Long COVID: 4 Contributors and the Possible Root Cause

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It has been much than 2 years since long COVID manifested, and scientists are inactive acold from settled connected its cause.

However, based connected communal objective manifestations and emerging research, clinicians person identified respective contributors to agelong COVID symptoms.

Spike Protein Appears to Be the Leading Contributor

Spike protein tin beryllium successful the immune cells of agelong COVID patients for up to 15 months aft infection.

The spike macromolecule sits connected the aboveground of the COVID-19 microorganism and is the cardinal to breaking into cells and causing the microorganism to dispersed successful organs and tissue.

An expanding fig of studies are pointing to it (1, 2) arsenic a contributing origin to agelong COVID.

Studies in mice and human compartment cultures revealed that the spike macromolecule could question into the encephalon by bypassing the blood-brain barrier.

Autopsy reports connected radical who died from COVID-19 person recovered spike macromolecule successful the brain, heart, pancreas, liver, kidney, thyroid, reproductive organs, adrenal glands, lungs, nasal and oral cavities, blood, fat, bone, muscle, skin, and adjacent the eyes.

However, the symptoms and laboratory trial results alteration depending connected the patient. Clinicians person truthful developed assorted hypotheses connected the reasons down these symptoms.

Millions of radical   are inactive  nursing themselves successful  the aftermaths arsenic  they retrieve  from spike macromolecule  injuries. Illustration of spike macromolecule  of SARS-CoV-2. (Juan Gaertner/Shutterstock) Illustration of the spike macromolecule of SARS-CoV-2. (Juan Gaertner/Shutterstock)

1. Inflamed Immune Cells and Blood Vessels

The spike macromolecule contributes to pathologies. The superior pathology is inflammation (1, 2, 3).

Inflammation is not harmful if controlled and short-term; it is indispensable to a person’s immune defense. But successful the lawsuit of agelong COVID, inflammation is chronic, and this causes cells to go stressed and damaged.

A important contributor to agelong COVID may beryllium inflammation wrong and of the humor vessels.

When interviewed by The Epoch Times, Dr. Bruce Patterson, a viral pathologist and the CEO and laminitis of IncellDx, a diagnostic company, and interior medicine doc Dr. Jessica Peatross each pointed retired the narration betwixt inflammation and agelong COVID.

Peatross voluntarily surrendered her aesculapian licence successful November 2022 to the Medical Board of California owed to facing disciplinary actions for approving 2 vaccine exemptions—one for a kid with terrible eczema and asthma, and 1 for a kid who had antecedently experienced broadside effects to vaccines, according to Peatross’s ain statement.

She pointed to studies connected acute COVID arsenic a systemic illness driven by inflammation of the lining of the humor vas walls.

Patterson recovered spike macromolecule successful agelong COVID patients’ non-classical monocytes. Non-classical monocytes are immune cells. They can connect to humor vas walls and origin inflammation.

Patterson’s different studies person found precocious levels of cytokines successful agelong COVID patients’ blood, indicative of inflammation.

Inflammation of humor vessels tin trim humor travel to tissues and organs, causing symptom and impaired organ function. Low humor travel besides means less nutrients are supplied to the cells, causing fatigue and weakness.

Unsurprisingly, important symptoms of inflammation successful humor vessels are fatigue, and associated and musculus pain, which overlap with agelong COVID symptoms.

Symptoms alteration depending connected wherever the inflammation occurs.

Vascular inflammation successful the superficial layers of the tegument whitethorn origin clusters of reddish dots, bruises, oregon hives.

Inflammation successful humor vessels that proviso the eyes whitethorn origin the eyes to go delicate to airy oregon adjacent origin imaginativeness impairment.

Epoch Times Photo Red humor cells wrong an artery. (Shutterstock)

2. Mitochondrial Dysfunction

California doc Dr. Jeffrey Nordella told The Epoch Times that mitochondrial dysfunction is different large contributor to agelong COVID symptoms.

It should beryllium noted that each of the symptoms, from inflammation to mitochondrial dysfunction, tin overlap. Mitochondria tin go stressed from debased oxygen owed to humor vas inflammation oregon adjacent inflammation.

Mitochondria are contiguous successful practically each cells successful the body. Mitochondria marque vigor for the compartment by concurrently burning fuel—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—and consuming oxygen. However, this process tin besides nutrient toxic oxygen taxon that are highly reactive and damaging to mitochondria.

These oxidants indispensable beryllium instantly neutralized, but successful the lawsuit of galore agelong COVID patients, this is often not resolved rapidly enough. 

Common agelong COVID symptoms, similar fatigue and dyspnea, past appear. In laboratory studies, cells exposed to spike macromolecule led the mitochondria to go dysfunctional and stressed (1, 2). This would interaction mitochondrial vigor output.

A caller survey connected agelong COVID patients suggested that mitochondrial dysfunction whitethorn origin fats to beryllium poorly metabolized for vigor needs. The authors recovered that galore of the study’s participants had fatigue, encephalon fog, and dyspnea; each had precocious lipid levels, suggesting mediocre lipid breakdown and utilization.

Interestingly, these patients had some debased macromolecule and carbohydrate-related substances successful their blood. This signifier is besides seen successful benignant 2 diabetes. At the aforesaid time, weight gain and an accrued hazard of processing metabolic diseases person been documented successful post-COVID patients.

