By Jacob Teitelbaum, MD
Have the paradox of insomnia despite being exhausted? Have cognitive dysfunction (which has been termed “brain fog”)? Widespread achiness?
These are symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (CFS/FMS), which can be caused by dozens of infections. Unfortunately, the research is suggesting that COVID 19 is triggering persistent symptoms and debilitation in a large percent of cases. People with this are being called “Long Haulers.”
In most cases, symptoms should be largely resolved within three weeks after a COVID 19 infection, or six weeks after even very severe cases. If you continue to feel poorly beyond that, the COVID 19 virus has tripped a circuit breaker in the brain called the hypothalamus. This circuit breaker controls sleep, hormones, and numerous other systems.
So, people generally feel like a train wreck. I know I did when I came down with postviral CFS/FMS while in medical school back in 1975. I had to learn how to recover on my own. Since then, I have published numerous books, textbook chapters, and studies on how to effectively treat these illnesses. I have also successfully treated thousands of people with this condition.
It is very treatable!
The key is optimizing energy production and addressing a number of other key issues triggered by the infection. This can be done very effectively using what we call the SHINE Protocol. This addresses Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutritional support, and Exercise as able. Our published placebo-controlled study https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J092v08n02_02 showed that by doing so, 91% of people improved with an average 90% increase in quality of life. A large percent of people in that study had postviral fatigue. Four other studies I have published also show that numerous other approaches can be very helpful. For example:
- A unique serum protein extract called Recovery Factors (www.recoveryfactors.com) . We have just submitted a recently completed study showing that 60% of people with fibromyalgia (including postviral) improve with an average 69% increase in overall quality of life, while also showing a significant rise in protective antibodies.
- An earlier study https://benthamopen.com/contents/pdf/TOPAINJ/TOPAINJ-5-32.pdf I published showed an average 61% improvement in energy after three weeks of using Ribose. The form used in my research, along with five other herbs that are powerfully effective at increasing energy and stamina, can be found in the Smart Energy System (on Amazon). This combination routinely as much as doubles energy after three weeks of use.
Addressing persistent immune, lung and heart dysfunction is also important. This can be done very effectively using a mix of natural and prescription treatments. For example, very Low Dose Naltrexone (3 – 4.5 mg) can help rebalance immunity. Anti-inflammatory support can also be helpful. For this, I recommend unique forms of curcumin called CuraMed and Curamin. In three studies, after six weeks these were more effective than Celexicob for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Zinc 20 to 40 mg a day is also critical for immune function.
Cardiac involvement is seen in 78% of COVID 19 cases. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamacardiology/fullarticle/2768916 For persistent heart dysfunction, SHINE Ribose combined with coenzyme Q10, magnesium, and high-dose B vitamins can markedly improve cardiac function. Meanwhile, antioxidant support is also important.
These represent the “tip of the treatment iceberg.” So, there is much that can be done. But it requires a comprehensive assessment of each individual case, which usually takes at least three hours of the physician’s time.
Unfortunately, being a very complex condition, it may take several years for most physicians to be properly trained in addressing persistent post COVID 19 symptoms. It is best to look for a specialist that specifically works with fibromyalgia, as they may be much more familiar with the area and treatments.
What is going on in post COVID 19 CFS and fibromyalgia, and how to effectively treat this wide array of issues, is discussed in depth in the upcoming fourth edition of my book “From Fatigued to Fantastic” (September 1, 2020, Penguin – the green cover is the new edition). In the interim, a large body of helpful information can be found online at www.Vitality101.com.
Persistent post COVID 19 symptoms can be treated very effectively but requires a large degree of experience on the part of the physician. Fortunately, much of what is needed to help you recover can be done on your own.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., is one of the most frequently quoted pain and fibromyalgia medical authorities in the world. He is the author of the best-selling From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Pain Free, 1,2,3!, the Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction, Real Cause Real Cure, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, Diabetes Is Optional and the popular free Smart Phone app Cures A-Z. He is the lead author of 5 studies on effective treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. Teitelbaum appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and FoxNewsHealth. Learn more at www.Vitality101.com and www.EndFatigue.com.