INTERVIEW: Prevention During a Pandemic

March 23rd, 2020

The following is an interview with Dr. Tammy Born Huizenga, Born Clinic’s medical director. 

Most doctors focus on treating patients who are already sick — why does Born Clinic place such an emphasis on prevention?

“It’s smart to prevent conditions rather than wait for something to happen and then have to treat it, so if we have the information we need to keep our bodies strong and we can fight illness as soon as we become symptomatic, we can prevent further complications.

These bugs are becoming stronger than us, so we have to be proactive. I feel like it’s my job to give patients a comprehensive idea of what’s going on in their bodies. How can I get your body to work optimally? Do you have enough nutrients? Are you eating something that maybe your body doesn’t like? Do you have something toxic in your body? What’s out of balance in your body? There are so many great tests available now to help a patient function optimally — if we are proactive we can keep ourselves healthier than if we just wait until these bugs come at us or cancer cells start to grow in our bodies. There are ways to get healthier and prevent these illnesses.

However, it’s not always possible to prevent a condition and most of us don’t even know when we’ve been exposed or are getting sick. Prevention isn’t necessarily going to work if you’ve already been exposed or gotten sick, and the Born Clinic will treat you either way.”

“It’s smart to prevent conditions rather than wait for something to happen and then have to treat it.”Dr. Born Huizenga

What are some things we can do to prevent illness?

“So how can we not get sick? I think there are some general things, some of the things you’ve been hearing on the TV: wash your hands a lot, don’t cough and sneeze on everyone, cough in your arm; and there’s always general lifestyle things: eat healthy, get enough sleep.

So what does ‘eat healthy’ mean? Eating healthy means staying away from junk food, staying away from empty calories. Sugar has been found to significantly suppress immune function — that’s not worth it right now. You need every bit of your immune system working, so stay away from sugar. I also am going to make one kind of bold recommendation for my patients and for anyone who really wants to think about staying healthy: Stay away from foods that cause a lot of mucus in your body, especially dairy products.

I’ve been doing food sensitivity testing at this office for over 30 years now, and the most common food for my patients to become sensitive to is dairy. That means milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese . . . these foods that can be healthy but generally increase mucus production. What does mucus do? Mucus provides a nice moist warm place for viruses to grow. So generally, in this time when there are a lot of bugs going around, the air is extra dry, and it’s easy for those mucus membranes to become vulnerable, don’t eat foods that cause extra mucus production and can really suppress your immune system in the long run. You’re eating something that your body doesn’t like. If you’re saying ‘oh, I don’t feel well after I eat this,’ don’t eat it right now. Anything that challenges your immune system forces it to focus on fixing that problem rather than helping you stay healthy.

So ‘eat healthy’ means stay away from foods — especially dairy products — that cause you to produce extra mucus or just don’t make you feel well. Don’t eat empty calories — sugar, processed foods — stick with a fresh fruits and vegetables diet, lean meats . . . things that you know that are healthy. Get your exercise. Maybe be careful at the gym to use good hand washing techniques, and if you’re sick, don’t go to the gym — don’t try and spread your germs to anyone else — but it’s important to stay exercising. Maybe it’s the time to exercise at home.”

“Some of these immune boosters that are available in supplement form can help your immune system recognize and aggressively attack viruses.”Dr. Born Huizenga

What specific recommendations do you give your family and patients?

“There are some supplements and products that could offer an extra boost in prevention and probably also early treatment of viruses — what we call immune boosting. Some of these immune boosters that are available in supplement form can help your immune system recognize and aggressively attack viruses. It probably would be a good idea to start on an immune booster right now . . . something like echinacea, which is a great booster for an early infection and can also be used for prevention. It’s been around for awhile, it’s safe — if you have an autoimmune condition it’s probably something you shouldn’t take — but most people can tolerate echinacea well.

Elderberry is also a very good immune booster for viruses and is a known anti-viral. Go to the health food store and pick up some elderberry capsules or syrups. Colostrum is also really great for both early infections and prevention because it contains proteins called immune globulins that help your body attack different viruses. We have supplements at Born Clinic that contain echinacea, transfer factors — which are from the colostrum — and something called colloidal silver. Silver is a great antiseptic, and you can use colloidal silver spray to kill viruses and bacterias that can kind of lay dormant for awhile and then take off and make you sick when your immune system is down. If I have a patient who’s been sick and I’ve been in a room with them I’ll go back to my office and spray some colloidal silver, or I will use a little bit to gargle with if I wake up with a sore throat. I haven’t had patients experience negative reactions to these products, and I think they can be very helpful in prevention and in early treatment of viruses.”

“Don’t eat empty calories — sugar, processed foods — stick with a fresh fruits and vegetables diet, lean meats . . . things that you know are healthy.”Dr. Born Huizenga

TAKEAWAY:
Prevention > Treatment

Practices

    • Wash your hands — thoroughly & frequently
    • Be mindful of coughing & sneezing
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise (at home!)
    • Eat healthy
        • DON’T:
          • Junk & processed food, sugar, dairy products, anything that makes your body feel bad
        • DO:
          • Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats

Products (Immune Boosters)

    • Flu Defense Kit
    • Echinacea
    • Elderberry
    • Colostrum
    • Colloidal Silver