Long Covid and Auto Immune disorders

Link to the Episode

Anshu Bahanda: This is Anshu Bahanda on Wellness Curated. Thanks for joining me on this podcast. My mission is to empower you with health and wellness so that you can then go and empower others. 

I’ll start with an introduction. A lot of you do not need an introduction to Dr. Sharma. He’s been on the platform twice before. He does yogic neurotherapy, which is directing the flow of blood to different parts of the body and encouraging the body to heal itself. Dr. Sharma has worked with autoimmune disorders for decades now. He’s helped thousands of people with chronic illnesses like eczema, asthma, psoriasis, type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and recently he’s been helping a number of people with long COVID as well. Dr. Sharma, welcome to the chat. 

Dr. Anil Sharma: Thank you very much. Hello everyone.

AB: So, I will start with my favorite question, which I always start with, which is given what is happening now in the post-pandemic and pandemic times, what is wellness to you?

Dr AS: Wellness basically is if your body is fit to fight, but not over-fight. That’s what is a long COVID and autoimmune. If you’re fighting with the wellnesses, that’s the wellness. If your body and your immune system start fighting with your body, that’s a long COVID and autoimmune disorder.

AB: So, on that note, I want to ask you something. What exactly is long COVID and why do some people get it and why do others not get it?

Dr. AS: Yes, so the immune system should respond to the viruses and bacteria and foreign matters, not to the body’s own cells or their own organs. Between the storms causing inflammation or as called— most of the people must have heard on the TV debates— the cytokine storm. Cytokine storm is the overproduction or over attacking of the infection which sometimes kills our own body cells. Suppose the cytokine storm starts in the lungs, then lung tissues get damaged and once they are damaged, then sometimes it causes permanent damage and then in the long term, you will have breathlessness and ILD— interstitial lung diseases, and those kinds of things, which is called the long COVID. The side effects of that… not the virus effect, but the post-viral it’s called the post-viral syndrome as well. So, the body should respond to the viruses and not to the body’s own cells.

AB: Why does it happen that say I get recovered and you get recovered, but one of us gets long COVID and the other person doesn’t? Why does that happen?

Dr AS: Yeah, so one person, maybe his immune system activated accordingly. The other person’s immune system is attacked overly like an over-attack or it’s called the hypercytokinemia. So, that is why the long COVID happens. Then the organs get damaged. The main causes of these are: sometimes genetic disorders, sometimes your stress level, some other medications or other conditions you have like diabetes, cholesterol or underactive thyroid, and heart patients, kidney patients, or if you are on the immunosuppressive medications— so those kinds of patients, the immune system sometimes works hyper. If it is working in a hyper manner, then you will have the long COVID.

AB: Okay, so you’re saying that an autoimmune disorder is when the immune system works too much, correct?

Dr AS: Yes, too much. Yes.

AB: Okay, so that’s how you would explain and that’s what starts happening when people get the virus, when people get COVID. Sometimes the immune system overworks.

Dr AS: Yes, it overworks. For any infection, how does the immune system respond? Any infection of the body, whether it is a bacterial infection or viral infection. Normally in bacterial infection the neutrophils and the other body leukocytes, they work on it. But the lymphocytes, basically, the macrophages and the thymus T cell, thymus B cell, thymus killer cell, thymus memory cell, these are the main ones which work for the viruses. Because bacterial infection and viral infection, both are very different. In the bacterial infection the antibiotics can be worked, but on the viral infection antibody doesn’t work. For that the antiviral is required for your immune system like your body’s own T cell. T cell means that the lymphocyte which is matured by the thymus gland, that’s called the T cell. And T cells also have variety- T helper cell and T killer cell and T memory cell. If your body develops, if your thymus gland develops the T killer cell, it will kill the virus. If it develops the T helper cell and the memory cell as well, then you will have the coding of that particular virus for a long-lasting memory. So, in future, suppose after five years that particular virus again comes into your body, the body will memorize it and again make the T cell, the T killer cell to kill the virus. 

AB: I see. Yes.

Dr AS: So, that’s called adaptive immunity.

AB: Okay. So that’s normal immunity.

