If you are afraid of getting Covid-19, watching the numbers increase daily, you are not alone. It is normal to feel slightly fearful of getting the dreaded virus as it seems to be becoming more and more unpredictable. The news is filled with bad news stories telling tales of loss and despair for both patients and healthcare workers.
The truth is that there are only two key strategies you can follow: Either self-isolate and limit your exposure altogether or boost your body and immune system so that if your body does come into contact with Covid, it has the strongest possible armor to fight it. That armor is your state of your health and the health of your immune system. Naturally, these two are connected to each other.
To recap, not everybody that is exposed to the virus gets sick. One of the reasons why Covid-19 has captured the imagination of scientists around the world is that everybody reacts differently. Seldom before have we seen such a wide range of responses to a virus that is also contagious in such an unprecedented way.
Prevention is better than cure
Throughout history, the focus of medicine has been largely reactive, with doctors prescribing treatments according to visible symptoms. However, precision medicine now allows you to shift your focus from treatment to prevention. There is no reason why you should not understand your own DNA, the coding that drives your body’s responses to the environment, what you consume and how you live your life.
Almost every product in every pharmacy and health shop can benefit you in some way, but it would be impossible to buy them all. Moreover, why would you want to? You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by finding out exactly what your body actually needs so that you can give it exactly that.
Just like everything else in the body, the DNA controls the immune system. Some genes detect the virus, some switch the immune system on, some switch it off and then inform the body to go clean-up and repair the damaged tissues. Knowing which of your immunity genes are working or not working, will remove the guesswork out of how you can optimise your immune system to protect yourself against viruses and bacteria.
“A new DNA test called Gene-Immune tests for thirty genes that specifically affect different parts of your immune system” says Dr Christa North, Geneway. The laboratory generated report based on your genetic results details how to overcome your own genetic deficiencies such as which nutrients you may need more, or less of, to minimise your risks and optimise your recovery, should you get a viral infection.
“The best way to approach this is to book an appointment with an accredited healthcare practitioner who will explain these results and their implications to you. You will then know exactly what should be on your shopping list the next time you enter a pharmacy” she adds.
How is the immune system activated?
The immune system can be activated by any substance or micro-organism that the body doesn’t recognise as its own. These are either antigens (the proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi and viruses) or pathogens, which are a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can specifically cause disease.
Once the brain detects these, a series of processes is triggered. When the body comes into contact with a disease-causing germ for the first time, it usually stores information about the germ and how to fight it. Then, if it comes into contact with the germ again, it recognises the germ straight away and can start fighting it faster.
Your body’s ability to manage these processes is triggered by your DNA, which directs how your immune system works. Not everyone’s immune system functions optimally, hence the need to know win which areas your immune system is strong and where it needs external support.
A DNA test is, in fact, one of the simplest and most painless tests to take, because no drawing blood is involved and you need not leave your home. “A saliva swab, taken inside your mouth cheeks contains enough data to provide you with detailed information. Geneway will deliver the test kit to your home and send a courier to collect your sample, once it is ready” says North.
The Geneway DNA testing laboratory is in South Africa, meaning your sample never leaves the country. All results are strictly confidential, shared only with you and with your healthcare provider with your permission.
Now more than ever, it is a healthcare tool that can tell you a lot about your body and empower you to make smarter choices. Once you know your risks, deficiencies and needs, you can address those and build a tougher immune system. This will put you in the strongest possible position to address any virus or illness that comes your way in future and enable you to become healthier and stronger for life.