How to protect intestinal mucosa from coronavirus penetration?

 Nose, mouth and eyes

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are, indeed, the main “danger zones” through which both coronavirus and other viruses can penetrate. But do not forget about intestinal mucosa — it becomes almost the first frontier on which there is a protective reaction. And on her condition largely depends whether the “enemy” will pass, or will be defeated.

The fact is that intestinal mucosa is a pretty fine defense mechanism. First, here dangerous microorganisms stop intestinal mucus. Its composition contains special immunoglobulins A, which destroy pathogens, and gastroenteroprotective prostagladines, which protect the intestine and stomach.

Second, the gut microflora itself is considered an excellent protective barrier. After all, there live useful bacteria, which do not allow harmful microbes.

Outline violation

It is clear that a closed loop is needed for optimal protection of what or anyone. That is, the mucous must be impermeable. But that’s only possible if you don’t have a GI problem.

Almost all inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract as if “tear” the protective circuit, making mucosa permeable. And thereby increasing the risk of ingesting malicious microorganisms. Of course, the highest permeability is observed in serious diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, when the mucosa swells, bleeds, is covered by erosions. But also relatively “light” gastritis or food allergies also significantly affect permeability.

It is worth keeping in mind that mucous painkillers, antipyretic and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very spoilt. Alas, saving us from one, they harm the other. And the same ibuprofen, paracetamol or diclofenac contribute to mucosal permeability. Moreover, even if they enter the body not in the form of pills, but in candles or injections.

And yet especially vulnerable to coronavirus infection the mucosa of the GI tract are made ACE-2 receptors, which in the GI tract even more than in the mucosa of the respiratory tract. Namely using these receptors, coronavirus penetrates epithelium cells.

Restoration of the mechanism

Clearly, people with almost any gastrointestinal disease have a higher risk of contracting a coronavirus infection. First, they have increased the permeability of the mucose-epithelial barrier, secondly, increased the number of ACE-2 receptors. To avoid this, it is necessary to restore the mucous as quickly as possible, so that it will turn on its protective functions at full power. And for this purpose, first of all, it is necessary to change the qualitative and quantitative qualities of mucus, which prevents viruses from penetrating to epithelium cells and their introduction. This is best suited for drugs, which includes the active substance rebamipid. There are other drugs that perform a similar function, but preparations based on rebamipid not only positively affect the quantity and quality of mucus, but at the same time do not reduce the normal level acidity of the stomach, and still act throughout the GI tract. And for those suffering from GI diseases, these factors are extremely important.

What else can a gastroenterological sufferer do to maximize the risk of contracting a coronavirus? And if that happens — reduce the probability of severe disease?

  • First, support a chronic disease weakened immunity.
  • Secondly, if possible, to enrich the therapeutic diet with vitamins and trace elements.
  • Third, prevent the development of anaemia, so as not to provoke respiratory failure.
  • And fourth, carefully observe the doctor’s appointments when using cytostatics and glucocorticoids, which significantly lower the immune level.

Sergey V. V., Candidate of Medical Sciences, gastroenterologist, hepatologist.

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