What is Post-Covid Syndrome?

Larry and his wife had a COVID-19 infection two months ago.  His wife only had very mild symptoms, while Larry had moderate symptoms for about a week, including fever, cough, fatigue, and mild to moderate shortness of breath. He did not have to go to the hospital and stayed at home using natural therapies.  However, two months later, Larry still had fatigue and shortness of breath when walking more than mild distances. He was able to go back to work but maintaining his energy was a struggle during the day. I had him receive the natural treatments (which I will discuss later in this article) and some nutritional supplements to help him return his health back to normal quickly.
What is Post-Covid Syndrome?
Perhaps you are one of the millions of Americans with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and have not felt the same since. There is a condition you should be aware of, and it is called Post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (if symptoms and abnormalities occur from 4-12 weeks beyond acute COVID-19) or chronic post-COVID-19 syndrome when symptoms and abnormalities persist 12 weeks of the acute COVID-19 and not caused by other diagnoses. Another term that is used for people with chronic post-COVID symptoms is “long haulers. In any way you look at it, post-COVID issues occur when the immune system and other systems of the body continue to be compromised from the effects of the original COVID infection.
Studies from 38 hospitals in the United States have found that about 33% of patients reported persistent symptoms, and about 18.9% had new or worsened symptoms. In this observational study, the most reported symptom was shortness of breath walking up the stairs, while others included cough and continued loss of taste and/or smell. Research from an Italian study where people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and recovered was followed up on 60 days after the onset of the first symptom. The most reported symptoms were fatigue (53.1%), shortness of breath (43.4%), joint pain (27.3%), and chest pain (21.7%). About 55% of patients experienced 3 or more ongoing symptoms post-COVID.
Many organ systems can be affected
There are different mechanisms thought to contribute to a post-COVID syndrome which includes physiological changes in the body from the virus and ongoing inflammation and immune system abnormalities. However, all the body’s major organ systems can be affected as summarized below:
Lungs: shortness of breath, decreased exercise capacity, low oxygen levels, fibrotic tissue changes in the lungs
Blood: blood clots
Cardiovascular: heart palpitations and heart arrhythmias, shortness of breath, chest pain
Brain and Nervous System: fatigue, muscle aching, headache, brain fog, anxiety, depression, insomnia
Kidney: reduced kidney filtration
Hormonal: worsening of diabetes, thyroid inflammation, and dysfunction, bone loss, imbalance in the messaging of the hormonal system, including adrenal gland function
Digestive: alterations in the gut microbiome
As you can see, some of the effects of post-COVID can be life-threatening. You should consult with a doctor for an assessment of your symptoms. This is especially important if you are experiencing any severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, heart rhythm abnormalities, etc.
Holistic and Nutritional Therapies to the Rescue
My experience is that holistic treatments can be amazingly effective in treating post-COVID problems. The best treatments involve getting a history from a patient and all the signs and symptoms they are experiencing. Then the areas of the body that are most affected are identified with lab testing. Keep in mind that the damage to the immune system allows viruses and other pathogens your body has been keeping suppressed to surface. This means then that other infections can become active. For example, if you had a history of Lyme Disease or Epstein Barr Virus, then they may become active. People with autoimmune diseases may have a flare-up of their conditions Post-COVID.
An anti-inflammatory diet is essential such as the Mediterranean Diet to promote recovery. I typically recommend nutrients that help the energy of cells improve, such as B Complex, Vitamin C, and Coenzyme Q10. The use of natural anti-inflammatories is helpful, including high-dose fish oil, vitamin D, and turmeric extract. As I mentioned, the microbiome (bacteria balance in the digestive tract) becomes altered. Knowing that most of the immune system and inflammation originate in the gut, one should be consuming cultured foods and well-studied probiotics. And lastly, mushroom extracts like Reishi, and the Chinese herb Astragalus, are excellent in re-balancing the immune system long-term.
The most effective treatments I have seen help patient’s turnaround from post-COVID are intravenous ozone and intravenous nutrients. Intravenous ozone (oxygen) helps to improve cellular energy, glutathione balances the immune system and reduces inflammation, and vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation. Patients with mild to moderate post-COVID have noticed dramatic improvements within 1 to 2 treatments. Patients with moderate to severe post-COVID usually feel noticeable improvement after 5 treatments.
My patient Larry had bounced back quickly after two IV treatments. He also takes my Immune Wellness formula to keep his immune system regulated and my Turmeric Wellness to keep his inflammation under control. He no longer has shortness of breath, and his energy levels have skyrocketed.
Selected Reference
Nalbandian, A., Sehgal, K., Gupta, A. et al. Post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. Nat Med (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01283-z