"So of course people want to know what is the best way to treat COVID-19 long haulers. There's no consensus on the best way to treat COVID-19 long haulers. Many physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, which is one of my specialties, pulmonologists, neurologists and psychiatrists are seeing these patients and helping them to deal with their most bothersome symptoms because they have been experiencing, or these doctors are experienced with dealing with patients with brain fog, fatigue, chronic cough, sleep issues, body and joint aches. In integrative and functional medicine, we are experienced at helping people with some of these chronic symptoms that they may not have been able to get diagnosed or treated, but that we're chronically challenging their quality of life. Some of these similar conditions are chronic fatigue, as I mentioned, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalitis, and brain fog. In integrating a functional medicine and the holistic medicine fields we look for root causes that may have contributed to the person not recovering quickly from COVID such as nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues or pre-existing sleep issues.
We can address those root causes and likely improve the cellular function. And specifically the mitochondrial function, the mitochondria are often involved in complex medical issues, such as these and those mentioned and poor COVID-19 recovery. We like to educate our patients on pacing and graduated gradual increases in activity and exercise as tolerated, but not to exhaustion or prolonged recovery. We address nutrition, sleep and the mental, emotional, and spiritual connections to illness. There is a gut-brain connection, you may have heard of that, involved with our autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the automatic part of the nervous system with the part fight versus rest or digest. It's important to consider this part of the nervous system when addressing recovery. Some of the complex symptoms that show up in COVID-19 long haulers may be related to poor autonomic nervous system, and that's related to prolonged and critical illnesses, just like other illnesses that I mentioned."
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