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LONG COVID SELF-HELP RESOURCES

Don’t Panic. You CAN Beat This Beast!

L

ast winter I had an amazing experience.

At the time I thought I was dying. Eventually it became clear I was dealing with Long COVID. Or to be honest, not dealing with it. Yet.

Took me a bit to figure out what I needed, even longer for the process to go to completion but within a couple of months I was 90% better and today I’m fine. Maybe a tad more prone to fatigue after exertion but hey, none of us are getting any younger.

Once I was back on my feet I determined to share what I’d learned, only to run into several other people with the same idea. Curious thing was: none of us agreed about what to do or what the problem was. It seemed to be a blind-men-and-the-elephant situation.

So I began hosting webinars where I surveyed all the various ones that seemed to be working for people.

Half a year later we’re beginning to see how the pieces all fit together. This page assembles all the best web resources I found in my studies.

Long COVID appears to be a pleiomorphic syndrome: it shows different symptoms in different people and even in the same people over time.

And it seems to involve more than one cause, though the most immediate ones all involve SARS-COV19.

Smoldering persistent viral infections, viral debris, tryptophan steal and autoimmune reactions can all play a part to varying degrees in each Long COVID sufferer.

As usual in our times, low-cost, effective and widely available solutions appear to be overlooked in favor of novel, patentable and more profitable ones. These resources look largely at legacy tools and their uses.

Here’s the resources I’ve promised everyone attending those webinars.

If you’re interested in what worked for me personally, scroll down to the video section and spend some time with the yellow and green vid. If you want a quick summary of my own interventions, go to 02:38:13.

My experience has been that many people consulting the various resources available on this website can identify reasonably-priced approaches to healing themselves.

Of course this can become a tad more challenging if you’re wrestling with extreme fatigue and brain fog. If that’s you, realize you’re not alone.

So first, take your time.

Second, if you’re still unable to steer your own ship through these shoals, consider reaching out for help.

There’s plenty of people on the Facebook groups listed below who’ll offer support and advice.

And then I’m also here. If you’re in a position to help me keep the lights on over here, great. You can find out the various ways you can work with me by clicking the Telemedicine Health link below or the “Let’s Start a Conversation” link.

Long COVID Resources

WEBSITES & FACEBOOK GROUPS

I know, I know … FB Groups can be dodgy. So can random websites. And most of the ones out there frown on anything outside the 20th-century medical mainstream with respect to healing modalities

But let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. There’s a growing community of highly-qualified science- and medically-informed people sharing resources and engaging in adult debate about a number of different approaches. These debates are the essence of the scientific process itself, which at its root is always about questioning authority, not accepting its dictates uncritically.

One size rarely fits all. So take some time to familiarize yourself with the various approaches under development. Then try one – baby steps are best. Over time you’ll probably find yourself adding/subtracting modalities as you feel your body teaching you what works best for you.

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The Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance is a consortium of highly-credentialed researchers developing evidence-based protocols for treating both COVID and Long-COVID. Their work is innovative and unusual in that their approach is conventionally scientific but still critical of dominant medical dogma, in the best scientific tradition.

Top-down dictats are the very opposite of the scientific method. It’s refreshing to find a worldwide community of formally-trained investigators who haven’t forgotten about that part.

This community’s protocols tend to incorporate pharmaceuticals. For those wishing a more economical, self-guided process, the insights this community provides can then be used to identify nutrient or botanical alternatives. There’s almost always an effective, non-pharmaceutical alternative.

I model the steps I take to translate this kind of research into those more functional approaches in the Preventing Long-COVID Relapses video below.

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Stuart McCallum’s Long COVID NAD+ Theory Facebook group focuses on presenting the work of a consortium of South African and British researchers who’ve uncovered what may well be one source of Long COVID symptoms: a drainage of NAD+, the energy currency of our cells.

This Group has attracted some of the more technically astute FB users for a discussion that at times gets quite technically deep but for those with a background in biology (or self-taught wannabes like me) this stuff is like catnip.

But if you’re not technically minded the biogeeks are more than happy to help you figure out what to do to take advantage of this approach without making you wade through the more confusing posts.

