Most people who have COVID-19 can expect a full recovery following initial infection, but if you’re one of the growing number of people who continue to experience symptoms in the weeks–and months–following your illness, you might feel as though support to help you heal during this time is significantly lacking.

How is integrative medicine stepping up to prevent patients from falling through the cracks of the conventional medical system? Read on to find out.

What to Expect With COVID Recovery

Recovery from COVID-19 varies from person to person, but on average, most people are no longer contagious by about day 10 (1). 

Most people recover from Covid-19 completely after the initial infection has resolved, but data suggest that as many as 10% of those who have had Covid go on to experience symptoms for several weeks to several months afterward (2).

What Is Post-Covid Syndrome?

Post-Covid Syndrome is the name given to a collection of symptoms lingering in a patient well after the initial Covid-19 illness has subsided. There’s not yet defined terminology for this condition, but it includes “long COVID,” “post-COVID syndrome” and “post-acute COVID-19 syndrome.”

Long COVID appears to affect those who experienced mild illnesses, as well as those with moderate to severe cases. You can learn how post-COVID syndrome affects the body in this article.

COVID Recovery at CentreSpringMD

You’re not contagious if you’re experiencing post-COVID syndrome. Long COVID is caused by your body recovering from the initial infection’s impact upon your immune system.

Research shows that a person with Covid-19 is contagious anywhere from 48 hours prior to experiencing symptoms to about 10 days after the initial onset of symptoms, so you should stay home and away from others as much as possible during that time (1).

What to Do When Your Symptoms Linger?

If you’re still experiencing symptoms after day 14, you should continue to take care of your body as it works hard to recover. There are many things you can do to support respiratory recovery, as well as take care of your physical and mental health.

Tips for Managing Post-Covid Recovery

Fatigue, Shortness of Breath, and Rebuilding Strength

After Covid, your routine daily activities may feel much more taxing than normal. Allow yourself time and the patience to heal, while continuing to build strength and stamina.

  • Adjust expectations around the necessary tasks you need to complete. Take frequent breaks and pace yourself throughout the day.
  • Support the production of glutathione–your body’s most powerful antioxidant–with n-acetyl cysteine, milk thistle, or an IV therapy drip.
  • Gradually increase the activities and exercise you perform. Start with walking and simple resistance exercise. This will help you rebuild your stamina and lung function.

Quickly and efficiently increase cellular availability of glutathione and vitamin C with a custom IV therapy drip at CentreSpringMD.

Manage Stress and Protect Your Mental Health

Healing post-Covid can take more time than you planned. The frustration, stress, and added burden of continued symptoms can cause symptoms of anxiety or depression to appear or worsen.

  • Stick to a daily routine to maintain structure and keep yourself active.
  • Connect with friends and family as much as possible. Virtual hangouts might not be your favorite, but they still matter in terms of giving you the benefit of social connection. This can lower cortisol, boost your mood, and speed your recovery.
  • Stay active – Movement of any kind (tai chi, yoga, walking) is beneficial for your mood and immune system. (Plus, exercise releases endorphins which are a quick but efficient happy chemical) 
  • Energy healing is a powerful therapy to help you work through trauma, and recover your mental and emotional balance. Learn more about how energy healing can help you.

Relieve Joint or Muscle Pain

Body aches and muscle pain commonly occur during and after a Covid infection and can make simple tasks both painful and daunting.

  • Get moving – While staying in bed might sound like all you want to do, gradually increasing your daily activity can help promote lymph drainage and bring oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and brain.
  • Craniosacral Therapy, or CST, uses a light, pain-free touch to address circulatory, inflammatory, digestive, and neurological concerns by identifying internal tension.
  • Lymphatic massage is a specialized type of massage that gently assists your body’s lymphatic system with circulation and immune mechanisms. Promoting the proper movement and circulation of lymph fluid is beneficial for the immune function to remove waste products and keep you healthy.

Learn more or schedule your next lymphatic massage.

Get Plenty of Quality Sleep

Increased sleep (known as hypersomnia) is an important part of your body’s natural healing process, both during and after an illness, but one study found post-COVID syndrome causes difficulty sleeping in 26% of patients (2). 

  • Aim to go to bed roughly the same time each night, this promotes a healthy circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid caffeine drinks after 3 pm (soda, coffee, and caffeinated tea).
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom, and discontinue their use at least 2 hours prior to bedtime to promote healthy melatonin production. If you must, use blue light blocking eyewear. 
  • Sleep supportive supplements can help calm overactive neurotransmitters, and help your body relax.

Fuel Your Recovery with the Right Nutrition

Your immune system relies on the right vitamins and minerals to function properly. Fuel your recovery with nutrient-dense foods and a healthy gut.

  • To support gut health, consume beneficial foods such as collagen, omega-3 fats, and quality proteins.
  • Limit dietary antigens such as wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts, and shellfish. Some foods are more likely to elicit an immune response triggered by a viral infection (3).
  • Eat colorful, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies that are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. These foods provide the vitamins necessary to fuel your recovery.
  • Increase your vitamin C levels quickly with IV therapy.

Other Post Viral Recovery Solutions

Hair Loss

Some patients report experiencing hair loss after Covid-19. This is most likely due to a reversible shedding process called telogen effluvium, where a stressful event prematurely pushes more hair follicles into their “resting” stage. 

Afterward, you’ll notice markedly increased hair loss. A somewhat similar process occurs during the postpartum period after pregnancy, and both situations normally resolve on their own. 

If you’re losing hair, take a look at the Lush Locks drip–packed with antioxidants to protect hair follicles and biotin to support healthy hair growth.

It’s also helpful to rule out a thyroid disorder if you suspect your hair loss has an underlying cause. 

Loss of Smell

Postviral olfactory dysfunctions are one of the more common Covid symptoms that affect a person’s ability to both smell and taste. Some lose their sense of smell (called anosmia), while others experience an altered sense of smell (dysosmia).

Acupuncture demonstrates clinical efficacy for post-viral recovery from the loss of the sense of smell. While data examining its effect specifically upon COVID-19 recovery is still pending, older research indicates traditional Chinese acupuncture “significantly improved olfactory function outcomes in patients who underwent acupuncture compared with the observation group.” (4)

Can Functional Medicine Help Recovery from COVID-19?

Integrative doctors are uniquely poised to support patients recovering from COVID-19 with diverse healing modalities addressing diet and lifestyle, post-viral symptoms, and whole-body medicine. 

Since much of COVID-19 recovery involves supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms, integrative medicine is the perfect solution to help you recover from post-COVID syndrome.

Don’t feel discouraged by a long COVID recovery–your immune system is working hard to help you heal. Work with an integrative team at CentreSpringMD to find the tools you need to move forward.

 

Resources

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/if-youve-been-exposed-to-the-coronavirus
  2. https://www.idsociety.org/covid-19-real-time-learning-network/disease-manifestations–complications/post-covid-syndrome/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1931312818305420
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27034689/

 


Categories: Holistic Health