What is Sepsis?Sepsis is hard to pin down because it’s not a disease. It doesn’t hit home like cancer, heart disease or addiction. While sepsis carries a lower profile than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS, it kills more people annually than all of them combined. In fact, somebody dies every 2 minutes from it – making sepsis the third leading cause of death in America. When a microbial infection hits your body, your immune system kicks into high gear and fights back. But with sepsis, that immune response goes into overdrive. Chemicals are released into your bloodstream to fight infection, triggering widespread inflammation, which can cause blood clots and leakage from blood vessels. This impaired blood flow deprives organs of nutrients and oxygen. Without prompt intervention, they shut down. Symptoms sneak up quickly, and each are frightening on their own:
- S – Shiver, fever, or very cold
- E – Extreme pain or general discomfort
- P – Pale or discolored skin
- S – Sleepy, difficult to rouse, confused
- I – “I feel like I might die”
- S – Short of breath
Current Sepsis Treatment vs. New TreatmentSepsis is treated as an “all hands on deck” emergency in hospitals. Doctors and nurses pump patients with antibiotics to fight the infection and IV fluids to keep blood pressure from dropping. It’s a logical approach, but it’s often like shooting a squirt gun at a grease fire. A new and potentially groundbreaking sepsis treatment is more like a fire extinguisher. The treatment – a potent cocktail of vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and corticosteroids – is given every 6 hours for four straight days. Dr. Paul Marik began using it in 2016 at his hospital in Virginia. In that time, he has treated over 150 sepsis patients and only one has died. Two large clinical trials are now underway to replicate these results with the same treatment. Like many studies, some patients will get the treatment and others will get a placebo. But the difference here is that even the doctors won’t know which patients receive the new treatment or placebo. Only the researchers will know, and they’re tracking results as you read this. It’s possible that researchers will call off the study early if results are as good as what Dr. Marik sees in his hospital. Some hospitals, though, aren’t even waiting for the clinical trial results. They’ve started using it already. If successful, this new sepsis treatment would save millions of people around the world annually. A game-changer. Dare I even call it a miracle cure. If it happens. If it doesn’t, you can still protect yourself from becoming a sepsis statistic.
Protect Yourself from Sepsis and Other InfectionsThis new treatment confirms something that we’ve been talking about for years in our newsletters – the importance of fortifying your immune system to prevent all forms of infection. A strong immune system fights infection with power and precision. In other words, it can kill off an infection without burning the house down. There’s something else I want to call your attention to: Marik’s treatment isn’t a concoction from a Big Pharma lab. It wouldn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars. Steroids aside, vitamins are cheap and abundant – both in food and supplement form. And there are four vitamins and supplements that give your immune system extra firepower and a scope so it can pinpoint its targets like a sniper hiding in the bushes.
- Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients. It boosts your immune system by attacking free radicals, toxins, and pollutants head on. The body doesn’t store it, however, so you need to give your body a steady supply of it. Citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and strawberries are rich in vitamin C. If you opt for a supplement, I recommend that you take no more than 4,000 mg daily in divided doses.
- Zinc’s relationship with the immune system is complex, and how it helps you varies depending on your diet, age, and susceptibility to disease. But bottom line, it is essential for normal functioning of the immune system. That’s why zinc lozenges are a popular go-to at the onset of a common cold. I recommend no more than 30 mg/day.
- Curcumin fights inflammation at its core, preventing an illness or reducing the length of one. A 2012 study showed that curcumin tripled the amount of a powerful antimicrobial substance (cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP) that your immune system dispatches to kill invasive bacteria. I recommend that you get 1,500 mg of curcumin throughout the day. I also suggest you look for a supplement with enhanced bioavailability, which means that your body will better absorb it.
- Probiotics are best known for their digestive benefits. But at their core, probiotics boost your immune system because of what they do during the digestive process. Your gut is bombarded several times a day with meals, snacks and drinks. Probiotics supplement your intestines with more microflora (good bacteria), killing food-borne bacteria and toxins before they are passed into your bloodstream and spread throughout your body. What’s more, as you age, the number of good bacteria in your gut diminishes – increasing your risk of developing a food-borne illness or infection. Look for a daily probiotic supplement that contains at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per dose.
Prevent Sepsis by Preventing InfectionWith luck, Dr. Barik’s new treatment will pass clinical trials and begin saving lives in every corner of the world. But you don’t have to wait for the results to fight all forms of disease and infection. Don’t think of it as preparing to fight sepsis. Think of it as preventing your need to go to the hospital to begin with!
- Harris, Richard. “Can a Cocktail of Vitamins and Steroids Cure a Major Killer in Hospitals.” NPR. Published May 11, 2018.
- “Could Vitamin C Save Lives in Sepsis? These Hospitals Aren’t Waiting for Proof.” PulmCCM. Published March 29, 2017.
- “How to Boost Your Immune System.” Harvard Health Publishing. Updated July 16, 2018.