Non Communicable Diseases and Covid-19 : Part Two
5 SUPERFOODS TO BOOST IMMUNITY
– Watermelon: This cheap, tasty fruit is a talented immune booster. Watermelon is high in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, all of which give your immune system a boost.
– Yoghurt: Yoghurt is rich in probiotics, which help to boost immune function and may even help reduce the severity of illness or infection. It’s also high dose of protein and vitamins D, B2 and B12, all which are necessary for a robust and healthy immune system
– Spinach: Spinach was the world’s first superfood for a reason. High in folate, magnesium and iron, the nutrients in spinach help cells to function at their best which, in turn, boosts their response to infection. Not only that, but spinach is also high in vitamin C, an essential micronutrient your body can’t produce.
– Sweet potato:While regular potatoes aren’t counted towards your five a day, sweet potatoes are, because they’re an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. Beta carotene is crucial because your body converts it to vitamin A, which plays an important role in boosting immune function.
– Broccoli: Did you know one cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange? Not only that, but broccoli also contains multiple other immune-boosting nutrients, and an array of B vitamins, which help in the production of disease-fighting cells in your body.
When people with diabetes develop a viral infection, it can be harder to treat due to fluctuations in blood glucose levels and, possibly, the presence of diabetes complications. There appear to be two reasons for this. Firstly, the immune system is compromised, making it harder to fight the virus and likely leading to a longer recovery period. Secondly, the virus may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose.
If you have diabetes: Prepare in case you get ill.
– Make sure you have all relevant contact details to hand in case you need them. – Pay extra attention to your glucose control.
– Any infection is going to raise your glucose levels and increase your need for fluids, so make sure you can access a sufficient supply of water.
– Make sure you have a good supply of the diabetes medications you need. Think what you would need if you had to quarantine yourself for a few weeks.
– Make sure you have access to enough food.
– Make sure you will be able to correct the situation if your blood glucose drops suddenly.
– If you live alone, make sure someone you can rely on knows you have diabetes as you may require assistance if you get ill.
People with cardiovascular diseases like stroke and hypertension have high risk of getting COVID19. Take care of your heart while at home and maintain a healthy lifestyle by: – Continue doing exercise, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and getting adequate sleep.
– Maintain your social network even remotely and communicate with your friends and family on a regular basis.
– Limit the information you consume about the outbreak and the time you spend on it, and only trust reliable sources.
– Avoid using coping strategies involving alcohol or drugs
Source World Heart Federation
CANCER AND IMMUNE SYSTEMS
How can cancer and treatment weaken immunity? – The immune system protects the body against illness and infection caused by viruses like coronavirus. Some people with cancer have a weak immune system which reduces their ability to fight these infections.
– This is because some treatments, like chemotherapy, can stop the bone marrow from making enough white blood cells. White blood cells are part of your immune system. – Some types of cancer can also lower your ability to fight infection. This is usually cancer that affects your immune system like leukemia or lymphoma. – Therefore, cancer patients should be more careful and extremely cautious amidst the COVID19.
ADVICE TO CANCER VULNERABLE GROUPS
Some people with cancer are more at risk of being seriously ill if they develop the COVID-19 infection. If you are in one of these groups, you are encouraged to follow particular measures to protect yourself. These groups of people include those: – having chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
– with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
– having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
– having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
– who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppressive drugs
If you are unsure what treatment you are having and whether you are in one of these groups speak to the team caring for you.
SOURCE CANCER RESEARCH UK
TIPS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Tips for people living with or affected by NCDS: – Continue to take your medication and follow medical advice
– Secure a one month supply of your medication or longer if possible
– Keep a distance of at least one metre from people with a cough, cold or flu
– Wash your hands often with soap and water
– Quit smoking and avoid using coping strategies involving alcohol or drugs
– Safeguard your mental health