By Michael A. Gruttadauria, DC, DACAN
Having Covid means different things to different people it seems. I have known people who have had minor flu-like symptoms. Others I know have experienced 3 weeks of miserable fatigue, headaches, body aches, coughing and labored breathing. Some have been hospitalized with pneumonia and needed intensive care to pull through, while others have died. The crazy thing is that many of these people have not been very old or very sick prior to their infection.
Maybe the worst thing that has happened for many people who have gotten through the infection is that they are still not back to normal. They are not sick, but they just are not the same people they were before Covid. The terms “COVID long haulers,” “long COVID,” and “Post COVID Syndrome,” have all been used interchangeably in recent months to describe these people.
In his book, How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting You and Your Healthcare, Don L. Goldenberg describes three clear subsets of people who fall into this category:
Critically-ill patients who may have permanent organ damage, particularly in the lung.
A large number of patients, following mild or severe infection, who have suffered cardiovascular dysfunction or damage.
Up 10% of post Covid infected people who have prolonged, multisystem symptoms with no evidence of organ damage or dysfunction. These patients most often have severe exhaustion, headaches, myalgias, and mood and cognitive disturbances with normal physical and laboratory findings.
It is at this 10% of patients that this article is aimed.
How can it be that you got through this infection and you are still so sick, but in a different way? To add insult to injury, how come nobody has a plan for you?
We also know that, while COVID-19 has killed more men than women, long haulers seem to be predominantly female. Physicians at a Paris Hospital recently reported that among the long hauler patients they treated between mid-May and late July 2020, women outnumbered men 4:1 – the same rate by which women outnumber men in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. When the Body Politic COVID-19 Support Group conducted an online survey in the spring, about 91% of 640 respondents said they hadn’t fully recovered and were on day 40 of symptoms, on average. Most reported ongoing fatigue, chills and sweats, body aches, headaches, brain fog, and gastrointestinal issues.
What Could Be Wrong?
Most patients I see in my practice have chronic health complaints. Often they have fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, mood issues, insomnia, weight gain and overall malaise. They have usually seen their primary care physician and at least one or two specialists who find nothing wrong with them on lab testing and physical exam. Needless to say, they are frustrated and this is NOT all in their heads.
My goal is not to ‘treat’ any of those presenting issues, I want to find out WHY they have them. You see, fatigue, headaches, IBS, mood swings, weight gain and malaise are all symptoms, not diseases. Something isn’t working correctly and they experience these issues as a result. The challenge is that traditionally trained doctors are not taught to find dysfunction in the system, only treatable disease. Conceivably, you could take about 6 different medications to squash these symptoms, but that doesn’t get to the core issues.
There are some major areas that need to be evaluated:
Your gastrointestinal system
Your blood sugar regulation
Your stress levels
Your sunlight and artificial light exposures
Your inflammation levels
Your methylation capacity
Your nervous system integrity
You have never, ever had someone look so closely at how your body works before. Between the clinical exam, lab work, stool testing, spinal and neurological testing, we are able to find areas of weakness that we can get to work on. When our focus is restoring health, rather than treating symptoms, you get better.
I DO NOT TREAT COVID. I have to make that clear. I work with the body to establish its natural state.
If you or someone you know is suffering, have them call me. I am happy to help.
Yours In Health,
Michael A. Gruttadauria, DC, DACAN