What steps can you take to prevent Long COVID Syndrome which is also popularly known as Long Haulers? Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment for this poorly understood medical disorder. Therefore, Prevention Is Better than Cure becomes all the more important. The scientific fact is that the COVID virus (SARS-CoV-2) is here to stay and most people will likely get it sooner or later.
Not Even Vaccinated People are Immune to Long COVID
Is there some way that we can prepare ourselves to prevent becoming a Long Hauler? COVID vaccines are really not the answer, because the scientific fact is that some vaccinated people also get COVID-19 and suffer from Long COVID. In a recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, out of about 1,500 vaccinated health care workers, 39 got COVID and 7 became Long-Haulers. The study was conducted before the Delta variant became the dominant virus.1
The true rate of breakthrough infections in vaccinated people is largely unknown as most of these cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Scientific studies also show that COVID vaccines are losing their ground against the Delta variant. For example, according to a study from the Mayo Clinic, the efficacy of vaccines against the Delta variant dropped to 76% for Moderna and 42% for Pfizer .2
Even Mild Cases Of COVID May Lead to LONG COVID
Millions of people all around the world are suffering from Long COVID Syndrome after surviving the COVID illness. According to one study from Spain, 50% of COVID-19 survivors suffered from Post COVID Syndrome.3 What is alarming is that one third of these patients had only mild COVID-19 and subsequently became Long Haulers.
Symptoms of Long Covid Syndrome
Common symptoms of Long Covid Syndrome are fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle aches, brain fog, depression, insomnia and anxiety. Other symptoms include cough, loss of smell and taste, tingling in the legs and hands, nausea and loose bowel movements.
Hypothesis for Long Covid Syndrome
At the present time, researchers have no idea why some people become Long Haulers. Here is my hypothesis: It is clear that Long Haulers have difficulty getting rid of their symptoms of the COVID illness. Most likely, they were not in good physical and emotional health to begin with and were teetering on the edge with the help of a number of medications. Then, came COVID as a big blow that pushed them over the edge. That’s why they are having a hard time getting over the damage done by the COVID illness.
Pre-Long Covid Syndrome
Most of us suffer from what we may call “Pre-Long Covid Syndrome.” Just observe yourself. How often do you suffer from fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, sleep difficulties, anxiety, breathing difficulties, depressed mood, lack of concentration and mental fog? These are common symptoms – and also symptoms of Long COVID – for which patients see their doctors. Instead of getting to the root cause, most physicians prescribe drugs to treat these symptoms. Remember, drugs work as a band aid to control symptoms, but do not address the underling health issues.
For example, most headaches are due to stress and magnesium deficiency. While taking a pill for a headache, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, may relieve your headache temporarily, it does not address the root cause. Stress and magnesium deficiency are also common causes of muscle aches, insomnia and anxiety.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common contributory factor for fatigue, muscle aches, mood disorders, impaired immune system, and cardiovascular disorders.
Zinc deficiency is common and is a risk factor for an impaired immune system and lack of energy.
Depressed mood, anxiety and insomnia are often due to emotional stress and deficiencies of Vitamin D, magnesium and zinc. In addition, underactive thyroid is also a common cause of depression. Mental fog is often a symptom of underlying depression.
Lack of concentration is a common symptom of the scattered busy mind, so prevalent these days.
Steps to Prevent Long Covid – Long Haulers
In order to reduce your risk of becoming a Long Hauler, you need to get rid of the Pre-Long Covid Syndrome by following these steps:
Stress Management: Extremely Important to Prevent Long COVID
Many symptoms of Long Haulers – insomnia, anxiety, depression, mental fog, poor concentration – seem to be related to stress, physical as well as emotional. Therefore, avoid physical stress and get rid of your emotional stress to prevent Long COVID. Practice how to be calm, focused and stress free while you don’t have COVID, because stress – and its devastating effects – will go through the roof if you develop COVID.
As a starter, remember my quote: “Keep your mind where your body is.” Follow my other quotes on stress management.
Live in the Real NOW. Avoid watching sensational news. Do some type of meditation every day.
Don’t hold on to your emotional past. Don’t worry about the so-called future because it does not exist. Have no expectations. Judge no one. Treat every one as a human being first.
Experience the inner peace that resides in your chest. All you have to do is pay attention to it.
Nourish your soul by paying attention to it. Moreover, don’t add any more emotional burden to it.
Please read my book, ” Stress Cure Now” to get rid of your emotional stress from its roots.
Good Nutrition: Essential Tool to Prevent Long COVID
Poor nutrition appear to be a risk factor for Long COVID. Therefore, pay attention to your diet to prevent Long Hauler.
Eat according to your body needs. Consume less food if you are overweight. On the other hand, eat more if you are thin. Stay away from junk food, fast food, and processed food. Instead, eat fresh, organic and freshly prepared food. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite of your food. Avoid distractions such as your cell phone, TV, and newspaper while eating.
Avoid alcohol as it is a known toxin to your liver, pancreas, brain, nerves and immune system. Alcohol also leads to deficiency of magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Therefore, alcohol abstinence may help prevent Long COVID.
Exercise- Rest Balance: A Key to Prevent Long Hauler
Difficulty in carrying out daily chores is a common symptom of Long Haulers. Therefore, it is important to get in good physical shape while you don’t have COVID. How much you should exercise varies from person to person. Exercise according to your age, body weight and overall health. Most people benefit from walking about 30 minutes a day. Some people need more aerobic exercise – jogging, running, dancing, and swimming. Many benefit from stretches such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi .
Rest adequately. Find a balance between exercise and rest that works for you. Everyone has different needs in this regard, depending on their age, weight and metabolism.
Adequate Sleep: Essential to Prevent Long COVID
Insomnia is a common symptom of Long Haulers. Most people don’t get adequate sleep even before they become a Long Hauler. Therefore, make sure to get restful sound sleep to prevent Long COVID. It is extremely important to rejuvenate our mind, body and soul.
Reduce your mental activities after sunset. It is a good time to do some type of meditation. Sit quietly in the darkness – and stillness – of the night for a while. These restful activities help to generate melatonin, serotonin and other neurotransmitters that we don’t even know yet – which induce deep restful sleep.
Listen to your body. It will tell you if your food is right or not, if your exercise is too much or too little, whether you slept adequately or not.
Vitamins and Minerals: Important to Prevent Long Hauler
Dietary supplements are so important to give us energy, mental clarity, and calmness. Unfortunately many people are low in vitamins and minerals to begin with. Any illness including COVID further depletes you of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is important to take adequate amounts of good dietary supplements every day. These dietary supplements include a multivitamin, Vitamin D3 with K2, Zinc with Copper, and Magnesium.
While medications play a role in the acute setting of an illness, they also come with a list of potential side-effects. Often, a physician starts you on a medication and you stay on it forever even if you no longer need it. For example, your doctor may start you on omeprazole for your heartburn due to gastroesophageal reflux and you continue to stay on it for months and years even though your heart burn is long gone. Long-term use of omeprazole may cause you to develop a deficiency of calcium and magnesium which increases your risk of bone fractures. Magnesium deficiency is a risk factor for muscle aches, headaches, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, diabetes and impaired immune system. You may also be at high risk of infections.
Most Americans are overmedicated, a fact most physicians are aware of. We call it polypharmacy. Sadly, the practice of polypharmacy continues, along with the potential for a number of serious side-effects.
Get involved in your healthcare. During each visit, discuss with your healthcare provider each and every medication you take.
Take charge of your health by changing your lifestyle and becoming proactive in managing your vitamins and medications. You may likely dodge the bullet and prevent Long COVID syndrome.