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If you follow the news, you know that patients with the most severe and long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms are those with underlying chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, and neurological disorders. The common denominator of all these conditions is inflammation, the result of immune system dysfunction that can often be traced to an underlying condition called increased intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome). Taking a step back for a moment, the quotation that, “all disease begins in the gut” is commonly attributed to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician commonly referred to as the Father of Medicine. And modern medicine mostly dismissed that claim — until recently. Today, most medical experts recognize the integral relationship between the gut and the immune system and the vital role that the gut plays in defending the body against infectious diseases. By several estimates, about […]

COVID-19 is persistent in more ways than one. What some people initially believed would be a 15-day lockdown is now well into a second year. According to current statistics, the world has recorded more than 190 million confirmed cases resulting in more than four million deaths. Of those, the U.S. claims more than 34 million confirmed cases resulting in more than 609,000 deaths. In our state of Florida, we’ve had nearly 2.5 million confirmed cases resulting in slightly fewer than 39,000 deaths. Most of those infected experience mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, about 10 percent of those infected — even those with only mild or no symptoms initially, suffer long after the usual two-week recovery period and even after they’ve tested negative for the virus. These “long haulers” commonly experience one or more of the following symptoms, some of which can be

As of today, Tampa has a “fully vaccinated” rate for COVID-19 of 40 percent for all ages — which includes 50 percent for ages 18 and above and 71 percent for ages 65 and above. However, what that means is about 60 percent of our local population isn’t vaccinated. By comparison, across the entire state, approximately 50 percent are fully vaccinated, while 53 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. People have all sorts of reasons for not getting vaccinated, including lack of access to the vaccine, COVID-19 not being seen as a real threat, concern over the vaccine’s side effects, an inherent lack of trust in vaccinations, misinformation about cost (it’s free), and lack of information about the vaccine and its long-term effects. Whatever the reasons for getting vaccinated or choosing not to, Florida appears to be in line with vaccination rates across the country,

If you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste (or both) to COVID-19, you’re in the majority. Nearly 86 percent of COVID-19 patients lose their ability to smell to some degree and sometimes entirely. The good news? Recent studies show that 95 percent recover these senses within six months of having the illness — most within two to three weeks. People who lose their sense of smell to any degree or who experience a change in the way they perceive odors are said to suffer from olfactory dysfunction (OD), which also impairs their sense of taste. If you can’t smell anything, you have anosmia. If you can smell odors to some degree but not as well as you normally do, you have hyposmia. And if you can’t taste anything, you have a rare condition called ageusia. Most people who lose their sense of smell or taste draw the obvious conclusion