Understanding Long COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone over the last 18 months, not least health care providers and governments around the world.
While much of the focus has been on creating a vaccine and preventing the spread of the virus, the effects of what is now referred to as ‘Long COVID’ could be with us for years to come.
What Is Long COVID?
For the majority of people who are affected by COVID, there are mild, flu-like symptoms. Many cases are asymptomatic which means the individual may not even realise they have the virus until they are tested for it and receive a positive diagnosis.
Others, however, may not only suffer quite severe symptoms, but the health impact may persist long after the virus has run its course.
Long COVID describes a series of health problems that persist or present as new symptoms four or more weeks after initially being infected with COVID-19.
How Many People Are Being Affected by Long COVID and Who Is at Risk?
Long COVID has affected a significant portion of the population around the world. An early study in Rome found that 87% of patients who had been hospitalized still showed at least one symptom two months after their discharge.
While long COVID was first noticed in some patients who had been hospitalized, many who presented with only mild symptoms, including younger people, suddenly started to suffer from fatigue and breathlessness just a few weeks after recovery.
Research by the Office of National Statistics in the UK found that slightly over 13% of people who had tested positive but were not hospitalized suffered at least one COVID related symptom more than 12 weeks later.
Additional research published in The Lancet found that some patients were suffering from symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue as much as 7 months after their initial infection.
Symptoms of Long COVID
Symptoms associated with Long Covid include fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath. In some cases, affected individuals may experience severe symptoms that affect one or more of their vital organs such as the lungs, brain or heart.
The severity and duration of these post-COVID symptoms as well as the number of organ systems affected will vary from case to case.
The Miskawaan Approach to Long COVID Treatment and Management
The human species has for some time now relied on an approach to healthcare which focuses on the direct treatment of symptoms of a particular medical condition, rather than addressing the root cause of the problem.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated problems with Long COVID has without doubt highlighted how many of us around the world suffer from poor immune health.
But what can be done to enhance your immune system to reduce the risk of suffering from Long COVID?
Your immune system can be weakened by stress. It is important to have a good work life balance, take necessary breaks and even consider performing stress-reducing activities such as yoga.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep each day is of great importance when it comes to maintaining good immune health. There is a close relationship between sleep and immunity and failure to get enough quality sleep can increase the risk of getting sick.
An effective way to reduce chronic inflammation is by avoiding the consumption of certain products such as vegetable oils, sugar, processed meats and alcohol. Certain anti-inflammatory nutrients and supplements such as curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids, ginger, quercetin and Boswellia can also help when it comes to reducing inflammation.
Undertaking regular exercise is a highly effective way of supporting your immune system, but finding the right balance is key. Overexercising can put stress on the body and in turn, have a negative effect on the immune system.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Having a well balanced diet can help support your immune system. It’s important to consume fruits and vegetables daily as well as complex carbohydrates and protein. Take care to limit your consumption of overly processed foods, trans-fats and sugar.
The effectiveness of your immune system can be greatly influenced by certain lifestyle factors. So by maintaining a healthy diet, undertaking regular exercise, reducing stress and inflammation and ensuring you get sufficient quality sleep, you can give yourself the best opportunity to enhance your immunity and become generally more healthy.
Here at Miskawaan Health, we have dedicated programs available to help balance your immune system and enhance overall health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the Miskawaan Immune Repair and Enhancement Programs and to begin your own journey towards improved immune health, contact us today.