NEWTOWN >> A local integrative physician has a fresh paradigm for treating patients with post-COVID-19 or “long hauler” syndrome – those tricky and misunderstood symptoms people get long after recovering from mild to moderate cases of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
New research published in the journal JAMA Network Open by University of Washington researchers found that more than a third of COVID-19 patients who were never sick enough to require hospitalization continue to complain months later of persistent, lingering symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog and body pain.
Dr Lori Gerber, DO of Newtown has found that using a functional medicine approach – getting the body back into balance by using nutraceuticals and natural anti-inflammatory and immune boosting compounds - is helping those “long haulers.” She says the key to prevent and treat lingering COVID-19 symptoms is attacking chronic inflammation by healing and bolstering the gut-immune-brain response in order to calm the body’s overactive immune system.
“Instead of prescribing drugs that cause side effects, there is another way to rejuvenate the immune system,” said Gerber. “So far, this has been absent from the covid conversation, not covered in mainstream media, nor talked about in the government or academic institutions.”
Gerber says allopathic physicians are trained to treat the symptoms of a virus or bacteria with antibiotics and anti-virals, but they are not trained to work on the interconnected systems involved in an overactive immune response. Furthermore, allopaths are not familiar in the use of herbal supplements to heal.
Leehe Fai, an interior designer from Yardley, is one of those “long haulers.” Fai got the coronavirus last March, but she says she’s been dealing with the after effects for a year now.
“I had this persistent cough that would come and go, a runny nose, body aches, severe fatigue, brain fog, and eye styes that just wouldn’t go away. I turned to Dr. Gerber after not getting much help from my regular PCP who didn’t know how to help me or even recognize what I had.”
Dr. Gerber treated her with a protocol that consisted of pharmaceutical grade supplements from her proprietary line, as well as colloidal silver (an anti-viral, antifungal, immune booster) and quercetin (natural antihistamine) and other natural anti-viral and antibacterial compounds and Chinese herbs. Dr Gerber also consistently checked Leehe’s inflammatory markers through blood tests to track her progress. Fai says she is now, finally, starting to feel better.
“Every person is different and will require a personalized protocol depending on the severity and diversity of symptoms but the underlying theme is to improve cellular detoxification, provide immune support and heal the gut lining, because your gut microbiome is related to your body’s immune and inflammatory response. Some things in Dr. Lori’s toolbox:
• Natural anti-histamines – quercetin, stinging nettles
• Cellular detoxification - glutathione (oral or injection)
• Heal mucous membranes + immune support – silver, bilberry, olive leaf extract, melatonin and D-3
• Liver support - goldenseal, milk thistle and uva ursi
• Gut support - glutamine, prebiotics & probiotics
• Adrenal and cortisol support - calming adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha
“We are so focused on killing the virus, we’re missing a fundamental piece – the body is in disharmony. The functional medicine approach is to work on all body systems to optimize immune resilience, balance the gut microbiome and improve metabolic health.” To learn more, please visit https://mydrlori.com/.