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Could long COVID be an autoimmune condition?

Updated: May 30, 2022

According NIH:

"More than a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, much about how the human body responds to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, remains unclear. Some people have a severe or fatal reaction to infection, while others show no obvious symptoms. Some people bounce back quickly. Others experience so-called “long COVID,” symptoms that persist long past recovery from the initial stages of illness." [from NIH Research Matters]

While we are learning to live with COVID, a disturbing picture is beginning to emerge. More than 40% of COVID patients appears to have long COVID symptoms. According Wikipedia, a wide range of symptoms are commonly reported, including fatigue, malaise, headaches, shortness of breath, anosmia (loss of smell), parosmia (distorted smell), muscle weakness, low fever and cognitive dysfunction. [Wikipedia]

While conventional medical approach to long COVID is being developed, I believe integrative medicine offers an ideal approach to long COVID as integrative medicine offers many tools to treat autoimmune conditions including LDN (low dose naltrexone), lifestyle medicine, and supplements. In addition, functional medicine labs can be used to evaluate hormones, adrenal functions, and nutrient status.

Because long COVID a chronic condition that may be like an auto-immune condition, this is a condition I would treat in my practice. Having a membership based practice makes per month cost affordable and have services accessible to chronic conditions.

Yoon Hang Kim MD

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