How to support your body during this time of increased smoke and toxin exposure.

by Elizabeth Korza, ND and Tara Levy, ND

I opened my door this morning to find ash raining from the sky. The fires up north are devastating to the people that live there and are making the air quality in the Bay Area the worst in the nation. Unfortunately, this is not going to change soon as most of the fires are barely, if at all, contained. To make matters worse, what is burning are trees and homes, and all the contents of these homes. Think couches, rugs, beds, cleaning supplies, appliances and plastics, not to mention cars, motorcycles, bikes and more.

There is a lot we can do to protect ourselves during this time of increased smoke and toxin exposure. Here are some quick and essential tips to support your health and the health of your loved ones during this time:

  • Purchase a face mask
    • While this will not filter out the smaller particulates, it will reduce the amount of larger particles, dust and ash that you breath into your lungs. Wear this any time you are outside.
    • Ideally find a mask that is  NIOSH approved and marked N95, N100 or P100.   These respirators are designed to filter small particles when fitted properly over the mouth and nose.  The thin paper surgical and dust masks don’t filter these particles.
    • Since most places have sold out by now, consider ordering from an online source with speedy delivery.
  • Purchase an air filter.
    • Good quality air filters can be found at Costco and online. Purchase at least one to run in your bedroom all day and all night.
    • Keep your windows closed for as much of the day and night as is possible.
    • Eat very cleanly and drink plenty of filtered water.
        • Focus on vegetables of as many colors as possible, clean meats, fruits and healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, olives and coconut.
    • Avoid packaged foods, fried foods, fast foods and etc.
    • Drink Throat Coat Tea.
      • While this is designed to help with sore throats, the formula contains herbs that also offer great lung support. 3-5 cups per day per person is a great place
    • If you are asthmatic, be sure to take your medications regularly and have extra stock on hand.
    • Nasal rinsing.
      • Just like in allergy season, the smoke brings a large number of irritating particles into our respiratory passages.  Rinsing with saline, either through a spray or a neti-pot, can help clear out the respiratory mucosa.
    • Consider additional supplementation with the following:
      • Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that is incredibly beneficial to the entire body. Suggested dosing is 1,000-2,000mg, three times per day. (Note: high dose vitamin C can cause loose stool. The amount that equals “high dose” is different for everyone. If your stool does become loose, reduce the amount you are taking.)
      • N-acetyl-cysteine or NAC is a potent supporter of some of our body’s main antioxidant capacities. Suggested dosing is 500mg, 2-3 times per day.
      • Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful water and fat-soluble antioxidant. Suggested dosing is up to 200mg, three time per day.
      • General liver support: Our liver is responsible for detoxifying or clearing the majority of the toxins to which we are exposed. As a result, increasing liver detox support now is incredibly important. Find your favorite liver detox formula (Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Green tea, Quercitin, Choline, Yellow Dock, Schisandra and Dandelion are a few common ingredients) and take the recommended amount 2-3 times per day.

Many of these supplements can be found in stores around town like Whole Foods or Pharmaca. At the office, we can enroll you in our online pharmacy or update your FullScript cart to contain any of these that you’d like.  If you have questions about these suggestions, please feel free to call the office at 925-949-8604 or 510-845-8600.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

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