Many of you have asked me about monkeypox. Here is an article from Cleveland Clinic that gives you all the answers.
To summarize: monkeypox is spread through close contact, saliva droplets, contact with bodily fluids and contaminated surfaces/linens (fomites), where it can live for up to 15 days. Be careful of gyms and saunas. It is mostly spreading through the population of people with multiple sexual partners…however once children begin to carry it, it can spread throughout families. The challenge is this: asymptomatic carriers. Some people may have it and not have the pox rash, but perhaps may have only one small lesion which can be mistaken for something else if not lab tested.
Most of you are very low risk. If Covid has a silver lining, here’s one: you all know how to protect yourselves from viruses now. Don’t touch your face until you wash your hands (after touching any public surface), wear a mask when around others. We ALL need to take monkeypox seriously.
Monkeypox can be severely painful, but is almost always non-fatal. The smallpox vaccine is effective against it, so if you or loved ones are in the population at high risk, please contact your medical PCP and get vaccinated…access to the vaccine (made for smallpox, in the same genus of orthopoxvirus) is improving as our national stockpiles are beginning to be distributed…better late than never!
What if you’re exposed? In addition to seeing your MD and isolating, the best strategy is to make sure you have as healthy of an immune system as you can muster. This is accomplished by sleeping when it's dark (ideally 10pm – 6am), getting out in the morning light: the health benefits of morning sunshine are well documented and in particular assists intracellular melatonin which in turn helps Vitamin D work better, and using hot and cold hydrotherapy, which has been shown to increase the function of the innate immune system: the first line of defense when a pathogen invades. I personally always finish with a cold shower in order to boost that part of the immune system that declines with age. Some nutritional supplements that are antiviral are: L-lysine, zinc, American ginseng, olive leaf.
Should you or a loved one fall ill with monkeypox, there are two FDA-approved therapeutics that are very effective and the CDC is working to make them more accessible. One is called TPOXX and the other is Tembexa.
Speaking of aging well, another exciting topic coming to light in the medical world is optimizing uric acid levels. Even though this was discovered in the 1880s by a Scottish physician, the medical world has largely ignored serum uric acid levels. In my training, I was taught to keep it below 7.5 mg/dL in order to avoid gout, and that’s all. In fact, in recent years, uric acid has been removed from lab chem panels for the most part, and you may need to ask for it! The optimal level for uric acid is 5.5 for men and 4.8 for premenopausal women. For postmenopausal women, it should be below 5.5. Uric acid is involved in many inflammatory pathways, contributing to aging and disease in the nervous system (promotes neurodegeneration and dementia), coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and promotes insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.
Dr. David Perlmutter has written a book called Drop Acid, which I highly recommend. Therein, he explains the disease processes and how to monitor your uric acid. He also includes a three-week program on lowering your uric acid, including the LUV (Lower Uric Value) Diet. Fructose and alcohol directly increase uric acid and cause your metabolism to go into fat storage mode. High fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, dried fruit, and alcohol (beer, In particular) will all increase your uric acid and increase disease, aging, inflammation, and weight gain. He recommends that you test your uric acid at home, once a week, first thing in the morning. Here is the device: https://www.uasure.com. He also recommends that you limit fructose to 15g or less per day. That is contained in one apple! But there are some fruits that have less fructose such as raspberries and blueberries. Citrus fruits have the benefit of including Vitamin C which also helps lower uric acid.
Here is a graph that shows fructose concentration vs fiber. As you can see, grapes are a no-no, eat apples sparingly. The best fruits for low fructose are lemons, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries and blueberries.
I feel rejuvenated since I’ve been lowering my uric acid. In sharing this knowledge, I hope you will try it and experience the benefits as well.
Graph source: No Fructose
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