There has been an influx of health information on how to support our immune system: vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, echinacea etc. While most of them have sufficient research to back up their use, in functional medicine the focus is not on a “one stop fix” or indeed, even looking to treat the symptoms but finding the root causes of symptoms. In an era where there is an almost overwhelming amount of information on long Covid yet a severe lack of research, looking at the root causes may be part of the big jigsaw puzzle we need.
Taking a broader perspective, we could ask ourselves why some people get severe Covid symptoms and others have nothing? The same as every year, some people catch colds that are running riot in town and some appear to be immune. Although often it’s not as simple as this.
In functional medicine we see that symptoms arise from an accumulation of diet and lifestyle choices over the years in addition to your genes and surrounding environmental factors. What that means is that disease or symptoms don’t just appear. The body builds up different strengths and weaknesses to the choices we make until one day there’s a trigger and the weakness tips over into a symptom or disease.
Take for example, someone working 7 days a week, 10-15hrs a day, skipping or wolfing down fast-food lunches with chocolate bars and red bull to keep them going throughout the day, coupled with stress at home, no sleep and lots of alcohol in the evening. Plus, they have a history of smoking, binge drinking at uni, gap year travelling with possible food poisoning episodes, and there you have yourself a nice overflowing cocktail ready to tip over. The immune system is constantly fighting to stay in balance but for many years all it’s given is unhealthy poorly digested undigested food, stress, little recovery time, and toxins.
So now this person catches Covid but is finding it hard to shake off the fatigue or headache or digestive issues. A huge part of a functional medicine / nutritional health programme is to do foundational work combined with discovering root causes of illness. Without this background work, any recommendations would just be a temporary band aid. You can seek help from a practitioner to guide you through the background work or you can save time and money working through these steps first:
Once these healthy habits are in place, your practitioner can get started on addressing some deeper levels of your health with things like:
For more information on how to support your health while recovering from long covid, book a free personalised nutrition introductory call with Mémé.