68 minutes | Dec 23, 2020

The Functional Medicine Approach To Treating COVID-19 And Post-COVID Syndrome with Dr. Patrick Hanaway

The Functional Medicine Approach To Treating COVID-19 And Post-COVID Syndrome | This episode is sponsored by Bioptimizers, Paleovalley, and Cozy Earth

COVID has taught us a lot over the last year, and continues to do so every day that we battle this pandemic. We’ve seen what an overburdened medical system looks like and been faced with the reality of social distancing for many months now. Perhaps one of the most important lessons we have learned, though, is that a body that’s already suffering from chronic disease has far greater risks of COVID severity and even death. In the US, where the majority of people are metabolically unhealthy, we’ve seen our population faring much worse than other countries against this virus. Here, there are 500 COVID deaths per million people (at the time of this episode recording). In China, that number is 3 per million. Look at that alongside the 42% obesity rate here and the 2.6% rate there. COVID has shown us just how out of balance we are as a nation and how our baseline of disease has gotten us into such a mess.

I sat down with my colleague, good friend, and former roommate Dr. Patrick Hanaway to talk about the Functional Medicine approach to treating COVID-19. Dr. Patrick Hanaway is a board-certified family physician trained at Washington University. After 10 years as Chief Medical Officer at Genova Diagnostics, Dr. Hanaway became the Chief Medical Education Officer for the Institute for Functional Medicine. In 2014, Dr. Hanaway was the founding Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. His research focus is on nutrition, the microbiome, and evaluating value in Functional Medicine models of care. Currently, his teaching focus is on cancer, COVID, and uncertainty.

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Here are more of the details from our interview (video / audio): 

  • Rethinking our approach to COVID-19 by focusing on improving our overall health and well-being (9:12)

  • Why does the United States have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world? (12:53)

  • The Functional Medicine approach to preventing and treating COVID-19 and post-COVID syndrome (14:08)

  • Is vitamin D effective as a treatment for COVID-19? (20:10)

  • How COVID and chosen therapeutic models highlight our response to life’s uncertainty (24:30)

  • How Dr. Hanaway treats COVID-19 patients (27:38)

  • The role of mitochondrial function in relation to COVID-19 and post-COVID syndrome (31:26)

  • The Functional Medicine approach to treating post-COVID syndrome, or long hauler syndrome (35:31)

  • Dr. Hanaway’s personal journey facing stage IV cancer (46:07)

  • Dr. Hanaway’s experience pairing a ketogenic diet, fasting, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy (52:41)

Learn more about Dr. Patrick Hanaway at https://www.ifm.org/about/profile/patrick-hanaway-md/

Learn more about the Institute for Functional Medicine’s course, Resistance, Resilience, and Recovery: Patient Care in a Pandemic here: www.ifm.org/pandemic-course 

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