Post Covid Recovery & Vaccine Preparation

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.

Hello DoctorVee, how are you?

Dr Vishakha Shivdasani: I’m very well, thank you. How are you, Anshu?

AB: I’m very good. Thank you for being here today. I’ll give a quick introduction to you and then we’ll go through our questions, and then we’d open up the questions from the audience.  So DoctorVee or Vishakha Shivdasani is a medical doctor and she’s a nutritionist. As I was saying before, she’s treated patients all over the world for things like weight management, diabetes, heart problems, etcetera. And she uses nutrition and lifestyle changes to help them. So it’s not just nutrition. She combines it, she’s written [about] this. And she’s the Vice President of South Bombay’s Medical Association of Doctors. She’s been named the Nutritionist of the Year by Vogue, and she’s also been named one of the Wellness Influences of India. So welcome again to our chat.

Dr VS: Thank you, Anshu.

AB: And we’ll start with, what is wellness to you?

Dr VS: I think wellness is an alignment of mind, body, and soul, not just the absence of disease. It’s what you can do to optimize and get the best possible health. It’s not merely just the absence of disease.

AB: Okay, lovely. Now, I know you’ve just written this book, so I purposely didn’t talk much about it. I want you to tell us about the book and also what you do.

Dr VS: So my book is on COVID. It’s [called] ‘COVID and Post-COVID Recovery: DoctorVee’s 6-Point Plan’, that’s me and I basically talk about six different ways where you can change the outcome of it. Whether you already have COVID or you are a long hauler, which means you’re battling its complications just through these six lifestyle measures. There is, of course, a chapter at the end of the book also, on what you can do to increase the outcomes and the efficacy of the vaccine.

What I do; I am a family physician and as you said, I integrate not just lifestyle and nutrition, but also the medicine required because I can. But there are sometimes [when] you do need support from medication, at least for the first few months, because you can’t suddenly drop the weight or suddenly reverse your diabetes. That takes a while. So we do take the help of medication whilst one is on the program, and then we slowly wean them off completely.

AB: Now, tell me, about your book: how did you manage to do it so quickly?

Dr VS: Everyone’s been asking me that. It was difficult. It was very difficult. I have stayed up many, many nights, waking up at odd hours for several months. I did it over about three or four months because I was too busy seeing COVID patients, treating them and my regular patients at the clinic. After all, you can’t tell your patient that I’m too busy writing a book. They don’t care, they’re sick. And rightly so. So I did that during the day and writing the book was a night job. So while most people sat and drank at home, I wrote the book at home.

AB: Wow Okay.

Dr VS: But yeah, I did this for three months and I think I have to give credit to my patients, really, because the inspiration came from there.

AB: I see. Okay. You know, for us in the UK, it’s been timely because we’re all paralyzed here. So I know India is slowly beginning to open up, but for us, the vaccine and COVID recovery are so important, so your book is very timely. So now let’s get into the details of it.

Let’s talk about people who are recovering from COVID. So in a nutshell, can you tell us, how’d you suggest that they deal with it, the long haulers as well? And what are the parameters that should be monitoring regularly? See, blood tests are not as big a thing in the UK as they are in India.

