It’s Been a Long Haul — How Natural Medicine Can Help with Long Haul Syndrome
According to published reports and patient surveys involving upwards of 50,000 patients, 50% to 80% of those who have had COVID-19 continue to have symptoms three months after the acute ailment,regardless of the severity of the initial infection and well after blood tests show no virus in the system. For others, a wide range of symptoms across physical, cognitive, and emotional landscapes last even longer. Based on the ongoing prevalence of COVID-19 infection, we may well see a multitude of patients suffering from post-COVID-19 symptoms, called Long-Haul COVID-19 or Long COVID, for decades to come.
Post-viral syndromes are not new. We’ve long known acute viral infections can leave some people with lingering symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, a general unwell feeling, digestive complaints, skin issues, hair loss, cognitive impairment, headaches, sore throat, and more. In addition, organ systems have been involved, including the heart, lung, kidney and skin. At this time, it is unknown if these symptoms will go away on their own or lead to chronic disease states. For some patients who were hospitalized, there are additional issues such as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) characterized by ongoing extreme fatigue, physical symptoms due to side effects of treatment, and trauma from hospitalization, similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Though post-viral syndromes are not new, doctors are not used to seeing so many post-viral patients at one time. Many Long-Haul COVID-19 patients share characteristics with chronic fatigue syndrome patients, Gulf War Syndrome patients, and others with ailments that reflect overall immune system dysfunction, leading to inflammation and complex, multi-organ complaints.
Many patients are seeking a fresh perspective on addressing their COVID-19 Long Haul challenges. Licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) are reporting positive results by applying naturopathic medicine philosophy and gentle, effective approaches used to treat similar ailments. NDs are reporting positive results with patients who have been suffering and had very few options for…