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“Long COVID”

Long COVID, new-onset medical diagnoses, unexplained symptoms since 2020…how do all of these relate? It lies within the spike protein and the individual’s reaction to it. By now we are all aware of what the spike protein is, however, few are aware of its far-reaching and devastating effects. Some have had COVID-19 and seem unscathed. Many on the other hand are not so lucky. Some experts estimate that roughly 65 million people worldwide have, or are, experiencing long-term effects of the spike protein1; i.e. long COVID. These are the individuals suffering in silence. So, what does the spike protein do and why does it matter?


The spike protein causes an inflammatory response in the body. It can trigger clotting. It can trigger inflammation in the heart. It can be sneaky and escape the immune system going undetected in the body. It can create autoantibodies, causing a variety of symptoms. It can cause neurovascular inflammation that results in brain fog and other neurological problems. It can suppress your immune system and reactivate dormant viruses. These are just to name a few, but this emphasizes the need to rid the body of the spike as soon as possible. Early treatment of acute COVID is extremely important and will decrease your chance of long COVID. However, some of us even with early treatment may still experience long COVID2. 

This elusive spike protein can remain in your system up to 15 months following time of infection causing damage the entire time2. We must shorten its time in the body, therefore minimizing its damaging effects and giving the body a chance for a full recovery.


One of the most prominent conditions in those with COVID-19 is clotting. There are large clots such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or even a stroke. Each of these complications are emergent and treated as such. But here we will discuss the “hidden” clots. Clots only visible under a microscope. These tiny clots do not cause an emergent threat, but they injure small tissues. They cause loss of blood and oxygen supply to various areas of the body. These micro clots go undetected with ultrasound or imaging, but they are still present and are damaging the body. Because clotting is such a common complication of the spike protein, one of the main focuses when treating long COVID is dissolving these micro clots. Some symptoms caused by micro clotting are brain fog, shortness of breath, loss of stamina, and/or a persistent cough. 


Dissolving the micro clots will restore the blood and oxygen supply to the tissues, minimizing, if not fully resolving the symptoms. The treatment is very individualized. No two people are alike. Conditions may be similar but with slight variations and every person responds differently to different treatments. Each person is assessed and diagnosed by the provider during the initial visit. Any further testing such as blood work or imaging to rule out any other source of symptoms may be completed as well. Once we have determined the diagnosis of long COVID we will begin a treatment plan. 


There are a vast array of symptoms and new diagnoses for those who have been affected. From here forward we will start anatomically at the top. Neurological conditions are a significant majority of those who struggle with long COVID. It is estimated that 36.4% of those with long COVID, and 80% of the vaccine-injured have neurological complications3. We will discuss neurological affects in the next blog. For now, if you feel you are suffering in silence, we can help. We will work together to reach a diagnosis and a specific treatment plan tailored to you. 


References

1) Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. (2024, March 1). FLCCC, I-RECOVER LONG COVID; An approach to treating long COVID. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/I-RECOVER-Long-COVID-2024-03-01.pdf

2)  Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. (2024, March 1). FLCCC, I-RECOVER POST-VACCINE; An approach to managing post-vaccine syndrome. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/I-RECOVER-Post-Vaccine-2024-03-01.pdf

3) Gazda, S.K. (2024). Emerging neurological disorders- a path to solutions. [PowerPoint slides]. https://covid19criticalcare.com/courses/conference-2024/lessons/emerging-neurological-disorders-a-path-to-solutions/

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