Do you lasting brain fog, low energy, or depression since contracting Covid-19? That could be because Covid-19 often has long lasting effects after the infection subsides. The good news is that it’s treatable using Functional Medicine! Read on to see how we would handle the major symptoms you might be experiencing.
Covid-19 causes brain fog
Long Covid causes neuroinflammation often manifesting as brain fog. Patients report that they can’t concentrate, and have trouble with word recall and memory. One study found that even after a mild case of Covid-19, a type of immune brain cells called microglia became over-active. When the microglia are more active, the brain has more trouble doing regular tasks like learning and memory.
Covid-19 causes fatigue
Fatigue is incredibly common following a Covid-19 infection. One review of 21 studies found 13-33% of people were fatigued 16-20 weeks after their symptoms started. Covid-19 attacks the mitochondria in our cells. The mitochondria is where we make ATP, or energy. If the mitochondria isn’t working correctly, we’re exhausted. This has all kinds of downstream effects. If your body isn’t making enough energy, it doesn’t have that energy to run the systems in your body. The systems that take the most energy are the brain, the musculoskeletal system, and the liver. If the brain isn’t getting enough energy, you experience brain fog. If the musculoskeletal system isn’t getting the energy it needs, you can experience aches and pains, and general body fatigue. And if the liver doesn’t get the energy it needs, it will struggle to clear toxins in your body. This will leading to a build up of toxins and cause you to be more sick.
Covid-19 causes mood disorders
In this study, researcher found an increased risk for depression occurring in the 6 months after Covid-19 recovery compared to the reference population. One of the reason for this is that Covid-19 wipes out specific bacteria in the gut called Faecalibacterium Prausnitzii. This is an important butyrate producing bacteria that protects the gut lining and provides anti-inflammatory properties.
We also make 95% of our serotonin in the gut. Serotonin is one of the key neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. When our gut isn’t functioning properly, we’re not making serotonin, which can lead to depression.
The good news
There are ways to treat Long Covid. Using Functional Medicine fundamentals, we can heal the systems affected by Covid-19. We can heal the gut by replacing the lost bacteria and calming inflammation. We can repair the mitochondria leading to an increase in energy. We can calm neuroinflammation and system-wide inflammation leading to clearer thinking and less pain. And we can provide neurotransmitter support to improve your mood.