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Role of Continuous Learning in Long COVID Treatment


Long COVID Awareness Day is dedicated to enhancing global consciousness about Long COVID’s profound and occasionally life-threatening effects, pushing for more research into treatments.

“Long COVID is a patient-created term broadly defined as signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after initial SARS-CoV-2 infection,” according to the CDC. “The signs, symptoms, and conditions are present four weeks or more after the initial phase of infection; may be multisystemic; and may present with a relapsing–remitting pattern and progression or worsen over time, with the possibility of severe and life-threatening events even months or years after infection. Long COVID is not one condition. It represents many potentially overlapping entities, likely with different biological causes and different sets of risk factors and outcomes.”1

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, bringing over 35 years of experience in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and post-viral conditions, offers valuable insights into Long COVID.

Patients with long COVID may display a variety of symptoms, notably fatigue, and brain fog, underscoring the significant impact on the body’s energy function and cognitive ability. Additionally, a significant portion, approximately 60% in the initial stages, encounter sleep issues and often report widespread pain, among other symptoms. However, these are generally seen as secondary to the primary concerns of reduced energy and cognitive function

“The symptoms are varied and can be due to multiple underlying causes. It’s not sufficient to treat everyone for a single issue, says Teitelbaum. “It’s crucial to differentiate among the various conditions that could be contributing to the patient’s symptoms.”

CFS and Long COVID are linked to severe stress on the body leading to hypothalamic dysfunction, placing the body in a state of forced rest, yet paradoxically affecting sleep quality. These conditions are noted to share immunological markers, with many CFS cases being post-viral

“Immunological markers across these conditions align, with consistent immune system changes as seen in CFS, where about half of chronic fatigue syndrome cases follow viral infections,” Teitelbaum states.

Teitelbaum outlines a holistic approach to tackling Long COVID and similar conditions, such as the S.H.I.N.E. protocol. This strategy focuses on essential health aspects, ensuring adequate Sleep for recovery, addressing Hormonal imbalances with tailored low-dose treatments, managing Infections through immune support and antiviral medication, improving Nutrition for overall well-being, and Exercise to enhance life quality and prevent physical decline. Teitelbaum’s method specifically targets the diverse and complex symptoms of Long COVID, such as fatigue and brain fog.

Managing CFS and long COVID faces challenges due to symptom diversity and limited recognition within the healthcare community, often leading to misdiagnosis or underestimation. Improving care and advocacy necessitates ongoing education for medical professionals, incorporating patient experiences into care plans, and fostering better empathy and communication among healthcare providers, patients, and support groups

“To address Long COVID, collaboration is vital,” according to the CDC. “Community members, organizations, and partners can help communicate; identify gaps in services, supports, and policy; advance the science; disseminate information and resources; and implement and support critical activities.”

In summary, Long COVID Awareness Day emphasizes the necessity for advanced research and customized treatment strategies for Long COVID and other related syndromes. This aims to provide comprehensive support for those affected by these conditions, facilitating a collaborative effort towards addressing the complexities of Long COVID.

References

  1. CDC. About Long COVID. Published December 4, 2023. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://www.covid.gov/beinformed/longcovid/about#term
  2. Teitelbaum JE and Bird B, “Effective Treatment of Severe Chronic Fatigue: A Report of a Series of 64 Patients,” Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain. Published January 17, 2010. Accessed March 15, 2024. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J094v03n04_11
  3. Teitelbaum JE, Jandrain J, McGrew R. Effective Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia with D-ribose—A Multicenter Study. The Open Pain Journal. Published May 37, 2012. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://openpainjournal.com/contents/volumes/V5/TOPAINJ-5-32/TOPAINJ-5-32.pdf
  4. Teitelbaum J, Morello G, Goudie S. Nutritional Intervention in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (CFS/FMS) A Unique Porcine Serum Polypeptide Nutritional Supplement. The Open Pain Journal. December 31, 2020. Accessed March 15, 2024. https://openpainjournal.com/VOLUME/13/PAGE/52/FULLTEXT/



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