1. GET VACCINATED
On the other hand, I have seen many, many patients, and known many people personally, with long Covid. When you get the wild virus, your immune system has to respond to a rapidly increasing viral load as the virus replicates. The larger the viral load, the more spike proteins your immune system has to fight, resulting in a very large immune response. This robust immune response can cause cross-reactivity in the body, and, as we have seen in the past year and a half, can increase the possibility of autoimmunity.
In contrast, the Covid vaccines give the body instructions to make the spike protein that is unique to Covid. The body produces short-lived spike proteins. These spike proteins, in absence of the whole virus, are unable to replicate, so the immune system mounts a limited reaction and creates antibodies to the spike protein. If and when we come into contact with the live virus, our immune system is ready to fight Covid.
We are seeing that in most cases, a person who is vaccinated against Covid and does get infected with the wild virus, the immune system is able to respond, and the infection is much less severe.
This entire pandemic has been rife with information and disinformation, fear and disbelief. There is still so much we don’t know. In an effort to live with love in our hearts and compassion for others, I think we do less harm by taking the most cautious approach. Regardless of how personally uncomfortable it might be, get your vaccine. Wear your mask. We have to have SOME way through this, and this is perhaps, hopefully, probably, the best way to get out of this exhausting pandemic.
2. SUPPORT YOUR MITOCHONDRIA
Tiny organelles inside each cell are responsible for the generation of vital cellular energy. When there is inadequate cellular nutrition, you might not have the proper energy reserves to combat the free radical damage caused by Covid infection. Most of my Long Covid patients experience fatigue, a sign that these organelles have been damaged and are no longer producing adequate levels of ATP. Healthy mitochondrial function is absolutely necessary for restoring health after an infection of any type. I have found that key nutrients, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, Acetyl-l carnitine, and CoQ10, along with vitamin and mineral cofactors help keep your mitochondria humming!
3. BALANCE AND FEED YOUR MICROBIOME
Is there anything that is not affected by your microbiome? We know that the microbiome is central to immune function, and that Covid can be found in the stool. I often use a comprehensive stool analysis to measure the health of your microbiome. This test can identify imbalances of beneficial bacteria, commensal bacteria, and dysbiotic bacteria. In addition, we use it to identify markers of inflammation and digestion. This valuable information helps us to predict your overall health, and correcting the imbalances found in the gut can certainly prevent long term illnesses of all kinds.
4. SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS
While there are many herbs to support adrenal function and a healthy stress response, there is no real way to supplement yourself into healthy adrenal function. Stress management is essential. So, pay attention to how you are living your life. Are you overworked? Do you play too hard? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you spend time outside? Are you aware, awake, grounded? It is so important to take some time and live your life at an appropriate pace. Breathe. Laugh. Rest.
5. EAT A NUTRIENT RICH DIET
Seriously. Eat whole foods.
Most people have chronic, low-grade nutrient deficiencies of which they are completely unaware. These deficiencies become a problem over time, and lead to problems of all of the systems in the body, including the immune system, the adrenals, and the mitochondria. So if you practice eating for nutrient value every day, it can benefit you in every way, and keep you stronger to fight infections like Covid.
We all feel pretty desperate, I think, at this point, to be done with Covid. And now, in the midst of another surge, we find ourselves having to be cautious once again. It might feel like there is a lot we don’t know and that is still true, unfortunately. However, we do know that the healthier you are the better you fare- in all of life. Work on getting healthier. Because you are loved.
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