In these trying times of COVID, it’s not only important that you are well equipped to avoid the infection but just as important is being proactive about it.
In this episode, Bob Gilpatrick and Rollie Culp discuss a new phenomenon known as post-COVID syndrome. Get to know how these long-term health and psychological problems stem from prolonged COVID symptoms and what you should do if you are suffering as a "long-hauler". Tune in as they also identify natural ways to help ease post-COVID symptoms and get you back to living your best life.
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The Phenomenon Of Post-COVID Syndrome
In It For The "LONG HAUL"
I'm here with Rollie Culp. Rollie, how are you doing?
Good, Bob. How's it going?
It's great. I can see you have your old vintage Tampa Bay Devil Rays cap on in honor of the season beginning and raising the banner at Tropicana Field for having won the American League pennant in 2020 over all the great teams in the American League like Houston, Toronto and the Yankees.
We got it going on in Tampa Bay.
You made it to the World Series. The season starts soon here.
We’ve got to pay attention to the race in 2021.
Being there around the end of the first quarter of 2021, we're going to talk about post COVID syndrome.
That's one of the things that we've had a couple of people call us about that they're experiencing as things are getting back to normal.
I've also talked to people that I know personally that are still suffering from post-COVID syndrome. Even many months later, their memory is still not back. Their concentration and focus and their energies are big things. We're going to talk about this syndrome, what it is that the symptoms are and also what we can do to make improvements and hopefully eradicate it all together.
They call it post COVID syndrome. It's fairly new and it's a unique phenomenon. We haven't had anything like COVID go on in years. The virus itself, we're still learning about it. What a lot of the people see with this COVID syndrome is that sometimes the symptoms can persist for months longer, even in people who weren't affected heavily at first. What it starts to focus on over the long-term is lungs, heart and brain. The affecting of those things is a catalyst for these long-term health problems. We're going to get into that.
The symptoms people are feeling, we talked about fatigue was one of them but then also headaches and muscle pain. One real common one is loss of smell and taste.
That's what a lot of people said they started noticing at first. After time having it, a lot of people haven't regained it. They call them long-haulers. It's the term they use to refer to these people with the COVID-19 syndrome. Even these people who've maybe been rid of it for a while the actual virus, the symptom of not being able to taste or smell goes on. That's not fun. You can't enjoy food.
The other ones we see also are some people getting rashes and even hair loss. We'll talk about that a little bit. Commonly what we've seen is people are having depression, anxiety and even PTSD. People are paranoid. We know that because of COVID, about 20% of the population began to see some type of a therapist as a result of the COVID pandemic in general. What we also know is that about that same percent of people that had COVID ended up also getting a psychiatric diagnosis as a result.
Think about it. If you're one of the people that went through it and maybe was put in intensive care and made it out, that's scary. At the time, they weren't letting anybody come and visit. They were barely letting many doctors go and see it because they didn't know how to contain it.
You're stuck in there for maybe on a ventilator for a month, week. It's traumatic. That idea of being isolated and not knowing what was going to happen with your health is something that could stick with you. That's another part of this long-hauler syndrome.
The more psychological part of it is the toll that has happened. You've got people who've lost people and couldn't say goodbye because they wouldn't let them go to the hospital. Even for the remaining survivors that didn't get necessarily COVID or even COVID long haul, it affects the people of the loved ones of the people who passed away because they couldn't say goodbye. That's traumatic.
In addition to that, people are still worried about losing other loved ones that might get COVID and die from it.
That stress is still there. That would cause long-term anxiety and the release of all the things dealing with distress, the cortisol. We've talked about that hormone before in an episode. We talked about managing stress, anxiety and trying times. We talked about cortisol and how that can make things a lot worse, creating more inflammation and anxiety.
The inflammation is a big one. That's one of the things that people should do when they go to their doctor and anyone that's still having post COVID. If you're a long-hauler, you should let your doctor know about it. Go for a visit. There are certain tests that you want to make sure that you get. For example, you want to make sure that you get your vitamin D level check. There are a lot of studies about vitamin D being important and the strength of your immune system.
When it first happened, we didn't know exactly how to treat it. A lot of the CDC and a lot of prominent doctors were saying, "Vitamin D is something that can help strengthen the immune system and at least give it the weapon that it can use to fight against the infection."
Since a lot of people that have post COVID also have inflammation, you want to make sure you ask for your CRP, your C-Reactive Protein to be tested to know that both of these things are relatively easy to manage. With vitamin D, you can get a little bit more sunshine and you can also take vitamin D pills. If someone has high inflammation, there are compounds you can ingest that are over the counter compounds at your health food store or a company like Boomers Forever Young where you can get superoxide dismutase. You can get Trimethylglycine, vitamin A, C and E that will help reduce your inflammation. It's good to know what your number is. If you need to reduce it, you can talk to people like us who can help you take care of it.
The thing about vitamin D is it does so much more than what people realize. I believe it's an essential nutrient.
Your body is going to make vitamin D but only if you're exposed to sunlight. In that sense, it's essential that you need to take it by mouth because almost no one's in the sun enough to make enough vitamin D.
Even in Florida where we live, you could spend all day outside without a shirt on but that's not going to get you the level you need to make sure your immune system is healthy too.
Even in Florida during the winter, you wouldn't get enough sunlight. The other tests, Rollie, that people can get is we talked about hair falling out. Sometimes that's related to thyroid. There is some evidence that COVID itself has damaged people's thyroids. You want to make sure you get a complete thyroid analysis that includes reverse T3. You want to make sure it tests for TSH, T3, T4, free T3, free T4 and reverse T3. That's a complete thyroid panel. It's so important that you don't want to get a half a panel and then say, "My thyroid is okay." It might not be but you don't know if you don't get the full panel.
Another thing is since many people are experiencing fatigue, you want to also get your adrenals checked. You can get adrenal fatigue and you can have your adrenals go out of balance. For example, people need to have more cortisol during the daytime and less at night but if that gets reversed and you don't have enough cortisol during the day, you're going to be fatigued. On the other hand, if you're under tremendous stress, you're going to have too much cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to all different kinds of problems. You want to make sure you have your adrenal stress index done. It's either done with dried urine or with saliva. They'll give you little tubes to spit into four times throughout a 24-hour period. That way, you can see the rhythm of your adrenal hormones.
Also you want to do a complete hormone profile, meaning either a male profile or a female profile. This is going to measure everything from the top starting with pregnant alone, going down on one side with your cortisol levels, on the other side with your Andro, DHEA, testosterone, free testosterone, estrogen.
The reason you want that is you can also be fatigued if you are high in cortisol. Low in testosterone will create the fatigue. You want to know what those numbers are because there are many different things you can do to make corrections if you have issues in that complete profile as well. Also, the doctors that are going to look at these things, each of the glands that are secreting, these hormones give feedback to the other ones. That's why you want to get all three of these panels. If you look at the complete picture and you say, "We've got this going on here, that might explain this. If we tweak this, it will help this plus this.
The bottom line when you're doing this, make sure to get the complete story so you know. These levels are working off of each other.
If you don't get the complete profiles, you're going to be making a calculated guess. If you have the complete profiles, you won't be making a calculated guess. You'll know the real story.
We're talking about fatigue. These are some of the reasons why fatigue would linger. Another thing you would want to do is make sure that you're taking something that gives you the foundational nutrition that you would need to make energy through the Krebs cycle. When you create energy here, the body uses the Krebs cycle.
We talked about that in the show called Increase Energy the Natural Way. If you didn't see it, check it out. The Krebs cycle requires specific nutrients by not having them. Especially when you're sick and feeling like this, you're not going to be able to overcome the COVID long-hauler at all. That's something that everybody should pay attention to in general, whether or not you have COVID or not. Give your body what it needs to not have energy but create energy.
You need B vitamins. You need Coenzyme Q10 in order to produce the molecule of energy. You have to take it in specific ratios and you have to make sure it's comprehensive.
That molecule energy you talk about is ATP.
The other thing that's valuable with taking that comprehensive nutrition is it's also going to help with your absorption of nutrients. If your absorption is compromised and there is some evidence that COVID itself had a negative effect on multiple different organs and systems, you want to be able to totally restore your body after this assault. If people had COVID and they had to be hospitalized or even if they didn't, they were home for 2 or 3 weeks lying in bed, you become weak. You might become depressed as a result. You need to be able to stimulate your body to jumpstart its protein manufacturing aspect.
We're protein-making machines. Sometimes the machine needs to jumpstart.
In order to make those proteins, your body needs to have the right amino acids. It needs to have metabolic enzymes available that act like glue to put those amino acids together into proteins. That will help to rebuild your body and all of your tissues with these 100,000 different proteins that the human body makes. You'll be able to make enough of them. As you start to feel better by gaining energy, by making more ATP and rebuilding your body, that's when you want to be going back out to exercise routine.
The amino acids are the building blocks but you have to have the metabolites, which are the mortar. You got cinder blocks that are the amino acids. You've got the metabolites, which glue them together like a mortar.
You want to have metabolic enzymes to be able to do that. The metabolites also come into play when you're going through the whole sequence of stimulating the human genome to express the code it has for making these proteins.
You need the metabolites for that expression. Quite often, if you are eating a good diet and you also are taking supplements like sprouted barley seeds or you're taking things like ashwagandha, they have polyphenols in them that are going to stimulate your bacterial DNA to make metabolites. They are going to stimulate your human genome to make more metabolites, which are also going to end up making things like your neurochemistry.
