Dealing with Long COVID Fatigue – 5 Treatments that Work
As more and more individuals contract and then recover from Covid-19, the number of people who then fall victim to Long Covid also increases. One of the most common symptoms of Long Covid is profound fatigue, affecting 58% of those with Long Covid according to a 2021 meta-analysis. Fatigue is a debilitating symptom that affects all aspects of our lives, including our concentration, relationships, and work capability, in addition to greatly decreasing our quality of life.
Not only is fatigue one of the most common symptoms of Long Covid, but it is also one of the longest lasting symptoms, present even 100 days after the first symptom of acute Covid-19 in some individuals. In one study, two-thirds of the sample had chronic fatigue more than six months after their initial Covid symptoms.
Identifying the cause of Long Covid fatigue is challenging, with no identifiable relationship between the development of fatigue, Covid-19 severity, or level of inflammatory markers. However, fatigue is more common in females and those diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
Description of Long Covid Fatigue
The fatigue and symptoms seen in Long Covid patients are very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Shared symptoms include:
- Severe, incapacitating fatigue
- Compromised sleep
- Symptoms that suggest autonomic dysfunction
- Neuro-cognitive disability
- Worsening of symptoms following minor physical or cognitive activity
Despite the similarities in Long Covid and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, many patients are told by their PCP that the symptoms negatively impacting their life are caused by anxiety or depression. Even worse, some patients are told that their symptoms are not real and are only in their head. It’s a degrading feeling to have your debilitating symptoms brushed aside by someone who does not have to endure what you do. Unfortunately, many of our patients tell us a similar story.
Watch the video : How I Recovered from Long Covid Fatigue with EBOO and HBOT
Long Covid fatigue is a very real symptom. In fact, it affects more than half of those with Long Covid. It is NOT just in people’s head.
The fatigue experienced by those with Long Covid is often described as more than just feeling tired. It is as if their life-force has been completely drained. Many people with Long Covid fatigue describe both mental and physical components and a worsening of the fatigue after only a minor physical or cognitive activity.
Reported symptoms of mental fatigue include:
- Difficulty concentrating and performing tasks
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Lack of concentration
- Impaired attention
- Difficulty finding words
The physical fatigue experienced by those with Long Covid makes it difficult to perform physical activities because of a loss of energy and/or feelings of heaviness.
Those with Long Covid experience fatigue that is reported to be equal to, or higher than, other chronic diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Q Fever, Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Systemic Sclerosis. What makes this even more unprecedented is the number of otherwise healthy individuals suffering from Long Covid fatigue without the presence of other co-morbidities.
How Patients Describe Long Covid Fatigue
A 2021 study sought to interview people who suffer from Long Covid fatigue to better understand their personal experiences and perceptions. One respondent said that Long Covid fatigue feels most like weakness,
“I’m so tired. I am weak both while lying down and working.”
Yet another explained how it has theoretically aged their body,
“I am 30-years-old, but my body is like a 70-year-old.”
The mental effects of fatigue were also present in the individuals included in the study,
“I always forget. I say something, then forget it. I do something, then forget it.”
Social lives are also significantly impacted by Long Covid fatigue, with many responders explaining that after doing any work or housework, they have no remaining energy for socializing. Even talking to someone tires them out. There’s a desire to go out and see friends and family, but the fatigue experienced makes that seem impossible.
The Silver Lining of the Covid Pandemic
Fatigue is a common symptom across many chronic viral and bacterial illnesses, including Ebola, EBV, Influenza, Epstein-Barr , and Lyme. Unfortunately, those experiencing chronic fatigue from these conditions have likely been ignored and forced to suffer with their chronic fatigue for years or even decades. However, because of the similarity between these illnesses and Long Covid, those with other viral and bacterial illnesses can benefit from pandemic-related research.
The pandemic has resulted in increased research on chronic infections and post-viral syndromes in general, providing more information on all diseases falling into this category, not just Long Covid. While there are a lot of negative repercussions caused by the pandemic, this is one of its silver linings since any research in the field of chronic fatigue is a step forward.
5 Promising Treatments for Long Covid Fatigue
Watch the video : How I Healed from Long COVID Fatigue and Brain Fog
Studies are showing five promising treatments for Long Covid fatigue. We are also seeing the success of these treatments in our clinic.
- Ozone therapy
- High-dose IV vitamin C (and various other IV therapies)
- Aphaeresis (EBOO)
- HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy)
- Whole body cryotherapy
Below we provide a brief overview of each treatment and the studies supporting its benefits.
