Globally it is estimated that 43% of patients who have had symptomatic Covid-19 illness – even those with mild symptoms – continue to experience symptoms beginning within 3 months after the acute illness resolves. These symptoms continue for at least another two months and sometimes much longer. The most common symptoms reported are fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, temperature dysregulation, and loss of or altered taste and smell. Even more concerning, a study published in August 2020 found that as many as 60% of people recovered from Covid-19 have evidence of ongoing heart inflammation.
Beyond these symptoms, there are other serious medical issues that can linger following Covid-19 illness, including kidney damage, blood sugar dysregulation and diabetes, and even more serious neurological and psychiatric symptoms including PTSD from the experience of treatment in the hospital.
While the precise underlying cause(s) of Long Covid are still being studied, there are some findings that are clear. One is that those suffering this condition have impaired mitochondria. Mitochondria are structures within cells that generate the energy used to power the cell and thus power our lives. Impaired mitochondria lead to fatigue, cognitive issues, and in fact can be tied to every symptom associated with Long Covid.
In addition to the impaired mitochondria function, and in fact likely closely related to that, is the finding of autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation in those with Long Covid. This leads many with the condition to experience positional orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which causes changes in heart rate and blood pressure upon standing up. This in turn can lead to dizziness, anxiety, sweating, and other symptoms. Other ANS-related symptoms include excessive or absence of sweating, changes in digestion, and a generalized pervasive feeling of being unwell. This feeling is commonly dismissed in the conventional medical setting because no standard blood tests or imaging can identify the cause. However, this does not mean there is no hope. The solution may be found in long COVID naturopathic therapies in Portland.
At Immersion Health we have the tools to support both mitochondrial recovery and health, and ANS regulation. Dr. Nigh utilizes a wide range of mitochondrial therapies, from IV ozone and ultraviolet blood irradiation, to the judicious use of prescription medications such as methylene blue and low dose naltrexone, to cold laser therapy, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), ozone sauna, and others. When delivered consistently and with sufficient intensity, these make for a powerful combination to help resuscitate mitochondrial function and ANS regulation.
As a perfect complement to this kind of program, Maria’s implementation of the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) and other ANS-regulating therapies creates a fully supported program for addressing these two recognized components of Long Covid. In fact, given the nearly universal finding of ANS imbalances in those with Long Covid, neglecting ANS therapies in the treatment program would mean the program is not adequately comprehensive.
Of course it is not possible to predict how any given patient will respond to any medical treatment. Naturopathic medicine is about utilizing therapies that optimize the potential for recovery. Treatment of Long Covid is individualized, based on a comprehensive clinical assessment and appropriate functional and metabolic tests.