Epoch Times Photo A three-dimensional rendering of a mitochondrion successful a compartment organism (Shutterstock)

3. Inflammatory Allergic Response

Mast cells, which are progressive successful allergies, whitethorn contribute to agelong COVID symptoms.

Mast cells are highly reactive, similar galore immune cells. They transportation ACE2 receptors, which let entranceway to the microorganism oregon spike protein. Once activated, mast cells tin nonstop immense amounts of histamine and inflammatory cytokines into circulation.

A 2021 survey that surveyed 136 agelong COVID patients astir their laboratory trial results showed that implicit 30 percent had precocious biomarkers that whitethorn beryllium indicative of mast compartment problems. These patients had precocious histamine and prostaglandin levels, which are often elevated successful radical with mast compartment problems.

Histamine tin origin an increase of cytokines, which tin lend to the cytokine tempest and endothelial inflammation contiguous successful acute COVID.

Histamine besides causes galore allergic symptoms, starring to swelling, redness, pain, and fever successful the regions of its release.

High histamine levels can bring astir itching, abdominal cramps, and adjacent brain fog. If concentrated successful the bosom muscles, histamine whitethorn besides lend to accelerated bosom contractions, causing arrhythmias and tachycardia.

Many of these symptoms overlap with agelong COVID symptoms.

Mast compartment disorders person also been associated with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, commonly known arsenic POTS. Research shows that 2 to 14 percent of agelong COVID patients study POTS symptoms of lightheadedness, fainting, and accelerated heartbeat upon lasting up.

Psychiatrist Dr. Adonis Sfera, who has led respective studies connected COVID-19, said that determination mightiness beryllium shared pathways betwixt agelong COVID and mast compartment disorders.

Some studies person shown that COVID-19 patients connected drugs that artifact mast compartment activation did amended than patients who were not connected specified drugs.

An illustration Sfera gave is the antihypertensive cause losartan. The cause works by blocking ACE2 receptors and lowering histamine activation. COVID patients who took this cause had a little hazard of decease from COVID-19 aboriginal successful the illness than patients who did not. 

Epoch Times Photo Eczema tin beryllium daunting erstwhile the symptoms support recurring. Dr. David Kuo, a accepted Chinese medicine practitioner, recommended acupressure massage to reconstruct the interior strategy and halt itching effectively. (Shutterstock)

4. Gut Dysbiosis

Gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of the microbes successful the gut, has been extensively documented with agelong COVID, sometimes occurring for respective months (1, 2, 3).

Gastroenterologist and CEO of Progenabiome Dr. Sabine Hazan runs a probe laboratory and conducts fecal tests for agelong COVID patients.

She recovered that these patients carried COVID-19 familial worldly successful their guts months aft the archetypal infection. Their gut microflora would beryllium successful a authorities of imbalance called dysbiosis.

Dysbiotic guts tin pb to gastrointestinal symptoms specified arsenic diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, and indigestion.

Gut dysbiosis is besides associated with chronic diseases specified arsenic mediocre intelligence health, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

The gut plays a captious relation successful carnal well-being. A effect of gut dysbiosis is the breakdown of the gut obstruction (a information called “leaky gut”). Bacteria tin permission the gut and participate the bloodstream, starring to an immune response.

Sfera said that galore bacteria successful the gut are akin successful operation to the body’s ain cells. So erstwhile the immune strategy attacks bacteria, it whitethorn besides mistake steadfast tissues for bacteria, triggering an “autoimmune inflammation, successful which the assemblage attacks itself.”

Autoimmune diseases associated with gut dysbiosis include Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the joints and ligaments of the spine), and inflammatory bowel disease, each of which person been reported aft a COVID infection.

gut bacteria Gut dysbiosis tin beforehand the onset and progression of chronic diseases. (nobeastsofierce/Shutterstock)

Some Reported Symptoms May Not Be From Long COVID

Patterson’s studies connected cytokines suggest that galore radical who study “long COVID” symptoms whitethorn not beryllium experiencing agelong COVID but alternatively a reactivation of latent viruses.

Studies person shown that corruption with COVID-19 tin origin dysregulation and suppression of the immune strategy (1, 2).

When the body’s immune strategy becomes dysregulated, viruses and infections—such arsenic herpes and Lyme disease—that had been nether power whitethorn abruptly make arsenic opportunistic infections.

A patient, Mary Lee, had been experiencing agelong COVID symptoms since December 2021.

Her cytokine trial revealed elevated cytokine levels with results indicating agelong COVID. However, a consequent humor trial showed that she was besides affirmative for Lyme disease.

Elevated cytokines person been observed with some agelong COVID and Lyme disease. The diseases person akin symptoms, including headache, fatigue, associated pain, and encephalon fog, amongst others.

Lee has been suffering from migraines and fatigue for galore years. She suspects that her untreated Lyme illness contributed to processing agelong COVID.

The origin of agelong COVID is acold from settled, and a large woody of the grounds clinicians usage to enactment their hypotheses is anecdotal. Given its analyzable objective symptoms, probe volition apt proceed for galore years.

Marina Zhang

Marina Zhang is based successful New York and covers wellness and science. Contact her astatine [email protected]