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Long COVID-19 "Like watching a car crash in slow motion"

The connection between COVID-19 and chronic disease.

The majority of people will have short (<2weeks) illness. For a number of people however, the road to recovery is much longer. One symptom study revealed that at 4 weeks (1 in 8 patients), and 8 weeks (1 in 20 patients) are still suffering from at least one debilitating covid-19 related symptom, including fatigue,chest pain, muscle pains, amongst other multisystem symptoms, can last for many months. This has been labelled as "Long Covid-19. As data becomes available we are seeing a concerning link between long COVID-19, and a sharp increases in chronic disease, post the pandemic.

COVID Ups Diabetes Risk 40% a Year Later.

COVID-19 infection appears to significantly raise the risk for diabetes by about 40% at 1 year post infection. This was a 40% increase in diabetes that wasn't present at 1 month after COVID-19 but at 1 year, it was. In a large study of over 8 million people and 180,000 with a prior COVID-19 diagnosis, researchers noted significantly increased diabetes risks compared to those not infected, ranging from 31% to more than double. Diabetes risk did increase by COVID-19 severity ie, whether patients had not been hospitalized, had been hospitalized, or stayed in intensive care, but what was of concern was a significant increase in new diabetes cases even among those with "mild"COVID-19.

Key Take-Aways

  • Patients with Metabolic Syndrome and/or Obesity were particularly susceptible.

  • Although these are known risk factors it seems as if Covid-19 accelerated this and "pushed them over the edge" to diagnosed Diabetes

Staggering Doubling of Type 2 Diabetes in Kids During Pandemic.

The incidence of type 2 diabetes in children appears to have doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from two new US studies suggest a staggering increase in cases of type 2 diabetes, and the increase in severity of presentation. Early treatment in teens with prediabetes or recent-onset type 2 diabetes for a year failed to prevent deterioration in beta-cell function that is typically seen in adults In youth, beta cells deteriorated despite the medication based interventions given to them

Key Take-Away's

  • The pandemic created a microcosm of risk for children that included decreased physical activity, more screen time, disturbed sleep, and increased intake of processed foods and weight gain

  • The prognosis for children who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and treated with medication only, seems to be very poor.

Long Covid -19 increases ME/CFS

Initial analysis study of patients who remained ill six months after moderate acute SARS-CoV-2 found that about half met criteria for ME/CFS. Autopsies of patients confirm the presence of the corona viruses in the central nervous system (CNS), especially in the brain. Multiple studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 can directly or indirectly affect the CNS, and some patients experience a component of cognitive dysfunction, called “brainfog,” which includes psychological symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness,confusion, behavioral changes, depression, and fatigue.

Key Take-Aways.

  • Although the exact mechanisms are as yet unknown, viral diseases, like SARS-CoV-2, are known for their ability to hijack and destabilize the intracellular environment.

  • The mitochondrial network is highly susceptible to viral infections.

  • The mitochondria are the power stations of every cell in our bodies so decreased function of the mitochondria can produce a cascade of problems.

A Functional Medicine Solution

Functional medicine practitioners are trained in providing personalized guidance to patients in the use of nutrition, virus-specific nutraceuticals and botanical agents, and lifestyle lifestyle interventions to prevent, treat and reverse, the burden of complex, chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia and CFS. Some of the key mechanisms that are harnessed by functional medicine professionals include;

  • Physical activity. Regular, moderate physical activity enhances immune function and mitochondrial fitness.

  • Antioxidant supplementation: Vitamins C and E, as well as selenium, can counteract mitochondrial damage

  • Plant Based Diets. Plants have defense compounds with pleiotropic actions that are known to improve mitochondrial function

  • CoQ10 supplementation. CoQ10 is an important antioxidant in the mitochondria.

  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC) supplementation. NAC acts as an antioxidant that can improve situations of oxidative stress.

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC). ALC is key to mitochondrial function, promoting the expression of nerve growth factors and peripheral nerve regeneration and conduction,

  • Alpha;-Lipoic acid (ALA). ALA, also known as thioctic acid or simply as lipoic acid, is a powerful antioxidant, acting as a coenzyme in mitochondrial reactions in which glucose is converted into energy.

If you or a loved one is battling long Covid-19 or chronic disease and would like to find out how we can help, book your complimentary call now.

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