Written by: Brie Suppa, Director of Wellness at Belcara Health
As we see COVID rates drop across the country, many of us are returning to our “old normal.” However, for those casually referred to as “COVID long haulers,” life remains far from pre-COVID, normal.
People affected by long term COVID, formally referred to as PASC (post-acute sequelae or SARS-CoC-2), are living with symptoms correlated to their initial COVID-19 infection, even after the acute phase of the infection is over. Symptoms may include: chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, pain, body aches, headaches, brain fog, fevers and tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute). These chronically experienced symptoms not only affect the physical health of the patient, but also the mental health, often resulting in cases of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
The Link Between Inflammation and Long Term COVID
Many long term COVID symptoms are rooted in inflammation, specifically around the cardio-thoracic region. Heart palpitations, heart rate elevations, and even Diabetes can result from this chronic inflammation. That’s right; many of us know that Diabetes is a high-risk factor for developing a serious case of COVID-19, but we are also finding that non-diabetic survivors are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the wake of their infection. For those of us in functional medicine, this is not surprising. Chronic inflammation can increase insulin resistance, which increases inflammation, which exacerbates this vicious cycle leading to chronic health conditions.
What Can We Do to Heal from Long Term COVID?
Both the prevention and treatment of long term COVID includes breathing exercises, respiratory therapy, and, properly addressing inflammation with the tools we have at hand.
Addressing inflammation caused by COVID-19, starts with addressing the food you fuel your body with. I recommend removing processed foods, red meat, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars and any foods you have a sensitivity or known allergy to. Add in these anti-inflammatory foods to decrease inflammation: turmeric, green tea, ginger, leafy greens, and ginger.
Our BH Reset program is a wonderful, food-first tool we use to help you decrease inflammation quickly and safely. We utilize the power of food, proper supplementation, and guidance from our functional medicine team, to help you jumpstart the healing process.
Speaking of supplementation, utilizing a high quality multivitamin/mineral is crucial to supporting your detoxification pathways, which results in lowered inflammation. A high-quality fish oil supplement specifically addresses neuro-inflammation, typically resulting in symptoms such as brain fog, anxiety and/or depression. Turmeric and Resveratrol are two other anti-inflammatory supplements I highly recommend to my patients; these supplements both decrease and prevent chronic inflammation.
There is still so much we don’t know and/or understand about COVID-19 and PASC. Interestingly, we are finding that many of the “COVID long-haulers” initially had mild cases of COVID, experiencing few symptoms during their acute infection phase. We do know that inflammation is at the core of many of these symptoms. At Belcara, we have the tools and programs to address this inflammation and truly begin the healing process for long term COVID effects.
Many of the treatments we offer can improve your overall well being using food-first approaches wherever possible. For more information on long term COVID or to create a personalized wellness plan, call Belcara Health at (410) 296-0414 or contact us online.