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Candice McGarvey’s Support for Long Haul Covid Survivors Facebook group is similar to most of the Long COVID facebook groups out there … a place to hang out, share war stories and find likeminded souls going through trials similar to what all us Long Haulers experience, along with the emotional support we all need.

Unlike most of the other, similar groups, Candice is very supportive of those of us who think we’ve got a handle on solutions, even if they fall outside the conceptual boundaries imprisoning 20th century-style medicine.

And for that open-minded stance I, for one, am very grateful. That makes this group a place to go to share not only our stories, but the full range of solutions we’ve tried. Those we’ve found wanting and those that’ve worked.

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Tom Bunker’s Recover from Long Covid Facebook group is focused primarily on a weekend fasting model to induce autophagy. This process assists the body in identifying infected and/or damaged cells, enabling our natural defense and restoration metabolic processes to clear out distressed cells and rebuild new ones to take their place.

Tom’s a lapsed PhD candidate in biology who’s taken a 20-year hiatus into writing code. His keen mind and innovative approach has attracted a lively community of (mostly) adherents who are more than glad to help newbies get oriented.

Best of all, periodic fasting isn’t just free, it saves money!

VIDEOS

Here’s a curated selection of some of my favorite Long COVID videos.

They cover a wide range, from my own presentations, intros to Tom Bunker’s autophagy approach and the NAD+ theory to William Shaw’s PLA(2) hypothesis.

This video is from my October 24, 2021 event for acupuncturists and mental health therapists.

The theme is the pleimorphic nature of Long COVID: there’s combinations of different things going on in different people.

This video provides an overview of:

  • autophagytheory
  • persistent infection approaches
  • NAD+ theory and niacin supplementation (tryptophan steal)
  • autoimmune concerns driven by peptide crossreactivity
  • Preventing Long-COVID Relapses: the CCR5 Blockers

Then we break down my own healing protocols, explaining the logic of each step and how to use them. When dealing with a pleiomorphic problem one has to combine different toolsets for success.

I introduce some of the resources on this page and others I drew on while creating this course.

This excerpt from the last half hour of the October 24 2021 course focuses on Bruce Patterson’s ideas about what causes the relapses in Long COVID and how to prevent them.

Patterson’s orientation is toward pharmaceuticals so at the end of the video I do a quick presentation on how I begin the process of translating these research findings into functional nutrition and botanical approaches.

Patterson, a front-line COVID researcher with a sterling CV (he also did a lot of the crucial early work on HIV) has a tendency to slide into biogeeky jargon (of course!) So I spent some time annotating this vid to make it comprehendible to those without a background in advanced organic chemistry and cellular biology.

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Chris Kresser’s presentation to UCSF covers the research supporting an elegant and simple approach to Long COVID: good ol’ Vitamin D.

Kresser’s focused in this vid more on the use of vitamin D for acute cases (the kind that wind up in the hospital) but if Long COVID is in whole or in part a chronic, persistent viral infection, then this approach might be crucial to overcoming it.

Studies have shown over and over again that most of us have sub-par levels of vitamin D.

If we want to check whether this applies to us, get a 25(OH)D3 lab from one’s doc or one of the self-help labs that’ll take an order directly from you and send you to a local Quest lab to get your blood drawn (at least in the US.)

Be aware that, as Chris explains, standard definitions of adequate D3 levels can range anywhere from 10-30 ng/ml. Those of us in the functional medicine community think this is far from ideal and recommend levels more like 60-90 ng/ml for optimal results.

Chris explains how to get our levels from sub-par up to optimal in this video.

Williams Shaw’s Great Plains Laboratory has a whole series of videos presenting his theory of how the COVID virus leverages the same enzyme that poisonous spiders, snakes and other viruses use to gain entry into our cells.

This is a twenty minute edit of his first 90-minute video, making it a bit easier to digest his thinking. You can find the full video on the page I’ve linked above. (Like Tom, I hope he forgives me!)

One of the theories explaining Long COVID posits that we can have lingering, persistent, low-grade viral infections not strong enough to cause the full-blown syndrome but still enough to cause problems.

If this concept turns out to have some merit it would put the COVID virus in the same general category as Epstein-Barr, HIV, herpes simplex and zoster and other viruses that never really go away.

Each of these leverages its own strategies of course but the effect would be the same.

