Right now, a lot of people are terrified at the idea of catching the COVID-19 virus, and for understandable reasons. The virus has claimed over 500,000 American lives, and many more worldwide. Progress has been made in terms of fighting the spread of the virus, of course. Several different types of vaccines have been released, some of which require multiple injections over the course of weeks, and the latest of which requires just one injection. The vaccines will prevent people from catching the COVID-19 virus and eventually slow the spread to a crawl. However, it could be months before the vast majority of Americans are fully vaccinated. So for many of us, the question is that of how to treat COVID-19 symptoms if we do catch the virus.
In some cases, those that catch the virus will not want to attempt to treat COVID-19 symptoms at home, even if the symptoms seem mild. It’s important to note that not everyone is as automatically vulnerable to the virus as others. Those that are healthy and under 50 years old often are able to fight off COVID-19 symptoms at home, as long as they do not become overly severe. But those that are senior citizens, as well as those with preexisting conditions or illnesses, may have a harder time fighting off those symptoms. If symptoms progress to the point that they are quite serious, people need to seek medical treatment immediately. But for the majority of people, COVID-19 symptoms may remain mild and relatively flu-like. They will include shortness of breath, coughing, chills, body aches, fever, sore throat, headaches, congestion, nausea, or diarrhea. Some people won’t even experience symptoms from the virus. The question for many is how to treat those that do suffer from the COVID-19 symptoms that do not need to be treated at the hospital.
At times, COVID-19 symptoms may last longer than expected. While a patient may technically be beyond the point that they need to be monitored consistently by doctors, or even beyond the point that they are contagious, some COVID-19 patients have suffered from long term symptoms for months. In that case, the virus becomes a chronic condition and one that can be managed, even if it’s obviously quite aggravating to treat COVID-19 symptoms for the long term. You don’t necessarily need a hospital’s lab equipment in order to treat the symptoms of the virus. With that being said, below are some of the possible options for treating COVID-19 symptoms, both in and out of the hospital. The more that is understood about how to treat COVID-19 symptoms, the easier it will be handled until the vaccine is disseminated enough to ensure that people are as healthy as possible.
Boosting Nitric Oxide
Quite often, the current COVID-19 pandemic has is compared to the 2003 SARS crisis. Although the SARS issue was an epidemic versus a pandemic, there is still much to be learned through SARS. One of the chief ways in which the SARS outbreak has affected how we approach COVID-19 is that we have a better understanding of how to treat COVID-19 symptoms. Boosting nitric oxide was originally discovered as an effective way to treat SARS. Nitric oxide is a compound with antiviral properties, and it is naturally produced by the body. Right now, it’s really the only substance that is known to directly affect COVID-19 as an active virus. This means that in many ways, it is actually more effective than treating the COVID-19 symptoms. Treating symptoms allows people to leave the hospital more quickly. Reducing the symptoms means reducing the mortality rate among patients. But when symptoms are treated, the virus itself is not inherently being treated. The great thing about boosting nitric oxide is that you are able to treat the virus itself.
Nitric oxide itself acts much like a hormone would, controlling several different organs. The way that it acts is that it regulates the tension in blood vessels, which in turn affects the blood flow to the organs, as well as the blood flow within organs. How does this affect COVID-19? The virus itself attacks the lungs, which means that blood oxygen saturation levels tend to drop among patients suffering from severe symptoms. As the inflammation in the lungs increases for these patients, people begin to experience acute lung failure. When patients experience that acute lung failure, they are sometimes given nitric oxide as an inhaled gas. As they inhale, blood oxygen saturation levels will ideally rise. Inflammation will be reduced, and people begin to breathe more easily.
The reason why doctors know that this type of procedure works when attempting to treat COVID-19 symptoms is that it was used during the 2003 SARS epidemic. The results from those patients allow them to work on patients suffering from COVID-19 with the knowledge that comes from experience. Whether patients are being treated by a pediatrician or by other types of doctors, researchers are currently collecting data from COVID-19 patients in order to discover the further antiviral properties of nitric oxide. The more that is understood about nitric oxide as a potential treatment for COVID-19, the easier it will be for doctors to reduce inflammation in patients with acute lung failure. This means that there will be more hope for patients that suffer from serious COVID-19 symptoms.
