Man with long haul COVID needing treatment

Long-haul COVID Treatment

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults who had COVID-19 still Have “Long COVID”

New data from the Household pulse survey show that more than 40% of adults in the United States reported having COVID-19 in the past, and nearly one in five of those (19%) are currently still having symptoms of “long COVID.”

The data was collected from June 1-June 13 2022, by the U.S. Census Bureau and analyzed by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The Household Pulse Survey is an ongoing partnership between the Census Bureau, CDC, and other federal agencies. NCHS recently added questions to the survey to assess the prevalence of post-COVID-19 conditions, sometimes called “long COVID.”

Imagine not being able to enjoy your favorite foods or the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning (medical term anosmia); or worse having a distorted smell such as gasoline, raw sewage, eggs, ammonia, and skunk (medical term Parosmia) or getting out of breath just walking across the room when a few months before you could have walked or run for a few miles with no problem.

The effects of contracting COVID-19 can last long after you have recovered from the virus and can have a huge impact on your daily life. Things that were once easy are no longer so, and your sense of smell can be a life-saver for a house fire or a gas leak. 

While most individuals who get COVID-19 may recover within weeks of contracting the virus, some may experience new or ongoing health conditions after being infected. These conditions are often referred to as long-haul COVID or chronic COVID and can happen to anyone who has had the virus, even if their case was mild or they were asymptomatic.

Post-COVID conditions may have a wide range of symptoms that can last more than four weeks or even months after infection. Sometimes the symptoms can even go away or come back again.

Post-COVID conditions may not affect everyone the same way. People with post-COVID conditions may experience health problems from different types and combinations of symptoms happening over different lengths of time. Most patients’ symptoms slowly improve with time. However, for some people, post-COVID conditions may last months, and potentially years, after COVID-19 illness and may sometimes result in disability.

People who experience post-COVID conditions most commonly report:

General Symptoms

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
  • Fever

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

The CDC also states that:

  • Older adults are less likely to have long COVID than younger adults. Nearly three times as many adults ages 50-59 currently have long COVID than those age 80 and older.
  • Women are more likely than men to currently have long COVID (9.4% vs. 
  • 5.5%).
  • Nearly 9% of Hispanic adults currently have long COVID, higher than non-Hispanic White (7.5%) and Black (6.8%) adults, and over twice the percentage of non-Hispanic Asian adults (3.7%).

These findings from the CDC confirm that long Covid is becoming a problem for those affected.  Doctors and research scientists are working tirelessly to help find ways to ameliorate the symptoms of Covid.  

One solution to this problem might be to try integrative medicine.  

What is integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and natural therapies.

At Progressive Medical Center, Integrative medicine is the foundation of what we use to help our patients.

We embody the following approach:

  • A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
  • Appropriate use of conventional and natural methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
  • Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease, including mind, spirit, and community as well as body
  • A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts natural therapies uncritically
    • Recognition that good medicine should be based on good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
    • Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
    • Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
    • Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development.

Examples of treatments that can help with Long Covid:

Recently published in a scientific journal; HBOT Hyperbaric oxygen treatments may improve “Long COVID”  This is a great example of an integrative medicine treatment modality.

Patients with long COVID may see some improvement after breathing pure oxygen in a high-air-pressure environment, according to data from a small Israeli trial.

Researchers randomly assigned 73 patients with post-COVID symptoms lasting at least three months to receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) or a sham treatment. Patients in the HBOT group spent 40 sessions breathing pure oxygen in a chamber in which the air pressure was two-to-three times higher than normal, allowing the lungs to receive more oxygen than they normally would.

Shortly after the last treatment, the HBOT group showed “significant improvement” compared to the sham group in thinking skills, energy, sleep, psychiatric symptoms, and pain, according to a report published in Scientific Reports. The researchers said that symptomatic improvement was associated with magnetic resonance imaging evidence of structural and functional brain healing and improved delivery of oxygen-carrying blood to the brain.

HBOT is often used to treat wounds that are not healing well and has recently been tested as a treatment for traumatic brain injury, but this is the first randomized trial to test it for long COVID. Larger studies are needed to confirm the findings and to identify patients who might benefit, the researchers said. Integrative medicine may offer hope and answers to long Covid. 

A skilled integrative practitioner will focus on getting to the root cause and develop a partnership with the patient.  The main focus will be to focus on repairing the immune function, the mitochondria, gut repair, and detoxification pathways.  An emphasis on positive lifestyle challenges with an individualized diet plan that is based on your body.

Integrative Medicine is just good medicine!

If you or a loved one is experiencing long COVID symptoms, we encourage you to contact our office today at 770-676-6000 and schedule an appointment online. We are here to help you get back to your optimal health!