The coronavirus (Covid-19) is causing much alarm in our communities worldwide, and new information is being released every day about how this virus continues to spread and the impact on our health and economy. It’s a difficult time, as we must employ physical distancing and heightened precautions. We at Holistica are here to support our patients and community in providing immune supportive measures and other scientific and medically sound advice about what you can do to prevent this illness and keep you and your family safe. Here are some things to know:
The coronavirus tends to present with the following symptoms, 2-14 days after exposure:
- Fever >100.4F
- Shortness of breath
People often forget that March through May are still the height of viral illness, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses that also cause the above symptoms. It can be difficult to know if you are experiencing symptoms related to Covid-19 or something else. Please call us if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or symptoms unusual to you, so that we can guide you on next steps. If it is after hours, please go to your local urgent care or emergency room.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
**Note: these are not all the signs and symptoms of Covid-19, so if you are experiencing anything unusual or concerning for you, please call us. We are a resource to you.
What to Do When You’re Sick
If you are sick, follow the CDC guidelines, which include staying at home, avoiding public areas or close contact with other people or animals, frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing, wearing a mask when around others, covering your cough and sneeze, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands, and disinfecting surfaces. You can also call us for advice on supportive care you can do at home to help alleviate symptoms and recover from your illness. We continue to be open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, and are answering phones and emails.
Support Your Vital Force
Naturopathic medicine is rooted in optimizing your vital force so that your body has the ability to heal itself. The stronger the vital force, the more powerful healing response. Vitality is derived from living a life in accordance with the natural law: healthy diet, balanced work and stress, good sleep, and sufficient time in nature. Vitality is also achieved by removing obstacles (such as toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, parasites) and providing the body with key nutrients that support the immune system. Please see a list of our recommendations to the right of the screen. Most of these nutrients are inexpensive and should always be stocked in your cupboard to use at first sign of illness.
A fever is your friend in the immune system’s fight; so, our recommendation is not to treat any fever unless it is over 103.5 F. Instead, hydrotherapy
can support your immune system against any pathogen and help support your vital force. If your fever is greater than 104F, then, you may need further evaluation.
Some basic guidelines:
- Continue a diet rich in vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables and eat clean and lean protein and good fats.
- Drink 3 liters of water per day.
- Practice good sleep hygiene.
- Continue to exercise daily (kids especially need at least 60 minutes of movement daily).
- Try to get fresh air and keep your stress at a minimum, which we know is difficult during this time of so much uncertainty and change, but it will truly make a difference in your healing and mental health.
Botanical Anti-Viral & Immune Support
The immune system is a dynamic system involving numerous reactions and cellular responses once exposed to pathogens. Through a process called immunomodulation, the immune system regulates various immune cells against invaders, malignant cells and all other diseases. Viral interactions with the first line of defense “innate” immune system play a central role in determining the outcome of infection.
Botanical Medicines offer immune protection against viral infections of all kinds by supporting the first line of defense against exposures. These actions include, modulating certain cells responses and attacking pathogens (Read article by Donnie Yance, MH, CN about Elderberry). The use of botanical medicine is well documented in the fight against viral pathogens. The fight against COVID is no exception.
Anti-viral herbs are available at Holistica Integrative Care and have been chosen with precision to support your immune system against the exposure to viral pathogens. Our premade tincture of anti-veral herbs is available for you to pick up curbside, or we will ship to your home address. Call us at 303-449-3777 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or email us at [email protected]
Using homeopathy in times of epidemics has been a promising approach to saving lives. Using the “genus epidemicus” of a remedy, that is, the remedy that fits the cluster of symptoms peculiar to COVID that the majority of people with COVID exhibit, relief of the illness can be found by many people. Based on the consistency of these symptoms across populations (e.g. tight chest, low fever, loss of taste or smell), a remedy can be prescribed for patients who contract the disease of the epidemic. There are several core remedies identified as the genus epidemicus for COVID. Using this approach, which is based on patients exact symptoms, therapeutic help is available for those who are not experiencing severe respiratory distress, who have mild to moderate presentations of the virus, or who have influenza or pneumonia. Please call us for a 15-minute appointment (cost: $50) with Dr. Shackelton, if you are experiencing symptoms, and would like us to prescribe a homeopathic remedy for you.
