NHS boss blasts Gwyneth Paltrow's bizarre claims that keto diet can ease long Covid
AN NHS boss has blasted Gwyneth Paltrow's bizarre methods of easing long Covid symptoms.
The Hollywood star said she had embarked on a "keto and plant-based" regime on the advice of an alternative medicine doctor.
The diet involves eating no carbs (keto), no meat or dairy (plant-based), with the addition of no sugar or alcohol.
She also avoids eating until 11am every day under strict fasting rules.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, urged against following Paltrow’s methods to ease persistent Covid symptoms.
He reminded stars of their "duty of responsibility" when talking about Covid treatments in a world of misinformation.
"Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves," Prof Powis said at an event for YouTube creators.
"So I think YouTube and other social media platforms have a real responsibility and opportunity here.”
Prof Powis – who is a regular at the No10 Covid briefings alongside the Prime Minister – added: "In the last few days I see Gwyneth Paltrow is, unfortunately, suffering from the effects of Covid.
"We wish her well, but some of the solutions she's recommending are really not the solutions we'd recommend in the NHS.
"We need to take long Covid seriously and apply serious science. All influencers who use social media have a duty of responsibility and a duty of care around that."
Long Covid, affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, most commonly causes fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, shortness of breath and hair loss, according to studies.
Because it causes such an array of problems, it needs to be tackled with various medicines or types of doctors – such as psychiatrists – to help each specific patient.
Paltrow recently revealed she had Covid which left her with "long-tail fatigue and brain fog".
Writing on her lifestyle blog Goop under a post called, "Healing My Body
with a Longer-Term Detox", Paltrow said she is embarking on a long-term healing plan.
The 48-year-old wrote: "I had Covid-19 early on, and it left me with some long-tail fatigue and brain fog.
"In January, I had some tests done that showed really high levels of inflammation in my body."
What are the most common symptoms of long Covid?
A study in February found eight in ten people who have had the coronavirus still battle at least one long-term side effect lasting more than two weeks.
The analysis of all current evidence on the topic found more than 50 symptoms in so-called “long haulers”.
Researchers in the US ranked each symptom based on how common they were in the 47,910 patients studied.
The most common long Covid symptoms were:
Almost six in ten people suffer fatigue – severe tiredness – after recovering from Covid.
Some are dealing with fatigue 100 days after they first became unwell with the coronavirus.
Various studies have now found fatigue to be the most frequent and debilitating long Covid problem.
2. Mental disorders
Several “neuropsychiatric symptoms” – mental disorders linked with disease of the nervous symptom – were discovered by the research team.
These were headaches (44 per cent), attention disorder (27 per cent) and loss of smell (21 per cent).
They could be a result of the coronavirus directly impacting the brain, oxygen deprivation during Covid, medications, or the stress of having Covid – a deadly disease.
3. Hair loss
One in four people who previously had Covid report hair loss, which can be distressing.
“Hair loss could be considered as telogen effluvium”, the researchers said, which is when the hair cycle is distrubed.
It leads to more hair shedding and thinning, rather than complete baldness.
Someone may notice that more hair than usual is falling out when they wash or brush their hair, or find clumps on their pillow or in the drain.
It is usually caused by stress, poor diet, weight loss, a health condition, pregnancy, and the menopause, and typically affects women.
4. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath – medically called dyspnea – was found in a quarter of Covid surviors.
And abnormalities in lung scans were seen in 35 per cent of patients, up to 100 days after sickness with the coronavirus.
Decreases in lung function were seen in 10 per cent.
Other common signs were:
- Loss of taste: 23 per cent
- Loss of smell: 21 per cent
- Post activity breathlessness: 21 per cent
- Joint pain: 19 per cent
- Cough: 19 per cent
- Sweat: 17 per cent
- Nausea or vomit: 16 per cent
- Chest pain: 16 per cent
- Memory loss: 16 per cent
- Hearing loss or tinnitus: 15 per cent
She said she turned to a "functional medicine practitioner", adding that "after he saw all my labs, he explained that this was a case where the road to healing was going to be longer than usual".
She added: "Everything I'm doing feels good, like a gift to my body. I have energy, I'm working out in the mornings, and I'm doing an infrared sauna as often as I can, all in service of healing.
"A side benefit is my skin, which makes me happy – and makes me want to double down on skin care even more. Let's make 2021 the year of never needing make-up, people!"
Paltrow has raised eyebrows on a number of occasions while encouraging the use of controversial products for health and wellbeing.
These include vaginal jade eggs, vampire facials and DIY coffee enema machines.
In January 2020, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens described such products as “carrying considerable risks to health”.
He singled out Paltrow for promoting “dubious wellness products and dodgy procedures” and mocked the contents of her Netflix programme, The Goop Lab.
The series was labelled by medical professionals as “horrifying” and “potentially harmful” for peddling unproven treatments.
Paltrow also shocked by releasing a candle called “This Smells Like My Vagina” through her Goop brand.
She later revealed that the follow-up would be called “This Smells Like My Orgasm”.
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