How to Escape from our COVID19 prison: An offer of help from integrative doctors
Updated: Sep 14
We attended the last three conferences of both the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association, the last two being just before the lockdown in March of this year. These organisations represent a wealth of research and clinical expertise in the field of integrative medicine.
The following is an open letter to the ministers of health in Australia and New Zealand.
Please sign it if you are a medical practitioner.
Why I think this is so important:
Hi XXX COVID-19 has exposed much about our society and in particular our health system. People in our countries are worried and distressed. While following the general advice to protect themselves in the current pandemic they are confused about whether there is anything else they can do to support immunity and build resilience to COVID-19 and other viruses. This level of anxiety signals a failure in many domains. AIMA and ACNEM have joined together to write an open letter to all of the ministers of health in Australia and New Zealand to offer our unique medical expertise. We are calling on all integrative doctors to support and sign this letter. If you are not an integrative doctor, we welcome your support by asking you to forward this to your networks. There has been more than a reluctance to subjectively examine the evidence for simple low risk interventions, such as supplementation of vitamin D3 and zinc. As integrative medicine practitioners we follow the evidence-based medicine triad of: 1) the best external evidence 2) individual practitioner's clinical expertise, and 3) patients' preference. We are educated and experienced at interpreting a wide evidence base and working with each patient to individualise their care. We have the experience to help guide our governments and policy makers to interpret the evidence and to implement simple, cost-effective strategies to broadly support community immunity. This open letter asks our governments to utilise our unique expertise and to embed integrative medicine practises into our national health policies. It is the start of a broader strategy that will inform government, media and community. Please join us in signing this important letter by 11th September 2020. The more signatures the more collective traction we will generate. Now is the time for an integrative approach. Warmest wishes,
Dr. Penny Caldicott
AIMA PresidentDr Ron Erhlich
EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE INTERVENTIONS
The AIMA Journal - Advances in Integrative medicine - has published a rapid review on the literature surrounding the use of a variety of treatments for acute respiratory viral infections you can view the reviews here: Vitamin D Zinc Vitamin C We are aware that there are positive and negative studies for many of these interventions. As integrative medicine doctors we have the education, knowledge and training to assess the evidence and use these substances safely through the individualise the care of our patients. You can find further research articles on AIMA's website here. Here are some links to some other recently published research and reviews as well:
The first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of vitamin D in COVID-19 has revealed vitamin D nearly abolished the odds of requiring treatment in ICU
Vitamin D deficiency linked with a poor prognosis in patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19, as well as increased COVID-19 risk
We received signatures from 200 doctors and more than 400 health practitioners, which was a fantastic result! The letter has now been delivered to the Ministers of Health.