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Long-Haul Covid

Putting Out the Fire of Inflammation

Nearly 50 million people in the US have had a Covid-19 infection at least once. More than 30% of recovered patients are reporting symptoms long after the virus has cleared. Some of the lingering symptoms reported include continued loss of smell and taste, chronic fatigue, clouded thinking, headache, anxiety, depression, difficulty breathing, lingering cough and poor sleep.

The symptoms have been given several official names including Long-Haul Covid-19, post-COVID conditions and Multisystem Inflammatory Response. As of October 1, 2021, medical practices have ICD-10 codes including U09.9 (post COVID-19 condition, unspecified), which can be used to bill for patient visits related to these lingering symptoms.

Post viral syndromes are not new. The body’s response to a viral infection may be compared to a battlefield in a war. When a war is over, the earth is left with rising heat and evidence of destruction. Similarly in the body, after fighting a virus, the body is left with the effects of inflammatory responses, metabolic by-products and toxins.

Prolonged inflammation is thought to contribute to the lingering symptoms. One of the goals of treatment would be to resolve the inflammatory state and remove symptoms. Ideally, any treatment used would be effective and free of side effects.

In our office, we help patients with inflammatory conditions by encouraging healthy lifestyle practices. Specifically, we educate patients on ways to reduce and control stress, achieve the proper amount and quality of sleep and incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into their diet.

Increasing evidence points towards acupuncture as an effective treatment for resolving inflammatory states. The effectiveness is thought to be related to restoring normal functions in the body by promoting balance in the Neuro-Immune-Endocrine network. At LifeStyle Medicine, Inc, we offer acupuncture as part of a treatment plan for post-Covid conditions.

About the author: Renae Mayer MD, owner of Lifestyle Medicine, Inc., is a Board Certified Internal Medicine Acupuncturist - Harvard University trained. Visit LMedInc.com or call 918.488.9874 for more information.

About the author: Renae Mayer MD, owner of Lifestyle Medicine, Inc., is a Board Certified Internal Medicine Acupuncturist - Harvard University trained. Visit LMedInc.com or call 918.488.9874 for more information.

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