While most Americans have been infected by COVID-19 and the majority recover within weeks, there are many who have debilitating symptoms that linger for months after the initial infection. Unfortunately, modern medicine seems to have little to offer for patients suffering from Long COVID. Dr. Matthew Mintz is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician who uses an integrative, functional medicine approach to treat and hopefully cure patients suffering from Long COVID. Fortunately, there are many safe, effective, and even natural remedies that can help patients recover from Long COVID and get their lives back. Dr. Mintz welcomes all patients from Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, Chevy Chase, and the surrounding areas of Washington D.C., and Virginia. Call or book a consultation online today, or ask for a free in-person or virtual “meet and greet” to see if Dr. Mintz’ program is right for you.request an appointment
What is Long COVID?
Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection. There are many terms used for this condition including Long COVID, Long-Haul COVID, Post-Acute COVID-19, and Chronic COVID. While there is no standard definition for Long COVID, most acute COVID-19 infections resolve within 4 weeks, and some may take up to 12 weeks. However, patients with symptoms that persists beyond 3 months from their initial infection have Long COVID.
The symptoms of Long COVID are many and can be severe, lasting for many months. Patients can have physical symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain or chest tightness, cough, changes in taste or smell, and even muscle and joint pain. Patients can also have mental issues as well including problems with memory, concentration, “brain fog”, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and headache. Some patients even have unusual sensations in their body (electrical, buzzing, pins and needles) that appear to be unique to COVID infection.
Why do some patients get Long COVID?
We do not know why some patients get Long COVID and others recover normally. Certain risk factors seem to predispose patients to getting Long COVID including being a women, having a pre-existing lung disease, and being older. While having a more severe initial COVID infection might put people at risk for Long COVID, almost anyone can get Long COVID, even if their initial infection was mild.
Having been vaccinated might protect you from getting Long COVID, and there are some reports of patients with symptom improvement after a vaccine booster. However, the actual role of vaccines in Long COVID remains unclear
Can Long COVID be treated?
Currently, there is no known medication that treats Long COVID, though research is underway. The good news is that based on our current understanding of how the symptoms of Long COVID develop, prior research on other post-infectious related syndromes, and the latest research on COVID treatments; there are treatments available today that can dramatically improve symptoms from Long COVID.
While traditional medicine appears to have few options for Long COVID patients, integrative medicine and functional medicine approaches have been showing promise. Functional medicine utilizes an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that identifies the underlying causes of diseases and promotes optimal wellness. By looking at underlying causes of Long COVID, which include inflammation, the body’s stress response, and cellular energy production; this wholistic approach can treat the multiple symptoms of Long COVID all at once. In addition, more often than not, a functional medicine approach uses natural treatments such as diet, vitamins, herbs, and supplements; relying on prescription medications only when necessary.
What is Included in Dr. Mintz’ Long COVID treatment program?
- An initial, in-person comprehensive evaluation and examination.
- A comprehensive blood work assessment, which should be covered by your insurance.
- A review of prior labs, studies, and consultant reports if these have been previously done.
- An individualized, integrative, functional medicine-based treatment plan which may include but is not limited to lifestyle recommendations, prescription medications if needed, a personalized vitamin and supplement program that has been shown to improve the symptoms of Long COVID, and any other treatment recommendations based on symptoms
- A year’s worth of follow-up visits, either in person or virtual, to make sure you are improving, and to adjust treatment if needed. The number/frequency of these visits depends on each patient’s individual progress.
- Coordination with your primary care physician or specialists
- Unlimited phone calls or emails to answer any questions or troubleshoot problems.
How Much Does this Cost? Is it covered by my insurance?
While Long COVID can be treated, and Dr. Mintz has already seen success with patients in his program, each patient is different and requires a considerable amount of time and attention. Rather than charging an initial consultation fee and additional charges for follow up visits, Dr. Mintz’ charges a flat fee of $2000. This covers the cost of one year of treatment, which includes an initial consultation, all follow up visits whether in perons or virtual, coordination with your primary care physicians and specialists, and any follow up questions via email and phone. In Dr. Mintz’ experience, most patients require multiple visits and frequent follow up, and thus a flat fee avoids any surprises or hesitation for patients to follow up to avoid additional fees.
Dr. Mintz’ fee does not include any initial blood work which is drawn in Dr. Mintz’ office and sent to an outside lab, but this is usually covered by most insurances (your insurance may charge you a co-pay). While any prescriptions recommended by Dr. Mintz should also be covered by insurance, many of recommended treatments for Long COVID include vitamins and supplements, that are usually not covered by insurance and also not included in the $2000 fee. While any of the supplements that Dr. Mintz recommends can be purchased at a retail pharmacy or online, Dr. Mintz works with a number of supplement providers to get you high quality supplements at very steep discounts.
While Dr. Mintz doesn’t accept insurance, he can give you invoices to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. If you have an out-of-network benefit, and have met your deductible, you may get some or even all of the $2000 fee reimbursed.