POST COVID – HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SYMPTOMS

These are unprecedented times. How to live with and through a worldwide pandemic is unknown to most people alive at this time. It is the beginning of YEAR 3 of this new normal.

If we are able to garner anything from history, it is that ours and future generations will forever live in the shadow of COVID-19.

But how do we manage the lingering symptoms in our bodies, post-COVID?

Whether or not you have been infected by COVID-19, the CDC advises that you avoid contracting or spreading the virus by continuing recommended safety measures which are:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask
  • Stay socially distanced
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Get tested for the virus
  • Cover your cough
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Disinfect your living/ working spaces

According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include:

Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting.

With the rise of the latest COVID-19 variant, it is likely that you or someone you know will be carrying the virus. Symptoms may or may not present themselves, especially if you have already been fully vaccinated.

However, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, despite the severity of your illness during the active phase of the virus, you might continue to experience COVID specific symptoms long after the virus has dissipated.

Many people complain of the following symptoms post – COVID:

– Brain fog
– Respiratory Illness
– Fatigue
– Shortness of breath (despite healthy lung function testing)
– Gut related discomfort
– Increased anxiety

Studies show there are commonalities amongst those who suffer from post – COVID symptoms:

“One of the four factors researchers identified is the level of coronavirus RNA in the blood early in the infection, an indicator of viral load. Another is the presence of certain autoantibodies — antibodies that mistakenly attack tissues in the body as they do in conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. A third factor is the reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus, a virus that infects most people, often when they are young, and then usually becomes dormant.

The final factor is having Type 2 diabetes, although the researchers and other experts said that in studies involving larger numbers of patients, it might turn out that diabetes is only one of several medical conditions that increase the risk of long Covid.” (Su 2022)

COVID sets off a cascade of neuroinflammation, which perpetuates oxidative damage in the brain and nervous system, one of the mechanisms responsible for the lingering symptoms that people experience.  

Naturopathic medicine can offer a number of treatments to help normalize dysfunctional immune responses caused by Covid, particularly by targeting neuroinflammation.  

Therefore, the therapeutic priority is to minimize oxidative damage with treatments such as green tea, resveratrol, curcumin, glutathione, NAC, magnesium threonate, and bioflavonoids.  

We can also look at more detailed labs to help isolate hormonal and immune system imbalances that can then be treated accordingly, particularly therapies that help to normalize the HPA axis.

Mitochondrial repair is also key to a speedier recovery, which usually involves combination therapies that may include ingredients such as CoQ10, PQQ, D-ribose, and acetyl-l-carnitine.

A naturopathic approach to managing your body’s post-COVID responses is to address the root cause of your symptoms and help you find relief while your body becomes regulated.

If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about how to manage your post-COVID symptoms, Dr. Fisel is here to help. Call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.

REFERENCES

Su, Yapeng. “Multiple Early Factors Anticipate Post-Acute COVID-19 Sequelae.” Cell, 24 Jan. 2022, https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(22)00072-1.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

chronic fatigue syndrome, long haulers, covid 19 lingering symptoms, post-viral illness

Have you heard about COVID-19 “long haulers” and their post-viral symptoms?

And did you know there are similar responses from those with Lyme disease or other post-viral/ bacterial infections?

Other (some life-long) symptoms of post-viral illness include pain, swelling and headaches.

Most commonly, though, both long haulers and those who have suffered from Lyme or other viral infections are having to learn how to cope and live with:

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity. (SOURCE)

There is a debate among providers about whether lingering symptoms from Lyme disease, COVID-19, and other chronic viral infections may in fact be an abnormal immune response or whether they are evidence of a lingering virus or infection that requires further treatment.

There is a lot of hopeful research and work that can be done in this area – especially as we are seeing the immune responses of COVID-19 patients in real time.

We can learn things about those recovering from COVID-19 that help us provide better informed treatment options for post-viral symptoms in survivors of Lyme (or other chronic viral infections) – especially when it comes to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Here are 3 Things to Know from Lyme Survivors to Long Haulers:

1.BOLSTER YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM –Because we’re potentially dealing with both persistent infections and/or an autoimmune component, we will often use a combination of therapies that target underlying infections, along with modulating the immune system, in hopes of correcting the abnormal immune response.  Identifying and avoiding individual food sensitivities can also reduce the overall burden on the immune system.  

2. REPAIR YOUR ENERGY LEVELS – We use treatments that focus on building the body’s energy reserves, hopefully speeding up the recovery time. Herbs that help to restore both optimal energy levels and a more balanced immune response include:

  • astragalus
  • licorice
  • andrographis
  • cordyceps
  • rhodiola, and
  • eleutherococcus.

You should always contact your primary care physician to determine whether herbs and supplements are right for your condition, prior to taking them on your own. 

3. MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR LIFESTYLE – It is so important to REST! Trying to push through chronic fatigue and continue your normal work and lifestyle routines will undoubtedly slow down your recovery process. The psychological impact of not being able to function at a “normal” level often leads to feelings of failure, forcing patients to overdo it, which inevitably ends up prolonging their recovery.  Seeking the help of a mental health professional is extremely beneficial to combat the effects of chronic fatigue.

Even just a few adjustments in your daily routine can make a great difference in how manageable your post-viral symptoms are to live with. From long haulers to Lyme survivors, there is hope – even during the pandemic.

Please contact Dr. Matthew Fisel ND if you have questions about integrative solutions for your health care needs. He promotes health and healing on all levels, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, please call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.