Chronic infections, recurrent infections, and long COVID
Have you been plagued with recurrent urinary tract infections, thrush, skin abscesses, boils or shingles? Do you frequently get coughs, colds, bronchitis, ear infections, tonsillitis, vaginosis or thrush infections?
Dr Hale has extensive experience in infectious diseases and general medicine and Is unique in her ability to determine what aspects of your health, including your gut health, are likely to be contributing to your susceptibility to recurrent infections. Although some recurrent infections, especially skin infections can be associated with highly contagious and virulent bacteria, most recurrent infections in otherwise healthy people have to do with a breakdown in immune capacity/strength.
Extensive research studies on the gut microbiome (normal bacteria and other flora) have revealed that our over-sanitised modern lives, our exposure to repeated courses of antibiotics, our processed foods and our daily stress all contribute to a reduction in healthy gut flora. This in turn, can contribute to excess allergies (especially children), fatigue states, autoimmunity, poor immunity, hormone disruptions, and even accelerated cardiovascular disease. An important example is recurrent urinary tract infections in women. These have been linked to a breakdown in normal healthy flora in the bowel and/or vagina. Paying attention to vaginal health, diet and specific probiotics & prebiotic fibres has been shown to reduce susceptibility to urinary tract infections. Other recurrent infections can also be reduced with attention to diet and dietary fibre.
Dr Hale has experience treating acute COVID in high risk patients and more recently, patients with long COVID. Research into this area has unveiled a number of conditions associated with long COVID including POTS, neuropathic pain, gut motility disorders, mast cell dysfunction, autoimmunity, cognitive decline and general debility. She keeps abreast of the latest medications and supplements that have been used with success in this condition.