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A survival guide to wearing PPE – Part 2

Glynis BarberHealth Leave a Comment

This week we continue looking at some of the issues that arise for frontline workers wearing PPE all day. These many issues can take their toll on skin, health and stress levels. We will be looking specifically at the immune system, sleep and wearing heavy equipment.

Last week, with expert advice from pharmacist Shabir Daya and wellness expert Marie Reynolds, we looked at what happens when wearing a face mask all day and at dry eye.

If you missed last week’s article…

View part 1

The immune system:

Lack of sleep, stress and a poor diet can all have an effect. It’s important to try and get lots of micronutrients into your system by eating plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. Protein is important too, with fish, chicken and eggs being the optimal choices. For vegans, tofu, mushrooms and seaweed are good sources of protein. Be careful with consuming too many legumes and pulses as these tend to cause inflammation in the gut.

If you like eggs then you are all set

Boil up a supply every weekend and take to work to add to any salads or foods that you have. Omelettes are a nutritious and easy dinner and adding some herbs gives you a good supply of micronutrients.  And as stated in my book, The In-Sync Diet, co-authored with nutritionist Fleur Borrelli, you can eat as many as you like. It’s untrue that this will raise cholesterol levels as previously thought. I myself, eat 12 – 18 eggs a week.

If you are lacking energy and feel the need to snack continually, this will work against you

Digestion takes up a lot of energy, so sticking to 3 meals a day with no snacking will leave you with more energy. But at each meal, be sure to eat the right foods that fill, nourish and sustain you. Healthy fats, protein and vegetables are key. If you need a sweet boost (best straight after your meal) go for dark chocolate, fruit or coconut chunks.

And then there are supplements which are great for general health and immunity

Shabir: The immune system is one of the most complicated systems and unlike any other bodily system. It’s composed of hormones, chemicals, structural components, glands and various cells in the bloodstream that all work in synergy to help prevent infections. The supplement Daily Immunity is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive supplement to help support the immune system. It contains herbal extracts to enhance white blood cell counts, vitamin D to ensure that these white blood cells do not remain dormant when a pathogen enters the body, two of the most researched probiotic strains involved in the production of antibodies and various other nutrients like vitamin C known to shorten duration of infection and zinc to reduce cytokines which cause inflammation in the body.

Glynis: I think taking a supplement to boost immunity during this time, is an absolute must. Daily Immunity has some impressive ingredients, including some powerful natural anti-virals, and I can see it will be very effective. It contains a lot of what I would personally recommend anyway.

Another very good supplement, from the Rejuvenated site is their Immune Complex. Like Daily Immunity it also has some probiotics, vitamins C, D and zinc. Instead of the anti-virals it contains beta glucans that work well with the immune system. Either of these are top notch and will help keep your immunity strong.

I personally always take a good supply of supplements and for frontline workers it’s essential.

At the start of the outbreak I did an article about protection from Covid-19 with a supplement protocol. I would add probiotics to this list as good gut health is vital for the immune system. You can access it below. (if you decide to use one of the supplements above be sure to read the ingredients and not double up on vitamins if you decide to get any of the ones below)

Sleep & stress:

It seems like the whole country is having pretty weird dreams at the moment. I know I am. But many people are struggling to sleep as well. Lack of sleep is not good for anyone and can add to stress levels.

It’s important to take time to relax before bed but being on your phone or computer will hinder sleep.

Don’t sleep with your phone by the bed

Turn off it completely at night and use a proper alarm clock. Blue light from devices and the many EMF’s we are exposed to, can cause all kinds of physical symptoms including brain fog and sleep disruption.

Shabir: Stress is the biggest culprit in causing insomnia because the stress hormone cortisol prevents the uptake of serotonin by the brain. At night time serotonin is converted into melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone. Consider the use of Cherry Night powder at night since cherries are a good source of naturally occurring melatonin. Stress can also cause aches and pains round the body including the back because cortisol is an inflammatory hormone.

Glynis: If you are really struggling with sleep then taking melatonin may help. This is only available by prescription in the UK. However getting a phone conversation with a doctor at the moment is pretty easy and I feel sure, considering the current circumstances, they will give a prescription for this. Resist offers of regular sleeping pills as you can easily become reliant on them and the quality of your sleep will not be as good.

The non-prescription route, besides the supplement Shabir recommended, would include 5HTP which helps make serotonin. In fact there are a whole host of supplements one can take to to aid sleep. I will do links to a few below. Magnesium is not only an important supplement to take, but taken at night will help with relaxation and aid sleep.  I like one in a powdered form as it readily absorbed but it can also be taken as a capsule.

Wearing heavy equipment

Anyone working with X-rays has to wear a lead apron. These can weigh up to a stone which is 14 lbs, a huge load to carry all day.

It’s important to keep the body supple and stretched. Yoga or Pilates would be ideal. There are loads of free classes on YouTube. I also brought out a Yoga DVD that’s great for beginners and has lots of other beauty tips on it as well.

Yoga DVD

Marie: Have a Dead Sea Salt bath with some baking soda. This is great for sore muscles and also for getting rid of toxins which can make lines and dark circles under the eyes worse. It’ll also help to get rid of any spotty areas on the body.

Dead Sea Salts

I would just like to finish by saying a big thank you to ALL front line workers. You are absolute heroes and will forever be in the nation’s debt. I do hope these articles will be of some help in alleviating symptoms and issues arising from PPE.

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