I'm a Doctor and Recovered From COVID, Here's What Helped Me
Dr. Daniel G. Amen, MD, explains why his infection “wasn’t that bad.”
We are just a few weeks into September, and COVID-19 infections are already increasing. According to latest statistics, infections are nearing 2020 and 2021 peaks, with one expert, Jay Weiland, a leading COVID modeler, estimating that 720,000 Americans are becoming infected daily. Fortunately, most of the infections are mild, with people being able to take care of themselves at home. New York Times bestselling author and psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, MD, is one of the many people who has been infected with the virus. In a viral TikTok video he explains exactly how he cared for himself and what helped him get better and recover from the virus.
In the video, Dr. Amen describes what he went through. "I had Covid. Now I know I'm like one of a hundred million people who had COVID and it wasn't that bad," Dr. Amen explains in the video.
He also mentions that he is vaccinated, which explains why he didn't get a serious infection. "Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. Vaccination also reduces your chance of suffering the effects of Long COVID, which can develop during or following acute infection and last for an extended duration. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past 2 months, get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself this fall and winter," says the CDC.
He explains that the main reason the virus wasn't so bad isn't what he did after he got infected, but the things he did before. "I've always said, your best defense against covid is your immune system. And that is not fake news. And so my immune system is awesome because I protect it," he explained.
Dr. Amen explains that he takes "multiple vitamins" on a daily basis to help build his immunity, including Omega fatty acids and curcumin. Adequate intake of vitamins supports immune health, helping the body fend off infections, including COVID-19. Vitamins like A, C, D, and E play roles in immune function and inflammation control. While vitamins can't prevent COVID-19, a well-nourished immune system can potentially mitigate the severity of symptoms and promote quicker recovery. It's advisable to obtain vitamins through a balanced diet, or supplements as recommended by a healthcare provider, to support immune health during the pandemic.
Another way he supports his immunity? "I eat right," he says. In addition to everyday food he consumes "smart mushrooms." Eating a balanced diet supports a healthy immune system, which is crucial in protecting against infections including COVID-19. Nutrient-dense foods provide the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for immune cells to function optimally. A well-nourished body is more equipped to fend off infections, potentially lessening the severity of illnesses. Moreover, maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition can reduce the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, as obesity has been linked to worse outcomes in infected individuals.
He also amped up a certain vitamin. "I really increased my vitamin C," he said. Vitamin C supports the immune system, potentially reducing the severity and duration of cold symptoms, a common respiratory virus. While it's not a guaranteed shield against COVID-19, a well-functioning immune system, supported by essential nutrients including vitamin C, can help the body fight off infections more effectively. It's beneficial to maintain an adequate intake of vitamin C for general health and to support immune function during the rising of COVID-19 cases.
He also "got the antibodies," he said, "and I'm serious. Why? Because I have hundreds of Covid scans. And what does Covid do? It activates the limbic system or the emotional part of your brain, which makes you more vulnerable to anxiety or depression. And so purposefully, I'm doing things to calm my limbic system."
Another way he took care of himself is by resting. "I'm making sure I sleep," he said. Good sleep enhances immune system functionality, which is vital in protecting the body against infections, including viruses like COVID-19. Adequate sleep also helps to regulate inflammation and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, reducing the potential severity of symptoms in case of infection. Furthermore, sufficient sleep can aid in a robust vaccine response, optimizing the body's ability to build a strong defense against the virus. It is essential to prioritize quality sleep as a pillar of overall health, especially during a pandemic.
Dr. Amen maintains that keeping stress to a minimum was helpful in fighting the virus. "I'm not taking on more stress than I can, and I can take on a lot of stress and making sure I continue my supplement regime," he said. "But also things like meditation. I've been in a sauna. I have an infrared sauna at home. I've been in the sauna virtually every day."
He adds that if he felt "different" or experienced "cognitive symptoms, I would also get in a hyperbaric chamber," he said. "All things to help calm my limbic system and help the overall blood flow to my brain."