Long Haulers Symptoms
- Cognitive issues
- Erratic heartbeat
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Intolerance to physical or mental activity
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle and joint pain
- Shortness of breath
Natural Treatments for Long Haulers
1. N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)NAC is an amino acid that the body uses to create glutathione, the body’s master detoxifier. Glutathione is your master detoxifier and the most powerful free radical scavenger produced by your body.
Eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, and cabbage), as well as avocado, okra, spinach, and alliums, can help bolster levels of glutathione, as can supplementing with NAC.
Aaron Hartman, MD, founder of the Richmond Integrative and Functional Medicine clinic in Richmond, Va., describes one patient, a 26-year-old woman, whose symptoms — persistent low oxygen and shortness of breath — following a bout of COVID resolved after treatment that included NAC as well as omega-3 fish oil.
“NAC is one of the more important nutrients for people who get shortness of breath with COVID, because of its ability to break down those really, really small blood clots called micro-emboli,” explains Hartman.
2. Vitamin DVitamin D3 is essential for supporting healthy immune system function. It works hand in hand with your body to modulate both innate and adaptive immune responses which regulate everything from reactivity to antigens and pathogens.
Much has been written about the emerging link between COVID severity and
vitamin-D deficiency. A pilot study in Spain found that adding oral D3
supplementation significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment among people
hospitalized after infection. Leo Galland, MD, a functional-medicine internist
in New York City notes that D is an important promoter of ACE-2
He recommends that people with long COVID supplement with up to 5,000 IU of D3 daily. Hartman advises aiming for a vitamin-D blood level in the range of 60 to 80 ng/mL.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
that’s found in red grapes, red wine, peanuts, and some berries. It’s also
available as a supplement.
Leo Galland, MD, a functional-medicine internist in New York City, has found it to be particularly helpful in restoring his COVID patients to health. “Resveratrol has a number of beneficial effects on coronavirus infection,” he notes. “It supports ACE-2 function, it inhibits the growth of the deadly MERS coronavirus through multiple mechanisms, and it diminishes the kind of inflammation associated with coronavirus infection.”
He recommends long-COVID patients supplement with 200 mg of resveratrol twice a day.
4. ProbioticsCOVID can wreak havoc on the gut microbiome, but research on specific probiotic strains that can best restore balance following the syndrome’s particular damage is in its infancy. Galland is looking into soil-derived bacteria of the genus Bacillus because it may have natural antibiotic properties, though there’s not yet enough data to make specific recommendations.
Eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, can help fortify and support the gut’s microbiome. And in the event of ongoing gut disturbances, working with a functional-medicine provider to design a well-rounded prebiotic and probiotic protocol can help bring the microbiome back into balance.
5. MelatoninMelatonin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemical our bodies produce to help regulate the sleep–wake cycle. It also supports the gut lining, which promotes healthy immune function.
Supplementing with 1 - 2 mg of melatonin at bedtime might benefit those whose sleep–wake cycles have become dysregulated with long COVID.
6. Vitamin C
7. Omega-3 fatty acids
8. Quercetin, EGCG and Curcumin
Quercetin appears to bind to the spike protein of the coronavirus, inhibit inflammatory pathways, and block replication of infected cells. It is also antiviral and completely safe. In addition to getting sources of quercetin from diet, long-COVID patients can supplement with 250 - 500 mg twice a day.
FLCCC I-Recover Protocol
- Ivermectin has been reported to have a role in the treatment of post-COVID-19 syndrome. A dose of 0.2-0.4 mg/kg day for 3-5 days, followed by once or twice weekly dosing for ongoing symptoms for up to 4 weeks. Discontinue after 2 - 4 weeks if all symptoms have resolved. A repeat course is recommended in those who respond poorly or relapse once the treatment is stopped. The anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin may mediate this benefit.
- If inadequate response to ivermectin: Prednisone 0.5mg/kg daily for 5 days, 0.25mg/kg for 5 days followed by 0.12 mg/kg for 5 days. Patients with persistent organizing pneumonia may require higher doses for a more prolonged period of time.
- If presenting with neurological symptoms i.e. poor concentration, mood disturbance. Fluvoxamine 50 -100 mg day for 15 days. Monitor response closely as some patients will respond poorly to this medication. Teens and young adults who are prescribed fluvoxamine can experience acute anxiety which needs to be monitored for and treated by the prescribing clinician to prevent rare escalation to suicidal or violent behavior.
- montelukast 10 mg/day (for mast cell activation syndrome). Caution as may cause depression in some patients.
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) e.g. fluvoxamine, fluoxetine (prozac).
Post-Vaccination Long Haulers?
- Make certain you measure your blood vitamin D level and take enough vitamin D orally (typically about 8,000 units/day for most adults) to make sure your level is 60 to 80 ng/ml (100 to 150 nmol/l).
- Eliminate all vegetable (seed) oils in your diet, which involves eliminating nearly all processed foods and most meals in restaurants unless you convince the chef to only cook with butter. Avoid any sauces or salad dressings in restaurants as they are loaded with seed oils. Also avoid chicken and pork as they are very high in linoleic acid, the omega-6 fat that is far too high in nearly everyone and contributes to oxidative stress that causes heart disease.
- Consider taking around 500 mg/day of NAC, as it helps prevent blood clots and is a precursor for your body to produce the important antioxidant glutathione.
- Consider fibrinolytic enzymes that digest the fibrin that leads to blood clots, strokes and pulmonary embolisms. The dose is typically two, twice a day, but must be taken on an empty stomach, either an hour before or two hours after a meal. Otherwise, the enzymes will digest your food and not the fibrin in the blood clot.