THC as COVID-19 Treatment
Although both medical and recreational marijuana products have become increasingly legalized across the nation, there is still something of a stigma surrounding these products. But though cannabis dispensaries may not necessarily sell the types of products that can treat COVID-19 symptoms, research has suggested that THC could potentially be a part of a potential treatment plan. This research is currently being conducted at the University of South Carolina, with preliminary results being published in a report in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. The preliminary research was being conducted on mice, and it revealed that THC could potentially prevent the immune response to the COVID-19 virus that provokes Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS. Additionally, it could prompt a major increase in healthy lung bacteria.
For a long time, it has been on those in health and disability advocate roles to argue the health benefits of THC. Medical marijuana has been used to treat both mental and physical illnesses, especially symptoms related to pain and anxiety. In many cases, THC products have been used to treat symptoms, technically, rather than conditions directly. The symptom of ARDS is particularly concerning for those that are suffering from COVID-19. It can potentially be a failure in COVID-19 patients, and those that do survive through ARDS often do so with permanent pulmonary scarring. This could cause symptoms and other issues for the rest of a patient’s life. The way that ARDS works is that it causes an overload in the body’s system and organs in general. Additionally, there is an overload on the disease itself, making its symptoms more exacerbated.
At the same time, right now these studies are still in their preliminary stages. There still needs to be more study done in order to fully understand the scope of THC’s effectiveness as we treat COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, a community health needs assessment needs to be done in areas in which cannabis products are still illegal. If THC does become a part of treatments that are seriously effective, it may become apparent that the risks of utilizing THC products for COVID-19 treatments are outweighed by the benefits. Furthermore, those that are interested in these types of treatments should only pursue them under a doctor’s guidance. Those that attempt to simply use cannabis products in order to treat COVID-19 symptoms could be in for a major surprise. This is because THC triggers an automatic immune response, which means that the body’s response could actually be worse rather than better following self-medication with cannabis products. So the jury is still out regarding THC and COVID-19. But as the virus remains present and with relative methods of treatments, we should properly understand the validity of this option soon enough.
At Home Treatment
As previously mentioned, there are many people that tread COVID-19 symptoms at home because they do not progress to the point that they are severe enough to require hospital treatment. If COVID-19 symptoms can be treated at home, there are many advantages to staying home aside from general comfort. The reality is that many hospitals are overcrowded due to COVID-19 at this time. Doctors and other medical personnel are overworked, and patients are completely isolated and restricted when they have COVID-19. Again, most people with COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms. Many will recover within a few days, though others may be sick for a week or two weeks. Additionally, those that are ill must stay home for two weeks regardless of their symptoms in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Furthermore, those that are sick must make sure that they remain isolated for as long as they are symptomatic unless they are otherwise declared non-contagious by doctors or a group health provider. Those that work in crowded spaces or those that work with children or seniors, like day care or nursing home employees, should be especially overcautious.
The most important thing to do if you are experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19 is to rest. Energy is important, and the virus can cause serious fatigue. It’s important for those that are ill to lay down and try to sleep. This way, if their symptoms do become somewhat more serious they will have the strength to fight them off. Another possible benefit of rest is that it will make the symptoms somewhat easier to bear. While it can be difficult to sleep when you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, it’s ultimately important to attempt to do so. At the same time, it’s generally advised that those that are suffering from COVID-19 do not take sleep aids, and attempt to rest naturally.
Fluid intake is also important, as those with COVID-19 often suffer from fevers. When attempting to treat COVID-19 symptoms, drinking as much water as possible is important. Furthermore, juice can also be taken in order to keep up your caloric intake and prevent you from weakness. Fluid intake can also be increased through the foods that you choose to eat. Rather than eating solids, those that have COVID-19 should consider eating soup and taking in their food through smoothies. This is also often easier for them to eat when they are weakened and when they suffer from a cough or a sore throat.
Another tip for those attempting to treat COVID-19 symptoms is for them to consider taking pain relievers. This will of course lessen the body aches and headaches they may suffer from during the duration of the illness. Pain relievers also often reduce inflammation, which as previously discussed is very important when treating this virus. As you take pain relievers, however, you need to be careful about monitoring your own symptoms and ensuring that they do not get out of control. Ideally, you should have someone checking in with you as you suffer from the virus. Those that live alone may not necessarily have people that can consistently quarantine with them; but they can have people check in on them, even remotely. It’s important to consistently take your temperature to ensure that your symptoms are not reaching the point that you are overly ill.
It can be difficult and harrowing to treat COVID-19 symptoms, whether you are ill due to the virus or treating a loved one. For the majority of people, symptoms will be mild and can be treated at home. But there are those that will need to go to the hospital. Fortunately, progress is being made in terms of how more serious symptoms are being treated. This will ideally not only make people better but ensure that hospital stays are shorter.