Long COVID seems to be becoming a feature of life these days. I was at Green Farm Kent on Sunday for their yoga retreat and 4 of the 12 people that I saw were having issues with their energy levels since having COVID. Many people have suffered for several weeks and others for many months.

Helping people to recover their energy and life force has been a big part of my work in the last couple of years and the beauty of seeing someone rediscover their energy over the time we work together is incredibly rewarding.

I visited one of my first Long COVID clients last week for a cuppa and catch-up and her words about the impact our work together has had on her life and the life of her family and friends touched me.

“I realise that although long COVID has been really hard we have learnt so much about looking after ourselves better and I feel that our health will be so much better in the future because of it.”

Long COVID client

The interesting thing is that the Naturopathic world has been researching the effects of various nutrients to support the body with Long COVID and they have found that people can be supported in many ways to restore their feeling of wellbeing and start to be able to live the life they desire rather than struggling through the day or having to rest and stay at home the majority of the time. Many feel pretty ropey and exhausted, unable to function in what most of us would consider a comfortable way.

Has it affected you? How did it make you feel? Were you experiencing headaches, depression, tummy aches, fatigue, diarrhoea, sheer exhaustion, brain fog and lack of focus or was it something else?

It impacts everyone differently so when I am supporting people with Long COVID it’s a very individual process. The case history taking at the start is so important.

During this 2 hour session (can be 2 separate hours if you can’t manage 2 hours) we go through every system of the body and find out what’s happening. I get to know you and you get to know me and after that, we develop a plan to help you gradually get your energy to a more
acceptable state.

As you can imagine this takes time, it’s not a miracle cure however most people find they can see some changes over the first week or 2 and then bigger changes over 6-8 weeks.

After looking at all the systems in the body we look at food. I ask everyone to complete a food diary and this is always interesting. There are often things that people perceive as healthy that can be problematic to energy mainly because of blood sugar levels and sometimes because that food is inflammatory to the person concerned. This could be orange juice or something like potatoes or tomatoes, it could be bread or milk, it’s different for everyone.

There are certain things we know about Long COVID and some that are coming to light now, some that we may never know and others that will be researched more over the coming years.

Then we make a plan. This could be based around food, it will probably include some supplements though that will depend on the person and we will also discuss other ways of supporting the health of the body like movement, energy work, breathing techniques etc.

I want to just talk about the basics of how I look at food as there are some things that you can start doing now that if you maintain them will start to make a difference. You might think they are pretty small but I promise you they make a BIG impact.

  • Water intake – when the body is struggling it is even more important to drink enough water. A woman of 70kg needs just over 2 litres a day when well so that is the minimum needed when unwell. A man of 90kg needs more like 2.7 litres when well so you can see drinking enough water is vital.
  • Protein – eating protein at every meal (including breakfast) to keep the blood sugar stable reduces the stress on the body from low blood sugars or the demand for too much insulin. It also keeps you fuller for longer meaning you are less likely to be reaching for snacks.
  • Vegetables – because they do so much to support the body’s natural healing processes. They contain lots of vitamins and minerals, they support the liver which means that you get rid of waste better and process hormones more efficiently. Hormones send signals around the body and affect many different processes, particularly energy and metabolism. They also help to keep your gut healthy and that helps with anxiety and depression.
  • Basic nutrients – things like Vitamin C 1000mg 3 times daily with meals, a great way to support the body to reduce inflammation. Vitamin D, at least 1000iu or 25mcg daily, preferably in spray form, I use the BetterYou spray as it is readily absorbed through the mucous membrane in the mouth. Zinc is also important for reducing inflammation and supporting the immune system. The daily requirement is 15mg for adults, you could have foods that are high in zinc like pumpkin seeds, eggs, and dark chocolate among others.

Breathing is something else we cover in the 2-hour consultation. We all have to breathe or we wouldn’t be here. Just remember that slowing down your breath and allowing your nervous system to rebalance and get out of stress mode is a vital part of recovering from any illness. When you are sitting just focus on your breath and gradually slow it down. I would suggest you put a timer on for 5 minutes to start with and gradually increase it as you find the process easier. Even if you can manage 5 minutes each day you will be doing yourself a huge favour.

There are many other things that I discuss with my clients on top of these which I have just shared with you, if you’d like to find out more Book in for a 1:1 discovery call with me to discuss your Long COVID