Integrating wellbeing

Our blog this week is written by guest writer, Bev Alderson. Bev is a wellbeing professional who works with individuals, groups and workplaces, choosing to take a more positive and proactive approach, to enhance wellbeing and in turn achieve greater results.

In deciding what to write and share this year, I obviously had no idea we would be in the midst of a global pandemic, when the topic of ‘Integrating Wellbeing’ would come up on the schedule.

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Stress: what is it and how does it affect our brain health?

We are living in unprecedented times where our levels of stress are at an all-time high.  We may be stressed about the fragility of our health and the health of our loved ones, we may be stressed about our work and finances. Some of us have lost our jobs and others are adapting to a totally new way of working either remotely or in an environment with PPE and ’social distancing’. Even prior to COVID19 we were living in a world where stress was the predominant constant in our lives. The article below explores what stress is and how it impacts our brain health.

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How probiotics support the respiratory system: protecting against viruses and helping recovery

At present, during this current pandemic of COVID-19, no effective preventive and curative medicine is currently available. Subsequently, a healthy immune system is considered paramount and therapies addressing the immunopathology of the infection have become a major focus.

There are a number of nutrients which are essential for the normal functioning of the immune system, of which probiotics have shown effectiveness for treatment and prevention of viral infections as well as a supportive role in enhancing immune response(1) and this will be discussed in more detail below.

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Inflammation and cytokine storms

There has been a lot of discussion in the media lately about a cytokine storm. This is referring to an inflammatory response to an insult such, as a pathogen or injury, to which the immune system overreacts and runs out of control. It has been well documented that the severity and increased risk of death of COVID-19 is associated with a cytokine storm, where inflammation runs away and therefore the body’s own inflammatory response becomes more dangerous than the infection itself. The main problems are therefore not brought about by the virus itself, but by the extreme immunological response in some people to the ineffective organisms.

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