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Exploring Five Naturopathic Strategies to Navigate Long Hauler's COVID

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on November 28, 2023

Naturopathic strategies offer a holistic approach to managing Long Hauler's COVID, a condition characterized by persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection. These strategies focus on enhancing the body's natural healing processes and can be complementary to conventional treatments. Here, we explore five such approaches:

  1. Hyperbaric Medicine: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. This increased pressure allows more oxygen to be absorbed by the body's tissues, which can aid in healing. Research suggests that HBOT may improve symptoms in post-COVID-19 patients by reducing inflammation and promoting tissue repair.
  2. Antioxidant Therapy: Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, which can cause cellular damage. Supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, glutathione, and coenzyme Q10 could potentially reduce oxidative stress associated with Long Hauler's COVID. Clinical evidence supporting antioxidant therapy is emerging, indicating its potential benefits in reducing inflammation and supporting immune function.
  3. Avoiding Food Intolerances: Identifying and avoiding food intolerances can reduce systemic inflammation and support gut health, which is vital for overall immune function. A naturopathic practitioner can guide patients in identifying potential food sensitivities and creating a diet plan that eliminates these triggers, potentially alleviating some long-term COVID symptoms.
  4. Infrared Sauna and Hot-and-Cold Contrast Hydrotherapy: These therapies aim to improve circulation and detoxification. Infrared saunas use light to create heat, penetrating deeper into the body and potentially aiding in the elimination of toxins. Contrast hydrotherapy, which involves alternating between hot and cold water, can stimulate the immune system and improve blood flow. While direct evidence for these therapies in Long Hauler's COVID is limited, they are known to support overall well-being.
  5. Trace Mineral Support and Nutrient Optimization: Minerals like zinc, selenium, and magnesium play crucial roles in immune function and cellular health. Vitamin D, known for its immune-modulating effects, is also vital. Ensuring adequate intake of these nutrients either through diet or supplements can support the body's natural healing process. There's growing evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to more severe COVID-19 outcomes, making its optimization particularly relevant.

To summarize, these naturopathic strategies offer promising avenues for managing Long Hauler's COVID. However, it's important to note that while these approaches can be beneficial, they should be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan under the guidance of healthcare professionals. As research in this area is still evolving, further studies are needed to fully understand the efficacy and safety of these therapies in the context of Long Hauler's COVID.

It's crucial to emphasize that the information provided here is not medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare guidance. Dealing with Long Hauler's COVID requires the support of a holistic healthcare provider who is well-versed in the complexities of this condition. A licensed naturopathic physician, especially those at clinics like the Portland Clinic of Natural Health, which specializes in environmental medicine, can offer personalized care. These professionals are equipped to understand the unique challenges of Long Haul COVID and can provide tailored treatment plans that align with individual health needs.

Taking a multifactorial, holistic approach is key in managing Long Haul COVID. This involves identifying the antecedents, triggers, and mediators specific to an individual’s condition. Every person's journey with Long Haul COVID is unique, and factors such as lifestyle, dietary habits, pre-existing health conditions, and environmental exposures play a critical role in the manifestation and severity of symptoms. Environmental factors like exposure to mycotoxins or a history of tick-borne illness can significantly impact one's health and potentially exacerbate Long Haul COVID symptoms. A holistic approach acknowledges these diverse influences and seeks to address them in a comprehensive manner, ensuring a more targeted and effective management strategy for Long Haul COVID.

Resources:

  1. Roth A, Chan PS, Jonas W. Addressing the Long COVID Crisis: Integrative Health and Long COVID. Glob Adv Health Med. 2021 Nov 16;10:21649561211056597. doi: 10.1177/21649561211056597. PMID: 34820152; PMCID: PMC8606968.
  2. Estores IM, Ackerman P. Integrative Medicine in Long COVID. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2023 Aug;34(3):677-688. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2023.03.006. Epub 2023 May 11. PMID: 37419539.
  3. Koc HC, Xiao J, Liu W, Li Y, Chen G. Long COVID and its Management. Int J Biol Sci. 2022 Jul 11;18(12):4768-4780. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.75056. PMID: 35874958; PMCID: PMC9305273.

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