COVID-19 has killed approximately 200,000 Americans at the time of this writing.1 News cycles are dominated by talk regarding the pandemic’s high infection rate, complications resulting from COVID-19, and the necessary precautions for flattening the curve.
Most patients who are hospitalized or ultimately die from COVID-19 suffer from pre-existing conditions leading to a more serious course of disease progression. These pre-existing conditions include obesity, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and cancer.2,3 Patients with these chronic conditions are urged to take extra precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19.2
Symptoms range from mild to severe. Fever and cough are less serious symptoms. Elevated levels of immune cells and severe trouble breathing are more serious and may require more invasive treatment.4,5,6
Most medical interventions focus on treatment of COVID-19 and its resulting complications. Healthcare costs were already the highest in the world before the pandemic, nearly double the cost of care in high-income countries.7
We do not yet fully understand the economic costs of long-term care for patients experiencing a serious bout of the disease or for patients who experience chronic conditions resulting from COVID-19.
Are we focusing our efforts at the wrong end of the disease spectrum?
However, what if instead of focusing on the end-results of this virus, we could instead prevent these severe consequences? The potential benefits would include reduced healthcare expenses, improved quality of life, and a happier society.
Healthier patients have better outcomes when suffering from COVID-19. It follows that any lifestyle modifications that could improve a person’s health would be very helpful in reducing the risk of serious complications and lowering the mortality rates due to COVID 19.
This isn’t only the case in the era of COVID-19; even before COVID-19, the United States was deeply unhealthy. COVID-19 brought to the forefront the idea that good health doesn’t require winning the genetic lottery. Across the United States, people have started or increased preparation of their own meals since the start of the pandemic.8 At the same time, people have turned to improving their physical health by downloading health and fitness apps.9 These changes are certainly a great start to improving one’s overall health.
Is personalized medicine the answer?
Personalized medicine, also known as functional medicine, centers on the idea that the human population is heterogeneous. The same medication cannot be prescribed at the same dose for all people suffering from a given disease. A variety of factors must go into treatment plans, including genetics, metabolome, transcriptome, microbiome and review of systems status.
For example, during the progression of cardiovascular disease and in type 2 diabetes, there are multiple checkpoints before the course of the disease is irreversible. Lifestyle modifications have enormous impact and reduce the need for more invasive therapies, some of which can result in serious side effects. Many patients who are at risk of cardiovascular disease or are pre-diabetic visit a doctor, only to be told that their best course of action is to use a prescribed drug.
Frequently, patients are not told that it’s possible to slow or even reverse disease progression by changing their diet or starting an exercise program. When the research is now so compelling that an integrated healthcare solution that addresses nutrition, lifestyle, habits couple with cutting edge medical testing yields incredible results for so many patients.
Our system is broken. It doesn’t treat people, our country has only gotten sicker, and it’s increasingly expensive. Enter Novis Health.
Why Novis Health?
Novis Health is at the forefront of functional medicine. Being the first Network of Functional Medicine Centers across the US. We recognize that each patient needs to be considered and treated as a unique person, not as a sum of lab values and checkboxes for drug prescriptions.
We provide care for patients at both ends of the spectrum. Under our approach, we seek to fully understand our patients’ issues and to address them. We make sure we have a solid treatment plan. We also make sure our patients understand this plan and what it will do.
In our approach, we treat people as people, our patients get better, and our costs are transparent. We specialize in thyroid conditions including Hashimoto’s disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and gastrointestinal disorders.11,12,13
Our team is poised to help our patients take on whatever challenges they might hold. Our centers have a solid track record of helping patients with chronic illness like type 2 diabetes to reduce and even eliminate their dependency on medication (including insulin), significantly reduce their risk of complications, find a path to long term lifestyle and nutritional change, loose weight, regain their energy and believe they have been restored to the life that they were meant to be living for themselves and those that they love.
- Coronavirus Map.
- Centers for Disease Control. 2020. People who are at higher risk for severe illness
- Petrilli CM, Jones SA, Yang J, et al. Factors associated with hospital admission and critical illness among 5279 people with coronavirus disease 2019 in New York City: prospective cohort study.
- Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 2020;395(10223):497-506.
- Goyal P, Choi JJ, Pinheiro LC, et al. Clinical Characteristics of Covid-19 in New York City. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(24):2372-2374.
- Stokes EK, Zambrano LD, Anderson KN, et al. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Case Surveillance – United States, January 22-May 30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(24):759-765.
- Papanicolas I, Woskie LR, Jha AK. Health Care Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries. JAMA. 2018;319(10):1024.
- Oaklander M. Coronavirus Diet.
- Chapple C.
- Ho PM, Bryson CL, Rumsfeld JS. Medication adherence: its importance in cardiovascular outcomes. Circulation. 2009;119(23):3028-3035.
- Valdes R. THYROID HACKS WITH DR. RUBEN VALDES: RATIONAL WELLNESS PODCAST 154.
- Valdes R. From Diabetic to Non-Diabetic.; 2017.