The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause challenges for healthcare providers. In the absence of detailed guidelines for treatment, does your practice have an effective strategy? What is your clinical approach to testing, providing sound guidance on quarantining, or prescribing appropriate nutritional, botanical, and pharmaceutical interventions for patients who are worried about contracting a COVID-19 infection, those who have just tested positive, or those with mild symptoms? Consider the following two case scenarios:
A 67-year-old obese male with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypertriglyceridemia asks you, “What can I do to lower the possibility of getting really sick from COVID-19?” Which of the following would you provide as advice for him? (Choose all that apply):
- A. Walk his dog more frequently
B. Stay indoors to avoid exposure
C. Eat a highly colored, phytonutrient-dense diet with plenty of fiber
D. Lower the dose of his ACE inhibitor
E. Consume a low-fat, high-carb diet
F. Begin a relaxation practice with deep breathing techniques
A 30-year-old patient is planning to fly across the country to visit his grandmother, who lives in a nursing home. He is asking your advice about how to visit her safely and is worried about being exposed during the plane trip. How would you advise him?
See below for correct answers.
We know that many clinicians are learning as we go in the search for solutions to this emergent healthcare crisis. IFM has dedicated considerable effort into researching these issues and has developed an approach that does not rely solely on the limited pharmaceuticals available. The online course Resistance, Resilience, and Recovery: Patient Care in a Pandemic provides an evidence-informed algorithm for approaching COVID-19 at all stages of the infectious lifecycle that can improve outcomes for countless patients.
The course includes a detailed clinical algorithm that provides a framework for dietary and lifestyle treatments, managing comorbidities that influence risk, and therapeutic approaches for nutraceutical, botanical, and pharmaceutical interventions. This algorithm provides protocols on what to recommend for which patients and at what point in the course of illness.
Additionally, we anticipate that COVID-19 will become a chronic disease, with lasting sequelae that vary widely from person to person in manifestation and severity. To that end, starting in January, this course will include a second longitudinal component that presents emerging, evidence-informed solutions for dealing with the millions of patients who are in the post-acute phase of a COVID-19 infection.
Answers to the case scenarios above:
Scenario One: The correct answers are A, C, and F. All of these will mitigate host cofactors of viral mechanisms and can mitigate comorbidities of vulnerability.
Scenario Two: Quarantine on arrival and either:
- Continue to quarantine for 14 days, then if no symptoms, he can visit his grandma; OR
- Take an RNA test (PCR) seven days after arrival. If negative, repeat 24 hours later. If both tests are negative, he can visit his grandma.