Recovering from COVID, whether you’ve been sick or not: Post Viral Syndrome Support
COVID-19 has impacted us all for the past year. But, for some who have contracted the virus, there are ongoing long-term effects. Up to 10% of COVID survivors suffer from Post Viral Syndrome. It is more common in people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
When inflammation in the body is high, chemicals induced by COVID can overwhelm the immune system and damage organs such as the lungs, heart, and kidneys. They can also cross into the brain, causing brain fog, headaches and chronic fatigue.
While there is no treatment for this condition, I have some recommendations that might help, based on years of treating people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Reduce inflammation and increase nutrition
By providing food and supplements that reduce inflammation and give nutritional building blocks, the body can begin to heal. This can be a slow process. It requires commitment. It includes getting adequate rest, doing gentle exercises, reducing stress and avoiding sugar and alcohol.
I recommend eating easy to digest, nutritionally dense foods like homemade, broth-based soups with fresh vegetables and herbs, fruit smoothies with leafy greens, and other simple whole foods. Avoid white sugar and processed foods with added colors and preservatives.
Natural anti-inflammatory foods are ginger, turmeric, sour cherries, pomegranates, winter squash, garlic, rosemary, parsley, oregano, shiitake and dark leafy greens.
Teas such as roobios, green tea, ginger, rose hips, pau d’arco, chagas mushroom, thyme, yerba santa and chamomile can be helpful. Try to drink 2-3 cups of tea per day.
Short, gentle exercise sessions can help. Be careful not to overdo it. Start with 5-10 minutes once or twice per day. If you get tired, then you have overdone it. If you are fine, increase your exercise by five minutes at a time.
Supplements that reduce inflammation are vitamin C, zinc, fish oil, bioflavinoids, curcumin and resveratrol. Be sure to check with your doctor that these won’t interfere with your medications. Taking small amounts several times per day will work better than taking large amounts at one time.
Try and get outside for a few minutes each day. Deeply inhale and exhale the fresh clean air.
At this point, we all suffer from COVID. Whether we have been sick or not, it has changed our lives dramatically. If you know someone who is sick, bring them a pot of homemade soup or some healing teas. Giving is a great way to overcome some of the isolation of these times, another impact of this pandemic.
Dr. Jennifer Means welcomes you for Primary Care for the whole family: Nutrition, IV Therapy, Naturopathy, and Acupuncture. Contact us at 503-641-6400.