About Long Haul COVID
Last Edit on 3/03/2022
Long Haul COVID is a collection of symptoms that develop during or following a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and which continue for more than 28 days.
The post-vaccination syndrome has a similar definition, with the exception that post-vaccination has an acute, fatal syndrome in a distinct minority with 80% of fatal events occurring within the first week, most in the first 3 days. Causes of death typically arise from a sudden cardiac arrest or stroke/brain bleed. The inflammatory pattern of the post-vaccine syndrome is very similar to Long Haul COVID and the presence of spike protein in monocytes is identical. One distinct difference is that clotting, whether it be macro or micro clotting, tends to occur more commonly in post-vaccine syndromes. Excess inflammation is common in both syndromes.
What Causes Long Haul COVID?
Note that the exact mechanisms below do not all appear in all patients. We evaluate each patient individually based on their clinical presentations, their responses to therapy, and their cytokine elevation profiles to assess how to treat each patient. More is being learned about Long Haul COVID and post-vaccine syndromes and as the research evolves, the science and treatment will also evolve.
Below is a list of what causes Long Haul COVID and post-vaccine syndromes:
- Immune cells called monocytes are stimulated and promote inflammation.
- Secondary inflammation and/or primary injury to the lining of blood vessels by spike protein leads to clotting/coagulation issues. This causes dysregulation in the body and can be a further cause of inflammation.
- Mast cell activation is also seen after covid and/or covid vaccination, a type of immune cell that causes persistent inflammation with excess histamine release, often treated with anti-histamines and low-histamine diets.
- Post-COVID and/or post-vaccine syndrome patients have also been observed to suffer from reactivation of dormant viruses or fall ill with other viral syndromes like EBV (mononucleosis), Herpes Simplex, CMV, etc.
- The inflammation pathways also sometimes cause POTS syndrome (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) which is when the circulatory reflexes are diminished and blood pressure swings from sitting to standing are excessive, and/or cause high heart rates.
- SARS-CoV-2 interactions with the host microbiome/virome which is located in the gut.
Common Symptoms of Long Haul COVID and Post-Vaccine Syndromes
- Persistent tiredness
- Tiredness /ill-feeling which worsens in the day or days after normal or excess daily activities
- Cognitive dysfunction or “brain fog” -poor focus, processing, short-term memory issues
- Irregular or fast heart rate at rest or on minimal exertion
- Lightheadedness/dizziness upon standing
- Muscle/joint pains
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of taste and smell