirus spread from bats to humans, but there is currently no 100% proof of this.

According to T-Online and Stern.de , there is also evidence that the virus originated in a research laboratory about 300m from the fish market in Wuhan, where virologists are researching viruses in bats.

How is the virus spreading in Germany?

The corona virus is spreading rapidly in Germany and infected 33,000 people nationwide by the time this article was written (03/24/2020). So far, more than 400,000 infections have been recorded worldwide, although the number of unreported cases is probably much higher because many countries do not test at all.

How can you get infected with the corona virus?

According to the latest findings, scientists and health authorities assume that the coronavirus will spread via droplet and contact infection. This means that a sick person can infect those around them through talking, simple facial contact and coughing. The mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth play a central role in absorbing the virus.

According to the virologist Christian Drosten from the Berlin Charité, the corona viruses actively multiply in people who are already infected, especially in the throat area. In contrast to the previously known SARS infection, this fact makes it much easier to contract the coronavirus, as significantly more viruses are coughed up and larger numbers get into the immediate vicinity of the infected person.

The incubation period, i.e. the time from infection to the onset of the disease, is currently estimated at around 2-14 days. Because of this, suspected cases are isolated for at least 14 days in quarantine.

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Survival of the coronavirus on smooth surfaces is currently estimated at around 72 hours. However, only under optimal conditions, which are rarely given.

What symptoms are typical of the coronavirus and how does it differ from the “normal” flu?

According to the WHO, around 80% of those who are ill experience a mild course of the disease. Almost 14% of those infected develop severe symptoms such as shortness of breath and severe fatigue. Only 5-6% of those affected suffer life-threatening complications such as multi-organ failure, respiratory arrest or septic shock.

The key differences between COVID-19, the common cold and the flu

Infection with the corona virus is often not immediately clear and usually overlaps with the signs of influenza that overtakes us every year.

Symptoms are exhaustion, tiredness, body aches, muscle aches, fever and dry cough, which is why it is difficult to distinguish clearly from the flu.

Apparently there are also local differences. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the following symptoms were reported as typical for the coronavirus in China (in descending order of frequency):

  • fever
  • Dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle and joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • headache
  • stuffy nose

In more than 6000 infected patients in Germany, the Robert Koch Institute identified the following symptoms as characteristic of an infection with the coronavirus (in descending order of frequency):

  • to cough
  • fever
  • sniffles
  • for COVID-19 non-specific symptoms

How and where can an infection with the coronavirus be diagnosed?

A so-called rapid test is available in Germany for a diagnosis, in which a swab is taken from the throat area using cotton swabs and examined in the laboratory for SARS-CoV-2.

In order to be tested, however, a certain procedure must be followed:

If you suspect that you have been infected with the corona virus, you should first call your family doctor and tell him your suspicion. There is a reasonable suspicion if you have been in a risk area, show typical symptoms and/or have been in contact with a person who has been proven to be infected.

If these conditions apply to you, your family doctor will give you a phone number for the regional swab center.

There you have to call and provide all relevant data over the phone. Only when this is done will you receive an “invitation” by email from the swab center with a specific date. You must print this out or save it on your mobile phone and present it to the smear center. Without this “invitation” the smear centers are not allowed to take any samples!

It would be important to note that from this moment on you have to observe a 14-day quarantine at home, because even if there are not necessarily concrete symptoms to date, they can still occur within the 14-day incubation period.

You will be informed of the result of the examination either by telephone or by e-mail. The municipal employees are apparently on duty around the clock, because I got my call on a Sunday evening.

If you cannot reach your family doctor, you can alternatively call the following numbers for advice and information:

Is there already a therapy option?

No, so far there are neither drugs that can fight the corona virus nor a suitable vaccine. Various drugs that were originally developed against HIV and Ebola are currently being tested on corona patients, but there has not yet been any concrete breakthrough. However, according to the Robert Koch Institute, an effective drug against the virus could be available this year.

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How can I protect myself and others from infection and what can I do to help if I am already infected?

In addition to the logical measures such as washing your hands frequently, coughing into the crook of your arm, keeping your distance from others, using disinfectants and adhering to strict quarantines, strengthening your own immune system plays a central role, especially for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients if it it is about avoiding infection or surviving an existing infection.

In order to ensure an adequate immune response of the body, it is essential to provide the body with all the necessary building blocks. This can be achieved by eating a healthy diet and taking certain supplements.

