COVID – Update November 2021
As the pandemic has unfolded, we have provided periodic updates to a blog
on COVID-19 diagnosis and prevention/severity reduction. This update
provides information relating to current topics of concern.
Most people are now familiar with the three types of COVID testing. Rapid
and PCR testing based on nasal swabs are used to test for current infection.
Antibody testing is used to assess for prior infection. Patients often ask if
antibody testing can be used to determine if they are immune from
infection, and whether a vaccine or booster would be appropriate.
Unfortunately, current testing methods do not enable a determination of
immunity to be made. As a consequence, antibody testing is generally not
of value at this time.
Preventing and Reducing Disease Severity
The currently accepted methods for preventing COVID-19 are immunization,
wearing a mask, and social distancing. Most patients are knowledgeable
and do not have questions regarding the latter two methods.
We are often asked for our advice on whether to vaccinate. In our view, this
is an individual decision based on assessment of benefits and risks. For
most adult patients, benefits of immunizing are reduction in likelihood of
severe illness, hospitalization, death, and post-illness complications. Risks
are generally low and related to adverse effects that are self-limited; we
assess them on an individual basis based on prior and current history.
Alongside of this, it may be helpful to take steps to minimize biological risk
and the severity of infection. Maintaining or achieving a healthy body
weight and optimizing blood sugar, nutrition, and physical fitness are the
cornerstone of this approach. Additionally, it is known that COVID-19
involves an initial period of a few days of generally low symptoms, which in
some individuals then gives rise to an immune response that has the
potential for life-threatening illness and post-illness long-term
complications (fatigue, cognitive and mood issues, respiratory or
cardiovascular deficits). In other words, like some other infections such as
Lyme (which we see a lot of in our practice) the “host response” (individual
biological health) is important in determining the course of the illness.
Although evidence is evolving regarding interventions that may have the
potential for ameliorating COVID-19 severity, among integrative and other
practices an approach that includes the following has been used:
- Antioxidants such as Vitamin C 1000 mg twice daily prior to
illness, and 2000-3000 mg three times daily early in the course of
- Vitamin D3 5000 units daily prior to illness to reach 25 OHD levels
of 50 or above and 5,000-10,000 units twice daily early in the
course of illness
- Zinc 30 mg daily prior to illness and four times daily early in the
course of illness
- Quercetin 250 mg daily prior to illness and four times daily early in
the course of illness
- Avmacol, which includes sulforaphane (an active immune-
enhancing ingredient in broccoli sprouts) and increases the
availability of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, daily prior to
illness, and three times daily early in the course of illness
- Melatonin 3-5 mg once daily prior to illness and two to three times daily early in the course of illness
- Inhalation of nebulized hydrogen peroxide 3% solution several times daily prior to illness, or hourly early in the course of illness; a video demonstrating this technique is at https://archive.earthclinic.com/remedies/hydrogen_peroxide_inhalation.html
- Avoidance of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), such as are generated by wi-fi, cell phones, and other devices as much as possible prior to illness and more aggressive early in the course of illness
- Caution in taking folates or ACE inhibitors
- Use of hydrogen water, such as Quicksilver H2 Elite, once daily prior to illness and three times daily early in the course of illness
- Use of ozone water or other methods of administration of it; this involves purchase of an ozone generator (see, e.g. https://www.simplyo3.com/collections/generators/products/stratus?_ga=2.87899931.2018403127.1586138178-2043708408.1586138178); a liter of ozone water daily prior to illness and three times daily early in the course of illness
- Use of a broad spectrum herbal treatment approach, including one by Stephen Buhner whom many know as a prolific American herbalist with perhaps the broadest experience with use of herbs in treating Lyme disease; summary of Buhner’s recommendations can be found at https://highgardentea.com/herbal-treatment-for-coronavirus/
Increasingly, monoclonal antibody treatments have also become available
in Maryland. Should you develop symptoms, we recommend that you
consider the information in this post and communicate with your IHP
physician or PA on your specific situation.