I am posting this for all my Hashi Sistas! I suffer from a compromised immune disorder, Hashimoto disease. When you live with a Thyroid issue it is very important to keep yourself healthy, especially your immune system. I know I am not the only one concerned about how the COVID-19 Virus can affect my thyroid. I am sharing information from THYROID REFRESH – there is good informative information on their website if you have a thyroid condition.
Wash Hands – Keep your Distance – Sneeze/Cough in Elbow – Repeat throughout your day!
Are We Considered High Risk Due to Our Thyroid Issues?
The CDC reports that those who are the highest risk of complications from COVID-19 include:
- Older adults.
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Cardiovascular disease/heart disease
- Lung disease
Other health experts have said that people who are immunocompromised and pregnant women should also be considered at higher risk.
Additionally, the doctors and infectious disease experts I’ve interviewed (from places like Stanford and Yale) have said that to be cautious, anyone with a chronic illness or autoimmune disease should consider themselves to be in the high-risk category. This includes chronic thyroid illness like hypothyroidism, as well as autoimmune thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease.
There’s a question as to whether all autoimmune diseases put us at higher risk. Without COVID-19 specific data on each autoimmune disease, we simply don’t know. If you have an autoimmune disease, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to find out if he or she recommends you take special precautions.
In general, however, the infectious disease experts I’ve spoken with all suggest that at this point in time, to be cautious, you should protect yourself as if you are in the high-risk group. This is especially important if your autoimmune disease has affected your lungs, cardiovascular system, or kidneys, or if you are taking a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) or receiving any immunosuppressive treatment. These drugs and treatments, often prescribed to patients with rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, may put you at higher risk of infection and complications from COVID-19.
What Should You Do as a Thyroid Patient?
You need to follow the basics: maintain good hand hygiene, avoid touching your face, regularly clean and disinfect common areas, and practice social distancing.
If you are a thyroid patient with any underlying autoimmune disease, the physicians I’ve spoken with all suggest that at this point in time, you should consider yourself to be in the high-risk group. This means in addition to all the basics, you should also strongly consider immediately adopting stringent social distancing.
Some other important tips:
- Make sure you have enough medication to last at least a month or more in case you need to self-quarantine, or there are shortages of your medications.
- If you can’t get approved refills through your insurance, consider paying out of pocket for refills. You can go to a free service like SingleCare or GoodRx to find the best self-pay price for your medication in your area, or by mail order. You can also get extremely low self-pay prices on generic versions of all thyroid drugs from Honeybee Health.
- Find out about home delivery options from your local pharmacy, or mail order prescription options from your HMO or health insurance company.
- Stock up on over-the-counter medicines you may need if you develop coronavirus symptoms.
- Find out your telehealth options. Many doctors and HMOs are quickly ramping up their ability to provide consultations by telephone or video chat/Skype/Zoom
- Check with your healthcare provider about whether you should consider postponing any non-urgent hospital procedures, treatments, elective surgeries, or visits to a medical office.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for an extended period of time.
How Can You Support Your Immune System?
There are proven things you can do to help support your immune system.
- Prioritize sleep. The immune system works best when you are getting at least seven hours of sleep every night. Now is NOT the time to shortchange yourself when it comes to sleep. Check out the Thyroid Refresh Sleep Bundle for loads of resources to help you optimize your sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet. Even though it’s a stressful time, don’t be tempted to throw healthy eating out the window. And don’t forget to stay well-hydrated. You can browse our collection of thyroid-healthy recipes for delicious high-nutrient meals you can make at home.
- Get some physical activity or exercise every day. Even if you aren’t going to the gym, you can still take a walk, ride your bike, or do some stretching or a workout at home. Thyroid Refresh has dozens of workout videos to choose from.
- Practice some form of stress management daily. This is even more important during this COVID-19 crisis. Whether you do some guided meditation, gentle yoga, breathwork—or sit down to draw, color, or crochet—find something that lets your nervous system calm down, and make sure you devote at least 10 minutes a day. Browse the complete Thyroid Refresh Self-Care archives for ideas.
Peace Harmony & Be Healthy!