It has long been known that, for example, high doses of vitamin C are very helpful in all viral diseases. But zinc and vitamin D3 are also essential in fighting unwanted viruses or bacteria such as influenza or pneumonia. This also applies to the treatment of the corona virus and is currently being used very successfully in China.

Doctors from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service recommend the following preventive basic treatment when it comes to protecting yourself from viruses in the cold season by supporting your own immune system:

  •     Vitamin C : 1000mg 3x daily
  •     Zinc : 20mg daily, best with lunch
  •     Vitamin D3: at least 2,000 IU daily
  •     Magnesium: 2x 200mg daily
  •     Selenium: 100 µg daily

In the case of an acute infection, the vitamin C can/should be increased to 1000 mg per hour. In the long run you will probably get a loose bowel movement this way, but it is well worth it in this particular case.

But there are many other ways to strengthen your immune system and actively fight viruses:

L-Lysin

L-lysine is one of the essential amino acids and is able to displace the amino acid L-arginine, which viruses need to reproduce. But the immune system itself is also strengthened directly with the help of L-lysine. As an acute therapy over a short period of about 7-10 days, you can safely take up to 3000mg daily divided into three doses.

Vitamin C

When a viral disease develops, the vitamin C level in the leukocytes drops rapidly within a few hours. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and provides the necessary defense at the beginning of an infection.

It ensures the formation of white blood cells, renders free radicals harmless and regenerates the body’s own antioxidants. Various studies have also shown that taking vitamin C can reduce the occurrence of pneumonia.

Zink

Zinc is particularly effective in fighting colds, as it prevents the virus from docking to the host cells in the nasal mucosa. Zinc simply crowds out the viruses and reduces their replication by attaching itself to the host cells and claiming them.

A lack of zinc in the human body leads to dysfunction of humoral and cell-mediated immunity, thereby increasing susceptibility to infectious diseases.

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With a high dose of zinc of up to 75mg daily for a few days, from the time the first symptoms of a viral infection are noticed, the extent and duration of a viral infection is significantly reduced.

se l en

Especially with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the selenium levels are usually in the lowest normal range, which speaks for increased consumption in autoimmune diseases or poor absorption through the intestine. Selenium is essential for the production or conversion of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland.

In addition, a selenium deficiency leads to an impaired immune response and also has a negative impact on the viral pathogens themselves. A selenium deficiency leads to rapid mutations of benign RNA virus variants in the direction of increased virulence and ensures increased pathology of influenza viruses.

A long-term intake of up to 200 µg selenium in the form of selenomethionine or similar is considered safe and problem-free.

Cistus incanus

Rockrose extracts are able to deactivate a wide variety of virus forms. This was already confirmed in 2016 in various studies by the Helmholtz Research Center for Health and the Environment in Munich.

The focus was on HI, Ebola and Marburg viruses, which could be deactivated in laboratory experiments using cistus extracts and thus prevented proliferation. The extracts were able to prevent the viruses from docking to the host cell by selectively binding to the virus particles and thus preventing an infection.

Finally, a home remedy that should not be underestimated

Since the corona virus can increasingly be detected in the throat, it makes sense to gargle with salt water to kill the pathogens locally and effectively.

To do this, simply dissolve half a teaspoon of iodized salt in warm water and gargle with it every hour. You will be surprised how quickly this home remedy drives away a sore throat and eliminates pathogens in the throat.

Whether these measures will also take effect with the corona virus and lead to an improvement in well-being cannot be said with certainty, as this virus is simply too new and unexplored. But it’s a virus! And actively strengthening the immune system can’t hurt in any case.

How long does it take to recover from an infection?

According to the WHO, those affected with mild to mild symptoms recover from COVID-19 within 14 days. Patients with a severe course of symptoms usually recover within 3-7 weeks.

In a risk group, COVID-19 can take a life-threatening course. These include older people over 65 years of age, as well as people with cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and immunocompromised patients.

Conclusion

Of course, the corona virus should not be underestimated, as it is able to spread very quickly and cause pneumonia. However, it is otherwise not necessarily more dangerous than “normal” influenza. It always depends on your personal health status and age.

However, people with a weak immune system and corresponding previous illnesses are at risk and should therefore actively take the measures mentioned to strengthen their immune system, since these measures have been shown to be very successful in China in the past.

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