Have You Had COVID And Not Recovered?
Most people who have COVID 19 get better within a few weeks, but between 10% and 30% of those infected do not recover fully and suffer significant ongoing disability that lasts for months and longer. Long Covid is also known as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC).
Symptoms can become chronic and there are quite a few neurological symptoms including loss of smell, cognitive impairment (foggy brain) and mood disorders. Other symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath and gut problems.
The high incidence of neurological symptoms is not surprising in light of new research published in the journal Nature that showed that COVID infection could shrink the size of the brain. The research study found that patients with lingering neurological symptoms had a one percent loss of brain volume. This was associated with memory loss, poor mood and loss of smell.
Viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID 19 disease, can enter the brain via the olfactory nerves (smell nerves) that travel from the upper nasal cavities to the bottom of the brain. The SARS-CoV-2 virus can also enter the brain via the blood brain barrier.
People who have a past history of not handling viral infections well are more at risk of long COVID. For example, if you took a long time to recover from an infection with the glandular fever virus (Epstein Barr Virus) or you get very sick with the influenza virus, this means your immune system has trouble fighting off viruses and making them inactive. People with poorly controlled diabetes or fatty liver are also at risk of a longer recovery time from COVID.
What can you do to speed up recovery from COVID and other types of post viral syndrome?
- Boost your immune system and adrenal glands with vitamin C.
- Take vitamin D to reduce inflammation.
- Eat foods high in beta carotene and vitamin A to keep your mucous membranes healthy and strong, as they are lining your nose and the rest of your respiratory tract and form a good barrier to the virus.
- Support your cellular immunity with the powerful immune supplement called Selenomue which contains three types of selenium plus zinc, iodine, and B vitamins. Viruses of all types can mutate more readily and become more active in the body of a selenium deficient person.
- Do deep breathing exercises.
- Get more fresh air and gentle exercise to oxygenate the lungs.
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) can reduce inflammation in the brain and lungs; take 2 capsules twice daily with a large glass of water thirty minutes before food.
- Do not be nutrient deficient especially when it comes to protein and healthy fats. Healthy fats come from fresh meat, eggs, and oily fish. Walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds contain some omega 3 fats. Remember that your brain is largely made of cholesterol and omega 3 fats and you need these fats in your diet. Your brain makes neurotransmitters from amino acids found in complete proteins found in animal products such as meat, poultry and eggs. A significant number of vegetarians are nutrient deficient.
I have been practicing and researching nutritional medicine for over 40 years and if anyone asked me “what is the most important nutrient to fight a viral infection?”- I would say without doubt – whether it is a chronic or acute viral infection – it is selenium. I call selenium “the viral birth control pill”.
Selenium acts on the genetic material of viruses (its RNA or DNA) and has three highly valuable effects:
- Inhibits the ability of the virus to multiply (replicate)
- Reduces the ability of the virus to mutate into a more aggressive (virulent) form
- Increases the chances that the virus will stay inactive or less active and not harm you
New drugs have been developed to give to immunocompromised people (people on immunosuppressant drugs or people with blood cancers etc.) who get an acute COVID infection. They are Lagevrio and Paxlovid and may reduce risk of long COVID.
Authorities are worried that as new mutations produce new variants of the Omicron virus the effectiveness of current vaccines will wane. Currently the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 virus has around 60 mutations and this will increase. These mutations make the virus more contagious but not more virulent. We do not have an Omicron specific vaccine.
The message is to nurture your own immune system with a healthy diet and the correct supplements. If you have long COVID we like to hear from you – send us an email.
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Can SARS-CoV-2 infect the central nervous system via the olfactory bulb or the blood-brain barrier? Susan M Burks 1, et al, . Pub med. 2021 Jul; 95:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.12.031. Epub 2021 Jan 4.
Selenium and Viral Diseases: Facts and Hypotheses, By Professor Ethan Will Taylor. Ph.D. https://chem.uncg.edu/person/e-will-taylor/
3the lancet: REVIEW| VOLUME 356, ISSUE 9225, P233-241, JULY 15, 2000
The importance of selenium to human health
Margaret P Rayman, DPhil
Published:July 15, 2000DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02490-9
Selenium and viral infection: are there lessons for COVID-19?
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 August 2020
Giovanna Bermano, et al
British Journal of Nutrition , Volume 125 , Issue 6 , 28 March 2021 , pp. 618 – 627