The term “Long-haulers Syndrome” broadly relates to people of all ages who have had a recent Covid-19 infection, subsequently tested negative at least once, yet still have persistent symptoms that may include fatigue, brain fog, gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, shortness of breath, muscle aches, anxiety, reduced exercise tolerance and heart palpitations. These symptoms often evolve after the initial infection and may persist for months.
Long-haulers syndrome does not overtly appear to be dependent on the presence of other conditions (such as asthma or diabetes) or the severity of the initial Covid-19 infection. In fact, some patients report an asymptomatic initial infection, followed by the onset of symptoms. This condition has recently been termed “post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV2 infection (PASC)” by Dr. Anthony Fauci. It is believed to occur in 15-30% of people who get Covid-19 infection.
As a functional/integrative medicine doctor who has treated patients with viral conditions for the past three decades, including hundreds of patients suffering from brain fog and chronic fatigue, I’d like to offer my perspective on the Covid-19 version of post-viral syndrome.
When I see a patient with long standing symptoms of fatigue and brain fog for the first time, the most common observation I hear is, “I was perfectly fine, exercising regularly, working hard, raising my kids and living a full life, until I came down with a bad flu. Since that infection, I’ve never been able to recover my health nor regain my previous level of activity.”