Dr VS: That is true. First of all, I know the situation in the UK because I treat people all over the world and currently plenty in the UK, including several doctors, ironically. I get a day-to-day thing of what’s happening in all parts of the world. But even in India, especially in Bombay where I am, things aren’t opening up. They’re talking about another lockdown right now because the cases have gone up significantly over the last week and they fear that the same or different mutations that have happened in South Africa or the UK, we’re hoping that there isn’t any different mutation here. In which case, we’re not even sure, even the people who are vaccinated, me included, we’re not even sure whether the vaccine would work or not. That only time will tell. Which is why like I say in the book, mutations may come and go, viruses may come and go, and [also] any pathogen, all you really have, all we really have is our resilience. We need to do whatever it takes to improve our immunity, to be able to beat any pathogen— be it COVID-19, be it another pandemic that may hit us, God forbid, be it any comorbid condition which we know that worsens our outcomes. We need whatever it takes. So the book basically talks about what we can do to improve our immunity with the six-point plan. For somebody who already has COVID or is fighting the post-COVID complications is a long hauler. The one test I know in the UK, as you said tests aren’t big, but the one test I do tell everyone to do, and I’ve written about it extensively in my book, is the C-Reactive Protein. Because the CRP is an inflammation marker that actually will tell you the prognosis. It tells you which way you’re going. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing the other tests. They don’t have to be expensive. The CRP, at least in India, costs a few hundred rupees, which means nothing. And we don’t have to do the gamut of IL-6 and Ferritin and D-dimer and all others, as long as you just have this one marker, because it tells you if you have inflammation in any part of the body, it doesn’t tell you specifically which part, but we know that there is inflammation. We also know that people who have inflammation, whose CRP is elevated are the ones with the worst prognosis. So then we deal with it in a specific way. We know that we need to reduce the inflammation and we’re going to improve the outcomes.

AB: Okay, that’s lovely. And what about people who are preparing for the vaccine? Because that’s again, can you give us a few quick pointers on the best way to do it?

Dr VS: So this is based on studies that have been done with other vaccines in the past. And we are extrapolating it thinking if it’s something that’s worked for X and Y vaccine in the past, it should work with this vaccine too. So there are studies that show that if you increase your content of protein in the diet before or if you sleep better, if you have more micronutrients like zinc, you can actually increase the efficacy of the vaccine. Alcohol is a big one, and there are lots of people saying that 45 days, I actually, in my study found that 45 days wasn’t scientifically proven anywhere. Yes, binge drinking is a bad idea, but if it means for 45 days, you can have maybe a drink. And we didn’t see any study that says that was a problem. But binge drinking of course is a problem because everything needs to go via the liver, you need to metabolize stuff, and you cannot have copious amounts of alcohol in your system. So visibly protein, sleep, zinc content, and certain probiotics can also improve efficacy. So I’ve written about those in the book.

AB: So that gets us nicely to your six-point plan, do you want to talk a little bit about it?

Dr VS: Sure.

AB: It is fascinating that you looked at the human being as a whole. So please tell us about it. I found that fascinating.

Dr VS: Thank you. Because, talking about the human being as a whole, when we treat with medications, and I treat with medication too, when required, as I said, it’s like putting a bandaid that treats inflammation at a particular part. You’ve got pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the heart, you treat that bit. You’ve got tachycardia, which is a fast heart rate, I’d give you a beta-blocker. You’ve got inflammation in any part of the body, whether you’ve got arthritis or pancreatitis, I will treat it with medication, but that will help that one particular organ. When you use the six-point plan, the entire body is getting rid of inflammation. It’s not just one particular organ or one particular [body part]. So wherever inflammation may strike, we don’t know, but the six-point plan will help you combat inflammation in the entire body. That was, you know, the real reason I said I need that message to go out. Now, talking about the six-point plan, of course, we talk about diet and we talk about an anti-inflammatory diet. So whatever it is that we can do vis-à-vis food to reduce inflammation. Now, sugar is the number one inflammatory.

AB: I know, and it’s the one thing, which I struggle with in your whole book. That’s the bit I was cringing when I read.

Dr VS: So I talk about this in every single interview of mine. It’s the single most inflammatory food group. It should not be called a food group. It should be called a food-like substance, really. Because it’s almost like a narcotic and it’s addictive, which is why you find that’s your Achilles tendon and you find it so difficult to give up. But sugar causes inflammation as no other food group does. So if you are battling COVID-19, please do yourself a favour. Give up sugar. Give up all processed food. Begin your day with protein. Begin your day with protein and with good fat. So whether it is eggs with yellow, or whether it is an avocado, or whether, if you’re vegetarian and want to do some soy or tofu whatever it is, you please begin your day not with bread and not with cakes and not with cereal, which is the worst kind of processed inflammatory food. So you can bring down inflammation hugely. Some studies show whether it’s the insulin level or the leptin level, they can come down in a matter of two or three days, which in turn brings down the inflammation. And these are not things that take three months. They take two or three days. If you are going to be in isolation, suffering from [COVID], when you’re battling the virus for 14 days, or if you’re a long hauler, use this time to change the rest of your life. Your health parameter.

