I wanted to chat about long-COVID today. It is something I am seeing more and more in my clinic, and also I am starting to wonder if some of my clients symptoms are worse due to this. You might have heard some stories from friends and family about how tired they are feeling post-COVID, and there is science behind it.
What is long-COVID?
As of July 2022, there have been nearly 600 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. The term long-COVID is the signs and symptoms that continue to develop AFTER the acute infection phase lasting >12 weeks. It is estimated that one-third of patients will have persisting symptoms for over six months after the initial infection.
Manifestations of long-COVID
More than 200 symptoms have been identified, including physical, neurological and mental health symptoms. The most common symptoms that have been reported include fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, loss of taste, loss of smell, digestive symptoms, memory loss, brain fog, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Image via BioMedica
Effects of long-COVID
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) enters the body and then the cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor. This might sound confusing but essential the virus attaches to ACE2 and this is how it gets into the cells to start doing some damage. The problem with this is that ACE2 is located in more places than just the lungs. They are found throughout the body, including the heart, liver, digestive tract, oral and nasal passages, cardiac cells, and nervous system. This means that the virus can possibly enter and effect all of these different areas of the body.
Research has found that inflammation and immune system dysregulation occur for at least 8 months after the initial infection.
Image via BioMedica
Although there are no guidelines for post-COVID provided by governing bodies, a holistic approach can still be taken to support the body and reduce unwanted outcomes of long-COVID.
How naturopathy can help
Supporting and regulating the immune system with targeted nutrients and mushrooms
Improving energy and fatigue with adaptogenic herbs, and nutrients to improve energy production at a cell level
Reduce autoimmunity and whole body inflammation
Reduce histamine-mediated mast cell activation with herbs and nutrients that stabilise mast cells
Improve lung function and reduce cough with herbs and nutrients that target the respiratory tract
Improve microbiome by specific pre- and probiotics
Reduce depression anxiety with scientifically researched herbs and nutrients
Improve brain fog and memory with herbs and nutrients that improve circulating the the brain
Reduce cardiovascular risk and myocarditis with antioxidant herbs and nutrients
Naturopathy takes the whole-person approach to treatment which makes it great for long-COVID treatment!
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