David Perlmutter, MD, shares perspectives, advice amid COVID-19

Integrative Practitioner

In this live video interview, David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, neurologist, lecturer, and author of the new book, Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness, joins Integrative Practitioner editor, Katherine Rushlau, to discuss maintaining healthy habits and pivoting integrative healthcare practices to cope amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It’s certainly an interesting time and I think there’s some great value to having this experience, trying to see this glass as being half full,” said Perlmutter. “There is incredible adversity, but what are we learning?”

According to Perlmutter, one observation is that America is suffering as a nation because of its healthcare system, a system that does not focus on health. Patients experiencing the worst outcomes relating to COVID-19 are those with chronic underlying conditions, including type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, obesity, and other inflammatory disorders.

“The powerful take-home message here would be,” Perlmutter said, “moving forward if we recognize how important it is to keep people healthy, not just focus on their illnesses, that it would be a worthwhile endeavor, certainly as it relates to this experience.”

Practitioners and researchers were surprised to learn that, in America, many younger patients were hospitalized or ending up in the intensive care unit, Perlmutter said. Young in America doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy, he said, with high rates of diabetes and obesity in these populations. Those underlying conditions set the stage for worse outcomes.

The best defense is a good offense, Perlmutter said. For COVID-19, there is not offense or pharmaceutic proven effective in combating the virus, so practitioners must focus on the defense—our general state of health and the functionality of our immune systems.

“Lifestyle choices play a key role in determining how well our immune systems are working, Perlmutter said, “as well as our risk for underlying chronic degenerative disease that paves the way for worse outcomes as it relates to [COVID-19].”

Please enjoy the rest of the video interview, featuring strategies for maintaining social connection, balancing patient care and self-care, staying informed, and integrating ideologies and coming together across systems of medicine. Perlmutter shares his experiences and how life has changed since COVID-19, including his tips for making the most of this challenging time.