Health

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences searches for answer to ‘long-haul COVID’

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Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences is participating in a multi-state natural therapy research study for Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome, also called long-haul COVID or long-COVID.

The study is led by Elizbeth Rice, ND, assistant professor; and Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH, clinical assistant professor in epidemiology, University of Washington, according to a press release.

The states included in the study are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Individuals interested in participating in the study can visit longhaulstudy.com to check their eligibility, the release states.

Long-haul COVID is a new syndrome that has been observed in people who have had COVID-19 and still have symptoms for two months or more, medical experts contend.

The most common symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, headaches and sleep problems. There are dozens of other symptoms that have been found in people with this syndrome, such as joint pains, loss of smell, anxiety, heart palpitations and many others. There is no proven reason for these cases.

Views of a pandemic: File photos from over the last 18 months
depict the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic still unfolding, experts say.

“Our goal is to find a treatment to alleviate the suffering of people with this syndrome and could help the estimated 10 to 30% of COVID-19 patients who develop it,” said Dr. Rice in a prepared statement. “Many scientific studies have documented the success of homeopathic treatments for many types of illnesses, and we are hopeful that they can also be used for long haul COVID.”

In the 12-week research study, subjects will be interviewed by licensed physicians via video conferencing online at home to determine the best individualized natural treatment for each person. Half of the participants in the study will be randomly assigned to receive the actual medicines, the other half placebos, or sugar pills.

Neither participants nor their treating physicians will know which one each person receives until the study is over.

“Long-haul COVID patients that are experiencing a variety of symptoms may be passed off to multiple specialists in hopes of finding a remedy,” said Dr. Jacobs. “Homeopathic treatment is individualized and takes into account all of the symptoms of each patient, providing a more holistic plan of care.”

Subjects will consult with their study physician four, eight, and 12 weeks after they have started the study. Their assigned physician might change the subject's medicine at these times or continue what they are taking.

The medicines are prepared in accordance with guidelines of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. Subjects will complete three different surveys at the beginning of the study and at four, eight, and twelve weeks. The surveys will measure their fatigue, quality of life, and some of the symptoms that are bothering them the most.

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