It has been a long path for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia, including post-viral forms such as Long COVID. People crippled with these illnesses have been finding little help at academic hospitals. But this is starting to change. Two university centers are starting to address these conditions with some efficacy.
A recent case report out of Johns Hopkins Hospital, by my favorite orthostatic intolerance expert Dr. Peter Rowe, reports on successful treatment of a patient with Long COVID.
The approach includes treating orthostatic intolerance (e.g., Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which research shows is present in most cases of Long COVID), Ehler's Danlos syndrome (joint hypermobility), and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). Meanwhile, the CFS clinic at Stanford University has also been successfully applying treatments such as antiviral therapies, low-dose naltrexone, and low dose Abilify.
Although most people with Long COVID are reporting that doctors are again taking the approach of "I can't figure out what's wrong with you, so you must be crazy," a few academic centers beginning to learn effective treatments offer light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.
The good news? Long COVID can be effectively treated NOW!
Our randomized double-blind placebo-controlled CFS/FMS research published in 2001 showed that 91% of people improved, with an average 90% increase in quality-of-life, using a comprehensive approach called the S.H.I.N.E.® Protocol. This addresses Sleep, Hormones/Hypotension, Immunity, Nutrition, and light Exercise (as able). The mix of processes that need to be addressed in each person varies considerably from case to case. We certainly still have much to learn. Multiple studies are showing that Long COVID is simply post viral CFS/FMS, and our experience is showing that the S.H.I.N.E.® Protocol is effective for Long COVID.
How to successfully apply this as a comprehensive approach, including the treatment protocol noted above, is addressed in detail in my book From Fatigued to Fantastic. The first edition came out in 1995, and has been dramatically updated in several editions since then. In fact the 2021 blue cover version is my 4th edition.
The good news? Effective treatment is now available for CFS and fibromyalgia, including the post viral form represented by the name Long COVID (or "PASC," Post Acute Sequelae of COVID). Most of these are inexpensive, which means there's little financial incentive to Big Pharma to fund research or spread the word to doctors. Especially as treatment for these complex conditions is quite time intensive on the physicians’ part. But with academic centers now starting to learn the component pieces needed for recovery, other mainstream physicians may follow. So people do have reason for hope.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.