If you're struggling with ongoing symptoms a month or more after having COVID-19, you may have Long COVID. Long COVID is also known as COVID long haul. People may try to alleviate COVID long haul symptoms by implementing supplements into their daily routine.
It can be challenging to select supplements for long COVID symptom relief. There are many supplements available on the market. Plus, a personalized approach to supplements is essential.
Before you choose a supplement to try, it's best to gauge your new baseline for your body and how you're feeling. This understanding will help you purchase the ones that will benefit you most — not make you feel worse.
It can be tempting to copy someone else's supplement plan, particularly if they've found symptom relief. However, just because a supplement works for one person does not make it necessarily safe or effective for you.
Dr. Millie Lytle, Mymee's Head of Coaching, provided supplement options that may help reduce COVID long haul symptoms. Plus, Dr. Lytle offers additional information on selecting the best supplement for your unique needs.
This list of supplements for long COVID symptoms should be used for general information purposes only. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimens.
Essential Nutrient Supplements for COVID Long Haul
Essential nutrients are nutrients that cannot be synthesized by the body. Therefore, essential nutrients must be supplied elsewhere, usually through food consumption.
Supplementation may be a good solution if the nutrient demands exceed the supply. Suppose the diet is low in fresh fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods. You can then expect not to be getting enough of most essential nutrients.
Essential nutrients come in 2 major groupings: micronutrients (such as vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (like protein and fats). Some better-known examples of essential nutrients are calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C.
It is recommended that people with long COVID should eat between 75-100 grams of protein per day. This level of protein intake can aid tissue repair and energy restoration. Animal protein (like whey or egg) and vegetarian protein supplements (like hemp and pea) can increase protein as well.
When choosing a protein source, avoid foods that leave you feeling worse. These can include your trigger foods — foods that trigger a flare of disease symptoms. For example, whey protein may not be suitable for you if you're sensitive to dairy.
But, 75-100 grams can feel like a lot of protein to consume every day. Also, long COVID symptoms may prevent meal prep from being an option. So, taking an easy-to-digest protein supplement for many with COVID long haul could be best.
Dr. Lytle's Tip: Establish your baseline levels of essential nutrient intake when deciding to use supplements.
For instance, if you know how much protein you're already eating, you can make the lacking grams up with a supplement. If you have high levels of an essential nutrient, a supplement of this nutrient would not be appropriate for you.
Essential Nutrient Supplements
Adaptogen Supplements for COVID Long Haul
An adaptogen is a category of herbs that adapt to your stress response. For example, if your cortisol is low, you might feel low in energy or burnt out. It could be that your body is no longer producing enough cortisol. In this case, an adaptogen can stimulate the desired increase in cortisol levels.
On the other hand, if you're feeling stressed or agitated, adaptogens can reduce your cortisol levels.
Dr. Lytle's Tip: Herbs can be allergenic. It's always good to check your known allergens against the herb family of each supplement. If there's an overlap, that herbal supplement would not be appropriate for you.
- Lemon balm
Gut Healer Supplements for COVID Long Haul
Gut healers help heal your digestive tract. Many people with long COVID experience chest pains, GERD, shortness of breath, constipation, diarrhea, and the inability to digest nutrients.
Plus, if you've been on antibiotics, prednisone, or an inhaled medication, you may have a disrupted microbiome. Gut healer supplements may relieve symptoms.
Dr. Lytle's Tip: Gut healing supplements come in various combinations of nutrients and herbs. People will respond differently to varying supplements. These differences in response are important to consider, especially when dealing with a sensitive digestive tract.
If you feel worse taking a supplement, discontinue it immediately. Expert support may be required for this category. Personalized supplement regimens often require input from a knowledgeable care team.
Gut Healer Supplements
- Vitamin D
- Low histamine probiotics
- Digestive enzymes
- Collagen peptides
Antihistamine Supplements for COVID Long Haul
Antihistamines can relieve symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. If you have allergies, you have high histamine levels.
In working with clients experiencing COVID long haul, we often address histamine intolerance. If histamines are not degrading quickly enough, it could contribute to symptoms like itching skin and rapid heart rate. Antihistamine supplements may help.
Dr. Lytle's Tip: In addition to supplementation, you could look to diet for opportunities to reduce your histamine load. Removing alcohol, vinegar, old or aged foods, and fermented items from your diet may help improve symptoms.
- Vitamin C
Detoxifier Supplements for COVID Long Haul
Detoxifiers help process waste material and eliminate unspecified toxins accumulating in the body. Charcoal is an example of a detoxifier as it binds to waste material. Detoxifiers are sometimes used for poison control response and infections. They are also used for the removal of unwanted substances like heavy metals.
Dr. Lytle's Tip: People respond to these supplements differently. It's important to start slowly and with a low dosage. Better still, blood testing can show the status of specific gene mutations (MTHFR or COMT) and your body's ability to break down certain enzymes. Interpreting results should be left to a healthcare professional.
- Methylated Bs
- Activated Charcoal
How Mymee Can Help With COVID Long Haul Symptoms
Mymee is an early adopter of natural treatment for COVID long haul symptoms. The Mymee Care Team quickly recognized that long COVID presented similarly to autoimmunity. In collaboration with Mount Sinai Hospital, the Mymee program was used to address COVID long haul symptoms with success.
With Mymee, clients work one-on-one with certified health coaches and receive a personalized plan to see symptom improvement. In an easy-to-use mobile app, clients track day-to-day dietary and environmental factors as well as symptoms. Health coaches connect the dots, identifying what's behind long COVID symptom flare-ups.