AB: Absolutely no. That’s very good advice.

Dr VS: Begin your day correctly, get rid of processed food, make sure there’s enough protein in your diet to fight any infection, be it a virus or otherwise. You need antibodies. That’s how even the vaccines work, right? They generate antibodies. Antibodies are made of protein. If you are deficient in antibodies, if you’re deficient in protein, how are you going to make the antibodies? You’re not going to make them. So how are you going to fight the infection? So you must improve, you must increase your protein intake in your diet. And don’t fear your fat. I’ve written this very clearly. Don’t fear. Most people say, oh, my God, fat is going to give me a heart attack. Fat is going to cause this. No, it is not. Include good fat, not the ransom variety, not deep fried variety. Just include good quality fat, whether it’s avocado, whether it is olive oil, AVO (avocado) oil, ghee, butter, or grass-fed butter or just good quality fish. As long as you have good fat. You need your cell layer to be made up of fat. It’s a lipid layer, right? If you are deficient in fat, the lipid layer is going to get weak. So if you want to give easy penetration and easy access to the virus, how are you going to fight it? Also our fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and, K. You need fat to help the absorption of these vitamins. So if you’re going to be low in fat, how are they going to get absorbed? You might be taking the supplements, you’re just going to excrete them. Not in the urine, because these are fat soluble, but you’re not going to absorb them. So you don’t fear your fat. Eat good quality protein, and eat ample protein. Eat and just stay off refined sugars, and refined food. That should be your anti-inflammatory diet. That’s number one. Second, if we talk about sleep.

AB: Yeah.

Dr VS: So tons of studies show that if you don’t sleep well, the efficacy of the vaccine reduces. You know, I know during COVID-19, stress levels are very high, so people find it very difficult to sleep. And so many patients come to ask me, can we please take sleeping pills? Especially now, this is a bad time to start a sleeping pill. A sleeping pill will almost surely reduce your immunity. So if you’re already on a pill, I’m not going to stop someone who’s on it already. But I would not start someone on a pill. There are lots of natural things that you can do. So you can take natural supplements like melatonin, or you can take magnesium. Also, I’ve written in detail in my book, because these provide benefits at so many levels and they help with your natural circadian rhythm. They help you sleep better, They’re anti-inflammatory, and they’re antioxidants. So if you’re really finding a problem sleeping, you need to incorporate that. If you’re deficient in sleep, your cortisol level is going to be elevated, your hormones are going to go for a toss, and your immune levels, your immunity is going to drop. So just focus on sleep, focus on how to sleep according to your circadian rhythm. I’ve written in the book the things you can do to sleep according to that, you need to find yourself that protocol. It’s free of cost. It doesn’t take time, it takes a few minutes, but it hugely impacts health. So that’s the second thing.

AB: The second thing is sleep.

Dr VS: Yeah, sleep. The third one would be gut health. Now, you know, we don’t really focus so much on gut health, but the fact is that 70% of our immune system is in our gut. If that is not a wake-up call. I don’t know what is because that’s 70% of our immune cells. So you need to include prebiotics and probiotics and exclude junk food like sugar. Most of it will boil down to that. Also, as I said, prebiotics, like yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, and pickle, you need to include those as probiotics, sorry. And prebiotics, you need to have more fibre, which comes predominantly through green leafy vegetables, which are also very high in magnesium by default. So you need to do those kinds of things. And you need to get rid of your processed food. When you take supplements, which we’ll come to later, but certain supplements like zinc also help with your gut barrier. So they maintain it and you don’t want what’s called the leaky gut syndrome, which causes inflammation then. So you need to take care of your gut health. Also, you need to make sure you’re pooping well. If you have like a discrepancy in your pattern suddenly, please address it with your doctor and see what you can do to change that, because that’s your body telling you that there is something amiss.

