How can we advise patients with the aftermath of the COVID vaccine?

△ To reduce side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination, drink more water and reduce coffee, sugar, and alcohol intake to reduce symptoms driven by inflammation. imageⓒAdobeStock_ goodluz

By Winston Lee L. Ac, Ph.D., KMD

As of June 2021, more than 70% of California’s population has had at least one dose of the vaccine. Most businesses in California, including schools and workplaces, are open 100%, and the mandatory wearing of a mask when there are people who have been vaccinated is no longer required. Considering this time last year, it is indeed a great positive change.

Medical fields are an essential industry, so I have been providing treatment so far, but thousands of people have been vaccinated in recent months, and I have noticed some negative changes regarding their health. The vast majority of the patients were fine, but after receiving the vaccine, the frequency of symptoms of ‘inflammation’ such as sore joints, itchy skin, or gum disease has increased among the vaccinated people. Symptoms did not exist before vaccination, but these symptoms appeared after vaccination. Although it is not a big problem, it shows these minor negative aftermaths according to my personal experience.

COVID-19 is very contagious, and when infected, the symptoms are much more critical than the flu, so it is necessary to be vaccinated for individuals and others. All vaccines have some side effects, and individual and national benefits from immunity after vaccination are much greater than those minor side effects, so vaccination is recommended in all countries. This time, I’d like to give some important instructions for patients in the consultation nowadays. It covers a few things patients should know to reduce inflammation-related symptoms related to the vaccine, given that many people have already received the vaccine.

The first and foremost thing to do is to drink plenty of water. The recommended daily water intake is 2.5 liters (0.6 gallons), or 12 cups. However, there is a statistic that we drink about only seven glasses of water a day. When our body lacks water, problems arise in all areas, from absorption of nutrients to excretion. In particular, speaking of inflammation, if there is not enough water, it is obviously worse, and inflammation that is usually removed by itself takes 2-3 times longer and sometimes worsens. When you do laundry, if you add only half of the water and turn it on, it is the same as, of course, that it does not wash well.

However, a favorite food that keeps this water out is ‘coffee.’ The caffeine in all coffees is a diuretic, making the kidneys excrete water more. Therefore, even if a coffee drinker drinks a lot of water, it is already excreted in the urine through the kidneys and bladder before it even reaches the cells. So, when sensitive people drink coffee, they often go to the bathroom to urinate. So personally, I like coffee, but I drink decaf coffee all the time.

The next food to watch out for is sugar. Consuming a sugar substitute called high fructose also causes inflammation in the body. Sweets and chocolate, and other sodas contain a huge amount of sugar, so be especially careful. It is no coincidence that children who like sweets and chocolate often get sick and suffer from pain for various reasons. Sweet coffee drinks such as cafe latte and caramel macchiato have plenty of coffee and sugar. The truth that what is good for the mouth is bad for the body also applies here.

There is no doubt that alcohol also causes inflammation. Alcohol, like caffeine, is a diuretic, so that it can accelerate inflammation. It is one piece of evidence that our body feels somewhat swollen in the morning after drinking alcohol. If you plan to drink on weekends or holidays, drinking enough water before or after drinking can minimize the aftereffects of the next day.

Drinking a lot of water and cutting down on coffee, sugar, and alcohol are common senses for reducing inflammation and general health. But we forget this every day. Rather than looking for great drugs or vitamins that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, it is much more effective to practice not to do bad things to the body that you have already learned in kindergarten, and it is much more effective for improving health and does not demand much time and cost.