**IMPORTANT: For patients with severe respiratory distress please go to your local emergency department.**
Here are the CDC’s recommendations for testing at this time. CDC does not recommend using antibody testing to diagnose acute infection. It is recommended to use a viral (nucleic acid or antigen) test to diagnose acute infection.
In order to move forward toward some kind of evaluation of our patients, we are recommending a few different options, knowing that antibody testing is not diagnostic in and of itself and must be taken into account with the rest of your history and symptoms. Please note that there are no antibody tests approved by the FDA. When there are no FDA-approved or cleared tests available, and other criteria are met, FDA can make tests available under an emergency access mechanism called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Here are some options to consider:
- KBMO Diagnostics. We decided to offer this test because we spoke early on with the Chief Scientific Officer and felt the test met scientifically rigorous examination. This test has been run on over 2 million patients. It was the first antibody test to be approved by the Chinese FDA. It is CE marked and submitted to the FDA on March 22nd.
- This lab offers both IgM and IgG testing.
- It can be drawn at our office or you can order the fingerstick option and do it at home.
- In order to receive a test, go to https://kbmodiagnostics.com/covid-19-test-kit-order-form-patients. Use Physician Reference Number (C-1901714) to order the test. If you have any questions, you can email KBMO [email protected] or call them at: 1-617-933-8130
- Set up an appointment for a blood draw: Call 303-449-3777 or email us at [email protected]
- Cost is $150 to KBMO. There is a $25 phlebotomy fee at Holistica.
- Turnaround time approx 48 hours.
- Quest Diagnostics
- IgG testing only.
- Blood draw required at Holistica or a Quest lab near you.
- Only available for 18 years or older.
- Likely covered by insurance, but it is important that you call your insurance company and ask. Test name and code is SARS Cov-2 Serology (COVID-19) Antibody IgG, Immunoassay (CPT 86769).
- Turnaround time 2-3 days.
- IgM, IgG, and IgA.
- Blood draw required at Holistica or a Labcorp near you.
- Likely covered by insurance, but it is important that you call your insurance company and ask. Test name and code is SARS Cov-2 Antibodies (CPT 164068) or SARS Cov-2 IgG only (CPT 164055).
- Turnaround time 2-3 days.
If you or a family member would like to get tested, please contact Holistica, and we will help you determine if this is the right test for you. Test results need to be evaluated on a case by case basis due to the multiple factors that impact a positive or false negative diagnosis (e.g. the unknowns about how long the virus is shedding and the incubation phase of the illness).
What your results mean:
- If immunoglobulin tests are all negative, the test indicates the person has not been recently exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
- If the test shows only IgM, the person is likely in the early stage of the virus infection and likely very infective.
- If IgM and IgG are positive, the person is likely in the middle stage of infection and still likely infective.
- If the person is only positive for IgG, then the person is either over the infection or in its last stage. They are most likely no longer able to transmit the virus and, we cannot be certain, but likely this person carries immunity to this viral strain.
- A negative (non-reactive) result indicates that SARS-CoV-2 IgG is not present at a level that is detectable by the particular test. It usually takes at least 10 days after symptom onset for IgG to reach detectable levels and may take up to 3 weeks for a full antibody response to develop. The rate of IgG development can vary between individuals. The IgG response is usually slower in people who are either on immunosuppressive therapies or are immunocompromised due to a variety of health conditions. Therefore, some people may take even longer than 3 weeks to develop SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and some people may not develop antibodies at all. A repeat serology IgG test should be considered after an additional 2- to -3-week period for patients who are initially antibody negative and are thought to have clinically recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is currently not known for how long IgG remains detectable after exposure to SARS-CoV-2. (adapted from the Quest Diagnostics website).
Ideally, test results need to be discussed with your provider to understand the implications moving forward for you. A 15-minute appointment to discuss test results is highly recommended. Cost is $50.
As of March 13, 2020, the government waived laws to enable telemedicine so that providers could evaluate and treat patients from a distance. We are continuing to take new patients and support our current patients via phone. Please call us with any questions or concerns. Our staff are ready to help, and we will do our best to continue to help you navigate this uncertain time.
To find out more about our Covid-19 Clinical Guidelines to keep our clinic safe for our patients, please click HERE.
Check out Dr. Shackelton’s other articles related to Coronavirus: