Treat the symptoms individually The most obvious thing that doctors can do for Long-Haulers right now is to treat their symptoms until they know the root cause. However, hardly any of those interviewed found any relief from medication to treat individual symptoms. Jessica was prescribed steroids, which made her significantly worse. Some of the participants in the tremors and vibrations study, said that they tried Gabapentin, a drug which typically helps nerve damage related tremors, but to no avail. Because of the failure of typically successful medications, many Long-haulers are sent to psychiatrists. With tests coming back negative and no treatment working, many doctors assume that they must be faking it or that it’s in their head, but psychiatrists seem to be of little help as well. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
There are many symptoms of Long-COVID, but unfortunately not many known treatments. For symptoms like fatigue, rest is the only thing that helps most patients. Many brain fog patients are at a loss for any relief. There are however, a few routes that one might take in treating Long-COVID.
The Royal College of Physicians published a study on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a treatment of Long-COVID. It’s still early in the study, but the results look hopeful. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) involves a hyperbaric chamber that is pressurized to greater than sea level pressure, where the patient breathes 100% oxygen. This therapy has been used in the past for emergency conditions, healing wounds, and even has been used to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In their experiment, the researchers studied ten patients who presented with Long-COVID related fatigue. They each received one session per day for ten days with a two day break. The results showed significant improvement with fatigue, cognition, and general function. Gena E., on her quest to find healing, came across information on HBOT for Long-COVID treatment. She is currently in treatment and has reported good results so far. Gena is finding that she has more endurance, more focus, less fatigue, and better sleep. As of April 8, 2022, her tinnitus and skin burning have also improved. Her brain fog has improved enough to write again. Supplements The only consistent treatment used by Long-Haulers in recovery is supplements. Once some patients realized which ones were working, they informed each other through online support groups, and information quickly spread. Jessica sought help from Functional Dr. Tenesha Wards, (D.C., A.C.N). She is a holistic doctor who specializes in chronic fatigue, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, and now Long-COVID. Wards performs genetic testing on her patients first, to find any genetic defects or predispositions they may have. This determines the kind of treatment that she’ll explore. She’s found that almost every Long-COVID patient she’s seen has an active Epstein-Barr virus. Wards explained that sometimes COVID triggers a genetic predisposition, such as poor detoxing, histamine intolerance, or chronic fatigue. Another treatment that she’s found helps is gut repair. She’s seen many Long-COVID patients who are depleted in nutrients due to inflammation in their gut. After Dr. Wards discovers the patient’s underlying predispositions and defects, she prescribes supplements to help in those areas. “We specify to the patient, but as a broad view, vitamin A, D, K, and Zinc are your big antioxidants,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of COVID patients with low iron and low copper.” Jessica takes a mixture of supplements including Zinc, Copper, Turmeric Boswella, Holy Basil, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Quercetin, Glutathione, and Cordyceps. She also eats a low histamine diet. Those keep her symptoms at bay, but she experiences flares when exposed to histamines, whether in food or in the air.