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Why COVID – and especially long COVID are still a thing

I’ve been seeing a number of patients recently with problems from aches and pains to anxiety to paraesthesia (numbness and tingling) and itchy skin for no apparent reason.

What has shown up repeatedly when I put on my “health detective” hat and take a detailed history – is that an unrecognised factor in the development of their symptoms is COVID. In particular, the lesser-known symptoms of long COVID.

Long COVID is real – it’s not malingering

As this BBC article notes, blood tests show increased inflammation markers – and this can happen even if you only had a mild case:

Long Covid – symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks after a Covid infection – is thought to have affected millions of people around the world.

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • extreme tiredness
  • feeling short of breath
  • problems with memory and concentration – or brain fog

Others can include:

  • sleeping problems
  • loss of smell
  • anxiety
Long Covid blood clues could prompt future trials , BBC

Less common (and less well-known) symptoms can include:

  • hair loss
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • skin sensitivity

Suggested diagnostic approaches are reviewed in this paper.  The researchers suggest measurement of IgG and IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, EBV, HHV-6, viral superantigens, gut microbiota, and biomarkers of autoimmunity to better understand and manage this multi-factorial disorder that continues to affect millions of people in the world. Inflammation can be triggered by all these issues.

Tacking inflammation is one of the strengths of a Naturopath

Medical research is continuing on specific treatments for long COVID – and in Australia it’s hard to access specific tests.

However many Naturopathic treatments are effective in reducing systemic inflammation – and these treatments ALSO have benefits for multiple heath challenges.

Naturopaths and other complementary health professionals have been helping patients with other forms of Post Viral Syndrome for decades (occasionally while their GPs still doubted it’s existence).

For example (as I mentioned in my recent Chronic Pain Post):

  • Silymarin and alpha-lipoic acid are of benefit for treating diabetes.
  • Omega-3 rich oils are good for heart health and cardio-vascular disease.
  • L-Glutamine is also beneficial for a range of gut issues.
  • high dose quality Curcumin for aches and pains

So there are multiple health benefits to be had from exploring complementary remedies that could help you today.

We all wish COVID was over – and long to “get back to normal”

But there are COVID variants circulating – and one of the many confronting COVID statistics is that:

10–20% of those who recover from a Covid-19 infection develop Long Covid

The Lesser-known Symptoms of Long Covid

So if you’re not feeling that well – and you even THINK you might have had COVID – then talk to your friendly, expert health detective (Naturopath 😊 )

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