Post-COVID Syndrome: A Functional Medicine Approach with Dr. Elizabeth Boham

COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on all of our lives, with over 17 million confirmed cases worldwide to date. In the United States, up to 20% of infected individuals are hospitalized and those with a chronic disease are at an exponentially higher risk of hospitalization than someone who is metabolically healthy. Unfortunately, only 12% of us in the U.S. are metabolically healthy. So one of the best things we can do for our individual bodies, and our collective body is to fix our metabolic health as fast as possible. In every infection, there are two factors at play: the microbe and the host. While we can’t control the microbe, we have extraordinary control over us, the host. This is why it is so important to support your immune system so you are more resilient to infection.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. Elizabeth Boham to discuss how we can build resiliency to both prevent poor outcomes and recover from COVID-19 using the principles of Functional Medicine. Elizabeth Boham is a physician and nutritionist who practices functional medicine at The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Through her practice and lecturing she has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of optimum health and wellness. She witnesses the power of nutrition every day in her practice and is committed to training other physicians to utilize nutrition in healing.

Dr. Boham has contributed to many articles and wrote the latest chapter on Obesity for the Rankel Textbook of Family Medicine. She is part of the faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine and has been featured on the Dr. Oz show and in a variety of publications and media including Huffington Post, The Chalkboard Magazine, and Experience Life. Her DVD Breast Wellness: Tools to Prevent and Heal from Breast Cancer explores the functional medicine approach to keeping your breasts and whole body well.

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In this episode, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Boham discuss:

  • How diet-related, inflammatory chronic diseases put people at higher risk for worse outcomes from COVID-19
  • Building a strong immune system and improving the nutritional status of our population
  • The role that zinc plays in regulating our immune system, the prevalence of zinc deficiency in the United States, and how zinc levels may influence the severity of COVID-19; food sources include oysters and pumpkin seeds
  • Vitamin D deficiency and optimizing Vitamin D levels for a healthy immune system
  • Quercetin and its influence on COVID-19 outcomes; food sources include dill, onion, oregano, chili pepper, apples, leafy green vegetables, broccoli
  • The benefits of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a component in green tea; recommended 4 cups of green tea a day or 225mg from a supplement
  • The importance of glutathione, a master antioxidant and detoxifier, on the immune system and its effects on COVID-19 outcomes; food sources include cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale), green tea, garlic, onions and shallots
  • Increasing glutathione levels through NAC: (n-acetylcysteine) supplementation, taking liposomal glutathione, IV therapy, and inhaled glutathione
  • Melatonin’s influence on our immune system; supplementing with 3-5mg of melatonin at night
  • Post-COVID Syndrome and applying the principles of Functional Medicine to COVID-19 recovery; boosting mitochondria and adrenal function
  • Supporting gut health for COVID-19 recovery
  • Using herbs and medicinal mushrooms to support COVID-19 recovery and boost our immune system
  • Oxidative therapies including intravenous vitamin C, intravenous glutathione, intravenous NAD, and ozone therapy
  • Improving metabolic health in rapid time
Additional Resources: What Supplements Should I Take? After decades of collective experience our team at The UltraWellness Center developed the following guidelines. These are generally safe but you should always consult with your health care provider before starting anything new. Those most helpful for supporting your immune function are the following: See additional resources in the show notes below.
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