We have all heard so much about Covid with the focus by and large being on the acute situation. More and more however, the attention is turning to long Covid.
A recent study in Switzerland found that 26% of those infected with Covid still had symptoms 6 to 8 months later. Main symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and depression. The average age of the 431 respondents was 47.
A further study published by the Lancet is the largest every study of those suffering from long Covid with 3,762 participants. The researchers identified 203 symptoms and tracked 66 people over 7 months. The main symptoms were fatigue, brain fog, itchy skin, tremors, heart palpitations, changes to the menstrual cycle, sexual dysfunction, bladder control issues, memory loss, blurred vision, tinnitus and diarrhea. A third of the symptoms continued to affect people after six months.
Probably the most important point in this study is that the researchers found long covid does not affect just one organ in the body and in fact can affect up to 10 organs. Treating it therefore as a respiratory disease will leave many people without help.
This situation is very similar to ME or chronic fatigue, which also spans multiple systems and can be difficult to diagnose and difficult to address. Many chronic ME sufferers hope that this interest in long Covid will help them.
Is there a natural approach to long Covid? Naturopathic medicine focuses on looking at the entire person and starting with those areas which are of highest priority for the individual. It requires an approach which aims to balance the immune system, support brain function and strengthen the body. As herbalists we use a unique class of herbs called Adaptogens in addressing long Covid or ME. Adaptogens are specific for debility, convalescence and helping the body adapt to physical or mental stress. In general this combined approach can help to give some relief to sufferers of these conditions.
If you would like to discuss this further please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dominik Menges, Tala Ballouz, Alexia Anagnostopoulos, Hélène E. Aschmann, Anja Domenghino, Jan S. Fehr, Milo A. Puhan. Burden of post-COVID-19 syndrome and implications for healthcare service planning: A population-based cohort study. PLOS ONE, 2021; 16 (7): e0254523 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254523
- H.E. Davis et al., Characterizing long COVID in an international cohort: 7 months of symptoms and their impact, EClinicalMedicine (2021), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101019