AB: Okay.

Dr VS: When we talk about supplements. So when we talk about supplements, we talk about vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium, of course, there are lots of other supplements, natural supplements, yeah, that I’ve spoken about in the book, too, but predominantly these are based on your symptoms. Most of these. I mean, you know, vitamin C is an antioxidant anti-inflammatory, hugely helps with stress for most of us and also it gets depleted when we are stressed. And I don’t know whether you are fearing that you may get the virus or you have. So you need to take care of your vitamin C levels. The way to take vitamin C is to take 500 mg in the morning, and 500 mg at night. Don’t take it in one go, because of its absorbability, which means it can be absorbed in the body. It stays in the stream only for 12 hours. You’re just paying for expensive urine as I said. So you just split it. Now I’m going to come back to sugar again. When you take sugar, your body can actually absorb the sugar and leave out vitamin C. So as a result, you might be taking the supplement, but you’re absorbing the sugar, and vitamin C is getting excreted. So one more reason to get rid of that sugar.

AB: Wow. Okay.

Dr VS: When we talk about zinc, zinc is what we call a negative ionophore, which means it prevents viral replication within the cells. So if the cell has been infected by the virus, the rate of infection within the cells can get reduced by taking zinc. Just don’t overdo the zinc because a lot of people take 50 mg from the time of COVID. I see prescriptions from February of last year until now, and then we see the toxicity of zinc, as we do of also of [vitamin] D. So that, you should speak to your doctor and then decide what you need to take.

AB: Today I think that’s a very important point. And I always say that talk to your doctor before self-supplementing, because I found people have had liver issues because they’re just popping in pills.

Dr VS: Absolutely. See, this is not medical advice. We’re giving you a general guideline here so you’re aware. This is more for awareness. For a good prescription, you need to speak to your doctor, or your healthcare provider. And every body type is different. Everyone’s needs are different. So if someone came to me saying that I have an issue with smell and I’ve suddenly lost my thing [ability to smell], I know more often, more likely than not, even without doing your blood work, chances are you’re low in zinc. But people who take nasal sprays, zinc sprays, which are very big in the west, particularly in the US. They can get anosmia for life, so they can lose their smell for life. So go easy and do it under supervision, you know. And D is, of course, the superstar of COVID as far as vitamins are concerned. There are enough medical history and scientific studies to show the value of D and how it plays a role even in enhancing your lung condition. So it’s very important to take the D. Again vitamin D has to be taken only and only under supervision. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin. You can get toxicity. A ballpark 15 to 20 minutes is a great plan. Do the shadow test, which means if your shadow is less than your height…

AB: Yes, I remember. I didn’t know that before. That’s fascinating.

Dr VS: Yeah. That means you’re absorbing the UVB because that’s how your body absorbs it when the sunlight hits the skin.

AB: So the shadow has to be less than your height.

Dr VS: Correct. But if it’s longer, that means the UVB is not getting absorbed. So giving you a ballpark, sometimes you can just change direction and the shadow changes and you know that you’re getting enough. It’s a good gauge to use. There are lots of mega doses of 60,000 units that are being prescribed. But there are studies to show that a small dose of 1000 IU’s more useful long term, than taking 60,000.

AB: Oh, okay. Useful to know.

Dr VS: Okay, so, again, speak to your doctor. Then based on your blood parameters or your history, you can take them. I missed out on my favourite: magnesium. So it’s my favourite of all of them.

AB: I love magnesium, too.

Dr VS: I find so many people have sleep issues, and magnesium helps naturally with sleep. When people have COVID, especially the elderly, they’re almost bedridden. So there’s a lack of movement because of which there’s constipation; magnesium [is great] for that. So it’s multifaceted and works in so many different ways. Of course, it helps with the absorption of the vitamin D that you’re taking, so it’s useful for that, too. And a lot of people get tachycardia, especially post-COVID, so their heart rate goes up quickly. Instead of taking a beta blocker; speak to your doctor, but I’m just putting it out there. It’s worth taking a magnesium supplement because that in itself can reduce the heart rate. And I’ve tried it, I can’t tell you, on n number of people, and it works so well for anxiety. So magnesium is my favourite, probably, of the lot.

