7 Health Strategies to Strengthen & Shield Us This Winter

Available for Interviews: Dr. Tammy Penhollow

Dr. Tammy Penhollow is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, specializing in anesthesiology, pain management, and regenerative medicine. Having over 20 years of experience has helped her to cultivate a passion for regenerative medicine and holistic healing. Dr. Penhollow practices at Precision Regenerative Medicine in the greater Phoenix area.

What Dr. Tammy Penhollow can say in an interview on
Improving & Strengthening the Immune System
:

With COVID-19 still at the forefront of people’s minds, and as we try to resume a life outside the home, one of the concerns many people still have is how do I protect myself from becoming ill? We know that smoking, excess alcohol, poor nutrition, and obesity decrease the body’s ability to fight infection and cancers. Much of this is related to reducing inflammation, free radicals, and oxidative stress. But beyond that, some simple health and dietary changes well within the power of most people may affect big changes in the immune system:

 1) Eat protein. As the building blocks of muscles, proteins also affect the immune system. Diets low in protein compromises the body’s ability to fight infection. Aside from meat/fish/poultry, protein is found in nuts, seeds, lentils, tofu, chia seeds, quinoa, cheese, and eggs.

 2) Maintain healthy vitamin levels. Avoiding vitamin deficiency can help strengthen the immune system, particularly those associated with protection from free radicals. The immune system needs adequate levels of vitamins A, B complex, C, D, and E in particular. However, please check with your physician before supplementing the fat soluble Vitamins D, E, and A, as they can be harmful in excess. Most individuals can get enough of the vitamins in a well-rounded healthy diet, but those with a deficiency may require supervised high dose supplementation. 

 3) Eat healthy snacks. Surprisingly, snacking between meals can help level out appetite and blood sugar, and can help keep that “slow burn” by stoking the metabolism which may lead to weight loss. The RIGHT KIND of snack is important, however. Sugary carbs and junk food contribute to metabolic problems such as diabetes and heart disease, while healthy snacks like nuts, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables contribute to health and immunity. Protein snacks can check the block for #1 and #2 above.

 4) Eat breakfast. Intermittent fasting is a popular dietary trend, but skipping breakfast may play a role in decreased immune function. Spikes in cortisol levels can occur in those who skip breakfast and this can weaken the immune system.

 5) Modulate alcohol intake. Stress drinking can contribute to stress. What? Drinking alcohol increases “feel good” neuro-hormones but also raises the major stress hormones and cortisol.  Alcohol changes the ability of the immune cells and other special cells to clear or combat an infection in the upper and lower airways. Moderation is the key.

 6) Get adequate sleep. This allows your body to restore itself while you’re sleeping. Treating sleep apnea can show improvement in blood pressure, blood sugar, immune function, and even weight loss. This is a result of the body being able to heal while the patient is getting restorative sleep.   Similarly, adequate sleep can allow us to better face the stressors of the day and cope with what life deals us.

 7) Maintain exercise. A good exercise program includes strength, flexibility and cardio. The benefits are reduction in risk from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even bone loss and fractures. Additional benefits include a reduction in stress, production of the body’s own feel good hormones called endorphins, and improved confidence and self esteem from the ability to maintain independence in performing daily activities.

All of the changes in the world as a result of a pandemic can evoke a sense of having a lack of control. Quite the contrary, when it comes to your own health and well being, you have the freedom and power to start new habits and to maintain them. You can take inventory of the things in your life that you used to do and decide to keep those that are best for you and in your own best interests, and to change or get rid of things that do not serve your health. The above are 7 things well within the control of each person and that, in and of itself, can improve the immune system. By taking control of things that are within our power, we can strengthen our body’s response to viruses.

 

Interviews: Dr. Tammy Penhollow

Dr. Tammy Penhollow practices at Precision Regenerative Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona, where develops individualized treatment plans for musculoskeletal and spine interventions with PRP and bone marrow aspirate using image guidance, as well as micro-needling with PRP for skin, hair and anti-aging conditions. She also stays active in teaching as an Instructor in Anesthesiology for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and as a Supplemental Consultant for the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

A former active duty US Naval Officer, Dr. Penhollow has lived, practiced, and has been deployed around the US and overseas. She embodies the lifestyle she recommends to her patients and is an active hiker, gardener and yogi as well as a French trained home chef and an aspiring sommelier.

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