Finding yourself with insomnia despite being exhausted? Have cognitive dysfunction (which has been termed “brain fog”)? Widespread achiness?
These are symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (CFS/FMS), which can be caused by dozens of infections. Unfortunately, research suggests that COVID-19 is triggering persistent symptoms and debilitation in a large percentage of cases. People with these disabling aftereffects are being called “long haulers.”
In most cases, symptoms of COVID-19 should be gone after three weeks, or six weeks in severe cases. If you continue to feel poorly beyond two months, the COVID-19 virus may have tripped a circuit breaker in the brain called the hypothalamus—which controls sleep, hormones, and numerous other systems.
With post-viral CFS/FMS you generally feel like a train wreck. I know I did when I came down with post-viral CFS/FMS as a medical student after contracting a “killer flu” back in 1975. Because Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia were still mystery conditions at the time, I had to learn how to recover on my own. Since then, I have published numerous books, textbook chapters, and studies on how to effectively treat these illnesses. I have also successfully treated thousands of people and helped them get their lives back.
The good news is that it is very treatable!
The key is optimizing energy production and addressing a number of other metabolic issues triggered by the infection. This can be achieved effectively using what we call the SHINE Protocol, which addresses Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutritional support, and Exercise as able. Our published placebo-controlled study, showed that with SHINE 91% of people improved with an average 90% improvement in quality of life. A large percentage of people in that study had post-viral fatigue. Four other studies I have published also show that a few other approaches can be very helpful for recovery. For example:
1. A unique serum protein extract called Recovery Factors. We have just submitted a recently completed study showing that 60% of people with fibromyalgia (including post-viral) improve with an average 69% increase in overall quality of life, while also showing a significant rise in protective antibodies.
2. An earlier study I published showed an average 61% improvement in energy after three weeks of using a five-carbon sugar called Ribose. The form used in my research, along with five other herbs that are powerfully effective at increasing energy and stamina, can be found in the Smart Energy System (on Amazon). This combination routinely as much as doubles energy after three weeks of use.
Addressing persistent immune, lung, and heart dysfunction is also important. This can be done very effectively using a mix of natural and prescription treatments. For example, very Low Dose Naltrexone (3 – 4.5 mg) can help rebalance immunity. Anti-inflammatory support can also be helpful. For this, I recommend unique forms of curcumin called CuraMed and Curamin. In three studies, after six weeks these were found to be more effective than Celexicob for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Zinc (20 to 40 mg a day) is also critical for immune function.
Cardiac involvement is seen in 78 percent of COVID-19 cases. For persistent heart dysfunction, SHINE Ribose combined with coenzyme Q10, magnesium, and high-dose B vitamins can markedly improve cardiac function. Meanwhile, antioxidant support is also important.
For those who had neurologic symptoms, micro-bleeds in the brain may have occurred. Recovery can be improved with a mix of antioxidants, and the Low Dose Naltrexone mentioned above.
These represent the “tip of the treatment iceberg,” so there is much that can be done. But it requires a comprehensive assessment of each individual case, which usually takes at least three hours of the physician’s time.
Unfortunately, because CFS/FMS is a complex condition there’s a significant learning curve for most physicians to be properly trained in addressing persistent post-COVID-19 symptoms. It is best to seek out a specialist who specializes in treating fibromyalgia, as they may be much more familiar with the phenomenon and effective treatments.
What is going on in post-COVID-19 CFS and Fibromyalgia, and how to effectively treat the associated array of complex issues is discussed in depth in the upcoming fourth edition of my book From Fatigued to Fantastic (September 1, 2020, Penguin – the green cover is the new edition). In the interim, a large body of helpful information can be found online.
Persistent post-COVID-19 symptoms can be treated very effectively, but requires a large degree of experience on the part of the physician. Fortunately, much of what is needed to help you recover can be accomplished on your own.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., is one of the most frequently quoted pain and Fibromyalgia medical authorities in the world. He is the author of the best-selling From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Pain Free, 1,2,3!, the Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction, Real Cause Real Cure, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, Diabetes Is Optional and the popular free Smart Phone app Cures A-Z. He is the lead author of 5 studies on effective treatment for Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. Teitelbaum appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and FoxNewsHealth. Learn more at www.Vitality101.com and www.EndFatigue.com.