Stay Safe and Healthy During Wild Fires
The wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties are a major concern for all of us. The loss of lives and property will affect many in the 360-MD community and our hearts go out to all those affected.
During this time of poor air quality, it is important to be preventative about lung damage, especially for those with allergies, asthma and pre-existing respiratory disease. Wildfire smoke is a combination of particles and gases, both of which can cause irritation and damage to sensitive mucosa in the lungs. The damage occurs via oxidative stress, so eating nutritious food and taking antioxidant supplements can counter the negative effects.
Here's a quick list of tips that can be helpful while the air is polluted by smoke. It is likely you have some or all of these in your home pharmacy or pantry...
Whenever the body is under stress it requires extra vitamins and minerals. This is an important time to choose high quality whole foods. Nutrient-dense foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables will provide a mixture of natural antioxidants. Foods containing flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory features that may provide additional lung protection. These foods include: strawberries, green tea, black tea, brussels sprouts, beans, onions and apples.
Vitamin C: Smoke causes inflammation via oxidative damage so antioxidants will be very helpful during this time. One of our best antioxidants is Vitamin C. You can increase your dose up to bowel tolerance (too much will cause loose stools). Recommended: 3000 to 6000mg/day in divided doses.
Vitamin D3: Supporting the immune system with vitamin D is especially important when dealing with smoke inhalation, especially those who have been diagnosed with a deficiency. Recommended: 5,000 to 10,000 iu/day with meals
Glutathione: Liposomal glutathione can detoxify acetaldehyde and other toxins found in smoke and has great potential benefit to preventing damage from smoke inhalation. Recommended: 1 teaspoon of liposomal form twice daily (ie Readisorb) or 2 sprays twice daily (or Quicksilver Glutathione spray- We have this in the office, just ask). OR if you can't get Glutathione...
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): is a precursor to glutathione and can be used if glutathione is not available as a supplement. NAC is a powerful mucolytic, breaking down and eliminating accumulated mucus from the lungs. In addition to facilitating breathing, toxins and germs threatening the lungs are also removed. People with various lung disorders such as bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema may greatly benefit from NAC. Recommended: 600mg three times/day.
Selenium: As an antioxidant, selenium helps fight free radical damage and moderates cellular oxidative stress. Recommended: 200mcg twice/day
Herbs: Green tea, ginger, and turmeric can be highly effective in inhibiting the activation of carcinogens in environmental smoke. Use in cooking or as a tea.
- Remain indoors, close all windows and minimize duration and intensity of outdoor activities.
- HEPA filters or even air conditioners with filters and recirculating air can help cut down on particulate matter in the air indoors. Do NOT use an air conditioner if it does not have air filters or it will only suck in smoke and make breathing conditions worse.
- Use an N95 particulate mask respirator when outside for an extended period of time, especially if you have cardio-pulmonary problems. We have a few of these in the office starting on Friday.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid unnecessarily exerting yourself. Heavy breathing means you’re going to inhale more smoke.
- Be especially conscious of breathing conditions for children, pregnant women, elderly and those with pre-existing heart or lung problems.
If you want to read more about the impact of small particles on human respiratory system: Read this article.
Or this piece on what kinds of mask and how to use: Read here.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, please call 415-388-2360 or email us support@360-MD.com
We look forward to seeing you soon.
With our Best Wishes for All to Be and Stay Well...
Drs. Alex Zaphiris and Sue St. Pierre