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Health And Family

How to recover from ‘Long COVID’: Doctor shares tips

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
How to recover from âLong COVIDâ: Doctor shares tips
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice wherein little sterilized needles are stuck into the body for 30 minutes to bring back the balance of the chi into the body. 
Centro Holistico/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Over 75% of people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 suffered from “Long COVID” or at least one COVID-19 symptom after six months, a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet said last January.

Just last August, a new Chinese study, considered as the biggest yet on “Long COVID” and was also published in The Lancet, revealed that after 12 months:

•    About half of patients discharged from hospital due to COVID-19 continue to suffer from persistent fatigue or muscle weakness. 
•    One in three patients also reported to still experience shortness of breath.
•    26% had sleep problems.
•    The patients’ neutralizing antibodies (responsible for defending cells from pathogens or organisms that cause disease) levels were 52.5% lower, so there is a high risk of reinfection.

The Chinese study involved nearly 1,300 patients who were hospitalized for COVID from January to May 2020 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the first place hit by the pandemic that has so far infected 214 million and killed over four million people worldwide.

"With no proven treatments or even rehabilitation guidance, Long COVID affects people's ability to resume normal life and their capacity to work," The Lancet said in an editorial published with the study.

"The study shows that for many patients, full recovery from COVID-19 will take more than one year."

A Filipino doctor believes that Functional Medicine could help in recovering from “Long COVID.”

In an exclusive interview with Philstar.com, Functional Medicine practitioner Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman explained that Functional Medicine could help since it is a discipline that aims to reset the body into its basic functions.

“If there are imbalances in the body, functional imbalances, your body starts (malfunctioning), not functioning as it should be. That’s how you develop diseases,” she said.

 

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What is ##functionalmedicine and how can it help as a preventive treatment for disorders? Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman explains in this exclusive interview.

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Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman explaining how Centro Holistico and ##functionalmedicine can help prevent diseases.

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By looking at patients’ lifestyles, genetics, family history, nutrition and hormones, among other factors, Functional Medicine experts like Dr. Dalman can help patients create a picture of what’s going on within their bodies and see what’s causing the dysfunction. 

“You develop these diseases because of your external environment. With every symptom or disease, it could be a different types of things that could be causing it… We try to get into the root cause of the problems,” she explained.

Here are her suggested interventions to counter symptoms associated with “Long COVID”:

1. Continuous nutrient replenishment

 

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Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman explains how ##functionalmedicine can help in ##covid19prevention and recovery.

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“Long COVID-19 symptoms like falling hair, headaches and chronic fatigue even months after they got COVID, recent studies suggest that it is a mitochondrial issue – the nutrients are depleted and they need a reset,” Dr. Dalman said.

“Ang mitochondria kasi, it consumes a lot of nutrients… it works out a lot for you to be able to create energy. Whenever we get sick, and most particularly COVID, nauubos ‘yung nutrients sa katawan. It takes a toll on our body. Napapagod ‘yung katawan natin.

“So what we do for those, we do a reset for them. We make sure that their diet is full of nutrients, nutrient-dense food items – lots of fruits, vegetables, fresh meat…”

To complement a healthy diet, Dalman recommended Intravenous (IV) Drip or IV Nutrient Therapy, wherein high-dose vitamins are flowed into the bodies of those feeling much depleted. In Centro Holistico, where Dr. Dalman is one of the licensed and fully-vaccinated practitioners, the IV drips are customized according to what patients need or want to focus on: Mitochondria, immune system, anti-aging or detox, among others.

“All these minerals, micronutrients, our body needs those not just for our immune system. It’s for all of our organs, all of our bodies’ system. And if you don’t get it enough from your diet and you don’t have the proper supplement, magkakasakit ka if you feel very depleted,” she warned.

 

 

2. Prevent inflammation through detoxification

 

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Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman discusses the pros of colon cleanse and how IV drips could help boost ##COVID19vaccine efficiency.