AB: Yeah. And I think in your book you’ve described the different sorts of magnesium, also.

Dr VS: That’s right. Because you have that are more bioavailable than the other. So you take correct the ones and see the ones that suit you.

AB: Okay, so have we gone through all six? We’ve done sleep, supplement, and exercise.

Dr VS: Yeah. Stress and exercise. As far as exercise is concerned, I tell everyone, whilst they have COVID, to start breathing exercises, and lung exercises, even whilst you have it, even in isolation, because most of the complications occur with the problems that happen with the lungs, like lung capacity going down. So you need to do breathing exercises. You can just blow into a balloon. You can take a straw and blow it into a glass with a little water. So just make sure that your lung is expanded and the lung capacity is growing. See, we’re not talking, we’re not doing anything when we’re in isolation. This helps. If you get your hands on a spirometer and use that to check your baseline, even that works. But if you can’t, just blow into a balloon, or just like blow into a straw, that in itself will do the trick. So you can do that for your lung exercises. Then it’s important to do a six-minute walk test. That, in my mind, is a life-saving test. Everybody nowadays has a pulse oximeter at work. You need to check what your baseline saturation is. Suppose your baseline saturation is 95, giving your ballpark figure, and you walk six minutes, and you check the saturation again. If it has fallen more than 3%, that means down to, let’s say, 92, you know that you’re desaturating and you need to see your doctor or go intto a hospital immediately. So feel it.

AB: This is for during COVID or even after?

Dr VS: During or after, if you suffer and if you feel that way. But more often than not, for most people who desaturate, it happens during the 14 days of COVID.  But very often they’ll take it and they’ll say, oh our saturation is 97, 98, we’re doing well. But when they start walking now, I’m not talking about people who’ve got fibrosis, who can’t walk, who are above the age of 65, or who can’t do a six-minute walk test regularly. I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about people like you and me who can normally walk for an hour, but during COVID are desaturating at six minutes. Then there is a problem. And very often you won’t know it until you don’t do the six-minute walk test and check again. So you must do that. That’s one thing. If you are not desaturating, then it’s time to start doing it maybe on day seven, or day nine, depending on your symptoms. It’s time to do some amount of yoga, because yoga, you know, covers the entire range. You know it covers balance, long exercises, a bit of cardio, muscle building, all of it. So that’s a good place. I wouldn’t recommend doing some jumping jacks in the room or something. So yoga is a great place to start. Once you have recovered, then based on whether you are symptomatic or not, then you should speak to your doctor about what you should do. I tell all my patients, please start slow, don’t hit the gym immediately. So maybe start with just a 20 minutes walk, 30 minutes walk and listen to your body. Are you getting tachycardia? Is your heart rate going up more than it normally does? So if you’re in tune and you can listen to it, chances are you’ll be well on the road to recovery faster. But if you’re going to be very enthusiastic and miss these top clinical signs, then you’re going to end up being a long hauler. So you need to be very careful, right after; during, and after, because these are all signs of inflammation again in the body, which is why it’s so important to do those lung exercises, also.

We did sleep so now stress. So, you know, I say this also over and over, you can do everything right, but if you cannot take care of your stress and if your stress levels are elevated, you are already in a state of inflammation. You could eat right, sleep well, and take care of your gut health, but if you are stressed, you are already chronically inflamed. So that means you need to take your magnesium or you need to follow the circadian pattern of sleeping, whatever it is, you have to do what it takes to lower your stress. It’s very easy for me to sit and say that you need to get rid of your stress.

AB: But that’s the most difficult thing in the world, right?

