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Leaders in nutritional medicine gather for round table on tackling new wave of post-pandemic health challenges

Post Covid

Nearly One in Five American Adults Who Have Had COVID-19 Still Have “Long COVID”. More than 500,000 Aussies predicted to have Long COVID in coming months. Symptoms of Long COVID likened to ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’.

Latest research supports integrated medicine approach to Long COVID patient care. Understanding of mitochondrial health integral to post-pandemic recovery.

A group of leading nutritional, environmental and integrative medicine health professionals will gather for a Virtual Round Table (August 31, 2022) to tackle the unprecedented health challenges facing our health system, with symptoms of Long COVID which will affect more than 500 000 Australians in coming months, firmly on the agenda.

The round table gathering, titled Post-Pandemic Health: Integrated Strategies to Tackle Symptoms of Long-Covid will delve deeply into the longer-term impact of the current global viral load including the combined effects of SARS-CoV-2 (Post-COVID-19 syndrome or Long COVID), as well as the resurgence of Influenza and RSV in the community, and the science of nutritional medicine when integrated with allopathic medicine, to support long-term symptom relief.

Round table panellists include Dr Mark Donohoe MB FASLM: FACNEM, Australia’s leading integrative and environmental medicine practitioners and President of acnem; Dr Ross Walker MB. BS (hons), FRACP, FCSANZ, Integrative Cardiologist; Dr Denise Furness PhD BSc(Hons) RNutr., Functional Geneticist and Nutritionist; Gerald Quigley, Pharmacist and Master Herbalist.

The discussion will shine the spotlight on the latest evidence-backed research revealing the link between COVID-19, Long COVID, ongoing fatigue, muscle weakness, brain fog and the case for an integrated approach to diet, lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation to provide relief to patients.

Along with COVID-19, the phenomenon of ‘pandemic fatigue’ soon emerged as we endured hundreds of days of lockdowns across Australia with an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey revealing nearly one-in-four people felt ‘everything was an effort’ and a quarter of people who said they were restless or fidgety during the pandemic.  

Long COVID has also gathered momentum in the community following sobering statistics from doctors at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital recently, projecting that almost half a million Australians would contract Long COVID in the coming months.

“As the world faces ongoing debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus as medical practitioners is to help reduce the burden of disease and suffering by supporting those most at risk with compromised immune systems, multiple co-morbidities, and those suffering the long-term ongoing illness of long covid following infection,” Dr Mark Donohoe said.

“Vaccination remains an important first line of defence, but the scientific literature is proving that nutritional medicine intervention in conjunction with a balanced and healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle, adequate and high-quality sleep, along with exercise and mind-body practices like yoga and meditation, may help to reduce some of the debilitating symptoms, especially in Long COVID, and enhance recovery,” he said. 

“Supplementation includes nutritional compounds which support immune function, such as vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D, as well as those which support mitochondrial energy production, which has been shown to be impaired by viral infection, resulting in fatigue.”

Dr Ross Walker, Integrative Cardiologist said ”it is my belief that Long COVID is due to a variety of genetic and environmental factors including micronutrient imbalance, gut dysbiosis, the reactivation of other dormant viruses, along with the 10% of the population with some degree of mitochondrial dysfunction.

“The best long-term management is an integrative approach assessing & managing all factors involved,” said Dr Walker.

“Lingering symptoms of COVID may affect our ongoing quality-of-life,” says Gerald Quigley, Master Herbalist, Pharmacist and media commentator. “There are no simple options there, but nutritional medicines give us the tools to restore energy, vitality and immune function.”

“Each person can exhibit an array of symptoms here, but we can’t underestimate the general restorative benefits off nutritional medicines.”

According to Dr Furness, genetically, humans have adapted over millions of years in connection with the environment. Over the past 100 years, we have changed our environment drastically, leading to chronic disease and poor health.

“COVID has provided an opportunity to stop and reassess how we live our lives and what we can do to strengthen our immune system and take charge of our health,” she said. 

The panel aims to develop a recommended guideline for the use of nutritional medicine as an adjunct to traditional interventions that have been shown in scientific research to offer support to the immune system and mitochondrial health to relieve the ongoing debilitating symptoms of the viral load.

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

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