Dr AS: Yes. Right. And suppose somebody is very stressed and they have the infections again and again and again… So, with the stress level, when the stress level goes up, our cortisol level also goes up in the body. So, one thing to notice, the immune system and the anti-inflammatory system in the body works like a balance. If the immune system is up, the anti-inflammatory system will go down. So, cortisol levels should go down. It’s like a balance when one part goes up the other part goes down. And if the anti-inflammatory is working out more inflammation in the body, then you are given more steroids and all the immune system will go down. If you balance it, then the immune system works on the balance better. So, what’s happening nowadays? When the patients are in the hospital, they are overdosed with anti-inflammatory drugs like steroids. Then they have other infections and other cytostorms and the immune system sometimes goes haywire. They have the black fungus and the Avascular Necrosis [AVN]. People are also getting AVN nowadays. Avascular means the vessels, blood vessels are getting destroyed and the bones, especially the hip bones or femur bone, the head of the femur bone don’t get the blood supply, it gets necrosis, and gets damaged. This thing is happening in the long COVID nowadays. But there are so many things in the long COVID.

AB: So, you’re saying to me that it’s when the immunity is up and the inflammation is up, that’s when…

Dr AS: Yes. So, both should not go up…

AB: At the same time.

Dr AS: Yes. So, if somebody is very stressed, the cortisol level will go up and at the same time the infection is happening. So, the immune system will also try to go up, then these kinds of things happen.

AB: Okay, and tell me, Dr.Sharma, from your experience and from the patients that you’ve had, what can we do to help people with long COVID? Because they’re really suffering.

Dr AS: Yes. So, after the long COVID, the immune system should be brought back to normalcy. So how should we bring it back? Because when the immune system is up and up again, cortisol will not go up. Cortisol level is not going up and it’s very down. Then inflammation will remain in the body. So, in our therapy, in the yogic neurotherapy, the only benefit is that we can bring up the cortisol level anytime or we can bring up the immune system anytime. So, if you want to bring down the immune system, we will bring up the anti-inflammatory to a point. If the anti-inflammatory system is very high, your immune system will go down. So, most of the patients, those who have autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, colitis, normally don’t get too many infections. Because the immune system is working very hard. But a lot of inflammation and the people with the higher anti-inflammatory will get the flu infections very quickly. They will get the flu and cold and cough and urine infections and other things.

AB: So, you’re saying if someone is on medication for type-1 diabetes or asthma, they will not get COVID easily. Is that what you’re saying?

Dr AS: No. Who will get COVID— type-1 diabetes children and somebody who has rheumatoid arthritis or somebody has multiple sclerosis. Asthma is of different kinds. Some are inflammatory asthma like bronchitis and some are with the sinus dripping. So, both are different. We cannot categorize all the asthmas.

AB: Okay. I get it.

Dr AS: Bronchitis people will not get the COVID very soon. Suppose somebody had an attack on the kidneys— long COVID attack on the kidneys. Somebody has an attack on the lungs. I am seeing patients that are coming recently with the AVN— their femur bone, the hip bone is just destroyed. Femur bone should be a very smooth ball that rotates in the socket. But because of the blood supply shortage in that area of the attack by the virus, it has become so rough that it can’t move. So, they want to replace the hip joint.

AB: Oh, goodness.

Dr AS: Yes. Within two, three months, any area in the body where the blood supply is not reaching, it will get degenerated. So sometimes the long COVID or the after effect of the COVID is on the blood vessels. Blood vessels are not squeezed or damaged, especially the capillaries— the very tiny blood vessels which take the blood to the particular, very small areas of the bones.

AB: Okay. So, moving on from Long COVID to other autoimmune disorders, what are the most common ones that you have come across where you’ve been able to help people?

Dr AS: Mostly rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis colitis, type one diabetes, psoriasis, liver cirrhosis, even uveitis. Any disease which is ending with the itis like arthritis, colitis, meningitis, spondylitis, dermatitis. That means that is the inflammation of that particular part. Arthritis is the joint inflammation. Colitis is the colon inflammation. Meningitis is the brain inflammation. Spondylitis is a spine inflammation. And 90% are caused by the autoimmune. Sometimes with the trauma, some accident or some degeneration as well, and sometimes with the uric acids. But 90% of the itis diseases are related with the autoimmune disorders. It’s a very vast variety of diseases which are caused by the auto.

AB: Okay, and you’ve helped people in all these areas that you mentioned?

Dr AS: Yes, I have hundreds and thousands of patients. I am even seeing patients with leukemia and cancer because of this. I am seeing one girl nowadays. She’s 21 now, but when she was 13-year-old, she was given the vaccine for cervical cancer. With that effect of the vaccine, she had developed so many symptoms that now she’s 21 and she has all the problems of COVID. We can say because of that vaccine, the body’s immune system triggered so vastly that it acted on the uterus, it attacked on her ovaries, it attacked on her memory. It attacked her eyes, the lungs, everywhere. So, there could be very vast, different kinds of conditions.