Dr VS: Yeah. Overall, otherwise, it’s the easiest thing to say. But it’s been proved medically, scientifically, in yoga journals, that if you breathe correctly, see, when you’re stressed, you’re in a state of sympathetic overdrive. So there are two parts of our ANS (Autonomic Nervous System), we have a sympathetic nervous system and a parasympathetic one. Sympathetic is a state of stress. It’s what we call fight and flight. You know, what happens when you have a wild animal running after you, you’re in a sympathetic state. But in this day and age, we don’t have wild animals running after us, but it’s financial insecurity, the COVID stress, whatever it is, right? But if you are constantly in that sympathetic state and your body is not in the parasympathetic, which is rest and digest, right? So if I am constantly in that state, then I am constantly in a state of inflammation. This means whether it’s COVID or whether it is any other bacteria, any other pathogen, forget the virus. Anything else? My body is not going to respond to it well. Because it’s so busy fighting that inflammation, it doesn’t have any immune response left to fight the gene that’s attacking me. So we need to address that, and we need to move from this sympathetic to parasympathetic. And breathing is probably the simplest way to achieve that. And it takes about ten minutes a day in the morning and in the evening to move from the state. So you need to breathe correctly. In my book, if you’ve read it, I have written in detail about how to breathe. In short, it’s to breathe through the nose and not the mouth. A lot of people are mouth breathes inadvertently, right? So they breathe their mouth open when they sleep and when they’re awake. So you consciously breathe through your nose. You breathe slowly. So you know how when we’re stressed, our heart rate goes up? I don’t know anyone who’s under stress…

AB: Who breathes normally?

Dr VS: Yes. You’re like ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God’ and your heart rate is going up. Your blood pressure is going up, your blood sugar is going up, and your cortisol levels are going up. Exactly the opposite happens when your parasympathetic is activated. So it means you do this now consciously. So you consciously reduce your breathing to about six breaths a minute, to whatever is possible. So if you’re somebody checks your breathing, and if you do it maybe 12-14 times, you bring it down slow. But the aim should be to bring it down to about six. When we are in a state of prayer, when we use the rosary, often our breath goes down to six. When I was doing a lot of research on the book, I found that out. I didn’t know, but there’s so much science to that.

AB: Absolutely. And we’re finding out now how much science went into what our ancestors did.

Dr VS: Yeah. Correctly breathe. And you need to breathe in a way to activate what’s called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the master nerve in the body. It’s called the queen of the PNS, of the Parasympathetic Nervous System. So there are ways to activate that. So when you’re inhaling, if your exhalation is longer than your inhalation, you’re automatically stimulating the vagus nerve, and you’re going into a state of ‘rest and digest’. When you’re humming, when you’re singing, you’re activating this vagus nerve. So, if you’re isolated and in your room, you can just hum through your spine, because think of it as a modality of treatment.

AB: I was just saying everyone in the house would leave the house.

Dr VS: The house would be shocked.

AB: Yeah, that’s true. So now, very quickly, do you have a view, you know we’ve been reading about the nasal vaccine, which we trialled in India, so do you have a view on that?

Dr VS: Actually, the nasal vaccine, there are very few trials in India. There are trials right now with Johnson and Johnson in the US.

AB: Oh, I thought there was one in India as well.

Dr VS: Okay, I’m sure there is, but the study is probably in the US. I think it would be a great vaccine, but I think it’s still phase one. It will take a few months before it drops out into the US. At least India was going to get it later, but it’s going to be at least a few months, at least two or three months. The thing with the nasal vaccine is you know how we give the polio vaccine to the kids, we give them an oral drop vaccine because it goes as a drop into the nose, and it gets absorbed by the mucous membrane. And the absorption, always with the mucous membrane is much faster. So A, maximum absorption, B, it’s a single dose, so we don’t have to wait for a second dose. And more importantly, most importantly, I would say, this vaccine provides benefits at many levels. Of course, it will give you immunity and antibody production. But with the other vaccines, whether they’re the mRNA, whether it’s Serum India, AstraZeneca, with all the vaccines, they protect the person who’s taken the vaccine. But I could still transmit and because it’s going to lie in my nose, I can still transmit it to somebody else. With the nasal vaccine, whichever company with the nasal vaccine, it offers me protection at both levels. It offers me protection and the person in front of me because I can’t transmit the virus anymore.

