Our Current Approach to Patient Care Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Mar 13, 2020
Our Current Approach to Patient Care Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
We encourage our patients to be smart and to do all you can to keep you and your family healthy, but not to panic. In efforts to help our patients reduce risk of exposure, we are offering and encouraging telemedicine visits.

We encourage our patients to be smart and to do all you can to keep you and your family healthy, but not to panic. In efforts to help our patients reduce risk of exposure, we are offering and encouraging telemedicine visits. A telemedicine visit is a great option to still receive great functional medicine care from your physician, while reducing your risk of exposure by having the appointment from your home.

Typically, for new patient visits, we require the first visit in our clinic. However, during this time we are offering new patient visits via telemedicine. 

Nothing is changing for our patients who are scheduled for procedures/treatments/labs in the office (pellets, IVs, GAINSWave, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, injections). At this time, we will continue to provide the procedures/treatments in the IHM clinic. With these other precautions and telemedicine visit offerings, your risk for exposure at IHM is lower with fewer patients in the clinic. If you prefer to postpone your scheduled treatments, please call our office and we will be happy to accommodate you.

While we have many wonderful supplements at IHM that are available for purchase, we also have the ability through Fullscript and other sources to have supplements shipped to your home. If you need an account set up, please call our office for this service. 

Telemedicine is a great option for you if you need to see a doctor but are nervous about going to a busy clinic. You can call today for your telemedicine appointment at 903-595-8077. 

If you have symptoms of upper respiratory illness, including fever, shortness of breath, or cough, we urge you to seek care at your nearest urgent care or ER facility. Look for a facility that is prepared to diagnose, treat, and contain coronavirus.

As a reminder, for the safety of our patients and staff, IHM physicians will not be seeing patients experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms at the IHM clinic. All patients who are experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms and wish to make an appointment will be scheduled for a telemedicine visit via Zoom or phone call. The seriousness of this epidemic requires a higher scope of care than IHM is able to provide for in-office visits.

We are grateful that we have the technology to continue to care for you remotely, and look forward to serving you through this time!


Tips to boost your immune system and keep your family healthy

As coronavirus spreads, many people are wondering how to best protect against it. At Integrative Health Matters, we want to support our community in helping build their immune systems and sharing ideas and information from our trusted physicians and other trusted sources. 

 Enjoy the warmer weather by taking walks outside, practice grounding by walking barefoot in your yard and breathing in fresh air, reduce your stress levels with more meditation and prayer, and practice gratitude.

One of our trusted sources is Dr. Terry Wahls. In her latest blog, she shares the following:

As always, there are many actions we can control and take immediately that can have a major impact on our health. Here are several that will improve your resilience and increase the probability of an infection being mild. Remember to work with your personal medical team to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Improve the quality of your diet by removing added sugars, white flours, and pastas. A high–glycemic index diet dumps a lot of glucose (sugar) into your bloodstream, which decreases your immune cells’ effectiveness at protecting you from illness. Avoid paleo-approved treats, which still have too many high-glycemic ingredients. Focus on vegetables and meat (legumes and gluten-free grains for vegetarians and vegans) and get rid of sweet desserts. 
  • Get enough sleep, preferably 7 to 9 hours. Sleep is vital to keeping immune cells ready to fight viral infections. Sleep deprivation suppresses your immune system’s innate ability to act as the first line of defense.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water vigorously for 20 seconds and avoid shaking hands to minimize the spread of the virus. I recently saw a great infographic that said “Wash your hands like you have just chopped hot peppers and are about to put in your contacts.”
  • Wash your nose and sinuses twice a day with a Netipot®. This cleans your nasal tissue and reduces the virus’s ability to take hold. 
  • Stay home if you become ill. If you develop a cough, sore throat, and runny nose, do not go to work or frequent public places, which will spread the disease, perhaps to an at-risk individual for whom an infection could be deadly.
  • Check your vitamin D level. If your vitamin D level is below 20 ng/ml, you are at increased risk for infection. Even at levels below 40 ng/ml, the risk for a wide variety of poor health outcomes goes up. If your levels are low, work with your personal medical team to increase your vitamin D level to get to the optimal range (top half of the lab’s reference range). See https://terrywahls.com/shop/ for tests you can order and obtain directly. 

 Here are some natural remedies I use often in winter to help me and my family avoid and treat illness.

  • Eat raw garlic, which boosts your natural killer immune cells. Daily consumption of raw garlic can help prevent illness and reduce symptoms if you aren’t feeling well. When I develop symptoms, I eat raw garlic four times a day. 
  • Drink fire cider, which is a combination of apple cider vinegar, garlic, peppers, horseradish, and other herbs that boost the natural killer cells. I take one tablespoon a day to prevent sickness and 1 tablespoon four times a day if I am already feeling ill. 
  • Get more vitamin C. Daily doses of 250 to 500 mg can boost immune cell activity and strength. We can’t make our own vitamin C. When we become ill, our vitamin C needs to increase. Nutritional biochemist Linus Pauling famously recommended additional vitamin C at the onset of the common cold (another coronavirus).
  • Get more zinc. Zinc deficiency is very common in those with chronic disease. Adding a zinc lozenge (5 to 10 mg) during the winter may be a wise protective measure for anyone worried about COVID-19 risk. 
  • Elderberry syrup has been shown to be helpful against the influenza virus. I do not, however, have data about its utility with COVID-19. 

You can read Dr. Wahls full blog here.

Dr. Wahls also recommends a blog by Dr. Elisa Song who is a pediatrician and who also has great recommendations regarding the coronavirus. Her blog can be found here. 

Another trusted source regarding the coronavirus is the Institute of Functional MedicineTheir recent article on coronavirus is also a great resource. 

At Integrative Health Matters, our favorite handwashing guidelines come from the WHO (World Health Organization). Here is a Youtube video on how best to wash your hands to reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

In efforts to support you, we offer many of the services and supplements Dr. Wahl’s mentions in her tips including vitamin D level testing and injections, IV vitamin infusions, and many immune boosting supplements. We would love to help support you. You can call our office for more information at 903-595-8077. We are wishing you and your family health, happiness, and true wellness.

* This is only intended to identify modalities that may boost your immune system. It is not meant to recommend any treatments, nor have any of these modalities been proven effective against coronavirus. Always consult your physician or healthcare provider prior to using any of these modalities. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.