Ozone Therapy – The “10 Pass” Device
Ozone therapy involves precise therapeutic doses of ozone, a gas composed of three oxygen molecules. Some of the benefits of ozone therapy include decreasing blood cholesterol, stimulating antioxidative responses, and modifying oxygenation in resting muscles.
A 2021 study recruited 100 subjects with Long Covid fatigue and treated them with oxygen-ozone autohemotherapy. The results showed a decrease in symptoms of 67%, and two-fifths of the subjects recovered completely from Long Covid fatigue.
High-Dose IV Vitamin C
The benefits of high-dose IV vitamin C for fatigue extend from its antioxidant, endothelial-restoring, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects.
A 2021 review collected nine clinical studies on Vitamin C treatment in post-viral fatigue with similar markers as Long Covid fatigue, such as inflammation, oxidative stress, and circulatory disorders. There were four controlled trials, and in three of them, there was a significant decrease in fatigue scores between the vitamin C and control groups. The remaining five trials were observational studies, and four of these observed a significant reduction in pre-post fatigue levels.
Aphaeresis – EBOO /F
A 2022 study found that those with chronic fatigue syndrome due to viral or autoimmune pathogenesis, such as Long Covid fatigue, may be linked to receptor antibodies against ß- adrenergic and muscarinic receptors since both of these autoantibodies are elevated in those with Long Covid.
Aphaeresis uses a special filter that, based on current research, appears effective in reducing these antibodies, which then improves symptoms in those with Long Covid fatigue.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a promising treatment in which the patient is placed in a chamber where the atmospheric pressure is increased while they breathe in pure oxygen. This treatment helps patients with Long Covid intake more oxygen and deliver this oxygen more effectively to the cells and tissues of their body.
A 2021 study on HBOT for Long Covid evaluated the effect of HBOT on ten patients, recording their fatigue scale. The results showed a significant improvement in fatigue, global cognition, executive function, attention, information profession, and verbal function.
Whole Body Cryotherapy
Whole body cryotherapy exposes a patient to extremely cold and dry air for two to three minutes. This provides benefits such as vasoconstriction, slower nerve condition, and stimulation of dermal thermo-receptors. It is currently used in inflammatory conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Ankylosing Spondylitis.
In January 2022, a hospital in Italy detailed a case report of cryotherapy for Long Covid on a 75-year-old patient. Immediately following his first session, he reported immediate improvements in breathing, and the following hours showed improvement in sleep quality and a reduction of weakness. From this point on, the patient reported lower fatigue.
While the above treatments are promising and beneficial for Long Covid fatigue, they also require treatment at a facility with the necessary equipment. The FLCCC has released some protocols to follow, which allow those who suffer from Long Covid fatigue some guidance on how to treat their condition at home.
Supplements can help reduce inflammation or address deficiencies seen in those with Long Covid fatigue. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, curcumin, vitamin C, melatonin, kefir, and probiotic yogurt can all help reduce both mental and physical fatigue.
However, to see a benefit, the correct dosage should be taken. The FLCCC protocols include guidance on how much of each supplement to take.
The FLCCC also suggests that behavioral modifications, psychological support, and mindfulness therapies can help improve your overall well-being and mental health.
Final Remarks on Long Covid Fatigue
Long Covid’s most common and debilitating symptom is fatigue, affecting patients both mentally and physically and leaving them feeling exhausted, unlike themselves, and unable to gather the energy to function in life. It’s a condition often brushed aside, but the numerous studies investigating it, and the countless people experiencing it, have proven that it is a very real condition and one that can continue to impact individuals months and even years after their initial Covid diagnosis.
Based on prior research and results within our clinic, there are five promising treatments for long COVID fatigue: ozone therapy, high-dose IV vitamin C, aphaeresis, HBOT, and whole body cryotherapy. These therapies have significantly reduced fatigue in our patients, sometimes curing someone of fatigue completely. This is why, in our eyes, they remain promising treatments for long COVID and other post-viral fatigues.
Medically Reviewed by
Doctors Alice Pien, MD and Asher Milgrom, Phd are established pioneers in the fields of Regenerative Medicine and Skincare. Their expertise ranges from advanced laser systems to HCT/P – Stem Cell medicine. Their medical education and advanced certifications span from medical schools of NY State University, the University of Chicago, to Johns Hopkins, Harvard and UCLA. They approach medicine with the clinical expertise of over 85,000 successful treatments over the past 20 years and significant scientific research resulting in proprietary protocols that they customize for each individual patient.
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