AB: Okay.

Dr VS: That’s a huge thing.

AB: That’s massive.

Dr VS: Yes, that is, I think, the biggest thing about the intranasal vaccine, if and when it does.

AB: And lastly, so, as you know, our mission is to empower people with health and wellness. With that in mind, what is the one piece of advice you want to leave people with? And then I’ll open it up to questions from people.

Dr VS: I think the pandemic has been an eye-opener for lots of us. And if it hasn’t been, it should be. And we should use this as a learning to know that all we have is our resilience, is our immunity. The people who’ve had the worst outcomes, who’ve come to the virus are the ones with comorbidities; are the ones with type two diabetes; are the ones with obesity; are the ones with hypertension; all of which are lifestyle induced and can almost be completely reversed. I think this is a good wake-up opportunity for everyone to say, let’s take stock of our lives and do what it takes through lifestyle so that we can get higher on our wellness curve. Whether you’re young, whether you’re old, whether you have comorbidities, whether you’re battling cancer, wherever you are on that curve, you can improve the outcomes of whatever, be it the COVID-19, be it any other pathogen, be it any other pandemic, God forbid, all you have is your own health and your resilience. So do what it takes to build that so you can fight anything that you’re encountered.

AB: Okay, lovely. Now there are a bunch of questions about what proteins, vegetarian proteins, and magnesium. That’s all there in DoctorVee’s book. Her book is called ‘COVID and Post-COVID Recovery: DoctorVee’s 6-point plan’. So it’s available on Amazon. Please order it and I think you can get the hardback which is available in India, right?

Dr VS: It’s available in India, but sadly, it’s an e-book.

AB: We got it on Kindle. Yes. Right.

Dr VS: And even for those who don’t have a Kindle, you can just download the Kindle app and download it on your phone. So you can just read it on your phone. Because a lot of people don’t have a Kindle, because those are the messages I keep getting. We don’t have a Kindle. That’s fine. Just download the app and read it on your phone. And I truly hope this book will help people because, I mean, it comes from the experience I have had at the clinic with my patients. We’ve seen fantastic outcomes. Knock on wood. And it’s a labour of love.

AB: Now, there’s one question here which says someone’s experiencing chills post-COVID and they were positive in November. So anything that can help with that?

Dr VS: So if you’re experiencing chills, chances are you also have a little fever. So there is a thermoregulatory dysfunction.  Also, I’ve spoken about that in my book, actually, of the post covid problems that happen. So for about three to four months, this can happen. We see it in about 10% of the people post-COVID where their body temperature goes up by about a degree, and then they feel really cold and have chills. I want you to know that this is completely normal. It will reverse, and it will come down to the baseline. And you need to focus on that. This is just the inflammation that the virus has left behind. You don’t have the virus anymore. It is the inflammation effect on the organs that take care of the temperature regulation. Give it about three, or four months, and it will come down to the baseline level, and the chills will disappear.

AB: And then I got a couple of questions from people who haven’t got their sense of smell back. And I know you’ve said something about zinc there.

Dr VS: Yeah. Also, as I said earlier, zinc would help. But with or without zinc, unless you’re grossly deficient in zinc, if you’ve taken the supplement because most people with COVID have taken the supplement at least during March, for nine months, the sense of smell, more often than not, does come back. We see patients who have lost their sense of smell for three, four, or five months, but it’s not permanent. And that’s something that we need to keep drilling because all these things cause a lot of stress. These things are temporary. And your sense of smell will come back. So just hold on. I know it’s difficult for patients.

AB: Okay, lovely. And let me see. I think that we’ve gone through, I mean, there are a bunch of people saying, please save this live, which I will do. The book sounds amazing and timely, and I’m excited that I read it. I managed to get hold of a copy. Thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for the lovely chat.

Dr VS: Thank you for having me.

AB: Bye-bye.

Dr VS: Bye.

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.