By Sue Ward, Director of Nutrition, Fitness, and Education.
Long COVID Syndrome, otherwise known as Long Haul COVID or post-COVID, refers to persistent or emerging symptoms following an acute COVID-19 infection. It is a complex and often debilitating disorder that can affect many systems of the body. In fact, more than 200 symptoms have been identified with impacts on multiple organ systems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines post-COVID as coronavirus symptoms that persist or return three months after a person becomes ill from infection with SARS CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The symptoms can last up to a year or longer and include fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive problems (thinking and memory). Symptoms may come and go and have an impact on a person’s everyday functioning. These symptoms are considered long COVID when they can’t be explained by another health problem.
At least 65 million individuals worldwide are estimated to have Long COVID, with cases increasing.1 Research has made substantial progress in identifying various risk factors and in characterizing the syndrome. Long COVID shares similarities with other viral-onset illnesses such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Long COVID syndrome is associated with all ages, with the highest percentage of diagnoses between the ages of 36 and 50 years, mostly in non-hospitalized patients who experienced mild acute COVID-19 illness.2
Neurological and cognitive symptoms are a major feature of Long-COVID, including, memory loss, cognitive impairment, sensorimotor symptoms paresthesia, dizziness and balance issues, sensitivity to light and noise, loss of smell or taste, and dysfunction that impacts daily activities. Symptoms can also include tinnitus, hearing loss, and vertigo.3 Some research showed that people with Long COVID who had mild acute COVID-19 also had immune dysfunction including exhausted T cells.4
Yet, despite living with many life-altering symptoms for months, some people are not able to convince their doctors that they have Long COVID, especially if they never received a positive COVID-19 test result. More targeted research is needed to fully understand this syndrome.
In the meantime, Sanoviv has created a Long COVID treatment program based on the principles of Functional and Integrative Medicine along with current research. The goal is to help with proper diagnosis and treatment along with personalized interventions aimed to optimize affected systems. This two-week program focuses on potential underlying causes such as inflammatory conditions, micronutrient deficiencies, structural, environmental, psychological, and lifestyle. Contact Sanoviv admissions to learn more about the Long COVID program.
- Davis, H.E., McCorkell, L., Vogel, J.M. et al. Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations. Nat Rev Microbiol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41579-022-00846-2
- FAIR Health. Patients Diagnosed with Post-COVID Conditions: An Analysis of Private Healthcare Claims Using the Official ICD-10 Diagnostic Code (FAIR Health, 2022).
- Davis, H. E. et al. Characterizing long COVID in an international cohort: 7 months of symptoms and their impact. eClinicalMedicine 38, 101019 (2021).
- Klein, J. et al. Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling. Preprint at medRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.08.09.22278592 (2022).
- Zhou MM, Xue Y, Sun SH, Wen M, Li ZJ, Xu J, Wang JF, Yanagita T, Wang YM, Xue CH. Effects of different fatty acids composition of phosphatidylcholine on brain function of dementia mice induced by scopolamine. Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Aug 24;15(1):135. doi: 10.1186/s12944-016-0305-5. PMID: 27558491; PMCID: PMC4997672.
- Chung SY, Moriyama T, Uezu E, Uezu K, Hirata R, Yohena N, Masuda Y, Kokubu T, Yamamoto S. Administration of phosphatidylcholine increases brain acetylcholine concentration and improves memory in mice with dementia. J Nutr. 1995 Jun;125(6):1484-9. doi: 10.1093/jn/125.6.1484. PMID: 7782901.