Serotonin is made from that process, which is what makes you be able to get up in the morning. This combination of serotonin and cortisol gives you enough energy to get out of bed. Some people that don't make enough serotonin cannot get out of bed, the same thing with adrenal fatigue. The post COVID syndrome is a causative for this. You don't have to understand the entirety of it but it's good to understand enough so that you know the right supplements to get that will help you to reestablish your equilibrium and begin to live your life again.
I'm glad you ended there because what we were getting to is that as you're starting to feel better and maybe you're getting your energy back and you want to start going out and exercising.
You want to get out and start working those muscles that you let go for a couple of weeks or whatever it was. At that point, when you start going out, another thing to pay attention to is your immune health. That way, you don't get reinfected or whatever the case may be. Keep your immune health strong so if some other attacker comes, you can fight that off. That's another thing that as you start to exercise, we pay attention to. There are some good ways that you can help stimulate your immune system. An easy way that we have a video on is lymph drainage, Bob.
Your lymph system is moving toxins out of your body, one of the many things that it does. Intercellular toxins and trash that needs to be moved out is being collected by your lymph system, process through your liver and then out of your body. You can speed up the process of your lymph by learning how to do manual lymph drainage. We have a whole video on that. That's on our YouTube channel that can help teach people how to do that for themselves and for their family.
Check out YouTube. It's Boomers Forever Young on YouTube. One of our most popular videos is the lymph drainage video that you did. It's got some good easy to do techniques. Most of the time, you can do it by yourself. Sometimes you might need a friend to help you reach certain spots but for the most part, it's a good way to easily get your immune system back because you're getting those toxins out. Another thing that we have that's unique is called lignans. Lignans are the outer hauls, the flaxseeds.
The lignans are polyphenols, which are plant compounds. They're in different things. What we know is that in the outside wax of the flaxseed is highly concentration of lignans. We have a scientist that has a machine that he can take many flaxseeds, tumble them in a machine, knock the wax off the outside of the seed, grind it up into a fine powder and stabilize the nutrients in it. He sends us that powder, which people can mix in a glass of water and drink it. Lignans are good for many different things. One of the main things it does is helps to boost your immune system. People can get a small jar of these lignans with a small scoop in a glass of water. You can boost your immune system quite dramatically.
Lignans are great for people with hormone imbalance issues like women who might be going through menopause or have issues with their monthly period. It helps to regulate that. A lot of men with prostate issues have good luck with lignans because it helps those hormones that do that.
There are 27 different lignans in the flaxseed and in that hall, the outside wax. That's why they can do so many different things. When you take them in, you want to also make sure you have good probiotics because lignans are plant lignans when you take them in. They have to be converted in your gut to mammalian lignans and it's done with the help of bacteria. Those mammalian lignans act back on the DNA of different bacteria, which then acts on the DNA of the human genome. This is that genetic expression that's caused by things you eat. Lignans are powerful activators of genetic expression, including upregulating your immune system.
One of the good things that I don't think a lot of people know is that they're also a powerful antioxidant. I have an antioxidant. It's called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, which is long, SDG for short. That particular antioxidant is helpful in those tissues and areas.
It's a high ORAC value, over 100,000. It's a good anti-inflammatory while it's helping your immune system.
Inflammation is the key to a lot of issues. With that type of ORAC value and the ability to act on the hormones with the plant lignans to mammalian lignans, to conversion, it's quite a unique thing. As you start going out, exercising again, there's a sense of anxiety that would come with going back out, reentering the society like coming back from war. There's PTSD feeling and this ability to get back to normal. For a lot of people, there's anxiety and apprehensiveness about this. What do we do about that?
We've done a whole show on the anxiety which people should read.
It's called Managing Stress and Anxiety During Trying Times. It was almost the precursor to this one but we're looking in a little bit later. We're seeing the effects long-term.
As a little bit of a synopsis, ashwagandha, centuries-old ayurvedic remedy, is good for helping managing anxiety. Another thing that we've talked about before in the other show is using a device called Inner Balance. Inner Balance is a clever device invented by the HeartMath Institute. They have a website, HeartMath.com. It's like your beating heart and the subject math. The device clips onto your ear and has a transponder that communicates to an app on your cell phone. You can use this device to sync your breath into a rhythmic state. You can also reset the whole process in your brain that decides whether or not things are okay or if you need to be under stress.
Rollie, because the global pandemic people are of the belief that things are not okay. Even before the pandemic, the science showed that in the United States, people were of the belief that things were okay only about 5% of the time and 95% of the time, they have background anxiety because of the belief something's not right here. Inner Balance allows you to begin to change that.
