Life After COVID-19: The After-Effects of the Pandemic 😷
Have you been one of the ones asking yourself “why do I feel like this?”
As we are emerging from the Pandemic, many of us have had full blown COVID, others mild disease, and some others were convinced they had it but didn’t get really ill.
Aside from the potential for long-term illness, one thing that many are commonly experiencing is the potential for chronic symptoms.
Over the past year, I have seen so many patients with nonspecific complaints; headaches, fatigue, loss of concentration and memory loss, general malaise, depression and anxiety -- just to name a few of their common issues. As a Gastroenterologist, I am seeing an explosion of various GI symptoms and, in a majority, not finding specific diagnoses. This has required merely treating symptoms, which as a functional and integrative practitioner, makes me uncomfortable, as I strive to fix the “whole body” -- not just treat symptoms.
While we know that many infectious illnesses, especially viruses, can cause long-lasting effects, most of those resolve within a few months. However, post-COVID, these symptoms seem to be persisting: loss or change in taste and smell, intestinal problems, brain fog, apathy, loss of muscle strength, exercise intolerance, insomnia, joint and skin problems, chronic cough, and palpitations, among others. An interesting article in Men’s Health magazine (summer edition, 2021) indicates that this “syndrome” is occurring nationwide, and has been coined PASC, Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID. This has led to clinics sprouting up around the country to try to deal with this.
Clearly, much more needs to be learned about this and, undoubtedly, new medications will appear to “treat” these conditions. Unfortunately, without understanding the cause of these conditions, these drugs and other treatments are hit or miss.
We do know that there are many causative factors:
residual inflammation in the body from the illness itself
the damage from more severe inflammation while ill
inflammation leading to autoimmune conditions (the body attacks its own tissues)
damaged circuits in the brain affecting the nervous system
...And, probably very important, the effect of stress, both the acute stress of being ill, and the ongoing stress we are all facing; eg, not feeling well, continued exposure, vaccinate or not, mask or not, lock-down with isolation again, loss of job. As I explain to my clients, stress causes chronic chemical and hormonal changes, none of which have a good impact on the body.
While researchers are trying to figure this out and come up with appropriate treatments, I believe this PASC syndrome should be approached in the same manner as we approach all of the chronic diseases our clients are diagnosed with -- holistically -- and NOT by layering new prescriptions on top of each other. When we take a functional and integrative approach, we address all of these problem areas, by correcting underlying chronic issues, removing toxins, calming inflammation, rebuilding tissues naturally, learning to handle stress and emotional issues, thus resolving symptoms, and curing people.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you overcome this post-COVID syndrome, please feel free to call us at (732) 254 - 1003, and check out our website and Facebook page, to see how we approach these and other disorders.