Long Covid seems to be hitting people of all ages – even the seemingly healthy – and we are looking after a number of young children, teenagers and university students as well as adults that are still not back to their old selves several months after contracting coronavirus. In some cases, whole families have been hit hard, and no one is able to function as they did before.
Many of these “long haulers” didn’t get the virus that badly at the time (but lots did!) and many were asymptomatic, but they have been left with fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog, headaches, postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), gut issues, depression, anxiety, tics and twitches, rashes and allergies – as well as a whole host of other physical and mental symptoms that they have never experienced before this year.
As you can imagine our clinical team have been learning a huge amount over the past few months working out what we can do to support people going through these horrendous post-viral issues, as the medical community has not come up with many constructive answers so far.
Because my NatureDoc team and I have been looking after children and adults with a plethora of post-viral syndromes over the past 20 plus years, we feel we have a good grasp of what might be going on and have got a head start at looking at the metabolic drivers behind this mysterious post-viral syndrome.
Interestingly, we are starting to find similar biomarker patterns in the laboratory test results of our long-Covid clients as those with Chronic Fatigue, Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders (PANS), Histamine Intolerance and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). Many of these markers point towards high oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and a high need for B vitamins and magnesium which can be helped by diet, lifestyle and good quality food supplements.
There also seem to be certain genetics that these sufferers have in common, which have the potential to drive inflammation after a viral infection or mean that the person is less likely to produce enough glutathione – this is the master antioxidant we make internally (fed by B vitamins) that is needed to calm oxidative stress. These lab test markers, as well as the genetic SNP data, are all helpful clues to help work out strategies to get more people their “va va voom” back again.
Interestingly a cohort of people that we are seeing quite consistently, and that seem to be hit the worst, are those with a background of hypermobile joints or collagen disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndromes which can cause flexible joints and stretchy and fragile skin. This is because these people are more likely to develop PoTS, Histamine Intolerance, MCAS and chronic fatigue as part of their clinical picture.
I had the pleasure of talking to a lovely group this week who are suffering from the effects of long Covid themselves, or are caring for family members struggling with the aftermath of Coronavirus. This well attended virtual event was hosted by Long Covid Kids a fantastic small new charity run by parents of children with long Covid, who are passionate about finding some answers for their families.
The talk was recorded on You Tube, and I share lots of nutritious tips and a basic nutrient toolbox to help build back up energy and stamina – as well helpful and practical ways to help manage the crazy plethora of post-Covid symptoms.
Please share this video with anyone you know who is not feeling themselves after getting Coronavirus, as it might give them some lightbulb moments that could make a difference to them. We also value your feedback from adopting any of these interventions, or additional research you have done on long-Covid yourself, as we are in contact with medical researchers who are “all ears” to finding out what might help going forward. The whole world is on a steep learning curve, and we all need to work together to make 2021 a much happier and healthier year!