While New Zealanders have not suffered the same degree of impact of the Covid-19 disease itself that other nations have, it is worth acknowledging that just under 2000 New Zealanders have had Covid-19 and some of that number may be living with post-Covid unwellness. This unwellness needs to be recognised and the patients supported.
In the esteemed medical journal The Lancet, a recent study has found that 6 months after leaving hospital:
These long-term issues may involve the lungs, the cardiovascular system, the brain and other parts of the nervous system, and even may have psychological consequences, any of which may prove to be debilitating.
While this study only looked at people who were hospitalised with it & whose average age was 57, previous research showed that the likelihood of developing Long Covid was more common in the young than the old, and the most common prolonged symptoms being a cough (or breathlessness) and especially fatigue (or decreased exercise tolerance), even among those who had been very fit prior to illness. While men seem to be at increased risk of severe infection, women and those with a higher BMI seem to be more affected by Long Covid. Studies seem to think that altered hormonal status is one of the predictors for it.
Research suggests around one in five people who test positive for Covid-19 have symptoms for five weeks or longer. For around one in ten people, they last 12 weeks or longer.
Symptom management tips from the UK include:
Flexibility exercises (like stretches, yoga and tai chi) and strength exercises (like climbing stairs, lifting weights and working with resistance bands) can be useful. (https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health/long-covid)
Results from data analysis by a team from the Cleveland Clinic (PLoS Biol. 2020 Nov 6;18) showed that patients who used melatonin as a supplement had, on average, a 28% lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2.
This is interesting, but not very helpful for us in New Zealand where melatonin is available on prescription only. The usual reason a GP will prescribe melatonin here is for the treatment of insomnia.
Other recommended pro-active habits such as discussed earlier and across the media still apply, such as using PPE appropriately and maintaining a good diet, exercise and sleep and not putting oneself at risk. The best advice is to try to avoid contracting Covid-19 in the first place!
For those wanting to prevent or reduce the effects of Covid-19, Marion Stobie offers tailored health programmes specifically for your genetic predispositions, health history, and current circumstances. Contact us to book a Fitgenes DNA test and naturopathic consultation.