It's the year 2022, we're post pandemic, and the world is slowly going back to normal... sort of. But you still aren't even feeling an inch better! What gives?!
You most likely are dealing with "long hauler" symptoms, otherwise known as "post viral syndrome". This is a condition in which people develop after being infected with a virus and their symptoms extend beyond a normal recovery period, which is an average of 90 days post infection. The most common symptoms individuals struggle with regarding "long haulers" are
- sleep issues
- hair loss
- muscle soreness/joint pain
- difficulty breathing
We can talk about prevention and how to "boost the immune system" all we want but the real issue at hand for many people today post pandemic is that they're stuck living with this sense of depletion, concerned they'll never feel normal again. It's definitely worrisome, and sometimes even scary, but let's break some things down to further understand why you may be struggling with this in the first place.
First off, individuals who were the most susceptible to developing a severe case with the virus were people who had certain comorbidities such as having a diagnosis of obesity, diabetes (Type 1 or 2), hypothyroidism, sarcopenia or adrenal insufficiency. You would think "geez, that's quite a broad spectrum of conditions, how can they be linked?" They're actually all a sign of an energy deficiency, or "metabolic dysfunction". So what does that mean? It means the body struggles to effectively and quickly use energy which lead to the suffering of certain bodily processes such as thyroid dysfunction, blood sugar dysregulation, hormone production, digestion and more.
Metabolic dysfunction occurs over time as the body goes through chronic bouts of stress which eventually renders the metabolism into needing to prioritize certain processes. These chronic stressors can include having a poor diet, not sleeping well, poor water or air quality, lack of movement or over exercising, poor mental health/stress management and continuous use of certain medications and even supplements.
Some things in life are inevitable, we can't control the world around us, that's a given. However, we will always have control over how we choose to feed ourselves, move our bodies, rest, recover and think- all to a certain extent of course. Striving for our best is the goal. That being said, due to the nature of how the majority of the population is living, this virus, all new and foreign to our immune system, just tipped most people's metabolic dysfunction over the edge leaving them feeling extremely depleted.
Here are a few patterns we see people develop "long haulers" on an HTMA test:
- High Ca levels
This is a sign of a "calcium shell", meaning there is an excessive amount of calcium circulating and not staying within the specific tissues it needs (like bones and teeth), which can potentiate our cells inability to absorb certain signaling responses. In cases like this, we like to use boron to help retain calcium in the bones and teeth and doesn't continue to rise.
- High Ca:Mg
This is a sign of blood sugar dysregulation for insulin release is dependent on calcium levels. The higher the calcium, the more insulin is secreted and can potentially cause insulin resistance. If both calcium and magnesium are dysregulated, using our Upgraded Calcium can help replace what might be lost or deficient and retain the minerals within the cells with the help of boron as mentioned above.
- Low or high Mg levels
Magnesium is one of the very first minerals that body "burns" through when stressed. When the body goes through an acute stress like a viral infection, it most likely will use up most of what is stored. However, for some people who have enough magnesium, we can see a "loss" of it and show up as high on a hair test. Both will feel like fatigue, insomnia, headaches and anxiety. To replenish, we suggest using our Upgraded Magnesium.
- High or low Na:K ratio
Depending on one's resiliency, this ratio represents your vitality and even provides insight into adrenal function. If high, one could still be combatting the infection and could emulate potential liver or kidney stress. That being said, a higher ratio is always preferred over a lower because it signals the body still has energy to "fight back". If low, we see this as a sign of severe depletion, chronic fatigue, reduced immunity and can even show up as depression. If one has a high ratio, supplementing with our Upgraded Potassium can help, and if low, definitely don't be shy with getting a bit salty!
- High Ca:K ratio
Typically when the metabolism slows to conserve energy or is depleted, the thyroid is governing this at a cellular level. The Ca:K ratio is representative of our thyroid, and many nutrients that can help support this little butterfly gland are minerals such as iodine, selenium, copper and zinc. Upgraded Formulas has two products that could be ideal to use in this case, such as our Upgraded Peak Thyroid or Upgraded Iodine which we would also consider as a powerful antiviral too!
- Low or high Zn levels
Who didn't take zinc during this time? A very useful mineral to support the immune system, and again, if high, shows that there is a "loss", and if low, most likely deficient. Be careful in supplementing with our Upgraded Zinc, always be mindful of one's copper levels, for the two antagonize each other. If you're cleared in not having copper toxicity, our Upgraded Copper is a great addition.
- Low Fe:Cu ratio
Iron feeds pathogens and the body is so intricately designed that it has a protective mechanism it hides iron in our tissues when we are sick so it doesn't feed the bacteria or virus. This is why so many people suffered with hair shedding and even anemia post infection because iron was not circulating appropriately. In this case, we usually like to start with the first couple of ratios as mentioned above before we feel the need to supplement iron.
So now the big question- What does all mean for you?
My best advice is to always test, don't guess prior to supplementation. You can find a link to purchasing an HTMA and consult with our trusted team right here.
Minerals are truly the basis to every function in the body, and in times in which the we have overcome a stressor, such as a viral infection, the best approach is to build it back up.
Rooting for your health,
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach