I have had multiple questions about post COVID lingering fatigue and neurological symptoms. For those who have suffered for years with chronic viral illness and have been told ‘it’s all in your head’, one inadvertent blessing of the onslaught of media coverage around covid, is it’s also bringing to light the fact that chronic post viral illness is real.
Many people are becoming aware (doctors included) that these post-viral symptoms aren’t exclusive to covid but HHV-6, Epstein Barr Virus, cytomegalovirus, mycloplasm and on and on.
For those of you who have been trying to tell your doctor for years that you had mono when you were 16 and never felt normal again, perhaps it is time to return to your doctor and say look, ‘some of these people who had covid have the same symptoms I have been telling you about, can you look into this more and help me overcome this’?
In my experience the longer a person has had post viral illness, the more challenging it is to get them fully back up and running because so many things in their being have shifted to a new ‘normal’.
Bottom line, do not give up, answers are available for those who keep searching.
So back to the original question, how do we help ourselves if we have lingering covid or post covid neurological or fatigue symptoms?
For starters, you want to make sure your foundation is on point.
It is of course valuable to consume living foods, get physical activity, breath optimally, sleep gracefully and manage life stress well at all times but this in invaluable if your body is trying to heal itself from a viral insult and return back to homeostasis.
So, don’t pursue some novel concoction if you are still eating a bagel for breakfast and Taco Bell for lunch.
This causes excessive histamine response in the body and an inability to clear histamine efficiently. This is the same issue noted in EBV and Lyme disease.
It can feel like you have a chronic active infection going on but really is the flares of the MCAS that are keeping your nervous system and mitochondria from being able to get back to normal.
If you are dealing with this, I would looking at all the different ways you can support your autonomic nervous system, help your mitochondrial function, and decrease the overall histamine burden on your body.
To take a deep dive into all of the research would take hours but the following areas will hopefully give you and your doctor a starting point for mapping out a road to recovery.
- Nervous System
- Breathing and Sleeping are key
- Check out these books Breath by James Nestor or The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown. Do not overlook the necessity of proper breathing to get your nervous system back in balance.
- If you have mast cell activation syndrome going on, you are an over-breather and your breathing is literally promoting MCAS and autonomic nervous system duress.
- 4-7-8 breathing routine is one anybody can start with to promote a parasympathetic response in their body and decrease over-breathing.
- If you are not taping your mouth closed at night, then today is the day to start.
- Support mitochondrial and detox pathways
- Look at NAC, NADH, CoQ10, D-ribose, Alpha-lipoic acid, B vitamins (in active form), thiamine (as Lipothiamine or Allithiamine), selenium.
- Also consider Ginseng, Astragulus, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola
- Support for histamine metabolism
- DAO (diamine oxidase) can be great as it is the enzyme directly responsible for degrading histamine. Many people with MCAS have low DAO levels.
- Vitamin C, Quercetin, Resveratrol and curcumin also support mast cell stabilization helping to make mast cells less fragile, which means less histamine being secreted out for no reason.
- Melatonin (as long as it doesn’t give you crazy dreams) can help prevent mast cell from activating, which will prevent the release of histamine at night when the mast cells tend to be most active.
There is a lot to consider when looking at post viral illness, however, but if you focus on the basics of health, you will find that the symptoms of post-viral illness will quickly lose their grip on your body.
One last thing I would mention is that if you do have a heavy histamine load, because of post viral illness, you will want to minimize exposure of noxious substances as much as possible.
Look at your soaps, make-up, shampoo, detergent, perfumes and scented items and get rid of all the synthetic stuff as they are themselves increasing the mast cell activation and histamine spray.
Thank you for this. I had never heard of mast cell activation syndrome until recently, from reading Dr. Lara Briden’s blog where she discusses the role of estrogen in mast cell activation/increasing histamine and progesterone’s role in regulating mast cells/reducing histamine. Many women these days are estrogen dominant- Perhaps this could be why many women in their 30’s are experiencing long covid symptoms? I will be interesting to see what studies turn up.
We were sick late February last year. There was no testing available at that time, but I assume based on our symptoms that we had the virus. Husband and children recovered like any other cold/flu in 2 weeks. I was never severely ill, but it took me about 6 months to feel like myself again. Gradually the symptoms reoccurred less often until they were gone. I didn’t know long covid was a thing until I was pretty much feeling better. The only thing I started doing differently over the summer is I switched from Claritin to quercetin for my allergies. I have continued to take it daily. I’m not sure if it played a role in improving how I felt or if I would have gotten over it at that point anyways.