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Long Covid: Help you can rely on


Here we are, four years since the identification of the Covid virus, and we no longer have the same level of fear of contracting an acute Covid infection. However, we now know that 65 million people worldwide are experiencing a post-viral syndrome: Long Covid. Some people have been coping with it since 2020! What they may not know is that there is a lot of help for people suffering from Long Covid. Naturopathic doctors have been helping people with chronic exhaustion syndromes for a long time, and we have so much to offer!

 

Long Covid usually involves chronic low energy after the acute viral infection has passed, reminiscent of other chronic fatigue syndromes. In Long Covid, other symptoms may also linger, and these differ from person to person. Indeed, there are over 200 reported symptoms of Long Covid, so two people experiencing it might not have any symptoms in common, except fatigue! That’s why, while most conditions are diagnosed by a list of signs and symptoms, Long Covid is defined as Covid symptoms lingering for more than four weeks: it’s a very variable illness.

 

Our free short course on Long Covid tells you a lot about the virus, and how it behaves (and misbehaves!) when we catch it.  The course provides self-care tips that can help everyone with Long Covid. It also includes a long list of supplements that can help in many cases, but not everyone needs all of those. It depends on which of their systems are most affected by their version of Long Covid. And that list doesn’t include everything that could possibly help: there’s so much more that can be done when someone’s health situation is analyzed, and their most important factors identified and treated. 


Common Long Covid symptoms are:

  • Fatigue (most common), weakness, inability to exercise, muscle and body pain

  • Respiratory symptoms: shortness of breath, low oxygenation

  • Chest pain, increased blood pressure, arrhythmia, micro-clots

  • Dizziness, POTS: increased heart rate on standing up

  • Anxiety and Depression

  • Poor sleep, memory, concentration and focus

  • Altered senses of smell and taste

  • Hormonal changes

 

Some important features of Long Covid:

  • Long Covid may follow directly after Covid, or it may start later, after you felt you got over it and were doing OK.

  • Long Covid symptoms may be same as the symptoms of the Covid that it follows, or they may be quite different.

  • There is no physical exam or laboratory test to diagnose Long Covid. 

  • We know that those symptoms can last more than a year, but we don’t yet know how long they may last as it is a fairly new condition.

  • Unlike most chronic post viral syndromes, Long Covid often follows mild cases of Covid, not just intense cases.

  • The more times you have Covid, the more likely you are to get Long Covid.

  • The immune changes of Long Covid can contribute to reactivation of old viruses such as Epstein Barr Virus or Shingles.

 

Covid symptoms are so diverse because different organs and systems are affected in different people, probably depending on which are the least robust. People with asthma have more susceptible lungs, those with IBS have more susceptible digestive systems, and so on. Mitochondrial energy production is affected in many sufferers (more in next week’s SHINE Health Post), and Long Covid often involves long term inflammation, which can contribute to all sorts of physical and mental problems. 

Although research on Long Covid is still in its infancy, there is lots of research on many, many natural products that can help the affected systems, and address that inflammation. Naturopathic Doctors have time to listen to your whole story, and work out what specific treatment you may need, whether for brain fog, fatigue, or for other affected systems.

 

There is so very much more that we could say about Long Covid. For a broad overview of the many aspects of Long Covid, see our FREE short course. If you’d like individualized help figuring out what’s best for your particular experience of Long Covid, we and other naturopathic doctors, are at your service.

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