What to do if you've had COVID-19 - Shelley Cavezza, PhD

What to do if you’ve had COVID-19

Many people who get COVID-19 will recover from it in a short period of time.

However, for some people, symptoms such as fatigue will persist for weeks or months.

This is called Post-COVID syndrome (PCS), but the good news is you can help prevent it as well as treat it so you can regain your health and energy


Post-COVID Syndrome Symptoms

Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS) or Long-COVID is characterised by prolonged feelings of ill health and extreme exhaustion in up to 80% of people after a Covid-19 infection.

It has also been observed in some people after vaccination.

An unusual feature is that it is NOT associated with initial disease severity.

It is also important to point out that the symptoms of PCS gradually improve over time in most cases.

The symptoms of slow recovery from COVID are diverse but, if you are still trying to recover from infection, you will recognise some of these:

    1. Shortness of breath, congestion, persistent cough, etc.
    2.  Brain fog, malaise, tiredness, headaches, migraines, depression, inability to focus/concentrate, altered cognition, insomnia, vertigo, panic attacks, tinnitus, loss of smell, phantom smells, etc.
    3. Muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, joint pains, inability to exercise or exhaustion after exerting yourself, inability to perform normal activities of daily life
    4. Palpitations, arrhythmias, Raynaud-like syndrome (fingers and toes turn white/blue and feel cold/numb in response to cold or stress), low blood pressure, a rapid heart rate on exertion.
    5. Postural tachycardia syndrome (feeling lightheaded or fainting on standing), abnormal sweating.
    6. Anorexia, diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, nausea, etc.
    7. Itching, rashes, irritable skin
    8. Running nose, sneezing, burning, and itchy eyes.


Natural Approaches to Post-COVID Treatment:

Pacing daily tasks and activities is a good idea while you are trying to overcome fatigue and get your normal energy back.

While some light aerobic exercise is good, don’t overdo it.

Mindfulness therapy including meditation may also help you cope and improve overall well-being.

A diet that is full of refined foods and low on plant-based, organic eating with quality protein and fats can make you not only more susceptible to infection but slower to recover.

That’s because micronutrients that are present in fresh, healthy, high-fibre, low-sugar foods play vital roles in supporting your immune response.

Stick to an eating plan that includes whole, plant-based, organic foods with quality protein and quality fats as a first-line approach to support your immune system and stay away from processed foods and too much alcohol.


Your post-COVID, get healthy diet should include:

* Leafy greens such as baby spinach, kale, rocket (arugula),

* Protein foods including fish, chicken, lamb, beans

* Quality fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado

* Gut-health promoters including fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, as well as high fibre foods such as  beans and legumes, and whole fruits and veggies


As well as getting the important nutrition you need, these supplements may help with reducing symptoms of Long COVID syndrome.

    1. Vitamin D for immune support (2000-4000IU/day dependent on blood levels)
    2. Vitamin C 500 mg twice a day
    3. Omega-3 fatty acids: DHA/EPA 4 g day. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the resolution of inflammation.
    4. Melatonin 2- 5 mg at night (slow-release/extended-release) as well as attention to sleep hygiene. Increase dose from 2mg as tolerated
    5. Curcumin for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties
    6. Kefir, probiotic yogurt, and/or Bifidobacterium probiotics to normalize the microbiome. Prolonged gut bacteria imbalance has been reported following COVID-19 infection.
    7. Nigella sativa (Black Seed) which like curcumin has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties.
    8. Optional: Quercetin 250 mg day (or mixed flavonoids). Quercetin has broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory properties and has been demonstrated to reduce neuroinflammation


If you need some help getting your health or energy back, book in for a FREE, 20-minute functional medicine nutrition consultation with Shelley Cavezza, Ph.D by clicking here.

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