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The mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, needs to be continuously recharged with nutrients. But sometimes, “you might be eating your nutrients but not absorbing it,” said Dalman. 

To make sure that your body absorbs all the nutrients needed for your immune system to function, the doctor recommended detoxification.

A way to detoxify is through a colon cleanse, which the doctor described as “a very good treatment to help reboot the microbiome of the gut” and prevent constipation.

“We make sure to remove the things that is causing them to feel more depleted, so remove ‘yung mga matataas ang toxins, ‘yung may mga preservatives… If you are a heavy meat eater, there are bulks of the meats that are very sticky to the colon walls. A colon cleanse is needed so your body will not re-absorb those toxins,” Dalman explained.

“At Centro Holistico, we use coffee for the colon cleanse, which helps in detoxifying the liver, helps gall bladder function to be better or to contract, and helps stimulate the body to produce more glutathione.”

For those who want to maximize the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccines, the doctor suggested combining IV drips with IV laser therapy, a light treatment executed like a dermatological facial.

An IV laser therapy, said the doctor, helps lower inflammation while promoting cellular regeneration and modulating the immune system.

“We also recommend that to those, after vaccination, to make sure that their bodies are working for the vaccine, na matritrigger talaga ‘yung immune system nila – the IV drip and the IV laser combined.”

According to the doctor, inflammation is a reason why many succumb to diseases like COVID-19 despite vaccination.

“For prevention, of course, even with the vaccine, there is always a risk of you getting it. We getting the disease is only a matter of severity. So when our immune system is fully functioning, you will not get the severe form of the disease. I’m pretty sure talaga, mga 100% of the time, ang mga namamatay with COVID are those who are not healthy – maraming comorbidities, maraming sakit even naka-vaccine na, maraming sakit, ‘yan ‘yung mga tinatamaan talaga. Their baseline is they’re highly inflamed, hindi kaya ng immune system nila labanan ‘yung virus, so they really get the bulk of it.”

3. Acupuncture

“Sometimes, because of years and years of fatigue, stress, your body is worn out or your cells are not performing well,” the doctor said.

For this, she vouched for Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese therapy wherein little sterilized needles are stuck into the body for 30 minutes to bring back the balance of the chi into the body. 

Centro Holistico doctors recommend it to anyone wanting to have better sleep, want to alleviate stress and anxiety or are simply “willing magpatusok,” Dalman quipped.

Their wellness center, which has branches in Alabang, Pasig and Quezon City, has had patients from eight months to 96 years old.

“We do that Acupuncture to help energy to flow back. We do the IV drips to replenish all the nutrients. We do IV laser therapy to help reboot the mitochondria, and so far, we had a very good success with our post-COVID patients.”

4. Exercise

Dalman suggested practicing workouts that involve meditation, like yoga, every day or at least every other day to lessen anxiety and sleeplessness.

5. Stay hydrated

 

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Dr. Candy Drilon-Dalman explains the cost of ##functionalmedicine treatments for ##covid19prevention and recovery.

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A headache or migraine could be caused by stress, hormones, stagnated phlegm, or other factors, said Dalman, but drinking at least eight glasses of water a day can help mitigate this symptom.

If you find it hard to complete the eight glasses, she suggested taking a glass every hour for eight hours. Have a tumbler by your side if you’re working and busy to remind you to drink and replenish its contents every hour.

Things like drinking a glass of water every hour seem like so little as compared to something like COVID-19, but Dalman guaranteed that even little deeds like these can do much in strengthening the immune system and making detoxification fast.

“Sa healthcare workers, ang dami ding nagsusuccumb to the virus because they’re highly exposed to the virus so the more viral load, the more that your body has to attack it, the more inflammation, so you’re getting yourself at risk,” she explained.

Therefore, whether a frontliner or not, everyone’s goal during this pandemic, she said, “is to keep yourself as healthy as possible so that your inflammation is low and anytime na tamaan ka ng COVID, your body is able to fight it off or mas mabilis ‘yung recovery.”

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