AB: So, tell me, Dr. Sharma. Now, I know that when a case becomes extreme, then they need to come to you, obviously for personalized treatment, but to prevent autoimmune disorders or right at the beginning of a disorder, is there any generic thing that you can tell people to do?

Dr AS: Very simple and very hard. Stay away from the people, those who are giving you stress. Stress is the main cause. You are stressed. You are increasing your cortisol levels. And that’s not required every time. Cortisol is required to fight with the things. But stress is not the fight. The body doesn’t understand that. And the body produces the cortisol to fight with someone. When it is required, it doesn’t come up. It makes the immune system down and up, down and up, down and up. And then you get this. So, the first and very foremost thing is the stress. The second thing is if somebody has allergies, food allergies, sometimes certain kinds of foods that make the immune system autoimmune. So, some people have the allergies of egg or nuts, and immediately they want life support and steroids to bring it back. They bring back the immune system; so that also takes part in the immune system. Drinking plenty of water to calm your body, to relax your body, and deep breathing to bring more oxygen to the body, to nullify the side effects or whatever the stress effects. So, breathing and pranayama.

AB: So, you’re saying stay away from stress.

Dr AS: That’s most important, yeah.

AB: Avoid the things that you’re allergic to, food-wise? and Drink a lot of water and do some sort of breathing.

Dr AS: Yes. Plenty of water means like in the summer, two-liter, two and a half liter. But in the UK, it’s two liters. A lot of water. Sometimes people start drinking three-liter, four-liter, and five-liter water. Also not correct. Then your kidneys get damaged because you are overburdening the kidneys. So, one and a half to two-liter water every day. And water means water. If something is added to it, it’s the food, not the water. If you squeeze the lemon in the water, that’s not the water, then; body will start digesting it as a food.

AB: And the last one you said was deep breathing.

Dr AS: Deep breathing. So deep breathing increases the capturing of the oxygen. Because with shallow breathing, we capture only 30% of the oxygen. When we deal with deep breathing then we capture 70% to 80% of the oxygen. And that is the most important to do— all the cleaning, because every cell requires rich oxygen. That is most important.

AB: So, Dr. Sharma, on the oxygen, now that you mentioned it, I wanted to ask you something. Now, recently, I know that you’ve been working a little bit with your treatment along with an oxygen concentrator. Can you explain that just quickly to us?

Dr AS: Yeah, because, see, this therapy is based on the blood supply. We increase the blood supply in the required glands, which is supposed like in this infection, we want to estimate the thymus to make the T cells and the helper cells and the memory cells. So, the thymus gland has to be given the extra blood supply at that time. Massage on the thymus gland to get a rich blood supply. But simultaneously, if you have rich oxygen in the blood, your cells will be regenerated or activated more. I am using around, normally the oxygen is 20% in the air, 80% is nitrogen and other gases. But when we use the concentrator, we give the patient 65% of the oxygen when they are having 60% oxygen. And we are pumping the blood in the required glands. So, glands are getting more oxygenated blood. So that helps more. I’m using this on stroke patients and Parkinson’s patients. And the results are very fast. Very good. Before, it used to take three months. Now it’s taking one month only to control most of them.

AB: Fantastic. Dr. Sharma, we did a session with someone from a hyperbaric oxygen chamber where they say they can make 90% of oxygen go to the cells. Do you have an opinion on that?

Dr AS: See, normally when you are lying down and having 90% oxygen, that should not be taken for a very long time. Then the patient and the ventilator sometimes also wean off the oxygen for certain times. So high oxygen— that also damages the lungs sometimes. So that’s the general kind of distribution in the body. When we apply the pressure, we are increasing that particular oxygen to the particular organ. Suppose I am using the liver point, I am increasing the more than 50% blood in the liver area. Oxygen is also concentrated at that time. So, the liver is getting extra oxygen. The entire body is getting [oxygen], but the liver is getting more than that. That is the concept behind this.

AB: Okay. Fabulous. And Dr. Sharma, do you have any advice for the people listening to the chat on autoimmune or long COVID?

Dr AS: If you have any inflammatory conditions like swelling or aches and pains in the body, reduce acidic things in your diet… sour things.

AB: Thank you so much, Dr. Sharma. Thank you for your time and thank you for this invaluable chat. 

Dr AS: Thank you. Thank you very much.

AB: Thanks for joining us. Hope you enjoyed the Wellness Curated podcast. Please subscribe and tell your friends and family about it. And here’s to you leading your best life. Bye.