COVID-19 has posed a variety of unprecedented challenges to the global health status. Death and infection rates have sky-rocketed from its inception, and have placed pressure on global political, social and economic spheres. Although the development of vaccines have facilitated a drastic decline in deaths, the world is still scurrying to find new solutions to an ongoing health crisis. The question, however, is why some people are more affected than others?
How genetics play a role in the COVID-19 severity scale
Science suggests that genetics may play a significant role in the COVID-19 severity scale. The severity of viral symptoms experienced by an individual varies from person to person. Teams of scientists from around the world have compiled research suggesting the role that genetics have to play in the development of severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Thirteen genetic signatures have been identified, and have been closely linked with the onset of severe symptoms. A collection of data from approximately 50 000 hospitalised COVID-19 patients was studied, leading to the identification of a pattern of DNA sequences. The hypothesis behind this research is: by studying the shared mutations amongst these hospitalised patients, the changes could possibly be linked to the onset of more severe symptoms.
This being said, although the mutated gene affected the severity rate, certain mutated genes affected some more than others. One variant in an individual patient increased the risk of severe COVID symptoms by up to 50%, whilst in others the risk was only 10%. The analysis of this data led to the conclusion that, the greater the amount of variants the patient possessed, the greater their risk of disease severity.
These studies have generated a huge interest in the relation between genetic mutation and other diseases. It has opened a channel for discussion on a broader spectrum of disease control, and has provided us with the knowledge to advance clinical studies and trials.
Integrative and Preventive care with COVID-19
More and more health specialists are acknowledging the need for integrative and preventive protocols in the treatment and management of chronic disease. COVID-19 is not exclusive of this, especially due to the global need for more effective solutions.
COVID-19 does not only affect the individual physically, but also mentally. Soaring infection and death rates have placed huge financial and mental burdens on the population. This is where Integrative Medicine comes into the spotlight. Complementary and alternative Medicine (CAM), Integrative Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Complementary Integrative Medicine (CIM) are all terms that differ in their meaning, but encompass the same values and goals.
These methods and treatment protocols offer a host of benefits to both clinicians and patients alike. They provide therapeutic and preventive solutions to disease, especially in current times when we are facing a global health crisis. Integrative Medicine focuses on combining conventional methods of treatment with non-pharmaceutical approaches, whilst emphasising a holistic, patient-centred approach to healthcare.
COVID-19 has presented many challenges, and poses a huge threat to the global economic and health status. Genetic testing and analysis has offered a broader understanding of the pandemic, and has opened other doors related to chronic disease prevention and treatment. Genetic testing can provide an idea of an individual’s susceptibility to severe COVID-19 symptoms. With the aid of complementary and integrative medicine approaches, health care specialists are better equipped to face these challenges.
How do I Become a Functional Medicine Practitioner to learn more about Genetics and COVID-19?
The Institute of Integrative Medicine is a global leader in the field of Integrative Medicine Education. Integrative medicine aims to be at the forefront of modern technology and new discoveries. We offer certified online courses helping you to take charge of your practice and improve the quality of life for your patients. Find out more about the courses we offer today!