Dr. Shaw suggests the use of CDP-choline to block this enzyme, thus impairing and perhaps even preventing COVID’s ability to take over our cells.

I myself prefer ginger root tea for the same purposes, as studies show it can block the same enzyme. (Though you’ll find negative studies on Pubmed re: ginger root’s ability to do this, they’re not looking at decoctions of the whole root, merely one of its constituents.)

The NAD+ Theory people have an interesting take on Long COVID.

It’s based on the premise that the COVID virus drains the cell’s energy currency, as I’ve described above. This is the vid where they outline this hypothesis.

I suspect they’re onto something interesting but I do have one beef with them; they’re a tad too full of themselves for my taste. Being in the healing biz for a few decades tends to cure one of the impulse to diss and dismiss the work of others. Thinking one’s way up the mountain is the only trail is, to my mind, the mark of a newbie. After all, all we see are each others’ failures; we tend not to see our own.

Even so, looks to me like they’ve got a handle on one aspect of this that no one else does. So hear them out (even if they don’t feel like returning the favor … 🙂 )

Viral debris is thought by some to explain many Long COVID symptoms.

It seems the famous spike protein is one heckuva tough customer. It persists in circulation, attached to artery walls and creates inflammation that results in blood clots.. This is why some take aspirin, vitamin E, ginger root tea or some other anticoagulant when fighting Long COVID.

Dr. Patterson thinks in terms of pharmaceuticals so this interview will be of interest to those interested in that. But even if we’re more comfortable with substances found naturally in the body (or that we’ve used for thousands of years) the kind of thinking Dr. Patterson and those exploring Long COVID pathology like him can offer fresh insights we can then harness with nutrition or herbs.

Tom Bunker’s YouTube channel introduces both his unique approach to Long COVID (boosting autophagy and his old-school science-in-the-basement discipline.

Tom develops hypotheses, tests them, and alters his thinking in line with his results. Beautiful.

Boosting autophagy supports the body’s natural garbage collecting process: autophagy (lit: “eating itself.”

By encouraging the body to scavenge for diseased cells regularly, persistent infections and autoimmune damage can be brought under control and the damage repaired.

Tom’s Facebook Group is one of the more lively solution-focused groups on FB.

I took the liberty of doing this edit of a vid in which he introduces his concepts, cleaning it up just a bit and adding a soundtrack. I hope he forgives me … 🙂

POTS Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, is one of the more terrifying aspects of Long COVID. The hallmark signs are being unable to stand or sit for more than a few minutes with or without with a racing heartbeat.

These are signs of dysautonomia, a condition that results from a dysregulation of the body’s autonomic nervous system. That’s the part we don’t often think about and can’t control consciously without special training: heartbeat, sweat, the release of hormones that allow us to stand upright.

I encountered this myself: in the first few months of what would later reveal itself as the full-blown syndrome, my most noticeable symptom was being unable to sit at my desk and be productive for more than 10-15 minutes.

As my work demands were heavy and I’d always enjoyed my work I found this very distressing. I personalized it, and decided I’d been doing what I’d been doing too long.

When it slowly dawned on the Long COVID community that POTS was part of the picture it came as a revelation. This vid introduces some of the more conventional approaches to this issue; mine seemed to resolve when I started taking daily 3gm doses of taurine.

MORE SELF-HELP IDEAS

My mother was a WWII era nurse. When my brothers and sisters and I were kids, she’d do all kinds of weird things to us nobody else’s moms did. At the time we kind of resented it.

It was only this past year that I realized she was probably passing onto us things she had learned from her own mother, who’d survived 1918 along with her husband.

These are broad spectrum techniques that work across a wide range of respiratory and other viruses. Some of them seem to even be helping people with what appear to be the persistent, low-grade infections we call Long COVID.

MORE SELF-HELP IDEAS

My mother was a WWII era nurse. When my brothers and sisters and I were kids, she’d do all kinds of weird things to us nobody else’s moms did. At the time we kind of resented it.

It was only this past year that I realized she was probably passing onto us things she had learned from her own mother, who’d survived 1918 along with her husband.

These are broad spectrum techniques that work across a wide range of respiratory and other viruses. Some of them seem to even be helping people with what appear to be the persistent, low-grade infections we call Long COVID.