Top Tips for Respiratory Season with Dr. Tara Schneider

Visionary Dr. Tara Schneider serves as the CEO and Co-founder of the Point of Care Testing Institute (POCTi), showcasing a remarkable proficiency in the realms of respiratory health and medical innovation. Within this blog, Dr. Schneider will share answers to a series of ten fundamental questions for respiratory season, shedding light on the pivotal correlation existing between respiratory well-being and the extraordinary functions attributed to Nitric Oxide.

As a top-ranked pharmacist on LinkedIn and Co-Founder of the Point of Care Testing Institute, what opportunity did you see that inspired you to start the Point of Care Testing Institute?  

The Point of Care Testing Institute or POCTi was really a serendipitous occurrence. I started offering POCT at my pharmacy a few years ago and shared it on social media. Then, my phone started ringing off the hook with other pharmacy owners wanting to know how they could do the same thing! I started consulting with them, doing a full A-Z white glove implementation to help them start testing in just 4 weeks. My POCT implementation was keeping me so busy that we decided to give it a name- Point of Care Testing Institute. POCTi is in partnership with my husband, Chuck. We enjoy seeing pharmacy owners grow their business through this valuable clinical service. 

Can you explain the significance of Nitric Oxide in respiratory health and how it impacts the respiratory system during the seasonal peaks?  

Nitric oxide (NO) is a vital gas in respiratory health. It relaxes blood vessels and airway muscles, boosting oxygen supply and airflow. NO also curbs inflammation, defends against infections, and aids the immune response. During seasonal respiratory peaks, NO’s roles are amplified. It helps balance immune reactions, eases breathing by widening airways, and fights pathogens effectively. 

What are some of the most common respiratory concerns that people should be aware of during the respiratory season, and how can Nitric Oxide be used to support their management?   

During the respiratory season, common concerns like flu, colds, allergies, and infections can arise. Nitric oxide (NO) supports managing these by combating viruses, reducing inflammation, and easing breathing. For respiratory issues, NO benefits include improved airflow and symptom relief. A combination of a healthy lifestyle and supplementing with oral NO can enhance NO levels throughout the respiratory season and throughout the year. 

What are some ways either you have seen NO impact respiratory issues or what have providers shared with you in how NO impacts respiratory issues?  

I have seen major impact in my patients who have seasonal symptoms and start my immune boost protocol that includes NO. Viral infections that lead to respiratory symptoms like congestion, coughing, and difficulty breathing are common during the fall and winter months. I add nitric oxide to my immune boost protocol for its antimicrobial properties to help combat these viruses by inhibiting their growth. Additionally, NO’s bronchodilators effect aids in relieving airway constriction, making breathing easier. Then, I recommend that patients continue NO through the rest of the season. 

As a pharmacist, what advice would you give to patients seeking over-the-counter remedies or supplements that claim to boost Nitric Oxide levels for respiratory health during the seasonal peaks?  

Test! I recommend that patients who are looking for NO products validate it with a test. I recommend that patients take a test to get a baseline, if they are deficient, take 2 capsules of NO then wait 90 minutes to re-test. Their results should show a drastic increase in NO level. This is one of the many reasons that I recommend Berkeley Life NO to my patients. You can see the before and after effect of taking oral NO by doing a quick saliva test that provides you results in seconds. The second recommendation is to start ahead of the season to optimize your immune defense and stay on it through the season. 

Are there any lifestyle changes or dietary considerations that can naturally enhance respiratory health during peak season?  

 Sleep, decrease stress, regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in foods like leafy greens and beets (which contain nitrate), and avoiding tobacco smoke can help maintain optimal Nitric Oxide levels.  

With your expertise, can you share any success stories of patients who have benefited from Nitric Oxide therapy for respiratory concerns during the seasonal peaks?  

Absolutely! Especially in my patients who developed prolonged health issues and couldn’t overcome persistent inflammation and bronchoconstriction. They would come to me seeking assistance. I would initiate the process by evaluating them for potential nutrient deficiencies such as NO and vitamin D. Subsequently, I would introduce them to my immune enhancement plan, which also included NO. A week after they began following the regimen, we would have a follow-up, and the outcomes were astonishing! They regained their vitality and respiratory ease. They were able to resume their daily routines and started feeling more like their usual selves. Now, my patients vouch for this plan and incorporate it into their routine throughout the entire year. As an example, one of my patients, who is in her late 80s, even completed a half marathon. Witnessing her flourish in this manner is truly remarkable!  

What are 1 – 2 ‘top tips’ on tools or technology available to providers as they prepare for respiratory illness season?  

a. Offer respiratory point of care testing in your pharmacy. Patients need testing and it can be hard to get, especially during the peak season.  

b. Mass messaging is my favorite tool! You can use it to let patients know about testing services that you offer and supplements they should start as they head into respiratory season. It’s something every pharmacy should utilize to get the word out about their awesome services.  

In your opinion, what are some potential challenges or misconceptions that patients may have regarding respiratory health and “Flu season” that you can address?  

a. Speak with your provider about ways to help your immune system respond better during seasonal peaks. Remember, it takes time to build immunity – planning is always a good idea!  

b. Supplements work to help boost the immune system, but you must take them daily, start ahead of the season and test regularly.  

What exciting advancements or research do you foresee for POCTi and Nitric Oxide, and how do you believe it will impact patient care in the future? 

There are advancements in research being made in the gut-brain axis and the power of this connection. With 80% of your immunity living in the gut, optimizing gut health is key to a healthy immune system, cognitive function, and longevity. I find this fascinating! If we can decrease inflammation throughout our entire body using NO, we can impact our epigenetics. This has the potential to make a big impact. I am very excited to see what the future holds as more is discovered about the gut-brain axis and epigenetics. 

Visit POCTi to learn more about diagnostic testing and visit Berkeley Life’s website to discover the total health benefits of Nitric Oxide.  

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