It's an intricate metabolic pathway involving your prefrontal cortex, the neurites in your heart muscle and your amygdala part of your brain. This feedback loop can either keep you stuck in the loop that says everything's not okay or you can begin to mitigate it, reframe it and switch it to where your body begins to relax. Once again, things seem to be okay. It's a powerful device that works well. It works quickly and works almost instantly.
It's something that can quickly sharpen your ability to do this. As you're recovering from something like COVID, time is of the essence. The quicker you can start to get control of it, the better you'll feel. That's interesting because a lot of the times, people wouldn't think of that causing so many problems. You could take all the nutritional supplements in the world but if your body is under stress, specifically anxiety and things like that, it won't respond because it's got a flood of all these anxiety-causing hormones. Using things like natural remedies like the Inner Balance, one thing we always talk about is tapping. That's similar to Inner Balance just in a different way.
With tapping, it's using your meridian system to reframe beliefs you have in your brain. This is one that's important with this topic because people are talking about the new normal. We have to accept the new normal or perhaps at best, getting back to normal.
What do we want to do about it?
There's an opportunity here because people have been through some trying times, maybe still going through trying times but there's the saying, “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.” Also people say, “Your soul and your character is forged in fire.” We can choose if we want to make sure that this trying time we've all been through helps to make us even better than we were before. You can begin to prepare your body and mind for that eventuality using tapping.
This is never to deny the fact that people have died and that there is mourning going on with grief, maybe anger. It's not diminishing the value of the life of anyone who died but quite often people will say, "Your loved one who has passed away, what do you think they would want you to be doing? Is it constantly mourning and retreating into yourself or would they want you to get on with your life?"
The answer is always to get on with your life. This technique can help people to get on with their life. I'll give an example of how you can use it. The tapping is tapping on your fingertips on the side of your nails. As you tap, you're activating your meridians and you can repeat some phrases that will help you with this concept of the new normal. You'd repeat something like this. "Even though up until now, I thought that I had to be of the belief that things weren't okay and that I might have to accept a new normal, I completely love and accept myself anyway.
I'm so grateful that I realize that the new normal can be better, not worse, and that I can get on with my life, have joyful anticipation of a wonderful future and feel at complete peace." When you're done, cross your hands over your heart and push gently in. Taking a deep breathe, put your hands down and breathe out while your chin drops down. This will help to make you feel peaceful, which will reinforce the affirmation you made about feeling that complete peace. You've created a paired association between the feeling and the words so much stronger.
The ability to follow the thought up with a peaceful feeling is almost like when we talk about celebrating something. You have that release and that ability to say this is a good thing. It helps you to take that belief of things not being okay. Reinsert a new one that says not only can things be okay but they can be better.
Between using tapping, Inner Balance and some ashwagandha, you can begin to progress toward the place where you'll be the type of person. You're going to be of the belief that everything is okay almost all the time unless there's a true emergency that has to be attended to. Rollie, we have videos on how to do the tapping technique that includes some special videos for tapping for stress and tapping for the immune system.
All of that is on our YouTube Channel.
Also, the whole basic idea of how to do it. It's on the YouTube Channel.
The playlist is helpful videos that you can find right alongside of the playlist for Live Forever Young Radio on YouTube, Boomers Forever Young YouTube. Search that. You'll be able to find those.
The helpful videos playlist has the lymph drainage video. It also has a video called The Ultimate Mind Calming Exercise. The tapping videos have their own playlist called EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique.
You can find that. We'll put links up to it on Live Forever Young Radio, Boomers Forever Young YouTube. We'll also put some links out on Facebook. Boomer Wellness Network is our Facebook. Don't forget to go there. Go ahead and check us out. Follow us whenever you need to do.
In the end, it's about how to stay healthy. Everybody's gotten through something whether or not you’re directly or indirectly affected by COVID. All you need to do is look for support and we'll be here to try to give you as much help as we can.
Rollie, why don't you give them our phone number too if they want to call for some support?
We do have people that can answer questions, 1-800-861-4609. They'll be able to help you out and go over some of the issues that we talked about as far as being able to point you in the right direction for what you can do nutritionally. With something like this, go to your doctor, get your tests, see where you're at, get a baseline, see what he says. We're all in it together.
Rollie, thanks for being on the show for everybody. We will see everybody else on the next show. Thanks for reading the show. Have a great day.
I’ll see you on the next one.
- Boomers Forever Young
- Increase Energy the Natural Way – Previous episode
- Boomers Forever Young – YouTube channel
- Managing Stress and Anxiety during Trying Times – Previous episode
- Inner Balance
- Live Forever Young Radio – YouTube playlist
- The Ultimate Mind Calming Exercise on YouTube
- Emotional Freedom Technique on YouTube
- Boomer Wellness Network – Facebook page